Fixed Training Costs Vs Variable Training Costs

The current economic client makes it difficult for training departments to obtain any extra funds, much less normal operating funds. Many times departments must "make do" with the budget they've been handed. But once you have a budget, no matter how large or how small, you should have an idea of ​​what costs are fixed and what costs are variable.

Fixed training costs are simply the ones you can count on at any point. You'll budget for these costs and be able to rely on the fact that they will most likely stay the same. For example, the salaries of the training staff are relatively fixed. When you work on your budget, for whatever time period, you know if you'll be able to add staff, which we will discuss in a moment. You'll also know how much to budget for increases based on the average from the last year. But altogether, you'll be able to count on salary as a fixed item.

The equipment you use routinely for training is also a fixed cost. In fact, much of the equipment training departments use is bought and paid for at one time. These items are every day use items such as copiers, computers, laptops, overhead projectors, LCD's, screens, automatic whiteboards, and any other equipment that is routinely used in the classroom or in the administrative office. But do not forget that you'll need to fix the cost of the upkeep on these items. Light bulbs for overheads and LCD's are fairly expensive, and must be replaced with an item that is approved by the manufacturer. One way to fix these costs is to know how long these items last and plan for their replacements accordingly. One of the biggest shocks to a training budget is when all of the LCD's burn out at one time, leading to an expense item that can add up to thousands of dollars.

Overhead is also a fixed expense. As a training manager, you know how much it costs to maintain your location or locations. These costs include the rent or mortgage payment, the expenses that accompany the locations, such as office supplies and paper, and also any income that comes in from other departments or companies renting space in an owned building. You can also include utility costs as fixed overhead, but be careful when the weather becomes extremely hot or extremely cold – one way to do this is to ensure that engineering installs timed thermostats. Many organizations waste overhead money heating and cooling spaces that are empty overnight or over a weekend, so the training department can continue to prove its worth by turning off the utilities when they are not in use.

Finally, fixed or planned programs are also fixed costs. For example, if you know how many people will be in leadership development over the budget period, you can plan for the materials and outsourcing costs right away. The best thing to do with planned programs is stick to them unless changes become absolutely necessary.

On the other side of the budget, variable costs are the ones you'll need to plan for more carefully. Do you pay usage fees for bandwidth or online courses based on the number of users? If so, this is a variable cost. You can look at average usage from the previous year, or you can simply purchase an advanced number of users for online courses in order to manage this cost. But do not end up in the position of turning people away.

Your materials costs can also be variable. Think about which programs are not "fixed", such as new hire training. You know what the organization's turnover is, but can you anticipate large jumps in turnover? You also know the organization's vision and business plan, so use that to plan your materials cost. One of the best ways to deal with this cost is to purchase materials as needed and plan as you go. There's nothing worse than ending up with boxes of an outdated manual.

Finally, large variable costs can include mergers, acquisitions, expansions, and reductions. You should have an idea of ​​where the organization is headed as far as mergers or acquisitions – and plan the budget accordingly. But there could be unexpected changes such as reductions or expansions that cause you to have to fork over money for space reconfiguration or additions to staff.

The management of variable items depends in a large part on the kind of budgeting system your organization uses. If budgets are fixed, there is not much leeway. But if budgets are "rolling" budgets or "pro-forma" style budgets, you can manage money a little easier as the variable costs swing from one side to the other. For fixed budgets, the best way to handle variable expenses is to look for ways to pay for them out of fixed costs. When variables come your way, find out how the organizational budget is handled and ask for help from the financial managers.

Now that you know which training costs are fixed and which are variable, you'll be better prepared to manage the money as issues arise.

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Recommendations for Air Asia With the Perspective of Different Cost Analysis

1 Introduction:

Starting from short haul operation strategy, Air Asia airline in south-east Asia provides cost effective flying solutions for travelers. To formulate this cost effecting strategy, Air Asia first determine different cost such as capital, fixed, variable, maintenance, labor, fuel, facility, inventory, environment and technology cost to establish new point to point airline service. To investigate different kinds of cost Air Asia first identify potential market in south-east Asia by strong commitment at all level of services; for instance in safety, security, customer service and benefits. Air Asia also established their strategy by building strategic alliances with other airlines. This low cost strategy from Air Asia airline also proven to be formidable puzzle of interest as different proportion of constant changing variables affect on policy making, segmenting market, inventory control, yield system and so on. Basically, implementing such strategy was indeed complex in nature for example, providing direct services between two destinations route increase LOS (level of service) but on the contrary if the airline does not fill up with sufficient passenger then the airline surely will incur huge losses. .

2 Different Cost Analysis of Air Asia:

2.1 Capital cost:

For Air Asia, capital cost is associated with initial setup of project, generally which occur at the beginning of project likewise, investment or buying airplane, cargo, aircraft, lands, buildings, construction, alternative route, high speed train (HST) facilities for different route and so on. Recently, Air Asia is going to expand its market in air cargo which again asking for lots of capital investment. Though, airline capital investments is highly intensive and most of the potential project failed due to limited funds. For example, MAXjet airways, EOS and SilverJet all failed at the initial stage of capital investment only because lack of funding and competitive business models (Wensveen, Leick, 2009). Thus, Air Asia is required to understand this issue for successful business require sufficient amount of capital investment at initial phase.

2.2 Fixed cost:

Here, the price of Air Asia has to be determined on capacity, seats and utilities to minimize total cost. In addition, fixed cost also consist of ticketing operation, ground facilities, airport counter facilities, forward booking and dispatching aircraft from the fleet which can be spread over more passenger as traffic density rises.

2.3 Variable cost:

These costs are determined based on operating, maintenance, labor, fuel, facility, inventory, environmental and technology cost.

3 Operating cost:

The effects of operating cost are un-quantified as the scope of system is varied on point to point service. Here the basic operating costs are administration, ticketing, sales & promotion, passenger service, en-route airport maintenance and landing cost. These operating costs have determined on the level of various operations on airline including air service such as cargo operation, employees.

3.1 Flight operating cost: Is typically associated with aircraft, fleet, flying operation as well as cost related to repairing of equipment and depreciation & amortization.

3.2 Ground operating costs: this cost incurred from handling airport station, landing fees, charges, processing cargo, passenger baggage, travel agency cost, retail ticket office, distribution, commission, reservation, ticket and sales and so on.

3.3 System operating cost: this cost include passenger service cost (ie foods, entertainment, flight attendant and in flight service and transport related cost (ie regional airline partners providing regional air service, extra baggage expense and miscellaneous overheads.

4 Maintenance Cost:

The next stage is maintenance cost which is related to engine maintenance and components maintenance cost. In 2009, the proportion of engine maintenance cost was 43 percent where component maintenance cost was 20 percent and line maintenance was 17 percent. The maintenance cost also increases due to direct operating cost as for daily air flight operation. Thus, maintenance cost is crucial for our Air Asia because this overhead cost does not depend although it varies to the number of times due to requirement of service, demand or other factors. For example, any break down on engine or component hamper airline services for on time flight or even any disruptions increase additional charges as well as minimizing level of services which eventually drive away passenger.

5 Labor cost:

For Air Asia, labor cost is major factor as it is related with salary, benefits, pay rate for cabin crew, pilot, stuffs and other employees. However, labor cost also includes with aircraft services, cleaning, and passenger handling and catering. For example, providing service for customers likes catering, cleaning or even emergency service during flight require services from stuffs. For these additional services, employers expect to receive additional incentives.

6 Fuel cost:

Constant fluctuations on fuel price are also causes great impact on airline service in terms of competition on point to point service. This has been evident that approximately overall 20 percent operating costs are incurred from fuel, and due to price sensitivity, flexibility and quick responsiveness fuel price causes negative effect on ticket price.

7 Facility cost:

Here all kinds of aircraft, electricity, water, availability of spare equipments, machine, tools, ground maintenance filtering, pipeline and route maintenance costs are related to facility cost.

