News & Events

Gratitude, Grace, and the Art of the Thank You Note

BY: Emily Garelli | February 5, 2023

Thank you. These two words, sincerely written, exemplify grace and gratitude. In today’s changing job market, a thank you note can help hiring managers make their decision.

A recent survey by Ask Your Target Market found that only 25% of people send thank you notes following a professional interaction (i.e. job interview, networking event, etc.). With only one in four job applicants properly thanking their interviewer or potential employer, sending a well-written thank you note is sure to set a potential hire apart from the rest.

The same survey found that 72% of respondents think that paper thank you notes are more meaningful than electronic ones. When determining whether to send an electronic or a paper thank you note, consider the recipient. If they travel frequently or have expressed that they have little regard for handwritten notes, then an email should be sufficient. Paper, however, remains the preferred method.

Regardless of how a thank you note is sent, there are three rules to follow:

• Be prompt – the more time goes by following the interaction, the less impactful the note will be – a “sweet spot” is 2-3 days following the meeting.
• Be professional – whether it is handwritten or electronic, avoid exclamation marks, smiley faces, etc.
• Be precise – as succinctly as possible, remind the individual of how you can best help them (or their organization) achieve their goals.

The Oxford Dictionary defines gratitude as “…the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness…” In pursuing a new job, group membership, board position, etc. a well-crafted thank you note can help increase the chances of success.

For information on job searches or networking tips, please contact Marco & Associates at 312.590.6107 or online at www.marcoassociates.com. Most importantly, thank you for reading, and sharing, our content.

#gratitude #thankfulness #thankyou #thankyounotes #jobsearch #networking #meeting #recruiting #staffing #hiring #finance #accounting #chicago #boardmembership


Top Audit Risks You Can Avoid By Having The Right Accounting Talent in Place

BY: Clique Studios | September 7, 2022

As a business owner or finance executive, you want to do all you can to avoid being audited. Although the IRS has every right to thoroughly review your company’s income and expenses, it takes a significant amount of time and money to answer questions, prove you made the reported amount of money, and are due specific deductions. That time and money could be better used elsewhere. Fortunately, with the right accounting talent in place, you can avoid certain risks that may trigger an audit.

Reporting a Net Loss in More Than Two of Five Years

If your company does not report three years of profits in a five-year period, you increase your odds of being audited. The IRS requires that a business make or attempt to make a profit. If it is costing more to run than it is bringing in, you must show that you are running the business with the intention of making income. Having a business plan, marketing campaign, and profitability projections can show that you are running a business.

Consistently Filing Late Returns or Paying Taxes Late

If your company fails to follow filing requirements and meet deadlines, you are more likely to get audited. An employer has a fiduciary responsibility to withhold payroll tax and transmit tax in a timely manner. As a result, you have to file payroll tax returns for all employee compensation. The amount reported as your total compensation expense for income tax returns needs to match the amount reported for payroll tax. If you anticipate owing a minimum of $500 in taxes for your business by year-end, you need to be making estimated quarterly tax payments. Failure to do so may result in penalties and increased risk for an audit.

Paying Unreasonably High Salaries

If you or your shareholders who are employees receive unreasonably high salaries, your chances of being audited increase. Corporations may deduct executive pay, making it appear to be tax-free income at the corporate level. The salary typically is supplemented with dividends that are taxed at both the corporate and personal level. Since overpaying a salary is how some corporate executives try to avoid the double-taxation issue, the IRS studies how much of an executive’s pay is considered salary and how much is in dividends. In contrast, since the pass-through structure of an S-corporation lets income flow through the company directly to the business owner, and that profit typically is not subject to payroll taxes, some owners attempt to underpay themselves to minimize the total payroll tax withholding.

Decrease Audit Risks with Accounting Talent

Marco & Associates, a leading accounting and finance recruiting firm, has the accounting professionals you need on a project, interim, and consulting basis to reduce your risk of being audited. Reach out to us today so we can learn more about your company and its needs.


