Starting At The Bottom? Entry-Level Roles That Have Potential For Upward Mobility

Starting At The Bottom? Entry-Level Roles That Have Potential For Upward Mobility

In the following post, Lewis Daidone discusses entry-level positions that can lead to bigger and better opportunities.

Everyone has to start at the bottom – only a privileged few can skip this step. However, not every open door results in a positive step up the career ladder. Here are a few positions that offer good career advancement prospects. While advanced degrees might be necessary in order to rise to the most senior positions, many entry-level positions generally don’t require more than a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance (one only requires a high school diploma).

Accounts Payable/Receivable Administrator

Many organizations don’t require an undergraduate degree for accounts payable/receivable administrator jobs. While your ability to move into a more senior position within the same firm depends upon the firm itself, this position is in great demand and can provide a great stepping stone to more senior roles. From that point, however, an accounting, business, or finance degree would be required for any further promotions.

Credit Analyst

Credit analysts have become increasingly in demand after the 2008 lending crisis. Many large firms need in-house staff in order to calculate credit-worthiness and lending risk. Appropriate candidates will have a finance degree. A credit analyst can rise to a senior analyst position, overseeing all organizational credit decisions and managing a team of junior analysts.

Junior Financial Analyst

Financial analysts research economic conditions and review company fundamentals to make business, sector and industry recommendations and oftentimes recommend a course of action, such as to buy or sell a company’s stock. A junior financial analyst can be promoted to a senior position, and from there move up to a portfolio or fund manager (although a graduate degree in finance might be necessary for serious consideration).

Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant. He is also a consultant to technology companies and financial services firms. For more management insights, click here.



Four Tips For Working With Accounting Recruiters Effectively

Four Tips For Working With Accounting Recruiters Effectively

In the following article, Lewis Daidone offers advice for working with accounting recruiters successfully.

If you’ve ever been hunting for an accounting position, it’s highly likely that you’ve come in contact with executive recruiters. Perhaps one of them will help you get your dream job; perhaps one of them will unwittingly sabotage your chances of employment at a great firm. Here’s how you can make sure your recruiter works for – not against – you.

Do your homework.

Make sure you know who the recruiters are. Get their full names and research them on the search engine of your choice to make sure they’ve got the kind of reputation you’re comfortable with.

Moreover, you’ll want to work with a recruiter with experience/expertise in your target industry and field. Working with a person who understands the nuances of the world of accounting and finance will give you a significant advantage.

Don’t let any recruiter send out your resume without your permission.

If you’re desperate for a job, it might be tempting to allow multiple recruiters to flood potential employers with your resume. Do not do this.

While a recruiter might send your resume out to a particular company, there’s no guarantee that the company will want to pay that recruiter’s commission. If you apply on your own – even if you’re a perfect fit – that company might reject you simply because your resume is attached to a recruiter that they don’t want to pay.

Only meet in person if the recruiter has a specific position you want.

There aren’t enough hours in a day to go on fruitless interviews. While it’s true that a good recruiter won’t want to waste time on a candidate who isn’t serious, you shouldn’t waste your time on a recruiter who’s just fishing for good prospects without any real bait.

However, if there is a position that sparks your interest, put your best foot forward. Since the recruiter clearly wants to know how you’ll conduct yourself in an interview, make sure your relationship-building skills are on target. If you seem like a great catch, the recruiter will work that much harder on your behalf.

Stay professional and polite.

Even if you aren’t interested in the positions a recruiter is trying to fill, don’t simply brush them off. Reply politely and clearly indicate your willingness to interview for the right job – you want to leave the door open for future opportunities.

Certified Public Accountant Lewis Daidone offers his consulting services to technology companies and financial services firms. More management articles can be accessed keyterm.


How to Get the Best Perks

In today’s post, Lewis Daidone reviews how to discuss benefits and perks with prospective employers. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and consultant to financial firms and tech companies.

Have you thought about which incentives you’d want from the firm you ultimately work for? Do you know what is commonly offered to candidates with your skills, educational background, and experience? Here are a few tips that might help you to successfully negotiate the benefits you want.

Know what is being offered at competing firms.

Unless you know what is commonly offered to professionals with your job title in your industry, you won’t be in an effective position to negotiate. Make sure you also research the effect offering the benefits or perks has had on other organizations. Was employee morale improved? Was there an increase in productivity? Having these answers could make the perks more attractive to your employer, while sending him or her the message that you’re a conscientious team member.

Have a strategy.

Make sure your requests are well-thought out and precise, and give reasons you require your specific benefits. For example, rather than asking to work remotely or periodic time off throughout the day, present a trial schedule where your employer can monitor your off-site performance and evaluate your productivity after the trial period ends.

Know what is a deal breaker and what you can live without in advance.

The possibility exists that you won’t get all of the benefits you want, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily refuse the job. Think carefully about which incentives you don’t consider absolutely essential before you even walk into the room.

Certain workplace incentives are becoming increasingly generous and diverse across industries. Don’t be timid when requesting your benefits. You may be surprised!

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.

How to Prepare for a Successful Video Interview

In the following article, CPA and consultant Lewis Daidone offers tips for conducting a smooth and professional video interview.

Now that we have easy access to an abundance of communications devices, we have the option of engaging in conversations across a wide variety of digital channels. The video interview is becoming more and more common as hiring managers seek to streamline the interview process. Video communications platforms are cost-effective and efficient resources for interviewing long lists of candidates. Nevertheless, it is a mistake to treat a video interview more casually than you would an in-person meeting. Here are a few tips for making sure you leave the hiring manager with best possible impression of your skills, intelligence, and personality.

Make sure your camera is stationary.

