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PROMOTIONS/NEW POSITIONS

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 18, 2016

AAFCPAs, Westborough/Boston/Wellesley, MA announced that:

  • Vassilis Kontoglis and Jenifer LeVine have joined the firm as Business & IT Advisory Services Managers;
  • Rosa DeSousa joined the firm as Resource Manager;
  • Claire Washer joined the firm as Talent Management Coordinator;
  • Julie Arnold has been promoted to Senior Accountant;
  • Marguerite Clifford and Christopher Fennell have been promoted to Semi-Senior Accountant;
  • Amy Quinn has been promoted to Talent Acquisition Specialist.

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The Nonmonetary Perks Workers Want

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 21, 2016

You realize workers and job seekers appreciate perks, but do you know which ones they value most? A recent Robert Half survey reveals that managers are not quite in sync with their employees. Among the chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed, 39 percent believe their employees’ top choice would be health and wellness benefits, such as free gym memberships. Office workers, however, prioritize additional vacation days.

 

However, the two groups are in agreement about one thing: nonmonetary perks are up for negotiation more than they were a year ago, largely thanks to a decline in the national unemployment rate. To recruit, hire and retain the best accounting and finance talent, an employer has to provide the benefits professionals desire the most.

So, which perks are the most in-demand? That depends on your staff. Read on for more about highly regarded benefits and how to discover which ones your workers value most.

 

Most valued perks 

Remote work arrangements followed vacation days as employees’ most desired perks, with nontraditional work hours not far behind. The take-home message is clear: Employees don’t have enough time, and workplace benefits that can help them achieve a better work-life balance can make a big difference in their job satisfaction.

 

This is not to say workers don’t appreciate amenities like subsidized gym memberships, free parking and on-site cafeterias. They do. It’s just that if given a choice, your employees probably prefer the gift of more time over more material things.

By introducing more work-life balance perks to your organization, you’re telling workers you realize — and respect — that they have a life outside the office. And the benefit is not all one-sided: Employees who can exercise more control over their schedule tend to have greater loyalty to an employer than those who have to stick to set hours.  

 

As for extra vacation days, some managers may feel that the company simply can’t afford the disruption and loss of productivity that comes with this nonmonetary perk. However, more PTO (paid time off) can actually lead to a boost in productivity. By taking longer and more frequent vacations, your workers will be refreshed, more creative and ready to tackle tough projects.

 

Explaining the disconnect 

Why did surveyed CFOs think workers cared about wellness benefits the most when it ranked fourth among employees? Perhaps healthcare is top of mind among executives, what with the Affordable Care Act and its ramifications on health insurance and premiums. It could also be that many employers simply fail to initiate a conversation with their staff regarding the benefits they truly want. Likewise, workers are often reluctant to speak up about their workplace wish lists.

 

Which perks do my employees want? 

There’s no need to be a mind reader. Here are some easy and efficient ways to discover which nonmonetary perks your staff value and which ones they could do without.

 

  • Via an anonymous internal survey, ask employees to rank specific perks. Be sure to give them space to add their own suggestions and comments. SurveyMonkey and Google Forms are two online questionnaire tools that are free and easy to use.

 

  • During performance reviews, talk to each worker about which current perks they like and, if they could ask for any nonwage benefit, what that would be. Use this approach especially with top performers you cannot afford to lose.

 

  • Don’t forget prospective employees. In job postings and other recruitment efforts, publicize your company’s nonmonetary perks. Bring them up again during interviews, this time adding specifics. When weighing competing job offers, top candidates may lean toward compensation packages that include flextime, telecommuting options and generous vacation days.

Make this an ongoing discussion. Your employees’ wants and needs change over time, as do your company’s resources.

 

Nonmonetary perks are an important but sometimes overlooked part of a company’s recruitment and retention efforts. In an improving hiring market, it’s more important than ever to be proactive with the in-demand benefits that entice and satisfy top accounting professionals.

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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Corporate Culture Matters: Assessing if a Candidate Has the Right Personality for Your Team

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 23, 2016

With the limited number of skilled accountants on the job market, many managers know all too well the difficulty of finding candidates with the right mix of skills and experience needed for filling open positions. One criteria you’ll want to be certain to examine when making a hiring decision is a candidate’s fit with your corporate culture.