Celebrating the ADA: Benefits of Hiring Disabled Employees

BY: Emily Garelli | July 19, 2022

During the month of July we recognize the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July of 1990. Businesses who activity employ those with disabilities outperform those who do not with 28% higher revenues. Net income is two times more, and profit margins are higher by 30%. These employers also enjoy a 90% increase in employee retention.

According to business.com, “If American companies were to actively participate in hiring people with disabilities, they would have access to a talent pool of more than 10.7 million people with diverse strengths, leadership styles and ways of thinking. The study also reports that the GDP could see a boost of nearly $25 billion if just 1% more people with disabilities joined the workforce.”

Marco & Associates is an equal opportunity employer. For more information on employment through Marco & Associates, please call us at 312.590.6107 to discuss career opportunities.

#disabilityemployment #disabilitypridemonth #ada #employment #jobs #recruiting #talent #accessibility #mda #coalitiontocurecalpain3 #speakfoundation


Chicago Accounting & Finance Organizations: A Definitive List

BY: Clique Studios | June 21, 2019


It has often been said “it’s not what you know but who you know.”  And while these words of wisdom ring true for those with a vast network, what about those of us who are just now jumping into a new field or have relocated from another city and have no true connections to speak of?

With that in mind, we’ve put together an extensive list of Accounting & Finance organizations with Chapters in the Chicagoland area to allow local professionals that are eager to expand their network an opportunity to discover all of the great organizations that Chicago has to offer.




American Accounting Association (AAA)

“The American Accounting Association is the largest community of accountants in academia.  Founded in 1916, we have a rich and reputable history built on leading-edge research and publications.  The diversity of our membership creates a fertile environment for collaboration and innovation.  Collectively, we shape the future of accounting through teaching, research and a powerful network, ensuring our position as thought leaders in accounting.”


American Payroll Association (APA)

“The Chicago Chapter of the American Payroll Association is an organization on payroll professionals.  The Chicago Chapter was established in 1983 as the first local chapter for payroll professionals in the State of Illinois.  The Chapter is managed by a group of volunteers who dedicate their time and share their knowledge with chapter members.”


Independent Accountants Association of Illinois (IAAI)

“The Independent Accountants Association of Illinois (IAAI) was established in 1949 and is the Illinois State Affiliate Organization of the National Society of Accountants (NSA).  In this age of specialization, IAAI continues to fill an important niche, providing education and information to its members who serve small businesses and individuals.  Through interaction at Local Chapter Meetings, Seminars and State Meetings, members are in a position to alert clients about important tax law changes and changes in business practices that affect their business and financial activities.”


Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS)

“Founded in 1903, the Illinois CPA Society is one of the largest state CPA societies in the nation with more than 24,600 members.  We are an essential partner in your success, providing you with convenient and customized education, timely and relevant information, influential advocacy, and countless opportunities to make powerful professional connections.”


Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)

“IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) is the worldwide association of accountants and financial professionals in business.  Founded in 1919, we are on the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession.  We are committed to empowering our 100,000+ members – and those throughout the rest of the profession – to strengthen on-the-job skills, better manage companies, and accelerate careers.”


National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)

“The Chicago Chapter of The National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. is part of a nationwide professional association with the primary purpose of developing, encouraging and serving as a resource for greater participation by African-Americans and other minorities in the accounting and finance professions.”





Chicago Finance Exchange (CFE)

“Founded in 1980, CFE is an invitation only organization with over 230 members who are senior women leaders in finance across Chicago’s public, private, and non-profit business community.  CFE provides an integrated offering of professional and networking events on critically relevant topics for its members.  CFE has been named on the Chicago’s eight most exclusive business clubs by Crain’s Chicago Business.”


Chicago Financial Women (CFW)

“Chicago Financial Women is committed to expanding the professional networks of Chicago-area women in Finance.  We provide networking opportunities through professional development, educational enrichment, and social gatherings in the spirit of fun, friendship, and camaraderie.  Chicago Financial Women is a NFP organization.”