8 Environmental cost:

Airline industry is usually always remaining under pressure to decrease negative impact on global warming and noise pollution. Growing awareness on environmental issues is becoming a huge challenge now days to introduce new technology, aircraft and new air flight. For example, Singapore airlines attempted to keep its fleet as modern as possible. The new A380 is a cleaner and greener aircraft compared to the Boeing 747 on a per-seat basis but introducing such new service was really costly.

The only solution is to become greener and eco-friendly is adapting technology which does not pollute air and does not increase global warming. For example, eco-friendly gas could be an alternative solution to mitigate this issue as well as reducing costs. In Air Asia, it's very important to forecast future environmental threats to sustain in market. This cost is hard to eliminate but since Air Asia is based on south-east Asia; rules and regulation are considerably favorable to sustain in market. On the other hand, it's necessary to forecast estimating cost of environmental tax.

9 Technological costs:

Poor technology like traditional system ie manual ticketing, checking system, decrease significant amount of level of service. Though the cost are differentiate but to reduce substantial amount of cost for example, online booking, online assistance, and online information could be minimized by 24/7 online help line. For safety and security, RFID technology or 2D reader, barcode, e-service can be used.

10 Conclusions:

To sum up, cost is always a major factor in all aspects like in marketing, operational, safety, technological, maintenance, environmental for Air Asia. Though cost is flexible in nature and complex but for Air Asia could easily switch their cost due differentiate their market and taking advantage on existing alliance. Here, Air Asia airline need to identify proportion of cost to invest at the right sector over the long period of time. As, the company is already offering 20 percent low flight than competitors; thus, it's necessary to control cost with proper budgeting, planning and scheduling. In this case, Air Asia can also learn from Jet Asia and Singapore airlines, how these successful companies operate their cost-effective business to sustain in the market.

The Top Seven Causes Of Workplace Stress And Fifteen Ways To Get Rid Of Them

Anyone who has ever worked knows that stress is part of the workplace. Stress in itself is not bad, in fact, we can not live without it. Applying the correct amount of stress hardens our muscles, sharpens our minds, and strengthens our spirits. It is when we move from this "good" type of stress into distress that things begin to go wrong. The fact is, most people who work are feeling pressure from things going on both inside the workplace and outside the workplace. Let's explore …

There are seven common stressors that effect how people feel about the workplace:

1. Being out of sync with one's career values

2. Consistently applying burn out skills rather than motivated skills

3. Being delegated responsibility without authority

4. Being expected to produce more work with fewer resources

5. Job and career uncertainty and insecurity

6. The pace of change

7. Balancing family and work obligations

A combination of some or all of these seven stressors is the root cause of most, if not all, stress in the workplace. The indicators pointed out by many workplace surveys (working harder, feeling overwhelmed, work / life time priorities, irritability and frustration, zoning out with TV, feelings of helplessness, etc.) can be viewed as symptoms of these underlying root causes. Stress can be manifested by something as benign as someone having a tiff with a coworker to something as tragic as a disgruntled worker harming others. Following is a brief overview of each of the seven workplace stressors.

1. Being Out Of Sync With One's Career Values

Put simply, career values ​​are the personal principles or standards that govern our behavior in the workplace and that are important in our overall career decisions. Examples include job flexibility, time freedom, preferring either a fast- or slow-paced work setting, working alone, working with others, helping society, monetary reward, job stability, and so on. It is important that workers narrow down and define their 5 to 10 core career values. These core career values ​​then become decision making and assessment points for people to measure and see if where they are working and what they are doing at work is in sync with their values. It is when someone is not in sync with her values ​​that stress occurs. For example, if Jane's top career value is work / life balance, but she is spending 80 hour per week at work, has not taken a family vacation in two years, and consistently misses her children's school events; she has a values ​​clash and stress occurs. The more she works, the greater the stress.

2. Consistently Applying "Burn Out" Skills Rather Than Motivated Skills

Skills are what people bring to the table to get work done. Budgeting, supervising, editing, computer programming, training, designing websites, etc., are examples of skills.

Motivated skills are the things that a person does well and likes to do. Burns out skills are the things a person does well but does not like to do. If someone is constantly applying his or her burn out skills rather than his or her motivated skills on the job, performance will begin to decrease, motivation is lost, and eventually "burn out" occurs.

Why do not people always use and apply their motivated skills in the workplace? Most companies have a performance management system or performance appraisal process. It is in these systems and processes that motivated skills can be sabotaged. For example:

Sam, an account manager in a healthcare organization, has always been good at working with people, getting others to buy into his ideas, and documenting his work results. He completes a motivated skills assessment and learns that his main motivated skills (what he likes to do very much and is very good at doing) are employee training, sales, and writing. His burn out skills (what he is very good at doing but does not like to do) turn out to be planning and budgeting. His supervisor invites him to the annual appraisal meeting and the following conversation ensues:

Supervisor: "Sam, you did such a great job on the budget last year that this year instead of having you just do the planning and budgeting for our department, I'm going to ask that you do the planning and budgeting for the entire company . Again, you were so thorough and did such a great job that I think you should be rewarded. "

Sam: (Afraid to appear ungrateful and possibly jeopardize his job). "Well, thanks, but I …"

Supervisor: "Now do not worry. I know working on the company-wide budget is going to take a lot of time. As such, I am revamping your account manager position and taking all of your training, sales, and report writing tasks off your plate. That should free you up to work strictly on planning and budgeting. "

Unless Sam speaks up and finds a positive way to negotiate himself back to what he likes to do and is good at doing, he will experience burn out, usually sooner rather than later. This burn out will lead to decreased motivation, which leads to less productivity, which leads to poor performance appraisals, and ultimately could result in Sam losing his job.

3. Being Delegated Responsibility Without Authority

This is a classic stress builder and is occurring more and more in organizations. Many people, especially those who have been with the company for a period of time, become taken for granted. Because they are always there and always willing to pitch in, it is often assumed that they will take on more and more work and responsibility. In essence, this creates a vicious cycle – as soon as one task or project is completed, it is assumed these loyal people will take on the next one with no consideration of their own time or motivational needs.

Because of the fast pace in most businesses these days, it is a common flaw that this work is assigned with no real structure in place as to who has the authority to carry it out – kind of a "just do it and do not ask too many questions "approach. People in this position are often under self-imposed stress and end up working longer hours than many others in the organization, including the people who do the delegating.

4. Being Expected To Produce More Work With Fewer Resources And For Less Rewards

As managers are being asked to do more with less, they in turn pass this along to their work groups. This creates a see-saw of stress that bounces up and down the organizational chain. It is assumed that people will not push back on either of these points because it is an "employer's market." That is, there are more people looking for good jobs than there are good jobs available and the added stress of job security is imposed (more on this later.)

Along with the challenge of doing more with less, many employee benefits and / or reward programs are being "revised" or cut back. For example, many companies no longer carry over unused vacation from one year to the next … if you do not use it you lose it. The irony being that it is harder to take time off because there is so much work to do and if a person does take a week's vacation, the amount of work that piles up while out of the office kicks the stress drive into high gear once she returns to work. As such, many people do not take a true vacation but take work with them or come into the office during vacation times just to keep the work from piling up too high. Holiday shutdown between Christmas and New Year's is also being scaled back by many organizations. Promotions are tougher to attain. Some employers are even tampering with maternity leave by proposing a variety of flexible work schedules to dissuade employees from even taking leave. These "incentives" include items such as telecommuting, part-time hours, working during off hours, etc. Finally, there's often a perception by workers that if they do not play ball they will be "encouraged" to move on and find a different position.

5. Job And Career Uncertainty And Insecurity

It's a fact: Most people in the workplace will have five to seven career changes over the course of their work lives. Some of these changes will be by choice, while others will be due to economic, business-related decisions, and other non-controllable factors. The fact remains, these changes are going to occur whether workers believe it or not, want them or not, or are ready for them or not.

Why so many career changes? It used to be that a person could go to work for a company and stay with the company for 30 or 40 years. If he or she was loyal to the company and did certain things in a certain way the company would take care of him or her. After a lifetime of employment the person would retire with a nice pension and a gold watch.

