Category Archives: Blog

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Limited Resources? How You Can Still Achieve Results on Social Media

By Morgan International Staff Writers

As a small business, it is worthwhile investing in a social media expert, who can manage your platforms for you, but what if you don't have the budget to call in a professional? Should you just forget about social media altogether? The answer is most definitely no! There are 58 million Facebook users in the Middle East alone, so this shows the kind of potential it can have for your business. Even if you have limited resources, time and knowledge, you can still achieve great results on social media. These are some ways to make the best use of social media, without really knowing what you are doing!

Find your audience

You may be completely new to social media, but you can still attract customers and the first step is to figure out where your target market will be. For example, if you are running a small accountancy firm, you are probably interested in freelancers and other small businesses, so where do you find them? You will find this kind of audience on all social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and you want to really start engaging with them. Follow your target market, engage with them and you will soon build up a nice network of your potential buyers.

Consistency is key

No matter how little time you have, it is important to be consistent with your social media efforts, otherwise they will go to waste. You need to build your audience and keep interest by posting content at least once a day. Don't worry if time is your biggest enemy though, you can schedule your posts on Hootsuite so you are still maintaining your social media presence, without the need to post every day. Don't expect to get results straight away, especially in a competitive market. Social media always takes time, so be consistent and you will start to get results.

Keep content varied

You may be wondering what you should post and there are all different types of possibilities. You may want to post content about the latest news in your industry or a link to your blog. Your social media should not be saturated with sales pitches, it should offer a good mix of content, as this is what will grow interest in your services.

If you'd like to find out more about social media marketing, get in touch with us at Morgan and we'll be happy to assist you!

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Sitting the SHRM Exam: Do you know what to expect?

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

If you are looking to sit for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam, you need to meet specific eligibility criteria first and this is made up of your achievements in both education and work experience. The exams last for about 4 hours and during this time, you would complete a range of questions. As you are entering an exam scenario, it is essential that you understand what is expected from you. Of course, preparing and practicing for the exam is imperative, but you should also make sure you have all the relevant documents and know what is expected of you. These are some dos and dont's for entering the exam room.

The Do's

  • Do make sure you have some ID with you. It should be government ID with a photo and signature, such as your passport or driving license. It must not be expired. If there is no signature or photo, you may be able to use secondary identification, such as a credit card or bank card.
  • Do your studying prior to entering the test centre. You won't be able to read up on your study materials or check your mobile phone beforehand.
  • Keep your breaks short and sweet. There are no allocated slots for breaks and you won't get extra time for your exam.

The Don'ts

  • Don't arrive at the exam with bulging pockets, you'll be asked to empty them!
  • Whatever you do, don't be late for the exam. If you're late, the chances are that you won't get to sit your exam. Arrive early.
  • Don't be too dressed up for the exam. You won't be allowed to wear jewellery, unless it's an engagement or wedding ring.

Less is more

If in doubt, less is always more when it comes to arriving for your exam. Make sure you have the identification required, but don't bother with other extras, as you'll have more hassle trying to get them stored away. Preparation is the key to success with the SHRM exam.

Do you need more information on sitting the SHRM exam? Get in touch and our advisors will be happy to help!

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Don’t Lose Your CIA Designation – How to Complete and Report Your CPE Hours

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Now you’ve attained the status of Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), you’ll need to meet the requirements of your professional body with regard to continuing professional education, or CPE.

All you have to do to maintain your CIA certification is complete and report the required number of CPE credit hours each year, referencing the courses or events you’ve attended, and learning activities undertaken.

Use CCMS Online 

CPE credit hours should be reported by 31st December each year via the IIA’s online portal, the Certification Candidate Management System (CCMS). Candidates who live outside North America may need to report the information directly to their IIA Affiliate.

A new requirement for 2018 is that at least two CPE credit hours should be completed in the area of Ethics.

So what might be the best types of education and learning activities to undertake, and how do you access them?

Registry of CPE Providers and Other Learning Opportunities 

The Chartered IIA has developed a registry of approved CPE providers to help you assess and choose suitable activities, but you can also carry out other forms of continuing professional education.

