Cram Sessions Never Work: Do This instead If You Want to Pass Your CPA Exam

When it comes to studying for the CPA exam, nearly every candidate begins the process by promising themselves they will schedule their time and stick with that schedule to avoid having to cram at the last minute. Unfortunately, procrastination often kicks in along with other bad study habits and many people are left with lots to do before the exam date.

It’s no secret that cramming before any exam isn’t a good idea. It’s been tried and tested countless times, and it doesn’t work. As a CPA candidate, however, you have plenty of opportunities to avoid cramming, including cpa review courses that offer individualized help. What follows are a few ideas to help prevent the last-minute cram sessions.

Increase Your Motivation to Study

You would think that as prestigious as adding a designation like “CPA” to the end of your name almost anyone would have ample motivation to study hard, but it often doesn’t. In fact, after several years of college study and months more of exam study, sometimes basic motivation isn’t enough.

It’s kind of like the old saying, “When you have enough reasons, you can do incredible things.” When you find yourself flailing in your desire to study, think of something more like the prestige, money, and so many other benefits to eating your license.

Start Early

Another common cause of last-minute cramming is the lack of time before the exam. Many people wait until they have an actual exam date to start, but this is a mistake. Instead, start studying just as soon as you can.

Don’t Procrastinate

Of all the causes of cramming, procrastination probably ranks at or near the top. Many candidates swear they will study as soon as possible, but getting started is probably the hardest part. If you make it a point to get started, the chances are good the rest will be much easier.

Work on it Every Day

Many candidates believe that working hard on their exam preparations entitles them to a day off from time to time. This isn’t a very good approach. Instead, try to study every day. This approach not only will keep you studying but will make starting every day more natural.

Plan Everything Around Exam Day

Taking the CPA exam is a major event in any candidate’s life. What could be more natural than to schedule your time to reflect that fact? Instead, many candidates study on anything but a regular schedule. It’s little wonder they have to cram as the exam date gets closer.

A lack of planning and organization can leave a candidate very vulnerable to last-minute cramming. Instead, buy a calendar and a planner to schedule your study time, then stick with it like it was the most important thing in your life, because it is.

Don’t Be Busy, Be Productive

A lot of candidates make the mistake of believing that, if they are busy, they are being productive. Unfortunately, busy does not always mean particularly productive. There’s a difference. Anybody can be busy, but productive means you are learning the lessons well and seeing results for yourself.

Ditch the Cram Session

There are many great study techniques that will help anyone pass the CPA exam. The secret is to learn for yourself what works for you and to incorporate those techniques into a regular study schedule. Remember that all of these techniques are intertwined, so try to practice all of them together to get the best results.

Effective study habits will not only pay great results but will help you avoid the last-minute cram sessions. Yes, it is actually possible to pass the CPA exam without cramming.

Image credit: Kaboompics

How parents can overcome problems they could often face at work

Raising a child when you also have to work can sometimes feel like another full-time job. Some parents fear that the responsibility of having a child and working full-time will lessen their opportunities for progression in the future, leading to financial and mental health issues. Others struggle with their physical wellbeing and are disengaged in the workplace. 

So, what can parents do to overcome the problems they could often face at work? More importantly, what can you (as their boss) do to help? Below, we explore four ways you can help your staff to manage parenthood and a fulfilling career at the same time.

Provide advice on financial and legal topics 

Being a parent is hard – you not only have yourself to look after, you also have one (or more) little people completely dependent on you and your life. As a result of this, financial worries such as budgeting, retirement planning, debts and mortgages may distract your employees from their work. 

Professional financial advice can help alleviate the stress that some parents may feel in regards to not being able to provide for their family. If a staff member is worried, you should arrange some professional advice and guidance – if you’re not in a position to give it yourself. 

Enquire about health and safety concerns 

Health and safety concerns can range from stress, anxiety and depression to substance abuse, gambling and domestic abuse.  Ensuring your employees aren’t in physical danger should be a top priority. If you ever suspect that a staff member is in a position that compromises their health and safety, choose a comfortable and appropriate moment to enquire and lend an open ear.

