5 Accounting Workforce Trends We’ll See in 2019

With the ongoing evolution in technology, the accounting industry will continue to change as well. Accountants will complete their work even more efficiently and effectively, adding additional value to their clients and employer. Here are five accounting workforce trends to look for in 2019.

Cloud Accounting

Using software and services stored on a network of remote servers strengthens security, allows for remote work, and improves disaster recovery. It also increases quality control and reduces costs. For instance, because cloud-based software can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, accountants have the real-time data they need to make educated business decisions. Also, since the data is stored in the cloud, there is no downtime in case of a natural disaster.


Because accountants deal with confidential financial information, they need to protect clients’ privacy. As malware, phishing and other criminal attacks continue to increase in intensity, so must security plans to block them. For instance, accountants will implement greater security protocols, receive more detailed training on security measures, and use more advanced security systems that anticipate risks.


Machine-driven algorithms will accomplish simple, routine work such as invoicing, processing payroll and tracking inventory more efficiently and effectively than humans. Automation also will increase accuracy and lower costs while freeing up time for humans to accomplish more complex activities. Accountants can leverage information, predict interactions, generate insights and provide a more valuable impact for their clients.


Blockchain technology will provide a continuously updated and verified accounting ledger that cannot be altered or corrupted. The technology will allow accountants to share and access data to more efficiently complete their work. For instance, Big Four accounting firms will continue to use blockchain research for accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, identify new applications and use cases for blockchain, and explore initial coin offerings that are similar to initial public offerings (IPOs) but use a cryptocurrency instead of a stock.

New Payment Structures

Cost-plus pricing will allow firms to charge the cost of performing a service plus a markup or profit margin. Fixed pricing will involve charging a fixed cost for a specific service. Value billing will consist of the firm charging for its perceived value of a service after the work has been finished. Value pricing will involve the firm charging for the client’s perceived value of a service. The price will be set before starting the work.

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Building on the Power of Your Team’s Strengths

Focusing on your team’s strengths provides many benefits. For instance, your team members become more engaged, productive, and loyal to your organization. Therefore, you want to determine which areas each member excels in and help to develop them.

Categorize Essential Strengths

Determine which strengths are most essential for your team. General strengths may include strategy and planning, leadership, cultural alignment or execution. Then, figure out ways to measure those strengths. You want to know which team member is strongest in each area so they can be assigned corresponding roles for collaborative projects. Because your teammates will be great at what they are naturally drawn to, they will excel in related roles. Your team also will feel empowered because you accept the fact that each is stronger in some areas than others and prefers to work in the areas they enjoy most.

Determine Each Team Member’s Strengths

Begin by discussing what you see as their core competencies. Then, figure out how those competencies can be applied to specific projects. Next, show how those competencies align with the responsibilities and expectations of the project’s role. Finally, focus on the big picture by creating business goals in line with your team members core competencies. Your teammates are more likely to embrace and reach goals that align with their strengths and interests.

Share Each Member’s Strengths

Talk about how each person’s talents can be used to enhance collaboration and complete projects. Mention how your teammates can capitalize on each other’s talents to maximize efficiency and achieve desired results. Encourage them to support each other in developing their strengths.

Offer Additional Strength Training

Seminars, conferences, classes or other training opportunities may be offered in the office or at remote locations. Map out ways that strength training can assist with promotions and attaining career goals. Find out whether there are additional strengths your team members want to develop and act accordingly. Discuss progress during performance conversations and reviews.

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End of the Year Hiring

With the New Year close at hand, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is a great new hire or new position to start off the New Year! Below is a list of our recent placements demonstrating our team’s success in helping companies identify top talent!  With our track record and our extensive network, how can we help you?

