Check out this HIRING GUIDE that will help you find and hire great employees each and every time - a step by step approach to the right hiring decisions! … Read More »
by Sara Bennett | April 16, 2019
Check out this HIRING GUIDE that will help you find and hire great employees each and every time - a step by step approach to the right hiring decisions! … Read More »
by Jeanne Knutzen | October 22, 2013
Are your about to complete your degree in accounting or finance and start searching for accounting positions in the Seattle area? Maybe you’re in the midst of a career transition and you’re on the verge of completing your CPA exams and taking a full time position in field of public accounting or private financial management. In either case, now is the time—if you haven’t done so already—to explore your options in three different areas of the accounting field. Seattle positions in all three of these focus areas are widely available, but each field varies widely in terms of growth, responsibilities, and continuing education options. So you’ll need to conduct some research and choose the path that best fits your personality and long term goals. Tax Accounting As a tax accountant, it will be your responsibility to make sure your clients are following applicable tax laws and making accurate payments based on current state and federal requirements. Available exemptions, payroll taxes, taxes on investments and dividends, and taxes on imported and exported products will all fall under your purview. Financial Accounting Financial accountants also help clients stay compliant with financial reporting requirements, including accurate communication with shareholders. As a financial accountant, you may be reviewing quarterly reports before they’re disseminated and helping shareholder boards make financial decisions that keep them in line with their fiduciary responsibilities. Financial accountants also help companies monitor expenses and track revenue streams in order to use financial resources efficiently. Management Accounting Management accounts focus on helping the company cut expenses and increase its revenue by making intelligent decisions based on cost-benefit ratios and customer demand. If you pursue this type of accounting career, you’ll be employed by one company, and you’ll play a crucial role in helping the company pursue a strategy that leads to growth and long term financial health. This position may require some management training and a CMA certification. For more information about the specific responsibilities and training required for each of these areas of public and private accounting, arrange an appointment with the Seattle financial staffing experts at Pace. If you are looking for accounting jobs in Seattle WA, contact us today.
by Jeanne Knutzen | September 18, 2013
Job seekers considering a future in accounting often turn away from this career path because of a simple set of misconceptions about the skills accountants need for success. And unfortunately, managers and recruiters aren’t doing much to alleviate these misconceptions—often because they simply don’t know how pervasive these myths are among young candidates and new grads. If employers made an active effort to set the record straight, they'd have an easier time attracting talented candidates to the profession. And if students and job seekers take a closer look, they may recognize that this field offers plenty of rewards for those who really do have what it takes to become an excellent accountant. Some of these overlooked skill sets are described below. Language and Communication Skills If you thought math and quantitative skills top the list of must-haves for accountants, think again. In fact, success in the field depends most heavily on an employee’s ability to communicate clearly in spoken and written formats. Accounts have to explain complex issues to those outside the profession, and they also need to form coherent arguments, describe plans of action, and point out problems and solutions in an articulate and convincing way. All of these require face-to-face, email, and telephone communication skills. Computer Skills The technology landscape evolves very quickly, and when it comes to back office management and accounting software, the pace of this evolution is especially fast. An employee may master a program or accounting utility today only to see this program replaced or phased out within a year. But savvy, adaptable employees have the flexibility and resources necessary to stay on top of these shifts and embrace new technological paths to the same goals. Networking and Social Skills Do you have what it takes to establish and maintain a wide network of social contacts? Can you form relationships and establish partnerships with diverse people across every age, discipline and background? If you can make friends everywhere you go and strike up a conversation with anyone about anything, you’ll be poised for success in the accounting business (and almost any other business you decide to enter.) For more information about the real skills accountants need to navigate the challenges of this profession, make a call and talk to the Seattle financial staffing experts at Pace. If you are looking for accounting jobs in Seattle visit our job board today.
