Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. In the United States the most common means to celebrate is for family and friends to come together to enjoy a wonderful spread of turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing and plenty of desserts! As we all look on 2015, there are many gifts in which we are very thankful. For those of us who prefer numbers (sometimes instead of people), there seem to be jobs aplenty. Many students have used their accounting skills to enter the world of business. Many are still in accounting, but some have moved on to other aspects of business. The field of accounting has been a blessing for many of us! On a personal level, I am grateful for my job here at DCTC and appreciate the wonderful students. I am grateful to have an awesome husband and wonderful family and see my children succeed in life! Today is a great day to count our blessings!
When considering job candidates’ qualifications beyond traditional accounting skills, one-third (33 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said they value general business knowledge most. One-quarter (25 percent) of respondents look for expertise in information technology (IT).
Chief Financial Officers were asked when hiring finance and accounting professionals, which one of the following attributes or areas of expertise is most valued, in addition to traditional accounting knowledge.
Their responses were as follows:
General business knowledge 33%
Information technology 25%
Communication skills 14%
Leadership abilities 13%
Customer service orientation 13%
Don’t know/no answer 1%.
“Accounting and finance professionals are playing a broader role at work — they help develop strategy, inform key decisions and serve as business partners for multiple departments,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of the recently released Human Resources Kit for Dummies, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Employers seek individuals who have the business acumen necessary to see the big picture and understand how a strong accounting function influences the success of the entire organization.”
Messmer also noted that proficiency with the company’s enterprise resource planning platform and spreadsheet application is a prerequisite for many accounting positions. He added, “New hires who already possess IT knowledge face a shorter learning curve and can contribute more quickly.”
Accountemps offers five tips to help job seekers highlight their full range of knowledge and skills in an interview:
1. Be prepared. Before the interview, research the organization and position so you can tie your skills directly to the company’s business goals. By practicing your responses to common questions, you’ll be able to offer concise, confident answers.
2. Review your resume. Select two or three key achievements listed on your resume that relate most to the job, and look for opportunities to highlight these during the meeting. Cite quantifiable results so the hiring manager understands how your skills may benefit the organization.
3. Demonstrate intellectual curiosity. Show your commitment to keeping your skills current by mentioning any recent professional development courses you’ve taken.
4. Listen carefully. Avoid thinking about your next point while the interviewer is still speaking, or you may miss important information. Let the hiring manager finish, then gather your thoughts before connecting your skills and experience to what was just said.
5. Follow up. Send a thank-you note to the interviewer reiterating why you feel you are right for the role. Reaffirm your expertise in key areas or address any concerns about your background that the hiring manager may have had.
To thank the pros who crunch the numbers so we don’t have to, we polled accountants and auditors and scoured the web to round up 25 jokes that only accountants will love.
1. Welcome to the accounting department, where everybody counts.
2. What does CPA stand for? Can’t Pass Again.
3. It’s accrual world.
4. It’s 4:04. Do you know where your auditor is?
5. Where do homeless accountants live? In a tax shelter.
6. A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.
7. How do you know you have a great CPA? He has a tax loophole named after him.
8. What do you call an accountant with an opinion? An auditor.
9. An accountant is someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand.
10. Why did the accountant cross the road? Because she looked in the files and did what they did last year.
11. How does Santa’s accountant value his sleigh? Net Present Value.
12. What do accountants suffer from that ordinary people don’t? Depreciation.
13. Why are accountants always so calm, composed, and methodical? They have strong internal controls.
14. Be audit you can be.
15. What do you call a financial controller who always works through lunch, takes two days holiday every two years, is in the office every weekend, and leaves every night after 10 p.m.? Lazy.