Activities might include:

  • Attending international conferences, seminars, workshops, or other programs
  • Completing internal and external training courses
  • Presenting at events
  • Carrying out research and writing articles on audit-related issues
  • Volunteering to help the IIA, on a local, national, or international basis
  • Reading Internal Auditor Magazine, and answering questions on the content
  • Login to the Certification Candidate Management System using your username and password
  • Select ‘Complete a Form’
  • Navigate to the appropriate CPE Reporting Form
  • Enter the details of your credit hours, and activities/learning undertaken
  • Submit the form

Steps to Reporting your CPE Credit Hours on CCMS 

Don’t forget to keep your contact details up-to-date on CCMS, as regular email reminders regarding CPE reporting will be sent to you prior to the 31st December deadline.

For more information on maintaining your CIA certification, have a look through our website or get in touch with one of the team. We’ll provide valuable guidance on CPE activities, your reporting obligations, and how you can meet them.

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Top Non-Financial Skills Required in Finance

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

To be successful in the finance profession, candidates need more than a strong set of technical skills and relevant work experience. As organisations expect their employees to work more broadly, it is increasingly important to have a range of non-financial skills. These are our top six.

  • Communication

The capability to communicate verbally and through writing. This includes the very important ability to explain what the numbers mean to individuals who are not financially savvy. Furthermore, the skill of active listening as well as speaking should be mastered.

  • Stakeholder management

Managing relationships is an important life skill in both your work and personal life. This includes dealing effectively with colleagues, subordinates, management, and those outside of the organisation.

  • Marketing

Marketing yourself within the organisation and externally. This is only possible if you have awareness of, and confidence in your strengths. Those most successful at this can also convey that they have a personal interest in the outcome of what they are doing – they care! This is particularly important when you are managing somebody else’s money.

  • Attention to detail

One number being added on or taken off can make a huge difference – particularly when reporting results and communicating with the tax authorities. Also the information provided to management is used to make important business decisions, and therefore it needs to be accurate.

  • Organisational skills

You are likely to be very busy – managing a mix of business as usual activities with project based work. Into this mix you need to make time for training and development, and management responsibilities you may have. Therefore the ability to manage your time is of paramount importance.

  • Tech savvy

You will not only need to use the generic work systems, but you will be expected to use accounting software. As you move between organisations you will need to turn your hand to software packages you have not used before. Therefore developing good technical skills is a great asset to have.

In Summary

Whilst a Finance professional is expected to have a strong technical skills and work experience, organisations are seeking so much more. They are looking for well-rounded candidates who aren’t just focused on the hard numbers, but are able to communicate effectively and are able to manage their workload to the advantage of the organization.

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The Importance of Your Online Access and Practice Questions

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Textbooks are great, but they do not have the same level of interactivity and ease of use as online materials. At Morgan International, the majority of courses offered come with a huge bank of online resources. These can be accessed from wherever the candidate is in the world as long as they have an internet connection. The content typically includes practice questions, mock exams, and flashcards, just to name a few.

Take the CPA course for example, Morgan provide online access to the following:

  • Over 6,800 multiple choice questions
  • Over 380 task-based simulations
  • Interactive Skills Practice includes videos and 215 interactive simulations
  • Two mock exams per exam section that mirror the CPA Exam
  • Comprehensive textbooks and interactive eBooks

The most successful candidates who we work with make robust use of the online access. They access the content regularly during the course of their studies, to prep for each chapter, and then to test and reinforce the learning thereafter. We know from experience the importance of doing as many questions and exercises as possible – repetition is key.

As exam day creeps closer, that is the time to begin undertaking as many mock exams as possible and using the feedback within the resources to mark what you have done and gain an understanding of any weaknesses. We often provide flashcards which are a great revision tool – particularly when a bit short of time.

In Summary

All of the resources we produce and provide through online access have been carefully designed based on the many years’ experience we have of helping professional certification students. If we printed all of the resources out if would result in far too much paper for any student to carry around with them. However with a tablet and Wi-Fi, our students have the flexibility to study wherever they are – on the train, bus, or even in their lunch break at work. That is why online access has become so popular!

