The Association for Finance Professionals “Best of 2022” Research Reports & Guides

Wondering which topics treasury and finance professionals were most interested in throughout 2022? We have the research, guides, articles, training, podcasts, and conversations that were most actively sought from the Association for Finance Professionals (AFP).

Best of 2022 Lists for Treasury

Top Deep-Dive Research and Guides

Top Articles

Top Training

Top Podcast Episodes

Top Conversations on AFP Collaborate

Best of 2022 Lists for Financial Planning & Analysis

Top Deep-Dive Research and Guides

Top Articles

Top Training

Top Podcast Episodes

Top Conversations on AFP Collaborate

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What to Do When Your Employee Asks for a Raise

As a manager, an employee likely will ask for a raise at some point. This is especially true when the labor market is tight and employees have significant job opportunities.

Understanding how to handle your employee’s request for a raise is important. You need time to determine whether a raise is appropriate and how much to increase the pay rate.

Mishandling the request can lead to lower employee engagement and retention. As a result, preparation is essential.

Here’s what to do when your employee asks for a raise.

Conduct an Internal Pay Audit

Determine how much your employee is paid compared to their coworkers. Include each employee’s role, education, experience, tenure with your company, and pay. This helps keep your raise review process fair.

If you discover that your employee earns less than a coworker in the same role, ask yourself questions such as:

  • Did prior raise negotiations impact the employee’s income?
  • Do differences in education, experience, or tenure with the company contribute to the pay discrepancy?

If your employee’s pay is comparable to their coworkers’ pay, take notes on your findings. Keep them handy for when you meet with your employee again to discuss receiving a raise.

Include Your Employee’s Value

Consider how your employee’s knowledge, skills, and experience contribute to your organization:

  • Would your company be fine if your employee left?
  • How much would your employee’s departure impact business operations?

Use historical data to determine your employee’s value. Include your employee’s non-monetary value:

  • Contributing innovative ideas
  • Serving as a brand ambassador
  • Providing excellent customer service.

Consider the time and money needed to replace your employee:

  • How long would the hiring process take?
  • How much would the hiring process cost?
  • Would your remaining employees be able to fill in until you hire a replacement?
  • Would you need a temporary worker until you replace the employee?
  • What would your training costs be?

Determine an Appropriate Raise

If you approve your employee’s request for a raise, decide whether to provide a flat rate or a percentage of their pay rate. If you use a percentage, use an average pay raise or cost of living adjustment to determine the increase.

Meet with Your Employee

Talk with your employee about your decision to approve or deny their request for a raise. Include your findings and the rationale for your decision:

  • Providing a raise without a reason often creates an entitlement mindset.
  • Your employee might tell their coworkers and encourage them to ask for raises.
  • Denying a raise without a reason lowers engagement and retention.

Need Additional Guidance for Compensation?

Conducting an internal pay audit and including your employee’s value help determine whether to approve your employee’s request for a raise. Determining whether to give a raise and sharing your reasons why help your employee understand your decision. These actions encourage your employee to remain with your company.

For additional guidance with compensation, use our 2023 Accounting and Finance Salary Survey. If you have questions, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources.

4 Updates You Can Make to Job Descriptions to Gain More Applicants

Your job descriptions provide managers with clear guidelines for hiring, developing, and managing employees. The descriptions also clarify the job expectations for employees and support compensation, performance standards, and development decisions.

Your job descriptions are an important part of your job postings. They let candidates know the duties and responsibilities of a role and the requirements to be successful in the position.

Because your job descriptions serve multiple purposes, they need to be current. The following are four ways to can make sure the information is updated.

Implement these four tips to update your job descriptions to increase your applicant pools.

1. Position Summary

Summarize the main job duties and responsibilities.

  • Make the role attractive to job seekers.
  • Share information about your department.
  • Include who the employee reports to and whether any employees report to them as well.

2. Minimum and Preferred Qualifications

Clarify the qualifications that candidates must have to apply for the role. Include the qualifications that make candidates even more attractive to the hiring manager. Focus on the major end results of the role.

