Handling Year-End Closes for a Busy Market

The end of the year is a busy time for your accounting team. This is why it is important you have a year-end closing checklist to organize how the year gets wrapped up. Then, the books should be updated, accurate, and ready to transition to a new year.

Encourage your accounting team to follow these guidelines to handle year-end closes.

Get the Financial Statements

Gather the income statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet. This shows where the business is at financially and provides the information needed for tax filing. The income statement summarizes the money gained and lost during the year. It lists the revenue, tax expenses, operating expenses, cost of goods sold, depreciation, EBIT/EBITDA, and other financial costs and gains. The cash flow statement lists the company’s incoming and outgoing cash. This includes the timing in which the money came in or went out. The balance sheet lists the organization’s assets, liabilities, and equities and tracks its financial progress. The assets should be equal to the liabilities and equity.

Collect on Overdue Invoices

Contact customers who are late in paying company invoices. Be professional, understanding, and patient. If a customer cannot cover their debt, set up a payment plan with due dates. This shows you care about their business and understand their situation. Document each conversation and what the results were so you can refer to them as needed.

Gather Employee Information

Get together the Form W-4 you have on file for each employee. Use the information to complete each staff member’s Form W-2. They will need this information for tax filing.

Verify Payroll

Ensure your payroll records are accurate and current in your books. This includes raises, year-end bonuses, withheld tax amounts, and benefits.

Account for Inventory

Verify accurate counts of the materials and supplies on hand. This shows how much was spent on inventory during the year and its value. Make sure the inventory totals match the balance sheet. If you find discrepancies, make the proper adjustments.

Organize the Business Receipts

There are many ways you can organize receipts. For instance, you can sort them by the type of expense or in chronological order. You also can use folders and labels to keep the receipts separated or store them digitally on a mobile device.

Reconcile the Bank Accounts

Bank account reconciliation verifies that your accounting records match your bank accounts. The process involves comparing your bank statements to your accounting records. Your statements should match the balance stated in your books. If they do not, you need to uncover the discrepancy. This may involve adjusting a record for the balance to be equal.

Need Help with Your Year-End Close?

Handling year-end accounting procedures is a challenging process. Each step needs to be completed on time to transition into the new year. Having a checklist on hand can ensure everything gets done and the records are accurate and organized.

If you need help with your year-end close, get in touch with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We can provide temporary accounting professionals to help you close out the books and get ready for 2022.

Bring Your Staff Together This Holiday Season! 5 Ways to Boost Employee Morale

Bringing together your accounting and finance team during the holidays is a great way to elevate morale. Setting up activities for your staff to participate in helps them interact and get to know each other better. This can increase engagement, collaboration, and productivity both now and in the future.

Choose among these ideas to unite your accounting and finance team and elevate morale this holiday season.

1. Play Holiday Music in the Office

Play your team members’ favorite holiday songs throughout the workday. Music has been shown to enhance productivity and spread positive feelings. Diversify the playlists, artists, and songs to include Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other religious holidays. Additionally, include lyric-free seasonal songs for a more neutral holiday environment.

2. Encourage Desk Decorations

Let your employees express their holiday cheer by decorating their workspaces. This has been shown to increase motivation, engagement, and productivity. It also elevates energy levels and makes staff happier. Suggest neutral decorations for the rest of the office. This may include dressing up the refrigerator in the office kitchen as a snowman or wrapping an office door like a present. You may want to hang stockings with small gifts for your employees as well.

3. Promote a Wellness Activity

Set up an activity in the office to increase relaxation and reduce stress. This is especially important if your team is working extended hours during the holiday season. For instance, hire an instructor to come in for an hour of meditation or a yoga session. Your staff should return to work refreshed, invigorated, and feeling appreciated. Or, bring in a lunchtime fitness instructor to provide walking tips while your team members walk outside and breathe in the fresh air. They can enjoy a bag lunch before returning to work.

4. Provide Monetary Gifts

Surprise your staff with additional vacation days, a year-end bonus, or another monetary gift. Your team will appreciate the extra time off to unwind with family and friends. They also would enjoy treating themselves to a holiday gift from the company.