This type of informal employer-employee contract began to disappear in the 1980's. From the early 1980's through the mid-1990's massive and unprecedented layoffs occurred (often in the name of the "bottom line"). Job security as we once knew it became a relic of the past. Today it's all about becoming career self-reliant. The informal contract has changed to

"… We (the company) will give you the necessary resources (such as training and job aids) to do your job, but it is up to you (the employee) to determine where you want to go and what you want to do within this framework. Furthermore, there is no obligation on our part to ensure your job security – it's up to you, the employee, to keep your skills sharp, your knowledge keen, and your career goals updated. Oh, but by the way , we expect you to work 45-60 hours per week, not say bad things about the company, and thank your lucky stars that you even have a job. "

This change in the informal employer-employee contract has snuck up on most workers and many still do not realize this transition is occurring. In fact, the current workforce, those people aged 22 to 65 years, is the transitional generation of workers. What this means in terms of stress is that when many people (especially those between 30 and 65 years old) entered the workforce, they had an expectation of the way it used to work: That if one entered the workforce and was loyal to the company that the company would take care of her or him. After all, that's what they heard from their parents and grandparents: "Get a good secure job, preferably with benefits, and things will be OK." However, the reality has changed and people become confused and often fall into a survival mode of operation. They become afraid to challenge the status quo and question decisions made by the company decision makers (such as cutting vacation and other benefits, having more and more work piled on them, and being delegated more responsibility without the adequate level of authority to carry out the necessary tasks.)

6. The Accelerating Pace Of Change

Business decisions, technology, markets, and the economy – all seem to be changing at the speed of light. One day the company decides it is going to ramp up to provide product or service "A" and the next day switches to product or service "Z". Workers invest time and energy to learn a new email program and 2 months later are asked to drop that one and learn a different one. Markets and the economy ebb and flow and the company reacts or even overreacts, setting off huge ripples of chaos and uncertainty within the organization.

These are things that managers and employees deal with on a daily basis. Over time, if a person does not learn to go with the flow of change, she or he will become overwhelmed when even the slightest change occurs. When someone reaches this point, something as simple as the company letterhead changing can be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

7. Balancing Family And Work Obligations

There are two key family issues facing many in today's workplace, 1) child care, and / or 2) elder care. This at a time when society, in the form of peer pressure and media advertising, continues to set the expectation that today's worker should be able to do it all: Look great, be full of enthusiasm, have a great career, keep the home fires burning by taking care of children and / or parents, handle the pets, make over the spare bedroom, plan a fabulous vacation, the list goes on. It is worth mentioning that this sample list of perceived expectations was taken directly from just one evening of watching TV and noting commercials, sitcoms, and reality shows occurring during primetime. All these expectations foisted upon working folks in just a couple of hours. The question is, what message is this sending to workers and how are they dealing with it?

This constant effort of trying to be the perfect mom or dad, the perfect partner, the perfect worker, have the perfect body, drive the perfect vehicle and so on, is really taking a toll on workers and adding to the pile up of stress.

Summary Of Workplace Stressors

As you can see, the seven stressors mentioned overlap and integrate in such a way that it is no wonder that today's workforce is becoming more and more stressed, apathetic, tired, and burned out. Being expected to do more with less, not having opportunities to recognize and apply their career values ​​and motivated skills, having more responsibility heaped upon them without the necessary levels of authority to carry out the responsibility, and the constant nagging worry of keeping their jobs is a huge challenge for today's workers.

Here's The Good News: Fifteen Ways To Get Rid Of Workplace Stress

Although the stressors outlined above are real, it is always a good idea for people to assess how much reality versus perception we have in their individual situations. As such, take a few minutes to ask yourself the following questions and to really think hard about if you have more power than you may think to change at least some of your situations for the better:

1. Am I bringing any of this on myself?

2. Are there things I can be doing to improve the situation?

3. Am I blaming someone or something else (my partner, my company, my children, traffic, etc.) for the degree of happiness I am attaining or not attaining in my life?

4. Am I actually taking control of what I can control and accepting what I can not control?

5. Have I lulled myself into a false sense that my work and my non-work lives are beyond my capabilities to handle – am I copping out?

6. Do I know what my career values ​​and motivated skills are? If not, how can I find out?

7. If I am unhappy with my work situation, what is my short-term action plan to transition to something better? Who controls this decision?

8. What are my long-term career action plans?

9. Am I being as time efficient as I can? Am I looking for ways to integrate tasks and projects?

10. Am I focusing on what needs to get done so that I do not have to take work home?

11. Can I form a support group (possibly made up of trusted coworkers, friends, clergy, etc.) where I can safely share my concerns, vent my anger, and deal with non-productive emotions?

12. Am I a Type-A workaholic? If so, can I admit it and ask for help?

13. Do I use work as a convenient excuse to not deal with other facets of my life? (Primary relationship, self image, weight challenges, etc.)

14. What would it take for me to turn off the TV two nights per week and do something more energetic or socially responsible?

15. Are my tears and frustration at work really a symptom of something else going on in my life?

The 5 Essential Financial Reports You Should Be Asking For in Your Business

A question I often get asked from my business owner clients is "what reports should I be asking for so that I can keep my finger on the pulse on my business".

Now this does differ slightly from business to business. For example, if you are a retail shop, then you're going to automatically have daily figures available to you as part of your normal process. However most businesses should be asking for weekly, monthly and quarterly reports.

Before I go through the reports in detail, I know that a lot of people do not like looking at the figures in their business. And usually this is because they do not know what it is that they're looking for. So usually then their accountant or bookkeeper (or receptionist!) Gives them a monthly report, they glance at while holding their breath, and then either breathe a sigh of relief if it shows a profit, or they grimace and swear when it shows a loss . But usually by the time they've got this report, it's already too late. The financial status of your business should be at the forefront of your mind every day- not something that you look at once or twice a year when you run out of cash.

The first thing to decide is how frequently you need to see reports. I suggest a minimum of monthly, if not weekly. This can sometimes depend on whether you have a full time accounts person, or whether they only come in once a month.

To help you know what's going on in your business, one of the first things to implement into your business is a culture of having a year end every month. By that I mean … you want to ensure that every revenue figure and expense if recorded according to the month that it's incurred. If you insist on this type of culture, you will start to receive accurate figures. So think end of year each month and close off all financial data for each month. That way you know that your reports fully reflect the state of your business and you get accurate profit and loss reporting and it can help you to identify trends in your cash flow.

With regards to reporting, if you have a full time person looking after your reports, you should be having a weekly meeting with them to review reports. To make this process easy for you, refer to the 'Essential Financial Management Templates' workbook which you can purchase from our website. This workbook has a standard financial meeting agenda that will help you to guide your meeting so that it's both effective and efficient.

When you are meeting with your accounts person, you want to ensure that you have all the reports up front -before your meeting – so that you have time to go through them and highlight any discrepancies that you can then address during the meeting.

So what information do you need to know if your business is doing well or not? Well your weekly report pack should consist of the following five reports (by the way, a sample copy of each of these reports is also included in the workbook that I mentioned before):

1) A Profit and Loss – this should be provided weekly (if you're meeting weekly) as well as a Month to Date and a Year to Date report. So that's actually three reports in total!

2) From there, you would request a copy of your Aged Payables. This report shows a list of all the people that you owe money to, and when it's due – or if its overdue. If there are any amounts that exceed your suppliers trading terms, you want to know why. If it's because of cash flow, you then look at your cash flow analysis report to see when they will be paid. To maintain a great relationship with your supplier, you then need to communicate this with them.

3) Another essential report is your Aged Receivables. This is where you can clearly see who owes you money and if they have any amounts outstanding to you. This allows you to follow up on collections way before it becomes overdue. As part of your financial management systems, you should have a standard follow up system. For example – if a client has exceeded their trading terms by 7 days, what happens – do you follow up with a quick phone call to check that they've received the invoice. If its 14 days – what happens – and so on.

