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6 Keys to Workplace Happiness for Finance Workers

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The numbers don’t look so good when it comes to accounting and finance workers’ level of happiness, according to a new Robert Half report. IT’S TIME WE ALL WORK HAPPY.®, which focuses on eight professional fields, found that employees in finance, accounting and financial services were among those least happy on the job. They were also the ones with the lowest level of interest in their work.  

 

Does this mean accounting and finance professionals are doomed to live without job satisfaction? Far from it. But if the shoe fits for you, it may mean taking career happiness into your own hands. Here are six steps you could take if workplace happiness seems about as impossible as zero-calorie doughnuts or a perfect score on the CPA exam:

 

1. Scrutinize the reasons you’re not happy. You analyze a lot of datasets, but have you ever evaluated your own happiness level? Compile a list of what’s stopping you from being satisfied in your job. Perhaps you’d rather work less with clients and more with big data, or maybe you’d like to finally earn that certification and boost your salary. Making a tangible list can help. After all, you can’t fix something until you know what the problem is.

 

2. Take a well-deserved break. In our report, only about 65 percent of respondents working in accounting, finance and financial services reported that they have a healthy work-life balance. Yes, that’s a majority, but it’s near the bottom of the list compared to other professions. Additionally, almost half of those responding to a separate survey said they don’t use all their paid time off because they’re afraid of work piling up while they’re away.

Not enough play makes for
stressed-out accountants. So be sure to use your vacation time to recharge your batteries and come back happier. Ask colleagues to cover for you so you’re not overwhelmed when you return. You can pay back the favor later.

 

3. Connect with colleagues. When you enjoy the people you work with, heading to the office each morning can be a pleasure, even if you’re not 100 percent enamored with your job. Our research finds that people with strong workplace friendships are as much as two and a half times happier than those without. Don’t have any work buddies? Then take the initiative to create strong relationships. Ask them to join you for lunch, or get a group together after quitting time. And don’t bow out of work-related social functions because you’re too tired or too shy. If respondents to our survey are any indication, chances are good that the more you mix and mingle, your level of workplace happiness will increase.

 

4. Be honest with your boss. Your manager may never know your workplace happiness has hit the skids if you don’t say anything. Do both of you a favor by bringing up this sensitive subject. Before you do, first brainstorm some ways you could be happier in your role, keeping in mind that your aim is to create a win-win situation for the company as well as yourself. Then sit down with your boss to discuss setting career goals and present ideas for greater job satisfaction. For example, if you’re an experienced bookkeeper who feels ready for a staff accountant position, ask whether there will be any openings in the near future and, if so, to keep you in mind.

 

5. Make a career move. If you’re in an unhappy slump because you no longer love your career, it may be time to launch a job search. There are plenty of nontraditional accounting career paths, such as environmental or entertainment accounting, that may align better with your passions. Our happiness study finds that one of the top factors in workplace happiness is interesting and meaningful work. If you’re feeling especially bold, you could even relocate and make a fresh start. Do some research to find the city that best suits your needs.

 

6. Take the consulting route. Tired of the 9-to-5 and lack of autonomy? Consider your consulting. This career move allows you to work on a contractual basis, meaning you would have the opportunity to dive headfirst into an array of projects. As an added bonus, you pick your clients and get to work for different companies — and make new networking contacts — with each gig, which could add much-needed variety to your accounting career.   

 

Kick the accounting blues by taking steps today to amp up your happiness quotient. Job satisfaction is within your control and your reach.

 

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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Five healthcare policies to expect under President Trump

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 13, 2017

As Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president, AAFCPAs' Matt Hutt and other health policy experts share with Managed Healthcare Executive what’s next for healthcare.

 

Managed Healthcare Executive:  What do you think Trump's presidency could mean for the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?

