Using Organization Charts and Job Descriptions

Using Organization Charts and Job Descriptions
(Reprinted with permission)

The CPA Journal (a publication of the New York Society of CPA’s)
May 1976

By Gregory F. Pashke, CPA
Fargo Dowling Pashke & Twargowski 

  Have your clients, even the smaller ones, adequately defined their operational and administrative structure to facilitate the attainment of established current and long-range objectives? Does the present or anticipated size and complexion of these clients warrant the development of an organization chart and the definition and assignment of given areas of responsibility via detailed job descriptions for applicable personnel? Or if they currently have an organization chart and associated job descriptions, do they have an effective monitoring system to review them periodically for their continuing adequacy? 

The primary intent behind an organization chart and accompanying job descriptions is to provide an effective control mechanism for the current and future operations of the organization. A few of the benefits associated with their development and periodic review are: 

  • They provide a method for involving personnel with the goals of the organization. In this regard it can become an effective planning tool for management.
  • They establish lines of authority and areas of responsibility. This allows management to delegate attainment of the overall organization’s goals into controllable and accountable sub-goals for the functional arms of the organization.
  • They usually result in more realistic spans of control as the organizational chart provides an easily understood model of the operations of the organization.
  • They help fix responsibility with individuals and provide evaluation criteria for determining success or failure with pre-established goals and objectives. This provides a more objective basis for performance review.
  • They facilitate transition of personnel either due to job rotation, employee turnover or promotion since duties, responsibilities and authority are previously spelled out. Thus training costs are usually reduced and it is easier to develop successors.
  • Detailed job descriptions usually reduce potential problems from union agreements and job discrimination charges by various sex, age, race and religious groups.
  • They help highlight potential areas of improvement (i.e., elimination of task duplication, structure changes to improve efficiency or reduce costs, etc.).
  • They provide motivation for employees who can more clearly see the avenues to the top and what the ascent entails.

Areas of concern during the development and ongoing review of an organization chart and job descriptions include: 

  • Be sure the authority vested with individuals is commensurate with their inherent responsibility. Make sure they have the tools to accomplish the task.
  • Make sure the schematic organization chart relates to the actual operations of the organization. Otherwise the entire process might be an extravagant exercise in futility.
  • Not allowing the chart and descriptions to become static or sacrosanct. Remember, they need periodic evaluation as to their current adequacy. If they are no longer appropriate, modify them.
  • Keep the ability to react quickly foremost in mind. Keep the organization as “trim” as is realistically feasible so that you can modify your structure if conditions warrant.
  • Attempting to fit the job to the person rather than the person to the job. Utilize the talents of your people in a fashion that allows for optimal goal congruity between the organization and its individual participants.

Remember a clearly defined organizational structure is an earmark of a well-managed organization. Continually upgrading of organizational controls and management techniques is one key to long-range organizational survival, survival in which we as CPA’s have a vested interest.

About the author:

Greg Pashke, CMA, CFM, CMC, CPA/ABV, CBA, CVA, CPCM, MBA is the President of Pashke Consulting, an organizational, managerial, and financial consulting firm. Greg assists organizations strategize, keep score, evaluate results, and monitor their game plans.He can be reached by email at, or by telephone at 772-528-3871 and his web site is:

Copyright © 2005 Pashke Consulting, all rights reserved.
Greg Pashke
December 7, 2008
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Recent Comments (1)
August 24, 2015
I work in HR and org chart is a key factor in a organization to work on HR front. Specially we use a org chart software to draw our org chart diagrams to update over time.