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Supply Chain Salaries in the UAE

By Morgan International Staff Writers

For those working in supply chain already, or interested in pursuing a career in it, the details of the Cooper Fitch 2018 salary guide for the UAE is likely to be very interesting. At a macro level, they have estimated GDP growth of approximately 3.4% which is based on IMF forecasts. They are optimistic about slight salary improvements across the board. However, what about supply chain specifically?

Growth in the manufacturing sector as a result of foreign direct investment has increased demand for supply chain professionals in the UAE. With the influx of FDI also comes increasing supply chain complexity due to globalisation – therefore making the nature of the roles more interesting. Unsurprisingly it also means that organisations are seeking candidates that have demonstrable experience of managing many layers within a global supply chain. This is a distinct departure from prior years when local and regional experience was more in demand.

In terms of the availability of talent, there is not a supply chain shortage. However employers are very clear in their requirement for category and direct industry experience. Unsurprisingly as businesses push for competitive pricing from suppliers, an understanding of bids, negotiation, contracts and tenders is desired. Furthermore, employers typically prefer candidates who have the ability to speak and read Arabic.

Salary increases within the procurement community are expected to be 2-3%. Let’s now take a closer look at salary levels across supply chain roles in the UAE.

All of the salaries listed below are for candidates with 0-3 years’ experience and are in AED.

  • Supply Chain Manager                      22,000-32,500
  • Supply Chain Director                       35,000-40,000
  • Supply Planning Manager               20,000-24,000
  • Materials Manager                               15,000-21,000
  • Category Manager                                19,000-24,000
  • Buyer                                                           6,000-12,000
  • Procurement Manager                      22,000-30,000
  • Procurement Director                      35,000-42,000
  • Contracts Manager                              23,000-29,000
  • Logistics Manager                                15,000-19,000

 In Summary

The outlook is strong for supply chain professionals working in the UAE. For those just starting their careers it is worthwhile to seek roles which will provide experience of complex global supply chains, with plenty of opportunity for running tender processes and negotiating commercials with suppliers.

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How to Write the Perfect Blog Post and Why it Matters

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

“Content, content, content!” It feels like it has been a buzzword for just a few years but having a clear and defined content strategy (with useful and engaging blog posts in the mix) has been one of the cornerstones of digital marketing success for much longer, and since Google’s algorithm got smarter, content writers have had to step up their game. This is great for readers who had been drowning in boring keyword-stuffed blog posts and it is also good news for marketers, businesses and thought-leaders who actually have something to say. It is the writers of those articles that will climb the rankings, grab engagement and build an audience that comes back for more, converts into a customer or is retained as a loyal follower of your brand. But how do you write the perfect article?

Step 1: Know your audience

Before you embark on any writing, remember who you are writing for. Many marketers and agencies will begin by creating Audience Personas to give a face and a name to each audience segment. What drives your audience? What is their age group and life-stage? What problems can you help them solve? Do they have children? What is their job function?

There is a bunch of useful tools and tips on how to create these online. Check out HubSpot for their free templates or conduct your own market research by surveying your existing customers.

Step 2: Define your brand voice

Your brand voice should reflect your audience as best it can while maintaining the right level of professionalism and demonstrating your expertise. Many brands use a similar approach to the audience persona method and give their brand its own personality. This helps everyone who writes content for your brand to present a consistent tone and style to your audience and customers. Creating a guide of do’s and don’ts along with a word and phrase palette gives you a handy reference guide to go back to when you feel your writing style floundering or going a little off piste.

Step 3: Define your objectives

Why are you even writing this in the first place? Some people love to blog and some find it a challenge but nobody should be churning out content for the sake of it. What is it you want the reader to think, feel or do when they read your article? Do you want them to recognise you as an expert in your field, do you want to convince them about a product or service that you offer or do you want to build a relationship by helping them solve a problem with your sage advice and wisdom? An article without an objective is a rudderless ship and can end up being a disappointment to your reader and a big waste of time for you. By setting a clear and measurable objective, you can also track the success of your post. Did readers dwell on the page long enough to read it to the end? Did they click on the links you wanted them to click on? Did they comment below or share it?

