The Pro Back Office mentorship program serves as an essential staff development tool. This program not only provides support for staff members, but also helps to create an open, inviting culture that encourages all employees to contribute their ideas for improving our business. PBO mentors will teach or give help and advice to a less-experienced staff member. Mentors will act as a new hire's guide to the PBO workplace and allow newcomers to gain valuable, real-world experience and skills that are difficult to grasp in a classroom setting. Often times mentors serve as another resource for technical accounting questions and/or guidance.
Senior Accounting Manager, Chrissy Chambers shares her experience with the Pro Back Office Mentorship Program and the many benefits gained from it.
Chrissy is currently mentoring 3 staff accountants (Paige, Gabriel and Katie). For the initial meeting, she finds out their level of education, prior work experience, what they like about accounting, what they hate about accounting, what they think they are good at and what they want to get better at. “Generally, you’ll use this information to guide them in establishing a task specific goal towards becoming a SME in a topic to give some forward direction. Do they love Fixed Assets? Payroll? Identify what sparks their interest and give them resources to learn more.” Outside of that she finds out up to what level of the financials each month they are responsible for and identifies an area that they can start helping on with their supervisor. If they are doing all the data entry, showing them how to review the BS and PL trend for outliers which might save their supervisor time at month close is an easy item to start doing which teaches them what the next accounting level is looking for. “This is just the basics. Once I’m familiar with where they are and where they want to go, I make sure they know I’m available for any questions on their current clients. Using a real life example is the best use of time for mentoring. It gives the mentee a chance to not be spinning their wheels while learning something. For example, one staff member has been working on a complex reconciliation for a client regarding amazon sales.” She was a little nervous regarding the project so Chrissy sat with her for about an hour to talk through her approach and give her a sounding board with permission from her CFO, Greg Leiser. Staff accountant Paige had this to say about the mentorship program "Having Chrissy as a mentor has been so great for not only my present endeavors at work, but also my career growth. She has been a great resource for me in terms of both guidance and support and I'm glad we got paired up together."
On the other side, Greg Leiser is Chrissy’s mentor. Before their first meeting she requested that she would like to establish quarterly tasks to assist in strengthening and broadening her skill set. “In essence, I’ve asked Greg to assign me homework such as learning how to create a Balance Sheet forecast or learning more about insurance requirements for various industries. These assignments are geared towards skills I need to be a controller and they are items that are useful to my current clients.”
The mentoring program is vital in our business structure since we mostly work remote or scattered. It helps ground us and connect us to our co-workers, keeps us focused towards the future as well as seeing the bigger picture of what we do. “It's important to understand what drives your mentee both in work and out of work. A whole, happy, and driven person makes the best worker. Sometimes the mentoring might not be focused around work specific items since personal life bleeds into our work life especially in our structure. Having someone to ask for advice or vent frustrations can help us provide a more focused accountant at 8am on Monday.” Other workplace benefits of this program include:
The one-on-one quality of the relationship cultivated within the PBO mentorship program helps new hires integrate quickly into our culture and become a productive member of the staff. This employee mentorship program plays a pivotal role in our businesses growth.