If you refer to the 'Essential Financial Management Templates' workbook that I mentioned before, there's also a list of demand letters designed to help you when you need to be a little more serious about collecting. But once again, Aged Receivables is essential because you need to see when your money is coming in – so that you can pay your suppliers and employees their wages without having to dip into your own personal cash reserves.

4) This brings me to the next report – a Cash flow analysis. This report should be put together by your bookkeeper and outlines when money is coming in and when it is going out. You can then see if there are any shortfalls so that you can make plans in advance to get this covered. It may be that you need to transfer monies from another account – or it may be that you chase outstanding payments. What you do not want is to find out when you go to transfer the money is that there's nothing in the account!

Believe it or not, this is often the most under-utilized financial report – and yet it's the most important. You would not believe how many bookkeepers or accounts people do not do them either. It's not so much that it's difficult to produce, but it's a working document which means that it needs to be regularly updated. But persist with this one, even if your accounts people try a mini revolt over it, because it's a life saver for your business.

The 'Essential Financial Management Templates' workbook that I referred to previously that's found on our website contains a fantastic cash flow analysis report that will save you and your team a lot of time.

5) The other essential report to have is the Bank Reconciliation. If your bookkeeper is full time, then they can do this weekly by using the online reports from your bank. If its monthly, then they will need to wait for the bank statement to arrive from the bank before they can finalise. However, keep on top of them for this – this report shows that the necessary process has been done to ensure that the month end has been closed off and that the cash in bank and any other payments or receipts are accounted for. Basically a bank reconciliation is done so that its guaranteed that your amounts coming into and out of your bank account are accurately reflected in your accounting software package.

I would also recommend requesting that your financial controller automatically sends a copy of your monthly reports to your accountant. This way your accountant can see where you're headed from month to month. Depending on the size of your business, you could then establish regular meetings with your accountant – whether it's monthly or quarterly – to discuss those reports and your financial plans for the coming month.

Once you are receiving these reports regularly, you will find that you become much more empowered in your business and your finger is never far from the pulse!

Questions to Ask Before You Have a Home Built

Verify Credentials

Do not settle for just any custom home builder; find out all you can about them. Ask them how long they have been in the business and why they enjoy it. Ask them about their challenges and how they have overcome them. Find out about other homes they have built in the area and go take a look at them. Check online to see if there are complaints against them.

Once you find a terrific custom home builder to work with, ask them about their credentials. This includes insurance and licensing. Ask them about their crew and what types of checks they conduct on them to make sure they have the right skills for the job. A professional is not going to bat an eye at your questions or avoid answering them.

Models and Selecting Details

Most custom home builder providers have models you can walk though and look around. Others only offer those images on a computer for you to look at. Talk to them about the various floor plans they offer and how you select your colors and other details. If there is something unique you want to have added, make sure they can do this before anything gets started.

Change orders can be tough to accommodate when it comes to building a home. They can also be costly in terms of the materials and the time involved. The building should not begin until are completely sure about what you want and all of those details have been fully discussed. Take all the time you need to make your final selections.


You may have a bottom line in mind when it comes to your new home. It is important for the custom home builder to know this figure and to respect it. They can share with you what they can offer for that price. They may have a land / home package for you to think about. It is also possible you are buying the land separate and hiring them just to build the home.

There are other factors you need to take into consideration though. This includes plumbing, wiring for electricity, and other factors. The builder of your home should be able to share these needs with you as they do have to be factored into the overall cost. Typically, they will subcontract that work so you are only paying one person to get the job done.

In other instances, you may be able to pick those subcontractors. Find out what the process will be in advance so you can be prepared for what you are responsible for. If they are going to cover the subcontractors, ask who they are and conduct your research. You need to be confident they can do an excellent job for you.


Ask about the other homes they have on their agenda and when they will finish them. It is not uncommon for a custom home builder to have more than one crew. This allows them to work on various projects. The crews may all work on certain aspects of any given home. This allows those with certain skills to use them to complete certain tasks.

Find out how long it will be for them to start the construction of your home and when it will be completed. There can be delays with permits, inspections, weather, and other variables they can not control. However, they should be able to give you a reasonable timeframe for the work to be done.

10 Insightful Questions to Ask a Dating Prospect

Let's be real and get down to business, time is money and money is time. In a day and age where technology brings business, communication, information, and connections to people in an instant, we move fast and do not have time to sort through a complicated mess. Nevertheless, we want to date, that has not changed, but how we do we cut to the chase to find out what someone's about. This article discusses 10 questions to ask a person you're interested in potentially dating. And before you ask these questions of a dating prospect, you should answer for yourself first, to know where you stand and relate when you ask.

1. You only see your family once a year, what would you choose for the holidays – going home or a trip to the Caribbean? And why?

What this reveals: Well, obviously, this tells you a lot about what their priorities are. Granted, everyone wants to go on vacation, but had they been very into family, they would've found another time to go on vacation besides the holidays. More times than not, the end of the year holidays are about family, it's the rare time when everyone is able to get together. Maybe they really like vacation over the family holiday traditions, which is fine too, IF that's what you're looking for. The thing that can be worrisome if you're looking for a marriage partner, is the fact that there could possibly be some kind of rift in the family. Every family has issues, needless to say, but long drawn out harbored conflicts are not a good sign. There is also the possibility someone would just choose a Caribbean vacation for just a particular year just to get away from family, be alone, and get some good R & R (cause we know family gatherings can be less than inspiring for R & R) . You should really listen to their why and understand what their motivation is, it tells you how they feel about the first F – family. When I talk about F's, I'm referring to the 3 areas that one should look out for when dating (and no, none of the F's are bad 4 letter words). These are: 1) faith, 2) family, and 3) finances. See if their motivation for family is the same as yours.

2. If you have $ 1000 dollars, how would you spend it?

What this reveals: Like I said, this is another F word, a good F word that is! Finances! Finances are one of the top problems that marriages can have. And as much as we want to be on cloud 9 when we're dating or in love, the tire hits the pavement when it comes to finance talk. One less obvious thing to note is how calculated they are when it comes to their breakdown, it will give you a hint to their spending style. If they tend to be very approximate of their spending categories, chances are that they are well versed in budgeting. Some people will be so meticulous to be precise down to the cent. Someone who quickly throws out some numbers is a little carefree with their money. And of course, the person who keeps the $ 1000 without spending will tend to be your saver, possibly very much the penny pincher. How you line up with them in this issue will set the stage for your future financial issues. Of course, one can learn from the other, but it's good to understand what value the other party places on money. All financial issues have emotional issues behind them. Maybe they save a lot because they've been laid off before and know what it's like to live with no income. Maybe their parents took them shopping every weekend or bought them gifts constantly without regard for cost. Understanding their finances early on helps you understand their background, how they grew up, and your potential future. And, if at all possible, it would be good to exchange credit reports, It's the best succinct piece of paper to tell you the financial story of a person.

3. Your child gets pregnant at the age of 17, what do you do?

What this reveals: Yeah, this is a pretty deep question, but in the dating game, we're supposed to get to know each other. And these insightful questions do just that. A person's faith will play importantly into this one, as it will give insight to their right-to-life / pro-choice views. Although faith may not be an active part in your life right now as a single person, that may possibly change when you have a family, which I have seen in so many of my friend's families time and time again. A few more issues that come into play are: 1) trust, 2) forgiveness, 3) resolving problems, 4) regard for reputation and 5) level of being judgmental. These are important value stances and shows their ability to resolve life's hardships in their lives. Regard for reputation is an aspect most people do not think about, but it's important to know how much this does or does not matter to your mate. I once dated a guy who lived for his reputation, whereas I, on the other hand, lived my life according to my rules and what I thought was best, regardless of what people thought. Needless to say, this caused a lot of problems as he would constantly point out my 'inappropriate' behavior ', while I was carefree in that area. Life will often hand us some kind of crisis, it's inevitable and how each person handles it tells you 1) what it's going to be like in tough times with them and 2) whether they'll fight or take flight. In the beginning of dating or any relationship, life is grand, the grass is greener than ever and there's no clouds in the skies. It's easy to think you're compatible, but when you have a big crisis come up, you'll see how compatible you are with their moral stance. It's up to you to decide where you can compromise and where you just are not in agreement.

