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5 Strategies for Creating a Winning Staffing Management Game Plan

Posted By Karen Regan, Friday, November 3, 2017

5 Strategies for Creating a Winning Staffing Management Game Plan

“The responsibility for the success of the team starts with the coach, who develops the plan that is then executed by the players — who are extremely well-prepared.”

In a 1993 interview with the Harvard Business Review (HBR), former San Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh was asked how he achieved “quickness and responsiveness” in his teams. The quote above was just part of his response. But it is a significant statement. As the HBR article notes, Walsh’s focus on developing “long-range strategic and personnel plans” for the 49ers from the moment he joined the organization in 1979 helped him create a powerhouse team that won three Super Bowl titles during his tenure.

Building an all-star finance and accounting team for your business also requires a solid game plan. With a well-thought-out staffing management strategy, you can complement the abilities of your current MVPs, and give them the support they need to deliver their best performance. You can also identify and address skills gaps that could undermine your finance function’s ability to meet critical deadlines, keep clients satisfied and generate new business.

When developing his personnel strategy, Walsh, according to HBR, “focused on what other coaches had considered the minutiae of the game: minute-by-minute choreographing of practices, breaking down individual and group tactics into parts, and defining responsibilities and setting objectives for both players and coaches.” You may not need to get this detailed when creating a game plan for your accounting and finance organization (although it can’t hurt!). But do consider applying the following five strategies as part of your process:

Strategy #1. Conduct a talent audit

Step back and assess your current team members to determine their strengths. Don’t just consider technical skills. Think about your employees’ interpersonal abilities and leadership potential, too. Public speaking skills, business acumen and effectiveness in collaborating with people inside and outside of your department are all qualities that deepen your finance function’s bench strength. A thorough assessment of each player’s talents can also help to inform your succession planning efforts for your organization.

Strategy #2. Identify critical gaps in your roster

Once you fully gauge your existing staff’s abilities, think about what roles and skills you’d need to recruit to create a high-performing and well-balanced “dream team” for your finance function. To fill critical gaps, would you need to hire more full-time staff? Could you train and develop promising employees? Or would it be better to engage specialists and experienced consultants? Depending on the needs of your business, you may find you need to employ all the above staffing strategies. (See Strategy #4.)

Strategy #3. Determine how long you will need certain skills

Your staffing management strategy should be designed to be flexible. It must stretch and contract with ease and speed as workload demands fluctuate. That’s why it’s important to differentiate between project-based and ongoing needs when creating your game plan. For example, if your firm pursues a merger or acquisition, or an IPO, you might need to hire specialized consultants to help guide the business successfully through these big change events. On the other hand, entering a new market or taking on a major new account might require you to expand your roster of full-time accounting and finance employees.

Strategy #4. Know how to compete for top talent

When you extend job offers to in-demand candidates, start with salaries that are at or above market rates — and be prepared to negotiate if needed. (You can use our Salary Calculator to quickly determine compensation ranges in your market for accounting and finance roles you’re trying to fill.) Your game plan for recruiting top players should also include publicizing the compelling perks your company offers, such as a work-life balance program.

Strategy #5. Keep top performers from jumping ship

Savvy managers know they need to put as much effort into retaining top players as they do to recruit them. So, your staffing management strategy should include tactics for keeping MVPs motivated to stay with your organization for the long term. Clearly mapping milestones for career achievement and offering professional development opportunities are just some ways to keep your employees engaged and satisfied on the job.

Creating a winning staffing management game plan for your accounting and finance team requires a lot of careful thought. Even then, there’s no guarantee that every staffing decision you make will be the right one. You’ll also need to adjust your strategy over time, as your organization changes and faces new challenges. But having a plan is better than no plan at all.

As Coach Walsh told HBR in 1993, “You need to have a plan even for the worst scenario. It doesn’t mean that it will always work; it doesn’t mean that you will always be successful. But you will always be prepared and at your best.”

This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half Management Resources, the premier provider of senior-level accounting, finance and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 140 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at www.roberthalf.com/blog. 

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CFO Survey Report: Behind Every Thriving Organization is a High-Functioning CFO

Posted By Karen Regan, Friday, November 3, 2017

AAFCPAs - An Attractive Alternative to the Big 4 and National Firms

Behind Every Thriving Organization is a High-Functioning CFO

HiPatrick,

Email-1.2.gifAAFCPAs, in collaboration with The Boston Chapter of Financial Executives International (FEI-Boston), conducted a survey of over 250 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) in an effort to capture what issues are currently ‘top of mind’ for senior financial executives in the Northeast region of the United States. We asked CFOs to provide their thoughts, opinions, and experiences in an effort to glean insight into how the role may be evolving, and why.

