2021 Accounting and Finance Salary Survey Available!

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources has compiled updated salary data for the fields of accounting and finance. With the start of 2021 now passed and the recruitment industry getting busy, having the most up-to-date information is vital!

With compensation trends changing on a monthly basis, both sides can benefit from having this information during job negotiations.

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can help financial professionals who want to learn more about what salary expectations should be. We have compiled our salary survey list with updated facts and figures including job descriptions for more than 110 accounting and finance positions for the Chicago metropolitan area.

Email us today at FinancialSalarySurvey@caseyresources.com and we will be happy to share this with you.  In the “YOUR MESSAGE” section, please enter “2021 Accounting & Finance Salary Survey”.

Affirmations for Highly Motivated Workers in 2021

Looking for a little inspiration after the year that 2020 was? How about some characteristics and habits of great leaders and ways to embody them as we enter 2021? Even if you don’t manage people, you do manage YOU. So why not ditch some of the bad routines and embrace some new behaviors that will make you more productive in the workplace and have a better year.

“To be a good leader, you cannot major in minor things, and you must be less distracted than your competition. To get the few critical things done, you must develop incredible selective ignorance. Otherwise, the trivial will drown you.”

–Tim Ferriss, Bestselling Author, Host of The Tim Ferriss Show podcast

Habits to Break

First, let’s look at some habits that we should leave behind in 2020.

Jodie Cook, a social media influencer, recently contributed an article to Forbes on this topic. In the article, Cook offers these habits to break in the New Year:

  1. Snoozing your alarm – it’s a waste of time. Five minutes a day add up to 22 hours of your year.
  2. Always being switched on – we hear this quite a bit, right? This “purgatory” is messing up your sleep and your mindset.
  3. Going on autopilot – familiarity often means your brain switches to autopilot — leaving the house and driving to work. Practice being conscious and present and notice what you had missed.
  4. Being too available – if you are constantly available, you’ll train others to constantly need you. Set your available hours and be strict with them. Focus on deep work for the rest of the time. Train resourcefulness, not helplessness.
  5. Living in the future – See #3. If you’re not in the present, it’s difficult to achieve what needs to be done here and now. Dreaming is good but do that in your time off when you aren’t snoozing your alarm or being too available.

Behaviors to Embrace

Entrepreneur magazine offers a great and short slideshow on the 22 qualities that make a great leader. It’s worth looking at for ideas on what characteristics of great leaders you want to study.

Great leaders are known for confidence, focus, trustworthiness, passion, drive, and innovation to name a few. Maybe you’re looking at how you can be more patient, open-minded, positive, and persistent or how to empower others, even if you don’t manage them.

If you want to communicate where others truly listen while also improving collaboration with your colleagues, study how great leaders achieve this.

“You must love what you do. In order to be truly successful at something, you must obsess over it and let it consume you. You lead by example, not because you feel like it’s what you should do, but because it is your way of life.” — Joe Perez, Founder, Tastemade

Bring back some certainty in your life by adopting the behaviors of great leaders and maybe even influence better outcomes for your colleagues, friends, and family.

Take a moment before the end of the year and jot down how you want to start 2021. Maybe it goes a little like this:

Today is January 1st and I will __________________ because I want ____________________.

This doesn’t need to be War and Peace – just intentional. Post it at your desk and in your car. Type it into your screensaver on your laptop, tablet, and cell phone. Add it to your email signature. Update it when you want to be intentional about something else. Be accountable and believe in yourself.

Have a happy and productive 2021!

Thankful for Friends Old and New

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” We often have a heightened awareness of gratitude as we move into the holiday season. Grateful for friends and family, our colleagues, and our customers. We appreciate others and we spend time thanking those who are in our lives.

But what if we all cultivated an “attitude of gratitude” that extends throughout each day, month and year versus just in time for the holidays. How would you incorporate a regular practice of gratitude into your life? After all, there is plenty of scientific evidence on health benefits when practicing gratitude.

