Provisional Blog

Is Your Resume Recruiter Ready?

March 21st, 2014

Your resume can make or break your job hunt. A well written one impresses recruiters and helps you get an interview, while a resume that’s just okay won’t get you very far. If you want to succeed in your job hunt, it’s important to have a resume that makes you stand out from the crowd.

5 Tips to Improve Your Resume

Planning to start looking for a new job in the near future? Or maybe you’ve already begun your search and are wondering why you’re not having any luck? Use these five tips to touch your resume up:

  1. Keep it Professional: Using colored backgrounds and funky fonts will certainly make your resume stand out ─ but not in a good way. Always use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Universal, in black, on your resume. No exceptions.
  2. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread: The importance of this step cannot be emphasized enough. Spelling a word wrong on your resume makes you appear careless. No one wants to hire someone who doesn’t care enough about their career to proofread their resume.
  3. Customize It: When it comes to finding a great job, your resume is not a one-size-fits-all tool. Tailor it for each specific job to highlight your relevant experience. You have to sell yourself to each company to show them why you’re the best person for the job and this is the first step of the process.
  4. Get to the Point: Most recruiters won’t read your entire resume. Instead, they’ll skim through it to read the main points, so it’s important to highlight those up front. Do your best to keep the entire document to one page, as anything more is distracting. Shorten the margins if you need a bit more space. However, if you simply must make your resume two pages, be sure to balance the information on each page, instead of just putting one section on the second page.
  5. Include Action Items: Don’t assume a recruiter is going to read your resume and know how great you are ─ tell them. Instead of just saying you helped your current company cut payroll costs, include a percentage or dollar sign. For example, “Developed new payroll procedure that cut payroll costs by 15 percent.”

 
Need a little help polishing your resume? Contact the expert Seattle accounting recruiters at Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. We’re glad to review your resume and make suggestions for improvement. We look forward to assisting in your career search.
 

What to do After You Accept a New Employment Position

March 14th, 2014

If you’ve just accepted a new position ─ congratulations! Out of all the candidates the company interviewed, they chose you and that is very exciting.

Whether you’re moving up the corporate ladder or into a new field you’ve been hoping to break into, a job change is a huge life event. A celebration is certainly in order, but there’s also a number of other important matters to attend to, including:

  1. Break the News to Your Current Boss: The mere thought of going into your boss’s office and resigning can be very nerve-wracking, but there’s no way around it. It’s essential that you tell your boss about your new job as soon as possible and before telling anyone else at the company. Not only is it a matter of respect to handle it in this manner, it will also help you to avoid burning bridges if you ever need a reference or want to return to the company in the future.
  2. Create a Transition Plan: Your resignation is likely going to (temporarily) cause your boss and your team members some extra work. While you shouldn’t feel guilty about this, you should do your part to ease the transition as much as possible. Do your best to help determine who is best suited to take over each of your tasks, then schedule a time for training. Make yourself available for questions to ensure everyone knows what they’re doing before your last day.
  3. Wrap Up Loose Ends: Be prepared for the frenzy of exit paperwork headed your way. You’ll likely need to write an official resignation letter, sign forms to transfer your retirement funds into your new employer’s plan, complete exit surveys, fill out COBRA forms if you’re going to keep your current employer’s health insurance, and complete other forms of necessary paperwork as part of the transition.
  4. Be Proactive on Requests from Your New Employer: Expect to hear from your new employer at least a few times before your first day on the job. HR may need you to complete paperwork prior to your start date, your new boss may call or email with questions, and your new team members may reach out to welcome you to the group. It’s essential that you respond to these communications in a timely manner to build a position relationship with them. Failing to return calls and emails in a timely manner ─ or at all ─ is rude and may cause them to wonder if they made the right decision.
  5. Relax a Little: If possible, take a few days in between jobs to recharge your batteries. Get a few things done around the house that you’ve been wanting to accomplish and make some time for yourself. You’ve earned it!

 

Ready to get started on a fulfilling new job? Contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. Experts in staffing Seattle Washington, we’ll help you find a new position that makes you excited to go to work each day.

