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Public Accounting: Year end Attack Strategy
 

Public Accounting: Year end Attack Strategy

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This is a light-hearted powerpoint to educate new associates on year-end planning. The concentration is federal advisory, but the concepts could be applied to any deliverable-dense environment. A math ...

This is a light-hearted powerpoint to educate new associates on year-end planning. The concentration is federal advisory, but the concepts could be applied to any deliverable-dense environment. A math problem is read aloud before being showed and the audience is asked to solve it in their head. The problem is then shown visually and the example is revisited throughout the presentation to underline that strategic planning is the only way to survive. ----About author, I love to make power poitns. Please contact me with any topic needs!

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  • “no pen please. First add 1+2+3 divide by 2, add 21, subtract 7, add 7, divide by 6, sing a-g of the alphabet, add the product of 4 x4, multiply by 12, take ¼ of #, sing h-v of alphabet, divide by 10,then subtract 3, then 2, then 1. then sing w-z.Please write down your answer. We’ll be returning to this problem throughout the presentation.
  • Here is the problem visually. All things we know how to do, right? Add, subtract, sing, divide.The difficulty mostly arises from the layout of the problem.When listening to the instructions, they’re a little difficult to follow.You’re hearing it for the first time. Someone might be breathing hard. you don’t know what’s coming next.The arrangement doesn’t have meaning and nothing is simplified.At year end, feelings can be similar.You’re scared—there’s so much to do!You’re confused--You don’t know what’s next.Or when it will end.Or how you’re supposed to do the flux when you’re already doing something else.You’re sure some of the things seem familiar, maybe even easy, but you haven’t seen them in this order before.There is enormous value in laying everything out visually.Make a list of deliverables.Include name, descriptions, PBC#’s (that’s prepared by client #’s assigned by the auditor), primary KPMG contact, primary client contact, due date.Then put all deadlines and deliverables on a calendar.See everything you have to do.See the beginning, the end, the middle.This is part of Knowing your opponent.
  • Knowing your opponent is the first step in tackling it.Make a list of EVERY task required—even some prepatory steps like ‘’contact Chris Doesman for xxx by xxx”Plot the items on a calendar, preferably outlook so that you can create alerts and send the items to people on your team.Verify the task list and the dates with the client. Also note the items that can wait until year-end is safe and done. Process improvement projects and other initiatives can probably wait until November or December. Try to neatly fold these up until then.Deliverables may be for internal or external purposes. Know which ones go where, and by when, and in what format.For example, an item may be due to the auditors on 10/12, but the client may want to review it by 10/10.Why not just note the date due to the client for his or her review? Because you may need and/or want to remind them when it is due to the auditors, and verify that it has been sent.Our job is to make their job look well-done.The format is a silly, tricky little nuance. Perhaps the deliverable was created in excel with formulas, but the auditors receive it as a word document or a spreadsheet without formulas. KNOW WHAT IS WHAT.After finalizing the task list, review it for familiarity.Have you done any of this before?Has the team?What tasks will you need to learn?Who can teach you?Where are examples found?Before you begin, you’ll want to know as much as you can about everything coming at you.If you aren’t prepared, then you’ll most likely get swamped and stressed.Year-end is a 6 week marathon.If you trip up early, it is easy to spend the rest of the time playing catch up.Or limping and crying.Another step easy to skip is understanding the client’s calendar. Some items on the calendar MUST BE DONE on a certain date for other items to be completed. For example, an adjustment on receivables must be done before an intergovernmental schedule is prepared. Learn which items need to be done before you do what you need to do. No need to spin your wheels trying to figure out a number that won’t be ready until Friday. Add items like this to your calendar. “Wednesday october 8th, property files available—should be sent by email” Also learn which items are flexible. One crucial, time-sensitive task may take you longer than you planned and you don’t want to stress about another task that can wait a day or two.Let’s look at this in regards to the problem.
  • Here is the original problem again.
  • Let’s note and eliminate non-essential tasks that may overlap our 6 week party. The alphabet song is non-critical to solving the problem—probably even a distraction.Remove it from the tasks at hand and save for later.Same for improvement projects.Unless it’s critical to year end—save your time and energy.
  • Look again at what’s being asked of you. Figure out what you know, what you don’t know, when to do it, how to do it. Review year-end activities as a whole, break down tasks you can do before hand, which must be done last, and which might get tricky
  • Knowing your opponent is the first step in tackling it.Make a list of EVERY task required—even some prepaptory steps like ‘’contact Chris Doesman for xxx by xxx”Plot the items on a calendar, preferably outlook so that you can create alerts and send the items to people on your team.Verify the task list and the dates with the client. Also note the items that can wait until year-end is safe and done. Process improvement projects and other iniatives can probably wait until November or December. Try to neatly fold these up until then.Deliverables may be for internal or external purposes. Know which ones go where, and by when.For example, an item may be due to the auditors on 10/12, but the client may want to review it by 10/10.Why not just note the date due to the client? Because you may need/want to remind them when it is due to the auditors, and verify that it has been sent.Our job is to make their job look well-done.After finalizing the task list, review it for familiarity.Have you done any of this before?Has the team?What tasks will you need to learn?Who can teach you?Where are examples found?Before you begin, you’ll want to know as much as you can about everything coming at you.If you aren’t prepared, then you’ll most likely get swamped and stressed.Year-end is a 6 week marathon.If you trip up early, it is easy to spend the rest of the time playing catch up.Another step easy to skip is understanding the client’s calendar. Some items on the calendar MUST BE DONE on a certain date for other items to be completed. For example, an adjustment on receivables must be done before an intergovernmental schedule is prepared. Learn which items need to be done before you do what you need to do. No need to spin your wheels trying to figure out a number that won’t be ready until Friday. Add items like this to your calendar. Also learn which items are flexible. One crucial, time-sensitive task may take you longer than you planned and you don’t want to stress about another task that can wait a day or two.Let’s look at this in regards to the problem.
  • “no pen please. First add 1+2+3 divide by 2, add 21, subtract 7, add 7, divide by 6, sing a-g of the alphabet, add the product of 4 x4, multiply by 12, take ¼ of #, sing h-v of alphabet, divide by 10,mthen subtract 3, then 2, then 1. then sing w-z
  • It is really fun to cross things off. When something’s done, CROSS IT OFF. Also, when it was finished, where it was sent, and where it is store. It’ll be less likely that you mark something off prematurely then.You may need to work through a bunch of drafts to get to the final, come up with a way to name them before that happens. “all drafts will have date and am or pm designation, as well as last person to update.”If you know that Tuesday is a big deliverable date, try to plan for it the week before and get done as much as you can by Monday. You may have to work the weekends—it’s ok. Sometimes they give you bonuses. And you’ll get pity from your friends and family. In financial statement preparation, many different copies may be edited, passed around, fixxed, un-fixxed. If a critical change has been made, keep it on a list of critical changes. Every time a new copy has come through, make sure it’s there.Don’t assume because you skimmed it, it’s right. Print it out, pretend you’re an editor for the New york times or the twilight author, and READ it. Or re-calculate it—if it’s numbers. When you submit something, make sure it’s what you said you’re submitting. It’s really easy to attach draft or incomplete documents for submission. Save yourself the outlook email recall—not that they ever work.Keep a running list of things the client wants to change next year. That way, next year, you’ll be able to sound like a genius for reading their minds. Or at least very organized and prepared.
  • In financial statement preparation, many different copies may be edited, passed around, fixxed, un-fixxed. If a critical change has been made

