Is Your Office Space Distracting You From Getting More Done?

January 25th, 2019

You’re not accomplishing as much as you’d like each day, and you’ve pinpointed the exact reason — your office space. In it’s current state, it’s not conducive to your success, so it’s time to make a change. Chances are, you won’t be able to switch work areas, but you can transform yours into a more productive space.

When completing accounting work in Seattle, you need a workspace where you can truly focus. Find out how to eliminate distractions, so you can achieve more each day.

Five Tips to Increase Your Focus at Work

Put Your Smartphone Away

If you’re like most people, your smartphone is probably inches from you at all times of the day. It’s hard to concentrate on work when you’re constantly interrupted by text messages, phone calls, personal emails, and social media notifications. Get more time back in your day by turning your phone on silent and tucking it in a drawer. Designate a few times per day to take it out and catch up on the latest happenings in your world.

Make a Daily To-Do List

It’s not easy to focus when you’re not really sure what you should be doing anyway. Improve your concentration by making a to-do list every morning before starting work. When you feel yourself beginning to get distracted, a quick glimpse at this list should remind you of your priorities.

Take Regular Breaks

No matter what your office space is like, staying cooped up in the same surroundings all day is bound to take a toll. Give yourself an energy boost by taking lunch and several shorter breaks throughout the day. Use this time to chat with co-workers, get some fresh air, and enjoy a brief change of scenery. This will allow you to return to your desk refreshed and ready to concentrate on work.

Clear the Clutter

You don’t have to be a super neat and tidy person to have trouble working amid chaos. If your desk is covered with piles of paper, folders, and knick-knacks, this is likely a constant distraction. Clear some time on your calendar and use it to clean your desk. Getting rid of items you no longer need will give you more room to work and make it easier to find things.

Spend Less Time in Your Inbox

Email is a fantastic communication tool, but it can also be hugely distracting. Improve your focus by turning off email notifications and only checking messages during a few designated times of day. Prepare to be amazed at how productive you can be when you’re not constantly interrupted by email.

Finding a great new accounting job is hard work, so allow Provisional Accounting to guide your search. Get in touch today to connect with top Seattle area employers looking to fill temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire positions with top talent like you!

The Key to Promoting Collaboration in the Workplace

January 18th, 2019

Teamwork is the key to your company’s success, but getting your employees to work together isn’t always easy. As one of the top accounting staffing agencies in Seattle, Provisional Accounting can’t emphasize enough the importance of collaboration.

Many elements play into working as a group, but the main one is relationships. When people feel comfortable with their peers and respect one another, it’s much easier to put their heads together and achieve greatness. Here are a few tips to help your team get to this place.

Five Ways to Promote Workplace Collaboration

Help Employees Bond

Bring your team closer together by helping them get to know one another. Plan team-building events outside the office — i.e., group lunches, bowling outings, and happy hours — to allow people to build relationships on a personal level. Working together becomes a lot easier and much more fun when people really know one another.

Encourage Open Communication

Mistakes happen when employees are on different wavelengths. Avoid this by encouraging people to stay in constant contact with one another. When employees meet regularly and check with each other before making big moves, they’re able to avert costly mishaps.

Establish Shared Goals

Collaboration is all about working together toward a common purpose, so get employees on the same page. Meet with the entire team to create a set of shared goals. Involving everyone in the process will boost engagement and create a real sense of team.

Create a Collaborative Workspace

It’s hard for employees to work together if your office space isn’t conducive to it. Rearrange your work area so it’s easy for people to collaborate. This means creating both larger and smaller meeting spaces, making it easy for groups of all sizes to put their heads together.

Nurture Individual Strengths

Teamwork is all about using one another’s strengths to achieve a shared goal. Working together doesn’t mean each employee has their hands on every aspect of a project. Instead, work should be allocated to ensure tasks are assigned to the person with the most appropriate skill set. Achieve the best possible results by helping team members divide up work accordingly.

If you need to expand your team for tax season, Provisional Accounting is here to assist. Get in touch today to find the right fit for your temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire positions!

Preparing for a Successful New Year: The Key to a Productive 2019

January 4th, 2019

Happy New  Year! Now that 2019 has arrived, it’s time to start preparing for a successful year ahead. Whether you’re planning to start searching for accounting jobs in Seattle or are striving for a promotion at your current company, it’s time to put the wheels in motion.

Creating a strategic plan is the key to a productive new year. Here’s a look at a few elements to include that will help you achieve your 2019 goals.

Four Ways to Enjoy a Productive 2019

Ditch Productivity Zappers

You have a lot to accomplish in 2019, so get a better handle on your time. Streamline your day by identifying activities that cut into your productivity — i.e., checking email every time a notification appears on your screen. Making yourself aware of the problem allows you to find a solution that will add much-needed time back into your day.