To help you identify whether your post was successful, check your Google Analytics or any other marketing automation tools that you use for tracking. Keeping track of the successes and failures will help you hone future blog posts.

Step 4: Choose a subject- but not just any old subject!

Now you have thought about what your audience wants and needs, have a think about what problems you can solve for them or what you can write to entertain them. There are plenty of tools to check on trending topics but don’t just jump on any old bandwagon because it is popular. Make sure it is a subject where you can add value to the conversation and remember what is unique about your brand and audience.

Step 5: Research and organise the content

Opinion pieces are great, but can you beef it up with studies, research or other resources to pass along to your audience? Research might take the form of interviewing your CEO or looking at other experts on your chosen topic. Make sure you properly cite or link to external sources and include juicy quotes when you find them.

Organise the content into a structure that flows well. Are you writing a step-by-step ‘How to’ guide or recapping a recent industry event in a newspaper journalism style? Get all the ideas down in note form and push them around until you have an interesting and easy to follow progression and structure.

Step 6: WRITE

If you enjoy writing, you have probably started here before you went through the first four steps and got carried away writing your witty prose without much thought as to why you are writing in the first place. If you hate it, you will probably stop here to make the entire office a cup of coffee, tidy your desk or decide it is time to re-organise your inbox.

For the writing-averse, trust that you have now got the bulk of the work done and just start typing. Try not to get caught up in making every sentence perfect, just get tapping on the keyboard and you can tidy, trim and embellish later.

Step 7: SEO optimisation 

Keywords should not be forced into your text inelegantly, nor should they be repeated unnaturally again and again. However, getting a few of those keywords into your text before your final edit will help your rankings.

Most CMS systems will have options to help you ensure you have the right keywords in your titles and anchor text. One thing to watch out for is your meta description. While it does not directly impact Google’s rankings, using the default text could mean you miss an opportunity to get a click once your page is displayed. Consider including a meta description that uses no more than 300 characters (as this is all that Google will show) and that entices the reader to click.

Step 8: Edit & Format

Read aloud, include bullets, subheaders and images to break up long-form, check it fits the objectives and brand voice, tweak your intro.

Step 9: Rework the title

This can actually take a really long time but can make a huge difference to click through rates. Here is one of my favourite bloggers explaining how he works and reworks his titles:

How to Write A Blog Post Title

Why My Blog Post Titles Take Hours to Write

My Method of Writing Effective Blog Post Titles

How I Write Effective Blog Post Titles

Why Writing Blog Post Titles Can Take Hours

Why My Effective Titles Take Hours

How I Write Effective Post Titles (and Why it Can Take Hours)

How I Write Effective Titles (and Why it Takes Hours)”

Ramsay Taplin, The Blog Tyrant

If you are still struggling for inspiration, go to your own favourite blogs and identify what made you want to read them, why you found them helpful, how they made you feel and if they made you respond by reading more, sharing or making a purchase.

Step 10: Include a CTA

Now, what was it you were writing this blog for again? Go back to your objective, make that what you have written still aligns and then include your CTA. Do you want the reader to check out a product link? Would you like them to sign up for your newsletter or download an ebook? If you are not sure what a Call to Action could look like, here goes ours - if you want to  improve your digital marketing know-how, check out our course guide today!

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Conquer Social Media Recruitment

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

According to Forbes social media is a critical recruiting tool because it is the best way to reach job seekers, it is part of an overarching cultural shift, and it puts well needed distance between the ‘good old boy’ network. It is I expect of no surprise to you that the big three social media platforms for recruitment are LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Each have their own specific use cases:

Facebook

As the largest social networking platform in the world, it has 2 billion active users each month. This means you can reach ever gender, ethnicity, age group, professionalism etc.

