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Blog Articules from the Accounts Payable Association

Image Credit: Karen Tresize 

So, you’ve been working hard in your current role, you’ve put the hours in, made improvements learned new skills and you’ve noticed salaries out there for the same role in Accounts Payable or P2P are higher than yours. If you want a higher salary, you’ve got two obvious options – Find a new employer or ask for a pay rise with your current employer. If you decide to go with the latter option, here’s our advice;

Request a meeting…

The best way to begin a dialog with your manager about pay is in a private meeting. Make sure you give yourself ample time to prepare and work out the reasons you’re asking for and feel you deserve a pay rise.

Do some research…

Make sure you have enough information to present a strong case for your manager to increase your pay. This might include any recent achievements, new skills learned and strong performance.

You can also research the average salary in your area for the role you are performing – try using the APA Salary Survey 2017 to compare your salary.

Be aware of timing…

No matter how well you’re doing at work and how much you feel you deserve a pay rise, there may be other factors in the business which mean your manager cannot approve a pay rise. Do some research and try to find out the financial position of the company, if it’s not doing very well, you may be less likely to receive good news.

Sell yourself…

Put together details of your recent achievement, hit targets etc. and show your manager why they should invest more heavily in you. Often the decision to increase pay is a decision made by the business, so make sure you clearly outline what they’re investing in.

Keep a positive attitude…

If after your efforts, you don’t get the par rise you were hoping for, remember to keep a positive attitude and stay professional. You still have options and it may be time to start exploring them but you will need to maintain a good relationship with your manager if you want to be able to present other potential employers with good references.

If you find yourself in this position, make sure you check out the APA Official Job Board – the only UK job board dedicated to Accounts Payable and P2P jobs. Sign up now

We searched High & Low to try and find a guide on what it takes to "Succeed in Accounts Payable", guess what nothing..

So we put a few ideas together on some of the key skills, attributes required to work in one of a businesses most critical areas.

This is where we need your help!! this will be a working document until we have gathered lots of feedback from individuals working at the coal face every day. The ups & downs the battle scars whilst trying to get our invoices approved & paid... plus the endless calls from Suppliers chasing.

We hope to combine these results with our 2017 AP Salary survey so we can continue to raise the profile of Accounts Payable Teams throughout the UK (heck the Globe!)

 

Dont worry your comments and thoughts will be totally anonymous (unless you are the next budding AP Blogger)

Please help to shape the future of our Industry...

 

Download our guide now.. Find out what it takes to succeed in Accounts Payable and let us know your views and ideas on what it takes!

 

You’ve done the hard work and landed the job of your dreams… It’s a great time for you and you can’t wait to get stuck into your new role…  But keep in mind, the hard work is not over and you need to impress your employer during your probation period (at least).

So here are the top 5 suggestions from the APA Careers HQ on how to live up to your interview and CV and continue to impress your new employer..

  1. Punctuality
 Make sure you have a route to work all planned out allowing yourself at least 15 minutes to cover any delays or wrong turns on your way in. Lateness will get you noticed in the office very quickly, for all the wrong reasons.

       2.Attitude

Your attitude towards your work, team and colleagues will play a huge part in the relationships you build at work. Try to be positive as much as you can and avoid any negative goings on around you.

  1. Live up to your CV
Remember, they hired you for a reason, they liked your CV and how you presented yourself at interview. So remember the reasons they liked you at interview and bring them into the office.

  1. Take part
When it comes to your first team meeting, make sure you have a couple of questions lined up and don’t be scared to answer questions other people may have, especially if they relate to your specialism, this is one of the reasons why they need your skills.

  1. Look the part
Make sure you look and dress smart – it’s always best to be slightly overdressed than underdressed at work. Remember the impression you make on your first day will last a long time, so make it a good one!

Leave your comments and share how impressed your employer in your probation period…

What to expect at The APA Annual Forum Event 2017 - 06th November | Birmingham

  • Guest speakers from the AP industry
  • Thought leadership round table,
  • Q&A with industry experts,
  • AP specific vendors,
  • APA awards ceremony
  • Networking opportunities with like minded AP professionals
  • Breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day and much more! It really is a 'must attend' event for any AP professional.

