Spotlight on Kristine Ty

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month when we celebrate the rich cultural heritage, history, and contributions of the AAPI community in the United States. It’s also a time to recognize members of the AAPI community in Accountability. We are shining the spotlight on Kristine Ty.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

With respect to ethnicity, I’m Chinese and Filipino. My dad is half-Filipino and half-Chinese, while my mom is 100% Chinese. I was born and raised in the Philippines until I was eight, then moved to Toronto, Canada. Upon graduating from university and working in AdTech for a few years, I moved to NYC, where I met my (now) husband. 

I grew up in a strict household where “children are seen but not heard”; However, children are also expected to be at the top of everything – school, piano, tennis, Kumon, etc. So if you’ve heard the term “Tiger Mom” before, it’s a very real occurrence in a typical Asian household, and my mom was and still is the textbook definition of a Tiger Mom.

It is sometimes perceived as negative, forcing and/or expecting your kids to be the best. However, it made me the person I am now… someone who is passionate about what they do and strives to be the best at what they do. I frequently tell my kids, “If you’re going to do something, do it to the best of your ability; otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.”

Can you tell us what Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means to you?

For me, AAPI Heritage Month means that our cultures and traditions are shared and celebrated with members outside our community. 

Given the past political climate and with COVID, the Asian community has been targeted rather than celebrated. I hope May will bring to light the positives of the various Asian cultures.

I wish it wasn’t limited to just one month and that it’s recognized and celebrated throughout the year. I think we are getting there, though – there are now more Asian influences in music (BTS anyone?), entertainment (look at how many won the Golden Globes this year!), food (sushi is now one of the most expensive cuisines), technology, etc. 

Asian exports are no longer considered the “cheap junk from China” but have led the global economy for the past decade. 

What is your favorite cultural tradition?

Within the Chinese and Filipino cultures, there is a strong emphasis placed on family and food. It’s expected to “go home” during holidays to celebrate with family. There is always lots of food, and it’s our way of catching up with long-lost relatives and spending time with our loved ones. Our love is evident through the food – the best dishes are always made, and you can guarantee that everyone’s favorites are considered. Also, there is never NOT enough food. Everyone goes home with at least a few food containers to tide them over for a few days.

What do you hope to see for the Asian community in the future?

Acceptance – acceptance by other races and acceptance within the Asian community. Unfortunately, even within the Asian community, some races are looked down upon. I’d like to see a world where minority groups aren’t forced against each other. It isn’t a competition. We all had struggles and hardships. One person’s struggle does not make another’s struggle insignificant. We all should treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of our skin color or which country in Asia we came from.

What is one activity or dish that everyone should try?

This dish isn’t common, but it’s one of my favorites from childhood– Lumpiang Sariwa or Fresh Lumpia. It’s a Filipino dish and could be akin to a Mexican burrito. The Fresh Lumpia is probably one of the healthiest Filipino dishes and is made with a fresh crepe wrapper, filled with lots of vegetables and protein such as shrimp and ground pork, topped with crushed peanuts, and served with a sweet and savory peanut sauce. With this dish, you will experience a little bit of everything – sweet, savory, crunchy, soft, and spicy, if you add hot sauce. So it’s healthy, delicious, and filling!

Do you have a role model in your life? If so, who are they, and how have they helped you in your journey?

Yes, my mom. She is one of the most resilient and loving people I know. She’s determined and fearless. I vividly recall when we first moved to Canada, my mom was single. She worked two full-time jobs and would probably sleep 4 hours a day to spend time with us in the evenings. Then she’d work from midnight to 8 am at one job, and right after, she’d go to her other job from 9-5. She did this for about five years to establish herself and eventually worked only one full-time job. My mom is my hero, as her sacrifices show how much she loved us and cared for our family. 

Connect with Kristine on LinkedIn.


Understanding the Significance of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is an annual holiday that honors the courageous military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the United States armed forces. By honoring their memory, we preserve their legacies and ensure that their heroic efforts are never for gotten.Memorial Day is not just another day off, but it’s an opportunity to pay tribute to the heroes who have fought for our freedom. It is an important day to recognize the sacrifices made by brave men and women who have served our country. In this blog post, we will discuss the meaning behind Memorial Day and why it is so important.