Download the Report.

We Ask CFOs “Are your greatest challenges changing?”

The role of the CFO continues to become increasingly complex and strategic, and as the role evolves, so do the expectations of the CEO. Although the CFO/CEO relationship is generally strong, 60% of respondents reported moderate to high levels of difficulty in meeting the expectations of executive leadership.

Key Findings

  • Success in the position is still closely tied to the relationship with the CEO/executive leadership.
  • There are growing expectations from diverse organizational constituencies.
  • CFOs are having more of an impact across departmental lines.
  • CFOs currently struggle the most with human resource issues, combined with challenges in accessing meaningful data, on-demand.

“Sophisticated CFOs will continue to be propelled forward by the rapid pace of change in business, and must seize opportunities presented by factors such as: big data, advanced & emerging technology, and globalization.”

Who Were the CFO Respondents?

Survey respondents included: Chief Financial Officers, Chief Accounting Officers, Controllers, Treasurers, Vice Presidents of Finance, Vice Presidents of Planning and Analysis, Vice Presidents of Tax, Vice Presidents of Pension Fund Investments, Vice Presidents of Risk Management, Directors of Finance, Taxes, Treasury, Accounting, and Audit Committee members.

Of the respondents, nearly 70% have more than a decade of experience at the Director level or above. 75% represent middle market companies in New England, from public and private sector commercial business, nonprofit, government, healthcare, and education.

AAFCPAs is delighted to share the findings of this survey with you, and would like to extend our gratitude and thank all who participated and contributed to this study.


About AAFCPAs

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. We provide best-value assurance, tax, accounting, and business & IT advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, and wealthy individuals/estates. Since 1973, AAF’s sincere approach to business and service excellence has attracted discerning clients along with the best and brightest CPA and consulting professionals. AAF donates 10% of its net profits annually to nonprofit organizations.

AAFCPAs is an independent member of PrimeGlobal, Inc., the fourth largest CPA firm association in the world. These resources provide our clients with seamless national and global reach. Our pay-as-you-use model is considered advantageous by our diverse clients who appreciate exceptional value.

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AAFCPAs - An Attractive Alternative to the Big 4 and National Firms

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New 2018 administrative data is here!

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Get the latest salary insights from OfficeTeam.

Trouble viewing this email? View as a web page.

OfficeTeam

Salary Guide

How competitive is your compensation package?

In today’s market, many companies compete to hire the same highly skilled administrative professionals.

That’s why we publish our annual Salary Guide: to help employers like you get the edge on hiring those sought-after employees.

With our new 2018 Salary Guide, you get more information than ever before, including:

 

Average starting salaries for more than 60 roles based on actual job placements by our recruiters

Salaries customizable by city so you can find the right salary for your market

New data on benefits, incentives and perks that help you put together a competitive compensation package

Like us on Facebook

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© 2017 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/Disability/Veterans. For more information, visit www.roberthalf.com/officeteam or call 1.844.700.8028.

All referenced trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

OfficeTeam | Attn: Marketing | 2884 Sand Hill Road | Suite 200 | Menlo Park | CA 94025 USA

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AAFCPAs Relocates its Headquarters To Support Company Growth

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Contact: Kristina Markos

Longview Strategies

978.225.9251

kmarkos@longviewstrategies.com



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

AAFCPAs Relocates its Headquarters To Support Company Growth

Firm moves to larger, newly-renovated office in Westborough

 

Westborough, Mass. (September 5, 2017) - AAFCPAs, a best-in-class CPA and consulting firm known for assurance, tax, accounting, wealth management, valuation, and business and IT advisory solutions, announced today it moved its headquarters to a larger office space located at 50 Washington Street in Westborough, MA. The new space is approximately 18,964 square feet, 5,000 square feet larger than its current headquarters.

 

The new space accommodates the Firm’s recent growth and offers a collaborative, technology-rich, and inspiring workspace. Employees will enjoy a larger headquarter, with modern touchdown spaces, amenities and décor that reflects the Firm’s brand.


“Our new space serves our employees, who ultimately serve our clients,” said co-managing partner David McManus. “This is an exciting moment for all in the Firm’s 45-year history.”

