Thursday, 9 June 2016

GPAs for CPAs: What are Optimal Grade Point Averages?

GPAs for CPAs: What are Optimal Grade Point Averages?

In today’s post, Lewis Daidone talks about whether or not grade point averages are truly important when applying for accounting positions. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant for tech companies and financial services firms.

The short answer is: 4.0 is the optimal grade point average. Sorry!

However, don’t think you can sail on the wave of an excellent GPA alone and expect to land the plum jobs. You have to supplement your excellent academic record with other value-adding achievements too.

Having a high GPA is definitely a plus—it establishes your dedication to your coursework and your in-depth understanding of diverse accounting fundamentals. Nevertheless, there is no magic number that will absolutely guarantee you a position at a prestigious company. There are innumerable other qualities that are extremely valuable to prospective employers. If you fear that your GPA isn’t that impressive, or that your grades alone might not be enough to distinguish you from other candidates, here are a few things you can do that will help you make an excellent impression.

Make your GPA stronger

Easier said than done, but if your GPA isn’t where it needs to be, make a special effort to raise it. Choose your course load strategically—make sure your class levels are appropriate, and that some of them satisfy an inherent interest so that performing well comes easily. Participate in class. Take advantage of any extra-credit opportunities your professor provides. Develop a relationship with your instructors.

Have both Scholarship and Fellowship

What are your greatest strengths as a job applicant? Naturally, you have to demonstrate your profound understanding of accountancy, but what else can you bring to the table? The student who has a near perfect or even perfect GPA but who struggles with building professional relationships might not add real value to certain firms. However, an applicant with a successful track record of taking on difficult roles and inspiring confidence in others could be quite attractive. Make sure you make an effort to demonstrate your people-skills and facility with networking. On your resume, Provide examples on your resume of situtations where you stepped up and tackled challenging interpersonal situations, or proved your strong leadership ability.

Develop a Diverse Skillset

Having the kind of attitude, intellectual curiosity, and enthusiasm that a CPA firm values are highly impressive attributes. Enrich your resume with meaningful work experience, extracurricular activities, and—eventually—a CPA credential, and you’ll be a fine prospect for any organization. 

Lewis Daidone is a consultant specializing in investment management.  Follow him on Twitter for more info.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Management Accounting and Supply Chain Management

Management Accounting and Supply Chain Management

In the modern business world, “supply chain management” is not just a buzz word; it is considered a key driver in the midst of foreign competition and offshore sourcing as well as global markets. Keeping a company’s supply chain performing well requires a high level of responsiveness, as does keeping the shelves in stores filled. Management accounting drives the necessary planning, monitoring and use of logistical information to maximize efficiencies throughout the supply chain.


Profit Driven Management Reporting

Supply chain management today involves increasing the speed of inventory and trimming costs. Accomplishing these tasks requires skills in management along with creativity. Companies compete based on how effectively they can move raw materials, parts and finished goods. Those that do it the best make the most profits. The reporting and analysis provided by the management accounting system provide the techniques and context to drive those profits. 

The accounting rules worked particularly well with companies in the past, which were more likely to be vertically integrated and focus mostly on making sales domestically. However, these principles do not necessarily work well with today’s business practices and operations.


The Challenges

There is no one size fits all management accounting solution for supply chains. Industries vary, business plans change, and strategies differ even within similar industries. It is important to use a system that works in the context of your business model, product mix and customers. The right management accounting system can be the difference between a mediocre company and a stellar performer..

Lewis Daidone works alongside boards of directors, venture capitalists, senior executives and partners toward improving infrastructure, growth projections, and fiscal results of financial services and technology companies. Follow him on Facebook to know more.