The origin of Memorial Day dates back to the Civil War when Americans honored the fallen soldiers. At that time, it was known as Decoration Day, as people would decorate the graves of their loved ones with flowers. After World War I, the holiday was renamed Memorial Day and expanded to include all war soldiers.

Memorial Day is celebrated every year on the last Monday of May. It’s a time for families to gather and reflect upon the ultimate sacrifice made by their loved ones. Many cities hold parades, ceremonies, and other events to commemorate the day. It’s a solemn day when the nation comes together to pay homage to those who died fighting for their country.

On Memorial Day, the American flag is hoisted to half-staff until noon to show respect for the fallen soldiers. At noon, the flag is raised to full-staff, symbolizing the resurrection of the fallen souls. It is tradition to observe a moment of silence at 3 PM local time to honor all the brave men and women who lost their lives serving our country.

Memorial Day is a significant holiday that reminds us of the sacrifices made by brave men and women who have served our country. It’s a day to reflect on the tremendous contribution made by these heroes, who have given their lives so that we could live in peace, freedom, and security. This Memorial Day, let us honor and pay tribute to all the fallen soldiers and express our gratitude for the brave soldiers who risked their lives for us. Let’s never forget the sacrifices they have made in the name of patriotism, courage, and freedom.


Spotlight on Maria Alvir

Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month when we celebrate the rich cultural heritage, history, and contributions of the AAPI community in the United States. It’s also a time to recognize members of the AAPI community in Accountability. We are shining the spotlight on Maria Heredia. 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am currently a learning and development coordinator for Accountability. I was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the U.S. in 1989 when I was 11. In 1985, my Mom came to the U.S. looking for better opportunities. As soon as she could afford it, she sent the rest of the family to come and join her. I can still remember experiencing the different seasons. Coming from a tropical island, the concept of seasons changing was new to me. My Mom and I enjoyed summer trips to the Jersey shore, long walks in Verona Park, fall activities like pumpkin and apple picking, and playing in the snow. Those first experiences left a lasting impression on me, and I can’t see myself living elsewhere. 

Can you tell us what Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month means to you?

AAPI Heritage Month is a great reminder to celebrate our beautiful differences as humans. It celebrates accomplishments and also highlights the need for the AAPI community to collaborate more with each other. Everyone is unique, and it’s important to embrace those differences and have the opportunity to share our stories. It’s also a time to remind people that we come from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. Still, ultimately, we all want the same things – happiness, success, love, safety, and security.

What is your favorite cultural tradition?

Filipinos are big on food. Social gatherings, eating, and feeding people are just ways of life for us. Spending time with each other and sharing stories enables us to teach one another, especially the newer generation, the pride, experiences, and expectations of being Filipino. Eating together is a way of showing each other love and respect. I’m especially fond of the Filipino dishes that my Mom used to make for us. The flavors are just so unique, and they all bring back wonderful childhood memories. 

What do you hope to see for the Asian American Pacific Islander community in the future?

Seeing that the AAPI community is now being represented well in different industries is exciting. I would like to see this amplified more in the future. I look forward to more collaboration within the AAPI community. We should use our collective skills and talents to support each other. I also hope that more AAPI organizations will be created and supported to have a stronger voice, access to resources, and visibility in mainstream media. Finally, I’d like to see the AAPI community gain more significant influence in policymaking to ensure our diverse community’s unique needs are addressed. 

What is one activity or dish that everyone should try?

My favorite dish and something that everyone should try is chicken Arroz Caldo. Arroz caldo is a Filipino rice and chicken porridge with ginger, toasted garlic, scallions, and black pepper. It is served with calamari or fish sauce (patis) as condiments and a hard-boiled egg. It is warm and comforting and reminds me of my childhood. It is like a warm hug from my Mom. Everyone should try it! 

Do you have a role model in your life? If so, who are they, and how have they helped you in your journey?

I would have picked my Mom. She was strong-willed and worked so hard to make ends meet. She wanted to give her family opportunities for a better life, and she never stopped until we did. She is always with me, guiding me to do and be better. Her strength, resilience, and courage have inspired me in my journey. She taught me the importance of taking action and never giving up on your dreams. I am so thankful for all that she has done for us. 

