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.

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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.

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5 of the Biggest Misconceptions About Working in the Finance Industry

Finance is one of the most misunderstood industries. Information conveyed through movies, news reports, online articles and other sources do not always contain facts or convey the entire story. For this reason, we are setting the record straight about some of the biggest misconceptions about working in the finance industry.

You Need a Finance Degree  

Although education is important, many workers come from IT, art, or other non-finance backgrounds. Being able to understand and explain complex subjects is only one core requirement for working in the industry. As long as you have or can acquire financial skills, along with emotional intelligence and people skills, you can transfer other skills to a variety of finance positions. You also can participate in training opportunities and continuing education to enhance your skill set.

You Need an Extensive Network

Your network does not have to include connections from Ivy League schools or powerful people in the finance industry. What matters more are your education, credentials, strengths, skills, experience level, and networking ability. For instance, you can use your professional and networking skills to gain an internship that may lead to a full-time job. Once you have a job, you can begin networking with your peers and later move to professionals at higher levels and ask them to mentor you.

You Have to Work for a Bank or on Wall Street

The finance industry covers a variety of geographic locations, work environments and company culture. You could work for a large or small firm, long-established company or startup, or other range of organizations. For instance, if you work in fin-tech, you may be employed by early-stage disruptors, mid-sized companies or large corporations. The businesses may include tech lenders like OnDeck or payment companies like Square. Also, as an investment banker, you could work in almost any state. Although higher-paying jobs may be near financial hubs like New York or London, many banks are moving to remote locations such as Tampa, FL, or Providence, RI, to provide employees with a different lifestyle.

You Lack Work-Life Balance

Any career will be demanding and time-consuming when starting out. You may decide to be a banker, trader, portfolio manager, compliance analyst, research specialist or other professional and still have a life away from the office. Your level of work-life balance will depend on the profession you choose and the financial institution or organization you work for.

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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.

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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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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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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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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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Technology: Use These Tech Tools to Minimize the Time Spent on Mundane Tasks

No matter your industry or size of your company, technology plays a large role in daily operations. Choosing the right technology for your needs can streamline processes and increase productivity. Consider taking advantage of these tech tools to handle mundane tasks.

Social Media Tools

Use social media tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer, or CoSchedule to interact with employees, job candidates, and customers. For instance, create a platform for scheduling, monitoring, and responding to social conversations. Also, immediately address customer questions and concerns to resolve issues and build brand loyalty. Plus, receive analytics to assist with creating your short- and long-term social strategy for growth.

Email Marketing

Use email marketing platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or ActiveCampaign to personalize your process for moving prospects through your customer funnel. For instance, implement a platform to directly connect with customers and track campaign performance. Also, integrate your platform with third-party services to increase your effectiveness.

Workflow Automation

Implement workflow automation tools such as OnTask, Integrify, or monday.com to streamline operational tasks. For instance, workflow software can increase productivity, speed up processes, and improve accuracy on procedures such as contract management, vendor communication, recruiting, onboarding, and processing invoices. Also, workflow automation supports your ability to grow and scale your business. After you implement flexible internal processes, employees at all levels can use the procedures in any department.

Internal Communication Tools

Take advantage of internal communication tools like GChat, Microsoft’s Teams, or Slack. For instance, many email providers or software companies offer tools for answering quick questions, participating in group chats, sharing documents, or making calls through the internet. Many of these tools are successfully used at companies of all sizes, industries, and employee demographics.

Internet of Things

Incorporate the Internet of Things (IoT) into daily tasks. For instance, involve a voice-activated intelligent work assistant in preparing a conference room, beginning and ending a meeting, and a seemingly endless variety of other skills. Also, use sensor performance and other monitoring technology to control utility costs, track inventory and other assets, and improve processes.

Artificial Intelligence  

Make artificial intelligence a part of your business processes. Gain insight into customer purchasing behavior by collecting data and determining usual patterns and trends to more effectively market your products/services. For instance, use social media behavior and app location to share ads relevant to your local customers in real time.


Add blockchain technology to your business processes. Blockchain is an open access shared ledger that records transactions between parties and allows users to agree on its contents. New information is added in blocks, creating a chain. Because the ledger is verified by miners, it ensures accuracy and creates an audit trail. Past records can be viewed but not altered without the majority’s consent. Because blockchain is an excellent accounting tool, accountants spend less time on bookkeeping, reconciliations, and other mundane tasks and more time on interpreting the information and making decisions.

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Are You Taking Too Long to Contact Potential Candidates? Are They Losing Interest?

If you have a slow hiring process, top candidates most likely will lose interest in working for you. Candidates who move fast want to work in a fast-paced culture where quick decisions are made. Keeping job vacancies harms production, revenue, and employee morale. As a result, you want to speed up your hiring process to bring aboard the most in-demand talent.

Common Reasons for Delayed Hiring

Your hiring process may be delayed for various reasons. For instance, there may be more job openings than candidates to fill them, especially when labor markets tighten. Or, candidates’ resumes may remain untouched in a hiring manager’s inbox. Additionally, hiring managers may be unclear on what they need in a candidate until they see it.

Why Delayed Hiring Hurts Your Business

Delayed hiring hurts your business for multiple reasons. For instance, you will lose the majority of top candidates in the late stages of your recruitment process because they typically will have multiple offers and will be more inclined to accept one. You will have to hire a lower-quality candidate at a potentially higher salary to fill the role. Also, the longer you keep a role vacant, the more productivity and revenue you lose. Further, a company image of being slow at making hiring decisions implies that making other business decisions will be slow, as well. Strong contributors will not want to work for your company.

Steps to Speed Up the Hiring Process

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to speed up the hiring process. For instance, benchmark your hiring efficiency according to where your jobs are located, your company’s size, level of the position, the measure of local talent supply and demand, and other pertinent variables. Because some roles will be harder than others, put time-to-fill in the right context. If a more-thorough hiring process for a specific role will result in a higher-quality hire, accept the longer timeframe. Also, engage in workforce planning. Allocate recruiting resources in line with your business needs so that hiring managers can see where and when demand will be greatest, and plan accordingly. Additionally, keep your pipeline active so you have available candidates when a position opens. Use candidate relationship management (CRM) tools to keep track of interested candidates. Further, keep your scheduled interview times as much as possible. Set a plan for interview guides, assessment criteria, and how feedback gets submitted to whom. More structure leads to a better candidate experience and better hire.

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