Category: Accounting

Technician Incentive Plans

Benefits of a well designed plan

If you don’t have an effective Technician Incentive Plan in place you are missing out on one of the most powerful tools in your management arsenal to drive a high performance service department. Technician Incentive Plans, or TIPs for short, can be so powerful they can drive behavior far beyond what you might expect from an incentive plan.
And if you already have one, maybe it is time for a tune-up to make sure your TIP is driving the behavior you need to develop a profitable service department and accurately reflect your dealership’s current priorities and initiatives. Incentive plans have a shelf life and need to be kept fresh to remain effective. Just because it worked last year, or five years ago, doesn’t mean it will work this year or next.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a well designed and executed TIP. First of all, and maybe the most important, is to reward your best technicians. Let’s face it, top technicians are in high demand and you can probably ill afford to lose one who already knows your product and your customers. Your TIP should reward top techs so that they will be “appreciated” and not be looking for jobs with your competition. If your TIP only does that one thing, it will probably be successful. But a good TIP will go far beyond that initiative.

One sign that we often see in a struggling service department is a high turnover of technicians. This affects the quality of work being performed and increases training costs and lowers technician efficiency. A good TIP will give techs a reason to stay, not just your top techs, but your mid-level techs as well. Retention will improve with an effective TIP.
When recruiting new technicians, a TIP can give you an edge that your competitors may not be able to offer. Highly qualified recruits, no matter what the experience level, are always impressed by and attracted to a company that offers an incentive for doing good work. And that is usually the type of new hire you want anyway.

For any service department to be profitable they must pay attention to and drive a high revenue recovery. That is they must be charging out a high percentage of their labor hours. A TIP can be a useful tool in driving a high revenue recovery. If an element of the TIP drives billable hours, you will find that non revenue hours will be minimized and thus your margins and profits will improve.

Another side benefit of a TIP is that it can provide an objective evaluation and measurement of your technicians. Too often when it comes time for a personnel review for techs we depend on subjective observations. Your Human Relations Manager will appreciate the objective nature of your technician review. A TIP, if consistently executed, will give you the data to evaluate technicians on the criteria that is being measured and monitored.

Training your technicians is absolutely vital in retaining techs and making sure that they are keeping up to date with the newest technology. If you don’t train them someone else might. Many TIPs make it easier to spot the areas that a particular technician might need more schooling. TIPs can provide the structure for evaluating the types of jobs that a technician usually does well at and the ones that he seems to struggle with. Those struggling areas need training and schooling and both the technician and department will reap the rewards if you invest in training for those areas. By determining your training needs based on known deficiencies you will be able to maximize the impact of your training dollars.

In short, TIP benefits are so numerous and potentially profitable that they should be considered by every management team. And a good TIP that is properly designed and consistently implemented will more than pay for itself, it will improve your service profitability. It should pay for itself many times over.

TIPs will promote Happier Technicians and Happier Technicians will result in Happier Customers. Happier Customers will drive service revenues and profits.

Elements of an effective plan

The most important element of any incentive program, especially one for technicians is to have 100% support and buy-in by all levels of dealership management, even at the very top. If there is any doubt about this support it is unlikely that the program will be long-lived and successful. There will definitely be times that the plan will be challenged and tested. It will be those times that this upper level support will ensure the TIP is kept intact and becomes an established program at your dealership.

Technician Incentive Plans can take the form and shape of virtually any element of the dealership that is important to management. They will promote and encourage any behavior you desire to focus on, or any combination of behaviors. What are your departmental weaknesses, your opportunities to improve? Is it Revenue Recovery? Gross Margin? Revenue? Training? Safety? Cleanliness? Teamwork and co-operation? Quality of work? An effective TIP can promote any of these and many more. But it won’t and shouldn’t do them all.

A TIP should be focused and not try to cover everything or it will not be effective. Pick no more than three areas to focus on; more will start to dilute the program. Keep people focused on these areas which will have the greatest impact. Remember, you can always change the program in the future to reflect other priorities as they become important.
No two TIPs are likely to be the same; they must reflect the differences and variations in each and every dealership. What works at one dealership may not be affective at all in another; in fact it could be counter-productive. And what works this year, may not be the right program next year. Personnel, management, the economy and goals all change on a regular basis.