Financial Executives International (FEI)

“FEI is the professional association of choice for the corporate finance executive, and strives to be the most contemporary, dynamic and proactive organization of its kind.  FEI’s Chicago Chapter was chartered in November 1993.  The chapter has close to 500 members representing a broad spectrum of companies, operating in numerous industries.  Chapter membership provides the opportunity to interact and network with local senior financial leaders in virtually all industries and company sizes.”


Financial Managers Society (FMS)

“The Financial Managers Society was formed in 1948 when a group of Controllers from the Chicago area banded together and formed the Society of Savings and Loan Controllers with a mission to enhance the professional development of financial personnel within financial institutions.”


Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)

“With more than 1,000 members, the First Illinois Chapter is the nation’s premier membership organization in the greater Chicagoland area for healthcare finance leaders.  Our members are employed by hospitals, integrated delivery systems, managed care organizations, medical practice groups, long-term and ambulatory care facilities, public accounting and consulting firms, insurance companies, government agencies and other organizations.”


Risk Management Association (RMA)

“The Risk Management Association (RMA) is a not-for-profit, member-driven professional association serving the financial services industry.  Its sole purpose is to advance the use of sound risk management principles in the financial services industry.  RMA promotes and enterprise approach to risk management that focuses on credit risk, market risk, operational risk, securities lending, and regulatory issues.”


Treasury Management Association of Chicago (TMAC)

“Treasury Management Association (TMAC) is a premier treasury management association in the greater Chicagoland area and suburbs for financial and treasury professionals.  Our members come from across all industries with backgrounds and experience in Cash Management, Investments, Corporate Finance, Risk Management, Insurance, Financial Planning and Treasury Strategy.”





Chicago Tax Club (CTC)

“The Chicago Tax Club, organized in 1933, is a nonprofit association consisting of individual tax professionals employed by corporations and other businesses.  The principal function of our organization is providing educational and networking events, in order to assist our members in identifying and resolving tax compliance, planning and audit issues relating to their employers.”


Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA)

“Established in 1943, The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) is an international professional association with global headquarters in Lake Mary, Florida, USA.  The IIA is the internal audit profession’s global voice, recognized authority, acknowledged leader, chief advocate, and principal educator.  Generally, members work in internal auditing, risk management, governance, internal ccontrol, imormation technology audit, education, and security.  The Chicago Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) serves the Chicago Metropolitan Area.  The Chapter has over 2,000 current members.”


Did we leave an organization with a Chicago Chapter out? Let us know here!


Your Employer Made a Counteroffer…Now What?

BY: Clique Studios | June 14, 2019


In the current competitive market, employers are well aware of the challenges of not only attracting new talent to join their organization, but also retaining the great employees that they currently have. In order to help prevent great employees from leaving their organization, employers will often present a counteroffer upon the receipt of a resignation.

If you are ever on the receiving end of a counteroffer, it may sound tempting at first.  A boost in pay, promises of a promotion, and no learning curve; what’s not to like?

But before you accept an enticing counteroffer, ask yourself these important questions:

  •  If a raise or promotion is only presented to you in response to your resignation, why was your true value not recognized earlier? Will you have to threaten to quit every time you want a promotion or increase in salary?
  • Since you had already planned on resigning, will your loyalty to the company remain in question after you accept the counteroffer? If so, how will that affect your professional relationships in the organization?
  • Is it possible that the counteroffer was made to stall as they find a suitable replacement for you?
  • Do the terms of the counteroffer really satisfy all of the reasons you originally had for wanting to leave?

If you don’t find the answer to any of these questions to be satisfactory, it is likely best to respectfully decline the offer.  So, how do you decline without burning any bridges? Remember to be appreciative, assertive, and accommodating in your response.

For example, your response could go something like this:

“Thank you for the offer, Mrs./Mr. ________.  Out of respect to the commitment that I have made to my future employer, I must respectfully decline.  I am committed to ensuring that there is a smooth transition as you back-fill my position and am willing to provide any assistance that I can after my time here is concluded.”

Keeping your response short and professional will almost always ensure that your professional relationship will remain intact and you can pursue your new opportunity free of guilt or regrets.