16. What do you call a trial balance that doesn’t balance? A late night.
17. An economist is someone who didn’t have enough personality to become an accountant.
18. Why do economists exist? So accountants have someone to laugh at.
19. What’s the difference between an accountant and a lawyer? The accountant knows he’s boring.
20. What do you call a group financial controller who’s lost his job? Bob.
21. How can you tell when the chief accountant is getting soft? When he actually listens to marketing before saying no.
22. There are just two rules for creating a successful accountancy business: 1. Don’t tell them everything you know. 2. [Redacted]
23. What’s an actuary? An accountant without the sense of humor.
24. What do actuaries do to liven up their office party? Invite an accountant.
25. Four Laws of Accounting:
1. Trial balances don’t.
2. Bank reconciliations never do.
3. Working capital does not.
4. Return on investments never will.
Curbing The IRS Is Easy–With A Flat Tax
Guest post written by
Mr. Brough is the chief economist and vice president of research at FreedomWorks.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been making headlines fairly regularly over the past year, most of them unflattering. From its pursuit of conservative political groups, to missing emails about the agency’s actions and a massive data breach that exposed the information of more than 330,000 taxpayers, the IRS has been struggling to bolster its public image.
Yet recent actions at the IRS suggest that more than a public relations campaign is required to rejuvenate the agency. More specifically, it has been revealed that the IRS is targeting American businesses—big and small—with strong-arm tactics that not only raise questions of legality, but also hamper economic activity.
The IRS’ discretionary enforcement of law with respect to political groups is well-known and forced Lois Lerner to step down. While Lerner was running the division within the IRS that determines tax-exempt status, Tea Party groups struggled to have their status approved and were often subjected to intense examination and questioning.
Lerner retired one step ahead of a review board’s report that would recommend she be fired for “neglect of duties.” Her behavior is an indication of the antagonistic relationship between the IRS and taxpayers. Rather than respected, taxpayers are viewed with suspicion, and the agency is not shy about applying strong-arm tactics.
Civil asset forefeiture has left some small businesses decimated without ever being accused of wrongdoing
For example, the IRS is waging a war on American businesses that makes it more difficult to be successful in a global economy, while throwing conventional views of right and wrong out the window. One tactic in particular—civil asset forefeiture—has left some small businesses decimated without ever being accused of wrongdoing.
Originally adopted as a measure to crack down on drug dealers and terrorists, civil asset forfeiture allows the IRS to seize assets suspected of coming from illegal activities—without any charges being filed. Any bank deposits greater than $10,000 trigger tougher reporting requirements, and the IRS monitors lesser deposits to ensure that individuals are not structuring deposits to skate around the reporting requirements. But the law has gone far beyond seizing ill-gotten gains, and small businesses have had millions seized merely on the suspicion that they were structuring deposits.
This damaging practice became so widespread that a bipartisan group in Congress sent a letter admonishing the IRS to stop this practice and return the money to the small businesses.
Big businesses face their own challenges with the IRS
Big businesses face their own challenges with the IRS. Microsoft, for example, has been the victim of a long-term legal onslaught from the IRS that has raised serious questions about the legality of the IRS’ tactics.
For the past seven years, the IRS has been auditing Microsoft’s tax returns for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006. The audit has been exhaustive, and Microsoft has turned over more than a million pages of information. When the company refused to accept a settlement, the IRS doubled down and began issuing demands for even more information. Even more surprising, the IRS decided to hire outside counsel to help in the audit, despite the fact that the IRS employs more than 82,000 employees.
Not content, the IRS apparently needs to spend taxpayer dollars to hire a white-shoe law firm. And to do so, the IRS issued a temporary rule—without the traditional public comment period—to allow the use of non-government employees in its audits. Again, this suggests an attitude that the IRS plays by its own rules.
The power of the IRS is fueled by the complexity of the tax code that Congress has created
While, clearly, the IRS has demonstrated tendencies to exercise arbitrary behavior in pursuit of its own agenda, the agency is not wholly at fault. Congress, too, should take some blame for creating a tax code so complex that no one can fully fathom its totality—even employees of the IRS.
Year after year, Congress tweaks the tax code, adding new layers to an already incomprehensible mess. It has reached the point where taxpayers spend 7.6 billion hours annually simply filing taxes. Each layer of complexity offers new opportunities for discretionary behavior on the part of the IRS as they interpret how any new requirements should be enforced. And when the code becomes so complex that it is internally inconsistent, the IRS begins to wield a tremendous amount of arbitrary power.
The best way to clip the agency’s wings is to simplify the tax code, removing opportunities for arbitrary and discretionary behavior by the IRS. A simple, fair, flat tax would do just that.
Here is a little humor (or not) for those of you in the accounting world!