While smartphones are convenient and easy to maneuver, you should definitely keep yours perfectly still while you are conducting your interview. Mount it securely on a smartphone stand so that your interviewers don’t get motion sickness from your Cinéma vérité-style camera work. Better yet—use your desk/laptop

Check and double check your background.

If you’re going to be at home during the interview, make sure the space is professional and clean. It is very easy to forget that your funny-yet-undignified posters, laundry, dishes, pets, etc. might be visible to the interviewer.

Check and double check the video technology.

Make sure your camera and microphone are working properly, and that you’re familiar enough with the platform the interviewers have selected. If you haven’t already, download it well in advance so that you won’t be in danger of logging on late, or wasting time fussing with the sound and the composition.

There is no reason why a video interview should be any different from a live interview. Prepare well, dress well, and don’t forget to smile!

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.

Accounting Certifications Employers Want

Accounting Certifications Employers Want

In the following article, Lewis Daidone discusses the CPA certification process and benefits.. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and consultant for financial service firms and tech companies.

Accountants are well-educated professionals trained to measure, disclose or provide assurance about financial information that helps managers, investors, tax authorities and others make decisions about allocating resources. Similar to other highly regarded professions, accountants have a number of credentials and certifications designed to ensure a high level of professionalism. The most widely sought credential is the CPA, or certified public accountant.

Certified Public Accountant License

The process of becoming certified begins with a college degree in accounting, or a business or finance degree with a suitable concentration of accounting courses. Most states’ licensing requirements call for 150 semester hours of coursework, more than that required for the average bachelor’s degree. Future accountants can complete extra courses or take advantage of combined bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that award both degrees after five years’ study. The CPA examination is written in four parts and must be completed within a 12-month period. Most states also require accountants to have two years’ work experience under the supervision of a CPA before they can be certified.

Becoming a CPA is not a one-time process. Retaining the designation requires a commitment to continuing professional education. Each state’s own board of accountancy determines how much continuing education is appropriate. For example, New Jersey requires 120 hours over a three year period, with no fewer than 20 hours in a given year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 16 percent growth in the number of accountants between 2010 and 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, those with a CPA designation — especially when combined with an MBA or other advanced degree — will be the most employable. International staffing firm Robert Half Finance and Accounting corroborates the bureau’s assessment, describing the CPA as its most-recruited credential. Like the BLS, Robert Half sees CPAs with an MBA as the most desirable recruits.

Social Media and Accounting: Do they Mix?

In the following article, Certified Public Accountant and consultant Lewis Daidone discusses the importance of social media in strategic communications, and how accountants can leverage social media platforms for their advantage.

With all of the regulations and overarching client privacy issues, is having a robust social media presence really necessary for accounting firms? Isn’t it safer and more practical to limit marketing efforts to more controlled, less interactive, channels?

While social media for your accounting services might not be absolutely essential, it certainly could be extremely beneficial, if you take the proper precautions! Here are some things to keep in mind before launching a social media campaign for your accounting practice.

Make sure you stay in compliance with proper industry practices and federal regulations.

If you’re uneasy about utilizing social media tools because you want to be absolutely certain you’re adhering to government regulations, you might want to investigate social media services that cater to advisors and consultants in financial sectors. Heresay Social, for example is a highly useful platform, that has vigorous compliance oversight.

Stick to social media platforms that are widely used in your industry.

LinkedIn and Twitter newsfeeds are essential online resources for CPA firms. Instagram and Pinterest—not so much. Make sure you funnel your resources towards social media channels that could potentially expand your client and associate network, as well as enhance your industry prestige. You can effectively communicate with numerous respected media channels (the Journal of Accountancy, Wall Street Journal, and all noteworthy accounting associations) via Twitter.

Create and post useful content that illustrates your industry expertise.

Make sure you post valuable and informative links, and explain their importance. Use social media to give your audience insight into your profound industry expertise, but don’t make your marketing efforts obvious. You want your communications to broadcast thought leadership, not advertisements.

It can certainly be dangerous to air sensitive information on social media. However, if you approach your social media strategy from a branding perspective (rather than actively selling services, solutions, and outcomes), you can position yourself and your practice as an effective subject matter expert.

Investment Essentials: Where Should I Park my Money?

Bank savings, time deposits, and money markets are secure ways of keeping your hard-earned money. However, these cash equivalents may not be the ones you are looking for if your primary aim is value appreciation, capital growth, passive income, or retirement fund. Growth rates in these financial parking lots are extremely low. In fact, they are too low that they can be easily beaten by inflation.

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The following investment machines, while not as low-risk as those mentioned above, offer much higher ROI potential and boast crucial financial aspects that only the investor who thinks outside the box will enjoy:

More formally known as equities, stocks signify ownership of a corporation or holding company. The cornerstone of most asset management plans, stocks represent all industries and have proven to be the most profitable investment machines in the LONG TERM. You can invest directly in these companies through stock brokers who have access to stock exchanges.

If you invest in bonds, you are considered a lender. Governments and companies who have good credit ratings issue bonds to financial institutions to serve as proof of loan that bears high interest rates. Bonds are considered generally safer than stocks but their yields may not be as high.

Pooled funds
Pooled funds are ideal for investors who have little knowledge about stock or bonds or have very little time to monitor market trends due to busy schedules. Usually in the form of unite investment trust fund (UITF), variable universal life policy (VUL), or mutual funds, pooled funds are like large baskets where investors deposit their money to form a single, massive fund. This ‘pool’ of money is then placed under custody of a professional and experienced asset manager who make investment decisions and actions on behalf of the investors.

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Lewis Daidone, a certified public accountant, works as a consultant for BlackRock and specializes in investment management. His work focuses on enhancing infrastructure and accelerating growth and improving fiscal results. Know more about his professional background on LinkedIn.