Category Archives: Education Business

The Importance of Business Acumen Training For Managers and Employees

The message to CLOs is becoming clearer and clearer. Company leaders want them to align educational offerings with the organization’s strategic objectives.

That’s not an easy challenge. They must ensure that education and communication initiatives reinforce the company’s goals. They must help employees understand these goals and develop the skills and motivation to contribute to them.

And at the most basic level of alignment, they must make sure that every employee understands how the company makes money. That includes understanding how profitability is driven, how assets are used, how cash is generated and how day-to-day actions and decisions, including their own, impact success.

Developing business acumen is fundamental to business alignment. Consider Southwest Airlines, which was founded in 1971. With 33 straight years of profitability, the airline has become widely recognized for the motivational culture it creates for employees and its extraordinary dedication to customer service.

Much of the industry has suffered during the years of Southwest’s growth, including many airlines that have merged or declared bankruptcy. Southwest buys the same planes and the same jet fuel as other airlines, and pays its employees competitive wages and benefits. What’s the difference?

Unlike some of its competitors, Southwest’s management team involves employees in the company’s financial results, explaining what the numbers mean and, more important, helping to link everyone’s decisions and actions to the bottom line. The airline has an open culture, one of inclusion at all levels, and employees understand their roles in providing great service and keeping costs in line.

Certainly there are other factors that contribute to the success at Southwest, but it’s difficult to ignore the positive impact of an approach that develops the business acumen of all employees and managers so that they can contribute to the airline’s success.

An Educational Challenge

Unlike those at Southwest, individual contributors and managers in many organizations today have not been educated about the big picture of their businesses. They have a narrow focus on their own departments and job functions and aren’t able to make the link between their actions and the company’s success. Multiplied by hundreds or even thousands of employees, this lack of understanding – the lack of true business acumen – means that too many decisions are being made and too many actions are being taken that don’t align with business objectives.

How can training help bridge this knowledge gap? For many companies like Southwest, implementing learning programs designed to develop a strong foundation of financial literacy and business acumen has made the communication of financial results to employees easier and more effective.

Business Acumen: A Definition

Very simply, business acumen is the understanding of what it takes for a business to make money. It involves financial literacy, which is an understanding of the numbers on financial statements, as well as an understanding of the strategies, decisions and actions that impact these numbers.

Someone with financial literacy, for example, would be able to “read” the company’s income statement. This employee or manager would understand the terminology (revenue, cost of goods sold, gross margin, profit, etc.) and what the numbers represent (i.e., gross margin equals total sales/revenue less the cost of goods sold).

With business acumen, the individual would be able to “interpret” this same income statement, taking into consideration how company strategies and initiatives have impacted the numbers during specific periods of time.

Consider a simple comparison: In football, it’s necessary for players to know how the game is scored as well as how to play the game to change the score. In business, financial literacy is understanding the “score” (financial statements) and business acumen is understanding how to impact it (strategic actions and decisions).

Asking the Right Questions

When business acumen spreads through an organization, employees and managers begin to ask questions. These questions are directed not only at the organization, but also at themselves and their departments – questions about processes, products, systems, staffing and more that can lead to necessary and innovative decisions and actions.

Business acumen helps everyone understand that it’s not enough to ask, “How do we cut costs?” or to say, “We need to increase sales.” Digging deeper, employees with higher levels of business acumen will ask questions that take into consideration the far-reaching impact of potential decisions and demonstrate a greater ability to make the connections between performance and results.

Questions that could get to the root of disappointing operating ratios:

• Have production costs gone up? If so, why?

• Have we changed prices? If so, how has that affected our margins?

• Are there any competitive issues impacting our performance?

• Have there been any customer requirement changes?

• If our costs per unit produced have gone up, can we better control the efficiency of our production or service delivery?

• Is there a way to produce a greater product volume at the same cost?

• Can we raise prices, still provide value to the customer and remain competitive?

When questions become more specific, the right decisions can be made.

Business Acumen for Managers

Managers at all levels need a high level of business acumen to do their jobs. Every day, they make decisions about employees, projects, processes, expenditures, customers and much more – decisions that ultimately roll up into larger organizational results. Managers who make these decisions while looking through a departmental lens only, with a limited understanding of how these decisions affect financial results or how they are tied to the organization’s goals and objectives, are working in silos that can ultimately damage the company.

Managers are often promoted to their positions of responsibility because of their “technical” expertise. They’ve been successful customer service representatives, great salespeople, innovative researchers or well-respected IT professionals. They are now entrusted with decision making, budgets, projects and people. They often do not have financial literacy, nor have they developed a higher-level perspective about the business. Over time, especially if they move up the managerial ladder, they may develop these. Or they may not.

Organizations need managers who operate as part of the management team, taking accountability for their own results as well as the results of the entire company. Therefore, more and more organizations have built financial literacy and business acumen into managerial competency requirements and have integrated business acumen training into management curriculums.

Business Acumen for Employees

Although there is little debate about the need for managers to develop business acumen, organizations sometimes question the need for this understanding at employee levels. But frontline contributors, those who are most directly involved with production or customer service, for example, take actions every day that impact business results.

Consider the salesperson who discounts products, or the service representative who deals with an unhappy customer, or the maintenance person who notices a problem. The actions each of them takes might erode profit margin, lose a good customer or allow safety issues to escalate. Without an understanding of how their actions impact the company’s results, they might not have the context to consider alternatives.

Many organizations have determined that financial literacy and business acumen aren’t just for managers anymore. They have decided to develop a company of people who understand the business; who know what return on assets and return on investment mean; who know how inventory turnover rates affect results and the importance of positive cash flow; who see the connection between the company’s financial success and their own health benefits, 401(k) plans and more. In other words, they need people who understand the “business” of the business.