Get Your Priorities in Order

Focus is the key to success. If you’re wasting time on activities that have nothing to do with your goals, it’s time to regroup. Decide where you really want to be at the end of the year, then shift your attention to actions that support your objectives. Getting on a defined path will allow you to move forward faster, because you’ll no longer be wasting time on unnecessary tasks.

Invest in Yourself

Knowledge is power. You are your own greatest asset, so take the time to learn and grow this year. Determine the types of skills you need to get to the next level, then find a way to acquire them. This might involve taking an online course, finding a relevant volunteer opportunity, or completing a side project that can be displayed in your portfolio.

Boost Your Network

Who you know can enormously impact your ascent up the ladder. Get ahead this year by nurturing current contacts and making new ones. Attend networking mixers, request informational interviews, and ask existing contacts for introductions. People enjoy helping connections they believe in, so the larger your network, the better your chances of getting ahead.

Ready to Make 2019 Your Most Productive Year Yet?

Provisional Accounting wants to help you achieve every single one of your career goals this year. Contact us today to find an exciting new temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, or direct-hire opening with a leading Seattle area employer!

Looking Back on 2018, These Were Our Most Popular Job Seeker Resources

December 28th, 2018

As local recruiters, Provisional Accounting knows how challenging it can be to find engaging and rewarding accounting work in Seattle. If you have the right skills, you probably won’t have much trouble securing a new opportunity, considering the Seattle area unemployment rate was just 3.3% as of October 2018, but you don’t want just any job.

Connecting top talent with outstanding local companies is what we do, so each month, Provisional Accounting shares multiple resources for job seekers like you. Here’s a look at our three most popular career-related posts of 2018.

How to Refocus Your Energy When Work Becomes Tedious and Uneventful

Everyone has slow days at work now and again, but if monotony has become your new normal, this isn’t acceptable. You deserve to feel happy and fulfilled at work, so we offered a few tips to help you make a positive change. This included switching up your routine, branching out from your current responsibilities, learning a new skill, and if none of those ideas work, seeking new opportunities. Read more.

Career-Boosting Resolutions to Continue on the Path to Success

Originally written for 2018 resolutions, this post is more applicable than ever this time of year. Setting career-minded New Year’s resolutions now — or a few months down the road, if you’re a little late to the party — will help you get on track and stay focused. In this post, we shared four career-boosting resolutions to consider putting on your list. This included figuring out where you’re headed, making networking a priority, focusing on continued growth, and eliminating unproductive habits. Read more.

Question: How Do I Tell My Current Boss I Found a New Job Opportunity?

Getting a new job is beyond exciting, but quitting your current one can be difficult. Unless you’re exiting a really terrible work environment, you’re probably feeling a little bittersweet and quite nervous about breaking the news to your boss. To help ease the pressure, we offered five tips to tell your manager about your new opportunity. You’ll want to make sure they hear it from you, deliver your resignation promptly, display gratitude, briefly explain why you’re leaving, and offer to assist in the transition. Read more.

Planning to start searching for a new accounting job in 2019? Provisional Accounting is here to assist every step of the way. Get in touch today to find a temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, or direct-hire opportunity with a top Seattle area employer!

As You Look Back to January, Did You Reach Your 2018 Goals?

December 17th, 2018

In just a few weeks, it will be a new year. If one of your goals for 2019 is to explore new accounting jobs in Seattle, it’s not to early to start preparing.

The end of the year is a great time for reflection. A big part of this includes reviewing your 2018 goals, to measure the progress you’ve made. Hopefully, you’ve achieved a lot, but if you didn’t get as far as you hoped, don’t become discouraged. Instead, use this to increase your focus in the new year.

Four Tips to Create Your 2019 Goals

Evaluate Your 2018 Objectives

The goals you set at this time last year can teach you a lot. If you surpassed your expectations, you’re likely in the right place. Consider broadening your horizons even further by setting more challenging objectives for 2019, because you can clearly handle it.

On the other hand, if you didn’t meet your goals, get to the root cause. You might benefit from the guidance of a mentor or perhaps you’re burning out and need a career change. Understanding what went wrong will help you move forward.

Decide Where You’re Headed

Before you can set goals for 2019, you have to figure out what you want. If you’re already on the right track, that’s great, but if you’re not, don’t be afraid to change course. This isn’t a process that should be rushed, so take the time to really think about where you want to be next year at this time.

Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals

If you didn’t achieve your 2018 goals, there’s a good chance they weren’t S.M.A.R.T. — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Vague goals leave too much room for interpretation, which can easily lead to a lack of accountability. Get ahead in 2019 by structuring your goals for success.

Schedule Periodic Reviews

If you set goals at the beginning of the year and don’t look at them for another 12 months, you’re probably not going to achieve success. Put dates on the calendar now — monthly or quarterly — to review your objectives and monitor your progress. This will give you the chance to make any necessary changes to your goals or approach, so you can end the year on a high note.

