Should You Stay or Should You Go?

5 Questions to Ask about Your Current Position

The economy has left many of us grateful for our full-time jobs, never mind whether or not those positions are even fulfilling.  But there’s no time like the present to evaluate your career and see what, if any, improvements need to be made.  The last thing you want to do is be passive about your position and expect things to magically get better; regret over lost time is a heavy burden to bear.  Consider, instead, asking yourself the following five questions to evaluate your career and push it back on track:

1. Are you happy?

Sometimes it can be that simple.  Are you happy?  While every job has its ups and downs, you should find yourself generally happy with your job: happy to wake up in the morning, happy to see the people you work with, happy to tackle your projects.

If the answer is no…

If you’re not happy, pinpoint the source of your unhappiness.  Perhaps you’re experiencing personnel problems.  If so, consider whether or not that can be resolved by talking with the coworkers in question.  Is it bad enough for you to request a change in team or a transfer?  If you’re outright miserable, it may be time to look for another job!

2. Do you feel challenged?

You can love your work environment, your coworkers, and even your job description and still not feel satisfied.  A challenging position enables you to learn and grow.  It can also inspire and excite you.

If the answer is no…

If you’re not challenged, that means you’re not advancing in your career; you’re stagnate.  You need to change that, and quickly.  And that doesn’t mean you need to start looking for a new job.  Schedule an appointment with your supervisor or boss and ask if you can take on new and different projects.  Better yet, ask if you can work towards a promotion.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll earn more money, but it does mean you’ll learn new skills and take on more responsibility, and that’s always good for your career in the long run.

3. Are you getting paid what you’re worth?

When your salary measures up to your experience and skills you feel respected and valued as an employee.  When it doesn’t, resentment often builds and you can begin to feel like a drone.

If the answer is no…

You need to research what the standard salary is for your skill-set to ensure that you’re not inflating your worth.  Once you have a number to compare your current salary with, and can articulate how you benefit your employer, it’s time to talk with your boss.  But don’t be aggressive.  Nothing turns an employer off more than a smarty-pants employee who demands a higher wage.  Be calm, assertive, and willing to contribute more in order to get that raise.  And don’t threaten to quit if you don’t mean it.

4. Does your current position have potential for upward mobility?

A job is rewarding when it offers you the opportunity to learn new skills and advance, earning more responsibility and a higher wage.  You don’t want to work for years at a job that promises to remain the same, day after day, month after month, year after year.  A career implies growth, and if you’re not moving upward, you’re not moving anywhere.

If the answer is no…

It’s time for you to look for a job that allows you to advance.  Many employees will endure a lower wage and cubicle walls for the potential to work their way up in a company.  If there’s no where else to go but out, maybe it’s time you packed your desk and found something more promising.  But don’t jump ship before you’ve found yourself another boat, or at least a life raft.  Since you currently have a steady job, use your spare time to find something more rewarding.

5. Are you on the right career track?

If you’ve always wanted to be an accountant, but took a job as a bank teller to pay the bills, you might find yourself frustrated in your day-to-day work activities.

If the answer is no…

If there’s no chance that you could advance to a position that aligns more with your career of choice, then it might be time to look for a new job.  And if you haven’t taken the time to make any career goals, now is the time.  Without a target, it’s difficult to hit the mark and progress.  Write down some career goals and imagine where you’d like to be in 2, 5, even 10 years.  That will make it easier for you to take the necessary actions to achieve those goals.

The worse thing you could do is assume that being a recession means you have no power to change your current status as an employee.  You are the one in control of your career, but first you must evaluate your current job and what it offers you.  Once you take inventory, you decide where you’d like to go from there and take action to get where you’d truly like to be.

Is It Time You Became Your Own Boss?

Perhaps this short evaluation has caused you to consider other professional avenues, like launching your own accounting practice.  If that’s the case, you need to enroll in UAC’s Universal Practice Builder Program, designed to train people like you how to grow businesses that are more enduring and lucrative.  Here’s just a sampling of what you will gain from enrolling in this phenomenal program:

  • A guarantee of $30,000 in new annualized billings in only 12 months
  • The skills to become a Profit Expert for each of your clients
  • 12 marketing strategies that you can implement immediately
  • A process which can produce 15 to 25 qualified leads per month
  • 3 months of coaching via telephone and Internet
  • Training on a computerized database tracking program
  • A presentation DVD to show potential clients
  • Training to use QuickBooks to attract more clients
  • Access to a plan proven to help retain clients
  • 5 business assessments
  • A customized business website
  • An iron-clad guarantee

See the recession as the time to take charge of your career by becoming your own boss.  You can become independent and profitable by launching the premier accounting practice in your area.  Allow us to show you how.  Call 1-877-833-7909 to enroll in the Universal Practice Builder Program today!

