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The Rise of the CPA: Three Letters That Signal You Are in Demand

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

If there is one function of a business that has grown significantly in importance in recent years, it is that of finance. The backdrop to this is a combination of factors from a number of monetary scandals that have rocked established organizations around the world, to the tsunami-like global financial crisis itself, to the more recent sobering economic climate and subsequent ushering in of belt-tightening measures.

One thing is for sure: never has it felt like so much scrutiny or pressure has been placed on businesses to make sure their financial houses are in order. And so who do companies rely on in times such as these? The answer can be summed up in three letters: CPA.

Put simply, certified public accountants, or CPAs for short, are now seen more than ever as the bedrock of any organization’s ability to survive. Demand is so great for their skills that in some countries there are even CPA shortages, leading to a boost in salaries for those already in the privileged position of being in the field.

It isn’t just the financial climate, though, that is driving this demand for CPAs. The uncertainty of the times in which we live (with recent years having seen the Middle East going through unprecedented levels of unexpected events and change) creates a climate in which businesses have to plan better and reduce risk for their survival. At the same time markets are increasingly competitive, as globalization opens up new opportunities and challenges, and as the digital landscape reshapes consumer dynamics.  Take all this into consideration and it’s no surprise that certified professional accountants are sought after for their knowledge that can create a competitive advantage to business. And just as the business landscape is increasing in complexity, so is the diversity of opportunities and salary ranges for CPAs.

So what is it that makes a CPA such a valuable commodity in the talent pool? The reasons are simple: even without today’s business or economic backdrop, having CPA certification is seen as a plus for a career in accountancy: it is a benchmark that indicates high standards of professionalism, of quantitative skills, and of adherence to ethical standards, thus increasing a professional’s leverage in the job market. It also brings with it the prospect of increased salary, generally entailing at least a premium of five percent over accountants’ salaries without the CPA. But beyond all of this, the plus of having CPA certification is also seen as a way to open doors to multiple career opportunities; it is a stepping stone to wherever your dreams might take you – from private sector business to multinational corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations, your skills as a CPA will always be in demand. From accountancy to tax, risk management to investment consulting, and all the way up the corporate ladder to the boardroom via the role of chief financial officer (increasingly seen as the key driving force in any business), there is a diverse range of careers within a CPA’s grasp.

It’s clear that if there used to be any thoughts of a CPA merely representing a step up from an accountant, this is no longer the case. Today’s CPAs are called on to play increasingly important roles in a company’s future. No longer are they simply accounting for what has happened; they are also relied on for valuable insight into how to manage and plan for what lies ahead. In short, today CPAs have a vital role to play in the success of any organization and that makes them in demand more than ever before

 

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Work smart, not hard

By Bilal Sadiq K

We all know how difficult it can become to cope with numerous things at once; not everybody is good at multi-tasking. You would have been working harder and harder, yet that goal doesn’t seem close enough. This is how this article can help you as it's time you start working smarter, rather than dwelling on hard and long working hours. These 12 tips will for sure help you in attaining your goals the smart way. Master these concepts well in order to succeed.