A new year is a perfect time for a fresh start. Provisional Accounting is here to help you reach your 2019 goals. Contact us today to find a temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, or direct-hire opening with a top Seattle area employer!

How to Avoid the Mental Stress of an Extended Job Search

November 30th, 2018

When you first started looking for a job, you knew it could take some time, but you didn’t expect it to take this long. You’re months into your search and still haven’t found the right fit.

If you’re looking for accounting jobs in Seattle in Seattle, timing is crucial to your search. You’re probably feeling a bit dejected right now, but don’t take it personally. The best job for you just hasn’t become available yet, so patience is a virtue. Here’s a few tips to hang in there until you land an opportunity you really want.

Five Ways to Avoid the Mental Stress of an Extended Job Search

Set Measurable Goals

One of the worst things about an extended job search is feeling like you’re wasting time. In fact, the exact opposite is true, as every action you take gets you one step closer to your ideal position. Enjoy a sense of accomplishment every day by creating actionable goals that allow you feel like you’re moving forward.

Limit Your Hours

Dedicating all your free time to your job search will do nothing but stress you out. Set aside a certain amount of time each day to work on activities related to your search, then move on to something else. Allowing it to consume you won’t get you hired any faster.

Take Weekends Off

Most companies don’t post jobs during the weekend, so take Saturdays and Sundays off. If you miss anything, you can easily catch up on Monday. Get out of your own head and recharge, so you can start the week with a fresh prospective.

Find a Healthy Stress Reliever

Navigating an extended job search is nerve-wracking. You need a healthy way to relieve the pressure, as allowing it to build will eventually result in a breakdown. There’s no shortage of options — i.e., yoga, running, cooking, getting lost in a book, meditating — so find at least one activity that works for you.

Surround Yourself With Supportive People

The people you hang out with will either lift you up or bring you down, so be mindful about that. Choose to be around positive people who will encourage you to keep on searching, even when you feel like you’ll never find the right job. When people you care about believe in you, it’s hard not to see your potential.

Not Having Luck with Your Job Search?

Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing can help. Contact us today to connect with top Seattle-area employers looking to fill temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire openings with talent like you!

What Are the Best Ways to Network With Local Professionals When Looking for a New Job?

November 16th, 2018

Finding a great new job isn’t easy, but who you know can make a world of difference. If you have a connection at a company you’re interested in, you’re more likely to get the job.

Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing cannot emphasize enough the importance of networking. Our top Seattle recruiters know how much weight the right contact can add to your candidacy, so it’s time to start networking up a storm. Here’s a few tips to help put yourself out there.

Four Best Ways to Network With Local Professionals

Join a Professional Association

Getting involved with a local accounting or finance professional association is a fantastic way to meet like-minded contacts. There’s several local options — i.e., the Washington Association of Accounting & Tax Professionals, Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Seattle chapter of the Accounting & Finance Women’s Alliance — so find one or two that best meet your needs. As a member, you’ll receive invitations to events like happy hours, dinners, seminars, and other functions where you’ll have the opportunity to network.

Attend Meetups

An alternate to professional associations, accounting and finance Meetups offer the chance to connect with other industry professionals. Attend mixers and other educational events, where you’ll have the opportunity to grow both your network and your skills. Putting yourself out there might make you nervous, but doing so can give your job search a major boost.

Reach Out to Your Network

Making new contacts should be a priority during your search, but keeping in touch with existing connections is also important. Inform your network that you’re seeking new opportunities, so they can keep their eyes and ears open. There’s a good chance you’ll find several leads this way, because people enjoy helping peers they know and trust.

Work With a Recruiter

Taking on a staffing partner is a smart way to navigate your search. Your recruiter will help you figure out the right direction for your career, review your resume, and work with you to prepare for interviews. They’ll also use their own contacts to help you get an ‘in’ with reputable local companies, including many opportunities filled only through recruiters that you won’t find out about without one. The best part is, all these services are absolutely free to job seekers!

Ready to start a new chapter in your accounting career? Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing is here to connect you with top Seattle area employers. Get in touch today to start your search for the temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, or direct-hire opportunity of your dreams!

What Should You Know About Blockchain Before Tax Season?

November 9th, 2018

By now, you’ve certainly heard of blockchain, but you might not know much about it. The technology behind Bitcoin has largely stayed in the background of the digital currency, but lately, it’s started a renaissance of its own.

As Seattle accounting recruiters, the Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing team is fascinated by blockchain. To be honest, it probably won’t have an impact on the 2019 tax season, as it’s still on the cusp, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn the basics. Here’s a few things accounting professionals should know about this game-changing technology.