by Jeanne Knutzen | August 14, 2013
You know your financial resume is fairly strong. Your education is complete, your track record of previous positions is fairly strong, and for the most part, your accomplishments speak for themselves. But here are a few additional moves you can make that can help you outshine your equally qualified competitors. Add these to your job search strategy and your interview invitations will start to increase. Raise your Financial Resume to the Next Level 1. Develop a branding statement. In the world of marketing, this is also sometimes called a “value proposition”. This is a simple, concise, and clear summary of the contributions you can offer to a potential employer that no other candidate can. This statement should be less than five lines ling and should appear at the top of your resume, just under your contact information. Before you begin to write and draft your statement, think carefully about what you do best and how your unique skills align with this specific employer’s needs. 2. Incorporate your own voice. Your resume and cover letter give you a chance to list and show off your credentials, but they also give you chance to share something about who you are as a person and what you’re like to work with. Don’t sacrifice your personality in the pursuit of a robotic, “professional” tone. As you search for work in the financial field, write (and speak) in a high, polished register, but be yourself. 3. Focus on keywords. Read carefully through the job posting for the position you’d like to purse. Are there any specific phrases that stand out or are used more than once? Does the list of required credentials contain specific certifications and areas of experience? If so, list these things in your resume using the exact phrases and wording that are written in the post. If these employers conduct a keyword search to pull your resume out of a database, these are probably the phrases they’ll use. 4. Quantify your accomplishments. As you list your strongest skills and accomplishments in your work history section, add numbers wherever you can. If you developed a new data management system or exceeded your call quotas, make sure you quantify the revenues raised for the company or the degree to which you surpassed your goals. Numbers make your claims easier to visualize, easier to understand, and easier to remember. If you are looking for temp agencies in Seattle, or looking to improve your financial job search, make an appointment with the Seattle financial staffing experts at Pace.
by Jeanne Knutzen | July 16, 2013
If you’re a hiring manager for an accounting or financial advisory services firm, you may have noticed something odd about the recent stagnation in the job market. While other industry mangers were sifting through stacks of resumes a mile high and turning away a dozen highly qualified candidates for every open position, you faced no such burdens. In fact, a stubborn shortage of millennial candidates only seemed to increase as the downturn wore on. If you’re still having trouble finding qualified young applicants for you financial positions, you’re not alone. What Draws Millennials? In order to attract candidates under the age of 35, you’ll need to create a workplace culture and a compensation package that provides what younger workers are looking for. In general, candidates in their twenties are not yet lured by the same attractions that draw older workers. They don’t yet have families, so family-related benefits won’t get you all the way there. (Though after you attract them, you’ll want to keep them in years to come, so don’t take these benefits off the table.) Instead, focus on compensation, bonuses, and a culture that rewards growth, commitment, and determination. You'll also need to think about your support for training, mentoring and continuing education. Do you have a structured mentoring program in place? Do you reimburse tuition? Does your training program build real skills? Overcoming the Millennial Finance Talent Shortage You’ll also have to overcome a few of the realities that are driving millennials away from the financial field. First, millennials are turned off by companies that lack integrity, and distrust of the financial sector is high among young people who have been, for example, drawn in lending practices that have left them (or their families) burdened by high interest debt. If your company treats “financial advisory services” as a simple euphemism for “sales”, you'll need to find a way to frame this that doesn’t turn off sharp, ambitious candidates who are looking for jobs with integrity and meaning. Second, young graduates with backgrounds in areas other than finance and economics may believe they aren't qualified for positions in your firm. But a strong training program means any highly intelligent candidate can learn the ropes with a little determination. Make this clear in your recruiting and outreach efforts. And third, culture matters to young employees…a lot. Be ready to pair younger workers with established teams. Create clear handoff arrangements between experienced employees approaching retirement and young mentees who are ready to absorb their institutional knowledge. And bear in mind that if this process freezes or stalls due to a culture of criticism and isolation, you’ll lose your young employees as fast as you bring them on board. For more information on how to attract and retain younger financial employees, reach out the Seattle hiring experts at Pace.