New employees who lack a few technical skills can be trained. It’s much harder, however, to teach them how to fit in with their new colleagues and office environment. Bad hires not only cost your organization time and money, they can also bring down employee morale and productivity. 

As you evaluate candidates, one of the many things you should look for is whether they’ll fit in with your corporate culture and thrive as full-time employees. Here are four tips for finding the right personality type for your team.

1. Ask the right questions. There are the standard questions: “Why do you want to work here?” and “Tell me about yourself.” Those aren’t bad, but you need more information. Asking more targeted questions will give you a glimpse into a candidate’s work behavior such as how they relate to coworkers and react under pressure, and whether they have the determination and professional demeanor to thrive in your company culture. 

As an example, you could ask, “Why did you leave your last employer?” If they start badmouthing their boss or colleagues, it may be a sign that they’re not good at collaborating or resolving petty workplace conflicts and might not be a good fit with your corporate culture. Here are a few other interview questions that dig deeper:

 

  • What did you like best/least about your previous position?
  • Tell me about a time when you disagreed with a colleague’s approach to a problem. How did you handle the situation?
  • If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Why?
  • Describe an instance in which you had to think on your feet. Were you satisfied with the result?
  • What aspects of our company’s corporate culture do you find attractive? 
  • What qualities do you prize in coworkers, and why? 

    2. Check references. This is an important step some managers skip in their eagerness to land skilled finance professionals quickly, especially when they look great on paper and impress you with their interview answers. But disregard reference checks at your own risk. Unlike a resume or interview, references give you independent and objective insights into a candidate’s honesty, work ethic and interpersonal skills. Before you make the job offer, do your company and staff the favor of making a few phone calls to verify that what you see is what you’ll actually get.

    3. Mix and mingle with candidates. To better gauge a potential new hire’s personality and fit with your corporate culture, consider meeting outside the office with a few of your team members. Informal settings such as industry mixers and casual gatherings are ideal opportunities to evaluate candidates when they’re not “performing” in the spotlight. It’ll also give your team the opportunity to chime in on your decision. After the gathering, ask one or two team members whether they think the candidate will work well in your corporate culture. 

    4. Conduct a “working interview.” Sometimes the decision will warrant a longer evaluation. In fact, 34 percent of chief financial officers who responded to a recent Robert Half survey said they gained the greatest insight into a candidate’s corporate culture fit by having them work on a temporary basis initially. A temp-to-hire strategy allows you to observe a candidate’s workplace fit in real time and is less risky than bringing on a full-time finance worker after only a few interactions in a somewhat artificial environment. 

    To get the most out of this approach, give these provisional employees challenging assignments so you can see whether they can keep up with the team. Be sure to treat them as you would any full-time worker so they’re comfortable enough to show their true selves. 

    Unlike college degrees or finance certifications, which are easy to check off, determining whether a new hire will fit in with your corporate culture is more challenging to assess. That’s why even though it takes more effort, a thorough and extended evaluation is a wise investment of your time.

    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 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at blog.roberthalfmr.com.  

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Tags:  hire  interviews  questions  temp 

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Stock Compensation, Accounting for Share-Based Payments

Posted By AAFCPAs, Thursday, March 10, 2016

POSTED ON MARCH 10, 2016 BY AAFCPAS

 

Many entities compensate their employees, not by “cash salary,” but rather by using equity awards, commonly in the form of what is referred to as “stock compensation.” The amendments in Accounting Standards Update 2014-12 – Compensation – Stock Compensation (Topic 718), apply to all reporting entities that grant their employees share-based payments in which the terms of the award provide that a performance target that affects vesting could be achieved after the requisite service period.

Entities commonly issue share-based payment awards to employees requiring a specific performance target be achieved in order for the employee to become eligible to vest in the awards. Examples of typical performance targets include: an entity attaining a specified profitability metric, or the entity selling shares in an initial public offering (IPO). Generally, awards with performance targets also require the employee to render services until the performance target is achieved. In some cases, however, the terms of an award may provide that the performance target could be achieved AFTER the employee completes the requisite service period. The requisite service period is the period during which an employee is required to provide service in exchange for an award. Current U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (U.S. GAAP) does not contain explicit guidance on how to account for those types of share-based payments.