What is an accountant?
Someone who solves a problem you didn’t know you had in a way you don’t understand at a price you can’t afford.
What is the definition of an introverted accountant?
Someone who stares at their shoes when talking to you.
What is the definition of an extroverted accountant?
Someone who stares at YOUR shoes when talking to you.
There are 3 types of accountant
Those who can count and those who can’t.
What’s a shy and retiring accountant?
One that’s half-a-million shy and that’s why he’s retiring.
Did you hear about the constipated CFO?
He couldn’t budget with his calculator so he had to work it out with a pencil and paper.
What do you call an accountant without a spreadsheet?
What do you call an accountant without a calculator?
What do accountants do to liven up their office party ?
Invite a Funeral Director.
How was copper wire invented?
2 accountants were arguing over a penny.
How does an accountant trash his/her hotel room?
By refusing to fill in the Guest Comment Card.
Why do accountants get excited at the weekends?
Because they can wear causal clothes to work.
How do accountants make a bold fashion statement?
Wear their dark grey socks instead of the light grey.
Getting a degree in Accounting is a great decision for students. After you have completed your degree there are many reasons you will be pleased that you chose the accounting field.
The demand for accountants is high since every non-profit organization, government entity and business requires the skills of an accounting professional. Even when the United States has an economic down turn in the economy as in 2008, the accountant’s job is still needed and in some instances in higher demand.
Accountants are needed throughout the world and the opportunity to live overseas lures many into this line of work. On an elementary level, accounting concepts are the same; a debit is always a debit and a credit is always a credit. Hopefully, in the very near future the international accounting standards will be applied consistently in most countries.
The sky is the limit pertaining to diversity in the accounting profession. Public accountants work for firms that provide various accounting services to corporations and individuals. Governmental accountants work for the federal, state or local government sector. Internal accountants keep their employer’s financial records accurate and current while managerial accountants work with employers for budgeting, managing costs and evaluating a company’s efficiency.
If you are interested in pursuing the great field of Accounting please send one of us an email at Dakota County Technical College.
College students, we know you are busy – really busy. Between academics, work, social activities, sports, clubs, family responsibilities and volunteering, you face endless pressure on your time. And although it is important to be well rounded and maintain a full and satisfying schedule, juggling so many commitments can often lead to burnout and fatigue.
Luckily, with a few small changes, you can start the school year off right, gain more control over your schedule and kick procrastination to the curb. And the best part? Successful time management can have a major positive impact on grades and classroom performance. In addition, students who improve their time management report less stress, better focus and improved quality of life. Check out our 7 tips for time management for college students.
What other time management tips can you offer other college students? Share them with us in the comments.
For those students that are new to the college demands, you may find this article helpful. The top highlights are listed below:
1.It is ok to wait after high school before beginning college.
2.Instructors may be parents BUT NOT YOUR PARENTS! Their job is to teach you.
3.Being cool in high school is one thing! Do not worry about being COOL in college!
4.Go to meetings! Learning how to meet, interact with and establish relationships with new people is one of life’s most important skills and will be important in your job.
5.Invest in your instructors. They can be much more than talking heads. Some are worth establishing a relationship with.
6. Get a job.
7. Learn how to write.
8. College loans must be paid back! Understand ahead of time what you are signing.
9. Always go to class! If you want to succeed you must be present!
10. Connect with other students.
There is great news for accounting students!
Salaries for accountants are anticipated to rise in 2016 approximately 2.4 percent, based on a 2016 Salary Guide by the recruiting firm Accounting Principals. The article states the increase will be closer to 5 percent over the next several years due to the high need for accounting professionals – supply and demand is at work in the economy!
This release was analyzed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It reviews the data to determine the highest projected job growth in the industry. The results found among the expanding accounting jobs through 2022 are expected to be accounts payable and receivable specialists (15 percent), staff accountants (13 percent) and bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks (11 percent).
A higher starting salary results with additional skill sets. These skill sets can be in terms of IT competence paired with accounting experience, additional business understanding or a second language. Employers are gaining confidence in their rising profits and are investing it in their employees.
It is great to have you all back in the classroom!
Get ready for a great year!!
For those of you that have received IRS scam calls, you are not alone! Please click on this link: