Are You Staying Ahead of the Game? 5 Best Accounting Trends to Get Ready for in 2020

The accounting industry continues to evolve along with clients’ changing needs. Improvements in technology mean automating many accounting tasks and altering job duties. As a leader in the accounting field, you need to stay informed about developments affecting your industry in the coming year. Here are five accounting trends to prepare for in 2020. 

Machine Learning Will Increase Automation  

With the rise of machine learning, accounting tasks increasingly will become automated. For instance, vendor bill data entry, general ledger coding and expense reporting are being done by machine learningSome corporate accounting firms use a machine learning platform to review sales documents, leasing and derivatives contracts, invoices and financial statements for key accounting information. Corporate accounting firms also may use machine learning to maintain compliance with accounting standards.   

Digital Content Consumption Will Be Constant  

Because of growing access to video, social, meme and other formats, people’s consumption of online content continues to increase. To compete for people’s attention, corporate accounting firms need a dynamic online presence. In addition to a website, corporate accounting firms need extras such as a library of how-to videos and frequently asked questions that address common issues. Articles and posts that are easy to read and share are valuable as well.  

Most Clients Will Be Mobile-First 

The majority of accounting clients will be mobile-first, if not mobile-only. To provide the best user experience, corporate accounting firms’ websites must include quick load times, thumb-friendly buttons, and easyto-read text. Branded mobile apps make it easy to send individual messages tailored to each client’s needs. Information from smartphone cameras can be integrated and processed within a native app and used to record copies of receipts and invoices to send to an accountant.   

Increase in Millennials as Clients and Employees  

An increasing number of Millennials will be corporate accounting firms’ clients and employees. To attract Millennials, corporate accounting firms need to increase flexibility, convenience and brand image. They also need to offer meaningful work opportunities, foster connections, and show how each role impacts the company and society. Plus, corporate accounting firms should provide opportunities for development in the form of special projects, exposure to other departments, or classes and trainings outside the office. 

Breakthroughs in Blockchain 

Blockchain will be used for significantly more accounting functions. The single-ledger technology is a delivery method allowing users from multiple sources access to the same information in near-realtime. When one user makes a change, everyone with access can see it once it is validated. Transactions take minutes or seconds and include greater security and transparency. Auditing, compliance and reconciliation are faster and more accurate.  

Prepare for Your Accounting Future 

Prepare for your accounting future with Casey Finance & Accounting Resources. In addition to one-on-one assistance with finding accounting jobs in Chicago, IL, our Career Tools Portal provides free access to top job search tools, an article and video library, professional resume review, career assessment programs and more. Reach out to us today 

 

4 Ways to Build a Culture of Accountability

Having a culture of accountability means that results are communicated and understood by everyone. When mistakes are made, employees work to solve the problem and learn how to do better. They feel a sense of ownership in company results and do what it takes to attain their goals. Because top professionals want themselves, and others, to be held accountable, here are four ways to build a culture of accountability.

Hire Accountable People  

How individuals perform affects how the team performs. Because accountability comes from the top, you want solid, consistent leaders who demonstrate and reward accountable behaviors in themselves and others. When interviewing, look for candidates who take responsibility. Because past behavior is the greatest predictor of future behavior, look for each candidate’s previous actions and their results to determine how they may perform under similar circumstances. For instance, which types of roles did the candidate hold in the past? Did they seek out leadership positions in school, personal pursuits or previous jobs? Ask for specific situations where the candidate showed accountable behaviors, such as when they failed at something despite careful planning. Find out what they learned, how they resolved the situation, and what they would do differently in a similar situation. Or, ask about a time when the candidate honored a commitment or did the right thing despite the fact that the action resulted in personal hardship. Listen to determine whether the candidate blamed someone else, made excuses, or took responsibility for the outcome.

