As a Part Time CFO I find that business owners making people accountable for their performance is lacking more and more and as a result more of the burden of accountability is falling on the business owner. Since the business owner is responsible for everything that happens in their business, the buck stops with the business owner. This additional burden of accountability is not only unproductive to business owners, but it is negatively affecting the bottom line as well. One person simply cannot do it all!!! Therefore people have to be held accountable!!!
What causes a lack of accountability in an organization?
Primarily 3 things (not in any particular order)
- Inaccurate and untimely financial statements - The financial statements are the scorecard of any business and are the supreme measure of business performance. If the financial statements are inaccurate or untimely then how can performance be measured properly? If performance cannot be measured properly how can one make anyone accountable?
- Fear of Loss of the Employee - If the business owner thinks very highly of the employee and the business owner looks at the employee leaving the company as a detriment to their business they will deflect as much pressure and accountability away from that employee as possible.
- Lack of having a strategic plan - Without a strategic plan the business lacks direction. When a business owner has a strategic direction that they can communicate to the rest of the organization it gives employees the reason to be accountable. An employee will not be accountable if they are not given a reason to be accountable. The strategic plan consistently applied gives the employees reason to be accountable. Consistency in the strategic plans application is critical because if the strategic plan is inconsistently applied or changed often accountability is sure to break down.