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Employer Encouraged Work-Life Balance

Everyone seems to talk about work-life balance, and we all say we want it – but as employers how can we show our employees that we actually value balance in THEIR life?

Happy employees are the best employees. They stay at their job, they do better work, and they gladly take on tasks. Therefore it makes senses that promoting work-life balance within your employee team makes for happier employees. So how do you go about endorsing it?

Consistent expectations and structure within your office provides your team a reliable environment. Of course things change from time-to-time and urgent needs arise, but an organization with a reliable culture keeps anxiety at bay; the first step toward happier employees.

Now, lead by example. Are you at your desk late into the evening? Are you modeling a healthy balance between your work and free time? It’s one thing to spout valuing personal time, but often employees feel they can’t leave the office at 5:00 or 6:00 p.m. because “the boss” is peering at them from behind the desk as they walk out!

Create a culture that values vacation. If your company offers paid vacation, holiday, or personal time – encourage your team to use it. Make sure your employees understand the parameters around requesting time off and the preferred vacation season (if any) within your company. Then, be accommodating – both with time and job coverage. Remind employees if their vacation time accumulates or expires.

If you have the budget, company outings such as corporate-paid lunches, happy hours, team-building seminars, or celebrations foster a culture of team bonding and give your employees the feeling of camaraderie and belonging. Feeling part of the team boosts morale and engagement, making your employees happier and more willing to put extra effort into their work.

Many companies have embraced flex-time, flex-schedule, or work from home options. If these are possibilities for your type of business, and won’t compromise productivity, clearly they are great ways to promote work-life balance.

Generally, balance doesn’t have to mean more or extended time away from the office, but creating the culture of a positive work environment where job anxiety and frustration is not spilling over into life outside the office. Knowing they have the support of their employer to take a vacation, a sick day, or to telecommute from time to time gives employees a sense of worth, and the knowledge that their employer respects their time, both in the office and out!

Employer Encouraged Work-Life Balance

GAAP vs. IFRS

GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) is the accounting standard used in the United States, while IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) is the accounting standard used in over 110 countries around the world. GAAP is considered a more “rules based” system of accounting, while IFRS is more “principles based”.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) goals and efforts both domestically and internationally have been to consistently pursue the achievement of fair, liquid, and efficient capital markets. Doing this provides investors with information that is accurate, timely, comparable, and reliable. One of the ways the SEC has pursued these goals is by upholding the domestic quality of financial reporting as well as encouraging the convergence of the U.S. and IFRS standards.

The aim is that by the time the SEC allows or mandates the use of IFRS for U.S. publicly traded companies, most or all of the key differences will have been resolved. Because of these ongoing convergence projects, the extent of specific differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP are shrinking. However, key differences remaining include:

IFRS does not permit Last In First Out (LIFO) as an inventory costing method.

IFRS uses a single-step method for impairment write-downs rather than the two-step method used in U.S. GAAP; making write-downs more likely.

IFRS has a different probability threshold and measurement objective for contingencies.

IFRS guidance regarding revenue recognition is less extensive than GAAP and contains relatively little industry-specific instruction.

In its strategic document, the Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014–2018, the SEC mentions that it is willing to consider the idea of a single set of global accounting standards. However, it never mentions IFRS. Although full adoption of IFRS in the United States continues to face long odds, understanding IFRS remains extremely important for investors and U.S. companies.