marketing and accounting overlap

When it comes to departmental differences, there’s perhaps no greater dichotomy between marketing and accounting. These career paths tend to attract dramatically different personalities and offer contrasting experiences in their day-to-day work.

However, one cannot survive without the other.

There’s a surprising amount of overlap between marketing and accounting initiatives. The better firms can bridge that gap, the more collaborative and productive the company will become.

Here are six ways marketing and accounting can work together to create the proverbial dream team.

Through HR, Recruitment, and Hiring

Recruiting and the hiring process is a sweet spot where accounting and marketing come together under the umbrella of human resources (HR). Regardless of which position a company is hiring for, it’s important to have feedback from all three factions before moving forward. Accounting helps set the budget and plays an integral role in the onboarding process, while marketing contributes brand feedback to help attract top talent. 

Some brands even incorporate marketing in the minutia of the hiring and onboarding process. For example, the team could be called upon to review the tone and language in onboarding materials or add brand elements to paystub templates (see an example here: or invoices.

This example alone highlights why a collaborative company culture is so integral for success. However, that’s just the beginning of where these seemingly opposing departments come together.

Setting Prices and Understanding Margins

When a new product or service is in development, it’s the marketing team that ultimately sets the price. Those familiar with the world of marketing know all about the Four P’s: price, product, placement, and promotion. 

Several factors influence the price of a product. The supply and production costs play a role, as do profit goals and customer demand— all of which are determined via intense marketing research. As a part of that research, marketing often relies on accounting for inventory and cost analysis. 

For marketers in innovation and new product development, it’s integral to get buy-in from key members of the accounting team. Fostering those relationships will help with creative problem solving when a pricing issue arises and push projects forward against deadlines.

Forecasting for High-Level Company Financials

Accounting and finance are typically in control of forecasting and making projections for the company’s financial future. In a publicly traded company, data accuracy is critical for presentations to the board and shareholders. 

Marketing and accounting must work together during this process to ensure data accuracy. The marketing team will be able to present research-backed data, while accounting will have an in-depth knowledge of historical data and other influences that could invalidate the data. Having an open dialogue and fostering a relationship of understanding is a must for accuracy between these two departments.

Understanding ROI for Campaigns

There are several areas in which a return on investment (ROI) should be assessed within marketing. Looking at the sales generated from a campaign is a simple data point by which to measure success, but it’s a relatively small picture.

Accounting can help calculate customer lifetime value (CLV) and work with marketing to assess ROI at a higher level. This collaborative effort can highlight which products have the most value and which efforts are falling short. 

Tracking Expenses and Budgets

Marketing managers are often tasked with the responsibility of overseeing departmental budgets and expenses. However, it’s accounting that enters and uses this data for reporting purposes. 

At a simple day-to-day level, accounting can help determine if expenses are hitting the right accounts or if any errors have been made. At a bigger-picture level, accounting can advise on where the value lies and where cuts should be made.

Improving Cohesion and Eliminating Silos

In summary, bringing accounting and marketing together helps eliminate silos and move away from an archaic, divided work environment. This shift promotes better team cohesion and a collaborative workspace that helps a company thrive.