Fine Point Consulting Newsletter - November 2020

We Have A Lot to Be Grateful For

As we move into the Holiday Season every November, we often find ourselves reflecting on the past year and reminding ourselves what we have to be thankful for.

At Fine Point, I am thankful that we have such an amazing team and can use Slack and other technology tools to stay united while most of us are working remotely. With team members across the US, we still manage to create and maintain a tight knit group of individuals who share the same drive and passion for serving our clients. Our spread out team is also always actively contributing to our FPC company culture, which makes work more productive and fun for all of us.

I am also thankful for our clients. Every day I am amazed by the incredible things they are doing for the community but even more so I am impressed by how many of them have pivoted to come up with solutions related to COVID-19. I know we say it all the time, but with Thanksgiving, it is never more appropriate - We are grateful to partner with each of our unique and driven clients!

While this year has not been easy by any means, having these groups of people around me have made this year not only survivable but enjoyable. 

Personally, as we are coming into winter, I am thankful for Grace Coffee Company, heated blankets, and Hallmark Christmas Movies. What are you grateful for?

Read on to see what the rest of our team is thankful for!

President, Fine Point Consulting

Get HR-Ready for 2021

5 Tips for the New (and hopefully better) Year

Here we are, wrapping up the year 2020, which ends the longest decade ever! Seriously - as slow as it has seemed to go by as we were masked and quarantined for most of the year, we are quickly approaching a new year. That means it is a great time to reflect and focus on tips for HR success in 2021.

  1. Send out those reminders! HR can stay ahead of yearly compliance (and administrative headaches) by sending out key reminders to employees before the holidays. We recommend including notices about PTO balances, updating personal info for W2s, FSA & HSA reminders, and benefit enrollment changes.
  1. Address COVID-19 Concerns: It’s still too soon to tell when the COVID-19 outbreak will abate, and workers can safely return to offices and worksites. Be sure that all of your pandemic policies are up to date and in line with the most current legislation and health-related guidelines (such as those from the CDC and your local government). Have the following updated and ready to roll: a company safety plan, testing policy, rehiring strategy, and returning to work letters.
  1. Review Your PTO Policy: When was the last time you reviewed and updated your paid time off policy? With coronavirus and changing employee benefits preferences, as well as remote working, consider making changes to your PTO offering.
  1. 2021 Changes: Heading into a new year, the IRS often makes adjustments to required forms (like 1095-Cs), and even overtime thresholds and HSA contribution limits. Be actively looking for these vital updates, and communicate changes to your team, when applicable.
  1. Consider Your Culture: Reflect a bit on your company culture. What is working for your company? What isn’t? What changes could you make to improve retention, recruitment, and engagement?

Fine Point HR can be a valuable resource as you navigate the new year. Contact for all of your HR needs today!

Employee Productivity Tips

Over these unusual past few months, we got feedback from our team that they were struggling to stay productive while working at home and navigating their different challenges. At a recent staff meeting, we asked everyone to share their favorite productivity tip so that we can all learn from each other. Since we are in the season of giving, we wanted to share some of these tips with hopes one or two will resonate with you and help make your days more productive and efficient.

Turn your notifications off

It helps give you time to focus on getting tasks done without getting constantly distracted. You can remind yourself to turn them back on by setting a phone alarm.

Create a list for the day

Write down 3-4 things that you must get done so that you prioritize those over the dozens of other tasks that you would like to get done that day.

Give yourself a mental break

Step away from your computer for 10-15 minutes, allowing you to reset and refocus. If you are stuck with something, change your scenery to give your brain a moment to relax!

Try a white noise machine or music

Use a white noise machine or listen to music to block out distractions!

Create a morning routine

Create a morning routine to complete tasks at home before work so you can give your full attention to work tasks without thinking about all the other things you need to do in your house.

Finish your least favorite task first

Start the morning by completing your least favorite task for the day. When that is done, you get to move on to completing tasks you enjoy doing more.