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins says, “We found no evidence that the ‘good-to-great’ companies had more or better information than the comparison companies. None. Both sets of companies had virtually identical access to good information. The key, then, lies not in better information, but in turning information into information that cannot be ignored.”

With an increased level of business acumen, managers and employees can better interpret information, making the connection between their actions and the company’s results.

Another Reality of Today’s Business World

A public company’s operating results are well known at the end of each quarter. Analysts, investors, the media, employees-everyone has access to a company’s financial results. With a significantly increased focus on accounting improprieties over the past few years, senior management has become highly conscious of the need to provide accurate and timely financial information. And employees have become much more likely to wonder about these numbers. “Is my company being honest? Are the numbers telling the whole story?”

Without a fundamental understanding of financial results and an ability to interpret them, employees may become suspicious and, ultimately, disengaged. Disengaged workers, in turn, negatively impact productivity and profits.

CEOs of public companies, then, must ensure that managers and employees are able to understand the numbers and have confidence in them. That means effective business acumen education as well as ongoing and open communication from the top.

Former GE chairman Jack Welch said in his book Straight from the Gut, “Getting every employee’s mind into the game is a huge part of what the CEO job is all about…There’s nothing more important.”

The Big Picture

As we have become a nation of specialists, armed with new information technology and enterprise-wide operating systems, it has become easier for managers and employees to become myopically immersed in their own jobs. This immersion can have the effect of obscuring their view of the big picture. They may not consider the cumulative effect of wasted assets. They may have little regard for the objectives and responsibilities of other team members, departments or divisions. They may lack the motivation to invest personal energy in critical project work.

Organizations that engage in developing business acumen provide a clearer vision and an overall context within which employees can work, while creating an environment that is more likely to break down internal barriers. There is less waste and less ambivalence. There is increased innovation. Employees are more engaged, they understand their role and its impact on business results, and they are more likely to believe that their efforts really matter. They are more likely to think like a business owner.

Think Like an Owner

To be successful, business owners must be able to helicopter above day-to-day issues and see the big picture. They must understand how the pieces of the business fit together to impact profitability and cash flow, and they must be able to assess the risks and rewards of potential decisions. The best business owners study the numbers, ask themselves tough questions, analyze their mistakes and take decisive action.

To truly understand the business, owners have to understand how that business makes money – in other words, how it produces sales, profit and cash. Organizationally, they know that it’s about people, processes and productivity. On the customer front, it’s about satisfaction, loyalty and market share. Ultimately, every action taken and every decision made in any of these areas will impact sales, profit or cash.

When managers and employees begin thinking like owners, they, too, look at the big picture, understand how all the pieces fit together, and assess risks and rewards. They understand, like an owner, how the company makes money, how it stays in business and how they contribute to its success.

The benefits to an organization of engaging managers and employees in this kind of ownership thinking are obvious. So how can a company develop the business acumen of its people?

Developing Business Acumen: Two Stories

Entrepreneurs are generally forced to develop business acumen on their own. They are hands-on with their businesses and have to make all the decisions as they go along, whether good or bad. They either learn from their mistakes or fail.

It’s very different for managers and employees in an organization.

They aren’t involved in all aspects of the business, and they make decisions primarily within their own areas of responsibility. Since seeing the connections isn’t easy, they need to learn in some other way.

Books and lectures can help. But business acumen is best developed experientially. Learners must be able to analyze situations, ask questions, discuss issues with other learners, consider options, make mistakes and see results.

Although there are a variety of ways to accomplish this kind of experiential learning, many companies have found that simulations, which mirror reality and allow learners to experiment in a safe environment, are one of the best ways. Here are the stories of two companies who chose to educate their learners with business simulations.

Comcast Cable Communications

The NorthCentral Division of Comcast – one of the country’s largest entertainment, information and communications companies, specializing in cable television, high-speed Internet and telephone service – set out to ensure that managers and employees throughout the organization had the financial acumen required to make good decisions. A companywide survey had clearly demonstrated this need – especially for managers of employees who had direct contact with customers.

For example, if a customer calls with a service problem, frontline employees and their supervisors can issue credits to the customer’s account in an effort to resolve the issue. Although this may be exactly what is needed for the situation, Comcast realized that employees making these decisions didn’t necessarily understand that a $10 credit could ultimately require more than $100 in revenue for the company to break even. Similarly, a service technician’s visit to a customer’s home might cost $50 directly, but the company might have to sell an additional $500 in services to cover the cost.

“The lack of financial acumen among supervisors and employees was largely understandable,” says Mark Fortin, senior vice president of finance for Comcast’s NorthCentral Division. “Almost 75 percent of the company’s employees are on the front lines in roles such as call center personnel or field technicians. They are trained to be good at what they do, but their backgrounds typically don’t include emphasis on financial literacy.”

Comcast human resource executives determined that a fundamental approach to the development of business acumen was needed. However, this approach also would need to be fast, engaging and job-relevant. Expanding upon its already robust Comcast University management curriculum, the executives chose to integrate a high-energy, tailored learning experience that would provide the “basics” and, at the same time, deal specifically with Comcast terminology, concepts and strategic imperatives.

As they participated, learners made decisions about products, processes, pricing and more, and they saw how those decisions impacted financial success. In the end, it became easier for them to make sharper day-to-day choices.

“The thing that sticks out for the frontline leaders, the field technicians, and the call center supervisors and managers who attend, is the high cost of sales in our business,” says Sophia Alexander, senior manager of curriculum and metrics for the division. “It’s like a bell goes off in their heads when they realize what it costs for us to earn what we need to earn to run the organization.”