Things Are Looking Up for Small Businesses

At least that’s what Entrepreneur.com writer, Carol Tice, proclaims.  After all the recession doom and gloom we’re heard this past year, it appears there’s some good news for small business owners and those currently considering launching startups of their own.  Tice share four indicators that demonstrate the economy just may be on the upswing:

1. Increase in small-business hiring.

While unemployment may still be high, small businesses have been hiring more.  Tice reports, “Firms with less than 50 workers pink-slipped 3 million people in the past two years.  But in the past nine months, the trend turned, and 200,000 people have been hired back.  Particularly strong are service-sector businesses, which did 91 percent of the small-business hiring in November [2010].”

2. Decrease in small-business bankruptcies.

There’s no question that bankruptcies are down, indicating that many that were once flailing are finally finding their footing.

3. Growth in marketing budgets.

When streamlining budgets, marketing is unfortunately one of the first things to feel the pinch.  But reports show that marketing spending has increased.  In one Zoomerang study, only three percent of businesses indicated that they would spend less on marketing in 2011 than they did in 2010, while 17 percents said they planned to spend more.  And it appears that businesses are looking to spend that money on more inexpensive, yet effective, approaches via the internet.

4. Increase in sales of businesses.

Just last year, the sale of businesses seemed right in line with real estate—no one was buying.  But things appear to be shifting.  BixBen.com reports that in November of 2010, nearly 1,000 businesses sold compared to just 24 in November of 2009.

If you’ve been waiting for good news before launching or growing your own practice, it appears the ball is now in your court.  Allow Universal to help.

In all our years working with accountants, bookkeepers and tax preparers, we’ve come to understand that most don’t know how to effectively promote their services.  We do!  And not only do we know how to market those services, but we know which strategies and approaches will grow your business to the point where you will become so busy you may have to start turning clients away – that or consider increasing your staff in order to increase your capacity (and your bottom line!).

To share this priceless information we developed the Universal Practice Builder Program, otherwise known as Marketing on Steroids.  You will learn how to increase your billable hours and get the monies you deserve by leveraging your time with techniques proven to get clients, allowing your firm to become the premier service in your area for accounting, bookkeeping (write-up) and tax.  Your ability to market your business and network with key community players will promote your practice to those who need and appreciate it most.

But don’t take our word for it.  Read what some of our students have said:

UAC is a great company with great staff, teachers & presenters. (Integrity in approach to accountants and businesses. Great knowledge of subject matter and how to market our skills.) I will recommend this to others – I thought the UPB exceeded my expectations. The DVD’s and binders are top quality and the one-on-one with the presenters and fellow attendees was fabulous. I was initially attracted to attend the program by the opportunity to have a good income from bookkeeping and accounting. – Vicki G.

UAC is the premier trainer of the accountants of the future. They truly understand how to differentiate their clients from the average accountants. To be honest, I don’t want anyone in my area to know about UAC. I think the information provided will truly separate my services from 95% of my competition.—Magnus E.

You guys certainly over-delivered. I now feel extremely confident to be able to sell my profession, knowing that I am truly providing a great value to my clients. – Igor P.

Universal Accounting is out to help accountants and bookkeepers to understand how to market their trade and to help their business clients become profitable. The training and programs are great. The materials and the presentations were very easy to follow and enlightening. All the presenters, the staff were great. It is comforting to know that I have this great company (UAC and staff) to provide support to me if I need it or falter. Thanks for a great job. – Anthony A.

Launch your practice or fast track your current business to profitability and growth by broadcasting your business’s value through proven marketing techniques.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7909 to enroll in the Universal Practice Builder Program today!

Resource

Tice, Carol.  “Do These Four Changes Foretell a Better 2011 for Small Business?” 15 Dec. 2010 Entrepreneur.com

One Thing to be Grateful for: the Recession!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and in the midst of the current economic crisis some may be wondering just what there is to be thankful for.  If you’re looking to start or grow an accounting practice, we can tell you—be grateful for the recession!  Why, you ask?  Because the recession could ensure your business’ success.

Recession Equals Opportunity

Small businesses are required, by law, to perform certain accounting functions.  Whether they do it themselves, enlist the help of a mathematically-minded relative, or pay for an accountant, it’s gotta get done.  With the right expertise and experience, you could be the one to do it.  But how does the recession play into that equation?