  1. Prioritise your life: You must understand that every task comes with a priority tag on it. You cannot simply pile up everything and think of accomplishing them simultaneously. A step by step approach is necessary to ensure that every goal is attained one step at a time.
  2. Expect failure: Failure is a part of life, and yes, it can get ugly, but you must learn to deal with it. It should not be feared but rather considered as a learning curve.
  3. Right questions: Always remember to ask the appropriate questions. This way you can save up some time, collect more information, and eliminate unnecessary details.
  4. Learn to say no: Try to avoid over-scheduling yourself and be more pragmatic about it. You must cut off activities that are not beneficial, tiresome and unfruitful.
  5. Your Phone: You might be implementing this already, but it’ always worth mentioning. Instead of always referring to your laptop or computer to respond to emails, keep everything updated on your phone in order to save time.
  6. MACRO usage: Working on excel, and that too very hard? Try learning MACROS to get everything done in single clicks.
  7. Be concise: Stop rambling, and try to sharpen your ‘elevator speech’, which means telling the entire story in around 30 seconds. Save your time!
  8. Valuing your greatest resource: If you think your biggest resource is your time, you’re wrong. It’s YOU. You must nurture yourself by getting proper sleep and nutrition. Value yourself!
  9. Shortcuts: You must have heard people saying that there is no shortcut in life. Well, if you can find some to help get your work done faster and easily then what’s the harm then?
  10. Avoid procrastination: It’s not a new word to our ears but we all need to avoid delaying and consider prioritisation to get things done.
  11. Be flexible: Your day might not go as you would have planned that’s okay. Try a new approach without being to harsh on yourself. Be smart about it.
  12. Diminishing Returns: Understand this term and stop working yourself to the point of exhaustion, where you would not be able to put in more effort. Rest, get fresh, and realise that you might have gotten prone to mistakes, so it’s normal.
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4 Ways Project Management Can Help a Growing Business

By Rebecca Langdon

The larger organisations typically have a well implemented project management capability, often with a PMO team, a host of PM’s, the works. Their size often makes it economic and efficient to have this separate team. However what about smaller businesses that are growing, doing an increasing number of projects, but are still feeling the way in terms of project management processes and what they can do for them? These are the 4 key ways that Project Management best practice can help a growing business.

  1. Improve Project Estimation

What something is going to cost is almost always critical to whether or not that project is feasible or not from a business perspective. One of the key mistakes made when project management process is not employed is absent or inaccurate project estimation. Upfront estimation and a process for periodically updating that estimate is vital for project success. It also assists businesses to not carry out projects that are not economically viable, and to avoid unexpected cost slip during a project.

  1. Resource Capability Planning

If you are a small business you may not have a huge amount of resources, whether that be internal or an external pool you tap into. However, that does not negate the need to plan resources and assess what the output capability is of the resources that you do have. In fact, it is this project process of estimating resource output that is excellent best practice to be used more widely in the organisation.

  1. Encourage Team Collaboration

A Project Team when set up correctly will be able to efficiently and effectively communicate and collaborate, within the team itself, and to other stakeholders. This is often instigated via a set of project processes, but the result is typically increased collaboration which was spring-boarded from the initial processes.

  1. Improved Reporting and Transparency

The thing about formal projects is that they usually have reporting and data collection requirements built into their processes. Data collection and reporting when done correctly are valuable business tools that are useful throughout the business. Therefore if this can be learnt through the project process, it can be implemented more widely.

In Summary

Smaller businesses may not feel that they can afford project management from both a financial perspective and the burden of additional time. It is true that when implemented poorly, project management can cause unhelpful delays and unwanted costs. Yet in reality, when used appropriately, and mindfully of the size of the project and business in question, it can be hugely beneficial for the project itself and for the wider organisation to learn from. For further information on project management techniques, feel free to explore the PMP course.

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HR’s hidden truths

By Leanne Howe

HR professionals, are they there for the good of management or the workforce? Well actually neither.  Why, because HR is a strategic function, the role is to maximise output from the human capital resources for the greater good, in this case the organisational objectives.

These hidden truths illustrate the importance and influence of the HR function, how it is more than merely administrative and how HR professionals need to possess the knowledge and skills to deliver on the role. There are many opportunities where HR professionals can seek assistance and development for career development and for the good of an organsation.

  1. Dispute resolution

During times of change or turbulence this aspect of HR is called upon more often. Whilst HR is there to ensure that there is a positive outcome. Ultimately the decisions made from this process are those that are best aligned with the company’s objectives and not one individuals (accused or accuser).  If this is an area you consider needs more development, the strategic HRM courses offered (SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP) can help develop this competency.

