After busy season (or in reality, after each assignment), accountants fill out a self-assessment form. The thinking here is that accountants can be honest with themselves and write down all the things that went well and all the things that can be improved upon. The reality is that it’s a non-stop fluff piece that wastes paper and more important – time.
A period-end assessment is a written, self-review of strengths, weaknesses, and ratings. After being submitted for approval by higher-uppers, these forms become lost in endless files. Ratings are important because accountants, as everybody knows, can be boiled down to a number.
When you see a review with statements about “a challenging opportunity,” “enjoyed working with the team,” and “glad to help out over the weekend,” you know the accountant is saying the opposite.
Still, you can’t blame an accountant when the whole point of a review is to gauge how much the accountant has sucked up to the person(s) reviewing them. Even if they made honest, innocent mistakes, they wouldn’t mention it for rightful fear of losing their job.
Accountants spend much of their careers filling out these self-reviews and assessing others. The smart one simply adopt a template and “rollforward” their previous review for the current one.
One reason accountants spend so much time on reviews, is that the review cycle is confusing and arbitrary. At first, reviews were done on an annual basis. Then reviews were due after each assignment. Now, reviews may be semi-annual, quarterly, seasonal, etc. As if that wasn’t enough, review deadlines are often changed around. If this all sounds backwards to you, it’s because it is backwards.
Reviews don’t have much purpose besides creating a paper trail for the HR department. Reviews are often rubber stamped through or an opportunity to throw someone under the bus.
If it’s not busy season or training, you can assume an accountant is filling out reviews.