Set Clear Expectations and Goals

Clarify your company’s expectations and goals so employees know exactly what they are working toward. Include measurable milestones to determine whether those expectations are being met. Let employees have a say in goal-setting to provide a sense of buy-in for the results. Ensure the goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-constrained. Make sure progress and results are regularly measured, tracked and reviewed with employees, such as at weekly or monthly meetings, to determine whether each employee and the team are on track or changes need to be implemented. Delegate a proper amount of authority to employees whose key decisions will affect team results.

Fix Issues Rather Than People

When issues arise, focus on resolving them rather than placing blame. People initially may feel vulnerable and become defensive knowing they’re being held accountable for their results. Help them feel safe by addressing the issue rather than who caused it. If an expectation isn’t met, talk with employees about how they can perform better. Help them create an action plan to address the deficiency. Provide coaching as needed.

Find Accountable Professionals With a Top Chicago Employment Agency

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Where Are All the Candidates? 4 Ways to Attract Passive Accounting Job Seekers

Because passive candidates are well-compensated and passionate about what they do, they have no desire to look for a job. Since they are always adding to their skill set, experience level, and accomplishments, passive candidates have employers and recruiters actively pursuing them. To stand out among all the others, you need to show passive candidates what you have to offer that others do not and how working for you will benefit them. Here are four ways to attract passive candidates.

1. Focus on Company Branding

Cultivate a brand that markets your company as a choice employer. For instance, focus on what makes employees choose your business over all others. Point out your flexible schedule, extensive employee benefits, stock options and competitive compensation. Mention remote work options, bonuses, professional development, and opportunities for advancement. Ask current and former employees to write company reviews on websites such as Glassdoor. Work toward being placed on top lists and other independent review articles that show your business in a positive light.

2. Engage on Social Media

Use social media to engage with followers. For instance, search for and qualify passive candidates on LinkedIn. Use their profile information to determine whether they possess the skills, experience, and qualifications you are looking for. You may even come across links to candidates’ websites or online portfolios. You also can participate in LinkedIn Groups in your industry to engage with potential candidates and introduce them to opportunities. Additionally, you can use LinkedIn Recruiter to target your search and reach out to passive candidates. Along with LinkedIn, you can create and share content, including job openings and company information, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Your followers can share content with their networks, promote your information, and encourage others to work for you. You may respond to comments and interact with potential candidates to build relationships and encourage interest in employment.

3. Ask for Employee Referrals

Encourage your employees to provide referrals. Because people typically associate with like-minded individuals, your best workers should be able to recommend other top performers. Also, since people enjoy working with others they know, referrals are more likely to accept an interview. They have greater access to insider information about company culture, job responsibilities, and other pertinent details that may help them during the interview. You may even create an employee referral program that rewards both parties when a successful hire has been employed for a specific length of time.

 4. Search Your Database

Use your database to search for past candidates who may be interested in a job change. If they interviewed with you before, they should know about the company, department and culture. Candidates also may have gained skills and experience that can benefit your business. Those who were treated well and impressed with your company will be more open to working with you.

Find Passive Candidates Through Casey Accounting & Finance Resources

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Are Your Job Descriptions Attracting the Right Accounting Talent? Let’s Review.

When was the last time you looked over your job descriptions? The best ones combine required skills and experience, company culture and other pertinent details. Ask yourself whether you have the right combination of the following elements to attract the right accounting talent.

Is the Job Title Clear?

Although unique titles such as “Financial Guru” may indicate a laid-back culture, they probably will not attract the type of professionals you are looking for. Because most candidates search for roles that match their skills and experience, using terms such as “guru” may cause your description to not show up or turn off candidates from applying. Instead, use industry-standard language that candidates search under to achieve more favorable results.

What Are the Duties?

You can determine the top five to seven requirements by interviewing employees and their supervisors, observing employees as they perform their work or referencing outside sources such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook. Make sure you focus on how those requirements promote growth and development within the company and how an employee’s achievements can contribute to career progression.

What Are the Relevant Details?

