Thursday, August 14, 2014

Third-Quarter Hiring Forecast: Plenty of Unfilled Staff Positions for Accountants

According to the Brilliant Q3 2014 Hiring Forecast, businesses in accounting, finance and information technology (IT) have a significant increase in unfilled staff positions. The document states that companies are poised to hire, but are "adopting a more conservative approach toward recovery planning due to recent economic instability and slow pace of gains."

Sixty-five percent of respondents reported that they have unfilled accounting, finance and IT positions, up 7 percent from the second quarter and 14 percent from Q3 2013. The forecast factored in responses from 181 human resources professionals and hiring managers int he accounting, finance and IT professions in a variety of industries.

"Companies in industry are actively hiring for accounting professionals, but they are being more selective because they believe supply outweighs demand," Brilliant founder and CEO Jim Wong said. "The large public accounting firms, however, are fully aware that this assumption is inaccurate for accounting and finance professionals."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What Are the Best and Worst Words to Use in a Résumé?

In an economic climate slanted toward employers, many hiring managers spend as little as 30 seconds reviewing résumés. So how can a prospective employee ensure his or her package gets a second look?

Word choice is a big part of it. Harris Poll surveyed 2,201 hiring managers and human resource professionals on behalf of CareerBuilder in late 2013 and compiled the best and worst words to use on your résumé.

“Hiring managers prefer strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments,” CareerBuilder Vice President of Human Resources Rosemary Haefnersaid. “Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’ — show the employer your actual results.”
Here are the 15 best and worst résumé words:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

How to Sit Less at Work

It’s no surprise that the sedentary office lifestyle is bad for your health. While the “economy class blood clot” for long flights appears to be a myth (despite what your mother told you), the simple act of getting up and walking around is good for you.

Fast Company has a useful list of 10 ways to ensure you get off your rear end and walk around. So use some of these tips. It’s for your own good.
  1. Get a step counter like a Fitbit or Jawbone Up.
  2. Set an alarm to get up and walk around.
  3. Stay hydrated — it’s healthy on its own, and you’ll have to go to the bathroom more. Win-win!
  4. Eat somewhere other than your desk — and walk there!
  5. Take a walking meeting instead of sitting at a table.
  6. Alternately, schedule a standing meeting. It’s not exercise, but at least you’re not sitting down.
  7. Pace while you’re on the phone, unless you need to sit to take notes. (Some of us do this naturally anyway.)
  8. Get a standing desk (or, better, a treadmill desk, although they’re not cheap).
  9. Visit your colleagues face-to-face instead of firing off an email. This can help lower the risk of misinterpretation, too.
  10. Use that office gym, if you’ve got one! Even just a 30-minute walk on the treadmill can burn calories without getting you too sweaty.
Do you have any other tips? Leave them in the comments!

Monday, August 4, 2014

What Type of Procrastinator Are You?

Lifehacker has a useful flowchart from Dr. Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University, who has identified some basic types of procrastinators and identified solutions for each type.

Ferrari lists three procrastination archetypes:
  • Thrill Seekers, who say they do their best work under pressure and are "probably fooling themselves"
    • Solution: Complete a task ahead of time and "experience the thrill of finishing early"
  • Avoiders, who seek to avoid blame and potential judgment on their strengths and weaknesses
    • Solution: Keep a daily journal to help you challenge your thoughts
  • Indecisives, who are paralyzed by the potential consequences of decisions, both positive and negative
    • Solution: Keep the big picture in mind and move on once you've achieved your main goal.
It's a useful piece, and you'll likely recognize some of your own traits. (Your humble blogger, for example, is a classic Avoider.) Here's the infographic:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

5 Reasons to Complete the MAP Survey Today!

The American Institute of CPAs' (AICPA) Insights blog has a great piece on the importance of the AICPA PCPS/TSCPA National MAP Survey, which closes today, July 31. Virginia is one of the states selected for the 2014 survey, so read on to learn about why you should hurry to take the survey today!

The five reasons the blog post gave were:
  1. Peer-to-peer comparisons, including key metrics broken down by firm size and geographic location
  2. The chance to redefine success by benchmarking it against local competition
  3. Benchmarking vital information for critical metrics
  4. A basis for crucial conversations, with one New Hampshire partner saying the survey "asks for just the right amount of information"
  5. An easy-to-use template for organizing internal information that you already have
Click here to start the survey now!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Study: 35 Percent of American Adults Have a Debt in Collections

According to a new study (PDF) from the Urban Institute, 35 percent of adults in the United States have a debt in collections reported in their credit history.

Nevada, which was hit hard by the mortgage crisis, topped the list with 47 percent of people who have a credit file having a debt in collections. The Silver State also had the highest average collections debt at $7,198.

Twelve other states and the District of Columbia also had more than 40 percent of adults with a credit file that reports a debt in collections. Aside from Nevada, the South was the hardest hit:
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • West Virginia
The Upper Midwest fared the best, with Minnesota and North and South Dakota reporting around 20 percent with reported debt in collections.

Among Virginia metropolitan statistical areas, Richmond had an average total debt of $62,323. Virginia Beach reported an average debt of $65,052, while the Washington metropolitan area had an average debt of $95,560.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Starting Salary for 2014 Accounting Grads: $52,900

According to the latest salary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average starting salary for 2014 graduates with business majors (including accounting) has declined slightly to $52,900.

That figure is down 0.8 percent from $53,300 in 2013. Business majors as a group will see an average starting salary of $53,901, an 0.6 percent decease from 2013.

The data was published in the April 2014 NACE Salary Survey.

Across all disciplines, the average starting salary for a new graduate with a bachelor's degree is up 1.2 percent to $45.473.