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Welcome to our new SDA Blog which we've called the e-Wire. We hope you enjoy the insights and information that will be shared here by our authors. Be sure to leave a comment and share with others.

 

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Top tags: Society for Design Administration  SDA  Accounting  Career Coaching  change the world  Cost Cutting  Daily Habit  Design Administration  Finance  Gen-Z  Give Back  Giving  Goals  hashtag  Leader  Leadership  Life Lessons  make your bed  Millennial  office move  office relocation  Organization  Overhead  Peronal Advisory Board  Professional Advice  Profits  Resolutions  Reverse Mentoring  tip  Volunteer 

Speaking a New Language

Posted By Stephanie Kirschner, CDFA, Friday, April 7, 2017

I read a great article in the March 2017 issue of our SDA Today.  It’s called “Do You Speak Millennial or Gen-Z?, A look into the realm of reverse mentoring and why it’s to everyone’s benefit.” It was written by one of our members, Anne McNeely, CDFA.

As a Gen-X’er and a mom of a Gen-Z’er, who, also, works with a few Millennials, I found the article was both very interesting and beneficial.

My husband and I raised our son, but we certainly feel the generational gap of technology between parents and son.  I consider myself pretty high on the totem pole of keeping up with technology and find working with software and hardware pretty easy, however; my son surpasses me dramatically, with ease.  It’s a wonder to see, but at the same time it shouldn’t be a surprise.  I started working on computers in my early teens and we had a computer before my son was even born.  Essentially my son was “born with a computer” in his hands.  With that said, this article addresses these differences and the stereotypes that come with the generational gap and how to address use programs to teach all generations to work together with ease, called Reverse Mentoring.  Reading about Reverse mentoring was exciting because I feel like I already try to do that at home, and should make sure to do this at work for my own and my firm’s benefit.  Check out this amazing article that addresses these topics, it may help ease tensions, help you work better together and learn newI read a great article in the latest SDA Today.  It’s called “Do You Speak Millennial or Gen-Z?, A look into the realm of reverse mentoring and why it’s to everyone’s benefit.” It was written by one of our members, Anne McNeely, CDFA.

As a Gen-X’er and a mom of a Gen-Z’er, who, also, works with a few Millennials, I found the article was both very interesting and beneficial.

My husband and I raised our son, but we certainly feel the generational gap of technology between parents and son.  I consider myself pretty high on the totem pole of keeping up with technology and find working with software and hardware pretty easy, however; my son surpasses me dramatically, with ease.  It’s a wonder to see, but at the same time it shouldn’t be a surprise.  I started working on computers in my early teens and we had a computer before my son was even born.  Essentially my son was “born with a computer” in his hands.  With that said, this article addresses these differences and the stereotypes that come with the generational gap and how to address use programs to teach all generations to work together with ease, called Reverse Mentoring.  Reading about Reverse mentoring was exciting because I feel like I already try to do that at home, and should make sure to do this at work for my own and my firm’s benefit.  Check out this amazing article. 

While we’re on the topic of Millennials, you may, also, want to look at the infographic, “The Multi-generational Workforce: Tips for Motivating the Different Generations,” which is available as a giveaway (in the right-hand gray area) for non-members or on the member-only Human Resources page.

How are you doing with our next generations at the office? Leave your comments below. 

L

Lynda Meyer is the Controller

for Precision Measurements Incorporated

in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Tags:  Gen-Z  Millennial  Reverse Mentoring  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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What IS a Hashtag Anyway?

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, March 22, 2017

 

For most of us old timers, a hashtag is a pound sign.  Well it used to be until someone started using it on social media.  So what it a hashtag anyways?  Well it is a # sign before a topic, e.g. #SDA.  It is that simple.  If you are posting something on a social media outlet and would like to make it into a searchable topic, add a hashtag. 

 

 

There are some rules that need to be followed when using a hashtag:

1.       No spaces

2.       Use capitalization to separate word instead of space because it doesn’t affect the search capabilities

3.       You can use numbers, but not symbols in your hashtag

A general rule of thumb is to use no more than three in any one posting.  SDA has used hashtags when we are using Twitter during EDSymposium.  This is an easy way for someone to follow one topic.  Try it.  Look up one of your favorite topics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+.  My favorite is #TGIF.  You might be surprised at who you can meet and talk with about topics that you both like.  Using the comment box below, let us know what are some of your favorite hashtags?

 

Sabrina Heard, CDFA, is the Office Manager/Executive Assistant

at Randall-Paulson Architects in Roswell, Georgia

She currently serves as the SDA National President-Elect. 

Tags:  hashtag  SDA  Society for Design Administration  tip 

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Sensible Ways to Cut Overhead

Posted By Administration, Monday, March 6, 2017

I recently  received a link to a free ebook by PSMJ Resources on Financial Management.  I was skimming it and came to their discussion on overhead and the “11 Ways to Cut Overhead”. I was outraged by #9, Shift job-cost reporting, billing, and other accounting functions to the secretary who does it as a part-time, collateral duty.  In the name of all good design firm bookkeepers everywhere I would have thrown something right across the nexus in response, and it wouldn’t have been flattering. It’s right up there with their last Top Ten Overhead Cost Cutting List a couple of years ago when they said “Fire all of the Administrators.”

