FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE

Salaries Flat but Looking Up for Accountants

Pack your bags! Accountants in the Northeast actually reported the highest average salaries in 2011, overtaking the Mid-Atlantic region, which had been the top ranking region for the past two years. The Northeast region is also the only region where accountants’ salaries increased by more than 1% — it grew an amazing 21% in 2015.

  The difference between the earnings of men and women has appeared, unfortunately, in every IMA Salary Survey during the past 23 years. However, 70% of respondents reported receiving salary increases in 2011, with more women than men reporting them.  

In addition, this is the second straight year that the salary gap has improved and in 2011, the dollar difference in total compensation also showed improvement between men and women in the profession

The biggest impact certification had on earning potential was for young professionals. Those in the 19-29 range earned $15,696 more in salary and $20,612 more in total compensation than their noncertified peers.

 

THE FINANCE TRANSFORMATION

The Transformation of Planning Best Practices by Technology

Let’s recap some of what we have learned. First, planning departments face huge challenges driven by an increasingly complex and unpredictable world.

Uncertainty reigns supreme, yet the need for effective planning has never been higher. This is one of many paradoxes being faced. Another is the need for planning efficiency while at the same time a need to embed planning in the lines of business to be as close to frontline action as possible.

 Cloud computing has exploded in ways too numerous to count. Cloud computing helps planning professionals create capacity to add strategic value. Using the cloud can (1) speed implementation, providing quicker payback, (2) lower upfront costs, (3) increase flexibility with ability to add additional users/capacity as required, (4) ensure you’re on the latest release without your resources needing to be involved, and (5) reduce upfront capital costs.

Ventana Research notes that 53% of organizations are either currently supporting or plan to support the finance team’s use of cloud computing within the next 24 months. Using the cloud gives planners quick, cost-effective options in planning more effectively.

If options are what planners need, then Big Data is providing a flood of opportunities. Data volumes, data velocity and data variety are all increasing exponentially as the world moves to the next revolution of the digital era.

This directly impacts planning cycles as planning involves accessing data (often large volumes of data from a variety of sources on a recurring basis). This basic data is run through various allocations, algorithms and complex calculations to convert it into more useful insights. The ability to examine multiple possible futures is what gives planning its power to transform businesses. That is the chief reason why many consider planning to be a “killer application” for in-memory computer platforms.

  It also enables continuous monitoring by comparing actual run rates with expected trends. Multiple scenarios can be updated and evaluated. It enables organizations to adjust plans and take actions much more quickly, which can lead to better outcomes.

 

6 Fresh Ways to Wear Bootcut Jeans

Given the return of straight-leg jeans, platform boots, and even denim mini skirts, the return of bootcut jeans should come as no surprise. With its major wearability—the slight flare leg is an ultra-flattering cut—we’re beginning to wonder why it fell out of favor in the first place. Reintroduce the classic pant into your daily rotation with these tips from a few street style ladies and one chic Victoria’s Secret model.
WITH MODERN PREPPY EXTRAS

Bootcut jeans were once only worn by “cool-moms,” but that’s no longer the case. Try a patchwork style and wear them with a pink raincoat and playful oxfords for a cool off-duty look.
TYLER JOE

WITH CLASSIC PROPORTIONS

Presenting the classic way to style the bootcut: Have your jacket fall right below the top of your jeans, elongating your stature. Pair them with ankle boots and a mini purse for a modern turn on early-2000s vibes.

WITH YOUR GO-TOS

The most wonderful thing about bootcut jeans is that they’ll look good with practically anything. You already live in a bomber jacket and white tee, so pair them with cropped bootcut jeans and heels for a quick and easy look.

 

If you’re feeling apprehensive about this “new” style, a monochromatic outfit, like this head-to-toe white one, takes the guess work out of what to pair with your jeans. Add some color with a headscarf and simple accessories.

WITH ’90S ADD-ONS

Fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni paired her jeans with even more ’90s throwbacks: a black crop top and choker necklace. Thanks to a sleek ponytail and that striped jacket she looked more modern, less Friends season 2.

Flared sleeves mimic the slight flare of your denim, lending some interest to the overall silhouette of your outfit. Heels help lengthen your legs and keep you looking long and lean.

Best Finance

We’re only a few days into 2016, and there is so much to look forward to. But the passing calendar year also gives a chance to reflect.

Ready to be Rich

On Ready to be Rich all the content comes from a personal, entrepreneurial angle. That’s not to say that much of the information isn’t useful for people who aren’t entrepreneurs, but there is a decided benefit for people with that mindset when they browse Ready to be Rich.

For years Liz Weston has been one of the most popular financial writers on the internet. The Q&A style of many her blogs ask the questions that you’d be thinking to yourself halfway through any other typical blog post. Her other articles also speak to her ability to take complicated subjects and boil them down to simple terms that anyone can understand.

Kerry T. Taylor has been running Squawk Fox since 2006. Part of what makes Squawk Fox so valuable is Taylor takes the time to do real research and math to let consumers know if what’s being sold to them is actually a bad deal.

WIth the voice of a baby boomer who has struggled financially most of his life, and the son of a boomer who is a new dad that has become obsessed with personal finance, Boomer and Echo gives sound advice for people of all ages.

 Money Saving Mom is a gorgeous website and has tons of tips for families and just about anybody else looking to save more money. The blog also covers religion, as the writer is a religious person, but her advice on business, money and investing is sound for people of all faiths.

Finance Girl isn’t a financial analyst or expert, but a regular person who’s spent a few years learning the ins and outs of trading, investing and how to save money. The blog is virtually devoid of jargon, or long boring articles that can make other finance blogs like reading textbook.

finance bloggers you should be reading

Financial bloggers are literally a dime a dozen these days. But that doesn’t mean they’re not as likely to provide a good market tip or some insight into the state of the market. Any advantage can make a huge difference during these thin-as-paint volume days.

  who left the law profession for finance, and was among the few who saw the housing implosion and derivatives mess well before it hit. Judge for yourself: Here’s arundown of his market calls.

  a financial adviser at Ritholz, Brown weaves together markets news, politics, pop culture and finance. He avoids giving financial advice or steering his readers toward particular investments. Instead, he offers up a ”running commentary” of his market-related insights and points you to other content around the Web.

  who has been running Aleph Investments, an equity asset management shop, since 2010. In his past he has managed corporate bonds for Dwight Asset Management and also spent a few years at Finacorp Securities, where he directed research.

  whose slogan is ’No Money Worries. No Matter What’ rounds out the top five. It’s run by Neal Frankle, a CFA who grew up broke, with a father whom he has called a ”speculator.” Feeling completely financially secure is what true wealth is, Frankle believes. ”Contrary to what Wall Street wants you to believe, investing is not rocket science,” says Frankle on his blog. Among the latest burning topics he’s covered: ’Can you enjoy life broke?