6 of the Most Progressive Accounting Careers

March 6th, 2014

Accounting is a very broad field with limitless career possibilities. There’s a constant demand for accounting professionals, as every company needs someone to keep their finances in order. Additionally, as tax laws change, new fields emerge, and the government imposes tighter business regulations, new positions will continue to surface.

Top 6 Progressive Accounting Careers
Whether you’re just getting started in the accounting field or looking to make a change, these six careers are a great way to gain valuable experience that can be used to move up the ladder:

  1. Tax Accountant: Due to the demands of tax season, many people avoid this career path at all costs. However, opting for work as a tax accountant can offer many benefits. Experience working in tax early on can open the doors to many other accounting positions. Additionally, there’s always a demand for CPAs, as taxes are here to stay.
  2. Financial Reporting: Every organization needs an accounting professional to handle their reporting needs. Workers in this position are typically tasked with responsibilities such as making financial projections, preparing and analyzing accounting statements, and document record-keeping.
  3. Forensic Accountant: These professionals use a combination of accounting and financial skills to provide litigation support and investigative accounting services. Common responsibilities typically include performing forensic research to recover funds and assets, conducting forensic analysis of financial data, and preparing forensic accounting reports.
  4. Government Accountant: A government accountant works with the federal government, state and local agencies, or a combination of both to record and prepare financial reports according to government accounting principles and standards. Professionals may assist government authorities in evaluating budgets, estimating revenues, and making necessary adjustments to social programs.
  5. Environmental Accountant: Environmental accountants are tasked with analyzing the internal and external costs of the environmental impact of business decisions. This field is currently on the rise, as companies begin to place a greater emphasis on green practices.
  6. Bookkeeper: Every small business and non-profit organization relies on a bookkeeper to keep their accounts in order. Bookkeepers may handle a variety of tasks, including managing the general ledger, producing financial statements and other reports, completing payroll, preparing invoices, paying bills, and more.

 

Looking for jobs that will provide you with a strong foundation to grow your career? Contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. We are the leaders at matching specialized accounting talent with top local companies, offering temporary/contract, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire opportunities.
 

Top Jobs in Seattle

February 28th, 2014

Attention software developers ─ Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing is recruiting for a direct hire position in the Seattle office of an international company. The right candidate will join the organization’s Software Development and Testing team.

Minimum Requirements:

  • 3 years of experience working with software testing, test plan development, and overall software quality assurance.
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field.

Think you have what it takes? Click here to apply for this position.

Software Developer Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of software developers is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2012 to 2022 ─ which is double the total of 11 percent for predicted for all occupations. Rapid growth rates are due to the major increase in demand for computer software.

The BLS notes that software developers held approximately 1 million jobs in 2012. Industries employing the greatest number of these professionals include:

  • 32% ─ Computer systems and design services
  • 9% ─ Computer and electronic product manufacturing
  • 8% ─ Manufacturing
  • 7% ─ Software publishers

Working as a Software Developer
Software developers are in charge of the entire development process, from start to finish. They’re tasked with creating applications that people want and making them user friendly. When functioning issues arise, it’s the development team’s responsibility to fix them. Most software developers work very closely with others, as the job is a very collaborative process.

Most software developers work full-time. Long hours are common, as more than 25 percent reported working more than 40 hours per week in 2012, according to the BLS.

Job duties of a software developer vary, but typically include:

  • Analyzing user needs
  • Designing modules piece-by-piece
  • Crafting models and diagrams to assist programmers in writing code
  • Continuous maintenance and testing of applications
  • Careful documentation of applications to use for future reference and maintenance

 

Looking for a new opportunity in software development? Contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. Our firm was voted onto Seattle Business Magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Employers to Work For” in both 2012 and 2013. We are the leaders at matching specialized accounting talent with top local companies, offering temporary/contract, temp-to-hire, and direct hire opportunities.

Tax Break Saves Wealthiest Americans $100 Billion

February 21st, 2014

Some of America’s wealthiest residents have managed to find a loophole that has saved them millions ─ and in some cases even billions in estate tax payments.