Hiring Headaches You Can Avoid: Interview Duds

BY: Clique Studios | May 23, 2019


It would be fair to assume that the vast majority of candidates going into an interview do not want to bomb it.  It’s also fair to assume that many candidates unintentionally will – it’s just the nature of the process.  But what if I told you that it may not necessarily be their fault?

For many candidates, interviews are a high-pressure situation.  In this environment they will accidentally say the wrong things, forget to say things that they should have mentioned, or unintentionally convey the wrong message through their body language.

As an interviewer, your role is to steer the conversation and address anything that seems “off”, giving the candidate an opportunity to either clarify, explain, or correct their behavior. Implementing the below tips will ensure that whether the interview gets back on track or not, you have a clear and definitive understanding of the candidate and their capabilities.


Watch for Reg Flags

A successful interviewer knows how to watch for red flags during the interview. For instance, if a flag relates to a resume or the responses a candidate gives, try asking probing questions to explain the incongruity. For example, “I’m concerned because your resume shows experience with software ABC, but your answers do not show much knowledge about it.” Or, if a candidate makes comments about manager disputes or negatively speaks about a former employer, dig deeper to find out more information. “You listed on your resume that you left for personal reasons. Did you quit with two weeks’ notice or were you released by the company?”


Uncover Character Traits

Interviewers should not be hesitant to evaluate candidates’ character traits. For instance, if a candidate is late, rude or displays spelling or grammatical errors on their resume, give them a chance to explain their actions. Candidates who provide excuses rather than take responsibility for their actions typically treat their job the same way. However, if a personality trait such as lack of eye contact seems to be an issue, try asking questions to uncover reasons behind it. Perhaps the candidate has a disability that causes them to act differently than other professionals. As long as they can perform the job duties, they may remain in the running.


Keep the Candidate Focused

A key component of a successful interview is keeping the candidate focused. If a candidate becomes too comfortable and begins discussing personal issues rather than the job, ask them to briefly elaborate and then steer them back on track. For instance, if the candidate admits to having a felony or misdemeanor, you should dig for more information while remaining within legal limits. Or, if the candidate shares that they recently had a death in the family, respond with compassion and suggest rescheduling the interview.


Look for Core Values

When evaluating a candidate, pay attention to a candidate’s core values first, skills and experience second. If a candidate fits with company culture, they are more likely to succeed in a role than one who does not. Loyalty, respect, quality of work and integrity are more important than technical skills.  Skills can always be taught;core values cannot.


Interview Qualified Candidates from Chicagoland’s Premiere Boutique Recruiting Agency

Marco & Associates is a leading Chicagoland accounting and finance executive search and interim contract placement firm. Our recruiters help you meet business goals by taking a consultative approach and providing qualified candidates. Get in touch with us today.


Hiring Headaches You Can Avoid: Fruitless Screening

BY: Clique Studios | May 17, 2019


Screening candidates is an important part of the hiring process. Determining which candidates to call in for interviews, which to keep in your talent pool and which to leave out lets you maximize the time spent on face-to-face interactions. However, there may be elements of your hiring process that are unknowingly causing you to eliminate top talent. Follow these guidelines to make sure your screening process yields the types of candidates you seek.


Write Effective Job Postings

When you write effective job postings, you gain qualified candidates. Make your postings exciting by showing why a talented person may be interested in the role. Include only the top five key responsibilities, tasks and skill requirements. Talk directly to job seekers rather than saying “the right candidate” to make it more personal and help them envision working for you. Use descriptive words in short sentences. Explain how the role helps your company achieve its mission. Share your company vision and values and top employees’ personality traits for candidates to determine whether they fit with your culture.      


Use an Effective Applicant Tracking System

Implement a user-friendly applicant tracking system (ATS). Candidates want an efficient method to apply for jobs online. Hiring managers need an intuitive ATS interface that takes little effort to understand and use. ATS features should streamline candidate management. ATS integrations need to work with tools and platforms your hiring team uses to be most effective. Your ATS should provide effective recruitment metrics and reports to evaluate your hiring team’s performance. 