The amendments in ASU 2014-12 require that a performance target that affects vesting, and that could be achieved after the requisite service period, be treated as a performance condition. Compensation cost should be recognized in the period in which it becomes probable that the performance target will be achieved, and should represent the compensation cost attributable to the period (or periods) for which the requisite service already has been rendered. If the performance target becomes probable of being achieved before the end of the requisite service period, the remaining unrecognized compensation cost for which requisite service has not yet been rendered should be recognized prospectively over the remaining requisite service period.

The total amount of compensation cost recognized during and after the requisite service period should reflect the number of awards that are expected to vest, and should be adjusted to reflect those awards that ultimately vest. The requisite service period ends when the employee can cease rendering service and still be eligible to vest in the award if the performance target is achieved. The stated vesting period [which includes the period in which the performance target could be achieved] may differ from the requisite service period.

ASU 2014-12 does not change existing U.S. GAAP that requires the performance condition to be substantive in order to be relevant to the accounting treatment. Also, a substantive performance condition that is uncertain, such as an IPO, may result in no compensation cost being recognized during the requisite service period.

AAFCPAs recommends that companies evaluate adding liquidity events as performance conditions to share-based payment arrangements as a result of this clarification.

What are the Effective Dates?

The amendments in ASU 2014-12 are effective for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2015. Earlier adoption is permitted.

Entities may apply the amendments in ASU 2014-12 either:

Prospectively to all awards granted or modified after the effective date; or
Retrospectively to all awards with performance targets that are outstanding as of the beginning of the earliest annual period presented in the financial statements, and to all new or modified awards thereafter.
If you have any questions about accounting for shared-based payments, please contact your AAFCPA partner, or Jeffrey Mead, CPA, CGMA, Partner at 774.512.4143, jmead@aafcpa.com.

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How to Ask for a Raise with Confidence

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Ask for a Raise with Confidence


Would you rather endure a root canal than approach your boss about a raise? According to a study from global staffing firm Robert Half, the idea of asking for a pay bump causes workers so much anxiety that some would prefer to do almost anything else — even if they believe they deserve more money. Their angst may well be because they don’t know how to ask for a raise.

Employer confidence versus self-confidence
Eighty-nine percent of U.S. workers surveyed for the study believe they deserve a raise, yet only 54 percent are planning to ask for one. Just look at the list of unpleasant things they’d rather do instead:

Clean the house (32 percent)
Look for a new job (13 percent)
Get a root canal (7 percent)
Get audited by the IRS (6 percent)

In fact, respondents were more certain of themselves when handling other nerve-wracking tasks, such as speaking in public (66 percent) or negotiating salary for a new job (61 percent). 

Why the cold feet? It’s not because they feel uncertain about the economy: Eight out of 10 respondents feel secure about the stability of their company, and 65 percent feel more confident in their job prospects compared to a year ago. They also know their worth in the market, as 79 percent have consulted a third-party salary resource at least once in the past year.

It could be that they simply don’t know how to ask for a raise, as this is not something that professionals do regularly. Also, people naturally shy away from the possibility of being turned down, which could easily happen if they request more money. In the case of a rejection, 30 percent said they would ask again during their next performance review, while 24 percent would request more perks. Two in 10 (19 percent) would feel so dejected that they’d look for a new job. 

How to ask for a raise
The truth is, now is the time to ask for a raise or promotion. In today’s competitive hiring environment, where accounting and finance salaries are growing each year, CFOs are very concerned about keeping top talent from leaving. Among CFOs surveyed, the top two methods of retaining workers as the economy improves are handing out promotions (63 percent) and raising salaries (52 percent).

Ready to take the leap? Here are a few tips on how to ask for a raise:

Give quantified reasons. Your boss will want to know why you deserve a raise, and your rationale will have more of an impact if it includes facts and numbers. How many hours did you save your team during the enterprise resource planning implementation? By what percentage did you reduce processing time in the last quarter? Before you sit down with your manager, compile a list of figures.

Know what you’re worth. This is arguably the most important tip on how to ask for a raise. The most recent Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance and Salary Calculator are invaluable tools when it comes to benchmarking the salary for your position and city. If your request is outside of a reasonable range, your chances of being turned down are greater. Ask for too little, and you’ll leave money on the table.