  1. Wiggle Room!

Whilst there is always a ‘c0mpany policy’ on contractual arrangements, salaries etc. Organisations and HR departments will always have room to create the ‘right’ package to attract and retain talent they consider as essential. Whilst this seems unfair, knowing that a key role of HR is to make the most of the organisations’ human capital it is quite understandable.  Considering it costs more to train than to retain staff, it is important to remember that doing what you can in a competitive recruitment environment is imperative. Remember as people and families are time poor, these packages do not have to be purely monetary offers.

  1. Remember who signs off the Performance Appraisal

Whilst HR looks after the organisational welfare and development policies throughout the year, they also deal with the annual appraisals. The opinion HR has of an employee is based upon the data held by the department; attendance, punctuality, team performance, work rate, disciplinary and grievances raised can all build a profile of an employee. This is important as this can influence the outcome of the appraisal and any promotion decision.  Therefore, HR professionals need to be aware of how to use data effectively.

  1. Digital Stamp

Whilst HR has can listen in confidence to any issues an employee has, the department is not obligated to retain this confidentiality. HR has access to digital profiles and social media accounts of potential and existing personnel and whilst HR cannot dictate how to spend out of work time, any behavior that constitutes illegality or against company interest then action can be taken whether it has been found on these sites or confided to them.

Whatever the outcome of any decision or process that HR is involved in, it is made in the best possible scenario for the organisation as a whole.

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Why You Need a Digital Marketing Strategy

 

In the age of the internet, a digital marketing strategy could not be more vital for businesses of all sizes. From start-ups to multi-national organisations, the online world of social media, SEO and website optimization is becoming more and more integral to business success. But what, specifically, can a digital marketing strategy do for your business?

 

Pave the Way When the Unexpected Happens

In digital marketing, trends and customer behaviours can change almost instantaneously, but a strong digital marketing strategy can help any business weather the storm and even see success arise from any crisis situations which may arise.

 

Keep Finances Under Control

As the digital marketing industry grows, so does the need for businesses to invest in both online and offline technologies to make the most of new trends and influences in the relevant industry. This means that marketing teams need to be able to allocate some of their marketing budget to digital marketing, specifically – which will require monitoring just as your regular marketing budget does.

 

Outline the Path to Success

It is easier to reach your destination when the route you ned to take to get there is properly laid out. By planning every step, not only do your employees and investors have a clearer idea of where the business is heading and how you plan to get it there, but it will be easier to adapt to any new digital marketing changes over time, if you have a clear outline of your business’ aims and objectives.

 

Motivate your Staff and Colleagues

A solid plan works wonders to motivate and push people to work harder. It is a lot easier to expect people to get on with their jobs when they know exactly what they are supposed to be working towards as well as the specific actions needed to get there. A digital marketing strategy may also open opportunity for discussion, suggestions and input from valued people within your business.

 

Capitalise on New Opportunities

As you find new ways to promote your business through digital marketing channels, it is important to ensure that all activities remain in-line with the original plan. This plan will stop your marketing team from deviating and potentially wasting resources on digital marketing activities which will not be useful or beneficial to the company overall.

 

By implementing a digital marketing strategy, your business will benefit in many ways. Whether a small start-up, or long-term established corporation, the implementation of a digital marketing strategy will pull the business together and improve the focus on new technologies.

To better understand how digital marketing and the strategy surrounding it will help your business, visit our course guide.

 

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Why Self-Study is For You

 By Morgan International Staff Writers

Choosing which method of learning to reach your ultimate goal of professional certification can feel difficult at times. With several options on the table – live classes, online learning and self study – it’s important to take the time to pick the one that suits you. When it comes to self study, though, the benefits and reasons for choosing it are very clear-cut.

One of the biggest advantages self-study offers is freedom. With no fixed timetable or schedule, you are free to study whenever and wherever you feel like it. This is ideal for anyone who has a busy schedule or hectic lifestyle: there is no one dictating what to study or when – it is all down to you.