What the Experts Say

Michael Kay, founder and president of Financial life focus offers this simple yet effective way to build expressing gratitude into your life. “Ask yourself: Who am I grateful for today? Who helped add to my success or challenged my thinking? Get in the habit of expressing your thanks as you go (it’s also far easier than saving them up until the holidays). A thoughtful email or handwritten note will go a long way in showing someone you appreciate them.”

Gail Saltz, M.D., a psychoanalyst, offers this idea to feel more grateful: “list three things for which you are grateful, big and small, on a daily basis for even two weeks can make a difference in overall mood.”

Amy Collette, an award-winning author and motivational speaker, sums it up well. “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”

Our Best Tips on Practicing Gratitude

With that in mind, we’re sharing our best ideas, tips, exercises, and apps to help jumpstart your gratitude journey by taking a few moments to focus on all that you have.

Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

We are forever thankful for the opportunity to serve our customers and assist our job seekers with their careers. We genuinely appreciate you and are grateful you have put your trust in us.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” – Voltaire

May life’s good things be yours.


Financial Benefits to Virtually Onboarding Employees

During this time of the coronavirus, your employees may still be working remotely. If so, then you most likely have been virtually onboarding new hires. Even if your staff has returned to the office, it may be in your best interest to continue virtual onboarding. New hires can acclimate to the culture, their responsibilities, your expectations, and company goals. They can build rapport with management, coworkers, and the organization. You can accomplish everything in a short amount of time with significant financial savings.

Here are three ways virtual onboarding can save your company money.

Free Up Time

Virtual onboarding reduces the time needed to maintain compliance and personally train new hires. Automating the paperwork eliminates the time and money needed to mail documents that must be read, filled out, signed, and returned. Since the data is efficiently collected, there’s no need to follow up on missing documents. Maintaining the information in an online database that pertinent staff members have access to means little time spent searching for data when needed. Automation allows managers and HR staff additional time to take care of other responsibilities.

Boost Productivity

Virtual onboarding lets new hires begin producing in a short amount of time. Because they learn at their own pace, employees who quickly process, retain, and implement their training are better prepared to be productive immediately. This decreases the amount of time tasks remain unfinished as employees get up to speed on their responsibilities. Because training can be done over a virtual platform such as Zoom, staff can meet with new hires without needing to go anywhere.

Strengthen Employee Retention

Virtual onboarding increases the odds of new hires remaining with your company long-term. Since automated training provides the right information at the right time, employees are able to access modules and other resources first on the schedule, then on-demand. This prevents them from becoming overwhelmed with information. Since HR can track progress and learning milestones, managers can talk with new hires if issues show up. When onboarding is automated, the employee experience is similar for each new hire. They rapidly become familiar with their tasks and company culture, begin working on their first assignment and start contributing to the team. This increases engagement and encourages the employee to continue making a difference within your organization.

Virtually Onboard New Hires

Virtual onboarding can provide your company with significant financial savings. Automation lets managers and HR spend less time personally training employees and helping them acclimate to the culture. A reduced onboarding schedule lets new hires begin producing quickly. Strengthening engagement during onboarding encourages employees to remain with your organization for the long haul.

If you need to add accounting and finance professionals to your team, talk with Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We have top candidates ready to begin virtual onboarding and to contribute to your team. Find out more today.

Did Your Performance Management Process Change During COVID-19? Should it?

If we have learned anything from the past seven months, we’ve learned flexibility, pivoting, agility and resilience. With many employees still working remotely and with less frequent occasions to interact with their managers, tracking performance goals determined at the beginning of the year has become increasingly difficult. The pandemic most likely created a shift or change in your company’s business objectives that rendered old metrics invalid and unattainable.

Typical performance management systems don’t always address uncertain times. Fortunately, we aren’t in a pandemic very often. However, other disruptions to a business or the industry your business is in create turmoil for performance management systems and ultimately, productivity and morale.

What Options Should Companies Consider?