Recently Filled Direct Hire Positions and Industry:

  • Chief Financial Officer – Health Care Services
  • Corporate Controller – Manufacturer
  • Sr. Accountant – Social Services
  • Sr. Accountant – Manufacturer
  • Payroll Specialist – Engineering Manufacturer
  • Payroll & Benefits Administrator – Health Care Manufacturer
  • Jr. Accountant – Printing
  • Payroll Manager – Manufacturer
  • Accounts Payable Specialist – Electronics Manufacturer
  • Accountant – Recycling Services
  • Payroll Manager – Financial Services
  • Sales Administrator – Manufacturer
  • Database Administrator – Nonprofit Association
  • Accounts Receivable Specialist – Printing

Recently Filled Contract Positions and Industry:

  • Accounts Payable Specialist – Professional Services
  • Staff Accountant – Education
  • Payroll Administrator – Manufacturer
  • Credit & Collections Specialist – Distributor
  • Property Accountant – Real Estate
  • Payroll Analyst – Manufacturer
  • Accounting Clerk – Construction
  • Payroll Specialist – Manufacturer
  • Staff Accountant – Financial Services
  • Staff Accountant – Education
  • Accounts Payable Specialist – Manufacturer
  • Payroll Associate – Professional Services
  • Credit & Collections Specialist – Manufacturer
  • Accounts Payable Specialist – Manufacturer

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Why Remote Options Can Boost Your Employee Morale

Remote work options may be one key to boosting your employee morale. Having more control over one’s work schedule and location increases work satisfaction, engagement and productivity. Engaged, productive employees are happy employees, which leads to greater morale.

Increased Job Satisfaction

Because employees avoid the commute, they experience lower stress levels and less work exhaustion. This results in a higher positive attitude, lower absenteeism and greater employee retention. Also, as baby boomers head into retirement, they want remote work options to complement their desired preretirement lifestyle. Generation X may be done raising their kids and want to be in the workforce but still want to spend time with their families. Millennials may be looking for life experiences that broaden their horizons and expand their networks. Plus, Generation Z may desire remote work options to refine their career growth.

Stronger Manager and Employee Relationships

Because management is even more critical when working remotely, managers need to be proactive leaders who are intentional in their style. They need to create standards and expectations for remote collaboration and model successful behaviors for remote work to be successful. With increased methods of communication and virtual connections, managers and employees can virtually connect face-to-face, through email or instant messaging, or over the phone when needed, resulting in greater connections.

Better Health

Since stress and burnout are lower, employees feel physically and emotionally healthy. Also, work flexibility stimulates the brain, leading to happier, more creative employees. It also builds relationships among different generations of workers, which increases feelings of happiness and well-being, improves communication and reduces conflicts. Additionally, remote work options allow for more sleep, so employees feel refreshed and productive the next day. Plus, employees who are ill may be able to complete their work without infecting co-workers.

Greater Work-Life Balance

Working from home allows employees to take care of personal responsibilities while still completing their tasks. They can tend to family needs, run errands, exercise and engage in other interests while fulfilling their professional responsibilities. Employees can also attend meetings through video conferencing and ask questions through instant messaging tools, ensuring they fulfill their duties while working remotely.

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The Top Job Searching Myths You Can’t Possibly Believe!

Finding a job is a stressful activity. Buying into false beliefs about the process can make it even harder. Enhance your job search by not believing these myths.

1. My Resume Will Automatically Get Through the Automated System

An applicant tracking system (ATS) screens out candidates based on keywords, dates and job titles. Therefore, an average of five of every 1,000 online applications pass through the ATS to the manager. Even if your skills and qualifications make you a top candidate, you are not guaranteed to be offered an interview. You are better off customizing your cover letter and resume, finding the manager’s email on LinkedIn, and sending your information directly to them.

2. The Hiring Manager Will Know I Am a Great Fit

Your cover letter and resume should point out specific reasons why you are a great fit for the role. If the hiring manager is left to connect the dots between how your information qualifies you for the position, they will move on to the next qualified candidate. Point out your qualifications in relation to the job posting. Do not leave anything to chance.

3. My Passion for the Job Will Outweigh My Lack of Qualifications

Although you may be called in for an interview without having every qualification listed in a job posting, be aware of how far off your background is from what the hiring manager is looking for. Some factors may be negotiable, such as having four years’ experience when the posting asks for six. However, if you have three years’ experience and the posting asks for 10, focus your energy on other opportunities. This is especially true if you are changing careers and cannot demonstrate many transferable skills to get the role you want.

