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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

 

 Attached Thumbnails:

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What’s in Store for 2016? Next Year’s Hiring and Salary Trends Revealed

Posted By Robert Half International, Friday, October 16, 2015

What’s in Store for 2016? Next Year’s Hiring and Salary Trends Revealed

 

2015 has tried the patience of finance and accounting managers looking to hire highly skilled employees, and 2016 is not likely to be much different. To succeed in recruiting and landing top talent, employers need to know what to expect so they can be competitive with incentives and compensation.

 

The latest resource for finance and accounting hiring trends is hot off the presses. Here is a peek at what’s inside the 2016 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting & Finance:

 

Business is booming. Many companies are expanding and launching new initiatives to generate revenue, resulting in a need for skilled accountants and business analysts. The current regulatory climate with its increasingly complex mandates is also driving up demand for finance professionals with experience in financial compliance and healthcare.

 

Good talent is hard to find. Open finance positions outnumber candidates with the necessary skills. As a result, top applicants often have multiple offers on the table, prompting organizations to accelerate the hiring process to increase the chances of landing their top picks.

 

Good talent is hard to keep. Experienced finance professionals are aware that the market is in their favor. They are confident about exploring other options and do not hesitate to head elsewhere for better pay and shinier job titles. Employers often make counteroffers in an attempt to retain key players, although this retention strategy is usually ineffective and often backfires.

 

Some positions will be harder to fill than others. Though demand for most finance and accounting employees will continue, the 2016 Salary Guide indicates the following professionals will be especially sought after:

·         Accounting managers

·         Business, business systems and financial analysts

·         Compliance officers

·         Information technology auditors

·         Internal auditors

·         Payroll professionals

·         Senior and staff accountants

 

Starting salaries continue to climb. From entry-level accountants to senior internal auditors, healthy salary increases are likely in 2016. Each of the more than 400 positions listed in the 2016 Salary Guide is expected to see base compensation rise by 4.0 to 5.3 percent. In response, some employers aren’t just matching the starting salaries offered by the competition; they’re exceeding them to attract the best candidates. Use our Salary Calculator to customize the going salary ranges for your city.

 

Companies are offering perkier perks. Besides boosting starting salaries, many firms and financial institutions are offering sign-on bonuses, merit-based raises and more. They are also enhancing nonwage perks, such as telecommuting options, extra vacation days, relocation assistance, flexible scheduling and tuition reimbursement.

 

Contract workers can cover staffing gaps. Organizations continue to rely on skilled contract workers to maintain productivity while searching for full-time hires. Many finance managers appreciate this flexibility, as well as the opportunity to evaluate potential candidates in real time on a contract-to-hire basis.

 

The latest hiring trends are clear: Despite wobbles in the global economy, the search for talented finance and accounting employees remains steady and competitive. Consult the 2016 Salary Guide to see what’s in store for the coming year, and position yourself to meet and exceed potential recruitment and retention challenges.

 

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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A Counteroffer Might Not Make Fiscal Sense: Here's a Better Approach to Improving Employee Retention

Posted By Robert Half International, Friday, October 2, 2015
The prospect of losing a valuable employee can be unsettling, especially during accounting-season crunch time when finding a replacement only adds to your already daunting workload. But will making a counteroffer ameliorate the situation?

Most often the answer is no.

In fact, 78 percent of chief financial officers polled in a recent Robert Half survey said they don’t utilize counteroffers as a tool for employee retention. These executives report that money often doesn’t resolve the issues underlying a worker’s reason for resigning, and a counteroffer can often backfire and create resentment or drive up salaries through the department.

It’s helpful to understand what prompts employees to leave their job in the first place.

CFOs and workers in another Robert Half survey cited the following reasons employees quit:
• Inadequate salary and benefits
• Limited opportunities for advancement
• Unhappiness with management
• Overworked
• Lack of recognition
• Bored with their job

Here are two takeaways for developing a smarter employee retention plan:

1. Addressing salary issues

If salary is a primary motive for a worker to take a new job, why not make a counteroffer?
• For one, counteroffers can create resentment among other staff members. If you decide you need to appease them, you may upset your company’s salary structure. In the first Robert Half survey mentioned above, of the 21 percent of managers who said they do make counteroffers, more than a third of that group said doing so forced their hand to also give raises to other employees in their departments.
• Perhaps most important, recognize that leaving a job often involves multiple issues, and money is only one of them. Your counteroffer may not bring greater stability to the situation and you may only be delaying an inevitable departure.

2. Ways to improve employee retention — and head off the need for a counteroffer

Here are some strategies managers can employ to preempt the issues that can cause employee job dissatisfaction and high turnover:
• The fact that counteroffers are generally not a good idea doesn’t mean that you don’t need to continually ensure your salaries remain competitive. Among professionals polled recently in a Robert Half survey, 83 percent said a bigger salary would be a top factor prompting them to move to another company. You can head off the counteroffer issue in the first place by using a resource like the Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance to benchmark your company’s compensation structure and make sure you’re paying your employees at or above market standards.
• Help employees develop a defined career path. Provide progress points for their growth within the company.
• Pay for career development and training to help workers feel more engaged and supported, including, for example, defraying the cost of a valued employee earning a professional certification.
• Every employee has unique strengths, motivations and goals; therefore, customize recognition (i.e. rewards and incentives) to the individual as much as possible.
• Listen, keep channels for communication open and ask for regular input. Act on reasonable recommendations to show your employees you are responsive to feedback
• Consider flexible scheduling, among other perks such as job-sharing, telecommuting, and working part-time, which helps employees find the healthy work-life balance they want.
• Be on the lookout for signs employees may be looking to leave, such as becoming disengaged from their assignment or asking for information about previous projects. Forestall a resignation by involving the employee in a conversation about his or her job satisfaction to get feedback that might help you address any issues that might improve the situation.