 

Matt Hutt: Per President Trump’s position on healthcare reform, he promotes the repeal of the ACA, with a replacement of another program.  This is a big undertaking, so we don’t expect to see changes overnight.  We expect that they will keep the things that people generally like, such as kids being able to maintain coverage on their parents plan until they are 26, and coverage for Americans with a pre-existing condition—both did not exist before Obamacare. 

 

Managed Healthcare Executive:  What is next for U.S. Healthcare?

 

Matt Hutt:  President Trump talks about maintaining insurance for all, but the issue that remains is cost.  I expect to see the biggest changes with how federally-funded Medicaid & Medicare are reimbursed.  For example, there is discussion of changing Medicaid into a block grant, or federal lump-sum payment to states.  This would put in each state’s hands the decision of how to spend that money and disperse amongst those who need it.  This could potentially result in reductions in payments to the states, requiring that states budget for, or opt not to supplement the difference.  Block grants could impact reimbursements to providers, and lead to cuts in service/coverage to people.

 

Even if the ACA is modified, the model will still likely follow quality vs. quantity when it comes to reimbursements. The fee for patient care will be paid for as a shared responsibility for the patient’s overall healthcare.  This is a widely accepted methodology to control the costs of healthcare, and to ensure long term care recovery & better clinical outcomes.

 

Read more.

________________________________________

 

About AAFCPAs

 

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. We provide best-value assurance, tax, business consulting, and information technology advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, wealthy individuals, and 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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AAFCPAs, Westborough/Boston/Wellesley, MA Announcements

Posted By Administration, Monday, February 13, 2017

  • Rich O’Neil and Tiffany Wopschall, CPA have been promoted to Manager
  • Aileen Wilson has been promoted to Manager, Managed Accounting Solutions
  • Emily Donnelly, Brendan Lawrence, Matthew Robinson, and Patrick McIntyre have been promoted to Supervisor
  • Greg Bielski has joined the firm as Chief Financial Officer
  • Christopher P. Consoletti, Esq. has joined the firm as Trust, Estate & Nonprofit Tax Associate
  • Meghan O’Neil has joined the firm as Accountant, Managed Accounting Solutions
  • Steve Lanza has been promoted to Semi-Senior Accountant
  • Phyllis Roy has been promoted to Lead Executive Assistant, and Cheryl Melendy has joined the team as Executive Assistant and Wealth Management Client Support Specialist
  • Carolyn Pisani has been promoted to Office Manager

 

FIRM NEWS

  • As Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president, AAFCPAs' Matt Hutt and other health policy experts share with Managed Healthcare Executive what’s next for healthcare. Read more.>>
  • Amanda Pelcher, CPA Clarified FASB’s Nonprofit ASU 2016-14 for the Boston Bar Association Members, on Jan. 31st as part of the Boston Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Programs.
  • Julie Chevalier, CPA and Rich Weiner, CPA Presented at the MSCPA State Tax Conference on Multistate Tax Nexus & Apportionment, Jan. 17th
  • John Buckley, CPA, CGMA and Tom Muldoon, CPA, CGMA will Present Educational Workshops on Affordability & Accessibility, FASB ASU 2016-14, and Lease Accounting at National Business Officers Conference in D.C. Benefiting Independent Schools. They will be joined by AAFCPAs’ client Cynthia Fanikos, CPA, Chief Financial Officer, Saint John’s Preparatory School

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The Benefits of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in Succession Planning

Posted By Administration, Thursday, February 2, 2017

Succession planning can be a challenge for business owners. Finding the right buyer can be difficult and time consuming. In some cases, owners may want to transition their business to their current employees, but the employees may not have the financial means to consummate a sale. An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) may be the solution. ESOPs can be very successful when implemented in the right situation, allowing owners to create sustainable and transferable value, and a well-prepared & successful exit, while at the same time deliver the best possible benefit to employees.  Read more.

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Cybersecurity for 2017: Empower Your People

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 26, 2017

Digital viruses and hackers are nothing new, but the severity and prominence of cyber attacks is growing.  Is the impact of breaches greater?  Or are there truly more breaches now than in the past?