Keep your TIP simple. If it is hard to understand, hard to explain or difficult to monitor, its chance of success is doubtful. If your mid level managers and technicians don’t have a full understanding and confident that it will be administered fairly and consistently it will not drive the behavior you desire. And if you have to run complicated programs or design spreadsheets that need massive input just to monitor your TIP, you are adding unnecessary burden to your staff. They probably are already busy and won’t see this as a benefit to them. By keeping it simple you have a greater chance of success. Try to use the existing data and programs from your business system if at all possible.

The execution of your TIP is critical to its eventual success. Fairness and consistency are a must. If a technician, in fact any employee, thinks that the data being collected is not accurate they will quickly loose interest in your program and the damage can be long lasting. Keep it as visible as you are comfortable with; open communication builds trust and confidence. You don’t want to take a chance that the results can be manipulated.
No matter how hard you try to design the program to be fair and drive good behavior there will be those who will try to “beat the system”. Consider the consequences of your TIP in advance. First of all try to anticipate these eventualities and keep them at a minimum. And secondly, be prepared to face them when they occur. Do not let the effectiveness of the whole program to be jeopardized by the few.

The best TIPs reward individuals, not groups. If you are trying to motivate and reward your best employees does it make sense to share the rewards with all equally. The argument can be made that a program can encourage team work, and if that is the goal, a portion of the reward can go to the group, but it should not be exclusive. A TIP should reward exceptional behavior and exceptional employees.

Some of the many areas you can measure and reward are: revenue recovery, re-do times, training levels, technician efficiency, customer satisfaction index, safety compliance and records, billable hours, response times, upsales and others as well. Just make sure the information you are gathering is easy to gather and is accurate.

If your business system does not support segmentation and your vendor does not support a standardized labor times, you might be able to get the necessary information from payroll and accounting to implement your TIP.

And when it is all working and you are having some successes make sure you celebrate them. Your TIP has achieved its goals and now it is time to enjoy it and be happy about the technicians who have achieved their goals. Share the good news.

Technician Job Descriptions

When it comes to the technician jobs, there is a wide array of choices. It can start right from the PC technicians to Electronics technicians. All the technician job descriptions will not be alike. The job descriptions vary accordingly.

Let us first take a look at the PC technicians. The PC technicians are better known as the computer troubleshooters. These people are those who are communicating directly with the machines and all responsible for installation, performance issues, and also any kind of hardware related support for the PC.

There are also accounting technicians who are the most important part of any organization. They are support people in the finance department. The job descriptions of these people include the internal audits or they monitor the financial transactions and also create financial reports. They review the accounts of the company and check if the entries are valid and are balancing. They receive all the invoices for which also they have to maintain the records.

We have another set of library technicians who assist the librarians. Their responsibility would include arrangement of the materials in the library and help the visitors to find the information they are probably looking for. Their work might also include some office as well as computer work as well as carrying the books and even shelving them.

The electronics technician is a person whom we might be meeting on a regular basis. These technicians take care of the maintenance of the various electronics equipments. An electronics technician should definitely have the capacity to test as well as troubleshoot the equipment; would be their job in some cases.

Online Accounting Technology Degree Options

Every business and organization that gains a profit has to deal with that money in a number of ways. The most notable way is the recording and analyzing of financial transactions of a business to keep their finances in order. Accounting is extremely important to a business and in today’s society seeing this information electronically is becoming more prominent. Many accredited online colleges and universities are now offering degree distinctions in accounting Digital signature online technology.

This field of study is relatively new but extremely efficient in giving students not only an accounting education but also one that is integrated with learning and understanding the technology used for accounting. Prospective students will gain a solid foundation in accounting by learning about financial management and how to apply learned theories and skills to real life situations. The goal of an accounting technology degree program is to prepare students to function in a variety of business environments. Critical thinking, accounting technology, and professional communication are skills courses will focus on to prepare students to be successful as an accounting technician in today’s society.

Most online colleges and universities offer an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree. Each program will offer the proper education for the student who has a career goal of working with companies and organizations by providing accounting services. The technology aspect of this degree is implemented by the knowledge of how to use current technology and tools to present financial information to employees, executives, and individuals who are working with the company. Students will gain a valued education within the field that employers will want as a part of their financial Digital signature team.