More about Maria

Connect with Maria on Linkedin 


Stress Relief Activities for a Happier and Healthier Workplace

To celebrate Stress Awareness Month, Accountability took the opportunity to conduct a series of activities to help decrease daily stress and promote a positive work environment. We understand the negative effects of stress on our physical, emotional, and mental health, which is why we encourage our employees to prioritize their self-care.

Research shows that individuals with access to effective stress relief techniques tend to be happier, healthier, and more productive — which is why we’re excited to share some of our favorite stress-reducing activities we’ll implement throughout the month.

  1. Mindfulness & Meditation
    Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool for reducing stress and enhancing overall well-being. We’ll offer guided meditations and mindfulness exercises during lunch breaks and encourage our employees to continue to engage in meditation outside of work hours.
  2. Physical Exercise
    Moving our bodies and engaging in physical activity is a great way to reduce tension and stress. We’ll conduct daily micro-exercises such as stretching, walking, and light workouts during breaks. We’ll also be offering discounted gym memberships and access to wellness classes.
  3. Healthy Eating Habits
    What we eat plays a significant role in our physical and emotional health. We’ll be offering healthy snack options throughout the day for our hybrid employees, beneficial snack care packages for remote employees, and promoting a balanced diet to nourish our bodies.
  4. Team Building Activities
    Interacting with colleagues positively can help increase happiness levels and reduce stress at work. In addition, we’ll host fun virtual team-building activities such as trivia night, scavenger hunts, and friendly competitions to improve overall morale and positivity.

Employee wellness and mental health should be a top priority for companies looking to build a happier and healthier workplace. During Stress Awareness Month, Accountability took steps towards promoting stress-reducing activities among its employees.

We aim to provide stress-reducing tools and techniques to help our team members feel happy, healthy, and productive. By creating a positive work environment, our employees will feel more empowered to achieve their goals and become better professionals.


5 Ways Agencies can Prepare for a Recession

As the economy shows new signs of slowing down, many businesses are wondering how they can prepare for a recession. While no one can fully recession-proof their agency, there are steps that businesses can take to weather the storm. Here are 5 ways that agencies can prepare for a recession.

1. Diversify Your Client Base (and nurture new revenue streams)

One of the best ways to prepare for a recession is to diversify your client base. Having a mix of different industries will help insulate your business from fluctuations in any one sector. For example, if you have clients in the financial industry, you may see a drop-off in work during a recession. However, if you also have clients in healthcare or education, you may not be as affected. diversifying your client base can help insulate your business during tough economic times. 

2. Build up Your Cash Reserves 

Another way to prepare for a recession is to build up your cash reserves. This will give you the financial flexibility to better weather any storm. Many businesses don’t make it through a recession because they run out of cash and are forced to close their doors. By building up your cash reserves now, you can ensure that your business will be able to survive even the toughest economic conditions. 

3. Cut Expenses 

When a recession hits, one of the first things businesses need to do is cut expenses. This includes less-essential costs like travel, entertainment, and marketing. By cutting these expenses now, you’ll be in a better position to weather the economic downturn when it comes. 

4. Improve Your Collections Process 

In order to prepare for a recession, it’s also important to improve your collections process. Get paid faster by implementing things like shorter payment terms and automated invoicing and payments. By doing this, you’ll ensure that you have the cash flow you need to keep your business afloat during tough economic times. 

5. Double-down on Operational Maturity

Finally, now is the time to make sure that your Agency examines its processes, operations, and technology. How much is your legacy system and processes really costing you? It’s imperative that you maximize your productivity so you can deliver more with less. None of this can happen if you’re still dependent on legacy software and manual processes. Preparing for a recession means having a plan in place for how you will deal with things like layoffs and reduced demand for your services. Your ability to make data-driven decisions and compete, especially in a down market, will be super charged if you’ve invested in better systems, software and processes today.

By planning ahead, you can ensure that your business is well prepared during an economic downturn. 

A recession can be a difficult time for any business – but by taking these steps now, you can ensure that your agency is prepared for whatever comes its way. From diversifying your client base to improving your collections process, these tips will help insulate your agency in an economic downturn – so you can come out on top when things turn around again.