Give yourself an uninterrupted hour in the morning

Try to not open Slack or your email right away in the morning. Give yourself an hour to concentrate before you get distracted with messages and emails.

Create lists

Whether they be through Asana, on a notebook, in Excel, or on a sticky note, make lists for what you want to get done.

*Bonus: If you write on sticky notes, you get the satisfaction of throwing them away once you’re done with the tasks on them!

Put your phone away

In order to avoid distractions, make sure you set your phone out of reach so you can give your full attention to the tasks at hand.

Get plenty of sleep

Finally, make sure you are well rested, as that gives you have the most focusing potential the next day.


“The entire Fine Point team is available, flexible, and adaptable to the demands of our unique business. For a vendor to make that jump to what I would consider a partner is an abnormally high bar for me, but Fine Point creates a really good balance and support.”

Derek Blackmore
Chief of Staff

What is the FPC Team Thankful For?

In the spirit of the holidays, we asked our team to each share one thing that they have are thankful for. From staying healthy and adult beverages, we have come up with quite the list!

“Leggings!” - Steph, HR Practice Leader

“I'm thanking for WFH while still staying connected to my team, AND that Liquor Stores were considered an "Essential Business" during the shutdown.” - Gail, Accounting Manager

“My new cooking hobby.” - Allie, Assistant Controller

“I am thankful for the beautiful 20 acres of woods and trails we have to explore here at home. Without the woods and natural beauty, I don't think I'd survive remote life.” - Bailey, Assistant Controller

“I am thankful for Trader Joe’s awesome selection of cheap wines! I got to try a FEW of them in the last 8 months. I'm also thankful that my family and myself have managed to stay healthy.” - Rossela, Staff Accountant

“I'm "pandemic thankful" for TV. With work, and my husband and kids full time at home, a) I don't who would've been raising my children if there wasn't any TV and b) this is my escape when I want to relax after a long day, pretty much Monday through Sunday.” - Val, Staff Accountant

“Because of the pandemic, I'm thankful for the amount of family time I have gotten that I otherwise would not have!” - Hunter, Staff Accountant

“I am thankful that both I and my immediate family have remained healthy throughout this dangerous time.” - Leroy, Controller

“My pandemic thankfuls are my husband and kids being mostly good quarantine buddies, and not making me completely lose my mind being stuck in quarantine with them, and working at FPC, both being able to work remotely and the awesome and fun people that are part of the team. Being able to interact with them and share their humor helped me not feel so isolated.” - Angie, Staff Accountant

“I’m thankful for the four essentials to surviving COVID-19: water, hops, barley, and wheat.” - Brad, Controller

“I'm thankful for starting my dream job with amazing coworkers during the uncertainty of this pandemic!” - Erica, Staff Accountant

“During all this togetherness, I'm thankful we splurged on the king-size bed that fits two parents, two kids, and two animals for our many snuggles and movie nights.” - Louisa, Tax Practice Leader

“I'm thankful that all of my friends and family have remained safe and healthy during the pandemic. I'm also thankful that I can work from home and create a daily schedule that allows me to balance work and my personal life.” - Jason, Milwaukee Practice Leader

FPC Meet and Greet: Erica Laube, Staff Accountant

Fine Point Consulting is delighted to introduce one of our newest team members, Erica Laube, who is responsible for completing the day-to-day accounts receivable and accounts payable tasks for our clients. Erica also gets to run payroll for our clients and provide them accounting support on a daily level as well as support the monthly reporting for our clients.

Mark Your Calendar!

  • 11/26 Thanksgiving (Bank Holiday)
  • 12/25 Christmas Day (Bank Holiday)
  • 12/31 End of Year and Q4
  • 1/1/21 New Year's Day (Bank Holiday)

Fine Point Consulting is a boutique consulting firm offering expert-level professional accounting & human resources services customized to meet your budget. We help entrepreneurs who are trying to scale fast, get more done, and stay lean.

Call us today for your free consultation at 877-535-1183 or use the button below