 

Read the full article here.

 

 

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Tax and Non-Tax Advantages of Trusts

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trusts are traditionally used for minimizing estate taxes, and can offer other benefits as part of a well thought-out estate plan.  AAFCPAs advises clients to think about the benefits of establishing a trust as a method to control your wealth, protect your legacy, and avoid probate.  We have provided the below overview, and summary of the different types of trusts and their unique benefits.

 

Read the full article here.

 

 

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AAFCPAs Wealth Management Welcomes Jonathan Bloom

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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

AAFCPAs Wealth Management, an affiliate company of AAFCPAs, is pleased to announce the addition of Jonathan Bloom, CFP® as a Wealth Advisor. Jonathan is a seasoned professional providing comprehensive financial planning solutions for individuals, families, business owners, benefit plan sponsors, nonprofits & foundations.

Jonathan is a licensed investment adviser, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and holds Life & Health Insurance licenses in MA. He joined AAFCPAs Wealth Management after 10 years in financial services because of the firm’s reputation for honest, timely, objective financial advice. He believes that honest investment advice must be selfless, comprehensive, thoughtfully prepared, and fully customized. (Click here to read Jonathan Bloom’s full profile.)

“I am excited to join a growing firm known for its tax expertise, personalization, and independence,” said Jonathan.

 

Jonathan Bloom AAFCPAs Wealth Management

 

About AAFCPAs Wealth Management

AAFCPAs Wealth Management is a boutique “fee-only” Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firm serving individuals & families, retirement plan sponsors, and nonprofits & foundations. As an affiliate of AAFCPAs, AAFCPAs Wealth Management is able to leverage shared knowledge, providing insight into long-range planning, with full consideration for tax implications. AAFCPAs Wealth Management’s solutions are designed for those who appreciate honesty, tax expertise, and personal attention.

The mission of AAFCPAs Wealth Management is to provide valuable peace of mind to those who have the awesome responsibility to manage wealth.  (Learn more.)

 

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AAFCPAs and #GivingTuesday

Posted By Administration, Monday, December 5, 2016
AAFCPAs participated in #GivingTuesday, November 29th, 2016, matching employee gifts and collectively donating $13,000 to charitable nonprofits, as well as distributing donations of art supplies, craft kits, coloring books and crayons for children in need!

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AAFCPAs Names New Partner, Nicole Zompa

Posted By Administration, Thursday, December 1, 2016

Contact: Kristina Markos

Longview Strategies

978.225.9251

kmarkos@longviewstrategies.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 

 AAFCPAs Names New Partner, Nicole Zompa

Zompa joins growing commercial practice

 

 

Westborough, Mass. - (November 28, 2016): AAFCPAs, a best-in-class accounting firm known for assurance, tax and advisory solutions, today announced Nicole Zompa, CPA, joined as commercial audit partner.

 

In this role, Nicole will advise AAFCPAs’ diverse commercial clients including early-stage venture-backed companies, family owned and private equity owned companies, and mid-sized, multinational SEC registrants, focusing on continued growth in AAFCPAs’ commercial practice.

 

“Nicole’s decades of experience in client service coupled with her strong strength in financial reporting makes her a valuable member of our team,” said Dave McManus, CPA, co-managing partner. “She is a great addition to our expanding commercial practice.”

 

Nicole brings over 18 years of technical accounting experience to the role, offering sound guidance to clients in areas involving financial reporting, mergers, acquisitions and public offerings.  The Providence, RI native, and Bryant University graduate lives in Boston and will be based at AAFCPAs’ Boston office in the Financial District.

 

“Nicole will help us serve more commercial clients with the exceptional value that is so much in demand and appreciated by CFOs in our marketplace,” said Carla McCall, co-managing partner.

