Tag Archives: HRCI credit

Chief Financial Officer

For the past tw0 years I have had the honor and privilege of being the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a nonprofit. The organization is a 501(c)7 with annual gross receipts under $50,000.

Image from http://myob.com.au/

I have learned a lot in these years about accounting, forecasting, budgeting, insurance, tax, credit, statistics, and reporting. In the beginning I relied heavily upon resources from preparing for my PHR and World at Works’s Accounting and Finance for the Human Resources Professional. I got to expand my experience in leadership, as the role was an Officer of the organization (reporting to the CEO and on the same level as the COO) as well as management as I had two “minions” that reported to me and assisted me with various items (one was keying data, the other with preparing taxes.)

In my tenure, I accomplished all of the goals I set those 26 months ago. Let me illustrate the situation when I started the role: 5 months before I took the role the former CFO was found to have (and admitted to) stealing funds from the organization. Due to on going investigations I can’t say much, but corporate counsel has stated I can share it was tens of thousands of dollars. The organization, being 100% volunteer run and operations financed 100% by donations this was a huge challenge to take on.

I am very happy to state that through my aforementioned skills (budgeting, etc) and working with a fantastic Executive team, I was able to repay nearly $10,000 in debt; build up a financial cushion of $10,000+; create reporting where previously there was none; documented the heck out of policies and procedures for a layman to understand and is also compliant with FASB standards. Repairing the trust of the organization donors was of paramount importance, to which I went to great lengths to improve transparency surrounding all financial matters. I reduced financial waste with the new procedures/policies saving the organization $1,000+ annually. My biggest accomplishment was playing forensic accountant and going through the previous three years of records to audit, amend taxes, and provide documentation towards the on going actions against the former CFO.

I am very proud of this accomplishment and experience. Like all good things, this is coming to an end. I have submitted my resignation. Being that it was a volunteer position (aka no pay) and it takes a lot of time (30-40 hour a week!) I feel I need to redirect my energy and time into that which pays me and being a more well rounded individual for better balance, grounding, and thus leave me able to offer more in what I do. I look forward to training my successor and ensuring that they are set up for success, so that the organization can also be successful.

SHRM certification

Congratulations on achieving your SHRM-CP.

Today I took advantage of the SHRM-CP tutorial to get the certification for free. I have to say that I actually like and see the validity of the competency based nature of this certification and how it will lend credence to Human Resources as a whole and a business partner.

I have largely staid out of the fray between the HRCI vs SHRM certification war. I’ve chosen to wait it out to see the offerings for comparison and see what the results are to organizations, professionals, and the profession as a whole over time. Without data it is hard to give an educated guess, and everyone has an opinion. 😉 I like my opinions to have weight.

It is early yet, since the certification was just offered for the first time three months ago, but it will be interesting to see when and which roles will require or prefer this certification. It will be interesting to see if it will be placed in relation to the HRCI certifications.

The part I enjoyed the most was the competency check lists. I answered as truthfully as possible, so that it could be a useful tool to me. I was pleasantly surprised that both my professional (paid) and volunteer experience places me predominantly in the Exec category.

Beaushene SHRM-CP competency chart

Beaushene SHRM-CP chart







The process took less than an hour, and was free. Can’t beat that! I really liked the situations and questions offered. Again, in the vein of being honest, I chose the best choice 7 of 9 times, the second best choice once, and one of the “what the heck, totally the wrong choice” once.

For one that does not currently have an HRCI or IPMA-HR to take the test is $300, which is $100 cheaper than the HRCI PHR. Being so new, it may not be eligible for tuition or expense reimbursement from organizations yet. To be fair, it has been five years since I took the PHR, so I cannot legitimately compare the SHRM-CP scenario quesitons to those of the PHR.

If an organization does reimburse you, why not go for both? Until the dust clears – which may be five to ten years from now, it is best to hedge ones bets. 😉 But if one is paying out of pocket, I would go for the HRCI certification simply due to its history and being well known.