Like many of us right now, numerous small businesses are financially pinched.  Some, in fact, may be caught in a financial vice that threatens their business’ livelihood.  While they may not think they can afford a contract accountant, the truth is, their business can’t afford to continue without one: the right one.

The Right Accountant Means Profitability

Some are under the misconception that accountants are lowly mathematicians who create financial statements, and that’s it.  A proactive accountant acts as a Profit Expert who, using information from the accounting system, can help small business owners see where their business is faltering and what can be done to make it more profitable.  Watching key indicators, a Profit Expert will actually enable small businesses to increase their monthly income, more than covering a contract accountant’s fees.  As long as these business owners understand how you can enhance their bottom line, your standing as a contract accountant is secured in these tough financial times.

Gain the Expertise to Qualify as the “Right” Accountant

Unfortunately, small-business accounting is not taught in the typical classroom.  Most colleges and universities prepare their graduates for corporate accounting which doesn’t share the unique needs of the small business.  In order to become the “right” accountant for this massive niche market, you need to be trained in small-business accounting.

Luckily, this does not require years of time.  In fact, give us 60 hours and we’ll help you receive a designation as a Professional Bookkeeper (PB).  You’ll learn everything you need to know to start and maintain a small business’ books.  You’ll also learn how to act as a business’ Profit Expert, analyzing financial data and helping business owners apply that information so that they can experience greater profitability and growth.  And because all this skill and expertise means nothing without clients, the Professional Bookkeeper program will also teach you how to market your newly acquired skill-set; module four, Building a Successful Accounting Service, will demonstrate how to secure and retain quality clients.

Add Tax Services and Increase Your Own Profitability

Once a Profit Expert, you begin to recognize those opportunities that will help grow a business.  Adding tax preparation services to your menu is one of those opportunities because by adding tax services, you can increase your practice’s profitability considerably.  In fact, most accounting and tax practices make more money during tax season then they do the rest of the year!  It’s a service both current and prospective clients need and appreciate, so why not enroll in the Professional Tax Preparer program as well as the Professional Bookkeeper program?  By the end of the year, you could be ready for the next tax season.  And the pairing of these programs will definitely enable you leverage the recession to your advantage.   Not to mention, you would be helping many failing businesses achieve solid financial footing.

Celebrate Thanksgiving Early!

Show your gratitude for the opportunities the recession has provided, and enroll in these Power Programs today.  By the time the recession ends, you may have enjoyed more profitability than you could have ever imagined, and the price of these programs would have more than paid for themselves, just like your services will pay for themselves in the profitability you generate for your clients.  Register now!

The Correlation between Happiness and Meaning

BNet bloggers Marshall and Kelly Goldsmith recently posted a piece entitled “’Employee Fun Day’ Won’t Create Job Satisfaction” in which they revealed the findings of a recent survey they administered to determine the correlation between respondents’ experience of happiness and meaning both at and outside of work.  Their results are somewhat surprising.

The survey was designed to determine the relationship between participation in “stimulating” activities with overall satisfaction, both at home and at work.  “Stimulating” was defined as those activities that provide short-term gratification (happiness) without long-term benefit (meaning): ‘employee fun day,’ gossiping, watching TV, surfing the Internet, etc.

Like the Goldsmiths, you’re probably not surprised to discover that those who spent more time engaged in ‘stimulating’ work activities enjoyed less overall job satisfaction.  As the Goldsmiths explain, while people generally like to have fun, they expect their professional lives to be elevated and meaningful.  What they didn’t expect the survey to reveal, however, was that the same theory applied to the respondents’ home lives as well.  The more ‘stimulating’ their personal activities, the less satisfying their home lives.  It appears that whether at work or at home, people find greater satisfaction when they are participating in meaningful activities.

The Goldsmiths conclude that “While a little fun is great, a lot of it can do more harm than good.  Rather than watching another TV show, it might be good if we challenged ourselves by finding ways to help other people in need.  Finding meaning can be more important than finding amusement.”

How Happy and Meaningful is Your Life?

We hope that you find your professional and personal lives to be completely satisfying.  If not, it’s time to ask yourself why.  Are you distracted by ‘stimulating’ activities that may provide temporary happiness but not lasting satisfaction?  And how gratifying are the responsibilities found in your current job description?  As you revamp your career, it may be time to take your employment into your own hands by becoming a full-service financial provider.

