ERP Upgrade

Questions to Ask Before an ERP Upgrade

Are you considering taking advantage of the latest features and improvements available from performing an ERP upgrade? If you currently have an older ERP system, chances are good that your system might not have the capacity to stay on-top of the growing needs of your business, hampering its development.

While it may be necessary, an ERP upgrade can be challenging and expensive, to say the least. If you’re considering an upgrade, you’ll want to evaluate the following questions.

What are you trying to achieve?

The intent of an upgrade should always be to simplify and streamline—essentially make life easier. Evaluate your current system and make sure that you have a clear understanding of what you should enhance or remove with an upgrade. You’ll find out quickly if it’ll be worth it or not.

Is there any training involved?

When you incorporate an upgraded ERP system, everybody will have to learn how to use it. You’ll want to examine what kind of training material will be necessary, how it will be executed, and what the outcome of the training should look like. You’ll want to put a plan in place that identifies which employees will be trained and whether those people are qualified to then train the rest of the staff. Experienced Financial Systems Implementations Consultants can help keep implementations on track.

What is involved in product selection?

You’ll need team members involved in the product selection of an upgrade system. This means that those people will have to take time out of their day to evaluate different options and determine which is right for the company. You’ll want to consider how their divided attention will impact the company’s bottom line and if you should move other team members to take over portions of their workload.

How can you make the transition seamless?

You don’t want to go into an upgrade process without proper planning. You’ll need to have a clear understanding of who will be involved in the initial process, how long that process will take, and how production will be impacted during the transition period.

ERP Upgrade Overview

As with anything else, organization and planning are critical when it comes to an ERP upgrade. Put a bit of forethought into it before you begin, and the process is likely to go much more smoothly for the company and everybody else involved. 

listener

3 Tips to Become a Better Listener

Communication is key when it comes to effectively managing relationships with colleagues and clients. While the things we say certainly matter, learning to listen effectively is likely the most crucial part of the equation. Learning to be an active listener will not only make you a better communicator overall, but it can make you stand out from the crowd of other highly skilled finance professionals.

Of course, being a listener is not a natural skill that everybody has. That’s okay. It can be learned. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind.

Talk Less

It’s tempting to talk more to showcase your communication skills. However, talking less can actually help you hear the other side and then speak with intention. Let people share their whole ideas before you offer your input. Not only is this courteous, but it will provide you the full picture before you offer up your insight.

Fine Tune Nonverbal Communication

When you are actively listening to someone, what you do with your body matters. You should try to maintain comfortable eye contact but avoid staring. You should also avoid distracting behavior such as fidgeting or tapping your foot. Try to smile throughout the conversation and lean slightly into the conversation so that the other person can fully see that you are participating.

Ask Questions

When you do speak, make sure that you are asking plenty of questions. Not only will this help you create a quality response to what is being said, but it will show the speaker that you are listening and interested in what they have said. You may also want to ask some questions that show that you’ve been listening. For example, if a speaker has already mentioned certain details of a position, then you shouldn’t ask about those details again. Instead, you could ask for more information to better understand specifics.

Better Listener Overview

Effective listening is critical in all industries, but especially in finance. Make sure you are putting in the effort to become a listener that people want to communicate with.

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esume tips

Resume Tips for New Consultants

If you’re thinking of becoming an accounting and finance consultant, it’s likely that your resume will need to be revamped. Finance and consulting firms are looking for strong academic performance, exemplary work experience, and leadership skills in the consultants that they hire. Here are a few resume tips to keep in mind.

Make Sure Your Format is Professional

You should make sure that you are clear, concise, and that the font is legible. Remember, people don’t have a lot of time to read through your resume, so make it as easy for them as possible. A poorly formatted resume should never be the reason that you aren’t considered for a role with a company.

Outline Your Projects

Take some time to explain which projects you’ve worked on. Be sure to highlight the most critical information. This part of the process takes a bit of strategy because you want to be thorough, but at the same time concise. Make sure you include only the most relevant information.