Schedule the discussion for an appropriate time. Keep in mind the firm’s calendar and your manager’s schedule. Year-end closing and the end of tax season are busy times — not ideal for talks about promotions and pay increases. But don’t wait until right before the holidays or your supervisor’s two-week summer vacation. Ideal moments are after a quick, clean close or when the company exceeds a quarterly or annual goal.

Be persistent (within reason). If your employer says no or not now, try negotiating for non-wage perks, such as extra vacation days or working from home once or twice a week. Also, don’t forget to ask what you would need to do to earn a raise in the future. Your boss will appreciate your professional drive, and you’ll know what skills to work on.

You may think you don’t know how to ask for a raise, but you do. As with anything, you’ll increase your chances of success when you do your research, practice your pitch and project a picture of confidence. 

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 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at blog.roberthalfmr.com.  

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Job Interviews Coming Up?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, January 28, 2016

Job Interviews Coming Up?

5 Interview Questions You Should Ask Potential Employers

 

 

A job interview is a two-way street. Not only do you, as the interviewee, have to be prepared to answer interview questions, you should also plan on asking your own questions during job interviews. 

If you do, you’ll have plenty of company. Eighty-four percent of professionals responding to a recent Accountemps survey said they ask hiring managers questions during job interviews. Here are five productive interview questions to serve up the next time you find yourself in the role of interviewee:

1. What’s a typical day like for someone in this position? The answer to this question will be helpful in at least two ways: You’ll get crucial information about what your day-to-day duties would be if hired, and you’ll gain insight on how well your prospective manager understands exactly what the job entails

2. Who was in the role before me, and why did they leave?
The interviewee should not expect the full scoop on the previous employee’s history, of course, but learning more about why the position is open will provide a better idea of whether you’ll have the tools and support you’ll need to succeed if you eventually accept the job.

3. What qualities do you think would make someone successful in this position?
The answer to this question will not only help you get a handle on whether the job would be a good fit for you but also give you a chance to emphasize your skills and traits that match up well with what the company needs.

4. What do you see as the greatest opportunities for the company in the next several years?
This question shows that you’re interested in more than just the short term, and the response will shed light on the company’s leadership style and plans for the future.

5. What do you like most about working here? In general, it’s not appropriate for you, the interviewee, to put the hiring manager in the hot seat. But this question brings a human element to job interviews while still keeping the focus on the workplace and how individual employees can gain career satisfaction from contributing to the firm’s mission.

Being ready for questions directed your way during job interviews means being able to respond with informative answers, but it also means being able to recognize when the time is right to pose your own questions. Hiring managers understand this, and they’ll be attuned to how well you seize opportunities to ask what you need to know. The interview questions you ask may well turn out to be as important as the ones you answer. 

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 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at blog.roberthalfmr.com.

 

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Tags:  interviews  jobs 

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AAFCPAs Promotes Five to Partner to Support Firm Growth

Posted By AAFCPAs, Monday, January 18, 2016

Westborough, MA 1/13/2016 – AAFCPAs is excited to announce the promotion of five additional Partners to our team.  Julie Chevalier, Dan Stanhope, Matt Troiano, Charlie Webb, and Matthew Boyle provide best value assurance, tax & advisory solutions, with outstanding client service to AAFCPAs’ growing client list of nonprofit organizations, privately-held commercial companies, and high-net-worth individuals & their families.


Matthew Boyle, MBA, Partner

mboyle

Matthew Boyle brings strategic business insight to the AAFCPAs Partner team.  He is recognized as an authority in the field of accounting marketing, and his expertise and cutting-edge thinking has been recognized nationally by industry leaders and business executives alike.  Matthew has over 13 years of experience in leading high-energy teams, and transforming organizations to grow by institutionalizing disciplines that lead to excellent client service.  He is a valuable member of AAFCPAs’ strategic management team, and continues in his capacity as Partne 

r and Chief Marketing Officer enthusiastically championing the firm’s mission: to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for all AAF constituents. 
 
AAFCPAs is home to some of the most highly skilled CPAs and business advisors in the nation. Our Partners, Directors, and Managers are exceptional in many ways. We are fully engrossed in diverse industries and work closely together to best serve our client base with the distinction of excellence.  Click here to learn more about our team of advisors.

FEI Boston congratulates AAFCPAs’ five new Partners: Julie, Dan, Matt, Charlie and Matthew!