Their first two ways extolled the cost saving approaching of making printing a profit center.  (See list below)  If anyone still thinks that in this all electronic document/no printing 21st century world, printing is still a line item that drives overhead rates, I’m not sure where they’re working.

Another of their other dubious methods included: “5. Discontinue in-house lunches;”  when, according to a survey by Peapod, companies that provide free food have happier employees compared with those who don’t get to chow down on their employer’s dime, and forward-thinking companies know that collaboration during non-paid lunches is a free hour of work for the firm.

So  – partially tongue-in-cheek (but grounded in truth) – I came up with my own List of Top Ways to Cut Overhead:

8 Ways to Cut Overhead:

  1. Make sure the Owner has two credit cards – personal and business – and stops charging personal items on the business account.
  2. Limit each principal to 1 golf tournament a season.
  3. Eliminate big sporting events, deep-sea fishing excursions, season tickets to the neighborhood team, and kill the box at the alma mater university stadium.
  4. Lower recruiting costs by requiring each professional to join a local professional organization, network, and find the good other professionals in the community by working with them
  5. Do payroll in-house; eliminate the cost of the payroll service; have a fractional CFO to review quarterly statements instead.
  6. Make job-cost reporting and billing a full-time position with an experienced person who can maximize revenue and cash-flow
  7. Hire adequate administrative staff to take the burden off of the professionals so they have more billable hours. Push tasks down to the lowest cost level not up to the highest.
  8. Forget about losing sleep over printing, or other ancillary charges in today’s non-print, cheap communications world. Keep people focused on the project delivery.

Do you have others?  Post them in the comments below and I'll  compile them all for a state-of-the-art article on cutting overhead in SDA Today.

Here's the full listing from PSMJ Resources:

  1. Require all project-related printing to be done outside the firm so vendor invoices can be passed on to clients as reimbursable expenses.
  2. Charge all plots to the client; no free in-house plots.
  3. Eliminate company cars.
  4. Charge computer purchases requested by an individual to his department or to the specific job for which it was requested.
  5. Discontinue in-house lunches.
  6. Limit company-paid professional registrations to one per person per year.
  7. Limit company-paid membership in national organizations to one per person per year.
  8. Eliminate your in-house bookkeeper; use outside service vendors for your payroll.
  9. Shift job-cost reporting, billing, and other accounting functions to the secretary who does it as a part-time, collateral duty.
  10. Use students as part-time employees for deliveries, routine filing, posting of invoices, and other clerical tasks. 

 

 

Deborah Gill, CPA, CGMA, CDFA is the Chief Financial Officer at Precision Measurements, Inc. (PMI), a 50+ person land-surveying firm located in Virginia Beach, VA.  Before joining PMI, Deborah was the Director of Business Operations at Clark Nexsen, PC, a 550 person multi-disciplined architecture, engineering, planning, and interior design firm located in VA, NC, GA, and DC. 

Tags:  Accounting  Cost Cutting  Design Administration  Finance  Overhead  Profits 

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Resolutions and Goals

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Updated: Monday, January 11, 2016

The dictionary tells us that a goal is an objective that a person or a system plans or intends to achieve. A resolution is the act, operation, or process of resolving.  Resolutions are the way to obtain the goal. Goals are the end result of the resolution. In order to obtain the goal you must set up a system to achieve the goal.

Here is an example, say your goal is to get a promotion at your job.  You can try to earn the promotion from hard work, loyalty, seniority or you could set a process (system) to obtain it. Perhaps it’s taking classes to further your education or obtaining a certification in that subject area.  If your goal is to complete a marathon, you have to set up a training routine. You certainly can't expect to complete the 26 miles without any time spent training.

What are your goals for the coming year and how will you resolve to obtain them?  


                                                      Monica Hodges is the Office Manager for Barker & Associates in San Antonio, Texas.

                                                      She currently serves as the SDA National President-Elect.

 

Tags:  Goals  Resolutions  SDA  Society for Design Administration 

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The Giving Season

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ah the holidays. Everyone loves the holidays. We take time off from work. Visit with family and friends. Go to parties. Shop for gifts.

By definition a gift is a thing given willingly to someone without payment. A natural ability or talent. Have you ever considered giving the gift of yourself instead of something purchased?  It can be as simple as a handwritten card instead of the standard store bought with prewritten words. Or in today’s world an email or text. You could donate your time to a charitable organization, say a soup kitchen. Perhaps if you are talented enough to know how to play a musical instrument or sew, you could give lessons.

What about giving back to an organization that as given so much to you year after year?

Being a member of a professional organization affords us countless opportunities, from creating professional relationships, career advancement through continuing education, leadership growth, skill development and camaraderie.  We all know in order for organizations to thrive they need members to volunteer, to chair and serve on committees, to sit on boards, locally as well as nationally. 

This season I wonder if you would consider giving the gift of you to your organization.  Volunteer for a leadership role or serve on a committee. What ways can you give the gift of you? 

  

Monica Hodges is the Office Manager for Barker & Associates in San Antonio, Texas.  

She is the SDA National President-Elect.

Tags:  Give Back  Giving  Volunteer 

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