 

Additionally, renovations of the new space include the addition of a recording studio. The studio is designed to enhance and evolve the content developed to share the Firm’s insights and expertise, which is highly regarded by its clients.

 

“We are excited to provide our employees with an innovative and flexible work space helping them to engage with teams and enhance innovative ideas today as well as when we expand in the future,” added McManus. “We are thrilled about the practicalities of the new space and the progressive feel of the environment we’ve created.”

 

“Our new headquarters was designed to foster a collaborative and cohesive environment,” said Carla McCall, co-managing partner at AAFCPAs. “This move allows us to expand our unique programs like the ‘Women’s Opportunity Network’ and ‘Volunteer Committee,’ and create innovative workshops, groups, and training seminars for incoming talent.”

 

Architecture firm, Walsh/Cochis Associates Inc. spearheaded the office space’s remodel, and AAFCPAs’ client, Walker Development executed the construction. The space contains 26 offices and 8 conference rooms, including the addition of a training room. The Alexander Training Room is named in honor of founder Herb Alexander and celebrates the Firm’s core value of continuous learning.

 

About AAFCPAs:

 

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. The firm provides best-value assurance, tax, accounting, and business & IT advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, and wealthy individuals/estates. Since 1973, AAF’s sincere approach to business and service excellence has attracted discerning clients along with the best and brightest CPA and consulting professionals. AAF donates 10% of its net profits annually to nonprofit organizations.

 

AAFCPAs is an independent member of PrimeGlobal, Inc. This provides seamless national and global reach for our clients, as well as access to the resources of the fourth largest CPA firm association in the world. Our pay-as-you-use model is considered advantageous by our diverse clients who appreciate exceptional value.


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7 Strategies All Managers Can Use to Improve Communication Skills

Posted By Administration, Monday, August 21, 2017

Good managers are also good communicators. After all, it’s impossible to turn strategy into action unless you can connect with your staff — encouraging them, inspiring them and listening to their concerns.

Unfortunately, not all managers are good managers. And the inability to be an effective leader can often stem from poor communication skills.

In a recent Robert Half Management Resources survey, workers were asked what skill they think their manager needs to improve most. The top response, cited by 30 percent of workers, was "communication and diplomacy." An even higher percentage of millennial professionals (36 percent) said their bosses need to improve communication and be more diplomatic.

Here are some strategies that new managers and seasoned leaders can both use to help improve their communication abilities:

1. Get honest feedback

This first step can be tough, but you need to find out what others really think about your communication skills. Ask your staff, colleagues and supervisors to share a frank assessment of your writing, speaking and presentation abilities. Explain that you want to refine these crucial skills and would welcome all constructive criticism.

If you sense your employees might be hesitant to provide feedback because they fear negative repercussions, consider conducting an anonymous survey.

2. Know your audience

One size does not fit all when it comes to effective communication. Good leaders understand the diverse needs of their staff and tailor their messages accordingly.

For example, your Gen Z workers may want frequent but informal in-person feedback, while your boomer employees may prefer to receive emails and attend monthly touch-base meetings.

3. Put in extra effort at crisis time

Good communication is especially critical during major endeavors like a merger. But it can be tempting, with everything else you have to do, to eschew “nonessentials” like one-on-one meetings and staff updates.

A time of change is the precise time to keep people more in the loop, however. Failure to do so can lead to frustration, confusion and low morale. So, make staff communication a non-negotiable aspect of project and change management.

4. Listen more (and more closely)

Listening is a critical nontechnical skill for all accounting and finance professionals to master, but especially managers. Your staff members need to know that you’ll take their concerns seriously when something is on their mind or if they have questions. But if you’re the one who is doing all the talking, all the time, you can’t tune in.

Active listening means giving the other person your full attention, noting their nonverbal cues and focusing on their words rather than silently formulating a response while they are speaking to you.

5. Be available

In this era of open office-spaces and remote working, a literal "open door" policy may not be relevant. However, the concept of keeping the door open to communication is still very much applicable in the modern workplace.

Be an accessible boss, both physically and digitally. Give employees plenty of options for communicating with you, such as in person, email or phone. Most of all, make sure your team members feel welcome and not like they’re interrupting you.

6. Paint the big picture

Whenever possible, help people understand the connection between their duties and the broader strategic goals of the organization. Engagement and productivity rise when employees know their work matters.