5. Offer Additional Flexibility

Because employees tend to be busier than ever during the holidays, allow more flexibility in their work schedule. Your staff may need additional time for shopping, decorating, baking, attending school events, and visiting with family and friends. Loosening up their schedules encourages your employees to participate in the activities that mean the most to them. Letting them fit their work around their personal lives as much as possible shows you care about their happiness and well-being.

Happy Holidays from Casey Accounting & Finance Resources!

Bringing your accounting and finance team together during the holiday season is a great way to build morale. The excitement of celebrations with family and friends and the anticipation of beginning a new year make this the perfect time to build memories.

When you are in need of professionals to add to your team, reach out to us. We look forward to helping you attain your business goals in 2022.

What We Love About the Holiday Season

If you’re like us, this time of year gives us all the holiday feels. It’s like everyone is in good spirits.

There are many reasons to love the “most wonderful time of the year.” Snowball fights. Eating. Celebrations with friends and loved ones. Finding the perfect gifts. Volunteering. More eating. Writing letters to Santa. Driving through neighborhoods to see the lights and decorations. Carolers. Did we mention eating?

Are you jamming to holiday music? Let’s see a show of hands. Who started in November? Who breaks out the Jingle Bells in the heat of the summer?

Are you the holiday sweater wearer? The tackier, the better? Yes, please!

With all the cheerfulness surrounding us, we decided to share some of the things we love about the holidays.

Eileen R., Ponderer of Good Fortunes

Director of Sales & Recruiting – Casey Accounting & Finance Resources

I love the holiday season because it is a time to gather with family and friends in sharing some cheer. It is always a good time to reflect on all the blessings you have been granted throughout the year and the anticipation of what is to come in the new year of 2022!

Nina S., Present Wrapper Extraordinaire

Administrative Assistant

I love the holiday season because growing up, my parents always worked so hard to make sure my brother and I had a great Christmas and wanted to see our faces GLOW on Christmas morning. And still, to this day, at the age of 27, I still get very excited, like a little kid, about Christmas. I enjoy the lights, the songs, and surprisingly – I love to wrap presents! The whole Holiday Season gives me so much Joy! My most favorite family traditions are getting a real Christmas tree every year and decorating it together and having Mom’s home-cooked Prime Rib Dinner on New Year’s Day!

Cheryl R., Expert Party Organizer

Director of Recruiting and Sales – Arlington Resources

I love the holiday season because for the last 20 years, I have hosted a girlfriend’s Christmas party, and it is one of the best nights of the year that I always look forward to. It started out as a cookie exchange and gift exchange, and now we skip the cookies but like to have a theme party. The party brings my old friends and new friends together and helps me celebrate my most favorite holiday and time of year. I love my real Christmas tree, Christmas music, Christmas cookies, Christmas decor…I LOVE it all!

Denise Y., The Chef

Director, Recruiting, and Sales – Arlington Resources

I wanted to share one of my favorite party recipes: Hot Crab-Cheddar Spread

1 (8 ounce) container of crabmeat, drained and shredded
2 cups of mild or sharp cheddar cheese (grated)
½ cup of Mayo

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350

Mix together all ingredients, bake for 25-35 minutes and serve with crackers or toast

Elizabeth L., Christmas Tree Lover

Senior Recruiting Consultant, Arlington Resources

I love the holiday season because I love having our Christmas tree up and lights on. We get to take cute pictures with our dog, Amy!

Erin G., Witness to the Best in Humanity

Senior Recruiting Consultant, Arlington Resources

I love the holiday season because, in general, people seem to be more kind, giving, and caring during November and December. I also love holiday lights and decorations.

Julie J., Believer in Magic

Sourcing Specialist, Arlington Resources

I love the holiday season because my young kids are very into the magic of Christmas, and it’s a very special time!

From All of Us to All of You

We want to take a moment to say how grateful we are for our customers for trusting us with your staffing needs and for all our associates who work for you. It is truly our pleasure to serve you and to partner with you.

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly

Can you relate to our list? Here’s to a season of merriment and peace. It’s important to recognize what we have and all the wonderful blessings we’ve received. Go out and put a smile on someone’s face.

Spread love throughout the season and keep it going throughout 2022!