Attending the learning session is not mandatory for supervisors and managers. However, there is an unwritten expectation that they will participate in business acumen training as well as other Comcast University core programs, according to Jan Underhill, senior manager of leadership development for the NorthCentral Division. That expectation, coupled with the fact that manager compensation has recently become tied to meeting specific financial goals, has kept attendance high.

Senior executive support also has been an important factor in creating interest and awareness around financial literacy. “Getting people to sign up is much easier when senior executives like Mark Fortin are strong advocates for the program,” says Underhill.

Feedback has been resoundingly positive. On average, for example, Level 1 feedback about the discovery learning based business acumen sessions has been 4.5 on a 5-point scale. That means that the program has exceeded expectations. Better than that, says Sophia Alexander, senior manager of curriculum and metrics for the NorthCentral Division, is the empirical evidence that the new insights and knowledge have made a difference. For example:

• Participant self-evaluations indicate that financial literacy has increased by at least 25 percent as a result of the business acumen training.

• After the training, there was a 20 percent increase in the participants’ ability to use basic financial terms and concepts on the job.

• Almost 45 percent of supervisory participants report that they are using their business acumen knowledge in daily communications with staff and peers.

“Some people, particularly in big companies, feel like there is an open checkbook. They think… I don’t own the company. It’s not my problem. Somebody will pay the bills. But in today’s environment, with some very large companies in trouble, everyone needs to be part of the solution. Business acumen education for managers and employees helps the company as a whole, but it also helps employees. It’s about self-preservation to some extent.” comments Fortin.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is one of the consistently profitable companies that makes “business literacy” a core component of its employee training programs. Every employee has a solid understanding of what a new customer, and new revenue, means to the company. Employees also know how the loss of a customer can impact the business.

According to Elizabeth Bryant, director of leadership training at Southwest Airlines, “Our training covers how the financial ratios such as return on assets and various margins are determined. Knowing that team managers, supervisors and all employees have this knowledge enables the company’s leadership to present detailed financial reports and explain to the teams where the margins need to be. Management can speak more in depth to all the employees, and the employees understand what the objectives are.”

Bryant added, “Because we don’t waste the little things, because we track every penny and every activity, we’ve all come to know the importance of each cent. With the pennies in hand, we spotlight the idea of compound interest- for example, how the small savings help us by year’s end and how small amounts of waste can conversely add up to hurt us.”

Consider the importance of a key operating metric for the airline industry – operating cost-per-seat mile. This is how much it costs an airline to fly one seat one mile. All the operating costs are divided by the total number of seat miles (the total number of miles of all the seats that were flown for a given period, whether a passenger was in the seat or not). Much of the industry has had cost-per-seat mile results at or over 10 cents. Southwest Airlines’ cost-per-seat mile is about 6.5 cents. The lowest cost-per-seat mile in the industry almost 25 years ago was just over 5 cents.

How do they do it? Certainly there are a number of factors that lead to success. However, one of the key influences is Southwest’s ongoing training in business acumen. This training ensures that employees know:

• How challenging it is to ensure ongoing profitability; making a profit can never be taken for granted

• The importance of utilizing the benefits of the good years to prepare for the tough years

• The impact of individual actions and decisions to the bottom line

In other words, Southwest invests in training to help employees think like business owners. This, in turn, produces real results, like its consistently low cost-per-seat mile. When Southwest’s learning team decided to implement a business acumen simulation several years ago, there was some initial concern about how well it would be received.

Bryant explained, “Some people, especially those without financial training, were nervous about the topic. We are such a people-oriented company that we didn’t want people to think that now we’re just a financially oriented company and everyone will be judged purely on financial performance. But we positioned the need for the business literacy training as another way to prove that we actually care tremendously for each employee. We explained that if you understand what the numbers mean then you can better understand how your work provides an integral contribution to the business.”

Southwest Airlines, according to Bryant, has never had a layoff – a rarity in the airline business. The more their employees understand the challenges of the business, the better they appreciate the importance of making smart decisions every day.

Bryant concluded that the discovery learning techniques in a robust business simulation work well in the Southwest culture because of the team orientation. “All the participants learn that they can’t individually make it all happen,” said Bryant. “They learn that they have to look beyond themselves, act and think like an owner, and realize that our efforts and financial results here are not just for a career, but for a cause. It’s this cause-oriented philosophy toward delivering a low-cost, high-quality service that allows people the opportunity to travel. Our success at achieving positive results translates to individual opportunities to work, to grow and to continually think of innovative ways to improve our business and serve our customers.”

The Classroom Advantage

These two companies chose to develop the business acumen of managers and employees by using a classroom-based simulation, facilitated by instructors at company sites. Although online options were available and were used in some cases to supplement the instructor-led training sessions, they decided that there were significant advantages to tackling this subject in a “live” session where they could leverage the power of:

• SHARED KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE: Learners bring their own perspectives and issues to the session.

• TEAMWORK: Learners work together, make decisions together and rely on each other as they learn.

• COMPETITIVE FUN: Small teams “play” against each other and enjoy a competitive environment.

• COMPANY-SPECIFIC DISCUSSIONS: The learners’ common interest in their own company’s financial and strategic issues allows for greater analysis and depth of discussions and a true “connection” between the learning simulation and the organization’s reality.

• LEARNING MOTIVATION AND COMFORT: Learners who may not be comfortable with the subject of finance find themselves playing a game in the comfort of a team environment.