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Annual Accounting and Auditing Update

Posted By Ernst & Young, LLP, Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Annual Accounting and Auditing Update presentation hosted by EY on 12/11/15 is available in the download below. 

Download File (PDF)

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4 Ways to Help Accounting and Finance Employees Stay Up-To-Date with Technology

Posted By Robert Half Management Resources , Friday, November 20, 2015

4 Ways to Help Accounting and Finance Employees Stay Up-To-Date with Technology

Technology keeps evolving, which means keeping the team up to date with changes can be difficult for some finance managers. In a Robert Half Management Resources survey of CFOs, keeping pace with changing technology was the top response when executives were asked about the biggest challenge facing their teams.

 

Tech tools such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and big data systems are a critical part of modern accounting and finance departments, making it vital for your team to be comfortable working with these systems. Here are some ways to help your employees grow their tech skills.

1. Start with an assessment

Find out what technical skills and knowledge your team members already have and compare them to your needs. You may find that they have expertise not currently being used but that could come in handy when the need arises.

 

2. Support education

Many accounting and finance employees are happy to pursue continuing education if they receive encouragement and support from their employer. Give them time to get extra technical training and reimburse them for costs upon successful completion of the program.

 

Here are some technology training options your team may find helpful:

  • Certification programs, such as those from SAP or Oracle
  • Courses at a local community college or university
  • Vendor-provided training programs
  • Conferences and other off-site events
  • “Lunch-and-learn” seminars and other in-house training opportunities
  • Webinars and online courses

 

3. Mentoring

Establishing mentoring relationships between select staff members and tech-savvy employees is often beneficial. These mentors can be experienced accounting and finance specialists or members of the IT department. A good working relationship with your organization’s CIO can be helpful in identifying the best mentors for your team. Another productive relationship is reverse mentoring, which gives an experienced employee the chance to learn from a junior colleague who may be more savvy about communication via social media. However, beware of reinforcing stereotypes. Less-tenured employees can offer more than just technology expertise; they also bring different perspectives on the world and different approaches to problem-solving the rest of the team may not be familiar with.

 

4. Give them a chance to grow

Many accounting and finance professionals have not expanded their knowledge of technology simply because they have not had an opportunity to do so. With their daily workload, there isn’t much time left over to stay current with new technology. It’s up to you to make this a priority. Talk to your team and discover who would like to help with a tech initiative, such as migrating to a cloud service or implementing or upgrading an ERP system.

 

Your support is the critical ingredient to helping employees stay current with new and evolving technology. Those who have the desire and aptitude, in particular, can benefit from your help and direction.

 

You might find this Robert Half infographic timeline of tech milestones helpful when encouraging personnel to consider a broader technological orientation.  

 

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 150 locations worldwide and offers online job search services at www.roberthalfmr.com. Follow our blog at blog.roberthalfmr.com

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reSourcing: actual savings, simplified.

Posted By reSourcing, Monday, October 19, 2015

Achieving real cost reduction is seldom easy.  reSourcing simplifies the process by identifying and capturing meaningful cost savings in your indirect spend without disruption to your organization or vendors.

reSourcing’s combination of alternative approaches and better pricing delivers sustainable savings for our clients.  Our current category expertise and benchmarks coupled with our access to the vendor community’s senior management provide a distinct advantage over internal options.  reSourcing spends the time our clients don’t have, meeting with vendors to create and deliver customized solutions to provide the same or improved goods and services.

We deliver savings opportunities, you realize the savings.  That’s Actual Savings –Simplified.

            reSourcing by the numbers

92%     of the categories we work in, we deliver significant savings

78%     of the time our clients chose to stay with the incumbent supplier

35+      # of different categories in which we have delivered significant savings

34%     average actual category savings realized by our clients

 

With just three seasoned principals, clients maintain consistency and confidence throughout the engagement.  Our no risk shared-savings contingency model removes all the barriers and places all the risk on us to deliver.  Our only compensation is a portion of what our clients would otherwise be paying their vendors today.

We are excited to engage with FEI Members, their colleagues, and FEI Partners. 

Frank.Mitchell@resourcingllc.com    617-549-4151

Chris.Taylor@resourcingllc.com        215-622-3990

Matt.Taylor@resourcingllc.com        215-534-5009

 

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