More information and tickets available here

eventsimage

So, you’ve been searching for better opportunities, or a fresh challenge, and all your hard work, CV writing, searching & applying for jobs and talking with recruiters has paid off… You’ve received a job offer which you simply can’t refuse – whether it’s the salary, development opportunities, company culture or something else you just can’t turn down; you’re accepting their offer and not looking back. Well, congratulations, that’s fantastic, but how do you go about the often nerve-racking and sensitive task of handing your notice in?

Here are a few things to consider and some advice when quitting your job and working your notice period…

  • Making the right decision 
Firstly, make sure that you are 100% sure (or as sure as you can be) that you’re making the right decision. Weigh up the pros and cons of the new position against your current job. A few points to consider may include the overall package, location, benefits, scope for progression, holiday entitlement, flexible working hours – it’s best to work out what means the most to you first. You may have already decided to accept the new job offer, but our advice is: don’t hand your notice in until you’ve received, signed and returned your official offer letter and employment contract from your new employer.

  • Notice period
Check your employment contract (normally under the ‘Termination’ section) and establish how much notice you are obligated to provide. Once you have done this, you can liaise with your new employer and work out an estimated start date. Some employers will allow you to use untaken holiday to shorten your notice period, or even wave a period of your notice if it suits you and them – you can never be sure until you have handed in your notice.  It is also worth remembering although some employers may ask you to work longer than your contracted notice period, you are not obliged to do so.

  • Resigning gracefully
The first thing to do is speak with your line manager (face-to-face, wherever possible) and explain that you have decided to resign from your post. You can decide how much detail you want to disclose to your manager, but usually explaining your reasons for leaving will help your manager understand your decision and maintain a positive relationship throughout your notice period. It may also provide some useful feedback for your manager and prompt them to make some positive changes for your colleagues and possible successor. Whatever you decide to say, be as positive as you can be: you never know where you may cross paths again in the future!

Now that your manager knows your intensions, you need to follow up with a written letter of resignation as your notice period might not begin until this has been received and accepted by your employer. In your letter, remember to thank your employer for the opportunities they offered you, tell them what you have enjoyed in your role and briefly, explain why you are leaving. Sign the letter, seal in an envelope and hand deliver to your manager, wherever possible. 

  • During your notice period
You’ve handed your notice in, and have a start date in place for your new role – but that doesn’t mean you should start taking it easy! Remember you are still being paid for the notice period you work and the last impression you leave will be the longest lasting, so work hard and leave the most positive impression you can. Ask for written references and recommendations from your line manager as you may not find it easy to stay in contact with them once you have left. Return any company property you have, and remember to enquire about any unused holiday pay you may be entitled to.

  • Preparing for your new job
Focus on the positive aspects that you have experienced within your current job: what you have learned and how you have developed. Consider how you will take these things forward in your new role, and how best to utilise your skills. Reflect on things you may do differently if faced with similar challenges in your new job.

If you’re still considering P2P or Accounts Payable jobs, visit the APA job board to see what opportunities are available to you today. You may also be interested in advancing your skillset with our nationally recognised APA courses for Accounts Payable professionals..

Duty on large companies to report on payment practices and policies

Regulations made under section 3 of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (and, for limited liability partnerships (LLPs), the Limited Liability Partnerships Act 2000), introduce a duty on the UK’s largest companies and LLPs to report on a half-yearly basis on their payment practices, policies and performance for financial years beginning on or after 6 April 2017. The information must be published through an online service provided by the government, and will be available to the public

Which companies will this affect?

Businesses are in scope of the requirement for a financial year if, on their last two balance sheet dates, they exceeded two or all of the thresholds for qualifying as a medium-sized company under the Companies Act 2006 (section 465 (3)). The thresholds relate to turnover, balance sheet total and average number of employees:


 At the time of publication, these thresholds are: 

• £36 million annual turnover 

• £18 million balance sheet total 

• 250 employees

What are the reporting requirements on large companies?

Every six months large business will have to publish the following information:

  • standard payment terms, including any changes to these in the last reporting period. The government intends providing guidance to further clarify the expectations of companies in circumstances where they have different standard terms for different kinds of products
  • average time taken to pay
  • proportion of invoices paid beyond agreed terms
  • proportion of invoices paid in 30 days or less; paid between 31 to 60 days; and paid beyond 60 days. The government will, however, not require reporting on the proportion of payments between 61 to 120 days and beyond 120 days, because it believes that all payments beyond 60 days represent bad practice. This is why we they recently introduced a maximum 60 day payment term in the voluntary Prompt Payment Code
  • amount of late payment interest owed and paid
  • whether financial incentives were required to join or remain on supplier lists
  • dispute resolution processes
  • the availability of: e-invoicing; supply chain finance; preferred supplier lists
  • membership of a Payment Code


The companies under the duty will need to provide the data in open data format to a single central digital location. The government will work with stakeholders to design and implement a system of reporting.