4. A Cover Letter Is Unnecessary

Even with digital job applications, a tailored cover letter and resume are required. Your cover letter gives context to your resume and a voice to your stats. It needs to show the hiring manager what you are looking for, why you are qualified for the role, and that you would like to talk further about the opportunity.

5. My Resume Should Be One Page

Because a customized resume is the centerpiece of your job application, it should highlight the most important information for the hiring manager. Therefore, you may not be able to list your related skills, experience and career highlights all on one page. This is especially true if you have a decade of experience and/or work in a high-level role. Choose a layout that is pleasing to the eye and draws attention to your most important achievements.

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4 Ways to Understand Introverted Candidates

Introverts are natural leaders. Their persistence, diligence, and focus on work let them stand out from the competition. Because you want to hire introverts due to the benefits they provide, you need to understand them to better communicate and decide whether they fit with a role.

1. Learn About Introverts

Learn all you can about introverts. For instance, they dislike small talk. Although it is designed to put candidates at ease, small talk may cause additional stress for introverts. Also, introverts do not like talking about themselves. Their lack of self-promotion may come off as a lack of enthusiasm for the job, when just the opposite is true. Additionally, introverts may take longer to answer questions. They enjoy taking time to reflect before speaking, and may appear less confident with their answers than other candidates.

2. Adjust the Interview Process

Adjust the interview process to accommodate introverts. For instance, send the candidate interview questions in advance. They will value the time to process the information before responding. Also, ask for written responses to some questions, while saving verbal responses for the interview. Introverts typically prefer written communication over oral because they can better express their personality. Additionally, ask the candidate to research a topic and create a short presentation on it. Introverts enjoy organizing and meaningfully presenting their thoughts on a subject more than talking about themselves.

3. Customize Recruiting Tools

Customize your recruiting tools. For instance, because introverts tend to be more stressed about a phone interview than other candidates, consider screening candidates through text message. Introverts may be more at ease because they have additional time to articulate their answers and let their accomplishments speak for themselves. Introverts will appreciate not having to engage in small talk and can focus on their skills and experience, instead. They will not be focused on details such as their clothing choices, where the interview is being held, and who they are talking with, freeing them to focus on the questions being asked. Introverts will not have to repeat themselves, which they dislike doing, because their answers will be typed and can be looked at again to avoid redundant questions or answers.

4. Check References Early

Check references early in the recruiting process. They will help you to determine how an introverted candidate works, what they excel at, and whether they prefer to work independently or collaboratively. Talking with references upfront will provide additional insight into what motivates the candidate and how to conduct a more effective interview.

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Top Accounting Talent Available – October Newsletter

TITLE:   Senior Financial Analyst  #101241

Areas of expertise:  Financial modeling, budgets, forecasts, trend analysis

Noteworthy:   SAP & Excel guru

Available for Contract and Contract to Hire Roles


TITLE:   Payroll Tax Analyst  #126944

Areas of expertise:   Federal, local, Multi-State payroll tax filings

Noteworthy:   in-depth knowledge of payroll tax laws and regulations

Available for Contract and Contract to Hire Roles


TITLE:   Accounting Manager  #152217

Areas of expertise:  Financial Statements, Cost Accounting, inventory

Noteworthy:   5+ year plant MFG industry experience

Available for Contract and Contract to Hire Roles


TITLE:   Senior Accountant  #113994

Areas of expertise:  Month-End Close, Reporting, Balance Sheet Analysis

Noteworthy:  SAP experience, Excel (pivot tables and v lookups)

Available for Contract Roles


TITLE:   Accounts Payable  #137118

Areas of expertise:  Full-Cycle Accounts Payable, 3-way match

Noteworthy:  great work history

Available for Contract and Contract to Hire Roles


Embracing AI in the Workforce

Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking over the workforce. The technology uses data to analyze patterns of behavior that are encouraged, discouraged, and tolerated by people and systems over time to determine which are most favorable. By performing repetitive, mindless busywork, AI frees up time for employees to engage in higher-level tasks. Increasing efficiency and productivity encourages new jobs to be created that increase engagement and fulfill potential. Therefore, AI should be embraced as a positive transformation in the workplace.

