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Why would anyone want to work an accounting temp job?

Posted on Feb 21, 2024

Temp agencies with a presence in many states such as Florida, New York, and New Jersey as well as other states provide temp jobs on all different levels to employees seeking an accounting or finance opportunity that matches their career objectives.  Accounting Temp jobs are always in demand.  Businesses are constantly looking for employees, especially in an environment where the unemployment rate is so low.

A very common tool for bringing on employees full time is through a temp-to-hire or temp-to-perm hiring strategy. In this case, an employer has the budget approval to add full time headcount, but in the short term, prefer to retain an employee via the temp-to-hire method. Employment agencies, such as UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions, confirm that over 75% of their active job order requisitions are in fact, temp-to-hire. Temping is now a major path towards direct hire or “permanent” employee status.

In January 2024, the unemployment rate ticked up from a year earlier to 3.7 percent. Therefore, in order to keep up with hiring demands, companies are adding temp jobs in order to hire people more quickly than they can with a full time hire.  The truth of the matter is that an employer usually can bring on an accounting temp or consultant much more quickly than a full time employee.  Human Resources departments typically have a strict approach to hiring and timelines can be long due to on boarding, background checks, and multiple lines of approval. A job seeker should understand that they can wait less time to get hired and start towards a temp or temp-to-hire career.

A temp job allows job seekers to be hired for a specific period or extended period of time.  Companies request temporary positions when they are in need of assistance immediately, due to a vacancy.  Hiring managers don’t have to get approval from the central Human Resources department most times. In many cases, the temp job in an accounting department has a specific start date and possible end date.  Some reasons for the term or period could be due a maternity leave, a leave of absence, an employee resignation, or an upcoming project. 

Working through a temp agency allows all kinds of people to gain experience in the workforce. For example, a finance/accounting retiree looking to reenter the workforce may take a temp job to ease their way back into the workplace.  Furthermore, a college student on summer break may perform a temp job in order to build up their resume over those few months.  Temp jobs in New Jersey and other states offer convenience to the needs of people in their current stage of life. Expanding knowledge and learning a new trade or skill on-the-job is only beneficial to a person looking to develop a career.. 

In full transparency, taking on an accounting temp job shows an individual’s dedication because an employee is committing to a position for a specific period of time.  Sometimes starting smaller may lead to bigger positions in the future.  As one works diligently as a temp, employers will notice one’s strong work ethic. Working in a temp job provides immediate visibility and also gets one’s name out to other departments within an organization.  Additionally, more companies will notice one’s resume due to the additional experience and software skills acquired.  These experiences in a temp job will lead to connections with future employers.  Doors can only open for a full time position or internal promotion.

It’s important to understand that not all temp jobs stay temporary. As discussed, the temp-to-hire option can occur when the company finally realizes that the temp is thriving in the role. A good lesson to learn why a job seeker would want to work as a temp is that “you have to be in it to win it.”  Employers really like to “try before they buy.”  

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Minimum Wage Pay Rate Changes in 2024

Posted on Jan 08, 2024

More than 20 states and nearly 40 local jurisdictions increased their minimum wage hourly pay rates on January 1, 2024. The new state laws require that employers pay a new minimum hourly pay rate this year. Employers should consider the new minimum wage rates when setting internal pay rates across all lower level pay categories within an organization. Additionally, temporary employment agencies should consult with their clients on accurate market pay rates with regards to certain labor classifications such as:

  • Medical Receptionists
  • Data Entry
  • Warehouse Workers
  • Shipping & Receiving
  • Hospitality

Below is a summary of some of the state changes where UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions employs W-2 workers across the country.

Arizona: $16.35/hr

California: $16/hr

Illinois: $14/hr

New Jersey: $15.13/hr (6 or more employees)

New York: $16/hr (NYC), $15/hr (NY State)

Review the full list of states.

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Best Practices for using an Accounting Temporary Staffing Firm

Posted on Dec 22, 2023

There are a fair number of temporary staffing firms that handle finance and accounting staffing. It’s really important to ask the right questions when interviewing a staffing firm. The better the staffing partnership, the better the talent pipeline. Below are some best practices when selecting a temporary accounting staffing firm.