When you demonstrate that you care for their wellbeing and that you’re serious about how they can overcome their problems, they’ll feel more comfortable about approaching you with any issues they may face in the future. For staff to be happy at work, they need to be happy at home, too. 

Look into the technology that’s available

Problems at work can result in high absenteeism and loss in productivity, both of which have a devastating impact on business. So, what can be done to help tackle the issues parents are facing in and outside of work? Employee wellbeing solutions from LifeWorks could provide you with the answer.

 A modern, proactive Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) tailored to each individual is sure to relieve pressure that many parents are bound to feel. With an EAP based on mobile-first, consumer-based technology, it couldn’t be easier for staff to get in touch with a counsellor or read up on wellbeing information and advice.

Arrange regular teambuilding exercises and staff events 

Everyone needs a break from the stress of the working day! By arranging regular teambuilding exercises and staff events, you’ll be giving your employees opportunities to let their hair down and bond with the rest of the team. 

Just be sure to give enough notice so that childcare arrangements can be made. Parents deserve to have fun and experience some time to themselves, so regular teambuilding exercises and staff events make it easier for you to let this happen. 

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

A Framework to Guide You: 7 Salesforce CPQ Implementation Tips

Sales increases, sales productivity boosts, and shorter sales cycles are things sales managers dream of. Fortunately, for sales executives who use workflow automation tools such as CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software, these dreams can become realities.

For many companies, pricing and product combinations can be very complicated. For example, it’s one thing to have a product for sale, but quite another to have different bundling options for that product. However, with CPQ software, none of these options presents a problem when it comes time to deliver the products to clients. Having the effect and using it effectively are two different things. This is where good CPQ Training comes in.

Establish Sales Goals

What are your sales goals? Without measurable sales goals, CPQ is practically useless. With them, however, sales managers have a powerful tool to help reach their objectives. By picking the most important goals for an organization, the CPQ process can easily chart a course to achieve those objectives by refining workflow.

Optimize the Organization’s Quote-to-Cash Process

The sales process for every organization is different, which leads to unique needs. Implementing a CPQ program is an excellent way to refine that process and examine every aspect of a product portfolio. This will form the core of a CPQ implementation program.

Prioritize CPQ Features

Implementing a CPQ program can be a very complicated process. This is made even more complicated when users attempt to use all the features all at once. For this reason, sales goals should be prioritized from most critical to the lowest concern.

Data Management

Once the pricing models are set, it’s time to focus on data management. Since CPQ runs on data from different sources, all these systems and documents need to be gathered and incorporated seamlessly into the program.

Run Change Management Initiatives

A company can have the best CPQ available but have its implementation program fail miserably if users struggle to use it or resist using it. For this reason, management must make sure that a CPQ is effectively integrated into the sales program. Once users understand that the CPQ system will improve their ability to do their jobs, resistance should lessen or go away completely.

Evaluate and Measure Adoption

Once a CPQ has been implemented into a sales effort, it’s impact should be monitored continuously by management. This might be done using satisfaction surveys that quantify its ease of use or response times to prospective clients.

These metrics will allow managers to determine if and how well the program’s adoption is being received and implemented. These metrics can also help as elements of the CPQ program are refined or added to.

Translation of CPQ Goals into Reality

Implementing CPQ goals into reality will undoubtedly have a learning curve, but having a sound reporting system will help evaluate progress towards accomplishing goals. This will also help to determine the success of user onboarding. When it comes to the sales business, there can be little doubt that CPQ is one of the latest and greatest buzzwords out there.

Fortunately, as both products and services offered to clients become more complex, so does the need to have systems that allow salespeople to understand their offerings and package them in ways that will enable customers to know what they are buying by faster means. That’s where the real value of CPQ becomes priceless.

5 Tips for Starting a Small Business That You Haven’t Heard Already

If you’re thinking about launching your own startup, it’s likely that you will have already headed to the internet to get advice. There are numerous tips out there for starting and running a successful company, which can make it difficult to know which ones to follow.

Once you’ve got your business plan in place, chosen how you will market your products or services, and established your audience, here are some tips for starting a small company that you haven’t heard already.