Describe the Depth of Your Experience

If you’ve worked on a variety of projects, make sure you showcase the different skills and tools that you have used. But, try not to be repetitive when describing each project. You’ll want to highlight the different technological systems that you’ve used as well as the various industries you’ve worked in. This will underscore just how versatile you are as a consultant.

Explain Your Work Ethic

People want to know that they can trust you. You’ll certainly want to highlight how you work under pressure, within tight deadlines, and with other people. Your communication style and ability to achieve results will help people understand that you are a quality person who will make their job easier.

Don’t Forget Interpersonal Skills

Technical skills are valuable, but over time, you’ll need to prove yourself through interpersonal skills. It will behoove you to highlight your interpersonal skills when describing your work style.

Thanks for reading our consulting resume tips! For information about becoming an accounting and finance consultant with DLC, click here.

finance consultant

3 Perks About Being a Finance Consultant

If you’re considering entering the world of accounting and finance consultation, then know that you’re in good company. You may be scratching your head about whether or not consulting is what you are looking for. When weighing the pros and cons of becoming a finance consultant consider these valuable perks.

Project Diversity

Because finance and accounting consultants work a variety of industries and assignments, they can escape the career fatigue that sometimes results from traditional, full-time jobs.

Meet New Professionals

If you love meeting new professionals with different backgrounds, then a finance consultant may be the right gig for you. You’ll come into contact with a diverse mix of professionals as you move from one project to the next. If you enjoy meeting people and connecting with others, then this is the work for you.

In High Demand

What is one of the best things about being a finance consultant? You’re in high demand! Companies of all sizes and industries are seeking out the experience and knowledge that you can provide. It’s always a great feeling to be needed, and this type of work will certainly make you feel that!

Overview of Being a Finance Consultant

One of the biggest attractions of a career in consulting is the variety of assignments that you will receive. Through a consulting career, accounting and finance professionals can gain beneficial exposure to a plethora of companies and industries, which can be a refreshing improvement from working a predictable, conventional position.

Click here, to view DLC’s available finance and accounting consulting positions.

consulting

Retiring Financial Executives are Considering Consulting

At some point in everybody’s career, there is a moment where we must consider if we want to continue working a full-time position or take a step back to focus on other interests. While many people feel that retirement is an exciting transition, for others, it can be a scary experience. After all, when you spend your entire life working in a particular role, it can be overwhelming to transition out of it. However, there may be a simple solution when it comes to financial executives: consulting.

According to a recent survey, three out of four financial executives see consulting as an attractive option when considering retirement. It’s not completely leaving the industry, but it’s a role that may offer the flexibility to focus on other areas of their lives. It could mean the best of both worlds for someone who isn’t quite ready to hang up their hat but would like more freedom in their position.

Is It Right for You?

Consulting may be a good choice for you if you would still like to put in a few hours of working every day or week. It could also be extra income after you leave your full-time job, which is sometimes a concern for people who are considering going into their retirement. If you’re considering consulting, then you should view your life from a bird’s eye angle to ensure that you are financially and mentally ready to make this transition.

Consulting is Not the Same as Employment

One of the biggest things that you should recognize is that consulting offers variety that you don’t get from a full-time job. Your environment will constantly be changing, so you should be a person who thrives in such settings. It’s project-based work, which means that there could be lulls in your schedule.

Consider Your Niche

Have you carved out a niche for yourself? Can you offer specialized consulting in a particular area? Consider how marketable your skills are and then roll up your sleeves to make the connections necessary in order to get awarded the projects that you want.

Considering a career in financial consulting? If you have experience in a Fortune 1000 company and are a Big 4 CPA and/or an MBA from a Top 25 Business School, click here to check out our listings of available consulting positions.

Networking Etiquette

Networking Etiquette for Finance Officers

In the finance and accounting field, technical skills will help you get noticed. But, knowing how to network and expand your professional circles can put you a step ahead of the competition and open doors for your accounting career. With that in mind, it is beneficial to learn the ins-and-outs of networking etiquette.