Good luck which ever you decide. May the odds be in your favor!

Succession Planning

Image from Pierce CFO.com

Succession Planning

Last week I had the pleasure of (driving in the rain and Atlanta traffic with bad directions) attending the August SHRM-ATL Power Breakfast where the topic was succession planning.

I looked at the event as a combination of factors. The content would be useful as this is an upcoming project I am pitching to the C-Suite and Board at the nonprofit I volunteer for. The content is good to understand for professional development and seeing how senior leadership could perceive and do things for my paid job. I also thought I might get an opportunity to network some.

Unfortunately, I arrived just as the event was starting and everyone left quickly, so there was no opportunity to network.

Some observations, the food choices were limiting (tasteless, rubbery eggs or pancakes, and fruit.), the check in process was smooth and friendly, leaving volunteers asked to have name badges turned in – yay for recycling! – and I didn’t see anyone else tweeting or taking notes. Although a look at the hashtag #shrmatl shows one other person did one tweet.

In fact other than a very few who appeared engaged in the discussion, others appeared to be bored and suffering. There was one team (of two) at my table who were discussing business! Luckily it was only for a few minutes, but I sent out a snarky tweet and was very close to asking them to take it into the hallway as they were distracting from the panel speakers.

So let’s see if I can make sense of my notes a week after the fact!

  • Succession planning can either be done top down or bottom up, the latter tends to be more robust and gets more buy in from line management.
  • Recruiters can/should have a monthly matrix to compare internal and external with regards to relocation and mobility. Note, relo/mobility is the biggest stumbling block to internal mobility.
  • Annual reviews of process should be done to reveal gaps in the process and for any position.
  • Succession planning always starts with the job description, then hierarchy, navigating the maze (how to get there from here), getting and using data, then aspirations.
  • Everyone (internally) should be a focus, by reviewing their core skills and leadership potential.
  • HR can facilitate between the business and EE roles in the process. The process does need buy in and discussion between the EE, manager, and organization (i.e. HR.)
  • There tends to be a lot of generational discrimination that needs to be addressed in the process.
  • HR needs to do more to connect and build relationships/connections, this helps grease the wheels of the succession planning process.
  • HR and managers also need to build the value in lateral transfers to build experience.
  • Managers and EEs should chat regularly (quarterly at least) to discuss what energizes the EE, what additional responsibilities they want to take on and where their aspirations lie.
  • It is vital to keep the lines of communication open as situations change. (And to know when they change!)
  • Sometimes it is best for employees to “boomerang” so that they can gain experiences and interact with different managers that they would not have access to. This sort of development helps both the employee and the organization.
  • HR (and the C-Suite if HR isn’t part of it) should review the organization to build in cross functional experience.This will help increase the number of potential successors.
  • Don’t wait until someone is 100% ready to move into a new role, instead if someone is 80% of the way there let them start. There was also discussion about those who are 60 to 80% ready should be developed to get them to the next level of readiness.
  • Succession planning can be viewed as a talent ecosystem.
  • High potential employees should be regularly (quarterly) assessed based on success factors and competencies to reduce/remove subjectivity.
  • Technology should be used to support the conversations had with regards to succession planning and readiness, it should not be a crutch.
  • Remove secrets and help each other.
  • It was suggested to change the title from Talent Management to Workforce planning – to which my notes indicate (yawn).
  • Data and Analytics can be used to see where there is movement, skill gaps, diversity gaps, and who is developing internally. It is recommended to review semiannually with managers and annually with the Cs and Board.
  • Use data and analytics to do a SWOT and build a three year plan. (To which I say, build in flexibility and ability to ramp up because times are changing fast!)
  • Use data and analytics to keep an eye on high risk in critical roles/people.
  • With regards to boomerangs, exit interviews of the panelists show that more leave due to manager or the commute, not pay. They rarely see a boomerang come back and be out of range (pay grade.)
  • Finally, the last points were to find ways to build succession planning into the culture so that the building of relationships and thus the necessary conversations are easier, more frequent, and less formal.