Although there are a number of educational approaches available to organizations in the area of business acumen, classroom-based training that brings together teams of learners can help ensure that learning occurs and that connections to the business are made in ways that prompt action back on the job.

The Bottom Line

More than ever, successful companies will need to focus on developing the business acumen of managers and employees. These companies will realize that when their people understand the numbers, when they understand how their departments contribute to the company’s objectives and when they see how their own decisions and actions make a difference, they will begin to operate as part of a team rather than in a departmental or personal silo. And a critical piece of the alignment puzzle will be solved.

With widespread business acumen, companies can have a powerful asset – educated, knowledgeable and motivated employees. And with this asset, those will be the companies best positioned to succeed.

Worth Every Penny Book Review

As a business owner of a home-based photography studio, I find that constant education is vital to the continued growth of my business. There are a variety of forms of education for photographers and other business owners: conferences, classes, local meetings, or books being a few. Books are often one of the cheaper forms of education and I find a lot of great insights from books like Worth Every Penny.

Worth Every Penny is a business book written by both Sarah Petty and Erin Verbeck founder and chief of The Joy of Marketing. This book is targeted toward small business owners running boutique style businesses. While bigger businesses are focused on volume, boutique businesses are focused on experience and high-end, quality products. This book helps boutique business owners understand some of the keys necessary to running their boutique business.

Worth Every Penny gives great advice on how to build a strong brand to market to your ideal client base, which is crucial in a boutique business. It’s importance to convey luxury and a high-end experience to your current and feature client base. The book also discusses strategies for creating a strong marketing and advertising campaign to reflect this idea and what makes your business unique. It is always important to convey what makes your business different and more desirable than your competition.

A huge part of boutique businesses is building relationships. When you aren’t working with a high volume business, you have the time to invest in getting to know your clients. Worth Every Penny discusses ways to convey your appreciation to your customers and develop strong relationships with them, which can help grow your business.

And of course, with the extra time, value, and care dedicated to the customers of a boutique business, a higher price is often a necessity. Worth Every Penny discusses methods for pricing your products and adding additional value to your clients orders. After all, to be a viable business, you need to make a profit.

I personally found Sarah Petty & Erin Verbeck’s book, Worth Every Penny, to be incredibly beneficial and insightful in working on my own business. Determining my strengths and unique products, how to market them and provide my clients with the best care possible are incredibly important to me, and this book has helped me narrow down and hone these things. I would highly recommend this book to any boutique business – not just photography business owners!

Is Education Really the Key to Success?

“Education is the Key to Success” – Well, I TOTALLY DISAGREE. In fact, I see education as an authoritative conditioning tool which tried to lead me into economic enslavement. And mind you, I always did well in school, but finally had to leave as it was dummying me down as my business was taking off. I should have left HS my sophomore year and GED’d (General Education Development test instead of finishing HS) out, went straight to business school classes for two years and left. I’d have been way Ahead, but I was told by so many do-gooders to stay in school and be involved.

Great, and yes as Senior Class Pres, 4-year varsity, most likely to succeed, I excelled at the game, but so what, that’s HS, and it was just a prison for us 3000 kids for 4-years. Education is NOT the key to success at all. Recently I went to speak at a HS, I was blown away, as nothing had changed since the 80s, same ridiculous rows of desks, and time-wasting, brain numbing crap. I am sorry, but I will NOT parrot the party-line. We are making our little humans stupid and the longer they stay, the more they owe in student loans, and the less they can think.

Seriously – dare to challenge your na├»ve notion and belief system? Chicken. Go ahead; keep telling everyone the importance of our education system, but it is BS, you can learn more watching lectures online and doing things in the real world. Why has it gotten so bad you ask? Well, how about; Teachers Unions, Bureaucracy, In-fighting, top-heavy administration, wasting taxpayer’s money, status quo stodgy crap. “Education the key to success?” Nonsense, especially what people pass off as education these days. Admit it, we are producing brain-dead morons.

“But, Lance education and schooling are not the same thing,” I was then told. Well, to that I say, thanks for clarifying that. However, the public equates “Education” with school + college. I wouldn’t say “I think” the system sucks, more like “I know” what I’ve observed and there is no excuse for it. That is NOT an opinion you see, rather that is an observation which is duplicable across this great nation. If we de-couple the words; “Education” with “School” and “College” then I will accept your view of the debate at hand. But how can you de-couple real world definitions?

We can’t, that’s what education is in the minds of the people, thus the statement; “Education is the Key to Success” is invalid. Now then, if we want to say; “experience, education, observation, and the ability to think and adapt” are the keys to success, okay, I can go for that. But, as it stands now, our school system is a disgusting excuse for anything worthy of being called; education.

Entrepreneurship Education and Innovating Success

Entrepreneurship education spawns a lot of success stories and these encourage a lot of people to go start their own businesses. And with the help of the internet, entrepreneurship education opens its doors to a whole new people as well as opportunities for future entrepreneurship. This, however, has led to tougher competition too. The wider playing field also becomes a host of different businesses where people can learn, compete, and innovate.

And the best way to counter competition would be through innovation. Think about it as finding ways to put up your own playing field or even inventing a new game. If you innovate, you will basically be creating a whole new market and conquer that. Your education in entrepreneurship will help you become more prepared; innovation ensure success -if you take the right risks.

You have to realize that business is all about taking calculated risks, which can be learn through entrepreneurship education. Innovation can be a pretty big gamble, especially if you have virtually no idea how the market is going to react to the change you introduce. As such, you need to anticipate the different factors that may affect your innovations success. Keep in mind that in risk reduction is very important in the business.