Address Excuses

There are many people who dream about becoming an entrepreneur, but never seem to get past the idea stage. This is because they tend to be burdened with excuses and are terrified of failure. Whether it’s time constraints or money worries, there are a million reasons why people are hesitant to start their own business. If you have a solid business idea that you believe will be profitable, it’s important that you address any excuses and believe in yourself. Being your own boss has many advantages, so boosting your confidence and self-esteem and not overthinking every minor detail can help you launch a successful brand.

Absorb Everything

Before you launch your small business to consumers and clients, make sure that you listen to everything that others have to say. Whether it’s your friends, family members, or industry experts, be a sponge and absorb other people’s thoughts and opinions, as they could prove beneficial when it comes to running your own brand. While your loved ones may be biased with their offerings, industry experts can give you sound knowledge of how to run a successful company which will push your operation in the right direction.

Be the Solution

Instead of beginning your idea with what you plan to sell, get into the mindset of what your products or services will solve. It’s much easier to build a solid customer base when your company is fixing a problem. Your small business should fill a void in a certain niche or market, which is what will draw customers to your brand. Understanding your motives and documenting your unique selling proposition in your business plan will help you grow a reputable and profitable venture.

Keep Things Simple

Once you have a business idea in your head, it can be all too easy to let it get out of hand and snowball into something far more complicated. If you’ve never run a small business before, the day to day tasks can feel overwhelming if you take too much on at once. As a small business owner, try and start small and narrow down your focus. Having a simple and good quality product or service is what customers will connect with.

Speak About Your Business

No matter how much you believe in your small business, unless you know how to sell it, you’re not going to get very far. It can be daunting to share your company with the world, especially as a first-time business owner, so knowing how to sell your products or services to the masses is crucial.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is ready to launch their brand to the world, it’s important that your mind and body are ready to work hard. While there isn’t a perfect formula for launching a small business, putting all the tips above into practice can increase your chances of your company being a long-term success.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

5 key tasks you won’t need to take care of in a serviced office

When the time comes for you to shift your business under its own roof, there will be many different office options ready and waiting for you to choose between them. The more avant-garde of those include shared, co-working and “virtual” spaces – but you ought to weigh up two particular choices

The more conventional is a “leased” office, but a more flexible arrangement for newer businesses would be the “serviced” office, which would spare you needing to carry out the following tasks…

Setting up tech

A “serviced” office is so-called as many of the services your business relies on will already be set up in that office as you move into it. Those staples of corporate communication – phone lines, internet connectivity and electrical power, among other utilities – will already be open and running.

As a result, you wouldn’t need to spend time of your own approaching different providers of these utilities and arranging contractors, as bytestart.co.uk points out. You can hit the ground running.

Taking calls

Naturally, many people will be eager to phone your company. These can include potential customers and clients wanting to learn more about what you offer, as well as jobseekers interested in applying for that vacancy you have recently started advertising. Your business never wants to miss a call.

Fortunately, even during hectic periods, it doesn’t have to – as, in a serviced office, you can enjoy the peace of mind of having a ready-made reception team capable of taking calls on your firm’s behalf.

Directing visitors

Startups.co.uk points out something else that this reception team can do for you: direct visitors to where in your office they need to be. This is no small boon, whether the visitor is a client set to attend a meeting or a job applicant scheduled to be interviewed for a particular post at your company.

Sometimes, an office can feel labyrinthine to a stranger, but the reception team will know the office inside-out – and why wouldn’t they? They are permanently employed there!

Daily and nightly cleaning

Cleaning: no-one likes doing it, but it has to be done, at least for hygiene reasons. It’s especially important in an office space which employees and clients alike will often be using. After all, dirt can cause a stink in more ways than one – and, in this way, damage your company’s reputation.

Reassuringly, serviced offices often come with in-house cleaning staff. Renting a serviced office from BE Offices, for example, will allow you to benefit from such staff every day and night.

Decorating

Admittedly, as your business becomes better-established, you could baulk at the prospect of being unable to, say, put up your own signage above the entrance door or paint the walls in your branding colours, as an Entrepreneur article implies is not permitted with serviced offices.

However, until you switch to the conventional, 3-to-5-year lease of a traditional office, you could easily appreciate not having to set aside time and money just for tinkering with your office’s look.

Image: Rebrand Cities