Young CPAs make the CPA profession tick. Young and aspiring CPAs can seek answers and advice regarding career challenges and opportunities here. The AICPA also offers many opportunities for young CPAs to network and grow their skills to become the CPA profession's future leaders.
While workplaces have become increasingly less formal and more business transactions are taking place outside traditional office settings, the line that separates business from personal can blur. It is important to maintain a certain level of workplace decorum, whether you are in the office or out at an office mixer. Be sure to observe the following pointers, which address a variety of scenarios:
- In-person meetings. How you conduct yourself during an in-person meeting will leave a lasting impression on your boss and colleagues.
- Be considerate of others’ time and communicate the purpose, duration and the items for discussion in advance. Thank attendees for their participation, and demonstrate your appreciation by promptly circulating a recap or minutes that document their contribution.
- Don’t monopolize the conversation. Ensure that everyone has had a chance to speak their mind before ending the meeting.
- Never assign an action item to someone not present until you have had an opportunity to negotiate it with them.
- If you are attending another person's meeting, be respectful and resist the urge to multi-task. If you are waiting for an important phone call, turn your phone to vibrate or silent, and excuse yourself before answering. Otherwise, turn your devices off.
Continue reading "5 Scenarios Where Proper Workplace Decorum is Essential" »
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
If you’re like me, the answer to that question has changed over the years. I’ve answered everything from “shortstop for the Kansas City Royals” to “managing partner of a CPA firm,” and everything in between—and there is a lot in between. But, whatever your career aspirations are, no matter what position you hope to have, or what industry you hope to be in when you retire, you will need people to help you get there.
People who turn lofty dreams and career aspirations into reality almost always have one thing in common: a tremendous network of people. How do you develop this network when you’re a young professional? Where do you begin? It seems daunting to think of going from the seemingly insignificant network you graduated with to the “who’s who” list that some partners at your firm carry with them. While you could go to every one of the grip-and-grin networking happy hours offered every month, how effective is that? Is that really the kind of interaction you’re seeking?
Continue reading "4 Tips for Young CPAs to Maximize Networking Opportunities" »
I review LinkedIn profiles almost every day. By now, I have seen at least 2,000, and I just cringe when I see things that could or will hinder someone’s professional image. I am not in a position to advise people individually, so this blog is the next best thing.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn goes beyond looking good for recruiters. Even if you are not interested in a new job, your online image still needs attention. If anyone Googles you - a potential client or employer, your company’s VP, a former supervisor, a reporter or even a prospective date - your LinkedIn profile could easily be the first thing that shows up. You want your best foot forward all the time.
Continue reading "Your Professional Image - What 10 Minutes on LinkedIn can Do" »
Is your CPA firm involved in the scramble for talent? As I give presentations and work with CPAs around the country, it seems like many CPA firms are in hiring mode. Increasingly, I’m telling these firms that to remain competitive, they must understand their younger recruiting candidates—Millennials. Millennials are the generation born roughly between 1980 and the early 2000s. I tell CPA firms, if they want to get into the Millennial brain, they should be aware of five important facts.
Fact #1: Millennials are poised to take on more responsibility. The oldest members of this generation have now entered their thirties. With about 10 years on the job, they have built the kind of experience that CPA firms need to remain successful. However, if they don’t believe the firm offers them the opportunity to grow and contribute, these younger professionals won’t hesitate to move on to a better option.
The takeaway for CPA firms: Employee surveys or one-to-one discussions can help you better understand staff expectations.
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Most of us are familiar with the story of the frog that was dropped into a pot of boiling water and immediately jumped out to save itself. The same frog later found himself in a pot of water at room temperature. The temperature was gradually increased and the poor frog, not noticing the danger, remained in the pot to suffer an untimely demise. Although not scientifically accurate, the anecdote serves as a metaphor for one’s inability to notice gradual change.
In our careers, we can all feel like we are that frog at times. Just like temperatures, careers can change for the worse, often gradually and without notice. However, if we pay close attention to the red flags in our careers, we can know when to jump long before the water starts to boil.
I would like to share a few thoughts from my own experiences that may help you – whether on a partner or CFO track – detect the warning signs along your career path and keep yourself out of hot water.
Continue reading "Accounting Careers and the Boiled Frog" »