Could Accounting Firms Operate Without Job Titles?

Read more from Michael Alter here and in the "Dollars and Sense" archive.
 
I'd imagine having no job title makes it difficult to explain what you do at parties.
 
"I'm a blank in the accounting department."
 
Doesn't quite sound right, does it? Yet some smaller firms have been experimenting with having no titles and even no managers, and now Zappos has shaken up the traditional management style by getting rid of all titles.
 
Zappos is using the Holacracy system of management
 
The idea behind going away with this standard way of managing a business is that you're getting rid of red tape, middlemen, and a lot of the bureaucracy that can sometimes slow a company's pace to a crawl.
 
We've all seen situations where people aren't living up to their titles. But is it the title that's the problem or the person? Having a great team is key to creating a successful business, and if you have people that aren't performing, it's going to hurt. At the end of the day, though, if you're the head of your firm, it's your leadership and hiring decisions that make the biggest difference.
 
Whether or not you want to continue using titles really depends on the culture of your company. Do you have enough of a free-flowing atmosphere where everyone will naturally take on their roles without this more stated structure? Or do you need that explicit level of organization?
 
And what do you do with things like business cards or resumes? Will it look strange when you hand out a card at a trade show with just your name on it? Do you make something up?
 
As tedious and bureaucratic as some corporate practices can be, they can also serve a purpose. If for nothing else than a quick way to identify who does what. It's good to see companies trying new things and innovating for the sake of efficiency. But for many of us, it's just not going to work.

You may like these other stories...

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) had hoped to issue a final standard on revenue recognition during the first quarter of this year. However, the standard-setting organization confirmed today that the timetable...
Read more from Scott Cytron here and in the "PR Matters" archive.A blog can help build your firm. However, simply creating a domain name and sporadically writing entries will not yield more business. In order to...
IRS revokes group’s tax exemption over anti-Clinton statementsGregory Korte of the USA Today reported on Monday that the IRS has revoked the tax-exempt status of a conservative-aligned charity, the Patrick Henry Center...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.
May 1
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations’ expenses. It will include discussions of functional expense categories, accounting for functional expenses and allocations of joint costs.