Of course the flip side to this is that as the only person driving your studies, you need to possess discipline and motivation. For this reason, those that opt for self-study should not do so lightly. You will need to take responsibility for setting your own schedule and making sure that your scope of study adequately prepares you for the exams ahead. Here, though, lies another major advantage of self study, too. As the person in charge of your own learning schedule, you are free to study at your own pace. Perhaps you know there are certain areas that require more time to absorb the information, or you feel the need to go over a course module again: anything is possible when you are the one in control. Likewise you can also speed up in places where you feel on top of the subject matter and are comfortable enough to move ahead. Therefore, self study really gives you the power of versatility, letting you tailor the program to your own specific needs and speed.

Although your success depends very much on yourself, don’t forget that even with the self study option you are supported by Morgan International’s reputation for quality courseware. This is a reputation built on 21 years of expertise in helping professionals gain certification in their chosen fields. Between your own determination and Morgan International’s trusted support, the self study option should place you well on your way to achieving your career goals.

The Many Faces of Logistics

Within the CSCP qualification, budding Supply Chain Managers learn a lot about the different types of logistics and how they contribute to the wider organization. It is one of the main organizational functions and it has a very wide reaching and important role. So whether you are already studying and this is a quick recap, or perhaps you are considering becoming qualified, we hope you find this useful.
Procurement Logistics

Procurement logistics covers a number of activities such as requirements planning, researching the market, make or buy decisions, managing suppliers, and ordering. In essence it is procuring the goods and/or services.
Production Logistics

Production logistics covers processes within a value added system, such as a factory. Within the factory example its purpose would be to ensure that each machine has the materials it needs at the right time, the right quantity and at the right quality. As Logistics Managers’ focus on smaller inventories and batch sizes, just in time becomes an important methodology for consideration.
Distribution Logistics

This covers getting the products/services to the customer in the right condition, in the right place, in the right quality, and at the agreed time. If you consider a next day delivery service for a company such as Amazon who sell a vast range of products, you can easily imagine the complexity of getting it right first time, every time.
Disposal Logistics

This refers to the management of and minimization of costs associated to disposal of waste during the production of goods and services. For example it might be disposal of waste by-products created in a factory.

Summary

These are the main subcategories within the overarching logistics function. It is an exciting role, and offers the opportunity to deliver business value to an organization. If you are interested in learning more, why not consider the CSCP qualification.

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Tacking Marketing Project Management

By Rebecca Langdon

You may be asking yourself why we are singling marketing out as a discipline that needs its own article on how to run project management. It is a good question and one that we are about to answer. Marketing projects are often more complex than traditional projects due to the wide range of tasks being carried out, from weekly SEO to monthly newsletters, to huge and complex global ad campaigns. Work done via social media has a very different profile to above the line with social media requiring greater agility hence leaner processes.

  • Project Templates

Yes the projects vary, but there will be common themes that will allow you to produce a set of templates to increase efficiency. Work out what the main types of projects are and create a set of templates that can allow consistency whilst recognising variability across the portfolio.

  • Programme Management

If you view the marketing efforts as a programme of work which is the machine, the cogs are all of the projects. For the machine to be productive, all of the cogs must be operating efficiently and cohesively. While resources and stakeholders will operate within one or more projects, but unlikely the entire programme, it is important to introduce programme level communication.

  • Embracing Marketing Metrics

Measures in other departments are often far simpler and fewer in number; most commonly being related to delivery of a pre-defined set of requirements such as a software installation. Marketing is often different in that the success of a project is typically another measure once the requirement is delivered. For example, the requirement of Project A might be a video on demand ad, but the measures of success go beyond if the ad was delivered. There will be measured targets including the number of viewers who saw the ad, and how many of those were within the target customer profile.

  • Process Flows

Different marketing projects will require different process flows. I said at the beginning that the project templates will differ and the same is true for process flows. An agile project for example will have a leaner set of processes and will likely rely on backlogs, sprints, and scrums. Whereas a more traditional project will lend itself to a more process driven waterfall workflow.

