accounting certificates

What are the Most In-Demand Accounting Certificates?

Earning a certification in finance and accounting will enhance your career and marketability with employers. Each accounting designation has a slightly different career focus. Depending on where you want to drive your career, some accounting certifications may be more appropriate than others.  Likewise, it may be beneficial to have more than one of these accounting certificates attached to your name.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

The most popular of all accounting certificates is the Certified Public Accountant. Being a CPA allows individuals to provide a variety of accounting services to the public. It is awarded on a state-by-state basis and is the achievement that demonstrates the highest level of accountant competence.

Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)

This area of study requires three years of education. It includes 300 hours per exam level. Ultimately, the program requires an additional four years of experience before obtaining the certificate. Professionals compare this level of study to an MBA in Finance. This program has strict requirements and is usually considered one of the most difficult programs (many professionals think it is tied with the complexity of obtaining a CPA).

Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

This program is a certification in financial accounting and strategic planning. What is most interesting about this certification is that it is globally recognized and allows a special focus on corporate finance and account management.

Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

This particular area of accounting focuses more on the finer details. With this certification, accountants can perform internal audits and ensure that all transactions are completely lawfully.

Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE)

An individual with a CFE can focus their professional efforts on evaluating reported fraud alerts within a company. This individual ensures that transactions are completely lawfully and ethically.

In-Demand Accounting CertificatesOverview

Accounting offers a variety of certifications for professionals. Some people choose to get certifications in order to help them find particular jobs. If you are interested in obtaining an accounting certification, you should consider your long-term goals and how that certification will help you in your career.

Click here to see our open finance and accounting opportunities

seasonal employees

Seasonal Employees Can Help Office Productivity

Companies may wonder how seasonal employees can help their workplace. After all, it may feel like hiring people short-term only alleviates a problem temporarily. However, the truth is, there are many instances where seasonal employees are the most cost-effective and time-saving solution.

Tax Season

For most businesses, tax season becomes incredibly busy.   Increased hours attempting to meet pending deadlines can be stressful for employees.  Accounting and finance departments often find themselves buried under an influx of paperwork that seems never ending.  

 Holidays

Just like tax season, holidays can mean more business. Many companies prefer to hire seasonal employees that can assist their customers without having to commit to a full-time position. Keep in mind; the holiday business is just a temporary spike. Hiring a full-time employee for the rest of the year is likely an investment that will not have the return you are looking for.

Summer Interns

Summer interns are a typical option for filling the role of a seasonal employee. The can bring an extra pair of hands to your business while you provide them with real-life experience. It can be a win-win for both parties.

After-Summer Staffing

Many businesses hire on interns for the summer. While this is a great way to provide experience while getting some additional help, it can mean that you will be short-staffed momentarily once the intern leaves. Bringing on a temporary employee for a few weeks after summer ends can help keep things running smoothly.

Employee Vacations

It’s important to have a plan for when your full-time employees need to take some well-deserved time off. A seasonal employee can fill in for vacations so that you aren’t short-staffed and your employees can get a break throughout the year. Many businesses elect to bring on seasonal employees for the summer months as this is when many people prefer to go on vacation. However, this could be something that you discuss with your team to find out when they prefer to take their time off.

Partnering with an expert accounting and finance consulting firm can help

Engaging a specialized accounting and finance consulting agency like DLC, who knows the accounting and finance marketplace can be very helpful.  We have a large database of highly experienced interim or project based consultants that are ready to help.

leadership changes

Guiding Employees Through Leadership Changes

Leadership changes can gravely alter the morale and productivity of your office if not handled properly. Patiently guiding your employees through their change related anxiety can be challenging. However, it is ultimately the best way to ensure that employees feel a sense of security and operations continue smoothly.

Involve Employees

One of the very best things you can do is to involve your employees. Offering updates along the way can put people at ease and ensure that they will be the first to know of any sudden changes that may come up. This level of transparency creates trust and understanding which will boost morale and keep employees invested during this vulnerable time.

Ask Employees How They are Doing

This simple question can go a long way in calming the nerves of everybody in the workplace. People want to talk about their feelings and a few minutes of interaction can allow them to vent in a healthy and productive way. Be careful not to get upset by what employees say during this time. They may not be thrilled with the changes, but hearing them out and addressing their concerns can be helpful.