Be sure you mention whether the position is exempt or nonexempt, how much travel is required, what the work environment is like, and whether the employee may telecommute. Candidates need enough information to determine whether they may excel in a role and want to apply.

Did You Mention Company Culture?

Candidates need to know whether they agree with your mission, values and beliefs and will enjoy working for your organization. For instance, along with mentioning benefits, perks, and bonuses, share whether you have an on-site gym, free food, flexible schedules, remote work opportunities or other unique offerings. When possible, include photos, graphics, videos or other multimedia that shows a diverse range of employees in your company.

Did an Employee Review the Job Description?

The employee can clarify the duties and responsibilities. The supervisor can ensure the description contains accurate information about the skills and qualifications.

When Was the Job Description Reviewed?

Read the description over annually to accurately describe the job as it is being performed. Duties and responsibilities may change, along with the skills and experience required to fulfill them. The best time to update a job description is when requirements change.

Attract Top Accounting Talent With a Leading Chicago Recruitment Firm

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5 Influential Technologies Affecting Recruiting This Year

Like most industries, recruiting is constantly changing. As new technology is introduced, the field continues to become more efficient and effective. Watch for these five influential technologies affecting recruiting in 2019.

1. Marketplaces

Marketplaces serve as a platform for employers to connect with recruiters. Due to reduced administrative requirements, vendor management and competitive placement fees, marketplaces are cost-effective. Also, having a centralized platform increases recruiter productivity and reach. Since marketplaces collect and store information on candidates’ resumes, skills, websites, LinkedIn profiles and more, hiring is more transparent and efficient. Plus, recruiters see candidates’ goals and learn more about them and what they want in their next role, which facilitates conversation and aids in proper placement.

2. Gig Economy

Recruiters face an even greater need to adopt new mobile and socially integrated communication technologies and platforms, such as Skype interviews or virtual reality video conferencing, to attract and place gig workers. Also, more HR technologies focused on worker onboarding, engagement, learning and career planning will develop.

3. Social Recruitment

Social recruitment involves clearly defined objectives and a target audience to determine which platforms are most effective in sharing a company’s job openings. For instance, visual platforms like Instagram are more suited for graphic designers and other creatives, whereas Twitter is more populated by IT and tech professionals. Also, social recruitment lets a company leverage social data to determine a candidate’s fit. For instance, Google Alerts and Radian6 let employers monitor candidates to see whether they fit with an opportunity. Additionally, many professionals engage on sites that fill both social and professional needs. For instance, Dribble is a community for designers, whereas GitHub is a platform for software developers.

4. Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics uses historical data to make predictions about the future. For instance, predictive analytics can consider industry, location, occupation and other elements to provide customized recommendations and get better responses to job postings. Also, predictive analytics can automate resume ranking, and shortlist and prescreen candidates, which increases the quality and diversity of new hires.

5. Artificial Intelligence

AI software programs and tools lower costs, reduce inherent biases and improve the quality of hires. Recruiters have more time to invest in fostering relationships with talent. For instance, chatbots can speed up the hiring process and enhance the candidate experience by assessing a candidate’s resume, online presence and fit with the role. Also, AI recruiting video interview platforms can evaluate the quality of a candidate’s voice, voice energy, pace of speech, use of fillers, answers, facial micro-expressions and body language. Plus, AI can determine whether a remote worker will be honest and ethical and appropriately represent the company if hired.

Contact the Seasoned Recruiters at a Leading Chicago Employment Agency

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Increase Your Salary This Year With These Simple Tips!

Although most employees deserve a raise at various times, few actually ask for one. Employees may feel intimidated by their manager or uncomfortable talking about money. However, asking for a salary increase is an essential skill that increases your financial wellness and career success. Therefore, now is the time to learn about asking for a raise.