Will you be affected by this? Let us know and tell us your thoughts on this new duty and how it will affect your company...

buyearlybird

 Get your early bird tickets for the APA Annual Fourm Event now with 20% off for a limited time only!

The APA Annual Forum Event is not to be missed by anyone working in Accounts Payable, on the day there will be:

  • APA Intensive Course Launch - Now Taking Bookings

  • Guest Speakers - diving into key and current AP hot topics.

  • Thought Leadership Round Table

  • ​AP Industry Specific Vendors - looking for a new solution? Meet the APA approved partners.

  • APA Awards Ceremony - Nominate your AP Team for an APA award and give morale another boost!

  • Fantastic Networking Opportunites - meet likeminded people and share your AP issues.

  • Food and Refereshments throughout the day - Tea, Coffee, Pastries, Buffet Lunch and more.

  • Free gift bag from The APA

  • Exclusive on the day discounts on APA courses - for one day only!

More to be announced closer to the event.

Tickets

Nominate your AP Team for an APA Award!

The Accounts Payable Association will be awarding multiple businesses with awards in recognition of improvements to AP functions aswell as support displayed for their AP teams! The awards ceremony will take place at the APA Annual Forum Event on 06th November 2017 in Birmingham, register your interest in the event now. This is your opportunity to tell us about your AP team or department and why you believe they should be considered for a prestigious APA award.. Nominate now!

Nominate your AP Team for an award from the AP Association

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Request your copy now! The APA 2017 salary survey results are very interesting... How does your salary compare to others working in Accounts Payable?

APA 2017 Annual Salary Survey Results are now available!

The APA have been conducting a salary survey of AP professional across the UK and have receivied an overwhelming response. We have now analysed and collated the results and are available to everyone, FREE of charge. They make a very interesting read!

To get your copy of the APA 2017 Annual Salary Survey Results Pack head to the Careers HQ area of the AP Association

Did you know, APA Approved Employers automatically receive premium results packs with in-depth analysis of all APA surveys and benchmarking. Find out more about becomming an APA Approved Employer.

Before routinely sending off that electronic payment file for processing, consider the potential revenue about to be lost


As AP professionals well know, the bulk of payment transactions made by businesses in the UK are settled via electronic funds. BACS is the most common form of electronic payment transfer from bank-to-bank, and typically requires three working days to clear. When expedited funds are needed, a CHAPS transfer offers same-day settlement but typically requires a premium fee for this service.

With these well-refined services in existence since 1968 and 1984 respectively, B2B payments in the UK have become nearly frictionless. But if you’re among those comfortable with the status quo and questioning the need for change, consider this: as that electronic payment file transfers to the bank, so does the opportunity to generate significant revenue from those payments. In this article, globalVCard is going to share insight into uncovering that potential.

globalVCard’s Journey to the UK

Since 1989, globalVCard has been at the forefront of corporate payments in North America. The company enables its finance-savvy corporate clients to continually innovate in an area previously thought immune from innovation: accounts payable (AP).

The company’s virtual card payment system was introduced in 2011 and has grown exponentially since – annually processing billions of dollars in corporate payments throughout North America.

Ironically, the technology behind virtual credit cards originated in the UK. While virtual credit card payments have yet to gain traction for B2B payments in the UK, they have evolved into a highly desirable form of payment in the US as businesses have grown to recognize the value of gaining better control over costs and security.

An even greater benefit for globalVCard customers has been the ability to create a new source of revenue, turning AP into a profit center for many companies. This revenue is generated when companies pay their suppliers with a virtual credit card; the company then earns rebate revenue based on that transaction. Although globalVCard clients openly share their initial skepticism in these video case studies, they are also quick to share how those concerns were immediately erased by the discovery that 30-50% of their suppliers enrolled in the virtual card payment program.

As a result, those same CFOs are able to show their Executive Board up to seven figures of new revenue from a department that has previously been considered an unavoidable cost center.