  • The minimum requirements are a shorter list of your objective criteria.
    • Include the minimum education and experience required for success.
  • The preferred qualifications are nice to have if applying for the position. A candidate without the preferred qualifications still may be hired.
    • These qualifications are on a longer list of more subjective criteria that can be discussed in more detail during an interview.
    • Examples of preferred qualifications include soft skills such as communication, attention to detail, and organization.
    • The preferred qualifications set candidates apart from those with the bare minimum qualifications.

3. Duties and Responsibilities

Include the main job functions in order of importance.

  • Be as specific as possible about the job duties and responsibilities.
  • Explain whether the employee makes recommendations to a decision-maker or makes the actual decisions.
  • Use clear action words and specific adjectives for each task. For example, “Create Excel sheets from raw data, including pivot tables and formulas such as if/then. Perform data entry to update, sort, analyze, and summarize in reports for leadership.”

4. Physical Requirements

Clarify whether there are any physical requirements to complete the work. Include whether accommodations can be made for candidates who need them.

Want Help Hiring Accounting and Finance Professionals?

Sharing clear, updated information in your job descriptions lets candidates know what would be expected of them in the role. Clarification of the position summary, minimum and preferred requirements, duties and responsibilities, and physical requirements help candidates decide whether to apply for a position. This narrows down your options when deciding who to contact for an interview.

If you need help with crafting your job descriptions or recruiting candidates that best meet the hiring qualifications, contact the experienced recruiters at Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Reach out to discuss your needs today.

Write Better Job Descriptions to Eliminate Gender Bias

 

Writing accurate and descriptive job summaries is essential for attracting the right type of talent. If your job descriptions are too vague or generic, you may end up attracting a large talent pool that isn’t qualified for the job — and your screening process will take that much longer. Another important thing to keep in mind is the risk of gender bias. Some roles may often be assumed by either men or women, but you cannot discriminate based on sex for any position at your company. You need to make sure your job description conveys that anybody qualified for the position should apply — regardless of gender.

Here are some ways to write better job descriptions to eliminate gender bias:

1. Be mindful of word choice.

Avoid using masculine words in your descriptions, no matter how much you want to emphasize a certain trait or characteristic. For example, avoid using words like ‘assertive,’ ‘decisive,’ ‘driven,’ and other terms that tend to be linked to masculine energies.

2. Highlight must-have skills.

It will be in your favor to prioritize the must-haves and ‘nice-to-haves’ within your job description. Even a bulleted list can make it easier for the candidate to determine whether they are truly qualified for the job. This will help screen out candidates that could be a ‘maybe’ so you don’t have to move forward with an interview.

3. Eliminate nonessential skills.

Unless having an outgoing personality or similar qualities are required to perform the job well, eliminate nonessential skills that tend to turn otherwise-qualified female talent away. Provide a taste of company culture, but you don’t create a job description for a model employee. You want the employee’s unique personality and contributions to benefit your team, so you may not need to create a laundry list of traits, work habits, or personal characteristics as part of the job description.

If you need help with your financial recruiting efforts, consider working with an award-winning staffing firm. Casey Accounting and Finance Resources can help you attract quality candidates.

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3 Ways to Make Employee Reviews Less Stressful

Employee reviews or performance reviews can be stressful on a manager, especially if they haven’t worked directly with the employee for a significant period of time or are new to the position. Employee reviews are necessary for improving productivity and ensuring your good employees stay for the long-term. However, there are some things you can do to make review time a smooth, simple, and productive process.

Here are three ways to make employee reviews less stressful.

1. Conduct ongoing reviews.

Instead of just doing one annual review, consider conducing ongoing reviews so that you are addressing key areas of concern as they happen. Conducting ongoing reviews also opens up the line of communication and makes it easier to correct problems as they occur. You also can pass along compliments and share good information at these consistent meetings. Waiting an extended period of time to address a problem with an employee isn’t successful for anyone.

2. Ask the employee for feedback.

Very few managers will take the lead on asking for a critique of their own management style or behavior from an employee. However, this type of information can be very valuable because it can help you determine whether you and the employee can get along and what needs to be improved. Don’t be afraid to ask the employee what they like and dislike about your relationship so that you can both focus on improving things. Constructive criticism makes you a better leader, makes the department better and makes the company better.