Train the Interviewers

Make sure your interview team is properly trained. Each person needs to understand the job and be able to answer common questions about what a typical day is like, who the internal and external customers for the position are, and which milestones and metrics the new hire will be evaluated by. To ensure consistency among interviewers, you may have newer interviewers shadow experienced ones, then have them switch roles and provide feedback. Before the interview, the new interviewer meets with the experienced one to present their plan of action, including questions and follow-up questions they plan to ask, answers they anticipate and how the questions will help make a decision. The experienced interviewer provides feedback to the less experienced one. During the interview, the new interviewer leads while the experienced one listens and interjects if needed. After the interview, both write notes and rank the candidate. Both discuss feedback and tips to improve the interview process.


Improve Your Screening Process With an Experienced Finance Staffing Firm

Work with Chicago-based Marco & Associates to fill your finance staffing needs. Our technical accounting and finance backgrounds allow us to understand your unique business challenges and leverage our extensive network of professionals to provide unmatched human capital solutions. Talk with our seasoned recruiters today.


Master the Art of Accounting and Finance Consulting

BY: Clique Studios | May 17, 2019


If you are a senior-level accounting or finance professional seeking a flexible schedule and the ability to work on a variety of challenging assignments, then working as a consultant may be for you. Companies need highly skilled accounting and finance consultants on an interim basis to address a range of business challenges. With a high level of experience and a loaded skill set, you may be a top candidate to work as an accounting or finance consultant.


Accounting Consulting Skills

As an accounting consultant, your objective is to provide clients with services that help them analyze financial information so they can make business decisions. To work as an accounting consultant, you need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance and a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant designation. Additional designations, such as a Certified Information Systems Auditor, Chartered Global Management Accountant or Certified Internal Auditor are preferred. As an accounting consultant, you analyze financial documents, offer advice to increase profitability, predict future costs and revenues, and ensure compliance with financial regulations. You also prepare and file financial reports and documents, conduct tax research and find ways to improve financial reporting processes.


Finance Consulting Skills

As a finance consultant, your objective is to help clients accomplish financial goals by assessing their financial situation, developing and presenting financial strategies and plans, and monitoring changes in financial status. To work as a financial consultant, you need a bachelor’s degree in finance. A Master of Business Administration or graduate degree in a related discipline is preferred. As a finance consultant, you begin by gathering client information about investments, asset allocation, and tax planning to asses their financial situation. Then, you evaluate the client’s risk tolerance, help establish financial goals and develop financial strategies to attain those goals. Next, you explain the proposed financial plans and options, including advantages and risks of each, answer questions, relive concerns and gain client commitment to carry out the plans. Then, you analyze financial plan results, create and evaluate new financial strategies, and recommend changes in their goals. Throughout the process, you prepare financial status analyses and reports to show the client where they are financially, where they want to be and whether they are on track to get there.


Fill Your Accounting and Finance Consulting Needs With Marco & Associates

As Chicago’s leading accounting and finance recruiting and consulting boutique, Marco & Associates connects organizations ranging in size from small startups and not-for-profits to large, publicly traded corporations with professional accounting and finance experts. Talk to us today about your consulting needs.


Hiring Headaches You Can Avoid: Search Fatigue

BY: Clique Studios | May 10, 2019



Like many employers, you may struggle to fill open roles. Although the skills shortage may be to blame, the longer you take to find qualified employees, the longer you remain operating below peak performance. You want to position yourself so when positions open, you have enough qualified candidates to choose from to continue business processes. Learn to overcome three of the most common obstacles to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your hiring process.


Cultivate Your Candidate Pools

By continually adding to your candidate pools, you always have talent to reach out to when a job opens up. A candidate pool is a small, targeted group of candidates who are prescreened, pre-assessed and potentially ready to work for you because of previous interest in a job posting. There are eight streams of talent you can use to cultivate your candidate pools: advertising, automation, candidate mining, market presence, networking, referrals, talent manufacturing, and talent scouts. Evaluate how your company accesses each stream and which streams lead to successful hires. Determine which streams hires from the last six to 12 months came from and which streams were underused. Focus on cultivating candidates from each stream to add to your pools.