In an attempt to curb U.S. economic inequality, billionaires are required by federal law to pay estate or gift taxes of 40 percent on funds left to their children. For example, 80-year-old billionaire Sheldon Adelson, has legally navigated his way out of paying about $2.8 billion in gift taxes since 2010, by moving the roughly $7.8 billion he’s given to his children in and out of more than 30 trusts.

Adelson is not alone in this tactic. SEC filings reveal that hundreds of major executives have utilized these tax shelters. In fact, Bloomberg reported that Richard Covey, the lawyer who discovered the loophole, estimates his discovery may have cost the federal government more than $100 billion since 2000. This represents approximately one-third of all estate and gift taxes the U.S. has collected in the past 14 years since then.

Is the Estate Tax System Voluntary?
It seems the estate and gift tax has become an optional fee for those impacted by it. The popular tax shelter, called the Walton grantor retained annuity trust or GRAT, makes it easy for the wealthiest people in the country to avoid the tax.

The practice discovered by Covey is one of a few methods that work together to make this tax essentially voluntary.

While meager efforts have been underway by President Obama and other Democratic lawmakers to mend the loophole since 2009, no real progress has been made.

In fact, there’s even a strong argument to do away with the tax all together.

GRATs a Common Estate Planning Practice
GRATs have become a common estate planning practice for America’s wealthiest citizens. JPMorgan Chase & Co. even has a special unit dedicated to processing GRAT paperwork.

Bloomberg reported that both Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has set up a GRAT. Lloyd Blankfien, head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has also done so.

It seems unlikely that the GRAT loophole is going away anytime soon. In each of his annual budget plans, President Obama has included a proposal to limit the GRAT practice, but hasn’t made it a pressing issue.

Both the House and the Senate have committees working on comprehensive tax overhaul bills, yet neither has plans to address estate or gift taxes.

Campaign donations is largely believed to be a main reason the issue isn’t pushed. Wealthy donors don’t want the loophole to be eliminated and politicians want to please them.

Need to hire talented, professional accounting personnel for your firm? Contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. We proudly provide companies of all sizes with quality, trained professionals through a variety of staffing programs.

5 Habits of Happy CPAs in Spokane

February 14th, 2014

If you think overtime, high levels of stress, and general discontent are just part of the job for a CPA, you couldn’t be more wrong. Many CPAs in Spokane are loving life and their jobs by following healthy habits. These professionals have chosen to take control of their lives, instead of letting their career control them.

5 Tips on Becoming a Happy CPA

Ready to learn the secrets behind some of the happiest CPAs in Spokane? Use these five tips to make a positive change in your life:

  1. Clear Your Workspace: No one can achieve maximum productivity in a chaotic office. Take the time to organize your files and clear your desk off so you actually have room to work. Open the blinds to let some sunlight in, start using a desk lamp instead of bright florescent lights, and add some personal touches to your area to make it more comfortable.
  2. Maintain Strong Relationships: CPAs have a reputation of being anti-social workers who spend all day crunching numbers, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Developing strong relationships with your colleagues and clients helps you get referrals, advance professionally, and always have someone to talk to when you’ve had a difficult day.
  3. Mind a Life Outside of Work: Having a reason to leave work at the end of the day is an essential element to your personal happiness. Working as a CPA can be a high-stress job, so you need a way to relax. Spending time with friends and family, exercising, cooking, reading, or anything else you enjoy serves as a great outlet to channel your stress.
  4. Take Care of Yourself: When faced with a mountain of work, many CPAs charge through it quickly to get everything accomplished as soon as possible. This may work in the short-term, but will quickly lead to a burnout. Take care of yourself by eating properly, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks throughout the day to give your eyes a rest from the glare of the computer.
  5. Stay Focused: Keeping your eye on the big picture instead of getting wrapped up in the day-to-day helps you focus on your future goals. Concentrating on where you’re going allows you to feel a greater sense of job satisfaction and keeps you motivated to always do your best work.