Innovation isn’t just about introducing a new product or service to the market. If you want to succeed, you need not use your education alone; you have to think outside the box and consider your business as an organic whole. This means you have to combine it with innovation can come in the form of a new and more efficient way of production.

Every entrepreneurship education as well as program encourages innovation and, in turn, innovation encourages progress. It is because of the constant competition between entrepreneurs that our civilization has reached the heights we have today.

Tally Solutions Preferred By Most Indian SMEs

With a history of more than 2 decades, Tally Solutions is a multi-product organization delivering flexible business solutions for diverse as well as complex business requirements. The company is primarily divided into 3 lines of business, namely: Software & Solutions Group, Education Services Group and Enterprise Management Solutions Group. Tally has also made large investments in getting new companies and new products. The company’s education business wing offers accounting business relevant and correlated vocational training to several students and job seekers in India.

Preferred Tally Solutions amongst Entrepreneurs

Tally Solutions is quite proficient in developing the simplest, yet most commanding business management software solutions. The main aim behind designing these solutions is to manage the extended enterprise along with essential functions such as inventory management, financial management, sales and purchase management, invoicing, reporting and management information systems. For a long period of time, Tally has addressed nearly all the accounting related necessities of small businesses and their requisite to address the range of constitutional requirements such as service tax, VAT, FBT, excise, etc.

This business accounting software package offers an enterprise with a system that lets quick and easy scrutiny of information which helps in making a quick decision. It further helps in knowing the business in a better way and ensures total acquiescence to legislative requirements. Also, by using this software, a lot of time is saved which is generally spent in the collection and evaluation of data.

Tally’s multilingual product

Tally’s accounting and inventory management software has tremendous multilingual capacity with prompt multilingual transcription which provides its users incredible freedom in communication. With the help of this you can maintain your business accounts in one language view it in another and print it in some other language, simultaneously. With its multilingual product, the user can interact with the software with the help of the menu options that have already been translated into regional languages. Phonetic keywords can also be used by the user to enter data and typically, the way to use these phonetic keywords would be to spell the term in English with the software displaying it, after transliteration, in the language selected.

Are Tally Products VAT compliance?

Even in the late ’90s the software’s international products were already VAT compliant. As far as India is concerned, the company has worked with all the governing bodies to spread the knowledge of VAT. This specific software, incidentally, is one of software available in the market quite earlier that allowed supports for VAT for all states having implemented VAT. In India, many states have implemented from 1st April 2005 and again, Tally Solutions has been a leader in offering VAT return capability for these specific states as well.

Today, in India, many small and medium sized businesses in India prefer Tally ERP 9 as a business account product for their functioning. As per a study, the company stands a larger market share as compared to all other accounting software companies combined in the country. Today, millions of users use this powerful accounting software as the company continues to expand globally with offices in all major cities in the world.

The Effects of Globalization on Both Accounting Profession and Education

Innovations in technology has catapulted the financial district into a global market. Globalization has had a large influence on the way businesses conduct business. Firms are not only responsible for being privy to information involving consumers in their own backyard but also understanding consumer culture as well as economic, political, and legal structures that exist in other countries. Due to the influence globalization has had on businesses, it has changed the expectations that are required of incoming business students and their education. More specifically, accounting students are being impacted by the changes globalization has influenced the market with. These students are challenged more particularly throughout their undergraduate years to understand not only the rules and regulations of GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Principles) but also the standards set forth by the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards). Within the accounting sphere, the primary focus has been on external reporting which involve the preparation of financial statements and auditing. However, due to the ever changing world of the global market, future accountants are required to possess perspectives that influence both external and internal reporting. The market will continue to change due to the fast paced journey of information making globalization an important factor in accounting education.

Businesses in the United States have largely adopted GAAP which is a guide to how business are to construct financial information to produce statements. GAAP has been useful in the last couple of years because it facilitates the way businesses in the U.S. communicate with each other. However, in the global environment, GAAP proves to be burdensome for most companies. Overseas, they have adopted IFRS which is another guide to producing financial information which aids foreign companies with communicate amongst each other. Most countries use IFRS as a basis for the way business transactions are conducted. Since most of the world is using IFRS as the standard it leaves the U.S. with the tedious task of having to incorporate two different principles to conduct business. In the article, “How Globalization is Affecting U.S. Accountants” by Bruce Pounder, Pounder states that “U.S. accountants will find themselves at a severe disadvantage to the many foreign accounting professionals who have already mastered international accounting standards and who are therefore much better-positioned to take advantage of rapidly growing career opportunities in China, India, and other emerging economies” (Pounder, 2007, p. 3). He then goes on to predict that as GAAP becomes more overshadowed by IFRS, U.S. accountants will find their skills and knowledge becoming obsolete. Therefore, IFRS has become more integrated into the accounting curriculum for education. Students are required to understand not only GAAP but IFRS and the changes that occur when working with both. By involving IFRS into the learning process, students will be prepared to later take the CPA Exam which has recently been updated to include information about IFRS in the Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section. Students are becoming better equipped with skills and information that will make them more marketable and efficient in the globalized business environment.