Implement Accurate Interview Methods

Use interview methods that reveal whether a candidate truly can perform the work duties. For instance, think about whether each technique reveals true proof of a candidate’s fitness for the role. If it does, find out how to streamline the technique and receive the same proof. If not, determine how to replace or eliminate the technique. For instance, video interviews may be recorded and reviewed multiple times, so more team members can participate in hiring decisions. Using artificial intelligence technology, deep machine learning and facial recognition software to assess taped interviews reveals facial expressions and subtle movements to determine whether the information provided matches previous high-quality hires. Giving interviewees a problem from the job to solve lets you assess their solution and the steps they took to reach it.


Maintain a Candidate Pipeline

Cultivating a candidate pipeline means having potential hires available to choose from when needed. To assess your company’s pipelining strategies, begin by answering questions about your most critical roles. For instance, if candidates for each role are not yet ready to be hired, your pipeline needs to improve. To find qualified candidates, determine what type of person fits best with your company environment. Think about which types of candidates to target, such as those who qualify for your most frequently vacant and hard-to-fill roles. Determine how to advertise your employer brand to generate interest in joining your pipeline. Keep your pipeline engaged through email campaigns, offering an e-newsletter, and hosting events.  


Avoid Search Fatigue by Partnering With a Leading Chicago Staffing Firm

As Chicago’s leading boutique accounting and finance executive search and interim contract placement firm, Marco & Associates provides qualified candidates to help meet your business goals. Reach out to us today.


Change Management Is a Process Not a Project

BY: Clique Studios | May 9, 2019


A change management consultant works closely with your company to design, build and implement strategies to enhance business performance. The consultant’s specialized expertise helps to design and implement process and change interventions that generate value for your organization. Their proven ability to build, manage and foster a team-oriented environment and creatively work at problem-solving make them excellent leaders for change management. Find out how a change management consultant can benefit your company.


Determine the Need for Change

A consultant may begin by considering the reason for change. Although most people are uncomfortable with change, companies need to evolve to maintain their competitive edge. As a result, a consultant considers your culture and leadership goals when determining which approach to take.    


Create Urgency

The first step in creating organization-wide support for change involves creating a sense of urgency. In addition to using data and statistics to explain the reasons for change, the consultant communicates in an honest, convincing way about market pressures, competition and how the changes set up your business for additional success. Having leadership on board encourages enthusiasm about the change being positive, which trickles down throughout the organization.


Form a Coalition

During the second step of change management, a consultant further lays the foundation for change by involving those who know it will be for the better. Having supporters lead, explain and sustain the sense of urgency and need encourages those who are against change or undecided to get on board with wanting change. Having a mix of people encouraging change promotes buy-in from employees at all levels.


Create and Communicate a Vision

The third and fourth steps involve developing and communicating a clear vision of what the change will look like. The consultant helps create one or two sentences to explain the result of change. They frequently and effectively communicate the vision throughout your company. People can ask questions to better clarify what needs to happen and why. When the vision is easily explained and understood, buy-in comes more readily.


Remove Obstacles and Celebrate Wins

In the fifth and sixth steps, most people should want to achieve the vision being promoted. For those who are not yet on board, the consultant works to remove the obstacles. The consultant creates short-term, achievable targets that move the organization to attaining long-term change. Each win results in rewarding those who work to reach it.


Build on and Anchor the Change

The seventh and eighth steps involve keeping the process going to achieve long-term change. The consultant helps by continually searching for improvements, change agents, ideas and wins. They also promote continuous change as part of company culture by encouraging leaders to continue supporting the change and sharing success stories.


Find a Change Management Consultant in Chicago

Marco Management Solutions specializes in placing change management consultants on a project, interim and consulting basis. Contact us today to learn how we can help you overcome organizational challenges to implement effective change.