Put Yourself Out There

The number one thing you must do is make yourself known. This means putting yourself on as many online platforms that you can commit to. Start LinkedIn and Twitter accounts and be prepared to put in the effort of marketing yourself regularly. Your profile may help to introduce you to like-minded people, but it won’t automatically mean a job. It’ll be up to you to foster those connections.

Don’t Over Do It

There’s a difference between trying and trying too hard. Becoming a pushy networker is considered bad networking etiquette and can turn people off. Don’t make a habit of only reaching out to people when you need something from them. Instead, strengthen that relationship by offering help or just checking in with them from time to time. This will create a stronger dynamic, and people will remember you for opportunities in the future.

Network in Your Office

Don’t overlook the value of networking in your workplace. Even if you are an introvert, make an effort to connect professionally with others in your company. When coworkers move-on they may end up someplace where you would like to be. If so, they could let you know about opportunities.

Networking Etiquette Overview

Networking is a bit of an art form. Put your effort into networking with people, and you will make the connections that you need to move forward. It’s not a race or a magic potion, but if done properly, you can achieve your goals and work with some really exceptional people in the finance field. Over time, you will build a long-lasting relationship with the leaders of the finance industry—that is certainly worth it! 

You may also find “Questions to Ask While Networking” helpful.

accountant

Business Benefits of Hiring an Accountant

Once your business experiences a certain level of success, it may be time to bring on a professional accountant to handle the financial tasks.  Some people may think hiring accounting staff is too expensive, but in fact it may be too expensive not to. Good accounting professionals can act as tax advisers, compliance specialists, budget forecasters, business analysts and financial watchdogs.  That being said, adding an accounting professional to your team can offer substantial ROI.

Not only is this a solid investment in your company’s future, but there are a variety of benefits that you may not have previously considered:

Time Saver

One of the most obvious benefits of hiring an accountant is that it will save you a considerable amount of time.  Managers have enough on their plates without having to deal with the minutiae of taxes, compliance, payroll, insurance, leases and internal controls. A Controller will take-on these time-consuming operational tasks, giving you the time to focus on revenue generating projects.

Revitalize Growth

It isn’t uncommon for businesses to suffer a slowdown in growth. Accountants can play a pivotal role in advising businesses on how to refine their strategies and move back into growth mode. During a slump an accountant can help restructure a company’s debt, identify unprofitable business lines and realign prices of goods and services.

Regulatory Compliance

Companies of all sizes are facing growing regulatory burdens.  An experienced Controller can set up regulatory compliance plans that will help keep your business from making costly mistakes.

Business Taxes

As a company grows, taxes become more complex, due to more variables and regulations from federal, state and local levels. Tax Accountants keep up-to-date with legislative changes and can help businesses remain in compliance.

Money Saver

Accountants focus on ways to save you money. Their focus is to make sure that they keep a finger on the pulse of the company’s finances. They can determine if money is being wasted and even offer guidance on how you can avoid frivolous spending. As your company expands, they will help keep you focused on how you should spend your funds and grow your business at the same time.

Overview

An accountant is a professional that help your company thrive well into the future. Whether you are just beginning or have experienced recent growth, an accountant may be just the team member you need to bring on board.

collaboration

Improving Cross-Department Collaboration

Growth in a business is certainly a sign of success. However, it also means that there will be a need for cross-department collaboration, especially involving accounting and finance departments. When the entire company can work well together, this means that more can be accomplished with less stress, disruption, or cost.

It’s essential to create strong working relationships, so department members feel comfortable and confident approaching other members to help them delegate tasks, accomplish goals, or even streamline the existing process.

How to Work with Different Personalities

Companies thrive best when they have a variety of people working towards a common goal. While personalities can sometimes clash, it’s those very differences that can offer a different perspective that accomplishes something faster and better.

In order to mesh personalities, it’s important to create a culture in which team-building is a priority. This may mean doing activities outside of work, participating in team-building exercises, and work to create a collaborative work environment that encourages all department members to communicate with each other.

