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3 Tips to Survive Your First Year as a Manager in Public Accounting

October 17, 2019 3 Min Read Career Guidance, Career Progression
Eric C. Sakelaridos, CPA
Eric C. Sakelaridos, CPA Director, Audit & Accounting

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Excitement, nervousness, and uncertainty. Just over one year ago, I was promoted to audit manager and those are just a few of the emotions that I remember feeling upon learning about my new role. With any promotion, there is a transition period that lasts until you are fully comfortable with your new responsibilities, but it’s important to remember that there is a reason you were selected for the role.

As I reflect on everything I have learned within the past year, there are a few pieces of advice I’d like to share with any newly promoted manager to assist in their transitions:

  1. Don't be afraid to use your support system. Making decisions is difficult. As a new manager, you will be asked to make a lot of decisions, and often it may be related to something you have never seen before. You will likely will feel as if you should know what is being asked of you, because the responsibility was placed on you. Don't let your new title get in the way of asking questions and using the support system you have built throughout your career to enhance your learning.
  2. Take a step back and see the larger picture. For most of your career up until becoming a manager, you were directly involved in the day-to-day activities of engagement management and your primary responsibility was the job at hand. As a manager, you are more removed from the day-to-day and have broader overall responsibilities. As a result, your engagement teams are your greatest asset. To effectively manage your time and your engagements, you have to be able to lean on your teams. If you properly communicate your expectations, carefully plan the engagement and delegate tasks, and maintain communication throughout the engagement, you will put you and your team in a position to thrive.
  3. Get involved in more than just engagement management. As a manager, you will be pulled in many directions with regard to client work and it will keep you busy for the majority of your time. Overseeing client work is an important part of your newfound job duties and you must stay on top of your engagements, but when growth opportunities arise - such as the opportunity to work on a special project, be on a proposal team, or go to a networking event - don't miss out. The client work will always be there, but the opportunities to better yourself may not be, so if a deadline isn't approaching, take the opportunity to become a more well-rounded individual.

At every stage of my career, I have been put in positions that have fostered my growth both personally and professionally. The jump from senior to manager is intimidating, but it is no different than the transition into any other new role. I have acquired significant new skills and have learned to adapt.  Hopefully the advice I’ve shared will help the next generation of managers. Remember, you didn't just wake up a manager, you earned your promotion.

Eric Sakelaridos is a director in Kreischer Miller's Audit & Accounting group. Eric joined Kreischer Miller in 2013 upon graduating from Bloomsburg University. Contact Eric at Email.

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Eric C. Sakelaridos, CPA

Eric C. Sakelaridos, CPA

Director, Audit & Accounting

Investment Industry Specialist, Owner Operated Private Companies Specialist, Private Equity-Backed Companies Specialist

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