by Jeanne Knutzen | June 21, 2013
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As your business expands and your market footprint begins to grow, the size of your staff will need to keep pace. Hiring demands will pick up across all aspects of your company from production to customer outreach, and your financial department will be no exception. While you may have handled most of your accounting needs on your own during the early chapters, this just isn’t realistic beyond a certain stage. You’ll eventually need a CPA to manage to your tax responsibilities, a book keeper to monitor your revenue streams and cost centers, and eventually a controller to make sure your shareholders understand what’s happening behind the scenes. What kinds of traits and skills should you be looking for as you move forward with your financial hiring process? Keep these considerations in mind. Chief Financial Officer A CFO manages and oversees all aspects of your company’s financial operations. From keeping costs under control, to improving efficiency in processing, to monitoring all financial reporting, the CFO holds final accountability for this aspect of your company. There are no specific qualifications or licensing requirements for CFOs, but this should be a person you trust as a money manager and also as a leader. He or she should hold a four year degree in business management or finance—at the very least—and should possess exceptional leadership and communication skill. Certified Public Accountant Your CPA is the person who will ensure that your company functions in accordance with state and federal regulations, which include tax payment and filing issues. Since CPAs interact directly with the government and the legal system, they’re required to abide by strict licensing and certification requirements that vary by state. Before you consider any candidate for a CPA position, make sure he or she holds these credentials and ideally has some experience with your specific type of business (LLC, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc). Controller Your controller will handle all your company’s issues related to financial reporting. These will include shareholder communications, long term business forecasting, and budgeting. A controller should possess an MBA or a four year degree in finance or accounting. Advanced CFA, CMA or CPA certification suggest an additional measure of competence. In addition to the positions listed here, you’ll also benefit from the skills of an advanced accounting staff and at least one book keeper, an entry level employee who keeps track of sales figures, invoices, and operating expenses. For specific guidance as you begin the recruiting process for each of these roles, reach out to the financial staffing experts at Pace.
by Jeanne Knutzen | May 21, 2013
0 Finance/Accounting Roles Avoid These Financial Resume Mistakes, Avoid These Resume Blunders, financial jobs seattle, Financial Resume Mistakes, Seattle Staffing, Seattle Staffing Agencies, Seattle Staffing Agency, Seattle Temporary Staffing, Seattle WA Staffing, Staffing In Seattle
Mistakes like the ones listed below can spell trouble for any resume, regardless of your industry or the specific position you’re looking for. But in the financial world, these are especially common and can cause disproportionate damage to your candidacy. Before you attach your resume to your introductory message and click send, make sure you aren’t guilty of any of these blunders.
1. No reference to your target company’s primary product or financial instrument
If you’re looking for a position in financial advisory services, your employers will want assurance that you understand how their specific market works. Whether they deal in futures, equity funds, securities or ETFs, your record will need to show some experience in this core area. If you don’t have this experience, you’ll have to emphasize your other credentials. But if you do, make sure this information comes through clearly.
2. Emphasizing “impressive” credentials over relevant ones
If you need to organize your work history section according to relevance rather than chronology, that’s fine. If you decide to stick with a chronological layout, that’s fine too. But remove irrelevant positions from the line up if they stand in your way or confuse the issue. This will clear away the clutter and allow the important parts of your background to shine.
3. Excessive or inappropriate use of buzzwords and jargon
The financial field is loaded with insider terminology and acronyms, which are perfectly acceptable when they’re necessary. But unfortunately, this field is also crowded with buzzwords, empty terms, and business-sounding nonsense. And this latter category can spell death for a resume, especially at the entry level. Get to the point, be clear, and if you find yourself using empty self-descriptive terms like “change-driver” or “success-driven”, stop and rethink. Be specific. Say things about yourself that don’t also apply to everyone else in the world.
4. Any attempt at spin, smoke throwing, or exaggerations
Any attempts to hide or cover up previous job losses by manipulating employment dates are a bad move. So are exaggerations, especially those referencing the number of people you managed, the revenue your brought in for previous employers, or the projects that you may or may not have completed single-handedly. Experienced employers can factor your age and other telling details into a realistic assessment of what you’ve actually done. Stick to the facts and you’ll be fine.