Some questions you might want to address include: How do your employees fit in the organization? What are the key objectives that all team members need to work toward? And how do their contributions specifically help the business to realize those goals?

7. Embrace straight talk

Research by our company shows that workers value integrity above all other traits in business leaders. So, be sure that quality shines through in all interactions with your staff.

It can be tempting to sugarcoat difficult messages or gloss over facts when you want to help your employees feel secure and motivated. However, such tactics, as well-meaning as they might be, are likely to backfire in time. And if your employees don’t trust you, communication will break down completely and morale will plummet. Straight talk is hard, but sincerity is a much better communication strategy than being vague or over-promising.

Effective communication is an overused phrase, but there’s a reason for that: It’s an absolute requirement for today’s finance leaders — and a skill set that many need to improve. 

This article is provided courtesy of Robert Half Management Resources, the premier provider of senior-level accounting, finance and business systems professionals to supplement companies' project and interim staffing needs. The company has more than 145 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at blog.roberthalfmr.com

 

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AAFCPAs Wealth Management Adds Depth to Wealth Advisory Expertise by Welcoming Andrew Hammond, CFP®

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 2, 2017

AAFCPAs Wealth Management, an affiliate company of AAFCPAs, continues to grow and is pleased to announce the addition of Andrew Hammond, CFP® as a Wealth Advisor and Director of Wealth Management.  Andrew joins our growing team of advisors after 17 years in financial services at Fidelity Investments.

Andrew sought-out AAFCPAs Wealth Management in response to the evolving retirement landscape.  “With the implementation of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, investors will now need to determine if the investment professional they work with is acting in their best interest and is a fiduciary,” said Hammond. Andrew joined AAFCPAs Wealth Management in recognition of the firm’s fiduciary-based wealth management promise.

Andrew provides holistic wealth management solutions for wealthy families, foundations & nonprofit endowments, and for-profit companies.  He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), a licensed investment advisor, and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC).  He also holds Life, Accident, & Health Insurance Licenses in MA. Click here to read Andrew Hammond’s full profile. >>

Click here to read the full article.

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The Massive Retiree Wave Demands Manufacturers Embrace Planning

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Industry Week | AAFCPAs' partner Jack Finning offers guidance for company owners preparing for a sale or transfer of leadership. "They must be able to clearly and effectively communicate with the next generation about how to best steer the organization through these choppy waters."

 

The massive wave of boomer retirees is pressuring leaders from the manufacturing industry to both properly address their pending succession plans and devise a system to retain and attract new leaders from younger generations. In an environment charged with uncertainty, boomers are tasked with presenting a compelling case for the new guard to stay in — and lead – the industry.

 

Read more here.

 

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AAFCPAs Podcasts

Posted By Administration, Thursday, July 6, 2017

 

AAFCPAs is excited to announce the release of our 8-part educational podcast series offering actionable takeaways for organizations to improve efficiency, effectiveness and performance controls. This collection of podcasts is the 2nd series of recordings from AAFCPAs’ Annual Nonprofit Educational Seminar. These podcasts, and accompanying introductory videos, feature full audio of thought-provoking sessions recorded on May 3rd, 2017 in front of a live audience of 300+ nonprofit executives and board members.  Several sessions may be equally valuable to AAFCPAs’ commercial company clients.

 

Podcasts are available for download to your computer or smart phone for flexible and convenient listening on-demand, and on the go.  Not sure which one to listen to first?  Watch a 1-minute introductory video clip of each topic and enjoy! https://www.aafcpa.com/podcasts/

 

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AAFCPAs brings on new Chief Financial Officer, Greg Bielski

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, June 21, 2017

 

Contact: Kristina Markos

Longview Strategies

978.225.9251

kmarkos@longviewstrategies.com



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

AAFCPAs brings on new Chief Financial Officer, Greg Bielski

 

Westborough, Mass. (June 20, 2017) - AAFCPAs, a best-in-class accounting firm known for assurance, tax and advisory solutions, recently announced Greg Bielski joined the firm as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

 

With over 30 years of comprehensive financial management experience, he served as a CFO and finance executive for entrepreneurial commercial businesses in previous positions.

 

“Greg has demonstrated an ability to deliver exemplary strategic financial guidance over the course of his career,” said Dave McManus, co-managing partner at AAFCPAs. “His extensive experience and leadership will keep AAFCPAs strong in our own practices as well as in our work with clients and partners. We’re thrilled to have him on board as we continue our aggressive growth.”