In Summary

The breadth of the activities within the marketing function, and the exposure to the ever changing social media environment, mean that to be effective, project management must be adaptive. For further information on project management techniques, feel free to explore the PMP course.

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Managing Millennials – Five Trends the HR Function Needs To Consider To Manage This New ‘Talent’

By Leanne Howe

Successful organisations realise human capital is an organisation’s best asset to sustain competitive advantage and deliver on strategy.  The Human Resources (HR) function plays a role in ensuring an organisation can compete and manage the competency of its’ workforce.

HR professionals need to ensure they possess the skills to drive strategy; a course such as SHRM-CP and SHRM-SCP will provide the necessary credentials, regardless of position. There are five key trends HR professionals need to embrace to manage the talent pipeline:

  1. HR as a strategic partner

HR needs to become a strategic thinker with a place at the board table, ensuring the organisations’ capabilities are aligned with every function.  The role of the HR generalist has no place in the current environment. HR as a strategic partner needs to work collaboratively across functions to ensure the required skills and capabilities are identified, to successfully achieve the organisations goals. This cannot be an outsourced skill, as a full understanding of the organisation is required.

 

  1. Talent mapping and recruitment

It is no longer productive to fit a person to a role. Tasks should be skilled mapped not roles. Talent should be utilised based on competencies in these skill areas. HR will require a more scientific approach to recruitment; a more data driven and technological approach to recruitment.  Platforms such as LinkedIn are going to require HR professionals to be more proactive than reactive.

  1. Considering the needs of Millennials – one size fits one approach

Millennials are the future workforce and need to be managed differently. Attracting and retaining this talent can be a challenge. Many ‘millennials’ do not want traditional working hours and 58% of 18-to 36-year-old workers are thinking about their next job opportunity.  HR must understand ‘millennials’ needs, for example flexibility, providing opportunities for job enrichment, job rotation to lock in talent. The use of technology and social media to acquire and engage is increasingly important.

  1. Using Big Data

HR sits on a large amount of data and are drivers for data collection. Performance data and metrics are increasingly important as organisations’ seek to maximise productivity from their workforce.

  1. Managing a wider and remote workforce

The rise of the gig economy has increased workforce flexibility and access to talent. HR in its’ proactive role will need to identify talent effectively, as well as developing employee engagement policies and practice to reflect this changing workforce. Talent will need to be managed internally and externally.

HR needs to be focused on achievement not process, it is imperative that HR professionals understand the environment and develop and identify talent now, for the future and undertake skills development themselves to ensure that they deliver.

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Marketers: Here Are 5 Top Reasons Why You Need to Get Certified

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

There’s a whole lot of reasons why professionals need to get certified nowadays. From earning credibility, to enhancing your CV and setting you apart from the competition, there isn’t much to argue about when it comes to the case for certification.

But although we’re more familiar with our fellow accountant and finance colleagues going after prestigious credentials, marketers on the other hand, do not seem to have caught on with the trend. Until now.

As the marketing industry continues to evolve with new technological advancements and shifts in consumer behavior, it has become more vital than ever for marketers to be experts not only in marketing theory but also in practice and to stay abreast of the current trends in the marketplace in order to shine in the creative arena. A university degree is no longer enough. So what is?

The American Marketing Association (AMA), established in 1937 by visionaries in marketing and academia and now a hub for over 30,000 members across the globe, has introduced the Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) credential to serve the needs of the modern marketer and take your career to the next level.

We’ve made it super easy for you to see what it’s all about by listing the top 5 reasons why getting PCM Certified is the right career move for any marketer wishing to make marketing history:

  1. It heightens your marketability by providing differentiation from others in the marketing talent pool

 

  1. It demonstrates your commitment to staying abreast of the latest marketing knowledge and practices

 

  1. it indicates that you operate under the highest professional standards

 

  1. It allows you to use the AMA PCM® credential and logo for public recognition of your professional achievement

 

  1. It serves as a benchmark of your career accomplishments and as a roadmap for professional development going forward

Explore our PCM packages and take your marketing career to the next level!