EY and UT Austin top professors poll. In considering job offers from competing accounting firms, the most highly sought-after students weigh three criteria equally, and it doesn’t much matter whether the offer is for big money or whether it’s from a Big Four firm anymore, according to a leading survey of several hundred college accounting professors. Students today consider compensation and benefits, “work/life balance and a family-friendly environment” and a desirable geographic location each about equally, according to the 33rd Annual professors Survey for 2014 by Public Accounting Report. The difference is barely discernible, PAR reports. On a scale of 0 through 10, with 10 being the most important, professors marginally differentiated between the three in order of importance. They rated compensation and […]
How to run your training like a business. By Michael Ramos and Cate Miller With CPA firms spending 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent of revenue on learning, budgets can be hundreds of thousands of dollars even for a modest-sized firm. But firms invest in learning because it is a critical component in addressing many of the top issues facing CPA firms today. The best organizations view learning as an investment, and they manage their investment the same way a venture capitalist manages a portfolio company – like a business. Unfortunately, many CPA firms have a less disciplined approach to learning, which means they’re probably leaving money on the table.
Profession adds 1,400 new jobs in latest month. Next question: Who’s hiring; who’s not. Join the survey; get the answers. By CPA Trendlines With practitioners across the country reporting strong demand for new hires, the nation’s tax, accounting and bookkeeping industries added 1,400 new jobs last month, with some sectors marking new highs for 2014 and approaching the pre-crash peak six years ago. Jennifer Dizon, an audit and advisory partner at Hood & Strong’s San Jose, Calif., office, tells CPA Trendlines her firm is looking to hire. “We need more staff to service business growth,” says Dizon, who is also the newly elected state chapter president of the National Association of Women Business Owners. In Elkhart, Kan., enrolled agent Terri Ryman at Southwest Tax & Accounting says the office […]
Plus: Effective budgeting and management. By Michael Ramos Michael Ramos and Associates CPA firms want to establish metrics for their learning function as a way to monitor and manage their learning activities. Ideally, firms would do their learning strategies and goals first and then use these strategies to drive the related metrics. But we do not live in an ideal world, and some firms choose to establish metrics while simultaneously working on firmwide learning structures and goals. MORE: High-Impact Learning: 4 Ways to Maximize CPE ROI Recognizing the risks inherent in prematurely defining metrics, here are three tips for creating meaningful learning metrics at your firm that will help manage the learning function and drive performance.
QUESTION: Do you work from a checklist when you’re conducting staff performance appraisals? RESPONSE: Silly question. Checklists? Do I have checklists? Seriously, staffing is a big concern, and I believe many smaller firms settle and hire the wrong people, which I’ve written about and probably beaten to death expressing my views. MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Why I Don’t Hire on Experience | 5 Time Management Tips for an Overworked Accountant | Staff Training Starts with Doing Something | 11 Business-Getting Tips for the Young Staffer | When Staffers Don’t Listen to You | Questions and Answers on Selling a Practice to Staff Members | Measuring Growth in Yourself, Staff and Partners | Complaining Client? No Wonder! Here is a checklist to get you started.
And two make-or-break questions for your firm’s future. By Hitendra Patil Pransform Inc. Have you heard of “Generation Y”? Anyone who was born between 1980 and 2000 is a Millennial and they will be the majority of your staff within the next few years, if not already. They have grown up with technology, the information explosion and diversity. What they studied for their degrees is far vaster than what you studied. MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR: 3 Ways Amazon’s New Fire Phone Hints at the Future of Accounting | The 8 Traits Creating the Firm of the Future Today | Get More Done, Make More Money: Stop Doing These 17 Things | What Shopping Habits Reveal about Accounting Clients | Create […]
And the top 8 questions every staffer will ask. By August Aquila Creating the Effective Partnership To get your employees’ commitment to the merger, they must understand how it impacts them personally and see the opportunities for themselves. Let’s assume that the announcement for the upcoming merger or sale is handled properly. In other words, it was not leaked or there were no rumors on the street. You can be sure that once the announcement is made, employees start thinking about one thing — How does this event affect me? This is about self-preservation; it’s an emotional and psychological question that everyone will ask themselves.
At Microsoft, they worry about motivation, says Bruce W. Marcus, author of Professional Services Marketing 3.0. When everybody who holds any kind of a responsible job is making more money than any of them ever dreamed they would, and when they’re in an industry that would pay anything to hire them away, how do you motivate people? How do you get them to stay, and to produce at the high levels demanded by Microsoft and other high-tech companies? Two ways. In this report: Five mistakes firms make. Four strategies that can’t miss.
To develop and nurture talent: It’s more than just lunch. Unfortunately, even the best-intentioned mentoring initiatives can easily fizzle in the early stages, before delivering value to the participants and the organization at large, according to Molly Sargent of Rowayton, Conn.-based Professional Impressions Consulting. Sargent has trained and coached thousands of financial professionals and client-facing executives in professional image, presentation skills, business etiquette and sales effectiveness. Since 1985, she has helped major accounting firms and Fortune 500 companies, including Aetna, American Express, AT&T, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Key Bank, MasterCard, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Prudential achieve breakthrough results. With so much to gain, how can your firm initiate mentoring in a way that is successful and sustainable?
… and keeping them. CPA Trendlines conducts surveys all the time, but we like to ask periodically if there are questions we just aren’t asking that you need answered. We’re giving you the opportunity to help your fellow accountants with their pressing questions. Today’s topic: staffing. “Staffing: raise internally or seek outside of firm?” asked Jim Falgout, president of Falgout & Associates, P.C. in Richardson, Texas. “What do you do to attract employees who want to stay and grow with the firm?” asked Scott Sanders, managing partner of Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz LLP in Jericho, N.Y. Michael Green of Arendholz Bryan & Associates in Branford, Conn., wants to know “how to attract, retain and motivate young CPAs without giving […]