Here are three essential characteristics outlined by the Gallup organization.

Agile Goals

Performance management should be filled with ongoing opportunities for collaboration and adaptation throughout the review period.

Ongoing Conversation

Rather than receiving feedback once a year, managers should have and encourage a cadence for conversations, prioritization, and outcomes.

Dynamic Adjustments to Accountability and Incentives

Clearly defining expectations and creating flexible and task-based metrics as work or the environment changes helps employees understand what activities are most important to the company’s success.

Gone are the days of ‘setting it and forgetting it.’ According to Ben Wigert, director of research and strategy, workplace management and Heather Barrett, senior consultant, both with Gallup “Static performance reviews, annual goals and infrequent feedback never really cut it before the crisis, but they certainly won’t cut it now. It’s time to make a change.” They go on to say ”Now is the time to honor everyone’s contributions and challenges, and talk about how we’re going to move forward together…It’s time to burn the boats, leave old performance practices behind, and create a performance management strategy that is adaptive, responsive and calibrated to the new workplace.”

Your employees are your greatest asset and they bring their very best to work when they feel connected to the team and the mission, have ongoing conversations with their manager on strategic priorities and insights, and receive timely feedback and evaluations. We are still in uncharted territory. Seeing your workforce through this new lens can improve employee engagement and increase productivity.

The Name of the Game is Flexibility

If there is one thing we have learned through the COVID-19 pandemic, it is flexibility. There are countless examples of companies who are adapting their business operations, determining what work options employees have, and addressing ongoing or new project needs, to name a few. It’s not for the faint of heart, but strong business leaders have adapted well and companies with strong employee cultures are navigating how to keep remote workers engaged.

We’ve talked about how to keep employees as safe as possible in the work environment and we’ve talked about interview and onboarding practices when your workforce is offsite. What about when your business needs require the addition of employees or you’re hearing from current employees that they need more flexibility? Work still needs to be done, but the pandemic and business landscape continue to shift. What are the options?

And now that we realize this pandemic isn’t going away any time soon and kids are still in remote learning or hybrid academic environments, employees are also reviewing their options. Let’s face it. It was hard enough to work from home and help with homeschooling this spring. Rather than lose valuable employees, what if there were more creative ways to address your employee’s needs and your hiring needs? There is!

Working with our team, you have most likely used our services to fill both direct hire and temporary positions. Rather than jump further into the deep end of the pool of uncertainty, it seems logical that filling open positions with temporary workers makes the most sense. Plus, with most companies still allowing work-from-home options, your talent pool has grown exponentially. There is lots of potential to tap into from unemployed workers who aren’t even located nearby. Let’s snap up that talent. What a great position to be in.

How to Creatively Manage the Budget and the Workload

Here are some options and ideas to consider:

First, talk to your employees about any struggles they are having. Determine if there is a way to offer more flexible schedules or fewer hours. Help them address their family needs while keeping their job and getting work done.

Second, if you reduced your workforce earlier this year, look at that pool of former employees to see if some of them could fit well into the new flexible work schedule. Figure out what is being offloaded by current employees needing flexibility and/or fewer hours and determine who are the good candidates to handle the work. After all, they know the company and culture and would still make a great addition without bringing them back onto your payroll full-time.

Temp, Temp-to-Hire, Direct Hire and … Direct Sourcing

Besides temporary, temp-to-hire and direct hire opportunities, another option to consider throughout the pandemic is direct sourcing. This term is commonly referred to as the process by which you source the candidate or a member of your internal staff, and those “employees” are placed on our payroll. This might help with budgeting as you already have found the candidate, but you are uncertain how long you will need them. It’s the best of both worlds and here is how it might work for you.

In the previous example of a current employee who wants more flexibility or fewer hours, you could work out an arrangement where he or she switches over to our associate as a temporary. Then, if you have an employee who was furloughed who is also available to pick up the rest of the work, that employee can become our associate as well. The temporary needs can fluctuate based on the workload. When things improve and the pandemic is behind us, you can decide which associates convert to your payroll.