Companies in the UK and elsewhere in the world have been watching this success with great interest. Now, at this opportune time, virtual card technology is coming full circle back to the UK where businesses are also eager to begin realizing similar benefits.

As globalVCard carefully evaluated its imminent global expansion, they chose to begin where demand is the greatest and recently announced the opening of their London office. Although the overall payment process in the UK is generally more streamlined than in the US (where cheque payments remain prevalent), there is still room for improvement with new revenue gains.

Uncovering Your Hidden Revenue Potential

Just as invoices are carefully examined to ensure there are no hidden costs or overcharges tucked away, there is also a case to be made to conduct a similar audit to discover revenue potential hidden in those invoices. As globalVCard is showing their UK customers, at least 30% of those payments likely could be made with virtual credit cards, allowing your business to earn rebate revenue simply by paying your bills.

Naturally, the prospect of bringing about change in financial systems or processes requires close scrutiny, particularly when existing systems do not appear to be broken. Below, globalVCard addresses three of the most common concerns expressed by financial executives who are considering adding virtual card technology to their arsenal of preferred payment methods.

Concern #1: my suppliers won’t accept credit cards

In our increasingly cashless society, the UK Card Association reminds us of the importance of card acceptance, as customers expect to pay for their purchases using a card. Businesses, like consumers, also enjoy the convenience of paying via credit card: it’s quick, easily reconciled, and there’s the added benefit of the reward programs.

Despite this knowledge, businesses have a tendency to assume their suppliers won’t accept card. In reality, 30-50% of them likely already do - you simply need to ask. Better yet, globalVCard will do this for you as part of their full service solution. They’ll even provide a complimentary vendor match before you commit to the program. With your vendor list, globalVCard will conduct an analysis and provide a reasonable estimate of your expected card acceptance rate.  

Concern #2: my suppliers will charge me more to compensate for credit card fees

As discussed above, it is rare to find a business that does not accept credit cards. Most businesses consider card fees as an unavoidable cost of doing business. In a competitive marketplace, the days of vendors charging a surplus fee for credit card payments are on the way out. Why? Because as the buyer, you hold the power. If that supplier doesn’t accept credit card, there will typically be another equally-qualified supplier that will.

Another consideration is that since many businesses already recognize the credit card processing fees as a cost of doing business, they may have already adjusted their pricing accordingly. So if they’ve already increased their prices a couple of percentage points to cover the cost of credit card processing and you pay via cash without discounted pricing, you’re paying a higher price without reaping the reward of rebate revenue that could have been earned on a virtual card payment.

Concern #3: I don’t have time to move my suppliers to a new payment method

The prospect of change – no matter how promising it may seem – is often met with resistance simply because there are not enough hours in the day to take on more tasks. The thought of contacting hundreds, if not thousands, of suppliers to discuss a new payment method can be daunting.

But the good news for globalVCard customers is that they don’t have to. globalVCard provides a full service solution, which includes vendor enrollment. Their specialists will handle your vendor outreach process and get your card-accepting suppliers set up on the new payment system. For your remaining suppliers, you simply continue paying them electronically as you currently do.

So while the time investment will be minimal, the return can be tremendous. Like globalCard’s current customers, you’ll be eager to present your next quarterly report that shows not only full accountability of costs running through your AP department, but also a new and growing line item called ‘revenue.’

More questions?

If you have additional questions, would like to see a demo or take advantage of a complimentary vendor match, contact the globalVCard team below. 

For businesses content with status quo, the current electronic payment process may serve its purpose well. But for businesses with an eye on improving efficiencies as well as bottom-line financial performance through more advanced technology, the future has arrived. Visit globalVCard online to learn more about its award-winning payment system and customer success stories.

 

For more information complete the form below.

paysystems

Leading B2B Payments Innovator Opens London Office and Launches Services For European Market

 

CSI globalVCard, a leading B2B payments company specialising in secure and rewarding payments, today announced that it has expanded services to Europe and has opened a London office, its first move in a planned worldwide expansion. The company plans to roll out its services across additional continents by year’s end. CSI will use the payment issuance capacity of PrePay Solutions (PPS), a subsidiary of Edenred (70% owned by Edenred and 30% by MasterCard), worldwide leader in prepaid corporate services. PPS will bring CSI its unique payment technology to issue and process all CSI virtual cards and wire transfers in Europe.

