Thursday, September 15, 2016

Back to School Supplies for Accountants

Schools started on Long Island last week and NYC this week. How can you tell? The increase in traffic, of course! It is also getting cooler these days and I have such an urge to buy school supplies. There's something about fall and school supplies! Why leave all the fun to the kids? Yes, Accountants – You should have some new supplies this fall! 

OK, notebooks and other supplies may be considered low-tech compared to your cell phone, tablet or laptop. But I find people pay more attention when taking notes in a notebook as opposed to a laptop. Don’t you hate giving a presentation to a conference room of people who are typing away on their laptops? You hope that they’re taking notes on what you’re saying, but they are more likely responding to an e-mail. How about when you are explaining how to do something to a colleague and they just stare at you and nod? Fast forward 3 hours later, and they completely forgot everything you said. To prevent them from asking you a million questions via e-mail, rip out a page from your notebook and give it to them to take notes. 

Wise people have said that you retain more information when you put a pen(cil) to paper, and the science now proves it. Check out this article entitled “Attention, Students: Put Your Laptops Away” which references a number of recent studies that prove this theory. 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

It’s Time for Turkey Meatballs!

It’s almost time to start making fall comfort foods! Even though the meteorologists are forecasting 90 degree days this upcoming weekend here in New York, it was a little cooler earlier in the week. And the cooler weather made it the perfect time to try spaghetti and meatballs. 

I usually make my meatballs with ground beef, Greek-style with mint (like my mom does), but I decided to try ground turkey this time and make it with more of an Italian flavor. Giada has a good recipe that I based this on. I like some of her recipes, but I find her annoying. I grew up in a predominately Italian neighborhood (people who recently immigrated and also people whose families have been here in the US for a couple of generations) and nobody pronounces spaghetti as “spa-GHEE-TEE,” ever. Maybe it’s a dialect thing – she’s from Rome and my friends and old neighbors are from Southern Italy? Or maybe she likes to over-enunciate her words? In any case, she adds ketchup to her turkey meatballs, so I wanted to try that here. Let's see how that works. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

What Did We Do with All Those Tomatoes?

We are nearing the end of August and the end of summer here in New York. Even though I love the fall season, I’m not ready for summer to end just yet and wish to prolong it for as long as I can. What better way to stay in summer than a quick post about tomatoes?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

5 Reasons to Take the CPA Exam Right After College

If you recently graduated from college/university, I want to congratulate you! Well done! Are you starting a new job this fall and would rather do anything but study in your spare time? Do you want to take a short break from studying since that’s what you have been doing for most of your life? Well, despite all that, it may make more sense to take the CPA Exam sooner rather than later.

See, I made the mistake of pushing off serious studying for the CPA Exam during my first year working at a CPA firm. In the early 2000s, there were lots of layoffs in the Finance industry in New York, and this included CPA Firms. It became extremely important to have as many billable hours and not much “unassigned time.” I could not afford to lose this job and spent my free time asking Seniors for work that they needed help with instead of studying. I figured I could “wing it” on some parts and study hard later when things slowed down.

As the years went by and my personal and professional responsibilities increased, it grew more and more difficult to study. I kept trying though – passing parts, failing others. I took breaks from the Exam. This process started to repeat over and over again. If I knew then what I know now, I would have tried to find a balance between work and studying very early on in my career.  

If you sit for the CPA Exam soon after graduating, you may be able to avoid these 5 things that are currently working against me:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Some Quick Organic Quinoa

Organic Quinoa with Arugula recipe below! 

I want to substitute quinoa for the French fries that have somehow become my standard side dish over the summer. Yes, I said French fries! See, it starts slowly – Too hot to stand in front of the stove? Just bake some French fries in the toaster oven. Grilling outside and don't want to walk in and out checking on food? Bake some French fries. Call it convenience or laziness, you get used to it and before you know it, you are serving French fries with veal because “it goes” and it only takes 20 minutes. 

To break this habit, I picked up a bag of Organic Quinoa from Costco recently and have resolved to use it instead of having it sit in the pantry until it expires. It is said that white quinoa (which this one is) has a mild nutty taste; whereas red quinoa has a stronger nutty taste. From what I can remember, I noticed a slight difference, but not enough for me to declare either one tastier over the other. Then again, I am not a quinoa connoisseur.