3. Create an action plan together.

You’ll have both positive and negative points to share during an employee review. Be prepared to list everything out and work through the items together. The goal is to create an action plan to turn as many negatives into a positive. Get a verbal agreement or consensus on next steps so that you can work towards a better relationship and help the employee perform better at their job.

If you need help finding the right candidates for an open position, consider working with an award-winning financial staffing firm. Talk to the team at Casey Accounting & Finance Resources to connect with high-quality financial candidates.

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Recent Placements from Casey Accounting & Finance Resources

As a nationally accredited, best in class recruitment firm, our staff at Casey Accounting & FInance Resources is well networked in the Accounting & Finance community, tenured and industry certified. With our dedicated staff experienced in developing relationships, obtaining referrals, and sourcing candidates, we can locate top talent that you may not be able to find on your own. In addition to our outstanding recruiting practices, our team is committed to community service and philanthropy.

CASEY ACCOUNTING & FINANCE RESOURCES recent placements include the following:

Temporary Positions Filled:

  • A/P Supervisor
  • Sr. Financial Analyst
  • Payroll Manager
  • Sr. Accountant
  • Credit and Collections Clerk
  • Inventory Control Clerk
  • Payroll Administrator

Direct Hire Positions Filled:

  • Controller
  • Project Accountant
  • Plant Controller
  • A/P Specialist
  • Sr. Accountant
  • Payroll Specialist
  • Accounting Clerk

For more information on our recent placements: http://casey.appsnapnv.com/jobs-filled/

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What Questions Should You Be Asking Job Candidate References?

A recent survey indicated that recruiters will remove one in five candidates from consideration during the reference check process. Upon interviewing over 1,000 hiring managers, they found:

  • 36 percent said they were interested in getting more insight on the applicant’s past job duties and experience
  • 31 percent used a reference check to learn about candidate’s strengths and weaknesses
  • 21 percent removed a candidate from consideration for a job after speaking to professional contacts

It’s really not surprising that hiring managers eliminate certain candidates during the candidate reference check process. Very often, candidates elaborate on their experience, inflate their own value, and even falsify information hoping no one will check. The smartest hiring managers use a consistent series of reference check questions for all candidates before offering them any employment.

Here are some questions that you can legally use when checking professional candidate references. Along with verifying their position and dates of employment, you will want to ask:

1. What is your relationship to the candidate?

If someone is a good reference for a candidate, they have had some direct supervision or observation to the candidate. Ask specifically about how they worked with this job candidate during their time with the company. Learn about the specific daily interactions, either as a co-worker or a supervisor. The office receptionist or a cousin of the candidate don’t count, sorry.

2. Would you bring them back?

This very simple question is also very important to understanding the reputation of the candidate. If the reference says Yes with no hesitation, it’s a great sign. If they hesitate or refuse to answer, this can be a red flag. Regardless of the answer, follow-up questions are important to gain more insight from the job reference.  Some companies have policies that don’t allow the company to hire a person back once they have left the organization, no matter what the circumstances were when the person left.

3. What are their strengths and weaknesses on the job?

Once you break the ice with a reference it’s perfectly legal to ask about the performance of the candidate. Ask for the candidate’s biggest strengths and weaknesses, which can then be compared to how the candidate answers later in the interview. If the reference is being hesitant to talk about anything specific (especially in the weakness area), then have a list of questions prepared to gain the information that you want. When a bland answer comes from “What are their biggest weaknesses” then ask more direct questions about attention to detail, creativity, etc.

As part of the job hiring process, job references can become an integral piece of that process. They give information that you can’t learn directly from the job candidate. A well thought-out plan of questions for the job references can lead to great information that helps you make the best decision.

Work with an Award-Winning Recruiter in Chicago

As a trusted staffing firm, we reduce your time spent on recruiting, evaluating, screening and interviewing employees. Contact the award-winning recruiters at Casey Accounting & Finance Resources today to partner with a top financial recruiter in Chicago.

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