At FreeAgent, we have a pretty great reputation for our service - and if you’ve ever spoken to one of our Support Accountants, you’ll know why! Not only do they know FreeAgent’s accounting software inside and out, but they can answer complex accounting questions in a simple way for our customers.
So, do you have what it takes to be a great Support Accountant in our team? Find out if this is the perfect career for you.
What is a FreeAgent Support Accountant?
Even though FreeAgent is designed to be easy to understand, small business accounting isn’t. Of course, we have the Knowledge Base bursting with tutorials - and Ruby the Robot, who can answer simple questions and direct people to more information. But sometimes, you’ve got a really specific problem and you just need to talk to someone.
That someone is a Support Accountant! If a FreeAgent user needs a helpful human, they can phone, chat or email between 9am and 5pm for an answer. Our Support Accountants know the software like the back of their hand and they can leave jargon behind when explaining accounting concepts to small business owners.
They are motivated by finding solutions for customers, even if that takes a while. FreeAgent doesn’t have call time targets - the focus is always on providing the right answer first time, even if that means double-checking the answer and phoning or emailing the customer back with a detailed solution.
What are we looking for in a Support Accountant?
Does that sound right up your street? Here’s where you find out what skills we look for when hiring a new Support Accountant.
“I would say communication skills to correctly understand the query,” said Nicolas Salicis, Support Accountant, when asked what skills he uses most, “and then problem-solving skills to give the best guidance.”
One absolute must is having strong accounting or bookkeeping knowledge - and the ability to put this into plain English. An accounting qualification or experience working in accounting is good, but technical definitions aren’t enough. Our top tip: imagine you’re explaining it to your granny or your best friend. What will put them at ease?
Ability to think ahead
For truly great problem-solving, sometimes you need to think outside the box. While it might seem like a straightforward ask, Support Accountants know the product well enough to consider knock-on effects. “Not only can we answer in our first reply, ideally we can predict follow-up questions and give answers to these at the same time,” said Janice Atherton, Director of Support. “People like more information.”
Learning and Development Manager Ashley Laird said: “Once you learn the product and get to know our customers, you’re on your way to being a fantastic Support Accountant.” Many FreeAgent users aren’t experienced in accounting, so empathy is essential. You’ll get callers who are clearly panicking, but they don’t want to feel silly! You should be able to reassure them that their problem is valid - and that you can find them a solution.
One of the quickest and most subtle ways to reassure a customer is writing with accurate grammar and spelling. Correct grammar and spelling shows that you’re a professional whose knowledge can be trusted - which then boosts a customer’s confidence in the information you’re giving them. This is especially important in accounting where a single decimal point out of place can have a huge impact. And sure, spell-checkers exist, but when you’re answering a live chat, you don’t have time to use these on each response.
With many of our users low on time, we use technology to provide them with quick answers. A good typing speed is important when answering live chats, but also useful while you’re on the phone - we often type up details of the call or draft an email for the customer while we’re listening to them. And of course, being able to navigate new software makes picking up the role much easier.
Why join FreeAgent’s Support team?
If you’re the kind of person who gets a kick out of helping people, you could make a fantastic Support Accountant. You can finish up for the day knowing exactly how many people you’ve helped. You’ll regularly get great feedback too - FreeAgent users appreciate the service and they’re great at showing their gratitude. We have a Slack channel for all the good feedback we receive and it’s a busy one! If you’re ever in need of a pick-me-up, this channel is perfect or check out our Trustpilot reviews for a sneak peek.
Gillian Casey, one of our Support Accountants, said: “I enjoy chatting to business owners, and hearing how FreeAgent helps make doing their accounts and bookkeeping less stressful! There’s also a real feeling of pride when we can help someone who is a bit unsure feel more confident in their business finances.”
Plus, the Support team is very friendly and diverse. There’s sometimes an assumption that customer service is full of extroverts, but while we certainly have a few extroverts, we also have plenty of introverts who fit in effortlessly.
“We’re a close-knit team and you can ask anyone in the team for help,” said Ashley. “The working relationships are phenomenal.” There’s a reason most of the Support team choose to come into the office every day instead of the required two days a week. In a fast-paced job like this one, it makes a huge difference to be able to get quick feedback and answers to difficult questions.
“Ultimately, what I want from a good support accountant is someone who shows they care and has the knowledge to back it up,” said Janice.
Could your next career move be waiting at FreeAgent? Have a look at our vacancies and find the right one for you.