Describe the Future

Employees want to know that there’s still a future for them in the workplace. Be sure to explain to them exactly what the future is intended to look like and what it means for them specifically. If their roles are subject to change during this time, make sure they have a full picture understanding of what that looks like for them. 

Be Positive About Leadership Changes

Change is hard on everybody. Your attitude matters. Everybody gets stressed out during periods of transition, but as a leader, it is your job to remain positive and give your employees hope. This doesn’t mean you should lie about any concerns, but it does mean that you should face the changes with a good attitude that could potentially influence everybody else. 

You may also be interested in Why Are Your Employees Quitting?

weaknesses job interview

Talking Weaknesses During a Job Interview

Talking about your weaknesses during a job interview is a tricky situation that takes a certain degree of finesse. However, knowing that most job applicants have been in this exact situation should provide you with some comfort. We have compiled some tips below to help get you through the dreaded weaknesses job interview question.

Be Honest About Weaknesses

The questions about your weaknesses are less about the actual weakness and more about your ability to be self-aware. Don’t avoid this question by giving a non-answer. Instead, focus on a real error that you struggle in and perhaps provide ways that you are working on overcoming it. Nobody is perfect, and we all have room to grow. Being transparent about your weakness will demonstrate that you are genuine while your plan for overcoming it will demonstrate that you are a problem solver.

Discuss Your Strengths

Yes, the question is about your weakness, but oftentimes are weaknesses present themselves because we are so focused on something that we are really good at. For example, a weakness may be that you struggle with work and life balance, but a strength could be that are you especially excited about your work. Of course, you’ll want to be clear that the weakness is something that you are working to overcome and not something you are trying to give excuses for.

Talk About Experiences

When discussing your weaknesses, try to weave in a story about how that weakness has impacted your working experience. The idea here is to be open about the issue, but also show that you have insight into where things went wrong and how you can avoid it for the future.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Everybody should be prepared for this type of interview question. Even if the question is never asked, you should have a response ready in the back of your mind. Write down your response and practice it with other people or even just in a room by yourself. The more confident that you sound answer a question about your weakness, the more likely the hiring manager will identify that you have learned from it.

For more job interview tips, check out You Can Answer Tricky Behavioral Interview Questions.

red flag

Red Flag Personalities that Hiring Managers Should Avoid

When a job interview doesn’t go perfectly, it does not necessarily mean that the candidate is wrong for the position. However, there are some pivotal warning signs that should not be ignored during the recruitment process. Red flag personality traits that hiring managers should watch out for range from aggressiveness to laziness and many others in between!

When interviewing candidates, watch out for the following personality red flags:

Red Flag #1: Disagreeableness

Of course, everybody disagrees with people from time to time. However, if during the job interview the individual seems to disagree with everything from past employers, co-workers, and everybody in between—this may be a sign that they are simply not a team player. Disagreeable personalities can grate on people after a while. This single trait can totally demolish company morale and impact productivity, employee turnover, and much, much more.

Red Flag #2: Gossiping

Gossip doesn’t belong in the workplace. If the interviewer can’t seem to stop talking about other people negatively, this could be a sign that they like to gossip. This can lead to terrible rumors, negativity, and overall unhappiness between employees.


Red Flag #3: Unorganized

Rambling, arriving late, and looking disheveled all indicate an unorganized personality. Hiring managers should pay special attention to how people present themselves throughout the interview process because it could lend itself to showcasing just how this person operates professionally from the day-to-day.


Red Flag #4: Bad Attitude

You can pick up right away if someone has a bad attitude. Maybe they always point out the negative, always need to sound the smartest, or simply just don’t seem happy to be doing the interview at all. A person’s attitude can make all the difference. A hiring manager should focus on the individual’s general attitude throughout the interview process.

Overview

Personality traits are difficult to hide. Most people can’t help but be exactly who they are. Hiring managers should pay attention to what people say (and sometimes what they don’t!) and then make hiring decisions accordingly. Paying attention to the red flags could make all the difference for the company’s future. 

For more hiring tips, check out Creating a Successful New Hire Orientation Program

networking events

Networking Event Introductions

Social media and other online platforms have made it easier than ever to connect with people. However, in-person introductions at a networking event can be a little harder for people to pursue. If you’ve been asking yourself how to make introductions at business networking events, then you’ll be happy to learn there are many tips you can follow.