  1. The best recruiters are sometimes former accounting professionals. A good temporary staffing firm with a strong understanding of accounting should have at least one internal recruiter with a background in finance or accounting. If a recruiter has done part of that job at some point in their career, the better talent they can find when working that client job order.
  2. Accounting software knowledge. All accounting job orders requires some specific knowledge of an accounting software (e.g. SAP, QuickBooks, Oracle, MS Dynamics, etc.). When selecting a temporary accounting staffing firm, inquire if they use the same software or have recruiters who have used the same software in previous accounting industry roles.
  3. A strong accounting candidate network. Since staffing firms provide talent directly to CFOs, Controllers, and other Accounting professionals, staffing firm recruiters should have strong relationships with their clients. In doing so, they are able to directly network with clients and ask for candidate referrals. Good people know good people. A good staffing firm will also offer a competitive referral bonus program in dollars for successful referrals.
  4. Industry knowledge. Even with a general accounting knowledge, staffing firm recruiters don’t know everything about accounting. It’s important to ask an accounting temporary staffing firm what specific industries it has worked with (e.g. manufacturing, real estate, technology). Every industry handles different accounting methods with regards to depreciation, fixed assets, amortization schedules, prepaid expenses, and taxes. Asking the right questions can make the difference when partnering with the right accounting staffing firm for its knowledge about the specifics of an industry.
  5. Staffing firm employee benefits offerings. Since a staffing firm is employing the temporary/contract employees as legal W-2 employees, it is important that the staffing firm utilize efficient payroll operations. A staffing firm should offer employees web based payroll management as well as ACA health benefit offerings. Some firms also offer employees an employer paid safe harbor 401(k) matching contribution. Benefits can make the difference.

Learn more about UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions’ accounting staffing practice.

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Don’t Be Afraid of Accounting Temp Agencies

Posted on Sep 20, 2023

2023 is flying by and the calendar fiscal year will be coming to a close before we all know it. The fourth and final quarter of the year actually begins next week. As finance managers and CFOs plan for year end, they also need to have a staffing strategy for employee turnover and how to manage year end closing and reconciliation deadlines. Now is not the time to be afraid of a partnering with an accounting temp agency.

Employee morale and burnout is real so why delegate the more tedious accounting functions to loyal full time employees? Accounting temp agencies serve a real purpose. Let the experts provide an outside resource and relieve full time staff while helping manage year end deadlines and reporting.

Accounting temp agencies provide qualified finance professionals who can handle a variety of accounting projects. A company can offload administrative roles such as bank reconciliations, accounts payable, accounts receivable (cash applications), as well as general bookkeeping journal entries (amortization and depreciation). The end result will restore internal employee morale and productivity by handing over these tasks to a qualified temporary or contract employee.

There are several benefits to using a temporary employee from an outside accounting temp agency. First, there is no full time hiring commitment. Bringing on a temp does not create a hiring relationship because a temp is not an official employee of the company. Temps are the employee of the the registered and licensed temp agency so they do not report as headcount for the company utilizing the temporary employee. Secondly, a temp assignment can end at any time. When the project is complete or undergoing budget challenges, the assignment can end and the hourly billing stops.

Accounting temp agencies also assist with managing employee turnover. Many full time internal employees prefer to take year end vacations. Temps can help fill the skills gap when employees leave for vacation at the end of the year.

Accounting temp agencies also provide highly skilled finance and accounting professionals. They have a deep inventory of candidates with a variety of specialized accounting or ERP software experience (such as SAP, Oracle, NetSuite, QuickBooks, etc.). Temp agencies also recruit candidates with relevant industry experience (e.g. manufacturing, real estate), education/certifications, and specialized skills such as cost accounting, property accounting, or tax accounting.

Why not “try before you buy?” A good temporary staffing firm will provide employee references, an executive summary with the resume and mandatory background checks. It may be new territory for a finance manager, but don’t be afraid of accounting temp agencies.

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Accounting Temp Agencies: A useful tool to keep up with financial statements

Posted on Jul 14, 2023

As an accounting temp agency, we hear the same thing every week from new clients. “Our financial books are behind and we need someone who can quickly help our organization keep up with the pace of paying invoices and processing incoming payments.” It’s a common theme with a common pain point.