A typical associate’s degree may require students to take approximately 95 credits to earn their degree. Students will have to complete a certain number of general education courses. These types of courses include humanities, composition, mathematics, sciences, and social studies. A program at this level will incorporate accounting concepts, financial applications, and elements of business with technology specifically targeted on accounting. Students will learn through a variety of courses how to create, analyze, and interpret financial information. Courses will include fundamentals of tax preparation, principles of marketing, corporate finance, computing software, and more.

A bachelor’s degree program gives students the opportunity to dive into every aspect of accounting and technology that will prepare for a wide job market upon graduation. Students will learn the same information as they would in an associate’s degree but will further their knowledge in advanced courses. Upper-level courses will expand a student’s knowledge in cost accounting, budgeting, financial analysis, taxation, auditing, and more. Colleges may require students to complete approximately 180 credit hours, 48 of those will be completed in general education courses. Technology courses are specifically focused on using technology in relation to accounting. For example, a technology course may be computing and productivity software. In a class like this a student will learn how to use computer technology, the Internet, and more to provide knowledge in problem solving and other working environments.

The Fundamental Concepts of Accounting

The Federal Election was held in Australia on 21st of August 2010. During the rather boring election campaign there were questions raised by the major parties and everyone else for that matter, on how the elected government would go about accounting for the very large amounts of money they receive and spend. These people talk in billions of dollars. It is rather mind-boggling but the accounting system they use can also be applied to small business and personal finances.

Most households require some form of accounting to deal with their personal financial matters. You are probably aware of the saying that the only thing that is certain in this life is death and taxes. I think that it is fair to say that accounting affects the lives of everyone in some way in a modern society.

I have always thought of an accountant as someone who processed the financial data Ibprepared for them and submitted my annualbincome tax return required by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Their value was measured by the amount of money they could magically retrieve from the ATO by minimising the amount of tax I was required to pay. This view is shared by many who see accountants as nothing more than bookkeepers, ‘number crunchers’ or ‘bean counters’. Unfortunately accountants are not magicians and the reports they prepare must stand up to the scrutiny of the ATO. The accountant should therefore be perceived as a professional who is able to minimize income tax by applying his talent and know-how acquired through years of study and experience

The accounting must abide by the rules. There are no two ways about that. The terms of reference are spelt out in:

* Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and 1997.
* Corporation Act 2001.

If the accountant fails to follow the laws made by our society, he/she will be punished. Accounting is a discipline and is extremely important to any financially healthy entity. Inadequate records normally accompanies business failure and in some cases bankruptcy. Accountants provide information to the owners and managers of a business or company so that appropriate decisions can be made on purchasesand investments. This is achieved by processing records, interpreting these records and reporting the findings from these records to these decision-makers in monetary terms.

How to Become an Accountant in the UK

There are many different ways to become an accountant and you don’t always have to go through University to become one. University however is the most common way of becoming an accountant and the option that the majority of people think about for a career path into accountancy. To gain a place on an accounting course at University you will usually be expected to have good GCSE grades in English, Maths and Science, with many Universities wanting a grade C minimum.

It is also important to have 3 A levels with many Universities showing preferences for A levels in business, accounting or economics. It is essential to have a strong academic history in mathematics because this is necessary for an accounting degree. The best University accountancy degree programs are Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ACA) programs. This is because the ACA is a leading business and finance qualification which is recognised internationally and therefore will open doors to a number of future career prospects.

There are however other routes to go through in order to become an accountant such as courses and qualifications from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT). The AAT is broken into 3 levels; level 2 Certificate for Accounting, level 3 Diploma and level 4 Diploma which will provide you with the skills and knowledge to further your career. The AAT is essentially a fast track on the way to becoming an accountant without going to University and it means you can fast track to the ACA. You do not need any qualifications to study for an AAT at the lowest level and if you do have qualifications such as A-levels then you may be able to go straight onto a higher AAT level. Once you reach the highest level and receive the AAT Diploma then you can fast track onto the ACA qualification.

The AAT-ACA Fast track has been designed to encourage students to further themselves with an ACA qualification to be on the way to a chartered accountant. The AAT works closely with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) so that people can go on to studying for the ACA qualification. A person who takes this route can actually become qualified quicker than those who take the University route.