According to Staffing Industry Analyst’s Workforce Solutions Buyer Survey 2019 report, 26% of employers use direct sourcing today and 41% plan to seriously consider it within the next two years.

Being agile will win in the long term. Let us help you with your business strategies and develop the best blend of hiring options for you today and into the future.

Recognizing Mistakes Can Positively Impact Employee Performance

Employees make mistakes from time to time. Perhaps they don’t clearly understand what you want them to do.  Maybe they didn’t thoroughly consider all the information or potential results before making a decision. When mistakes occur, it’s your managerial duty to decide how to handle the situation. You need to take steps that involve the employee’s input for finding a solution and creating lasting change in their behavior.

Follow these suggestions to effectively talk about employee mistakes and improve performance.

Ask Questions

Come up with questions aimed at changing future behavior. For instance, “If we did this project again, what could we do differently to change the results?” Or, “How could I have better supported you and your team?” Ask the employee to get back with you the next day with their thoughts. This encourages them to focus on finding solutions rather than a new job.

Provide Feedback 

Give the employee feedback about the problem. They may need more information about a situation in order to change their behavior. Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements. For instance, instead of saying, “Can I give you some feedback?” say, “Here’s my reaction.” Rather than suggesting, “Here’s what you should do,” try, “Here’s what I would do.” Instead of saying, “You should do X” when asked for advice, respond with, “What do you feel you’re struggling with, and what have you done before that worked in a similar situation?”

Use the 8D Model

For a higher-level mistake, implement the 8D Model to modify employee behavior. The D stands for discipline, meaning an area of study or influence. This model encourages the team to understand the problem and provide an answer. Begin by planning the time, people, and resources required to resolve the issue. Choose individuals with diverse skill sets and product/process knowledge. Define the who, what, where, when, why, and how of the problem. Create and implement a temporary solution to contain the issue. Use tools such as cause-and-effect diagrams to determine the root causes of the problem. Create a permanent, systemic solution that addresses the root cause. Implement the corrective actions, then verify their effectiveness. Focus on areas of the solution that need work, then modify practices, procedures, and management and operation systems to address potential issues in the future. Recognize your team’s efforts in solving the problem.

Improve Employee Performance

Your employees won’t change their ways if you simply tell them what they’re doing is wrong. You need to ask questions, provide feedback, or use another effective method to enhance employee behavior and bring about lasting change.

When you need to hire top accounting and finance professionals in Rolling Meadows, turn to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. We match you with candidates who have the skills and experience needed to solve problems. Get in touch with us today.

2020 Mid-Year Accounting and Finance Salary Survey Available!

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources has compiled updated salary data for the fields of accounting and finance. Having passed the middle portion of 2020, having the most up-to-date information is vital!

With compensation trends changing on a monthly basis, both sides can benefit from having this information during job negotiations.

Casey Accounting & Finance Resources can help financial professionals who want to learn more about what salary expectations should be. We have compiled our salary survey list with updated facts and figures including job descriptions for more than 110 accounting and finance positions for the Chicago metropolitan area.

Email us today at FinancialSalarySurvey@caseyresources.com and we will be happy to share this with you.  In the “YOUR MESSAGE” section, please enter “2020 Mid-Year Accounting & Finance Salary Survey”.  Enjoy the rest of the summer!

4 Ways to Get Your Employees Involved in Corporate Culture

Investing time and energy into designing a unique, effective corporate culture results in a positive employee experience. Encouraging staff to get involved in creating and exhibiting your company mission, vision, and values promotes buy-in and improves engagement. Workers perform their best when who they are as people is reflected in what they do for a living. Having an attractive culture makes others want to work for your organization.

Choose among these ideas to involve your employees in corporate culture.

Emphasize Employee Stories

Show what it’s like to work for your company through employee experiences. You may decide to create a Culture Book filled with staff members’ definitions of corporate culture in their own words. Team members sharing what they enjoy most about working for your organization provides transparency, honesty, and authenticity that job candidates find attractive. Include a mix of videos on your website and social media posts featuring employee stories that highlight your culture.