Unfortunately, there is turnover in every organization or there is a retirement from that one employee who does all the accounting or bookkeeping as the bottom falls out. Fortunately, there are solutions to consider. Accounting temp agencies provide an inventory of ready-to-go accounting professionals who are interested in working on a project or temp-to-hire basis. The agency takes on the role of employer of record and handles the employee payroll and benefits.

According to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, there is an Accountant Shortage. This shortage in accounting staff has posed a challenge for many large companies as they face the challenge to meet month end financial reporting deadlines or SEC reporting compliance. Some reasons cited for the accounting shortage ranges from an aging retiring population as well as a decrease in students pursuing degrees in accounting.

These factors creating an accountant shortage make it more difficult to find full time finance and accounting talent. Additionally, companies are also taking much longer to hire due to a low unemployment rate as well as a very long drawn out internal employer hiring process. The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) published an article on the increasing time-to-hire for employers. The professional services category is above the average, at 47 days time-to-hire, and is expected to continue experiencing longer-than-average hiring times this year.

So if there is a decreasing accounting workforce and a general longer time-to-fill positions by companies, how do organizations keep up the productivity? Companies can continue to compete with these market conditions or consider an Accounting temp agency, an efficient source to fill the staffing gap quickly in order to maintain productivity. When the assignment ends, the hourly billing stops. If the plan is to hire an accounting professional, a temp-to-hire solution is a quick way to hire.

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Employers Consider Re-hiring Retirees who may ‘Unretire’ due to the higher costs of living.

Posted on Mar 22, 2023

After the global pandemic, many older employees began to leave the workforce and retire due to the uncertain job market and healthcare environment. Now that inflation is at decade high levels and the cost-of-living has risen, retirees are now considering to “unretire” and return to the workforce.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the number of people ages 65 and older working or seeking employment has increased by 144 percent in the past 20 years. The DOL predicts labor participation among older workers to grow over the next 10 years.

When older workers retire, companies potentially lose a wide array of employer attributes. Knowledge management becomes a challenge since employee skill sets transition out of the workforce and company culture. Additionally, generational work habit differences create a potential gap in productivity and employee morale.

Companies have options when it comes to rehiring a retiree. They can either bring them back internally or consider a third party payroll solution. Utilizing an employment agency that offers third party payroll solutions in multiple states provides a company with the flexibility to bring back retirees without the burden of adding to its own W-2 payroll. Instead, the employment agency on boards and re-hires the retiree while providing the legal employer of record (W-2) relationship. At the same time, the retiree can reap the benefits of drawing retirement or pension benefits because the retiree does not, in fact, work for the former company (that he or she retired from) any more.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conducted an interesting interview with Laurel McDowell, a leader in Mature Worker Programs, about companies bringing back retirees.

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How does a temp agency recruit accounting professionals anyway?

Posted on Feb 17, 2023

As a temp agency, we always get the same question. And it’s a very good one. How does your staffing firm or temp agency find qualified employees with an accounting background? After all, most client companies search for candidates on their own before they come to the realization that they need help from an accounting employment agency.

Well, we can’t give away our secret recipe or special sauce, but we can share our recruitment and staffing process. Here we go:

Candidate Sourcing: A temp agency needs to source and find accounting professional candidates through various channels.

  1. A staffing firm needs to have relationships with various colleges, universities, and vocational schools that specialize in accounting and finance. They should know how to network with students and alumni through in person events and online school job boards.
  2. Social Media is another great tool for employment agencies to network directly with accounting and finance professionals. Recruiters constantly need to expand their social network.
  3. An applicant tracking system (or ATS) is vital to the candidate supply chain of a temp agency. The system should include many search filters in order to source resumes that list certain skill sets and other search parameters.
  4. Direct sourcing or “headhunting” is always the best way to find an accounting professional. Staffing professionals need to pick up the phone and connect directly with cold and warm candidates to investigate their career objectives.
  5. Online mainstream Job boards are always a reliable source of accounting candidate flow. The talent pool is not always on the mark, but those web sites can yield many candidates depending on your job advertising budget

It’s also important to partner with a temp agency that understands accounting and finance principals. Some staffing firms actually hire former accounting and finance professionals as internal recruiters. Those temp agencies that offer a variety of specialized temporary and direct hire accounting staffing solutions benefit the client’s unique accounting and finance staffing needs.