Celebrating International Women’s Day 2023 and Embracing Equity

International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8th, is a time to honor and recognize the achievements of women worldwide. This year, the theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is “Embrace Equity.” This theme serves as an important reminder that we still have a long way to go in achieving gender equality in terms of rights and opportunity. 

What Can We Do to Embrace Equity? 

We can embrace Equity in our daily lives and communities in many ways. One way is by advocating for equal pay for women in the workplace – closing the gender wage gap – as well as investing in programs that promote female entrepreneurship and leadership development. Additionally, implementing initiatives such as flexible work hours or childcare support can make a big difference in helping working mothers stay employed while also caring for their families at home. Beyond these changes at an organizational level, individuals can also take action by educating themselves on social issues related to gender equality and supporting organizations that strive towards solving these inequities through donations or volunteering efforts. 

Embracing Equity is one of the main reasons Accountability launched a program for women returning to the workforce. “It was important to us to take action in creating opportunities for women,” says Joanne Miguel, Chief Product Officer of Accountability. “I know so many brilliant women who took a pause from work and are looking for opportunities to get back into the industry.” Accountability’s lean organizational structure is buoyed by a network of seasoned industry experts that add value throughout the customer journey. “This allows us to streamline operations without sacrificing expertise and skill. I’m really excited to work with our first group of women who have been accepted into this program.”

Selected participants can complete the certification requirements at their own pace. Once certified, participants join Accountability’s certified network of specialists and have the opportunity to support the financial transformation of innovative marketing and advertising agencies across the globe.

Certified Accountability specialists are carefully vetted and trained to ensure that Accountability clients get a consistent and high-quality experience throughout the customer journey.

If you are interested in getting certified or learning more about the program, click here.   

International Women’s Day 2023 has been designated with the very important theme of “Embrace Equity” – a reminder of how far we still have to go when it comes to achieving gender equality worldwide but also offering hope that progress can be made if each one of us plays our part in creating positive change through education, advocacy, activism, or investment in programs that strive for equitable outcomes for all genders alike! So let’s commit today — and every day — to embracing Equity and doing our part in ensuring all members of society have access to resources regardless of who they are or where they come from! Happy International Women’s Day! #IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity #WomenEmpowerment #GenderEquality


How Agency CFOs Can Drive Growth

Agency CFOs are under more pressure than ever to drive agency growth while maintaining a strong financial position. In today’s climate of constant change this can be daunting. However, by utilizing a modern financial management platform, CFOs can gain the visibility they need to make informed business decisions, maintain greater control over their operation, and increase profitability.

The Importance of Visibility

Access to real time data enables a CFO unbiased visibility into the financial health of his or her agency. An agency-specific financial management platform offers visibility by giving CFOs real-time insights into key metrics such as burn rate, margins, and project profitability. With this information at their fingertips, CFOs can identify areas of opportunity and take action to improve the bottom line.

Improving Agency Profitability

While visibility is important, it’s only part of the equation. To truly drive growth, CFOs need to be able to take actions that will improve agency profitability. For example, a modern financial management platform can help CFOs automate time-consuming tasks such as invoicing and billing. This frees CFOs, and their department, to focus on higher value, strategic initiatives to grow the business. Additionally, a financial management platform can help CFOs manage costs and optimize pricing models to improve margins.

Agency CFOs are under immense pressure to drive growth while maintaining a strong financial position. However, by utilizing a modern financial management platform, like Accountability, CFOs are empowered to make informed business decisions and increase profitability. With real-time insights into key metrics and the ability to automate time-consuming tasks, a financial management platform is essential for any agency looking to improve its bottom line.

Click here to schedule your demo today.


A Guide to Celebrating the Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is a time for celebration and reflection. This is a time for families to get together, celebrate the past year, and make plans for the coming year. It’s time to start planning your celebrations! Here are some tips on how to make your Lunar New Year festivities extra special.

Set Goals for the Year Ahead
Before you can celebrate the new year, take some time to reflect on what you accomplished in the previous year and set goals for yourself for the new year. It could be something small like taking a walk each morning or something bigger like traveling around the world. Whatever it is, try to make it achievable so that you feel motivated throughout the year to accomplish your goals.

Create a “New Year” Playlist
Music has a way of setting the mood for any occasion, so why not create a playlist specifically for celebrating the Lunar New Year? Fill your playlist with upbeat music from different cultures that represent all of your friends and family members who are celebrating with you. This will help keep everyone in good spirits throughout the day!