4. Should you be friends with your ex? Why or why not?

What this reveals: One can choose to look at this negatively or positively. Some people live in absolutes, where their mind is set on a certain way of doing and looking at things. That's the way a lot of people live, it's a much more safe place to be within certain boundaries. For some people, that works. And then there are those very few who choose to do away with boundaries and go down the off beaten path. Nothing in life is certain and these people know that, many answers to situations for these folks are 'it depends'. And so, in this question, for these folks, it depends. I have walked away from most relationships and dating situations in a good light. I've always valued people in my life and tend to keep people in my life regardless of what may have happened. These exes are valuable friends to me as they know me better than most people. They'll listen, care about me, and be there should I need them. The best example of this was the day that my father passed, the majority of my exes called that day offering their condolences to me and also in memory of my father whom they very much respected and cared for. Of course, in any future situation, this will require a man to have great trust in me with these relationships that are now a part of my life. However, should the ex in your case be one that's meddling, deceitful, still in love with you, or have bad intentions, it's not a good idea to keep them around. And if all your prospect's exes tend to end badly, you may want to look at your prospect as the source as well. Not every relationship has to end badly if properly handled by the people dating.

5. What's more important forgiveness or faithfulness? Post why?

What this reveals: This is obviously a non win situation. There's no easy answer to this question, both are very valid aspects to have in any relationship. But, this is nevertheless, a question that reveals much of your prospect's character. Should they choose forgiveness, then obviously they will come with a personality more apt to accept that bad things happen and forgiveness is always needed. No one is perfect, and your new prospect is not, by any means. Learning this is important, as one of my married girlfriends told me, 'I wake up and forgive, and then everyday, I do it all over again'. There is no shortage of reasons to forgive – big or small. Well, what about faithfulness? Of course that is an admirable characteristic. It's one that makes a person feel secure and that they're able to trust their partner. Of course, everybody wants that as the end goal of dating. For most it would be ideal to have that, whether in a marriage or a relationship. This is a tough question and paying attention to how they arrive at their answer will tell you volumes on these 2 very important issues. I know there are people out there who will say absolutely no and cut it off should cheating occur. Then I know others, such as myself, who have seen relationships (very few, mind you) become stronger from infidelity. Again, it always depends, but watch to see if this person follows in line with your ideals.

6. If you were stuck on an island what 5 items would you bring?

What this reveals: This is always a fun one to ask. It's always interesting what people will bring with them. This one is a little less serious than the other questions, but it just gives you a chance to know what's important to your prospect. It's good to now always take things seriously, so this is one of those questions that are 'just for fun'. Of course, part of you would like to hear the other person that 'you' would be one of the 5, but it really depends on how long you've been dating for this to be comforting or possibly psycho. Should it be a fairly new relationship, the idea of ​​being brought an island with this new person may strike fear in you. I know it would for me. Flattery is not always a great thing, it can be scary at times. At least one of these items will reveal to you what is most important in their lives. For me, 3 things I would bring are 1) a journal, 2) a pen, and 3) music. Yes, obviously writing and music are musts in my life. Knowing this, my potential partner could know either what to get me as a present or even more importantly, know what soothes me in my life. Then he'd know if I'm upset with him, to send me away with paper and pen, and I may possibly come back more at peace and at ease. Likewise, some guys may bring their gaming systems, computers, weight benches, you name it, these five things can be all over the place! Listen up to what they have to say and take the chance to understand another side of your partner's personality.

7. You have a month to live, what would you do for the last month?

What this reveals: There are so many ways to answer this question, besides any kind of violent sort of answer, pretty much anything said goes. One of the most obvious things this reveals is how much they treasure life, whether it's to travel to places they've never been or to be with family. Knowing where they go with this shows where their heart is and is a very important aspect to know. And, then there will be those who view it negatively and would just spend the last month soaking it in, feeling bad, or hiding from the world. Naturally, these people would either drain a partner's energy or could possibly be uplifted by having a positive partner. You'll have to be the judge of the dynamics between the two of you. For me, the closest I have been to this was to be around my dad his last month of living when I lived out of state and was jobless at the time. That month was one of the most intense months I've ever had when I decided to move to be near him. And I constantly tell people over and over that if I had to do it all over again, I would've done the same while being jobless. I would've taken being jobless any day to be able to have that time with my father. Jobs will come over and over again, but that time with my father only came once.

8. You can only have 2 electronic items with you for a week, what do you take (cell phone in this case would have to be a regular cell phone with text only, no smart capabilities)?

What this reveals: This is a funny, interesting one. Just like the '5 things on an island' question, this one is similar, yet different because this one reveals how attached one is to their electronics. It goes without saying that if they bring their cell phone, they like talking and / or texting. They're much the communicator and need people around. Perhaps you're not a very social person, knowing this, you'll know what you're up against when it comes to social aspects of the relationship. I've met couples before where one person loves to go out and be social, while the other stays at home. Eventually, they fall to their differences and break up or divorce. And, many guys will most likely bring a gaming system with them, which signifies a gamer in your hands. Every guy has a kid in them, and this is one of those aspects where women would be wise to accept and not try to change (with the I'm gonna change the man attitude that so many of us women have). In everything there's a time and place, such is the case with their gaming system. Just as some of us women need our girls nights out or our shopping time, guys need their escape. I always found a way to intertwine my time with his while he played, by being right beside him doing whatever it is that I do while he plays. It worked for us, which goes without saying, any couple can work through differences and come to meet in the middle. Of course, what would be ideal would be that your prospect asks you what's important to you and brings those items, so you can share. In a perfect world, that would happen, but there's many of us who are selfish and only see this in light of what we need. So, it would be very natural to have them answer as a singular person.

9. Would you rather be deaf or blind, and why?

What this reveals: This tells you very much whether the person you are with is a visual or audio person. Obviously if you're with someone who chooses to be deaf, most likely they're a people watcher and this is helpful for you to know to be on your best behavior because you know they're watching you quite frequently. Likewise, should they choose to be blind, they're definitely audio people and will pay attention closely to what you say exactly. Knowing your choice would give you an idea of ​​where the two of you would stand. I'd be in a lot of trouble with a blind person, as my words would be deeply evaluated and considered. I tend to say whatever with care to the wind, for some my words would be depict an exact picture of who I am. Should they choose to be blind, if you wanted, you know you could get away with not being in your best dressed clothing all the time. Other considerations would be how much they want to be noticeably disabled. A deaf person most likely would go more unnoticed than a blind person. This goes back to where the person values ​​their reputation and image.

10. Your best friend tells you, they cheated with your current girlfriend / boyfriend, if you had to choose only one, do you keep the best friend or the girlfriend / boyfriend?

What this reveals: Yes, this is another loaded question. No one wants to be put in a position to choose, but then again, nobody wants to be in a position of being cheated on where their best friend is involved. It comes down to friendship or relationship. But, at certain times, it may not even be a choice of either / or, some may choose the route to choose to not have either person in their lives. After all, they're supposed to be 2 of the most trusted people in your life, and they both happen to betray you. After all, if they've done it once, the partner or the cheater may come back around, depending on which you keep. It's not a very pretty scenario. Having the best friend come forth first shows an important aspect that they can be more honest than your partner. They become the lesser of two evils. Sometimes people will tend to stick with the best friend as another boyfriend / girlfriend will come around, is what they reason. Best friends really are hard to come by and their friendship has obviously outlasted the time and struggles that they have come across. Both are difficult options, but yet again, this gives an insight for you to whether forgiveness with friendship or a relationship is more important.

Getting to know someone new is never an easy thing. Besides the normal subjects of interests and hobbies, understanding someone's moral stance and values ​​will reveal much of their character and you can decide how it fits or does not fit into your life. There are no right answers, they're just about what's important to you and to get to know the other person. These are not your everyday ho hum questions, but they'll give you power insight into who they are as a person. Dating is not an easy, but asking the right questions can help you navigate through all the things going on.