5. Sloppy or weak command of the language
Communication skills are vital in the finance industry, so an articulate resume with smooth transitions from one thought and point to the next will earn respect. Choppy, confused statements and clumsy phrasing will do the opposite.For more specific guidance and editing help with your financial services or accounting resume, reach out to the Seattle staffing and job search experts at Pace.
by Jeanne Knutzen | April 19, 2013
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As you factor in the state of the financial job market, the unique needs of your company, and your available position, what kinds of traits should you consider valuable in a potential candidate? Which qualities should you consider red flags? When you see signs that seem promising, should you act fast and make a decision? Or should you consider the depth of your candidate pool and hold out for more? Keep these considerations in mind as you move through the selection process.
1. First, review the hiring successes and failures of the past. Gather a few profiles for careful examination, including those of the best candidates hired in the past five years and the worst (those who stayed for only a month, were difficult to get along with, or were dismissed after expensive mistakes). What made the great ones stand out? Why did the weak ones fail? And were there any signs of either success or failure that were visible before the candidates were brought on board?
2. Second, separate cultural considerations from technical knowledge and skill. A great candidate means a great “fit”, and fit includes a combination of both attitude and aptitude. Technically skilled candidates won’t thrive if they resist the culture, and likeable candidates will only prosper if they can master the job without excessive stress.
3. Choose candidates who will stay. This may mean letting go of the highly qualified or overqualified superstars, and turning instead to slightly less trained or less experienced applicants. These applicants can be hired at a premium, trained while on the job, and end up just as skilled and a little more grateful and loyal than their superstar counterparts. No matter who you hire, superstar or not, be sure to implement retention strategies to keep your valuable employees.
4. Choose candidates that are flexible and ethical. New regulations affect the financial industry on a regular basis. Are your candidates ready to let go of old models and embrace new ones quickly and fluidly? Are they interested in doing what’s right and going the extra mile to stay aboveboard? Or are they entrenched, entitled, sullen about change, and reluctant to break old habits and patterns?
5. Choose candidates who show respect—Not just for the company, but also for its business model, its customers, its clients, its stakeholders, and the larger community. Look for candidates who consider the big picture and are interested in how the entire company works, including revenue generation.Reach out the Seattle staffing experts at Pace for more information on screening, hiring and retaining only the most talented financial employees.
by Jeanne Knutzen | March 20, 2013
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You’re no longer just an accountant or an employee; you’re a manager now. And it’s no longer 1995; this is 2013. Before you leap into the year ahead thinking your technical job skills and basic, outdated management approach will carry you to easy victory, think again. Make sure you work hard to actively build each of these core competencies into your career toolkit. Mast Valued Managerial Skill Sets for 2013 1. An entrepreneurial approach It’s no longer enough to simply execute the tasks handed to you by your boss. Recognize that your company is a work in progress, a growing entity that depends on your ideas and energy, not just your willingness to follow orders. Keep the big picture in focus—not just sometimes, but all the time. 2. Coaching ability The world of effective management has evolved, and it’s no longer enough to simply tell employee what to do and expect them to clamor for your approval. Teach, don’t dictate. And coach; don’t just expect employees to pursue new information, new regulations, new software language, and new skill sets on their own. 3. Emotional intelligence Human capital is the most valuable capital your company owns. It’s also the most expensive and the most complex. If you’re not using every part of your brain to understand your employees and help them do their jobs—including your intuition, your experience, and your emotional intelligence—fix this. That includes your ability to read between the lines of human interaction. 4. Replace cost cutting with ROI Build your company’s investments with the future in mind. Don’t just look for ways to save nickels and dimes at the expense of global initiatives and long-term goals. 5. Situation awareness Before you can develop a plan of action and make a move, you need to fully understand all of the current factors at play. This takes a sharp understanding of your business model and target market. It also takes a willingness to listen before you speak, stay awake to nuance, make complex connections quickly, and think before you act. 6. Social media skills The internet is now an established way of life and a permanent presence in the global marketplace. And while individual social media utilities may come and go, your ability to master new ones and understand their general impact on your business will be crucial in the years ahead. 7. A focus on personal development Great managers are always growing, on both a professional and personal level. If you never rest, never become self-satisfied, and keep embracing change and staying flexible, you’ll be poised to thrive no matter what comes your way. Turn to the Seattle staffing and business management pros at Pace for more information on how to get ahead of the curve and stay ahead, whatever the future may bring.