 

Ready to find a CPA position in Spokane that makes you excited to go to work each day? Contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. We have access to more professional accounting job opportunities than any other Northwest employment service.

4 Questions Accountants Should Ask in a Job Interview

February 7th, 2014

When preparing for an accounting interview, it’s important to remember you don’t just need to have responses to common questions rehearsed and ready to go ─  you’ll also need to be ready with a list of questions.

At the end of the meeting, there’s a very good chance the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. If you think this is a mere formality, you’re sorely mistaken. This is a very common tactic used to evaluate your level of interest in working for the firm. Use this opportunity to ask educated questions, showing that you’ve done your homework on the firm and are genuinely interested in learning more about it.

4 Questions Every Accountant Should Ask an Interviewer
It’s important to remember that a job interview isn’t just the time for the firm to decide if they want you on their team ─ it’s also your chance to see if it’s a place you want to work.

Ask these four questions on your next accounting job interview to gain a deeper insight into the firm and demonstrate your extensive knowledge of the field:

  1. What opportunities are available to help me grow my career?
    At first glance, this question may appear presumptuous, but it’s not. Asking about future career growth shows the firm is part of your long-term plan. The firm doesn’t want to waste time grooming you, only to have you move on to other opportunities in a few years, after gaining more experience.
  2. What types of clients would I be working with?
    Clients are an accounting firm’s top priority, so demonstrating a deep interest in them from the start is a great way to make a good impression. Tailor your questions as much as possible, by asking about specific clients and industries you know the firm covers. This shows that you’ve both done your research on the firm and are genuinely interested in their clients.
  3. How has the firm responded to (insert specific industry regulation)?
    Showcase your up-to-date knowledge of accounting rules and regulations by choosing a recent issue and asking how the firm responded to it. Ask how it impacted their clients and what type of adjustments the firm has been forced to make to be compliant with future strategies.
  4. What types of internal technology programs does the firm utilize?
    Every firm has a different way of doing things. This is your chance to get a glimpse of the firm’s internal processes and procedures, to see if you’d be comfortable working there. Probing into daily life at the firm also shows the interviewer you’re genuinely interested in what it would be like to work there and are trying to envision yourself as one of the team.

 

Searching for a challenging new accounting opportunity? Contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. We are the leaders at matching specialized accounting talent with top local companies, offering temporary/contract, temp-to-hire, and direct-hire opportunities.

Tax Season Starts January 31. Are You Ready?

January 27th, 2014

Some love it, others dread it, but either way, the busiest season of the year for tax professionals kicks off on Friday, January 31. If you’re in the tax preparation business, it’s time to rest up now, as your schedule will be pretty hectic through April 15th.

Whether your firm is relatively small or larger in size, it’s important to properly prepare for tax season, to keep your clients satisfied and coming back again next year.

Four Tips to Effectively Manage Tax Season
As a tax professional, you want your firm to be crazy busy during tax season. While the early mornings, late nights, and time away from friends and family can be frustrating, you know it’s only for a short period of time.

Surviving tax season can be a lot less stressful when you have an effective plan in place to keep the flow running smoothly. Here’s how to do it:

  • Provide Proper Training: If you’ve adopted new forms of technology to handle this year’s workload or have added new members to your team, it’s essential to provide a training session to make sure everyone knows what they’re doing.
  • Streamline Administrative Processes: Sometimes it’s okay for your staff to do things their own way, but during tax season it’s not. Create a set of processes and procedures your team must strictly adhere to with each client. This can include not starting work for a client until they’ve provided all necessary information, setting rules for handling missing information, and making sure same person who starts a return also finishes it.
  • Assign Returns Appropriately: Put your most experienced staff members on the larger, more complicated returns. You don’t want to risk a mistake by a younger staff member or have your experienced workers constantly have to stop what they’re doing to help them tricky questions.
  • Don’t Forget to Communicate: Proper communication between your employees and your clients and internally, within your staff, is imperative for success. Make sure you’re on the same page with client needs and expectations, as mistakes can be costly and time consuming.