 

For more information on Nicole Zompa, CPA visit: http://www.aafcpa.com/people/nicole-m-zompa-cpa/

 

About AAFCPAs:

 

AAFCPAs is an attractive alternative to the Big 4 and National CPA firms. The firm provides best-value assurance, tax, business consulting and information technology advisory solutions to nonprofit organizations, commercial companies, wealthy individuals and 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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You’re the Boss Now: Leadership Skills New Managers Need

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 23, 2016

After a great deal of hard work that’s showcased your accounting and leadership skills, you’ve been promoted to your first supervisory position. But stepping into a managerial role for the first time can be a challenge, even if you’ve led projects in the past.

 

A recent Robert Half survey asked CFOs what they felt was the most difficult part of becoming a new manager. Thirty-two percent of respondents said the hardest part is balancing their own job responsibilities with time spent on overseeing others. The second biggest challenge, cited by 19 percent of respondents, was the awkwardness of transitioning from being friends and peers to being the boss. Other CFOs surveyed said the ability to motivate their team, one of the most important leadership skills to possess, was a difficult task.

 

Whether you’re a first-time supervisor or have ambitions of becoming one, here are seven tips for succeeding as a new manager:

 

1. Set boundaries. Don’t wait to define and maintain boundaries. If you maintain the same former relationships with coworkers you’re now supervising, you might have a hard time asserting your authority when you need to. By acknowledging the changing dynamic between you and them right away, everyone is clear on your new role. Above all, if one of your best friends is a former peer, it’s vital for staff morale for you not to show favoritism.


2. Learn to delegate. You used to be just an accountant or analyst, but now you’ve added management responsibilities to your to-do list. No wonder so many respondents to the Accountemps survey said the most difficult part of first-time management was trying to do it all. Assigning tasks to others is one of those leadership skills new supervisors must become comfortable with. So the next time you feel you have too much on your plate, hand off some duties to your staff. At first, it may be frustrating to dedicate time to explain tasks can perfectly do on your own, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to take full advantage of your team. The extra time you put in now will pay off later on.

3. Ease into changes. You have a vision for your team, but pushing through your agenda too quickly does not reflect sound leadership skills. It will only overwhelm and frustrate your department. Instead, start small and slow. Take the time to learn more about your new job, the firm’s long-term plans and, most important, your staff’s ideas.

 

4. Prioritize communication and dialogue. Good managers take the time to listen to their staff and learn more about them. What are their career goals? What is their dominant learning style? What do they think are areas that need improvement? The more you know about their ambitions and opinions, the better you can lead and motivate the team. In addition to weekly or monthly group meetings, aim to hold one-on-one sessions as well.

 

5. Don’t micromanage. Do you like it when your boss breathes down your neck and checks on your progress twice a day? Then don’t do it to your employees. Empower your staff and inspire innovation by letting them determine the best ways to solve problems. Give them room to fail or succeed, and to learn from those experiences. Offer guidance and support, not step-by-step instructions. The more breathing room you give your staff, the more they’ll grow as finance professionals and develop their own leadership skills.

 

6. Take care of your needs. With new management meetings, extra human resources duties and dealing with budgets — all on top of your accounting workload — there doesn’t seem to be enough time to get everything done. That’s why, as a manager, time management — including attending to your work-life balance as never before — becomes even more important. Take regular breaks, including a real lunch with staff and non-finance colleagues. Block out time on your calendar so you can complete your tasks. And don’t forget to use your vacation days.
 

7. Find a mentor. This may seem counterintuitive, but the truth is, you could benefit from a mentor with managerial experience now more than ever. A mentor can give you advice on areas such as how to manage Generation Z workers and which of your leadership skills need improving. This individual also acts as a sounding board. If your company doesn’t have a formal mentoring program, look for a more senior manager who may be willing to serve in this role.

 

New management comes with its share of challenges, but also a set of exciting opportunities. In addition to honing your existing leadership skills, focus on empowering your employees and making time for yourself. When you need help or support, don’t hesitate to talk to your boss or mentor. Enjoy this new chapter in your finance career!

 

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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