 

Over the past three decades, Greg has demonstrated a keen ability to strengthen financial reporting, streamline operations and drive profitability. He brings to his role at AAFCPAs a proven track record of controlling costs and expenses, optimizing tax, managing compliance and financial risks, and optimizing IT performance for growth opportunities.

 

Greg is responsible for executing the firm’s financial strategy, and his diverse talents will contribute to and guide the firm’s continued & sustainable growth.

 

A Bentley University alumnus, Greg serves his community by volunteering as Chair of the Membership Involvement Committee for Financial Executives International (FEI) - Boston Chapter and is Treasurer for the Broomstones Curling Club in Wayland, MA.

 

To learn more about Greg Bielski, CFO, click here.

 

About AAFCPAs:

 

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. The firm provides best-value assurance, tax, accounting, and business & IT advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, and wealthy individuals/estates. Since 1973, AAF’s sincere approach to business and service excellence has attracted discerning clients along with the best and brightest CPA and consulting professionals. AAF donates 10% of its net profits annually to nonprofit organizations.

 

AAFCPAs is an independent member of PrimeGlobal, Inc. This provides seamless national and global reach for our clients, as well as access to the resources of the fourth largest CPA firm association in the world. Our pay-as-you-use model is considered advantageous by our diverse clients who appreciate exceptional value.


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AAFCPAs Participated in 7th Annual MSCPA Day of Service

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 19, 2017

 

Contact: Kristina Markos

Longview Strategies

978.225.9251

kmarkos@longviewstrategies.com

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

AAFCPAs Participated in 7th Annual MSCPA Day of Service

Employees volunteered at Operation Playhouse and Nevins Farm

 

Westborough, Mass. (June 16, 2017)- AAFCPAs, a best-in-class public accounting firm known for assurance, tax and advisory solutions, announced today their participation in the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants’ (MSCPA’s) 7th Annual Day of Service on June 15th. Two teams of AAFCPAs’ staff volunteered with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA-Angell) at the organization’s Nevins Farm location, and with Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/Greater Worcester Chapter (HFH MWGW) as an Operation Playhouse sponsor.

 

For Operation Playhouse, AAFCPAs employees honored a local veteran’s family at the company’s Westborough office. Under the supervision of HFW MWGW, the team designed, built and decorated a military-themed playhouse for Kaelyn (9) and Aubrey (6), whose dad proudly serves in the Marines. Also, the Westborough-based accounting firm donated $2,500, covering the costs of material and staff support, and to further Habitat’s mission of building homes, communities and hope.

 

“Volunteer experiences allow us to view the world around us through a different lens,” said Kerrie Gondola, founder and leader of AAFCPAs’ Volunteer Committee.  “Yesterday, we got to view the day through Kaelyn and Aubrey’s eyes, as we unveiled their custom made, military-themed playhouse. Further, we are proud to honor their father, Jon, for his service.”

 

At Nevins Farm, AAFCPAs volunteers mucked stalls and barn cages, and helped Nevins’ staff relocate items into the Farm’s newly renovated loft space.

 

“Working manual labor on a farm today with 15 colleagues from AAFCPAs was an incredibly rewarding and memorable experience,” said Matthew Boyle, partner at AAFCPAs. “In addition to the welcome change of pace and scenery, we enjoyed the MSPCA staff and volunteers who inspired us with their enthusiastic love of all animals, nature, and life.”

 

“We provide all of our employees with one paid day of service per year so they may feel empowered to make community service a priority in their life,” said David McManus, co-managing partner at AAFCPAs. “The AAFCPAs’ motto, great minds, great hearts, reflects our 40+ year legacy of genuine care for our community enriching others with our work in a way that ensures our lives are making a positive difference in the world.”

To learn more about AAFCPAs 10% Back to Nonprofits program click here.

David Hamilton from HFH MWGW encourages those who wish to be considered a beneficiary of a future custom made playhouse, to contact him here: david.hamilton@habitatmwgw.org or 508-799-9259 ext. 119

 

About AAFCPAs:

 

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. The firm provides best-value assurance, tax, accounting, and business & IT advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, and wealthy individuals/estates. Since 1973, AAF’s sincere approach to business and service excellence has attracted discerning clients along with the best and brightest CPA and consulting professionals. AAF donates 10% of its net profits annually to nonprofit organizations.

 

 

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