In the U.S. economy, a thriving financial sector is usually supported by a strong public accounting and auditing firms. Therefore, the focus over recent years has been to ensure that accountants excel at compiling information involving a company’s assets, liabilities, equity, investments, etc. However, due to globalization, external accounting practices aren’t as valued if internal practices are not also implicated. Internal practices are important because it shapes the way businesses reach their customers in the foreign market. Authors Paul Danos and Richard L. Measelle stated in their article, “Globalization of the Business Environment: Implications for Accounting Profession and Business Education”, that “In a competitive global market place, the internal accountant must be sensitive to what drives the costs of products and he/she must work with production and marketing people to rationalize all cost accounting procedures” (Danos, 1990, p. 79). The responsibilities of the internal accountant is becoming more critical to the success of businesses. For a business wanting to expand into foreign territory, cost accounting is used to accurately develop product price information, location of manufacturing facilities, picking suppliers, etc. Due to these factors, internal accountants have to be familiar with regulations across borders, tax treatments, and currency conversion costs. When it comes to public accounting, auditors must be heavily versed in global accounting standards because “the world’s economies are becoming increasingly interdependent… ” (Needles, 2010, p. 602) according to Belverd E. Needles Jr. author of the article “Accounting Education: The Impact of Globalization”. The author goes on to encourage global standards for auditors because it strengthens their practices by only having to be familiar with those regulations. In order to be well versed in the global market, accounting students are advised to take courses specifically designed to analyze different cultures, languages, and political factors that influence societies.

Globalization has influenced many changes that have taken place in both the accounting profession and education. Students are now exposed to problems that occur in the global market and how to go about solving them. Not only are these students expected to understand all the mathematics and jargon involved with the business world, but they are also expected to have a good sense of foreign consumer culture as well as the regulations bound to each country. Implemented with these skills, students will be able to excel in the new business world.

References

Danos, P., & Measelle, R. L. (1990). Globalization of the Business Environment: Implications for the Accounting Profession and Business Education. Human Resource Management, 29(1), 77-84

Needles, B. E. (2010). Accounting Education: The Impact of Globalization. Accounting Education, 19(6), 601-605. doi: 10.1080/09639284.2010.501578

Pounder, B. (2007). How Globalization is Affecting U.S. Accountants. Montvale: Institute of Management Accountants.

HR’s Viability & Role in Business Strategy

Human Resources management in recent years has fought to be seen as a vital determinant of the business. In addition, executive leadership along with board of directors’ decision on what HR actually brings to the table in regard to strategic business planning and organization has begun to reconsider the concept of HR being a high-level paper pusher but due to recent changes in employment law, the necessity for HR is imperative now more than ever. Today’s workforce is no longer a collection of the traditional employee but that of diversity, innovation, uniqueness, advanced technology and the urge towards corporate/social responsibility. Businesses, as well as major corporations, must provide strategic goals, objectives, mission, vision, and values along with an effective change in how to permit the new role of HR management within the scope.

Perception of HR in Business

HR perception in the past has shone dimly of actuality on the role of the HR professional. Due to a myriad of reasons such as lack of vision, related education, business acumen, experience, specific policy, strategic focus, and effective HR senior leadership has caused HR to be viewed negatively as a waste of labor hours. What may account for this perception is the human resources role within organizations in the past by senior executive management, human resources were known (and still is) as a paper pusher of company rules and is only around for hiring, firing, and handling complex issues regarding employee relations. Senior management’s direction placed on those in human resources is also the reason for the perception, when employment is low then they ask, what function is human resources serving, but when the need for staffing is high, then the tune changes and the role of human resources within strategic business and objectives is necessary. Those in senior management need to know how they want human resources to be included in business and organizational strategic planning so that the role and area of expertise are understood, in addition, responsibilities to both employees and the organization are well defined. The beginning includes reexamining the vision and mission of the company while also discovering what aspect HR will contribute for the organizational accomplishments beyond recruitment, staffing, termination, and utilizing the myriad of talent that human resources possess.

HR professionals bringing a new perspective with a bold mission for the organization is a great place to begin in how the change in perception revitalizes the role of HR because, in today’s workforce, diversity and organizational culture are one of the many roles of HR. The workforce of today requires HR displaying its focus areas/disciplines and distributing how much they impact the organization, especially with massive attention on workplace diversity, is a complex issue that requires more concentration on the employees within the organization in addition to a workplace policy that embraces differences within the talent community. HR professionals are frontline communicators leading the organization’s standard of operations inappropriate employee behavior, and respect for others but also involves management fully understanding employment laws and ethical employment practices.

Ensuring a steady comprehension of the company’s business and organizational goals along with being increasingly knowledgeable of current employment laws and regulations that assist in governing the company along with necessary training of managers and supervisors. Providing flexibility with communication and also taking the time to get to know employees and their goals is another method of revitalizing the perception of HR.

In regard to the changes that HR has gone through, some companies still utilize the department as executive secretary liaisons between the employees and management; however, this perception has dampened HR due to those in the department not really understanding how to address employees during challenging employment issues.

HR’s Road to Recovery

Recent research by business writers and HR professionals have begun to explain the lack of purpose attitude for the HR department as well as how HR can implement certain changes to reclaim its seat at the management table strategically.

Peter Cappelli, Harvard Business Review author of ‘Why We Love to Hate HR… & What HR Can Do About It’ addresses what HR can do to demonstrate why they exist and their importance to a company such as their counter departments and to reduce the hate employees may feel against HR. Cappelli suggested the following to create a stronger and relevant HR:

  • “Set the agenda.
  • Focus on issues that matter in the here and now.
  • Acquire business knowledge.
  • Highlight financial benefits.
  • Walk away from time wasters” (Cappelli, 2015).