Understand Your Worth

For instance, focus on your responsibilities. Perhaps you lead projects or took on special initiatives that your colleagues would not. Make a list of your top accomplishments and specific ways they impacted your department and the company. Perhaps you participated in training programs to gain additional skills, brought in a significant amount of new business or became certified in your field.

Research Your Salary Range

Use market data sites such as Salary.com, PayScale and Glassdoor to determine the market average of similar job listings with companies of comparable size in your geographic area that offer similar benefits. Create a spreadsheet of your findings to see how your current salary compares. If you have connections with local hiring managers or recruiters, ask them to look at your resume and provide you a realistic salary request for your position and experience. Use the numbers to justify your request.

Consider How Your Manager Will Benefit

Share your goals to enhance business and what steps you will take to achieve them. Also, ask your manager what goals they would like to see you achieve and determine how you can attain them. Finding out how you can fill their needs will place you in a more advantageous position for getting what you desire.

Prepare for Potential Outcomes

If your request is declined, ask for specific ways you can improve your performance and potentially earn more compensation. Set a time to resume the conversation in a few months. Also, if your manager cannot give you a raise due to budget restrictions, negotiate for more paid time off or other increase in benefits.

Ask at an Appropriate Time

If you ask for a raise after achieving a substantial accomplishment, during a positive performance review or before the fiscal year ends, your manager may be more inclined to grant your request. Other good times include when you take on a new project or assume a new leadership role.

Let Our Expert Recruiters Negotiate a New Job and Salary for You

When you are ready for a new job and salary, contact the professional recruiters at Casey Accounting and Finance Resources, a leading Chicago employment agency!

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3 Morning Activities That Are Guaranteed to Boost Your Productivity

How you spend your morning helps determine how productive you are throughout the day. When your morning begins with energy-producing activities, you are better able to decrease your stress level. Incorporate these three activities into each morning to increase your productivity throughout the day.

1. Meditate

Quieting your mind stimulates creativity, contemplation, and being in touch with yourself. Meditation also helps you relax, keeps your stress level down, and improves your focus and memory. You are better equipped to think more efficiently and effectively. Start by setting aside five minutes each morning and working up to 30 minutes. Sit up or lie down, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. When your mind wanders, refocus on your breathing. If you have trouble keeping still, look for a guided mediation online. Follow the instructions while focusing on your breathing. With practice, you will gain peace of mind and accomplish more throughout the day.

2. Eat Breakfast

Since your body gets energy from turning food into glucose, you need to start each day with a healthy meal. Plus, your metabolism is better earlier in the day, meaning your body can more easily turn the calories you eat into energy to use throughout the morning. Aim for eating within two hours of waking up so that you can capitalize on your energy stores before starting work. Include protein and healthy carbohydrates such as fruit or whole grains. Avoid donuts and other sugar-laden foods that will not sustain you.

 3. Exercise

Exercise improves circulation and releases endorphins that increase well-being and minimize pain and discomfort. Whether doing yoga at home, participating in a spin class or running around the neighborhood, you will lower your stress level and maintain energy throughout the day. Completing your exercise routine in the morning ensures it gets done while allowing time to complete your work. Plus, because exercise helps you clear your mind, you are better able to focus and make good decisions about work projects, problems and more.

Find Your Next Accounting or Finance Role Through Casey Accounting & Finance Resources

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Yay or Nay: Applying for a Job You’re Technically Underqualified For

Like most people, you have probably come across an amazing job opening and were disappointed to learn that you were underqualified. Perhaps the posting called for ten years’ experience, and you had only two, or for someone who managed a team of at least 50 when you managed just 15. The question is, how do you determine whether to apply for the role or look for another one?

Yay: You Have Transferable Skills

If you can demonstrate that you have transferable skills, then apply. Employers are more focused on hiring potential than an exact match. Highlight your transferable skills, knowledge, and experience in your cover letter so that the hiring manager knows you understand the position and what they are looking for. And, write a memo that outlines what you believe the main challenges of the role are and how you would handle them. Mention your awards, achievement of performance standards, upward career advancement, and professional certifications to show you are a high-level professional. Provide examples of how you blend with company culture. You just might be called in for an interview.