The Impact of Globalization on Management Accounting

With a movement towards globalization approaching, the change brought on by it can change how companies in the US view their accountants. First, there are two types of accountants, financial accountants and managerial accountants. A definition of financial accounting, taken from Merriam-Webster, is the systematic analysis of information about the economic affairs of an organization for the use of persons outside the organization. Merriam-Webster goes on to explain management accounting as "the creation of reports for planning and decision-making" … "It's aim is to provide managers reliable information on the costs of operations and on standards with which those costs can be compared, to assist them in budgeting ". The key difference to take away from these two definitions is that financial accounting provides information to people outside of the organization, and management accounting is aimed at helping managers within an organization make decisions.

The US becoming more globalized will increase competition for firms within the country, therefore making management accountants more valuable to firms. To understand what an increase in competition will do to US companies and their accountants, one must first take a look at how companies in the US see management accountants in comparison to another country. In a research article titled "Management Accounting Practices in the US and Japan: Comparative Survey Findings and Research Implications (1991)" by M. Shields and C. Chow, notes the difference in goals set by US and Japanese accountants. The survey suggests that US accountants "emphasize the use of standards to control manufacturing costs after the fact", while contrasting Japanese accountants use practices that look towards the future. This difference here lies within the goals set by the companies. While firms in the US are looking at what they can do now to lower costs, Japanese firms are looking into the future to lower costs for products that might not exist yet. This type of thinking for US firms is not acceptable, and the state that companies are in now is less than satisfactory because the current state of management accounting is in the wrong direction.

Management accountants look toward the future, they set up budgets, forecast, and steer companies in the right progressive direction. In increased competition, especially for US firms, companies will need managers that make the right decisions for the good of the company. In an article by B. Pounder, "How Globalization is Affecting US Accounting (2006)", Pounder states that one of the main reasons management accounting is obscure in this country is because American managers are more likely to make "gut feeling" choices ( usually for personal gain) rather than making the choices that will be good for the company in the long run. This can be tied back to the research survey from Shields & Chow, looking at firms and their respective goals. It is more common for businesses in the US to demonstrate action for personal gain than it is in Japan, and in an age of globalization and increased competition companies can not survive with that type of mindset and framework.

A report by N. Miculescu, "Current Trends of Production Cost Accounting (2011)", Miculescu concluded that companies have an exponentially growing duty to find solutions as quickly as possible in order to keep up with this rise in competition due to globalization.

The current state of management accounting in the US rewards managers and puts the company as a whole in jeopardy, and with a rise in competition approaching is it in firms' best interests to employ management accountants that make decisions for the best interest of the company.

8 Simple Steps to Becoming an AdWords Millionaire!

In this article, I'm going to tell you exactly what I did, in my first week, in my very first tiny, Google AdWords Ad campaign to make $ 1,000 in six days.

Most of you are like me. You heard about people making huge sums of money on Google AdWords. Or, you heard about someone building a large website, marketing it, and raking in tens of thousands of dollars in passive income.

Before we get into this, let me assure you that I am just an ordinary person, who believes that if some other Bozo can do this, I can do this. And, to let you know that I'm sincere, you can email me and request my phone number. I'll talk to you personally and tell you what I did. Once I found the training and tools, the Internet became my oyster!

It's the dream we all have – the dream of being able to live your life on your own terms. Who does not want to travel, spend more time with the family, and buy whatever they want and need without worrying about it.

I read and purchased nearly everything I could for three full years. During that time I did not make a nickel from any kind of online business.

Then I found an Online Money Makers Club. It changed my life!

So, here's what it taught me right out of the gate. I watched my first video – one of hundreds of video tutorials (all on one site, by the way) and the money started to pour in every day. I would watch my Clickbank account page. My sales were $ 200 to $ 300 per day.

Here it is:

Step # 1

Open accounts in Google AdWords, Clickbank, an autoresponder, a website builder that also has domains for sale.

Be sure to force yourself to get organized right away. There is nothing worse than not being able to find those user names and passwords when you need them. I have a Rolodex-type system for numbers, passwords, etc. I know some people do an online Rolodex, which is probably even more efficient.

I also begin a filing system for each campaign right away. I just go into My Computer and develop a folder named for the campaign product. Everything I generate gets saved as files that go into that folder. Be obsessive about your record keeping. It will save you so much time later.

Step # 2

Go to Clickbank and choose a product. I choose products that are more obscure, but have high "gravity" – an overall indication of how good a product does in affiliate marketing. Products like making money online, or losing weight have too much competition. These products are overworked. Go for things like cures for diseases, or acne solutions, or eBooks about pets. Those kinds of people are also desperate for answers, but affiliates have not flooded those markets.

Because you already have a Clickbank account, you can create a "hoplink" that will allow you to promote your product and get paid. The hoplink has your ID embedded in it. Do not forget to save your hoplink in a file and put it in the folder. Label it carefully so you know exactly what it is when you're going back to look for it.

Research your product. Sometimes there is an affiliate page where you can download and save pictures and text for your use.

Step # 3

Go back to your website builder and get a domain name. For AdWords ads, I use long, hyphenated names because no one is going to need to remember the URL and reuse it. They are only going to click on your AdWords ad. The nice thing about longer domain names is that they use all of your AdWords "allowed spaces" which makes your ad more visible. As an aside, do not choose long domain names for your larger information website.

Build a one-page website using the pictures and text you downloaded from the affiliate product you chose. In the text dialogue on the page, place links using your Hoplink code that you saved earlier. This is easier than you think. Say you are writing a paragraph about the product, just highlight relevant words (like Acne products). While they are highlighted, go up to the toolbar and you will see a symbol for linking. It often looks like an actual chain of two links. Click that symbol and you will see a box where you can paste in your Clickbank hoplink. Do not forget to save your work. Find the "save" button probably on the top toolbar.

Step # 4

Go to your auto responder and develop what's called a "list". The list is really just an autoresponder campaign name so that you can do your opt-in pages and follow up letters. Follow the instructions and create an opt-in form, and at least two follow up letters.

Find a free product that you can give away to anyone who responds by opting in on your website.

Copy and paste your opt-in form link, given to you after you create the form, and place it somewhere on your one page website. I put mine at the bottom. But at the top of my website page (homepage) I say "scroll down to the bottom to sign up for a free eBook" … something like that. The Club that I belong to has many products for your use to promote for free. You can attach your free product to your second follow-up letter that you created on your autoresponder.

After you have placed your opt-in form on the site, go ahead and launch the site. You should see a place on the upper menu to launch your website.

At this point you are probably thinking this is all too complicated. if you have questions or get confused, there's an email link on the website.

However, if you've gotten this far, you have a website ready to promote your product.

Step # 5

In the browser window of Google, type in Google AdWords Keyword Tool. Click on the Keyword tool. When it comes up, type in your main phrase for generating keywords. So, let's say you are promoting an eBook about curing acne. Put the words "acne cure" in the box (it's obvious when you see it) and click search. A list of relevant keywords and phrases will com up. Choose words and phrases you want to use by clicking on "add" next to the phrase or word. That will add your keywords to a list. You will see some blue boxes after the keywords. Those boxes indicate the level of competition. Try to "add" keywords that have no blue in them, or that are very low.

You will want to start with 50-100 keywords. Scroll down to the bottom of your list of saved keywords and save your list either just as a document or the preferred Spreadsheet.

Actually, I like to make both. Save both documents. Remember to label them and put them as files into your campaign folder.

Step # 6

Go to your AdWords account. Create a campaign and name it the same way you named your folder. You will have several "ad groups" within a single campaign. Each group will represent a list of keywords that are very similar. So, one group might be "Acne answers". Another group might be named "cures for skin problems". You are going to highlight words from your keywords group in your ad (s). I like to have about four groups within my campaign. I also like to test two ads at a time within each group.