Talk about the Event

Because you are at a networking event, don’t be afraid to use it as a conversation-starter. Walk up to a person that you would like to network with and ask them what they thought about a key speaker and include what you appreciated most about what they had to say. This is a great ice breaker and the opportunity to hand out your business card.

Make a Connection

You’ll quickly learn that many of the people at these events are already connected to someone that you know. Make sure that you draw these parallels before the event and then use them to strike up a conversation. People will appreciate your effort, and you’ll be more familiar if you bring up someone that they are comfortable with.

Tell a Story

People like interesting. Have a good story on hand that will captivate your audience in a small group. Wait for the right opportunity and then share the story. People are likely to remember a story that is funny or makes them think. Consider your audience when choosing the type of story that you should tell.

Simple Networking Conversation Starters

If you prefer to keep it simple, then just use regular conversation starters. Some people choose to talk about the food that is served at the event while other people bring up the weather. Stick to a topic you are comfortable with and then allow the conversation to progress to a more professional level.

Networking Event Overview

Introductions are key when it comes to networking. It is important to get your name out there and make connections with as many people as you can. Remember, it’s all about the quality of the connection. Be your authentic self, and you are more likely to walk away with meaningful contacts.

You may also like Habits Practiced by Highly Successful People

productive people

Productive Habits of Remarkably Effective People

We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but some people seem to accomplish more than others in the same time-frame. It can be easy to simply shrug and believe that you simply don’t have the same skills or talents that they have. However, by using some of their simple tools and guidance, you can find that you can also push through ambiguous barriers and become more productive in all aspects of your life.

Focus on Important Tasks First

Conquering the most important tasks first allows you to overcome the biggest hurdles while you are fresh and alert. In addition, completing these tasks helps to create positive momentum to conquer the subsequent tasks too.

Break Tasks into Smaller Productive Pieces

Large tasks can be overwhelming. When our goals or priorities seem insurmountable, it can often lead to procrastination, and then a scramble to finish by the deadline. This often leads to poor or error-prone work. If you can break the large task into small, manageable chunks, it can help to create a sense of accomplishment and reduces your perception about workload.

Take Breaks

It can sound counterproductive to take breaks, but recognizing when you are drained and stepping away does increase your productivity. Pushing through tasks when we aren’t completely alert, leads to time consuming mistakes. By taking short breaks, we can return to work with a renewed focus and accomplish our goals.

Start Saying No

When we say yes to everything, our calendars become overloaded leaving little time for focusing on the most important tasks, which can lead to errors, missed deadlines, stress, anxiety and eventually burnout.
Being able to quickly identify tasks that aren’t important or well-suited to your strengths is part of productivity. You won’t spend additional time on something that doesn’t need to be done or can be done by others.

At the end of the day, focusing your energy on your productivity can lead to better overall outcomes in your private and professional lives and using these tools can help get you there.

For more tips to help you become more productive, check out Habits Practiced by Highly Successful People

employee quitting

Why Are Your Employees Quitting?

Revenue loss from employees quitting accounts for approximately 11 billion dollars annually. It is impossible to keep every employee with you for the rest of their careers. However, you can make sure that you’re doing everything possible to encourage employee retention. We have compiled some tips below that can help.

Review Your Management Team

Management is a common reason for employees quitting a company. Even the most loyal employees can become disengaged when there are unresolved management issues. Review exit interview information and identify if there is an individual or a theme that continues to arise and then seek to resolve that issue immediately.

Create a Career for Employees

Strong employees want to know that they are doing everything they can to improve themselves and your company. Many employees will start searching for career growth outside of their current position if they can’t see a long-term career from where they sit. Make sure to communicate potential avenues for career growth and that you are offering opportunities for advancement and training.

Ask Tough Questions About Why Employees are Quitting

When an employee quits, it can be easy to blame them. However, it is more helpful to look inwardly at the company to identify things that you can change. Conduct an exit interview to help you learn what you can do to keep your other employees from quitting.

  • What did we do wrong?
  • What can we improve upon in the future?
  • How could we have kept them in the company?

