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Tips for Being a Department of One

Whether you’re in HR, marketing, IT, or internal accounting, being a department of one comes with a lot of responsibility and sometimes conflicting priorities. At the same time, you can start to feel siloed. Because no one else in the firm does the same job as you, it can be tough to find someone to bounce ideas off of.

As Boomer Consulting’s financial and accounting coordinator, I’m a department of one. Here are my tips for improving your day-to-day while continuing to move the company forward.

Develop internal relationships

Recently, we went through implementing new software for financial forecasting. Last Spring, we narrowed our selections down to a couple of options, but I felt stuck in a rut and unsure of how to choose the right solution.

Fortunately, our CEO, Jim Boomer, helps me in this area during our weekly one-on-ones to help make these decisions and give it the final approval after reviewing my findings.

As a department of one, you may be involved in several team meetings and committees but it also takes intentional effort to develop those relationships and they’re crucial to your success.

Make that effort to have one-on-ones with other stakeholders in the firm. When you have that relationship, it’s much easier to ask questions and get help rather than trying to muddle through problems on your own.

Invest in external resources

Once we selected the new software, I had some training but still didn’t feel completely confident with it. As a result, nothing happened for about six months. I was too busy with other day-to-day tasks and projects to give it the time and attention needed to implement it fully.

Jim recommended reaching out to the solution provider for help. For an additional fee, their client success team helped me fully implement the solution and provided additional training, reference materials, and once a month check-ins.

It was an additional investment, but the alternative was never to reach the full ROI we expected from our original investment into the solution!

Don’t be afraid to seek out external help. Your own team’s input is invaluable, but it can only get you so far. Sometimes, outside consultants can help you finally move the needle on a project and start reaching milestones.

Find your focus

I’m part of several committees in our company, which requires participating those scheduled meetings. Sometimes, it can feel like I’m being pulled in many different directions, and it’s tough to focus on my day-to-day responsibilities.

To help with that focus, I block out dedicated time on my calendar. We understand in our company that nobody can schedule meetings over that focus time. We are also allowed to decline meetings that don’t have a clear purpose, which helps us avoid wasting time in meetings we have no valid reason for participating in.

Try blocking out focus time on your calendar and making it non-negotiable. Whether you block out an hour a day or a 2-hour block a couple of times a week, you’ll probably be amazed at how much you can get done when you aren’t switching between tasks and fielding calls, emails and instant messages. This time is invaluable for thinking at a higher level rather than getting caught up in the everyday tasks that take up so much of our time.

Leverage technology

Chances are, the client service teams in your firm use some sort of project management or workflow tools to collaborate and track the status of client engagements. Project management tools are also essential for back-office teams, including marketing, HR, internal accounting, and IT.

If you’re still tracking projects and tasks on paper, leveraging a project management tool like Asana, Monday, ClickUp or Trello can free up time and create efficiencies. Project management tools aren’t just for big firms or client service departments! Many of these solutions are designed for small teams and most offer “freemium” versions if you want to try them out before committing to a subscription.

Start using a project management solution for your own tasks and collaborating with other team members. You can say goodbye to digging through email threads, sticky notes and notebooks for missing information while trying to juggle your responsibilities.

These are just some tips for making your work easier in your role. Even if you’re the only person in your department, you’re not alone. Seek out the internal and external resources you need to survive and thrive.


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As Financial Operations for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Jenna is passionate about the administrative side of business –both internally and externally.Her primary focus is on the company’s payroll, human resources, and accounting.

Before joining Boomer Consulting, a Solutions Advisor in 2018, Jenna owned a home health agency for three and a half years.


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