Give Thanks to Your Team! 5 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

Expressing gratitude to your accounting and finance team should be an everyday occurrence. Letting them know how much you value their contributions and results promotes feelings of respect and loyalty. This results in increased engagement, productivity, and retention.

Choose among these five ways to show you are grateful for your accounting and finance team.

1.     Thank Your Team Members

Always express appreciation for the work your staff put in each day. They likely are doing their best to finish tasks and reach objectives. Knowing your team members’ efforts are noticed provides encouragement to continue to perform at top levels.

2.     Encourage Professional Growth

Opportunities for learning, coaching, and cross-training help your team reach their career goals. This may involve participation in an industry-related seminar, conference, or networking event. Or, it could include membership in a professional organization, a role on a special committee, or job shadowing for additional career opportunities. Any chance to grow professionally likely is welcome.

3.     Share Your Team Members’ Accomplishments

Let everyone in the organization know when your employees attain something big. This may include sharing their successes with the rest of your team, senior leaders, and the rest of the company. Or, it could include mentioning the accomplishments during team meetings, in the company newsletter, and on social media platforms. Your employees should appreciate the public recognition and continue to give their all going forward.

4.     Write a LinkedIn Recommendation

Share each employee’s successes by writing recommendations on their LinkedIn page. This shows you care about your team members’ career development and want to help them grow professionally. Endorsing their skills also can lead to a greater impact on your organization down the road.

5.     Give Praise for Attaining a Goal

Whether big or small, let your employees know you appreciate their hard work and dedication to accomplishing business goals. This may involve completing a project, working for a new client, or reaching a long-awaited milestone. Be sure to point out specifically what the staff member did that you admire. Give sincere praise for taking action to attain what they set out to do.

Do You Need Accounting and Finance Talent?   

Expressing appreciation for your accounting and finance team every day leads to increased engagement, productivity, and retention. This encourages your staff to work hard, stay connected, and perform their best.

When you are looking to add skilled members to your team, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We match you with the accounting and finance professionals who can help achieve your business goals.

Top Talent Aren’t Getting Just One Offer! Here Is How You Should Approach a Counteroffer

When hiring accounting and finance professionals, your choice candidates likely will receive counteroffers from their current managers. Because employers do not want to lose their best talent, many will provide incentives for their staff to stay with their team. This is why you need to proactively address the issue with your shortlisted candidates. Providing reasons why applicants should turn down counteroffers increases the odds of having your top candidate decide to join your team.

Follow these guidelines to encourage your top accounting and finance applicants not to accept a counteroffer from their current employer.

Reinforce Each Candidate’s Reasons for Leaving

Remind your top applicants why they decided to look for a new job in the first place. Most of the time, it has nothing to do with making more money. This is why accepting a pay increase through a counteroffer likely will not retain the employee long-term. If the staff member does not get along well with their manager, they are not being challenged in their work, or there is no room for advancement, the issue is likely to remain.

Question Whether Staying Would Make Things Change

Ask each of your shortlisted candidates whether anything would improve long-term if they remained with their current employer. In most cases, the applicants began seeking new jobs because they felt restricted or unappreciated. They may have been passed over for a promotion or not given other opportunities to grow. Although the candidates may have expressed their concerns to their manager, the issues likely went unaddressed. Odds are these problems will remain even if the applicants decide to accept a counteroffer.

Point Out the Job Insecurity of Staying

Remind your best talent that once they submit their resignation, they damage the relationship with their employer. Even if your candidates accept a counteroffer, things will remain tense at work. Their manager may wonder how loyal they really are and whether they would accept an even better offer if it came along. Their employer also may begin making plans to replace the employee as soon as possible. Or, if the company wants to eliminate positions, the team member who tried to resign likely will be let go first.

Are You Looking for Top Accounting and Finance Professionals?

When adding skilled accounting and finance professionals to your team, they are likely to receive counteroffers from their current employers. One of the best ways to discourage your potential team members from accepting these offers is by pointing out why they decided to leave their jobs in the first place. You also can ask whether things truly will change by staying. Plus, you can point out how insecure the potential hires’ jobs may be once their managers know they want to leave.