Set Up an Informal Team Meeting with New Hires

Schedule a time for your new hire to meet with your team in a relaxed setting. Getting together in a low-key environment provides space to develop true connectedness and friendship. Integrating work and life promotes lasting relationships among colleagues. Staff can learn from each other, ask for guidance, and build camaraderie and trust. This can extend to one-on-one meetings for coffee or lunch to further get to know others on a personal basis.

Demonstrate How Employees Live Corporate Culture

Include staff in specific activities that exhibit your company’s mission, mission, and values. This may be through giving out WOW cards with a company value on each. Employees hand a card to one another when they see someone demonstrating a specific value. This peer-to-peer recognition emphasizes core values as part of everyday behavior. If physical health is a company value, offer bonuses to employees who participate in internal wellness events such as a 5K, fitness classes, health screenings, smoking cessation programs, or an on-site fitness center.

Create an Employee Facebook Group

Encourage a sense of community among employees by creating an employee Facebook Group. Everyone can keep in contact and see what others are up to, both personally and professionally. They can share videos, family pictures, events they’re hosting, and more. Employees can welcome new hires, share important information, and help them get acclimated.

Find Top Accounting and Finance Professionals

Involving employees in corporate culture encourages buy-in to the organization. When staff talk and behave in alignment with company mission, vision, and values, it creates an atmosphere conducive to productivity, engagement, and company loyalty. Attracting top talent to your organization keeps your company competitive.

If you’re looking for experienced accounting and finance candidates, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Being named one of Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® shows our innovative and thoughtful approach to sourcing and placing qualified candidates. Learn more about our process today.


How to Handle Hiring and Candidate Onboarding Virtually – Now and in the Future

Companies have used technology to conduct virtual interviews for a decade or more. With COVID-19 changing the work world, we are seeing the interview process, candidate onboarding, and new employee engagement go virtual in the last month. If your organization has been doing virtual interviewing sporadically, it is time to invest in the technology that will keep your recruiting and hiring processes going today and possibly as the preferred method to the more traditional process.

Charles Hipps of OLEEO recently shared the results of a recent informal poll of 70 Talent Acquisition leaders on the effect of COVID-19 on their recruiting:

  • 25% said COVID-19 had not impacted recruiting plans
  • 61% said it had slowed their pace of recruiting
  • 14% said they had paused recruiting

As social distancing becomes the norm, the multi-visit interview process is out. Now we are seeing recruitment “job fairs” via webinars, assessments and training, signing of hiring paperwork, and employee onboarding and introduction to the team – all conducted virtually.

Where to Find Candidates?

With unemployment quickly climbing, you would think that the candidate pool would be filled with job seekers. That might not be true, especially if candidates are unable to either work from home or perform a job in the public. Or, your typical criteria for a position is altered due to the current pandemic.

The first place to look is to tap into your current talent network, including current and past employees, friends, and family. Also, consider candidates who weren’t a perfect fit in the past whose skills are in line with your current needs.

One key aspect of virtual hiring and work-from-home practices is to ensure that the candidates you are interviewing will adapt easily to this new norm. Recruiting Daily advises to make the virtual interview process as comfortable as possible, advise candidates to be appropriately dressed and not to read from scripted answers, watch body language and vocal inflection, as well as non-verbal cues. Some companies are developing pre-interview questions that the candidate answers by recording, and then submit a video. This is just one way to automate the screening process before conducting the online interview.

“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

Hipps noted that “In today’s highly changeable economic environment, it’s time to rethink or even forget traditional recruiting tactics, and to adapt new techniques to turn difficulty into opportunity. This is a defining moment for talent acquisition teams.”

Our recruiting experts are available to assist you in all your hiring needs. Calls us today to discuss how to adapt your processes to hire the candidates that will fit well in this new normal.