While some employees are going to leave for reasons that are beyond your control, it is cost effective to make sure that you’re doing everything to keep your employees happy. If you can identify some of the issues that are currently arising in your organization and fix them, you will see positive results. Their improved morale will lead to an improvement in your productivity and overall job satisfaction.

For more tips about employee retention, check out It’s Time to Raise Salaries!

salaries

It’s Time to Raise Salaries!

Unemployment is low, making the demand for top talent high.  In this type of  competitive market, your  ability to hold onto your employees can depend very much on how competitively they are being paid. Is it time to raise salaries?

Higher salaries tend to incentivize higher output. Employees who feel they are being paid well for their efforts usually expend more effort.

Consider These Factors

There are numerous factors to consider as you assess the timing and scope of salary increases. Here are some to review:

  • Benefits and Perks
    • Assess the value of benefits alongside salaries.
    • Does your organization offer performance bonuses and perks that increase employee engagement?
  • Review your organization’s philosophy of compensation. Are there internal and external influences that suggest a need to update? How do you reward high performers?
  • Are job descriptions and performance evaluations up-to-date?
  • What salary review and planning tasks can be assigned to human resource and department managers?
  • Employee turnover
    • What is your company’s turnover rate for your sector and area? How does this compare with competitor turnover?
    • Review the obvious and hidden expenses of hiring new employees.

Take an Objective Approach: Conduct a Market Data Analysis

There are advantages to being objective.  Have the numbers front and center as you proceed.

  • Company data will show areas of strength and weakness in your employee compensation package.
  • Use online search tools to gather information about compensation packages for similar businesses in your general region.
  • Read online trade articles and blogs about current salary trends.
  • Inform yourself about inflation rates and cost of living data for your region.
  • Having the hard data on hand to share with managers and staff answers questions and reduces misunderstanding.

Keep the Planning Positive as You Prepare to Increase Salaries

The information you gather will determine your planning timeline. Plan for success by:

  • Keeping discussions positive.
  • Engage your managers regularly and have them do the same with employees.
  • Welcome all questions.
  • Listen
  • Rollout can begin when processes, from up-to-date job descriptions to financial projections, are in place.

Ultimately, good employees need to be paid well.  Amidst times of low unemployment, a competitive salary is critical for ensuring that employees are satisfied and keeping your business running well. Now is the time to make sure that each employee’s compensation package meets or exceeds the competition.

Check out these Employee Perks to Boost Retention

perks

Satisfaction and Productivity Boosting Perks

Perks Defined

Perks are employee incentives not tied to salary and benefit contracts. Perk fads come and go, allowing you to swap out less desired ones for those that promise productivity and satisfaction.

A Look at What Perks Offer Your Company

You want to assure that investing in perks offers paybacks that exceed the company’s financial outlay.

Benefits to your business:

  • Improve company performance
  • Increased recruitment and retention
  • Absenteeism Reduction
  • Improved employee engagement and customer satisfaction

Perks Benefit Employees

Create an engaged, productive team by boosting employee well-being.

Results include:

  • Improved physical and emotional health
  • Increased energy
  • Positive work-life balance
  • Feeling valued by the organization

Perk Picks: What’s Trending

Here’s a selection and what’s been shared about each perk’s preference:

  • Natural light: Increases energy and attention; reduces eyestrain and fatigue.
  • Skill development and workplace education: Employee feels valued while learning.
  • Flexed schedule: Aids with work-life balance, caring for family, and preferred work hours.
  • Plants and artwork: Add natural and creative touches that soften the work setting.
  • Remote work hours: Increases productivity as it balances with an employee’s family roles.
  • Wellness options: Keeping fit at work boosts morale and energy levels.
  • Pets at work: Create calm and caring for owners and colleagues.
  • Extended summer weekends: No explanation needed!
  • Paid and personal time off bonuses: Supports multiple family and personal commitments.

Engage Employees in Perk Selection

The simple act of asking for employee ideas and input leads to employee engagement. When you implement perks they have selected, workplace loyalty grows. Ways to learn more about the perks that capture employee interest are:

  • Surveys
  • Brain-storming sessions
  • Team challenges: Each team proposes a perk, describing the benefits for them and the company, along with anticipated costs.
  • A perk idea board on which employees add comments to those posted.
  • Ask employees to perk track by sharing what they like or don’t about each one the team has chosen.

Click here to find more Employee Perks to Boost Retention.