Managing Stress Across Departments

One of the hardest things about cross-department collaboration is the degree of stress it can bring. While it’s virtually impossible to avoid all stress, there are things you can do to limit it. You can start by creating a feedback-positive atmosphere in which you encourage everybody to talk about their ideas and welcome the ideas of others.

You should avoid blaming individuals or departments for any issues as this could create feelings of isolation. Additionally, everybody should be searching for ways to celebrate group wins as this will encourage each person to approach the project in a positive manner.

Conflicts in Deadlines

When various departments work together on a project, conflicting deadlines can become an issue. It’s important to communicate timelines early enough that everybody has a chance to check their calendar and determine how they can be involved in the project. You should focus on creating a culture that combines flexibility for chipping in when you can, but also understanding when certain department members don’t have the time for certain projects.  

Overview

If you follow theses tips and give your team the right tools, you’ll find a winning combination that guides your organization to success.

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delegate effectively

Steps Managers Should Take to Delegate Effectively

One of the most crucial aspects of being a successful leader is the ability delegate effectively. For some, this can be a challenging process because it means relinquishing control and allowing others to take the reins.  Considering the urgency of their responsibilities, some leaders avoid delegating, instead they keep in control of every project big and small. However,  being enmeshed in minutiae can come at a cost. Constantly getting bogged down by routine tasks can prevent you from focusing on the bigger-picture business goals.  Avoiding delegation can also put you on the road to burnout.  In order to truly delegate effectively, there are a few steps that you can take to ensure that the process is handled as well as possible.

Choose the Right Person

If you take a good look at your existing team, you’ll notice that they each have their own set of skills and abilities. Perhaps one person is very good at organizing while another may be an excellent public speaker. Evaluate which type of person should complete the task based on their strengths. This will ensure that the task is completed at a high standard.

Practice Open Communication

When delegating, you’ll likely need to answer questions throughout the various stages of the task. Everybody has a unique perspective, so this could also allow you the opportunity to hear different ideas and approaches that you had not previously considered.

Set a Deadline

Make sure that the people involved understand the deadline that you have in place. For some projects, several deadlines may be necessary so that the entire project remains on task. Set the deadlines as soon as possible and make sure everybody has the bandwidth to meet the deadlines. You may also want to create a plan if a deadline isn’t met.

Ask for Input

It’s important to communicate during the project, but don’t forget to follow-up after it is completed. This is a great time to ask questions and consider the input for how to move forward with future delegated tasks. You can also use this opportunity to praise the person who stepped up to help you out. Creating a team that can take on additional tasks is certainly something that will help your company thrive. 

Overview

Learning to delegate effectively allows employees to broaden their skills, while freeing up time for more big-picture projects that will increase the bottom line.

You may also enjoy, The Pitfalls of Bad Leadership Communication

financial management systems

Evaluating Financial Management Systems

It’s no secret that many finance and accounting departments rely on financial management systems to reduce the burden on their employees. Typically, these financial management systems streamline a variety of manual practices that plague the accounting and reporting departments. However, before you consider implementing a financial management system, you should ask yourself a few questions.

Will the New System be Compliant?

One of the most difficult things about a new financial management system is that it can create a ripple effect of disruption. So, it’s important for companies to consider this risk fully before moving forward with the implementation.

What Kind of Financial Management Systems Do We Need?

Just because a financial management system exists, does not mean that it’s right for your company. What works for one company may very well lead to challenges and issues for another. Evaluate where you could streamline and determine if a financial management system would create a steadier workplace. Remember, this type of system should solve problems and not create them.

Is Support Available?

Before you commit to software, make sure that the vendor has a good support program. Sometimes, vendors aren’t available down the line, so you’ll have to be sure that you not only have a plan for support, but also a backup plan in case the first one falls through. This can be a tedious process, but it’s better to plan than deal with issues as they arise.

Overview

Keep in mind, any system that you choose will be somewhat disruptive at first. The idea here is to make the transition as painless as possible. Go over the basics of what you need and then choose the system that works best for you. Ultimately, this will determine whether or not the system is actually a help or a hindrance to your company.

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