 

Looking for temporary workers to add to your team during tax season? Contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. We have a network of skilled accounting and finance professionals eager to help out during your busiest time of the year.

Top Qualities of an Excellent CPA Financial Planner

January 24th, 2014

Many CPAs have decided to add financial planning to the list of services offered to clients. It’s a great way to expand your horizons and differentiate yourself in the field. Your clients may already rely on you for advice on financial matters and some even prefer the assistance of their CPA over a Certified Financial Planner. In fact, a study conducted by CEG International found that more than half of wealthy citizens are likely to seek financial services from their CPAs.

Excelling as a Financial Planner
Clients won’t take financial advice from just anyone. If you want to sell yourself as an excellent CPA financial planner, it’s important to know what people are looking for. This includes:

  • Trustworthy.
    Without trust you’ve got nothing. When it comes to money, if your clients feel like they can’t trust you, they’re not going to want you managing their funds. As a financial planner you have access to their private, personal information, so make sure people feel comfortable with you.
  • Solid Team of Experts.
    Clients don’t expect you to know everything. In fact, they’re more impressed when you can admit you’re not an expert at something, but can easily find someone who is. When you surround yourself with a solid, hardworking team, people feel like you’re equipped to handle all their financial needs.
  • Strategic Thinking.
    Having an ability to think outside the box really impresses clients, as this allows the possibility of coming up with a more efficient way of doing things. When you can make a person’s life easier or save them money, you’ll have one very satisfied client.
  • Hard Worker.
    A good financial planner gets the job done, but a great one really takes the time to examine a client’s finances to make sure they’re maximizing their earning potential.
  • Excellent Communication Skills.
    To keep a client on a long-term basis, one must be a great communicator. It’s important to really listen to the questions, concerns, and goals of your clients to make sure you’re leading them down the path they want to be on.

Working as a financial planner is a huge responsibility that comes with great rewards. Knowing you’ve helped your clients to reach their financial goals is a wildly satisfying feeling.

Ready to take on a new and exciting challenge in the accounting field? Contact Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing. We offer guaranteed access to more professional accounting job opportunities than any other Northwest employment service.

Bridging the Generation Gap Between Accountants

January 17th, 2014

It’s never been easy managing a team of accountants varying in age from early 20’s to mid-60’s and beyond. However, the generational gap between the aging Baby Boomer population and the emerging group of Millennials ready to take over the workforce has never been more apparent.

Younger workers grew up in a world of technology, where they never had to use an eraser or change the tape on their adding machines. These employees will never know what it’s like to wish there was a way to automate an accounting system, as doing things manually is now a thing of the past.

Three Ways to Bridge the Generation Gap

Helping older and younger accountants meet in the middle may seem like a somewhat daunting task, but it’s definitely possible to do so. Follow these three ideas to bridge the generation gap at your company:

  • Promote Mutual Respect.
    There’s often a barrier between older and younger employees, even when the two groups want to find common ground. It’s important for younger workers to respect their senior peers for the years of valuable experience they’ve gained working in the field. Conversely, older employees must also respect the new, innovative ideas brought by younger workers.
  • Allow Different Generations to Learn from One Another.
    The two generations really have a lot to learn from one another. The on-the-job experience a person gains from a long-lasting career is irreplaceable. Younger employees need older workers to serve as their mentors, guiding them to success. However, younger employees are extremely tech savvy and have a whole crop of fresh ideas to offer, proving there really may be a better method of doing things than how the company “has always operated” in the past.
  • Let the Younger Generation Have a Voice.
    In the past, younger workers were intimated by senior management and were willing to silently do as they were told. This is no longer the case, as today’s crop of young people expect their voice to be heard. Companies that listen to what they have to say will build loyalty and a team of employees truly invested in the company, while those who continue to operate the old-fashioned way will likely not be as successful.

Getting older and younger staff members to work together as a team can help your company achieve its goals and create a succession plan. Accountingpros Recruiting + Staffing is here to help you build a successful team. One of the top Seattle employment agencies, we have a network of skilled accounting and finance professionals ready get to work at your company.