When you need to add top talent to your team, get in touch with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We have the skilled professionals you need to reach your business goals.

I Quit! The Great Resignation Power Shift.

If you are unaware of the mass exodus of employees who are seeking better opportunities, you will. Countless articles have been written about The Great Resignation and, more recently, Striketober. Employees seeking more flexibility and fuller personal lives are considering changing jobs. In fact, a July 2021 Monster.com poll reveals:

  • 95 percent of employees are considering changing jobs;
  • 34 percent feel the best way for advancement is to find a job with a new employer;
  • 86 percent of workers who feel their career has stalled during the pandemic; and
  • 80 percent of workers do not think their current employer offers growth opportunities

With troubling trends in employee/employer relationships, the term “Great Resignation” was created in 2019 by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management at Mays Business School of Texas A&M University, to predict a mass, voluntary exodus.

The Old Work Environment Isn’t Working in the New Work Environment

Let’s face it. Working in an office hasn’t changed for decades. Aside from some companies offering perks like childcare, ping pong tables, and espresso machines, employers had the upper hand regarding an employee’s career path.

Millennials and Generation Z employees have been requesting better work/life balance and flexibility for more than a decade. The scales have been tipping to the employee’s favor, and the pandemic is creating the shift at an accelerating rate.

It’s an Employee’s Market

According to Derek Thompson, a staff writer at The Atlantic, “the basic terms of employment are undergoing a Great Reset…we may look back to the pandemic as a crucial inflection point in something more fundamental: American’s attitudes toward work. Since early last year, many workers have had to reconsider the boundaries between boss and worker, family time and work time, home and office.”

While employers may have been unprepared for this movement of talent, all hope isn’t lost. There are ways to improve employee retention as well as attract great talent from the prospective employee pool of those who have already resigned from their former companies.

Employers Must Compete for Talent

Phillip Kane, CEO and managing partner for Grace Ocean, commented, “the Great Resignation caught so many employers flat-footed because it ran contrary to everything traditional management thought they knew about labor markets. Resignation departures we are seeing is an (employee’s) decision to no longer accept the unacceptable.”

Recent research from Harvard Business Review (HBR) revealed that resignation rates are highest among mid-career employees aged between 30 and 45 years of age. Burnout from the pandemic, high workloads, and other pressures are key trends driving resignations.

First, understand your company’s turnover rates to quantify the problem. HBR offers this formula to calculate your retention rate:

Number of Separations per Year ÷ Average Total Number of Employees = Turnover Rate

Your turnover rate will help you understand the impact resignations have on business operations and profits.

Next, talk to your employees. Find out what perks are meaningful, what challenges they have, what would improve the morale and culture, etc. Armed with this information, the company can begin to develop tailored retention and targeted recruiting programs, especially for employees at the highest risk of leaving.

Kane stated employers can “stem the tide. Employees are looking for employee-centric cultures with companies they are proud to work for. Companies that are involved in the community and stand for things that they believe matter. It’s all about caring. It’s a simple choice. One that some 11.5 million people and counting are begging for companies to make.”

We Can Help

How employers respond may make all the difference not only in more contemporary recruiting and retention practices but also in business growth.

Reach out to our team at Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We’ve helped with recruiting and retention program ideas and look forward to assisting you.

Tips for Creating a More Inclusive Work Environment

Inclusion focuses on embracing and celebrating the differences and similarities between people. In the workforce, acknowledging these differences helps staff feel accepted and valued for who they are. This helps increase innovation, improve decision-making, and elevate revenue.

Implement these tips to promote inclusion in your work environment.

Connect with Employees at All Levels

Form personal relationships with staff throughout the organization. Getting to know who they are and what matters to them encourages them to open up. Your coworkers should feel they can talk with you and not be judged. Forming authentic relationships is one way to lead by example.

Celebrate Coworkers’ Traditions

Ask staff throughout the company to share their traditions with everyone. Request that they provide some background on the tradition and why it is so special. Include small holiday celebrations at the appropriate time of year as well. You may want to create a shared calendar for everyone to add festivities too. You might wish the staff a good Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, or Cinco de Mayo.

