Monday, 1 May 2017

Accounting Internships |

How to Get Your Dream Accounting Internship

Looking for a challenging, fruitful internship? In the following post, Lewis Daidone offers strategies for getting a high-quality internship – one that can help you get the job you want. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to financial services firms and tech companies..

Here’s the good news: accountants are in high demand. It has been estimated by the Department of Labor that the need for accountants, controllers, and auditors will increase by approximately 140,000 jobs in 10 years. However, in order to secure the accounting position of your dreams, it is important to have the kind of background/experience that gets noticed. An internship at a respected organization will make you an extremely attractive candidate once you enter the job market, but prestigious and valuable internships can be nearly as difficult to secure as salaried accounting jobs. Here are a few tips that can help make you an appealing prospect, and also help you make the most of the opportunity you’re given.

Give yourself a boost while you’re still in school.

If you’ve already made the decision to pursue an accounting degree, you should immediately begin to investigate the different professional associations sponsored by your school. Demonstrating an interest in furthering your practical knowledge of the accounting profession while you’re still in school helps to convince organizations that you’re serious about pursuing an accounting career, and that you’re actively developing your networking skills.

Choose your internship very carefully.

You probably don’t need an internship to learn how to order lunch for a staff of 8 middle managers. Your internship should be an introduction to the career or industry of your choice, and give you solid training and learning opportunities. However, you can afford to be creative with your decision. Don’t automatically discount a start-up. While a large, established firm has name recognition and will look great on a resume, you are more likely to have more responsibilities and challenges at a start-up, and you can develop a diverse array of experiences and skillsets working for an organization that is trying to find its industry footing.

Paid internships are great – but unpaid can be pretty great, too.

This might be an issue if you simply can’t afford a wage-free summer. Nevertheless, certain organizations offer exceptional unpaid internship opportunities to those who can stick it out for two or three months. If there is a great unpaid internship in the pipeline, don’t despair. Some universities offer internship funding programs. You can also apply for grants and fellowships. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the internship program director if it’s possible to work part-time in addition to completing your duties as intern. Since some excellent companies actively hire successful interns, your decision to take the unpaid internship reap you great rewards.

Internships can offer tremendous opportunities in the long term. Just be diligent and proactive about pursuing your career goals, and you’ll be well on your way to securing a rewarding internship.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Why Accounting? |

Why Accounting? A Few Reasons Why Accountancy Could Be a Great Career

In the following article, Lewis Daidone offers insight into why an accounting career could offer new grads security, variety, and stability. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to financial services firms and tech companies.

If you’re not certain what career track you should take, it might be a good idea to consider accounting. Accountancy is a stable career that can suit a fairly wide variety of personalities and interests – even if you don’t necessarily believe you’re the numbers-crunching type. Here are a few things about an accounting career you should keep in mind.

Accountants can ascend to upper management positions quite quickly.

If you’re looking for a fast track to a great salary with challenging responsibilities, accounting is an excellent choice. With the need for qualified accountants expected to increase by as much as 11 percent in the next 10 years, accounting is the fastest growing profession in the United States.

Accounting majors have a wide variety of career options.

While certain careers are wholly dependent upon the stability of a particular sector, accountants can move from industry to industry with remarkable ease, particularly at the lower to mid-levels, since accounting principles aren’t necessarily industry-specific. Moreover, you have the potential to seek employment in any field you find attractive. Whether you’re interested in entertainment, cars, sports, law enforcement, healthcare, technology, or even fashion, you can carve out a stable, satisfying career within the market of your choice.

Accounting careers can be exciting!

Forget the old stereotype of the accountant tied to a desk, surrounded by spreadsheets and adding machines; accounting careers can be very glamourous! For example, if you decide to work for an international firm, you may get the opportunity to travel the world, visit international offices and be exposed to a diverse set of accounting systems and principles. Entertainment accountants are in great demand, too. The rapid growth of streaming video platforms and production companies has opened up many accounting opportunities within the film and television industries.

While accounting careers can certainly be demanding, you may find that the hard work and dedication will pay significant dividends in the long run. If you are looking for a flexible, fast-paced, and fulfilling career, accounting may be the career for you!

Monday, 6 February 2017

Working Your Way To The Top: Four Ways To Help You Make It To Management

Working Your Way To The Top: Four Ways To Help You Make It To Management

In the following post, Lewis Daidone discusses how CPAs can rise to a managerial position.

Even if you’re satisfied with your current position, there might come a time when you want a more challenging role. Although your excellence might inspire senior management to promote you, it’s more likely that you’ll have to do more to get ahead. Here are ways that you can get the appropriate experience and skillset for that senior position.

Work for a specific job title.

Map out a clearly defined career path. Rather than dream of more money and responsibility, work towards an actual job, like controller, senior financial analyst, or accounting manager. Once you’ve identified the role you want, you can begin to get the necessary qualifications.

Get the appropriate degree.

Having a graduate degree could help put you on the fast-track to management. Learn which credentials and certifications both appeal to hiring managers and provide the necessary knowledge and skills for your desired position. For example, if you want to be the head of corporate compliance, having a law degree could make you an extremely valuable candidate.

Hone your leadership skills.

If you want to reap management rewards, plant the seed of leadership. Don’t keep your ambition a secret; discuss your plans during your performance review, and ask which steps you might take in order to achieve your goals. Additionally, take on project team leader roles, and act as mentor to new hires.

Look the part.

