News and advice on management and the business environment — October 2015

Accounting is one of the safest professions around, according to a recent ranking. Plus, research finds that new grads are feeling unprepared for their first jobs.


Your profession is one of the least perilous

As if the pay and prestige of being a CPA aren’t enough, you can now add this to your career bragging rights: it’s one of the safest jobs around. Accountant is among the top-10 least dangerous occupations, according to a ranking by online job search site CareerCast. Other gigs that made the most benign list include actuary, executive assistant, historian, HR manager, mathematician, recreation worker, statistician and technical writer. The “honours” for most dangerous jobs went to airline pilot, animal care worker, construction worker, emergency medical technician, enlisted military personnel, firefighter, heavy/tractor-trailer truck driver, lumberjack/logger, corrections officer and police officer


Moms can nix the pump-and-dump

Baby with a bottle

Nursing mothers who travel for work now have an alternative to pumping and dumping their breast milk while on the road. Milk Stork provides overnight, refrigerated shipping of breast milk (the service is currently only available in the continental US). “By sending milk home daily, breastfeeding moms can protect their milk supply, work and travel with ease, knowing their babies will continue to receive the benefits of breast milk even while they’re gone,” says Milk Stork founder and CEO Kate Torgersen.


New grads feel unprepared

More than half (60%) of Canadian accounting and finance professionals say they felt only somewhat prepared for their first job after graduation, and another 15% indicate they were not at all prepared, finds a survey by staffing service Accountemps. Nearly half (47%) of respondents say the knowledge they gained in the classroom didn’t translate to their position, 43% felt ill-equipped to handle office politics and 26% lacked technology skills.


Accenture scraps annual performance reviews

As of the start of its 2016 fiscal year last month, international consulting firm Accenture has done away with annual performance reviews for its 330,000 employees. Citing the millennial generation as a catalyst, CEO Pierre Nanterme told the Washington Post: “People want to know on an ongoing basis, am I doing right? Am I moving in the right direction? Do you think I’m progressing? Nobody’s going to wait for an annual cycle to get that feedback.”


Why CFOs count

Chief financial officers are critical players on a company’s executive team, according to a study by US corporate search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. It compared the leadership traits of 129 CFOs with those of other C-suite execs and found CFOs are the most data/detail oriented, which “drives an objective and logical approach to problem solving that nicely counterbalances the more emotionally inflected nature of figures such as chief marketing officers.”