How Blockchain Works

A ledger of data reproduced across computers joined through a shared network, blockchain stores information. Cryptography is used to communicate inside the network, creating a secure record of who is sending and receiving data. When one person wants to add data to the shared ledger, other users must verify the accuracy of the information before it is added to the block.

Each block on the chain has unique hash of the preceding block, effectively linking them all together. Blockchain technology abolishes the need for centralization through a shared liaison, allowing everyone involved to share data in a secure manner within the group.

Blockchain and Taxes

The impact blockchain will have on taxes remains to be seen, but Forbes suggested it could allow taxpayers to have more say in where their money goes. The security and complexity of blockchain allows it to handle multiple transaction types. While a certain percentage of each tax return funds toward mandatory spending — i.e., social security, healthcare, veteran’s benefits, transportation, and food and agriculture — blockchain could make it possible for people to choose their own allocations for discretionary spending.

Granting individual taxpayers permission to select their own allocations for discretionary spending could allow people to feel like their contributions are more meaningful, noted Forbes. This might also offer a better glimpse of shared priorities, as programs with the most contributions are clearly the highest priority to taxpayers.

Need to hire more accountants before tax season? Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing can connect you with top professionals interested in temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire opportunities. Get in touch today to make your team stronger than ever!

What Accounting Jobs Pay the Highest Salary?

October 26th, 2018

When looking for new accounting jobs in Seattle, salary isn’t your only consideration, but it’s definitely important. You want a fulfilling job that also allows you to live comfortably, so you need to have a solid idea of the average salaries associated with accounting industry positions.

Conducting this research prior to starting your job search is a wise move, so you know what to focus on. After all, it would be very disappointing to set your sites on a certain type of job, only to learn during the search process that you won’t be able to earn the salary needed to maintain your current standard of living.

Here’s a look at the average salaries of several common accounting jobs, according to May 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Financial Managers

Key company leaders, financial managers create financial reports, steer investment activities, and devise strategies to help the company meet its long-term financial goals. Some of the job titles associated with this line of work include controller, treasurer, financial officer, credit manager, cash manager, risk manager, and insurance manager. Financial managers earn an average of $125,080 per year, while operations specialties managers command an average annual salary of $115,700 (source).

Accountants and Auditors

Essential to every organization, accountants and auditors create and maintain financial records, such as tax documents and account books. They also help companies find ways to cut costs and boost profits. Job titles may include public accountant, management accountant, government accountant, internal auditor, external auditor, and information technology auditor. Financial specialists earn an average of $70,120 per year, while accountants and auditors receive an average annual salary of $69,350.

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

The backbone of a company, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks prepare financial records. Job duties typically involve recording financial transactions, maintaining statements, and reviewing fiscal records. Professionals who perform this type of work typically have the job title of bookkeeping clerk or accounting clerk. The average salary for bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is $39,240 per year, while financial clerks earn an average annual salary of $36,520 (source).

Thinking about looking for a new accounting job in the Seattle area? Team up with Provisional Accounting to find the right temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, or direct-hire opportunity for your needs. Get in touch today to start your search!

Are Job Search Expenses Tax Deductible?

October 12th, 2018

Navigating a job search is notoriously time-consuming, but it can also be expensive. The old saying ‘You have to spend money to make money’ often rings true when looking for work.

As one of the top Seattle accounting temp agencies, Provisional Accounting understands the strain a job search can place on your finances, but many people don’t realize the federal government offers relief. Even if you’re not hired, you might be able to deduct some of your job search expenses from your federal income tax return, as long as you meet a few requirements.

To qualify for a tax deduction, you need to be looking for work in your current field, must not have had a notable break since your last job, and cannot be a first-time job seeker. Expenses reimbursed by an employer or third party are also not eligible.

Three Tax Deductible Job Search Expenses

Assuming you meet the above criteria, job search expenses that fall into these three categories can be reported on Schedule A of your 1040 tax return as miscellaneous expenses. You’re able to claim the costs that total more than two percent of your adjusted gross income.

Resume Costs

The expenses associated with preparing your resume are tax deductible, which can come in handy if you have yours written by a professional. If any employers request a hard copy, you’re also able to write off the cost of mailing your resume.

Travel Expenses

Looking for a new job in a different city or state can add up fast, but thankfully, you’re able to deduct these costs. Expenditures like transportation, meals, and hotel accommodations fall into this category, if the main purpose of the trip is your job search. However, you might still be able to deduct some expenses even if your job hunt wasn’t the main reason for the trip.

Placement Agencies

In most cases, employers pay the fees for a staffing agency. However, if you decide to work with a firm that charges job seekers, you’ll be able to write this expense off.

Need a little help finding your dream job in Seattle? Provisional Accounting is here to assist. Contact us today to access temporary/contract, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire openings with some of the area’s top employers.