Although a counteroffer might seem like a logical step to improve employee retention, you must first consider the ripple effect and instead develop a long-term management strategy for retaining your best employees. Once you’ve done your due diligence, when valued team members announce their resignation, you can feel comfortable wishing them well on their next endeavor.

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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Complimentary XBRL Seminar

Posted By Merrill Corporation, Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Our new partner, Merrill Corporation is offering a complimentary XBRL seminar to FEI Boston members on Thursday, September 24, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. They are hosting a live, three hour training seminar on XBRL (for 3 CPE credits in Accounting Field of Study). The seminar will take place at the Royal Sonesta Boston in Cambridge. This complimentary training will provide in-depth, practical knowledge that is critical for providing high quality XBRL filings to the SEC.

Please use this link for more information and to register for the event:  CLICK HERE

 

 

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Seminar hosted by The Willis Group-Risk Management Strategies for Violent Encounters

Posted By Willis Group, Thursday, August 27, 2015
Risk Management Strategies for violent encounters
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2015

In an ever changing risk environment, a new threat has appeared for places of learning, business, entertainment/leisure, and even places of worship: the threat of a violent encounter.

Catastrophic acts of violence in the past and recently have clearly demonstrated that no organization is exempt from these horrible acts of chaos and extreme violence. Our world has unfortunately become increasingly unpredictable and dangerous.

What proactive steps has your organization taken to mitigate exposure to the life-safety risks, financial loss, and reputational damage associated with violent encounters?

Location

Westin Waltham Hotel 
The Emerson Room 
70 Third Avenue 
Waltham, MA 

 

Agenda

8:00 - 8:30 am: Registration, breakfast, and networking
8:30 - 11:00 am Program, Q&A

 

Program Details 

Identification - A historical perspective of the armed intruder/active shooter threat spanning several targeted industries and the tragic outcomes.

Intervention - Best practices for threat assessment and management of at-risk individuals or events.

Response - Techniques for organization and individual crisis survival.

You will leave the discussion with these takeaways and immediate benefits:

• Steps for effective incident planning and response

• Enhanced awareness of "at-risk" industries and frequency of event

• The risks of arming and not arming onsite security officers

• Increased knowledge of litigation costs and legal ramifications

• Discussion of workforce emergency response tactics & action plans

• How to identify troubling behaviors and/or incidents of concern

• Threat assessment and intervention best practices

• Protocols for organizational response and crisis management

• Benchmark of your level of organizational preparedness against current security risk management best practices

Speaker

Kevin Wilkes, Security Practice Leader, Security Risk Consulting for Willis

- Security Practice Leader, Security Risk Consulting for Willis
- Former Detective with Pittsburgh Bureau of Police
- Former Liaison with FBI Violent Crimes Major Offenders Task Force
- Member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals

Please join us for this very important discussion.

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Two Complimentary Webinars for Nonprofit Organizations!

Posted By Matthew Boyle, Wednesday, July 29, 2015

FEI Boston's Partner, AAFCPAs, has scheduled two, complimentary educational webinars in August for nonprofit organizations. See below for more information.

 

Nonprofit Accounting & Auditing Update: Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 12:00 - 1:00 EST - Register Here

AAF Partners, Matt Hutt, CPA, CGMA, and Robin Kelley, CPA, CITP, CGMA, CSPM will provide nonprofit finance executives with an essential overview of important changes from the new OMB "Uniform Guidance" which may impact your organization's accounting policies.

Robin and Matt will clarify and review the Uniform Guidance (previously referred to as the "Supercircular") and provide attendees with an understanding of the key changes in federal grants, from pre-award through audit requirements, such as:

  • Administrative requirements
  • Conflict of interest
  • Pre-federal award requirements
  • Post-federal award requirements
  • Cost principles
  • Direct and indirect costs
  • Significant changes to selected items of costs
  • Audit requirements
  • Change in audit threshold
  • Changes in audit requirements

Where: Wherever you are! Live Webinar.

Additional Info: 1 CPE Credit Available
As you can see, this is an ambitious agenda, and this 1-hour webinar will be packed with information, providing key knowledge and insight to help you navigate the complex accounting and financial reporting issues for nonprofit organizations.

 

Registration: Click here



AAFCPAs' Nonprofit UFR Update Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 12:00 - 1:00 EST - Register Here

The Operational Services Division (OSD) just released its FY 2015 version of the UFR Audit & Preparation Manual, Compliance Supplement and FY 2015 Excel UFR Template (July). AAF Partners, Robin Kelley, CPA, CITP, CGMA, CSPM and Matt Hutt, CPA, CGMA will provide nonprofit finance executives with a timely and essential overview of:
Changes to the UFR template and instructions, and new reporting requirements, plus
The potential impact to your recordkeeping requirements.

 

Where: Wherever you are! Live Webinar. 

Additional Info: 1 CPE Credit Available
This 1-hour webinar will be packed with information, providing key knowledge and insight to ensure our clients are, and remain in compliance with the constantly evolving Uniform Financial Report regulations. This eliminates the risk of penalties including delay of payment or rate increases, and disallowance of expenses.

 

Registration: Click here



AAFCPAs provides live and OnDemand webinars for busy executives so you may benefit from our knowledge & insights whenever and wherever you may need it. Clients and friends of AAFCPAs are welcome to sign up (complimentary) for these timely professional development webinars. Please feel free to spread the word.

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