In This Issue

Michael Kanas, Director of Finance, Qualys, Inc., discusses how finance can and should play an important role in shaping the business of an organization.   full article
This quarter we discuss what we call The Offer Dance. What should a hiring manager offer the candidate and how does the candidate effectively negotiate the best offer they can get?
Candidate Tip #104  Hiring Manager Tip #104  full article
STRe has formed an alliance with RevRec.net, which is offering classes at a 10% discount to STRe friends.
  read more
Definitions to ponder: What the company really means when it says... have fun

Articles

The Role of Finance in Today's Complex Business World
by: Michael Kanas, CPA • Director of Finance, Qualys Inc.

This article explores the changes in Finance and how Finance can and should play an important role in shaping the business of an organization. Finance has often been mired in record keeping with little time or resource for strategic business planning. In recent years, compliance has forced Finance to spend more time and resource on record keeping (and new processes to perform record keeping), but now it is time for Finance to again be actively involved in the business. Finance is a service organization to the business and as such needs to provide the financial metrics for the business as well as understand the non-financial metrics that drive the business.

The changes brought forth by Sarbanes-Oxley have placed an inordinate amount of emphasis on accounting, processes and documentation. Accounting should not run a business, but rather support that business. Accounting is a foundation for driving the business, and a key component in the finance organization. Companies are in business to provide valuable products to their customers while generating value for the shareholders. By closely collaborating with the business units, Finance can contribute to core business activities, partnering to provide decision support to business managers and employees while ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. Finance needs to understand the business drivers for revenue and product costs, not just the numbers. In this respect, Finance becomes clearly aligned with the traditional product management function. It is the job of Product Management to determine what the product (or service) costs and how much the market will bear and if there is enough profit margin to meet the company's financial goals.

It is easy to see how Finance can be caught between a rock and a hard place, i.e., regulations (SOX, SEC, GAAP) on one hand and the stakeholders (investors, customers and employees) on the other. Compliance needs to support the business process, not hinder it. The same systems that have traditionally supported financial reporting can be enhanced to provide business metrics that enable proactive business management from Finance.

Systems have become an integral part of the finance organization, integrating accounting (mainly reporting of historical events) with sales, i.e. revenue generation and recording, and with financial planning. Today's enterprise systems are key to generating the business intelligence necessary to manage all aspects of a business entity. It is important to get all the parts of the organization to participate in any major systems implementations. Without some skin in the game parts of the company may not feel any responsibility to use the system once it is installed. And... this could result in unhappy employees who do not understand why they have to change. Be sure to engage everyone upfront, and ideally, identify key champions in each department to carry the flag. Clearly articulate the benefits they will receive (either directly or indirectly) from the new system and procedures. Remember change is tough but everyone needs to see the whole picture, not just their silo. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

In summary, if you are in Finance, remember you are a service provider and business partner with responsibility to work with all the key groups within your organization to drive the business to be successful. And... if you are not in Finance, remember that Finance provides a valuable service to assist you in performing your function. Finance is a valued partner to the business, more than a record keeper.

Candidates and Hiring Managers: Maximize Your Experience with Recruiters
Our highest priority at STRe Solutions is building long-term relationships with both jobseekers and hiring managers. The Recruiter Relations section of our newsletter offers ongoing tips to help you maximize your experience with a recruiter regardless of whether you're seeking top talent to seamlessly join your team or searching for the ideal position.

This quarter's focus is on what we call The Offer Dance. What should a hiring manager offer the candidate and how does the candidate effectively negotiate the best offer they can get?

Candidate Tip #104
Negotiating a job offer is not easy. Negotiating the offer starts at the beginning of the interview process. Make sure you have communicated to the recruiter or company HR representative what your current compensation is and what you are expecting. If you believe that your current compensation is not competitive, ask to be paid fairly for the responsibilities of the position. Be prepared to explain your rationale for the compensation you are requesting. And, be flexible in your approach to ensure that you give your new potential employer the right message.

So... you are jazzed about the potential new opportunity; the company is definitely in a space you like; the job sounds cool and you are just waiting for the offer. When it comes, make sure that you look at the total package. Beyond evaluating the base salary, target bonus and stock options/RSUs, make sure you also understand the benefits package: 401K, insurance, PTO, etc.

Having considered the tangible rewards associated with the job NEVER lose site of the long term career growth that this new position and company will provide. The opportunity to gain valuable experience that benefits your overall career objectives can be as important as the compensation.

And, in today's day of high gas prices, where is the job? How much time and gas will it take to get there? Career opportunity and a fair compensation plan are the first things to consider. Location should be the last item to evaluate.

If you are working with an external recruiter, let them facilitate the offer negotiations with your future employer. A third party can be your advocate and avoid a potentially awkward situation for you.

Hiring Manager Tip #104
How do you offer a fair and compelling package to a candidate? Making an offer is not just about taking the candidate's current salary and adding 10%. You need to understand the fair market compensation for the job responsibilities as well as internal equity with current staff. Then, what is the budget for this position? Is there any flexibility? And, how does the offer compare to what the candidate is currently earning? And, most importantly, make sure you understand the candidate's expectations.

A good recruiter, or HR representative, will guide you through the process to a successful close. Don't be afraid to ask for comparable salary data.

Timing can be critical. When did the interview process start? Be careful not to lose momentum. And... is the candidate evaluating other opportunities? If so, you may need to move quickly so as not to lose the candidate. Be sure to discuss (or have the recruiter or HR representative do this) the potential that their current employer will offer them a counteroffer.

Lastly, make the candidate feel valued and welcome to join your organization. Consider how the offer is presented. A call from the hiring manager or a company executive is very compelling and makes a statement about how much you would like the candidate to join your company.

STRe Alliance Event/Training
We are pleased to announce an alliance with RevRec.net, founded by Jeffrey Tchir, CPA. Jeff is a leading authority on Revenue Recognition and his classes focus on the impact of accounting regulations on business operations.

STRe friends will receive a 10% discount when they register for a class with the code: STRE.

Upcoming classes include:

  • Basic Revenue Recognition: August 13th in San Jose
  • Advanced Revenue Recognition: August 18th in San Jose
  • Software Revenue Recognition: August 14th in San Jose

Visit www.revrec.net to see the class offerings and schedule.

STRe Fun
Definitions to ponder: What the company really means when it says...

We will make you a fair offer.
Translation: We will see just how little we can get you for.

The company values work/life balance.
Translation: More work/less life.

Our benefits are terrific.
Translation: It takes a genius to figure out how to fill out the medical claims forms.

We have an Onboarding process to help new employees acclimate.
Translation: Your first 3 weeks will be really challenging (and remember what we said about the value of work/life balance).

We have an open door policy.
Translation: Everyone sits in cubicles.

We have an exciting career opportunity available.
Translation: We have an open headcount that needs to be filled ASAP.