Launch a Full-Service Financial Practice

Would you find meaning in helping small businesses better manage their finances?  At Universal Accounting, we understand the needs of the small business like nobody else. UAC has designed a curriculum specific to the needs of small businesses, and Universal Accounting offers the most complete small-business accounting course anywhere. The Professional Bookkeeper Designation assures clients that you have the skills necessary to fulfill their small business accounting needs. For you, the training designation assures you have had the applicable experience to provide the quality service to your small business clients.

To launch a full-service financial practice you must add tax services to your offerings. Not only would it be more convenient for you clients, but it would also increase your income. Tax professionals charge $100+ per hour preparing individual and business tax returns. Many tax preparers make more money in the months leading up to the April 15 tax deadline than others make all year long! Since all individuals and businesses, small or large, are required to file taxes, tax preparation is a respected skill that will always be in demand. And many of your current clients would probably by happy to have you file their taxes as well as perform the standard accounting services you may currently provide.

By combining the Professional Bookkeeper designation with the Professional Tax Preparer designation, you will earn a terrific income all year long. It is easy to cross-sell from one service to the other, making it easier to find clients, raise your billable hours, and give you a raise to boot!  Consider how could achieve true job satisfaction and enroll in these two powerful programs now!

Resource

Goldsmith, Kelly and Marshall.  “’Employee Fun Day’ Won’t Create Job Satisfaction.” 25 August 2010  BNet.com

Financial Services in Demand

In April of this year, Forbes posted an article to its site entitled “The Most Profitable Small Businesses” in which authors Brett Nelson and Maureen Farrell listed the 20 most lucrative entrepreneurial ventures in this current economy.  Offices of Certified Public Accountants, other accounting services, and tax preparation services ranked in 1st, 3rd and 5th place respectively.   Nelson and Farrell explain, “The data are drawn from financial statements on nearly 300,000 companies, most with under $10 million in annual revenue…  The figures were gathered between 2000 and 2009, to capture an entire billing cycle.”Forbes is not alone is awarding financial services a high ranking.  The US Department of Labor has reported that accounting jobs will increase by 22% between 2008 and 2018!  They explain, “As the economy grows, the number of business establishments will increase, requiring more accountants and auditors to set up books, prepare taxes, and provide management advice.  As these businesses grow, the volume and complexity of information reviewed by accountants and auditors regarding costs, expenditures, taxes, and internal controls will expand as well.”  Regardless of current unemployment rankings and what may feel like a never-ending recession, the future is bright for freelance accountants and tax preparers!In order to attract skilled and experience bookkeepers and accountants, many firms are offering higher salaries and more appealing benefit packages.  When companies cannot find the applicants they need, they’ll look to skilled and reputable freelance accountants and tax preparers to step in and provide the services required.  These proactive professionals can get a foot in the door before the hiring process even begins.  This is the time when financial professionals can leverage this advantage, get high-profile clients, and request higher fees.

Universal’s Training Programs Can You Launch a Profitable Accounting and/or Tax Practice

Start-up costs for an accounting and tax practice are minimal.  You can begin part-time and work from home.  In a market pining for accountants and bookkeepers, you’ll quickly build the client base that will allow you to work full-time and enjoy the lifestyle of which you’ve always dreamed.

Accounting

Universal’s Professional Bookkeeper Program (PB) will train you in the practical application of small-business accounting, while enabling you to earn a professional designation, which demonstrates your expertise and true professionalism.  Not only that, but the PB Program will also train you to market your practice, eliminating the competition because of the unique and valuable services you offer clients.

Tax Preparation

And why not offer more than just accounting services?  Many people would like to find a one-stop financial provider where someone will meet their accounting and tax needs.  By learning how to prepare individual and business returns you will become a full-service financial provider.  Not only that, but the income potential for tax preparers is significant.  You can charge $100 + per hour for your tax services!

Like the PB Program, Universal’s Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) Program enables you to earn certification that can put your clients at ease, especially in this day and age of changing tax law and occasional fraud committed by paid tax preparers.

We’re in the business of seeing individuals like you successfully launch and/or grow their own accounting and tax practices.  But don’t take our word for it.  Read from the many testimonials we have received from students, thanking us for the training that has helped them gain the knowledge, skill and confidence necessary to earn promotions, start their practices, and/or secure more clients.  Enroll in one of these valuable programs today!Resources Nelson, Brett and Maureen Farrell.  “The Most Profitable Small Businesses.” 15 April 2010  Forbes.com“Accountants and Auditors,” US Department of Labor

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