It may seem superficial, but do your best to dress and present yourself in a way that causes people to think that you’re in a more senior role. If clients and colleagues look at you and think “manager”, then – if you’re performance is up to par – it’s only a matter of time before your supervisors think it, too.

Lewis Daidone, CPA, is a consultant to technology companies and financial services firms. For more on his credentials, click here.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Fun In The Office? 4 Do’s And Don’Ts

Fun In The Office? 4 Do’s And Don’Ts

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses how striking the right humor balance can improve workplace productivity – and how getting it wrong can lead to disaster.

If you’re happy in your current job, it’s likely because you’re working for a well-organized firm where you’re confident in your abilities, your colleagues are pleasant, and you’re receiving more-than-adequate compensation. There’s no doubt that you take your work seriously, but having an occasional humor break helps to ease the tension of a tight deadline.

Studies have shown that laughter is a great reliever of stress, and that the right balance of creative humor helps to contribute to creativity in the workplace. But how do you know where to draw the line between fun and distracting? Here are a few tips that can help you make yourself a valued team member in the eyes of your employer.

Do: Try to be light-hearted.

Even if you’re seriously stressed by a recent management directive, do your best to stay lighthearted and cheerful. By using occasional self-deprecating or silly humor, you can help lift the spirits of your colleagues.

Don’t: Overload on sarcasm at the expense of your team – or worse, your supervisors.

It might be tempting to make fun of an underperforming colleague or an unreasonable manager, but doing so only erodes confidence in the whole organization. The goal is to enhance productivity, not to demoralize the staff – no matter how funny the wisecrack might be.

Do: Stay appropriate.

There are certain subjects – like politics, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and age – that should be handled extremely delicately, if not avoided entirely, in casual conversation with colleagues. Not only might you make your co-workers uncomfortable, you could leave yourself open to complaints to HR.

Don’t: Be disruptive.

All humor should be used with the intent to increase workplace morale and, ultimately, productivity. Forwarding silly email chains or pranking unsuspecting colleagues only serves to delay or halt team members’ production and output.

Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to technology companies and financial services firms. For more management articles, follow this Twitter account.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Are You an Active Listener? 3 Tips for Improving Your Listening Skills

Are You an Active Listener? 3 Tips for Improving Your Listening Skills

In the following post, Lewis Daidone discusses tips and strategies for becoming an effective and active listener.

Most people think that they’re good (or at least decent) listeners. Well, most people are mistaken about their listening capabilities; they might recall some of the spoken words, but the crux of the communication is often lost. If you’re going to succeed in the accounting profession – or any profession, for that matter – you have to hone your listening skills.

Listen to tone, and pay attention to body language.

Hearing the words people say is obviously important, but the manner in which they communicate those words can give you a tremendous amount of information. This can be challenging because it requires a dual focus: visual and aural. However, if you can get a sense of the speaker’s attitude and emotional state, you are better equipped to respond appropriately. Is the speaker anxious? Annoyed? Excited? Taking these factors into account can help you become a more empathetic listener and effective leader.

Don’t assume you’ve got the idea before the speaker finishes.

Set aside your assumptions until the speaker has completed his/her thought. Repeat the words in your head, if necessary, and ask for clarification if you aren’t absolutely sure. Do not interrupt with affirmations or encouragements (“Yes!” “Exactly!”). Once the speaker has completed his/her point, pause before you comment to ensure that you truly understood the message.

Summarize the speaker’s statement in your own words.

In order to solidify your own understanding of the speaker’s point and to assure him/her that you understand clearly, give a brief summation. Statements such as: “So, what I’m hearing is…” and “If I understand correctly…” , help to clarify the issue for both you and the speaker.

Do your best to practice active listening during your daily conversations. It not only helps you to improve your listening skills, it can also improve your emotional intelligence!

CPALewis Daidone serves as a consultant to technology companies and financial services firms. Visit this LinkedIn profile for more on his work.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Negotiating Numerous Job Offers: How to Select the Right One

Negotiating Numerous Job Offers: How to Select the Right One

In the following post, Lewis Daidone offers tips on how to choose from multiple accounting job offers.

Congratulations! You’ve got not one, but several job offers! But… now what? You can only accept one job, so how can you make sure that it’s the right one?

You’re in a fantastic position, and yet you should tread carefully. Here are a few tips for how you can strategically choose the best job.

Decide what you want most from your career.

While a great salary is obviously fantastic, the money shouldn’t be your only consideration. Which job will allow you to use your particular skills? Which job has the most promising career advancement opportunities? In the long run, having a mid-level position at a large firm might be a smarter move than having an advanced position at a small, unproven one. However, a small firm might have a great deal of potential for growth.

Assess the company culture.

Most employers do their best to determine whether new hires will be a good fit with the culture of the organization, but only you can determine whether or not you’ll feel at home. Hopefully, you will have chatted with the staff members during the interview process. Do they seem energized, pleasant, and happy to be a part of the company, or do they seem frustrated and distracted? What sort of environment do you thrive in? Do you like a relaxed, collegial environment, or do you operate better under a more formal structure?

Compare compensation packages.

Don’t necessarily allow yourself to be seduced by goodie bag-style compensation packages. (Gym memberships! Catered lunches! Massages!) Think about your lifestyle and which perks could really save you money, and then think about your career and consider which can help you advance – not only at this particular organization, but anywhere.

Lewis Daidone, CPA, works technology companies and financial services firms as a consultant. For similar updates, visit this blog.