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Setting SMART Goals for Accountants: A Guide to Success in Accounting

Sharissa Barnett Jan 19, 2024 10:06:01 AM
The words goals for smart accounting goals.


Accounting goals are specific objectives that firms providing accountancy services set for their growth. We discuss how to set up and achieve smart goals for accountants in this article. We also include several smart goals for accountants examples to help you learn how to do it for your accounting professionals. 

What are SMART Goals for your Accounting Firm? 

Smart goals for accountants or accounting goals are objectives that you select, define, and pursue. The word smart is an acronym that describes the best practices for setting goals. It is worth mentioning that SMART goals apply to all situations apart from accounting department goals. Here is a brief description of smart objectives for accountants or SMART goals for accounting. 


The first criterion for setting accounting department objectives is to ensure they are specific. Clearly define all your accounting goals to make it easy for everyone to understand what they would be working on. Having clear smart goals for accountants increases the chances of their attainment. 


All professional goals for accountants should be measurable. The measurability of goals means the ability to evaluate their attainment over time. You should be able to evaluate the accounting team goals using credible metrics. The ability to evaluate goals for accounting is important because it helps you to implement corrective measures whenever this is necessary. 


The third criterion of setting smart goals for accountants is achievability. Base your accounting firm goals on the reality of the organization. It makes no sense to create audacious accounting team goals with very little chance of attaining them. However, this does not mean that you should not have big dreams for your accounting firm. The best approach is to balance ambition with reality by creating accounting goals and objectives that are within reach. 


The accounting goals of your firm should be relevant to the organization and its needs. There is no need to set up goals for staff accountants that are inappropriate to them and even the organization. If accounting department objectives do not align with the needs of the organization, pursuing them will create discord in your firm. 


As you will see in the sample performance goals for accountants in this article, all smart goals for accountants should have time limits. Setting specific deadlines for your accounting goals creates a sense of urgency across the team. You are likely to achieve your accounting firm goals when there are specific time limits. 

Short-term and Long-term Goals 

A careful combination of short-term and long-term goals for accountants is necessary for the growth of your accountancy firm. Failure to understand the difference between short-term and long-term goals for accountants may be a recipe for confusion. The growth of the firm may end up stagnating because of failure to recognize the different roles of these two types of accounting goals. 

Short-term Goals 

Short-term goals for accountants are objectives that take very little time to achieve. Typically, short-term goals for accountants may be things that you can do immediately to change the daily operations of your firm. Good examples of short-term goals for accountants may be hiring additional staff or training the accounting department. 

Long-term Goals 

Long-term goals for accountants are objectives that require extended periods for their implementation and attainment. Long-term goals for accountants typically align with the strategic objectives of the firm. Good examples of long-term goals for accountants may include revenue growth over 5 years or expanding into international markets.

Setting Smart Goals for Your Accounting Firm and Examples 

Here are some goals for accounting employees. These goals for accounting examples cover all the important aspects of your firm. Besides, these sample smart goals for accountants demonstrate the criteria of specificity, measurability, attainability, relevance, and timeliness. 


Automation is one of the most common smart goals for accountants. The essence of automation is to adopt relevant software to help manage repetitive tasks within the accounting department of the entire organization. 

Having the perfect software for running your accounting firm can help speed up internal processes and increase productivity. Here at CoralTree, we have a client portal which is a cloud collaboration software called Basil Practice Management for Accountants, CPAs, and Tax Professionals. Basil is a refreshingly simple, affordable, and effective software for accountants. 

Including automation in your accounting department goals may be for two reasons. The first one is to optimize internal workflows and processes. The second objective may be to reduce the overall operating costs of your accountancy firm. 

Get new clients 

Growing the number of clients may be a good example of goals for staff accountant within your firm. The purpose of increasing client numbers is to grow the revenue of the firm. You can make this goal smart by defining the number of clients you would like to increase and the period of execution. 

You can then break it down into specific actions for your team members. The attainment of these sample performance goals for accountants contributes to the achievement of the overall goal of increasing client numbers. 

If you decide that getting new clients is one of the smart goals for accountants in your organization, ensure you elaborate on the cost of achieving this objective. Accountancy and other B2B firms spend a lot of money acquiring and nurturing leads. Therefore, although growing clients is one of the most attractive accounting goals, consider the methods of achieving it over time. 

Enhance client satisfaction 

Accounting goals and objectives can also focus on the needs of the clients. The next item in our sample performance goals for accountants is enhancing client satisfaction. Client satisfaction means the extent to which your clients are happy with the services they receive from your team. 

Client satisfaction is critical for the success of your accounting firm. The more the number of happy clients, the greater the results of your word-of-mouth marketing efforts. Clients who are happy with your work are likely to recommend you to those who may be seeking accounting services. 

However, you will face certain challenges when you decide to use client satisfaction as one of the smart objectives for accountants. Primarily, it is difficult to measure client satisfaction. In addition, you have to decide whether this is a short or long-term goal for a staff accountant. 

Using an effective and reliable client management software can help you include and attain client satisfaction as one of the smart objectives for accountants. Such software can help you outline the specific actions that form the professional goals for accountants related to making your clients happy. 

How to Achieve SMART Goals for Your Accounting Firm 

Achieving accounting goals and objectives requires dedication, hard work, and consistency. It is important to understand that accounting department objectives are not superior to those of other departments in an organization. Therefore, you must ensure that goals for staff accountant align with the objectives of other departments in the firm. Here are some of the things you can do to achieve your accounting firm goals. 


After setting up professional goals for accountants, one must consider the steps and processes of realizing the objectives. It is important to consider the amount of hard work your firm needs to execute the legwork for the attainment of the goals. 

Buy in 

Your firm can achieve its accounting team goals if you build consensus across the entire organization. Ensure other staff members understand the importance of accounting department goals for the success of the organization. 

accountant working on smart accounting goals to succeed Commitment 

Have a leader help other staff show commitment to the attainment of the smart goals for accountants. Ensure that everyone understands their attainment of accounting goals in the firm and that they do their job. 


We have discussed a few goals for accounting employees examples. Some of these smart goals for accounting employees examples are short-term while the rest can be long-term. The bottom line is to understand how to use the SMART criteria to set and pursue goals for your accounting firm. Furthermore, it is important to understand that setting smart goals is not enough. You must lead your team to commit to the execution and attainment of the smart objectives. Try a simple and affordable software such as Basil Practice Management for 15-days free with no commitment and personalized demo. 

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