Gather Your Friends & Family
The Lunar New Year is all about coming together with family and friends, so plan something special that everyone can enjoy together. You could throw a dinner party or plan an outing to somewhere fun like an amusement park or beach. Just remember that whatever activity you choose should involve quality time with those closest to you!

No matter how you choose to celebrate the Lunar New Year in 2023, just remember that it’s all about being with those who mean most to you and looking ahead towards what’s possible over the next 12 months. By setting meaningful goals for yourself, creating a festive playlist, and gathering your friends & family together – there’s no better way to ring in this special holiday! Happy Lunar New Year!


Tips for Budgeting and Forecasting

As a creative agency, budgeting and forecasting can be tricky. It requires careful planning and analysis to ensure firm financials and growth projections that align with your goals. However, if done correctly, budgeting and forecasting can give you the data you need to make informed decisions about your business’s future. Let’s look at some of the key considerations for creative agency budgeting and forecasting processes.

Start With Your Big Picture Goals
Before beginning your budgeting process, it’s important to start by looking at the big picture. What are your long-term goals? What kind of growth are you expecting this year? Having a clear vision of what success looks like will help you set realistic goals and keep yourself on track while making important decisions. Additionally, it can also help you identify potential areas of opportunity or risk that may not have been previously considered.

Analyze Past Performance
Once you’ve outlined your overarching objectives, it’s time to dig into past performance. Analyzing past performance is essential for understanding how your business operates and can give insight into what areas may require additional focus or attention. This information can provide valuable context for both short-term decisions as well as longer-term strategic investments in order to position the company for continued success.

Forecast Future Performance

Now it’s time to turn those goals into reality! Using the data from past performance as well as industry trends, develop projections for revenue growth over a specified period of time (e.g., one quarter, one year). Aim for an actionable plan rooted in data rather than assumptions or guesses (which can often lead to missed opportunities or unanticipated costs). Be sure to factor in any seasonal fluctuations or one-time expenses that may occur throughout the course of a given year so that you are prepared for anything that comes up.

Budgeting and forecasting is an essential part of running any successful business—especially creative agencies! By taking the time to understand your goals and analyze past performance before developing forecasts based on data (rather than assumptions), you will be able to make more informed decisions about where best to focus your efforts. Investing resources with the best information gives you the best opportunity to maximie growth. Taking these steps now will pay dividends in the long run!


The Scary Truth About Overworked Employees (and what to do about it)

The simple answer is that overworked employees puts your agency at risk. But the real, underlying answer is much scarier. The truth is that overworked employees can lead to disgruntled colleagues (which jeopardizes your client relations), Scope Creep, and a host of other problems. So, let’s look at each of these in turn.

Disgruntled Employees: When an employee is overworked, it’s only a matter of time before it impacts their work. And when a change in performance is reflected on a client’s project, it reflects poorly on the agency. Your best performers, when overworked, now become your agency’s biggest liability.

Scope Creep: Another big problem with overworked employees is that they’re more likely to engage in Scope Creep. Scope Creep is when an employee starts doing tasks outside their scope of work to try and meet an unrealistic deadline. This inevitably leads to even more work and lower-quality output overall. In the end, everyone loses. 

Turnover: Finally, one of the scariest truths about overworked employees is that they’re far more likely to leave an agency. This turnover can be incredibly costly, not just in terms of the money spent on recruiting and training new staff but also in terms of morale. When good employees leave, it can ripple effect throughout the agency, leading to even more turnover and decreased productivity overall. 

Accountability’s Integrated agency management lets you control your financial position and client profitability with comprehensive project financials, time tracking, production billing, and accounting capabilities designed exclusively for agencies. And by automating manual tasks, this frees up time for your colleagues to focus on higher-value tasks (the ones your clients really care about)!

The truth is that overworked employees are a massive liability for advertising agencies. To avoid these problems, manage your team’s workloads carefully and ensure that everyone has enough time to rest and recharge. Your employees (and clients) will thank you for it in the long run! 

See our platform in action and learn more about how Accountability can deliver strategic financial insights to drive profitable business outcomes. Schedule a demo today.