Yay: You Have an Employee Referral

If you know an employee who will refer you, then apply. Since referred candidates tend to have similar interests as the employee, blend with company culture, and remain loyal to the organization longer, they are hired more often than non-referrals. If you do not have a connection with the business, then create one. For instance, if the hiring manager is speaking at an upcoming event, then plan to participate and introduce yourself. Or, if the company founder was featured in a recent article, reach out with a comment or question. Cultivating relationships will give you an in with the organization.

Yay: You Can Demonstrate Motivation

If you can clearly show that you are motivated to excel in the role, then apply. Unlike technical skills, motivation cannot be taught. Highlighting a plan to gain the required skills through hard work, dedication, and willingness to learn increases your chances of being offered an interview. For instance, show that you are open to taking a class or engaging in on-the-job training. And, mention examples of how your flexibility and desire to learn benefitted previous employers and can add value to your next one. Or, offer to work for free on a temporary basis so that the hiring manager can see that you are an asset to the company and should be brought aboard full-time.

Nay: You Are New to the Workforce or Changing Careers

If you are just entering the workforce or switching careers, then do not apply. You lack the skills and experience necessary to fulfill the job responsibilities. Applying would be a waste of time for both you and the hiring manager.

Apply with a Leading Chicago Staffing Firm

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Retaining the Right Talent

“How can I help you be successful?”  When the only differentiator in your organization typically is your talent, these words carry significant meaning when such a small percentage of the workforce feels inspired to do their jobs every day.  Many more feel coerced or actually fear the organization.

Finding out what inspires your employees, and connecting their roles within the organization to their purpose and motivation will help you retain your top talent.  Below is one of Gallup’s 12 question employee engagement questionnaires to help in taking the initial steps of determining employee engagement.

The Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement Questionnaire

  1. Do you know what is expected of you at work?
  2. Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?
  3. At work, do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?
  4. In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?
  5. Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?
  6. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
  7. At work, do your opinions seem to count?
  8. Does the mission/purpose of your company make you feel your job is important?
  9. Are your associates (fellow employees) committed to doing quality work?
  10. Do you have a best friend at work?
  11. In the last six months, has someone at work talked to you about your progress?
  12. In the last year, have you had opportunities to learn and grow?

Source: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/pages/0510fox3.aspx

Gallup, Inc.  https://q12.gallup.com

The 6 “R’s” in Recruiting!

Finding great candidates is every recruiter’s dream come true!   A great employee helps a company grow and be successful. Being aware of The 6 “R’s” in Recruiting will put you ahead of the rest of the organizations vying for the top candidates and victory will be yours!

Reviews

What is being said about your organization on social media sites such as Glassdoor and Facebook?  When a Google search is done of your company, what reviews are showing up and how many stars appear? Managing your brand and responding to good and bad reviews will put you in a good light with candidates. Candidates want to see good reviews and positive experiences when applying to work at an organization.

Responsive Design Websites

Are your recruiting applications and communications available on a mobile platform?  Constantly using smartphones, candidates are looking for new opportunities.  Will they be able to find yours?  Post short videos about your jobs on YouTube and incorporate a link from Google Maps so candidates can find you.

Referrals

Great referral programs bring in high-caliber candidates to your organization.  Need we say more!

Reduce your Hiring Time

Speed is important.  Candidates lose interest when the hiring process is dragged out.  Take a look at how long it takes to hire a candidate from start to finish and see where you can tighten your process.

References

Get it right and check their references.  Automated reference checking programs increase the response rate and accuracy of the reference checks.

Recruiting Firm

Working with a highly regarded staffing and recruiting firm can help significantly in finding great candidates quickly!  Let Casey Accounting & Finance Resources find top financial staff for you!

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