Talk with Your Team

Ask your team members about their experiences with inclusion. Find out what they feel is working within your organization and specific changes they would like to see. Make this part of ongoing public or private conversations that can take place at any time. Request that every team has similar conversations as well. Regularly share your findings with leadership to improve inclusion throughout the organization.

Hold Bias Training

Train employees at all levels to gain awareness and understanding of unconscious biases and the effect they can have on decision-making. Everyone has preferences in favor of or against certain individuals, groups, or things. This can result in assumptions or judgments about others that we are unaware of making. As a result, we may not consider the experiences, perspectives, and ideas that differ from ours. This affects who we choose to work with, ask for advice, and are involved in making decisions. Being consciously aware of our own biases and patterns of thinking helps us overcome them.

Create an Inclusive Work Environment

Creating a more inclusive workplace is beneficial for everyone. Staff at all levels tend to be more engaged, productive, and collaborative. This results in greater innovation, retention, and revenue.

When you need to add top talent to your accounting and finance team, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Find out more today.

Communication Skills You Should Have to Help Improve Company Culture

Strengthening communication skills in your organization provides a wealth of benefits. Among them are improved performance, stronger engagement, more cohesive teams, and innovative ideas. Because active listening and sharing are vital parts of your company’s success, they need to be embedded in your culture.

Promote these communication skills throughout your organization to enhance your culture.  

Inform Employees of Company News

Ensure that employees at every level find out company news at the same time. This shows that staff at all levels are valued and respected members of the organization. Include what the next steps are and how the news may impact specific departments or employees. Allow time to answer questions and provide support during transitions.

Clarify Expectations

Share with team members what your standards and expectations are. This is especially important if your staff is working remotely. For instance, let them know which individual and team projects should be worked on at a given time. Also, regularly check in to discuss timelines, issues, feedback, next steps, and questions. This helps keep everyone on the same page.

Recognize Employee Accomplishments

Publicly and privately, thank team members for their efforts and achievements. For instance, mention during individual and team meetings specific examples of how they positively impacted the company. Also, give your staff hand-written thank-you notes expressing appreciation for their hard work and results.

Check for Non-Verbal Cues

In addition to body language, look for non-verbal cues that may signal miscommunication, defensiveness, or conflict. This is especially important for remote employees who do not benefit from the in-person interactions of working onsite. For instance, check employee emails and messages for signs of distress, frustration, or burnout. Red flags include messages sent late at night, frequent errors, and a curt tone. Also, speak privately with employees who exhibit excessive absenteeism, non-participation in meetings, and other signs of disengagement. Work to better understand the situation and offer support.

Maintain Personal Connections

Stay in regular contact with employees, colleagues, and coworkers. For instance, have conversations about personal news and outside stressors that may be affecting their work. Also, check to see how your team is doing with their well-being and job satisfaction. Additionally, celebrate birthdays, work anniversaries, and special life events.

Make Open Communication Part of Your Culture

Open communication needs to be prioritized in your company culture to maximize business success. The more staff members at all levels actively listen, share ideas, and provide support for each other, the more cohesive your workforce will be. This results in greater goal attainment long into the future.

When you are in the market to add skilled accounting and finance professionals to your organization, get in touch with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Find out more today.

Typical Salary Increases Won’t Keep Pace With Inflation

The Society for Human Resource Management recently posted a very detailed article on 2022 salary increases versus inflation rates. The author, Stephen Miller, CEBS, is SHRM’s Online Manager/Editor, Compensation & Benefits. Below is a summary of the article. Read the entire article here.

Companies continue to face a perfect storm of economic concerns – the pandemic, inflation, unrest across other nations, and other uncertainties – that have made it a challenge for employers to manage budgets. When COVID-19 hit, budgets were often slashed, and salaries were frozen. As the U.S. economy continues to recover, employers are finding it increasingly difficult to fill positions with salaries that, at the very least, will keep pace with the inflation rate.

According to venerable organizations such as The Conference Board, Independent Institute, ADP Research Institute, Willis Towers Watson (WTW), PayScale, WorldatWork, Empsight, and Salary.com, there is agreement that the usual 3 percent salary increase will hold true in 2022, with a small percentage of organizations planning to give 4-5 percent increases. According to Salary.com, these planned increases will be offered across all job categories and to hourly employees up to executive-level employees.