Faster Recruitment and Training

AI makes recruitment and training faster. For instance, an applicant tracking system screens resumes to narrow the candidate pool. Also, chatbots conduct basic background checks to identify specific qualifications and determine which candidates get offered interviews. Further, AI helps employees gain opportunities to learn new skills that aid in career growth, providing the business with a competitive advantage.

More Effective Management of Company Culture

AI more effectively manages company culture. For instance, AI analyzes behavioral data from onboarding processes, performance management, business processes, leadership forums, discussion threads, exit interviews, and other HR sources to develop real-time behavior patterns and create an ongoing picture of culture incorporated in the workplace. Also, AI identifies systemic issues and their consequences to avoid current risks, and facilitate the development of a culture plan. Additionally, AI facilitates culture audits of systems and processes to ensure they align with what boards and regulators expect of an organization.

Shorter Sales Cycle

AI shortens the sales cycle. For instance, the screening process becomes more precise and positively impacts the customer experience, improving the conversion rate. Also, AI takes on time-consuming, but necessary, tasks to increase productivity. For example, by using information from public domain and prefilling underwriting questions needed for an insurance quote, AI improves the ease of conducting insurance business for both prospects and the company, by closing more deals in less time.

Enhanced Customer Experience

AI enhances the customer experience. For instance, chatbots can predict customer needs and give the information customers desire at any time, reducing the burden on human customer service reps. Also, increased response time allows for instant communication and faster decision making. With the necessary information, customers are more inclined to conduct business and become loyal followers. Additionally, AI analyzes what customers want over time to provide deeper personalization and higher-quality products and services.

Increased Focus on Big Picture

AI increases focus on the big picture. For instance, AI can take over tedious work such as programming, and free up time for more enjoyable work. Programmers can play with, train, monitor, and provide feedback on AI so that running modules becomes more streamlined.

Your Next Finance or Accounting Job in Chicago

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Does Your Company Culture Say What You Want About Your Company? Time to Evaluate.

Company culture impacts employee engagement, retention rates, profitability and more. Culture also helps determine whether a job candidate will be a good fit with your organization. Learning to identify and describe your company culture will help you decide whether it needs modification and how to implement change.

Identify Your Company Culture

Begin by identifying your company culture. For instance, ask your employees to rate your culture through small-group interviews. Ask questions such as, “What would you tell a friend about your organization if they were about to start working here?”, “What is the one thing you would most like to change about this organization?”, or “Who is especially respected around here and why?” Also, ask your employees to complete surveys. You may purchase surveys with questions that have been proven reliable and validated or create your own. The results will guide you on what to do more or less of and what to stop or start doing. Further, objectively watch your employees interact. How do they engage and resolve conflicts? How do senior leaders interact with middle managers and employees? How do middle managers interact with employees? And, watch your employees’ emotions to determine their values. Are your employees engaged, interactive, excited, happy and friendly at work?

Describe Your Type of Culture 

You may find that your culture is best described as hierarchy, market, or adhocracy. In a hierarchy, the culture is a traditional top-down organization with several layers of management between leadership and employees. Employees at all levels have clear lines of decision making, authority, rules, procedures, and accountability that typically lead to streamlined production. In a market culture, the focus is on the company’s external environment over internal environment. For example, every position may be directly tied to customer support or profitability. In an adhocracy, culture is defined by assumptions that innovative initiatives lead to success. The focus is on developing new products/services. The culture emphasizes individuality, risk taking, and wearing multiple hats.

Modify Your Company Culture

See how your culture fits with the culture you want and modify accordingly. For instance, to create a hierarchy culture, hire more project managers and managers to implement processes and procedures for employees to follow. To create a market culture, consider adding financial incentives tied to customer satisfaction, consistency, product development or profitability. To create an adhocracy, adopt values of creativity and entrepreneurship.

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