Candidate Recruiting: A temp agency needs to skillfully recruit and prospect accounting professionals to ensure that their skill sets and career goals align with the job description of the client.

Recruiting is the most challenging part. Recruiters need to become psychologists when interviewing accounting and finance candidates. They need to find out:

  • What kind of job do you want?
  • What is missing from your current job at your current employer?
  • How much money do you want?
  • How much time do you need to give notice to their current employer?
  • How far are you willing to drive?
  • Do you need to include your spouse or other family member in your career change decision?
  • What kind of employee benefits do you need?
  • And many more questions….

After the 30 or more question interview, the temp agency can now determine the motivating factors behind the candidate’s career choices. It’s always a great idea to document all these notes in the applicant tracking system so the information is saved and shared across the staffing firm group of recruiters.

Finally, a temp agency should extract, list and clearly communicate those accounting candidate highlights with an Executive Summary. The Executive Summary is a cover sheet that precedes the resume on the send out to the client. The Summary should highlight all the candidate’s accounting software skills, knowledge of journal entries, and various accounting techniques such as amortization and depreciation, to name a few.

Candidate Interview Prep: This step is the unsung hero in the process.

When an interview is confirmed, it’s critical to send out an interview prep cheat sheet via email to the candidate. After the email is received, a phone or video call should be scheduled to carefully review the client accounting job requirements. It’s also a great forum to go over any interview prep questions and re-qualify that nothing has changed in the life of the candidate since you first started working together. A common mistake.

Accounting is the back office pulse to any organization and it takes qualified employees to hit the ground running and contributes. It’s very difficult to “fake it until you make it.” Partnering with a temp agency that utilizes a complete and proactive candidate recruitment process will net the best candidate results in order to mitigate that fearful employee turnover.

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The US Healthcare Industry added 55,000 jobs in December, with ambulatory and hospital care leading the pack

Posted on Jan 06, 2023

Across the board, hiring still remains substantial despite the Federal Reserve Bank’s efforts to soften a strong labor market that has placed upward pressure on wages and contributed towards the current inflation crisis. Temporary staffing firms or temp agencies that provide healthcare temps or traveling nurses are noticing the increase as well.

According to the BLS, the labor force participation rate in December edged up slightly to 62.3%, still 1% below its level in February 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic began. This measure was largely unchanged throughout 2022.

At the industry level, the largest gains were seen across leisure and hospitality, healthcare, construction, and social assistance.

Leisure and hospitality, one of the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, continued its strong recovery, with employers adding 67,000 jobs during December. An average 79,000 leisure and hospitality jobs were added or created per month across 2022, a percent of the 196,000 jobs per month gained in 2021.

Interestingly, the healthcare industry added jobs much more robustly throughout 2022 than in the year prior as the country continued recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, the healthcare sector added about 9,000 jobs on average each month, compared to 49,000 each month in 2022, according to the BLS. The biggest gains were in Ambulatory healthcare (outpatient) services which accounted for approximately 30,000 of those new jobs. Hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities also saw gains, adding about 16,000 and 9,000 new jobs, respectively.

Meanwhile, medical practices or physician offices added about 10,000 new jobs in December, according to the BLS.

Temporary employment, where employers provide contractors or temps, accounts for almost 2% of total nonfarm employment. Across the temporary staffing or employment agency sector, those gains were realized a similar basis.

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New York City Employers must now disclose salary information on job postings

Posted on Nov 04, 2022

Effective November 1st, 2022, New York City is now requiring that employers display the pay rate or salary range on its job postings. Employers also need to:

a) Conduct an internal salary survey to determine an accurate compensation range

b) Analyze salary ranges to be offered to new hires

c) Conduct a pay equity audit on any differences in pay/salary

d) Ensure that any staffing firms or third party recruitment agencies are in compliance with the law.

Interestingly, Temporary Help Agencies or temp staffing agencies are not covered under this law. Temp agencies will continue to provide value to employees by conducting internal salary audits to ensure that they are paying competitive wages. Additionally, a reputable temp agency employing workers in New York City or surrounding New Jersey will want to be transparent with potential employees as part of its recruitment and retention strategy. The primary goal of a temp agency is to partner with its employee at the beginning of the recruitment lifecycle.

For more information on the New York City Employer Pay Disclosure law, visit the SHRM website.