Susan Heathfield, author of ‘The 3 New Roles of the Human Resources Professional’ explains that now HR has positioned itself with additional roles within the business that are strategic in implementing necessary changes. Heathfield states that “Successful organizations are becoming more adaptive, resilient, quick to change direction and customer-centered” (Heathfield, 2017). Academic human resources management courses that encourage business students and future HR practitioners to become more business oriented and customer-oriented in servicing both internal and external customers assists in preparation for revitalizing the role of HR. By adopting this new persona of the HR professional, businesses that influence this type of organizational behavior start within the culture of the business while also maintaining senior leadership that manages how HR should be represented within the organization. HR as a strategic business partner is evident organizations such as Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) providing resources and tools for HR professionals to go beyond their basic expertise and set up with learning skills that align with the organization. A strategic business partner impacts important business decisions that influence labor costs, marketing, financing in regard to organizational budget, and career-specific management programs. HR as the employee advocate is being revitalized to supply assistance to employees professional and personal concerns that impact job performance. Employee advocate within HR as a game changer permits employees to discover what the multitalented department can accomplish when connecting with employee issues that concern them while aligning HR focus areas to better serve the employee. Recovering the HR professional purpose is to “create a work environment in which people will choose to be motivated, contributing and happy” (Heathfield, 2017, para 7). The HR professional is there to incorporate organizational culture in addition to providing expert advice to management and employees regarding their business relationship with the organization. HR profession as a specific change innovator is quickly on the rise within the organization. HR reinventing the customer-oriented aspect while adding creative methods in initialing necessary changes in regard to mission, vision, organizational culture, employment practices, values, beliefs, and progressive programs to continue positive change reception from the overall organization.

The imminent requirement for a change in perception is connected to HR’s viability and role within the business.

The role of HR is imperative and continues beyond recruitment, staffing, and firing employees but the plan in which businesses want to utilize the vast knowledge within the HR role depend on senior executive management and key stakeholders as well as the strategic approach within the organization. Reexamination of HR within the organization impacts the business approach. HR now has the resources, tools, and strategic roadmap to be taken seriously within the business objectives by aligning human resources goals with that of the organization to rebirth a stronger and more business relevant department that supersedes the expectation and perception of their peers. The imminent requirement for a change in perception is connected to HR’s viability and role within the business.

Sources:

Heathfield, S. (August 2017). The Balance: The 3 New Roles of the Human Resources professional Retrieved on January 16, 2018, from https://www.thebalance.com/the-new-roles-of-the-human-resources-professional-1918352

Cappelli, P. (July-August 2015). Harvard Business Review: Why We love to Hate HR. What HR Can Do About It Retrieved on December 27, 2017, from https://hbr.org/2015/07/why-we-love-to-hate-hr-and-what-hr-can-do-about-it

Franchise Opportunities – 7 Benefits of Children’s Education Franchises

If you have a background as an educator, a daycare provider, preschool provider, or are an entrepreneur or a business executive that loves children and would enjoy the challenge of making a difference in their educational lives, perhaps a Childhood Education and Development franchise might be the perfect business for you.

In general, education is one of those industries that people invest in no matter what the economic climate. In fact, in difficult financial times, families invest more heavily in educating their children because they want their kids to have better opportunities than they had themselves, so childhood education is most definitely a recession-proof industry.

 Below are 7 of the top features of a Childhood Education franchise opportunity.

1. Currently, the child education industry generates about $60 billion in annual revenue and provides more than 3.5 million jobs.

2. Normal business hours. You won’t be working during the evening or on weekends. Business is conducted during “normal” business hours, so it truly is a lifestyle opportunity. 

3. It’s a business you can truly feel good about. Promoting education, whether via standard teaching practices, or by utilizing a tutoring curriculum, is, in itself, a “feel good” type of business. 

Making a difference by providing a positive influence in the life of a child is the ultimate “win/win” relationship. 

4. Most available opportunities feature low start up and operating costs. Some can be run from a home office.

5. State of the art software is provided, which effectively manages all student academics.

6. Professional tutors are readily available. Many franchisees never have found the need to advertise for tutors.

7. As the owner/franchisee, your only role is to run the business. You will be managing people and scheduling sessions. You will not be providing the core service, but leveraging the time and efforts of others.

Some Children’s franchise businesses have specific niches and features that they focus on. They may specialize in early educational enhancement, language education, art education programs, educational technology solutions, and tutoring programs, to name a few.  

If you’re not aware of specific franchise opportunities that are available to you which contain those features, seek the free assistance of a professional franchise consultant. You’ll find that there are great children’s education franchise businesses meeting your requirements that you may have never heard of or even considered. As an experienced franchise consultant, I can help you zero in on your skill set, goals, and background to assist you in determining which opportunity is the best match for you. 

Get your Free Franchise Consultation  The Franchising Authority will help you find your perfect franchise.

13 Free Online Educational Resources for Business Owners

A small business owner wears many hats. Often, they are responsible for finding business, customer service, sales, advertising, and bookkeeping. This is in addition to the duties surrounding the actual service or product the business provides.

There are many resources available on the internet to help you wear your many hats with more confidence. Here are some of the most useful courses, websites, and other resources you can access now.

1. The University of the People

The University of the People is an online, fully accredited university, based in the United States. They offer tuition-free associate and bachelor degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science, and Health Science.

2. Coursera

One of the greatest bastions of self-directed education, Coursera offers instruction in on a variety of topics. Learn how to market yourself, and improve your personal brand. Take a class on bookkeeping or accounting. Or, sharpen and expand your marketable skills.

3. Open Culture

Open Culture bills itself as a repository of free cultural and educational resources found on the internet. Their list of videos, courses, and audio files, related to many different aspects of business management, will keep you busy for days.

4. Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration should be the first stop for every self-employed entrepreneur. Their website offers free courses, downloads, and videos to help you on every step of your path. Learn how to write a business plan, find funding, do market research, and so much more. The SBA also offers a mentoring program for new small business owners.