Usually training will last between 3-5 years but this varies dependent on the entry route taken into the ACA. Those who do the AAT-ACA fast track can actually complete the qualification in a minimum of four years. If you are a fast paced worker then you can achieve this in four years otherwise you can fit it to suit you studying styles.

There are many different routes to take to become an accountant. Ultimately the best qualification is that of the ACA qualification. It does not matter how you get to this qualification whether through university if you have the A-level grades or through a different route such as AAT as mentioned above. There are many other routes too such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) offering Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualifications which can eventually help you achieve an ACA qualification.

Growing Demand of ACCA Courses and Accounting Technicians

The field of accounting is elaborating at a fast pace in today’s economical society. Accounting procedures help a company to organize all the information related to its assets, liabilities, shareholders, and debtors in books and files that are easy to understand and access. There are various procedures and methods of accounting, which are used by an accountant to maintain the bookkeeping of a particular enterprise. These methods are not a general knowledge and not every person knows it. This knowledge has to be gathered after being a part of professional accounting course like the ACCA courses in order to implement it successfully on a professional level. ACCA, which stands for Association of Chartered Certified Association comes amongst the most popular accounting courses. These courses have the capability to provide the students with an edge in their accounting career.

The people carrying professional knowledge in accounting procedures are known as accounting technicians. They exist in organizations in the role of bookkeeper or accounting clerk and perform the task of checking and managing financial accounts. These financial accounts are then categorized into various financial statements that are used by the company is assessing their profit and losses along with planning their future strategies. The quality of the financial statements of a company solely depends upon the knowledge and talent of their accounting technician in their job full of calculations. Many of the accounting technicians Ireland are known as one of the best ones worldwide, due to their strong analytical capabilities and power to stay focused under pressure. The high level of technical accounting courses offered in Ireland including ACCA is also one of the reasons behind the large number of talented accountants available in the country.

ACCA courses are a great value to add to your professional career due to the excellence they strike in their lectures and study materials. Their success and reputation largely owes to the professionalism and quality predicted in the ACCA lectures. Their staff and professors have been successful in providing consistent high passing rates to their students that exceed the global average. High tech instruments as well as E-learning are also a part of these lectures. They also facilitate distant learning programmes for the students who cannot attend regular lectures for distinct reasons. Online lecture and free revision classes are also a part of their courses. Proficient and professional accountants always stay in demand and so it is beneficial to choose the courses and university carefully to make in large in your professional carriers.

Accounting Degree Categories

Finance is a very interesting field to take up as a career. An accounting degree is your key to enter this very exciting field. There are just a few types of accounting degrees available as compared to technology and science courses but job opportunities abound for any hardworking accountant.

The main job of an accountant is to record the financial transactions of the company and prepare the needed financial statement. They do cost analysis like comparing the cost of a particular project or technology and comparing it against the benefit gained in terms of effectiveness. They are consulted on major business events like mergers and acquisitions, where they are asked to examine and make their opinion on the financial records of the entities involved. They also help develop IT programs to help in the better monitoring and management of the financial results, tax tactics and employee benefits packages. The information provided by an accountant is used in developing the institution’s future financial activities.

There are several types of online accounting degrees available on the Internet. The Certificate in Accounting program is a short-term course suitable for students who want get accounting related employment in the shortest possible time. Certificate courses include bookkeeping and accounting technician as area of concentration.

An Associate Degree is intended for high school graduates interested in accounting as a career. This college level degree usually takes two years to complete.

The Bachelor Degree is the program to take if you aim for higher positions in the accounting field. It takes a minimum of 4 years to complete this degree.

Postgraduate degrees are also available online. A Master of Business in Education helps you to specialize on certain fields of accounting. A bachelor degree is required to take this course that usually takes a minimum of one year to finish. A Doctoral Degree in Accounting is another postgraduate course available and takes years of intense study to complete. After finishing a bachelor degree in accounting, you may decide to acquire certification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

There are several specialized high paying fields in the accounting profession. This includes Audit Accountant, Budget Analyst, Financial Accountant, Management Accountant and Tax Accountant to name a few. A Bachelor degree is the minimum requirement on these fields while a Master or a Doctoral degree will greatly improve your chances and shorten the time needed to reach your goal.