 

 


Expansion outside of North America was sparked by CSI globalVCard’s growing demand from multi-national clients, their increased need for native currency payments, as well as customer service support across local time zones. The global payments market is estimated at $1.2 trillion, of which B2B payments account for $550 billion. Ten percent of organizations make between 20 and 50 percent of their payments to foreign suppliers, and organizations earning over $2 billion in revenue pay the largest percent of their payments to foreign suppliers.

“CSI globalVCard was designed to automate a company’s AP department and transform these departments from cost centers to profit centers,” said Jason Kolbenheyer, Managing Director, CSI globalVCard. “As business practices become increasingly global, it is not only a major step for our company but a critical competitive advantage. Now, with CSI’s Accounts Payable platform our clients can send payments to suppliers across the globe, in multiple currencies all while seeing robust reporting in our dashboard.”

“We are delighted to be able to partner with CSI globalVCard, which is already a leading company in customizable virtual payments in the United States. The CSI globalVCard programme is an exciting addition to our growing operations in Corporate Payments. Entering the European market is a big step forward and we look forward to support them in this strategic expansion,” said Ray Brash, CEO at PrePay Solutions.


CSI globalVCard opened a London office to serve clients within European time zones. Additionally, the company now supports multiple currencies to ensure that each client and their payees can choose their preferred currencies for payments.

For more information about CSI globalVCard, please visit www.csiglobalvcard.com.

About CSI globalVCard


CSI Enterprises has provided innovative payment solutions to world leading brands, while providing the highest level of customer service, for nearly 30 years. CSI’s highly secure corporate payment solutions include the globalVCard® electronic accounts payable solution. With one payment file upload, customers can automate 100% of their B2B payables and disburse payments through virtual credit card, ACH, check, or FX with cross-border payments settled in local currency. Learn more at www.csiglobalvcard.com.

About PrePay Solutions:


PrePay Solutions (PPS) is a leading global prepaid processor . PPS is a regulated e-money institution and a MasterCard Principal Issuer and is active in 29 countries providing services to more than 50 blue chip organisations. It has clients across the retail, corporate payment, benefits and rewards and expense management sectors.

It is jointly owned by Edenred and MasterCard® Worldwide. Drawing on more than 15 years’ experience and the combined strengths of its shareholders, PrePay Solutions offers a range of payment services including Transaction Processing, eWallet provision, BIN sponsorship, Agency Banking , Compliance and Fraud Services, Customer Services, and Programme Design.
www.prepaysolutions.com

Towards the end of last year we posted a picture out via different media platforms which asked one simple question :

"WHY DONT THEY JUST APPROVE THE INVOICE?"

We have been overwhelmed with the amount of reponses so thought rather than respond individually with our thoughts we would collate them into a document with all of the major issues peope face around invoice approval and solutions offered by both our members & industry experts....

If you would like a copy please complete the form at the bottom of the page inserting "COPY of Invoice Approval Questionnaire" in the title

Please continue to give us your thoughts on the issue & solutions...

Until next time

 

APA team..

 

We are looking for P2P Volunteers...


We are excited to be launching a brand new Procure to Pay certification programme in the UK from early April 17.

On the lead up to the launch we are looking for 20 volunteers to take the certification programme to assist with feedback on user experience, content and delivery.

If you are interested in participating please register your interest by completing the form at the bottom of the page


Remember to check out our current AP Certification programmes 

Qualifications at three levels: 

 

Supplier Queries Answered....

 

According to the Purchase to Pay Network, upto 30% of Accounts Payable's time is spent resolving supplier queries relating to invoice status or payment.

The same research also reveals that 82% of Accounts Payable teams experience medium-to-very-high volumes of supplier enquiries. By automating this high-cost, low-return activity Accounts Payable can better use its time completing more valuable tasks.

The Purchase to Pay Network also found 28% of companies receive up to 75% of their supplier enquiries via mail. Email is by far the most prevalent form of business-to-business communication and while email is a convenient form of communication, the average response time for Accounts Payable teams can vary from 8 to 30 minutes.

 

Does this sound familiar?

 

Introducing resolvr..

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING

 

 

Karen Young, Director at Hays Accountancy & Finance

 

In today’s highly competitive recruitment world, the fight for top talent is harder than ever. Employers are turning to increasingly sophisticated assessment methods to ensure they secure the best candidates – not just to secure high performers for the longer-term, but also to cut the costs associated with high candidate turnover.
 