by Jeanne Knutzen | February 21, 2013
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You’re heading into your interview for an accounting position, and for the most part, you aren’t worried. You have confidence in your skills, you have enough experience to qualify for the position, and you’ve been practicing and polishing your generic interview skills. But before you step into the hiring manager’s office, make a note: There are a few topics that it’s best to avoid in a financial interview. Don’t bring these topics up voluntarily, and if they surface on their own, move past them gracefully and quickly. Don’t Dwell On These Interview Topics 1. Your most important mistakes Becoming great at anything means making a few mistakes along the way. Your mistakes provided the lessons that make you valuable as an employee. But ironically, employers don’t really want to hear about them, even if they ask. If you were fired from a previous position, laid off, or reprimanded as a result of an error, failure, or oversight, focus your explanation on the positive. Talk only about what you learned from the episode, not the details of what when wrong in the first place. 2. Salary, benefits, deal breakers and deal sweeteners Don’t attempt to alter the terms of the deal before a deal exists. For example, you may live five states away, and unless the company funds your relocation, you’re unlikely to accept the job. But even so, now isn’t the time to bring this up. If you have deal breakers, like a salary minimum, handicapped accommodation requirements, the need for comprehensive health insurance, or he need for onsite childcare, don’t talk about it now. Of course you’ll have to bring these things up before you sign any contracts or accept the job, but let the offer happen first. 3. Gossip and name dropping beyond the strictly professional If you need to bring up the name of a mutual contact or a client your interviewer may know, keep all discussions of this person positive and short. You aren’t aware of all the relationships and politics at work, so play it safe and you’ll be less likely to accidentally insult someone. This includes organizations as well as individual people. 4. The private affairs of previous clients Of course you would never disclose any privileged information about your current or former clients. But be clear about this with your word choices and your demeanor. Everything you do and everything you choose to say should inspire trust. For more information about what to bring up—and what to avoid—during your industry-specific interview, arrange a meeting with the Seattle job search experts at Pace. We can connect you with leads, help you polish your presentation, and give you the tips and tools you need to land the job you want.
by Jeanne Knutzen | January 23, 2013
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While accountants have suffered from the recent economic slowdown just as much as professionals in other fields, laid-off accountants with great job search strategies don’t tend to stay on the market for very long. If you’ve recently been turned loose by your employer, dust yourself off and get back in the game as quickly as possible by keeping these considerations in mind.
Job Search Tips
1. Take on private work. If you specialize in tax management or any other aspect of the field that you carry with you, reach out to potential private clients while you search for a new employer in order to keep your track record current. Licensed CPAs are always in demand, so stay busy until you find a new full time position.
2. Don’t gather moss. If you need to take a few days to decompress and deal with the emotional aspects of your transition, do so, but don’t let your wheels start to spin. As soon as you feel up to it, start scanning your list of contacts on LinkedIn, Facebook and your private address book. When you see the name of someone who can offer you guidance and advice, pick up the phone and make a lunch date.
3. Get resume help. Of course you’ll need to update and polish your resume, but this time, get some real outside assistance. A professional resume editor can take you through the process, clean up the mistakes you can’t see, and provide vital perspective.
4. Think about expanding your range of options. If you see a job posting in another state, are you in a position to move? Make these kinds of decisions now, so you can buckle down later and keep your eyes and typing fingers aimed only at the realistic jobs you really want.
5. Get face time. A flawless resume might get your foot in the door, but even better, try to show up at the conferences and networking events where your potential employers may be making an appearance.
6. Reach out to others in the same position. Were you laid off with a large group of peers? If so, stay in touch and find ways to help each other. Share leads, ask for leads, and turn to one another for conversation and support when the going gets rough.A layoff isn’t the end of the world, especially for finance professionals and certified CPAs, who are still in demand in many areas of the country. Just stay positive and keep moving and you’ll put this chapter behind you as fast as possible. If you are looking for accounting staffing agencies in Seattle, contact Pace for job search tips and a list of available accounting positions in your area.