Twitter

Twitter is more restrictive than Facebook due to the character limit. However this does have the benefit of minimizing the abundance of noise and keeps users to the key messages. That said, selling a corporate brand and a role in 140 words or less is somewhat tricky! The use of photos can help with this restriction.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is unsurprisingly the world’s largest professional network and it is hugely popular for recruitment purposes. The great thing about LinkedIn is that it is not only useful for finding candidates, but also for screening them by reviewing their profile. Particularly with the premium package, recruiters can access a vast database of active and passive candidates. The ‘job’ feature is perfect for posting jobs. Furthermore, companies can set up and maintain profiles and post jobs from that page.

Do something different

The big three cover a huge amount of ground from a candidate's perspective which is great, but don’t forget there are some great prospective employees out there who don’t conform to the standard pattern. It is therefore worthwhile considering other platforms such as YouTube, Google+, and Instagram. Of course the decision of which social media platform/s to use is dependent on the company itself, and who they are trying to attract. This is why it is useful to have an experienced and qualified HR professional within the organisation who can design and implement the recruitment strategy.

What to learn more about social media and how you can integrate it within your day to day job? Why not check our Morgan's short digital marketing certifications?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Study For Your CPA Anywhere, Anytime with our New CPA LiveOnline Format

By Morgan International Staff Writers 

Want to study for the CPA but need the flexibility to study within your home, or even on the move? Becker and Morgan International are excited to announce the launch of LiveOnline which is a web based structured schedule of CPA course instruction. This format is also excellent for busy professionals who would be unable to make classes but still require structured support.

A dynamic multimedia experience

LiveOnline courses include the same comprehensive materials and instruction as other formats but they are provided in real time. This means that students can access instructor support as and when they need it, to get study tips, guidance, and to ask questions.

What is included?

The programme is packed full of content, support and resources. This includes:

  • 114 hours of live online review sessions including 12 hours of simulations (4 simulation sessions per part)
  • 100+ hours of recorded lectures and expert instruction
  • Over 6,800 multiple choice questions
  • Over 380 task-based simulations
  • Adapt2U Adaptive Learning Technology
  • Interactive Skills Practice includes videos and 215 interactive simulations
  • Two mock exams per exam section that mirror the CPA Exam
  • Comprehensive textbooks and interactive eBooks
  • Modularized content delivered in short learning segments to easily fit in your schedule
  • A live chat that allows you to ask questions and get immediate feedback from our expert instructors
  • Interactive study planner
  • Unlimited academic support

In Summary

The next course begins in January 2018. If you would like more information, take a look at this link. We are confident that our LiveOnline programme will offer candidates everything they need to succeed as we mirror the CPA exam in every way. This ensures that candidates have no unwanted surprises on exam day. This is just one of the many reasons that Becker students are twice as likely to pass than non-Becker candidates!

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Avoid CFA Level I Exam Failure

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Nobody wants to fail their exams – however many do. In fact the majority do. In the June 2015 sitting, just 43% passed. We are here to share the top reasons for failure, along with ways to avoid it happening to you.

  • Can’t prioritize studying vs working?

This will likely be the first time that you have had to juggle full time work and study. We are not going to lie – it is challenging. But it is possible as many candidates succeed. We would encourage all candidates to consider that they need to undertake approximately 300 hours of study, then produce a detailed timetable of what will be done and when.

  • Out of exam practice

It may have been a few years since you have taken an exam and you may be a little rusty. There are plenty of old papers that you can use to practice. The key is to do them under exam conditions – that means you time yourself and make sure you are somewhere quiet.

  • Over estimating prior knowledge

For many candidates, they will have covered a lot of the CFA level I curriculum content in prior studies, such as their university degree. It can be all too easy to have a quick look over the syllabus and think you know it already. The best way to test this knowledge is to do some practice papers and see how you score. This will identify any areas of weakness.

  • Get external help

Your chances of exam success greatly increase when you have support from an experienced team of professionals. So don’t forget to get in touch with us and ask for support on your CFA journey!

In Summary

Yes – passing your CFA level I exam is not going to be easy. Chances are you will be out of practice, struggling to juggle all of your responsibilities, and be nervous about a 6 hour exam! However, there is a lot to be optimistic about if you consider and utilize some of our tips above.