Now initiate an "ad group" within your first campaign. Create two ads using similar keywords. Your ads will be on hold until they are approved. Make sure that your campaign and ad group are both set at "enable" if you are ready to begin.

Step # 7

You will be asked your CPC bid limit and your daily budget. You can learn all about keyword bidding and budgeting in the Help section of AdWords.

Step # 8

Go back to the Google AdWords Keyword tool. Erase your first list of chosen keywords. That's OK because, remember you saved the first list. Put a different keyword (or phrase) into the search box. You might put in "teenage skin problems" and then search. Follow the same steps outlined above. Save those keywords. Go back to Google AdWords and create another "ad group" within your first campaign.

Give yourself about two weeks to learn and watch your first campaign. After that, you can begin another campaign using an entirely different product from Clickbank.

The best autoresponder is Aweber in my opinion. There are many website building sites. I've used Hostgator, 1and1, and Godaddy.

So, that's my story. It's really just an explanation about how I learned to put together my first AdWords campaign. I'm happy to say, it has been Internet bliss since I found The Club!

Job Applications – How to Write Effective Selection Criteria Statements

Selection Criteria are statements that employers, particularly government agencies request job seekers submit with their applications to demonstrate the scope and depth of their skills, experience and knowledge in relation to a specific personal attribute or competency. Listed below are examples of typical selection criteria:

  • Tertiary qualification in a relevant field, or equivalent experience
  • Proven track record in contract management and administration
  • Demonstrated experience in budget management and reporting
  • Ability to work in a high performance team
  • Highly developed interpersonal and communication skills conducive to respectful dealings (including active listening) with colleagues, board executives, managers and direct reports.

A three part structure is recommended for selection criteria responses – Positive Opening, Scoping Statement and 2 or more Examples.

The benefits of using this strategy include

  • being a guide for job applicants to include all the best and most relevant information from their work history relating to a specific skill
  • recommending the best structure, presentation and format for each section, and
  • providing a practical tool to generate the most concise, effective, comprehensive and supported statement of competency or skill guaranteed to impress any employer.

NOTE: Many employers restrict the length of selection criteria responses to a page, or sometimes specify 250, 500, 800 or 100 word or equivalent character limits. Always check the entire 'Application Information Package' to see whether there is a restriction before you start composing your responses. However, for the first drafts ignore this requirement, it only becomes important during the editing phase. All energy for the first draft should be focussed on creating and generating ideas for content. Direct your critical internal editor to take an extended coffee break until summoned.

The first one or two sentences of your selection criteria response should be a positive statement that immediately links you with the desired skill, experience or knowledge. If you have been acknowledged for past performance, this is your opportunity to show perspective employers how you have used the targeted skill in a work situation to achieve good results.

Opening Examples

  • Teamwork – For the last 10-years my role as a Team Leader has required me to work collaboratively and productively with multi-disciplinary teams to produce project deliverables on time and within budget. This has enhanced our company's reputation for being a market leader in project management.
  • Client Service Delivery – My experience in client services has involved both face-to-face and call centre work environments across a number of industries including telecommunications, hospitality, insurance and banking. My employers have acknowledged my competencies and results through multiple Client Service awards recognising both individual and team performances.
  • Organisation – The majority of my employment has required using my organising and prioritising skills to manage large volumes of work with competing critical deadlines in order to meet strict compliance requirements as well as client imperatives.
  • Financial Management Reporting – The aim of all financial management reporting is to be confident that the output is comprehensive and clearly indicates the financial situation of the organization and its component functional / operation units. I have consistently been able to deliver financial management reports on that have been fully aligned with each of my employing organisation's strategic goals, amply supported with evidence that either validates current initiatives or provides recommendations for a commercially viable way forward.

A scoping statement teases out the components of each skill area, providing an overview designed to demonstrate to employers you understand the dimensions of each attribute, preferably supported with short examples. This section should be no more than one or two paragraphs in length. It can be formatted either in dot point form or as a statement and may contain the following information

  • a list of skill types egcommunication types include interpersonal, presentation, liaison, negotiation, written, etc.
  • a competency listing, eg demonstrate functions you routinely use in MS Word, such as create table of contents, bibliographies, flow and organisational charts, mail merge, etc.
  • an outline of your method, process, procedure, 'how to' approach or way of doing something eg problem solving, handling client inquiries or managing a poorly performing team member.

Scoping Examples

  • Meet Deadlines – I use a series of 'To Do' lists which is constantly reprioritized throughout the day as circumstances, operational and service demands change. I use a diary and / or desktop computer system to track daily, weekly, monthly and longer term tasks, plans and projects. I generally use periodic check lists to ensure certain tasks are completed on time. In addition, I maintain a neat and tidy desk area and make full use of lists, information retrieval systems, document trays and folders to organise my physical environment.
  • Accuracy and Attention to Detail – With over 4-years experience in managing data collections I have developed a keen eye, proven strategies and a methodical approach that enables me to readily detect information and data anomalies. In spreadsheets I always cross reference my calculations to ensure that the rows and the columns of a set of figures verify the same total figure. I employ in every spreadsheet self checking mechanisms that will highlight errors the moment that a stray finger makes them.
  • Clear and Concise Written Communication Style – My experience in written communication extends to targeting specific groups across diverse audiences – clients, team members, supervisors, committees and professionals. I take great pride that all my documents are factual, easy to read, grammatically correct, error free and professionally presented. I have extensive experience in generating business correspondence as well as performing on a daily basis a wide range of document tasks such as writing, drafting, collaborating with, contributing to and editing policies, procedures, proposals, business cases, project management plans, marketing collateral , data collection forms, surveys and newsletters.
  • Experience in using Spreadsheets – On a daily basis I use MS Excel for recording, analysing and generating reports. I am highly proficient in importing data into and out of Excel spreadsheets. I am able to generate graphs, simple front end forms, paste-link functions, and many of the data manipulation (transcribe) and statistical functions (sum, average). My proficiencies extend to presentation and printing of Excel worksheets to facilitate the ease of reading and interpretation of data. Any work that requires comparative analysis on costings for venues and set up of budgets, as well as the monitoring of expenses is performed in MS Excel.

The last and most critical section of a selection criteria response is to provide at least two examples from your work history to demonstrate where and how you have used the desired skill in a work situation to achieve an intended outcome. My recommendation is to take 2 or 3 positions from your work history, using a company name as the header and provide your experience in a narrative style, and include who, what, where, when, how and why along with a statement of achievement. The examples should be written so they create a picture in the mind of the reader thereby overcoming any impediment associated with prospective employers' lack of familiarity regarding your industry, company, position, project, role responsibilities, activities or discrete tasks.

Employment Examples

  • Company A Since July 2008 as the Accounting Manager my role has been to receipt and review all processes and systems leading to the monthly consolidation of the company's Group accounts. A key accountability is to ensure a strict adherence to financial data accuracy, consistency in treatment of accounts and reporting standards across numerous projects administered by multiple financial reporting units and involving billions of dollars. I use a number of comparative methodologies to verify accuracy and completeness of submitted accounts before consolidating them into Group financial statements. My role requires demonstrating leadership and the training of financial and accounting staff in head office and subsidiary offices to ensure they deliver their components of key strategic Group financial reports by the scheduled due dates. Our dynamic and highly competitive business environment often requires the Board and Executive Management to request a specific configuration of the Group's financial data in order to provide information that comprehensively guides, directs and supports strategic planning initiatives. A significant challenge for special reports is to ensure expenses and revenues correctly relate to their associated activities, receive the same consistent treatment and are aligned with the organisation's budget forecast to ensure comparability.
  • Company B As a Clinic Booking Officer in the 2009 National Oral Health Survey Project, I performed in a high volume, pressured and deadline dependent work environment. My role required the planning, organising and scheduling of dental examination clinics for six teams operating across the state. Each team was required to handle up to 30 patients per examination day. My tasks included contacting patients to secure a minimum number of appointments before confirming no later than two weeks prior that a scheduled clinic day was approved to go ahead. For the duration of the 3-month project, not only did I achieve the booking target for every scheduled clinic (no clinic was cancelled), but my contribution lead to our state being acknowledged as the project's Best Performer for the highest service volume and the quality of results.