5. Free Management Library

If you want the knowledge that comes with participating in an MBA level business program, but don’t want the expense, the Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA is for you. You get access to all the lectures, readings, and assignments that you would in a full university course. But you get to do the work at your own pace, and all for free.

6. iTunesU

The iTunes app gives you access to hours of podcasts. Many prestigious universities and schools have partnered with Apple to bring you audio and visual files straight from the halls of Ivy League business schools. Enjoy top notch instruction from schools like Stanford, Harvard, and UC Berkeley.

7. Udacity

Udacity is one of the newer faces in online self-directed education. Their courses concentrate on web and computer technologies. Take one of their free courses, or invest in one of their paid offerings. If your business is web or computer based, their offerings can help you find new services and products to help grow your business.

8. MIT OpenCourseWare

Best known as the gathering place for academic elite to explore engineering, science, and other futuristic technologies, MIT offers many past lecture courses for your personal development. They offer courses that cover many topics, including classes in business and entrepreneurship.

9. edX

Another new website catering to the self-educated crowd, edX offers a variety of courses that a small business owner or entrepreneur will find indispensable. They also offer certifications that prove you put in the work. Their MicroMasters program will have you feeling like an expert in no time.

10. Code Academy

Computer technology is the future. If you find your computer programming skills are holding you back, look at the courses offered by Code Academy. Their short, interactive tutorials and lessons will get you up to speed with what you need to know to tackle lucrative online markets with confidence.

11. HubSpot Academy

This one is for all you keyboard warriors! If you are attempting to carve a slice of the internet marketing pie for yourself, this is the site for you. You can work towards a certification in inbound marketing, email marketing, inbound sales, content marketing, and many other offerings. Most courses are free.

12. TED Talks

Make this your one-stop source for information, entertainment, and inspiration. TED talks cover the whole fabric of life, from personal stories to motivate to advant garde and unusual instructions and solutions.

13. ALISON Diploma in Social Media Marketing

If you want a quick yet thorough guide to effective social media marketing, the diploma in Social Media Marketing might be what you need. This free course will take you from social media newbie to media marketing master in under 20 hours.

Being a business owner is hard. But these free online business education resources can make it easier!

FAQADA Marketing Review – Can You Really Grow Your Business Through Lead Generation?

There are three success marketing tips that can help you become successful with online marketing:

1) Use value based marketing by providing great and useful information to your target or chosen niche market that will help them solve their needs or problems.

2) Use attraction marketing to promote you and your business by identifying your target market and knowing what their needs are and focusing on how you can genuinely help your followers. Brand yourself accordingly so people will get to know you as a person of value, integrity and help others to have success online to change their lives for the better.

3) Education and training is the basis or foundation of a successful internet marketing career or business. As there is a university of life, so is there a university for internet or online marketing. You need to continually educate yourself and increase your knowledge and skills about internet marketing so you can establish yourself as a true leader by implementing and teaching what you learn. This is the reason that accounts for the minority of people that achieve success online. You need to have a entrepreneurial or business owner’s mindset to succeed online.

It is vital that business education to foster their success online. The main focus of this article is to help struggling Internet marketers or people who wish to start their business online by providing an honest review about FAQADA Marketing as an educational company for Internet marketers and business owners.

There is a current movement with a genuine and noble intention to help struggling Internet marketers online succeed through a vehicle and a tool that everyone in the industry needs to succeed online. Internet marketing education and training is the foundation to succeeding online.

Around 90% of Newbie marketers fail online, the reason being is not because they do not have the drive and passion for succeeding online, they just do not know how to, they do not know where to start, they do not know how to build their online presence on social media and they do not know how to network. In other words, because they do not possess the knowledge and skills required yet to be successful online. Knowledge is power as well as developing the required mindset and skill sets for success.

If you are either trying to make an income online or trying to find ways to improve the results that you are currently getting right now based on what you know or the skills you currently possess on internet marketing. The great news is there is an Internet marketing educational and training platform available to you, where aspiring Internet marketers are for the first time in their lives seeing results and achieving success online and It is FAQADA Marketing.

FAQADA internet Marketing education company teaches cutting edge A-Z Step-By-Step methods that are result driven and proven and used and implemented by the leaders in our group. This educational platform teaches people how to market and brand themselves online effectively and how to grow their primary businesses without costing business owners thousands of dollars on advertising and courses.

There are over 2 billion people online. In America alone there are 18 million small-based businesses that are looking to market online. There are millions of people involved in network marketing and multi-level marketing.

FAQADA’S Product is exactly what internet marketers need as it offers the education, training and skills required to help people make a full-time income online and succeed. It is centred around value based and attraction marketing strategies. The monthly membership fee is very minimal. However, the value that you receive in terms of education, knowledge and training is worth thousands of dollars if you were to acquire these from another as most companies offer these as high-ticket training courses. It also offers Five-Day Live Weekly Trainings through their membership site Monday to Friday. This is awesome and not common with many of these other training programs. In addition to this FAQADA provides personal support, mentoring, guidance from all the team members and all the leaders in its group.

Please feel free to check this company’s Facebook business page, company testimonials page and social proof to see what people are saying. You will find that most of its members learn more with one of its training sessions than they have learned with courses that they have done elsewhere.

FAQADA also has an optional affiliate program which allows you to make a monthly residual income per new member that you introduce to the company. It is a very simple compensation plan and the success is taking place in many countries around the world.

This education and training company is truly value based and can be applied to any business that anybody is building. So if you are already involved in a primary business, this will compliment as well as enhance the results you are getting right now from your primary business to help you achieve maximum results.

This education and training system is all about taking your business to the next level and its focus is on teaching you the necessary strategies to grow and enhance your business.