Archives for June 2012

The Role of Human Resources Within an Organization

There are so many moving parts and various functions that go into running a company.  For instance, I work for a rather large Fortune 500 company, we have many different departments: Controlling, Human Resources, Marketing, Sales, Research & Development, and many others.  It used to be that HR played a background role within a company, mainly handling interview, compensation requests, and employee disputes.  Now they handle pension plans and investments, as well as the overall training regimen of the organization.  The technical expertise that was once lacking in this area is becoming more well-rounded within any successful organization.  I too once held a less than stellar opinion of human resource employees.  After all, I am a finance guy, I deal with numbers and the cold hard facts, I prefer to ditch the intangible measurements altogether.  Slowly as I see the inter-workings of a complex organization I can see the need for human resources more and more each day.

Many accredited schools have started to offer masters in human resources. The educational resources for HR professionals is becoming increasingly more abundant.  It used to be that many accredited universities lacked any specialized HR training and/or degrees.  During my tenure in college most HR aspiring students would get a general business degree and hope for the best after graduation.  We are even seeing an international push for human resources as more people are receiving a CIPD qualification.  A CIPD qualification is an important HR certification in the UK that is viewed upon favorably by employers.  There are even three increasingly difficult levels of certification that can be achieved.  Just as any degree, there are a lot of online offerings for HR degrees, as well as various certifications that are available to the public.  Even if you have an undergraduate degree in a non-related field, a human resources degree can be useful and achieved through a masters program.

Avoiding Personal Finance Pitfalls

Maintaining your personal financial situation is a difficult and sometimes confusing process. Using a lot of planning and records for your finances can make it easier later. Online banking can make it easier to track your funds, but you still must make an effort to track it manually.


If you are planning on going out on pay-day weekend, it is a good idea to put some money aside on Thursday and not spend anymore than that. When you get paid Friday, just leave it alone. Doing this will ensure that the money is all there on Monday, when you may be far more likely to exercise greater discipline.


If you’re planning to buy a vehicle or a home, you need to initially improve your score when it comes to credit. You can positively establish yourself with a creditor by taking out a modest loan and paying it back promptly, or try obtaining a few credit cards and paying them regularly. Pay more than you need to on every bill you have.


Discuss your financial picture with those you love. This will help them understand why you are not going out with them as much. It is easy for friends to assume the wrong thing when you make excuses about going places, simple because you cannot afford it. Keep your friends and be sure to let them know about the things that are happening in your life.


Financial mistakes happen but you should do your best to learn from them and to not repeat them. One bounced check may be forgiven by your bank. If you talk them, they may waive the overdraft fee. This is a one-time courtesy that is sometimes extended to people who keep a steady balance and avoid overdrafts.


Make use of a flexible account for spending. This money is not taxable, which translates into big savings.


Avoiding debt as much as possible is one of the fundamentals of keeping a tight grip on your personal finances. A loan is appropriate for buying cars and homes. But you should not charge your credit cards for everything.


In order to get the most out of the property that you own, take steps to control the cash flow in to and out of it. Keep track of all your cash receipts and expenses to assess your investment’s performance each month. You must have an established property budget.


You can save money on bedding by buying covers, pillows and sheets at bargain stores. The materials at these stores are of the same quality as more expensive materials, but you can save money on them, and it can save you time to go to one store rather than going to different specialty shops for each piece. If you do the research and find the best prices, it can go a long way to helping with your personal finance goals.


Set aside a portion of your income to protect against unforeseen emergencies. An emergency fund will provide you with a cushion to enable you to survive unforeseeable financial hardships like long term illness or job loss. You can make saving more easy by using this automatic deduction directly into your savings account.


Don’t try to save money by putting off needed maintenance. If you see a minor problem now and don’t fix it, it will become a major problem later. The small expenses associated with maintaining your home or car are minimal when compared to what it will cost you to make any major repairs.


By knowing how much money you spend each month, you put yourself in a better position to take care of unexpected expenses, while also avoiding any bank fees or overdraft charges. You can feel positive about your finances when you take an active role in managing them, rather than relying on a financial adviser or a bank.

Does Online Banking Put Your Money at Risk?

Banking online is becoming increasingly common. You can track balances, check purchases and deposits and even pay bills through your bank’s website. Banks use layers of security for online activity, but you’re not entirely safe, as the threat may come from somewhere else.

Scam Target

Online banking customers have become targets for scams designed to get sensitive account information. One common method aimed at those using online banking involves “phishing” for information through email and cell phone texts.

Phishing involves the use of fake emails, websites and text alerts to unsuspecting customers. The scammers pose as your bank and ask you to visit a website or call a number to verify account information. Any information you give is then used by the scammers to gain access to your account.

A bank will not text you or email you asking for sensitive information because of the security risk. Always call the number you have for your bank and confirm information requests before you give any data out.


If you’re banking online, you can help to protect your account and your information by taking some simple steps. Use a password that’s a mix of upper and lowercase letters and numbers.

Don’t use obvious letter combinations in your password, such as your middle name, or repeating numbers in a row. Although using the same password across different accounts is convenient, if one account is hacked, the thief can use the password to access other accounts as well.

Confirm you’re on your bank’s actual website before logging in if you’re not sure or the website looks different. Some fake webpages are very sophisticated and you might not be able to tell if the website is phony at first glance.

Check the website’s authenticity by verifying the security certificate. Visit the official website of your internet browser to find out how to check security certificates, as the procedure is different for each browser.

If you’re unable to determine a website’s authenticity, get the actual website address for your bank and type it directly into your address bar. You can get the address from your bank or usually by checking your bank card or statement.

Don’t store your password on your computer or on your bank’s website. If you lose your computer or an unauthorized person gains access to it, your password will be compromised.

Another common mistake people make is storing passwords on a cell phone. If you lose your cell phone, the person who finds it will have access to the passwords stored on your phone.

While you might not have the bank the password belongs to identified on your cell phone, there may be other clues to the bank’s identity on there. For example, if you called the bank recently, the phone number is probably still stored in your call log.


Distance Learning to Enhance Your Future

Do you want to make more money? Do you feel like you are underpaid? Do I sound like one of those commercials on the tv and radio?  Whether I do, or I don’t, the answer to those questions is most likely “yes”.  I say this with confidence since most people feel underpaid and underappreciated with their employers.  Believe it or not I feel exactly the opposite!  My work pays me well, and treats me even better, though the hours at times can be a bit overwhelming.  How did I find such a job, you ask?  It’s simple, I got a great education, and then I got another one!

I received my BBA in finance several years ago, and immediately returned to school for my MBA.  After all, it’s the norm to further your education these days.  You are simply forced to keep up with the pack.  However, in the back of my mind I knew I would have to work while attending classes for my MBA, after all the average cost is about $60,000 for a degree.  Many employers will pay most, if not all, of your tuition costs.  Anything that keeps me (and you) away from student loans is the way to go.  Distance learning courses were the answer to my prayers.  I could still work full time and work towards my degree.  There are also related distance learning courses UK, for those of outside of the U.S.  A few short years later and it has already paid off!

The stigma that goes along with distance and online learning used to be a negative one, and now it is quickly becoming the norm.  Several of the “top 20” universities are now offering at least a partial course schedule that is available online, and in other cases they are offering full degrees via distance learning.  You no longer have to travel, pay room and board, or even leave your bedroom in order to obtain a quality degree and education.