Even for a professional writing selection criteria responses can be hard work. It is strongly recommended that the moment you identify a position requiring preparation of selection criteria you START IMMEDIATELY by quickly setting up a draft document using the selection criteria as headings and temporary subheading titles of 'Opening', 'Scope' and 'Examples' to guide you in the initial placement of content. In the first few sessions concentrate only on setting up the framework and filling in with rough notes or outlines of suitable information as it comes to mind. Strive to stay creative and avoid going into edit mode. You will have plenty to editing to do as the application deadline draws closer.

When you run out of energy, focus, concentration or fail to make any progress, it is more productive to WALK AWAY, leave it for a day, and resume when refreshed and able to sustain an objective viewpoint. Starting sooner, means you can give yourself the luxury and gift of time to create, edit and conduct multiple reviews to enhance the quality and presentation of your application before submission.

Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management

One of the major factors militating against the development of sports in Nigeria today is lack of effective management. A lot of solutions are being proffered by concerned and patriotic Nigerians daily to bail us out the quagmire. One of such solutions is this text entitled "Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management". It is written by Dr. Joseph Awoyinfa, a lecturer in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria; a researcher and educational consultant. I was the person invited by the author and the university to review the book when it was presented to the public on December 4, 2008 in Nigeria.

According to Awoyinfa, it is a truism all over the world that sport is now a reference issue which can no longer be ignored at various sectors of the economy and spheres of life. The author adds that this text thus takes a critical look at topical issues in sports administration and management, dwelling on theories and principles of modern trends in sports administration and management such as leadership, organisation, planning, motivation, etc.

The text contains 16 chapters. Chapter one is christened "the concept of sports management". Here, Awoyinfa says management is a concept that implies different things to different people at different times, thus leading to its multiplicity of definitions. He explains that management has been variously described as an art, a science, a person or people, a discipline and a process.

This author expatiates that as an art, sports management is all about carrying out sports organisational functions and tasks through people; while as a science, sports management is about establishing sports philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes and practices. As an organisation, according to him, sports management is defined as a means of creating formal structures and an establishment based on a mission, objectives, targets, functions and tasks.

Awoyinfa says as a person or group of people, sports management may refer to the head alone or to all the senior staff, committee, etc .; while as a discipline, management is a field of study with various subjects and topics. The author illuminates that sports management as a process is about a systematic way of doing things. Awoyinfa highlights management functions in sports administration as planning, organising, staffing, directing / leading, controlling, coordination, budgeting and evaluation. On whom a sports manager is, this author educates that a sports manager is anyone at any level of sport organisation who directs
the efforts of other people towards the achievement of organisational goals sport-wise.

Chapter two is based on the subject matter of evolution and trends of sports management thought. Here, Awoyinfa discloses that the development of thoughts on sports management dates back to the days when people first attempted to accomplish goals by working together in a group. In his words, "There was serious thinking and theorising about managing many years before the dawn of the twentieth (20th) century, which marked the beginning of modern sports management thought. Major efforts to develop theories and principles of sports management began from the early twentieth (20th) century with the work of Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol. The industrial revolution of the nineteenth (19th) century probably provided the climate for this very serious theorising. "

Awoyinfa adds that since the turn of the 20th century, writers on sports management and business theory have been propounding different theories about how to manage work and personnel more efficiently and effectively. This author educates that the three main schools of management thought are: the classical; the human-behavioural; and the integrative. Awoyinfa also highlights early sports management theorists; principles and characteristics of scientific management; appraisal of the scientific management theory, etc., in this chapter.

Chapter three is thematically labelled "principles of sports management". In this chapter, the educational consultant explains that sports principles are the basic laws on which the practice of sports management is built. He adds that management principles must therefore be based on general terms for them to be applicable within sport organisations of varying sizes and character. "Modern sports managers and administrators are expected to be able to identify and use appropriate principles that are relevant to particular situations. This is because no single principle can suit all administrative situations," submits Awoyinfa.

He says the fundamental principles of sports are those applicable to all sports organisations and as a result of their general acceptability, they are sometimes referred to as "universal principles of sports management". This author expatiates that some of these principles are: responsibility; delegation of authority and communication. As regards humanitarian principles of sports management, Awoyinfa identifies these as democracy, justice, human relations, sympathy, empathy, consideration and humility.

In chapter four based on the concept of behavioural and motivational theories in sports organisation, the author says human beings are unique creatures as they behave differently under different conditions and are mostly difficult to predict. Awoyinfa stresses that since human beings constitute the most important element in sports organisation, sports managers need some understanding of why people behave in one way or the other, so that they (sports managers) can influence people to perform exactly the way sports organisations find desirable .

One potent instrument this author suggests that can be used to elicit performance in athletes is motivation. In his words, "Motivation is something needed in sports organisations to make employees perform.
However, it has been an important and a puzzling subject for sports managers. "Awoyinfa further discusses development of motivational concepts in sports organisation; application of motivational theories to sports management; methods of behaviour modification, etc., in this chapter.

In chapters five to ten, the author beams his analytical searchlight on subject matters such as management techniques in sports organisation; the concept of sports organisation; setting design in sports organisation; the concept of planning in sports administration; making sports organisations more effective in Nigeria and staffing in sports organisations.

Chapter 11 is based on communication strategies in sports organisation. According to Awoyinfa here, communication is a crucial factor in any organisational effectiveness because organisations can not function effectively when communication skills are lacking among members. "Since communication is the moving spirit in an organisation, its absence may make organisations standstill," asserts this author.
In chapters 12 to 16, Awoyinfa X-rays concepts such as organisational changes and development in sports administration; leadership in sports administration and management; administration and management of soccer as a coach; teaching human kinetics and health education in schools and colleges; and organisation and administration of schools at various levels of education.

As regards mode of presentation, this text scores a pass mark. For instance, the language is comprehensible and the ideas are brilliantly articulated. The simplicity of the language is expected, given the author's dual professional background as a lecturer and pastor. To ensure easy study of the text on readers' part, Awoyinfa highlights the objectives of each chapter at the beginning and ends with review / revision questions.

What's more, he creatively embroiders the text with graphics (pages 50, 97, 317, 330, 338, 395, etc.) to enhance readers' understanding through visual communication. Awoyinfa includes references at the end of each chapter to fulfil academic obligation of source disclosure and offer readers opportunities to read more. Inclusion of many references also confirms the depth of his research. His use of visual distinction for the phrase "Modern Trends" in the title is emphatically creative.

If there are chapters that really make this text qualified as a compendium of modern solutions to the administrative and management problems plaguing our sports development in Nigeria, they are chapters four, eight, 11 and 13. This is because they discuss motivation, planning, communication and leadership respectively.

Meanwhile, the thematically greatest chapter of all is chapter four. The fact that it is consciously or unconsciously taken to be the greatest chapter finds practical expression in the deeper communication and cohesion between its subject matter on the one hand and the outer front cover's allegorical visuals or metaphorical images such as goal post, cyclists racing, a lawn tennis player poised for action with her bat, sprinters competing and footballers struggling for ball possession, on the other hand. These are images used for illustration in motivational discourse.

However, some errors are noticed in this text. The errors are "Acknowledgement" (page iii), instead of "Acknowledgements"; non-paragraphing of the natural first few paragraphs of "Preface"; "Loosing" (pages 396 and 404), instead of "Losing", etc. These errors need to be corrected in the next edition.

On a note of analytical finality, this text is a compendium of irresistible sports management tips. It is a must-read for all stakeholders in the sports sector, especially managers and administrators. It is simply fascinating.

ILESANMI GOKE, Editor-in- the Chief , / CEO of Http:// and Managing Consultant / CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Remember Speaker / Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, On Management in Career Coach , Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
For business discussion, reach him on +234 (0) 8055068773; +234 (0) 8056030424
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