“This is the first sign of a notable shift in salary budget increases in 10 years, particularly for hourly employees who have long experienced stagnant pay,” said Chris Fusco, senior vice president of compensation at Salary.com, a provider of compensation data and analytics. “Minimum wage legislation sweeping the country is a big factor. But the re-emergence of lower-level workers executing their market power is undeniable. Aging Baby Boomers and pandemic-related worker shortages have created this scenario where we have more jobs than we have people willing, or able, to work.”

So, what’s the rub? Let’s look at the numbers.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported:
    • A year-over-year inflation rate of 5.4 percent
    • Consumer prices rose 5.3 percent
  • The Department of Labor (DOL) reported:
    • The energy index in August 2021 rose 25 percent over the last 12 months
    • The food index increased 3.7 percent over the last 12 months.

We don’t need to be a mathematician to figure out that these numbers may just wipe out any real gains in employment compensation. Couple that with salary freezes or decreases in 2020, and employees could be even further behind. This weakens consumer spending and could also result in higher turnover rates.

Is There Any Positive News?

PayScale, a compensation data, and software firm, reports that wages are rising particularly fast for occupations such as food services (up 4.1 percent), transportation (up 4 percent), and retail (up 3.9 percent.

For employees looking for a new opportunity, ADP Research Institute reports that most workers in the U.S. will get an average of a 5.8 percent raise by changing jobs. A bit of a good news/bad news scenario. Employers will have to weigh the balance between losing a valued employee over a few percentage points just to hire and train someone new at a higher salary.

“Companies are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to compensation planning,” said Catherine Hartmann, North America Rewards practice leader at WTW. “On one hand, employers need to continue effectively managing fixed costs as they rebound from the pandemic. On the other hand, companies recognize they need to boost compensation with sign-on, referral, and retention bonuses; skill premiums; midyear adjustments; or pay raises.”

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources produces a salary survey two times a year. Reach out to our team to help recruit suitable candidates and determine the best compensation offers for your current employees and job applicants.

Reclaim Your Time: Ways to a More Productive Life Balancing Hybrid Work, Hybrid Schooling and Other Activities

Attempting to integrate your hybrid work and your kids’ hybrid schooling with your personal interests is challenging. There likely isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything. Fortunately, making simple changes to your routine can significantly improve your results. You should gain a greater sense of control over things and the direction they move in.

Implement these simple ideas to increase your productivity while managing hybrid work, hybrid schooling, and personal activities.

Organize Your Tasks

Decide which activities are better suited for the office and which should be done at home. In most cases, collaborative tasks involving projects, colleagues’ and managers’ input, in-person meetings, and casual discussions should be done onsite. Administrative tasks like checking email, scheduling meetings, and planning for upcoming work should be done remotely.

Focus on What Is Important

When you are busy, you may want to finish seemingly urgent tasks, like checking email, to feel a sense of accomplishment. However, this often means that important tasks go undone. At the end of the day, you might feel disappointed that you did not achieve more of what mattered. Instead, focus on finishing your urgent and important activities first. Then, you can attend to your less important tasks later. You should feel a greater sense of productivity throughout the day.

Reduce Your Time Confetti

Time confetti is the concept of your mind being pulled in different directions while you try to focus on work or enjoy your leisure time. Much of the problem is due to technology distracting you from the present. This creates tension between what you are doing and what you could or should be doing. Without the ability to live in the moment, you tend to feel stressed and overwhelmed. You can combat this issue by taking time each day for mindfulness, mediation, yoga, or any other activity that trains your brain to live in the moment. This helps you focus on what you are doing, finish it, and move on to your next activity. As you accomplish more work each day, you feel better about your achievements. You also have more time for your family and outside interests.

Add Accounting and Finance Professionals to Your Team

Trying to manage hybrid work, hybrid schooling, and personal activities is difficult. It takes time to develop a flexible strategy that fits your needs. By experimenting with where you complete your tasks, what you spend your time on, and how you maintain focus, you can better attain the results you want.

When you need additional staff to increase your accounting and finance team’s productivity, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Learn more today.