The varied means of candidate assessment

In earlier days, a candidate was often hired on the strength of a single, unstructured interview and a ‘gut feel’ from the hiring manager. Today, the array of tools available is quite staggering. Typical corporate recruitment tools and techniques include assessment centres, telephone, video and Skype interviews, plus core face to face interviews, gamification methodologies and psychometric testing.

Of course, like all corporate tools, the success of using even the most advanced recruitment tools lies in the recruitment strategy underpinning the process and the correct interpretation of the results, without which, you are simply left with a set of numbers and indicators in useless isolation!

A closer look at psychometric testing

Psychometric testing is a structured, scientific psychological test which looks at behavioural styles, personality traits and competencies. Typically, the cost and resource involved to successfully use this type of test meant that it was typically reserved for senior hires, but we are increasingly seeing it used for more junior appointments across the board – particularly for specialist roles and graduate recruitment.

Tests will measure everything from intrinsic attitudes through to perceptions and decision-making preferences – often based on the highly popular Myers-Briggs model of personality type. Other test types will include individual responses to varied stimuli based on response theories, such as the Rasch model.

This form of testing is generally viewed as being expensive, and certainly it can be a costly exercise requiring specialist administration, assessment and interpretation of the results. However, even with this investment, many companies are not getting the most from the results generated, and the usage of the data is being limited to the selection process point, rather than being applied more broadly and with greater value.

Other uses for psychometric testing

“People work for people – they do not work for businesses”          – Donn Carr

This has been my mantra for as along as I can remember. The message is so simple, full of truth and direction, yet it is consistently ignored by human resource departments, managers and owners alike and they wonder why their turnover is so high or they are always having to look for new people. The problem is with the managers – and seldom the employee or the quality of the workforce. This has been proven and well documented by study after study.

I don’t think this happens on purpose, most managers I meet have never been taught the art of developing people. Many rose to the rank of managers simply because they outlasted the last one and this lack of people training leaves the new manager with the only experience they know – to mimic the old boss.

This does make perfect sense when you think about it. All I should have to do is mimic the actions of the outgoing boss or the one above them. It should not come as a surprise when we see our managers yell or threaten their employees, make promises they won’t keep, or lead by the old adage “Do what I say and not what I do” failing to set the example or even clearly give expectations. After all, that is what the old boss did.

If you or your organization is experiencing high turnover or even more turnover than you would like, start with examining yourself and how you interact with your team. Here are nine proven reasons guaranteed to cause good employees to quit. Any one of them alone starts the process - if you find three or more you have some serious work ahead of you to correct. 

1. The Employees are Over Worked. In start-ups this happens all of the time and the managers simply do not see the handwriting on the wall. Talented employees love to contribute and will produce more, however if you plan on having them do more you best be prepared to increase their status as well. Talented team members will not stay if their job suffocates them in the process.

IOFM – Las Vegas Conference

 

We had the pleasure of visiting IOFM’s APP2P conference last week to learn & network with over 1000 global leaders/participants in the Accounts Payable world. After being slightly overwhelmed by the size of event locations in Las Vegas we were pleasantly surprised by the support Accounts Payable has in the US.

 

So what’s different across the pond?

 

Not a lot… other than currency, tax & compliance Accounts Payable faces the same challenges globally. During our stay we took part in a number of round table discussions with a majority focusing on the same areas: -

·         AP Automation

·         AP Recognition

·         Staff training/retention

·         AP Payments/P Cards

·         AP Robotics

 

We were also fortunate enough to listen to some highly inspirational AP Leaders give their stories on how they achieved success whilst continuing to strive on improving their functions and the teams they manage.

 

So what have we learned to help the APA in the UK?

You’ve only been back from leave for a week and on your PC are tabs upon tabs of emails, documents, and spread sheets. The emails you should’ve responded to days ago remain unanswered, the documents you were supposed to proofread remain riddled with grammatical errors, and the spread sheets lack critical updates. The panic sets in and you start to rush.