Public Accounting: Year end Attack Strategy Public Accounting: Year end Attack Strategy Presentation Transcript

  • Year-end Attack Strategy
  • The purpose of this slideshow is to outline importanttechniques and approaches for a successful, mostlysmooth, and satisfying year-end experience.
  • Relevance of topic New associates, new opportunities Year-end is every year  Client’s requirements or your role may change—be adaptable! Planning and practice techniques apply everywhere in life Stress is hard on your body, wallet, AND friends and family We did it! So can you!
  • Please listen carefully and solve the following problem in your head.
  • Know your opponent Identify what the client is asking from you—i.e. the role the team plays in year-end closing and reporting Become aware of what the government and other bodies require of your client Find out when deliverables are due, both internal and external dates Note areas of comfort or experience, as well as brand-new-to-you tasks Locate prior year copies where applicable Study closing schedule and understand order of items—why is it important to finish A before B? or D after C?
  • Acknowledge and remove items peripheral totask
  • Note types and order of tasks, ..what’s a Easy, canas well as complexity be done fraction again? before Payattention to Subtract steps! last!
  • Train to win Now that tasks are outlined and on a calendar, revisit your analysis of what you need to learn and what you can already do confidently  Determine what an item or task really is ○ Do you need to make a spreadsheet from scratch? ○ Is it turning over a PDF from July? ○ Feel comfortable with what each item requires of you  Learn how to do any special queries or formatting when you’re not in a time crunch—saves profanities and time  Figure out as much as you can by recreating prior year deliverables or numbers—it’s good to know how to check numbers you get later, too  Tag which items you will be able to do in advance ○ Look deeper, this may mean setting up print formats or requesting information from an outside source ○ Anything pre-done allows for more time for difficulties or problems (there WILL be some, whether they’re your fault, the computer’s fault, or somebody else’s fault)
  • Do simple preparatory work as soon as possible
  • ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK Stay organized  Keep track of what’s done, what’s left  Know where everything is and which copy is final  Stay on top of your deadlines and manage your time  Every Monday, review your upcoming week and plan your team’s time and attention  Every morning, review your deliverables list to see what is due today and tomorrow, and what was due yesterday REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW  Keep track of critical changes and updates and make sure they flow from drafts to the FINAL final  Look out for common mistakes like alignment, consistent number formatting (1,000s vs. 10,000s)  Check attached submissions for completeness  Make distinctions between what is a change for this year and what is a change for next fiscal year ( a list for next FY makes next FY your favorite )
  • Organize completed tasks and assess workspace again.
  • Do your thing ;)
  • Keep doing it 
  • …until it’s done 
  • ..what’d you guys get?
  • I already said this. But it is no joke! B makes Million aBillion. One letter can matter! Proofread spelling, format,and for sense!
  • Rushing will never ever ever ever make year-end fun orbetter.
  • If you’ve consulted the prior year workpapers and you stillcan’t make sense of it, ask someone to look at it with you. Orask your manager or old boss for help. You may even askthe client if all else fails. People like you. They’ll want to help.
  • Being positive and in good spirits makes it easier tomaintain a can-do, will-do attitude. Plus, might as wellembrace it. 6 weeks is 6 weeks is 6 weeks. Sometimes 8.
  • In conclusion.. Year-end, or any deliverable-dense high- stress time of year, is a manageable event and opportunity Preparation is your best friend  Know, really know, what you need to do  Practice and prepare whatever you can in advance Think