Dec 1, 2008
Debits = Credits
There was a big change at work today. Up until today I was responsible for managing HR and Administration. I have managed both of these functions for my entire career but until this current job I had also always managed the accounting function. When I accepted this job a little over a year ago I knew I would be giving up accounting. At the time I was excited to have the chance to focus all my attention on one thing for a change. I am a jack-of-all-trades kind of person and wanted to see if I could finally “master” one of them. I was also happy to get away from the monthly grind of producing financial statements.
But I have to admit I have missed accounting a little bit. The majority of issues that HR deals with are “gray”. Whenever some policy or employee issue is open for debate, discussion or interpretation it invariably ends up in HR’s lap. We are the fog lifters, the cheerleaders, the explainers and the comforters. It’s very challenging and rewarding.
Accounting on the other hand is a very black and white kind of thing. There is usually only one answer. The left side needs to balance to the right side. It always provided a nice balance to the HR side of things. After a tough day of dealing with people issues I could bury my head in numbers.
I work for a Japanese automobile manufacturer. Japanese companies are different than American companies in a lot of ways. That is a whole blog post in and of itself that I will save for another time. But I will say that one of the key attributes for success is the ability to wear many hats. There is a standard phrase put on job descriptions that goes something like “and other duties as assigned by manager.” This phrase really gets a workout in a Japanese organization.
So, after one year here and increasingly difficult times for the automotive industry I find myself in the position of taking on the management of the accounting department in addition to my current responsibilities. I am happy about this change and also glad that being a jack-of-all-trades gives me at least a little bit of job security in these tough times.