This situation is all too familiar to a lot of people; in our 24/7 culture overworking has become a way of life for many of us. However, rushing around will backfire – you and your team will become stressed and the quality of your work will suffer. Here are 6 tactics to help you finally stop rushing and ultimately be more productive at work:

 

1. Stop saying yes and start pushing back

It’s all too tempting to take on new projects or accept invites to unnecessary meetings, especially if you want to prove yourself. If this sounds like you, you must force yourself to take a step back and focus your energy into those activities which will deliver the most value for your career and for the business. Do you really need to go to that meeting or would your time be put to better use elsewhere?

2. Make prioritising a priority

At the beginning of each week and each day, write your to do list and concentrate on those tasks which will deliver the most value. Make a habit of blocking out time in your diary to get essential tasks completed. Stick to the timings you have allocated and you will feel calmer in the knowledge that, even if you are not due to action a task instantly, it will get done

3. Be ruthless with distractions

Don’t let valuable time get eaten up with distractions. Focus on one thing at a time. If necessary, shut down your emails and turn your phone off. Make sure you are tough when dealing with interruptions. Firmly tell your colleague who stops by your desk on the way to the coffee machine for a quick chat, that you are too busy.

4. Make every second count

Write a five-minute list – producing a list of low intensity tasks will enable you to make productive use of that spare five minutes before a meeting starts.

5. Don’t be afraid to delegate

You can’t do everything, sometimes you just need to let go of the control and trust others. Review your to do list and ask yourself ‘does this have to be done by me?’ Could you delegate the task to another member of your team? Don’t be afraid to delegate, your colleagues will most likely be pleased at the opportunity to develop their skills, whilst you save yourself valuable time.

6. Take breaks and get plenty of sleep

Try setting an alarm on your phone to remind you to get out of the office. Force yourself to take a break and get some fresh air – when you return you will feel refreshed and ultimately in a more productive and focused frame of mind. The same goes for sleep – get a full eight hours and you’ll arrive at work feeling invigorated and ready to take on the day.

 

Author: Susie Timlin- Global Director of People & Culture, Hays Talent Solutions.

Orginal Articule: https://social.hays.com/2015/01/13/stop-rushing-start-focusing-work-heres/

After some time of looking for a new role, you have finally been able to get an interview at a highly reputable company, in the accounts payable department, and now it is time to prepare. Preparation is the key to success as they say and so we thought we would compile a list of the best tips of tricks to do before your interview, to ensure it is successful.

  1. Research
    It goes without saying that you should research the company before you arrive for an interview. Go to their website, look at the style, culture, and tone of voice. Look out for any news articles that may be online about them, as well how they engage with people on social media, both are good indicators of their company culture. If you know someone that works at the company or has done so in the past, then pick their brain to ensure you have a vast amount of knowledge. It shows you have an interest in the company, as well as the role, and hopefully, it will impress your employer. Research the industry too and know what is current.​
     
  2. Know yourself
    Have a browse through your own CV, make sure that you know it well so that any interview questions about it can be answered in a concise manner. This would be particularly useful with questions such as “which accounting software do you have experience with?” Make sure to take notes if you know you may get flustered, also it is a good measure to know what you want from your career in accounts payable and in life in general. Google your own name, as the potential employer may do this and you should be aware of what they may see. All of this will prepare for the “Tell me about yourself question”, especially if you have notes prepared.​
     
  3. Plan
    Ensure that you know where the interview will be held, how to get there and to leave sufficient time so you aren’t late, whatever happens. Print out a couple copies of your CV, just in case. Find out the format of the interview if you can, whether it will be a one-on-one, group or a panel interview. Take only the necessities to the interview, this will allow you to concentrate on it fully. But if you have been asked to bring certain things, such as certificates or references, have these ready to go to avoid the last minute rush in the morning of your interview. Also, think about the questions you would like to ask your potential employer, it is always a good idea to have some ready.​
  4. Get up to Date
    Be up-to-date with the latest e-invoicing systems and accoutns payable processes so that you can show your potential employer that you keep up to date with the industry and may know of new ways to improving company efficiency.
  5. Attire
    Make sure that the clothes and shoes that you intend to wear for the interview are smart, clean and neat. They say that a first impression is made within the first five seconds of meeting someone, make sure the one you make is a positive one.​

  6. Be Conscious
    Once you are within the interview, think of your body language, arrive in good time, so you can relax before you start the interview, and just do your best.

Interviews can be a minefield at times but if you treat them like an exam or with great importance, then it is sure to work in your favour, as failing to plan is planning to fail.

Good luck in your AP pursuits!

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