Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

It’s About Culture. How To Make Your Team Feel Special

lumsden1There are some firms that just “get it. For several years now I have admired how Lumsden McCormick, in Buffalo, appreciates their people and goes that extra step in developing a culture of inclusiveness and career advancement.

Recently, I noticed this Facebook post:

Congratulations to two Lumsden McCormick newlyweds!

Pat & Amanda (Moses) Meyers and Robert & Jillian Torella were married on the same day – September 17!

It’s a little thing, but I bet it made these two couples feel special.  Lumsden McCormick also always posts about people passing the CPA exam and other life events. Check out their Facebook page. Be sure to notice the Recruitment Open House post.

What’s your firm doing?

lumsden2

  • "I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."
  • Groucho Marx

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

The Challenge of Launching New Services

carrieMy friend, Carrie Steffen, President of The Whetstone Group, recently shared some news with me about a new blog series The Whetstone Group is offering. It might be just the push you need to enhance client loyalty.  See below:

Success Strategies for Launching New Services

Many firms are looking for ways to combat the increasing commoditization of compliance services. Further, the landscape of the profession is changing and the next 10 years will require greater emphasis on advisory and other non-compliance specialty services. The path to client loyalty and topline growth is understanding how to meet more of clients’ needs—and continuing to innovate new ways of helping them. If firms can’t offer clients the help they need, you can be sure a competitor will.

In the next few weeks, The Whetstone Group is launching a blog series: Your Future Firm Starts Now: Success Strategies for Launching New ServicesWe’ll offer a systematic approach to help identify new service ideas, prioritize which services to develop, and package and launch these services. Readers will learn the important variables to consider in order to make informed decisions about where and how to invest.

Here is the publishing schedule:

September 21: Steps 1 & 2 – Research Market Needs and Evaluate and Prioritize

October 3: Step 3 & 4 – Define the Scope and Go to Market with Your Service

October 19: Step 5 – Tracking Results and Measuring Success (including a downloadable guide for the whole process).

  • "There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth... not going all the way, and not starting."
  • Buddha

Monday, September 26th, 2016

What Kind of Impression Do Your Emails Make?

“Quality performance (and quality service) starts with a positive attitude.” – Jeffrey Gitomer

It seems that EVERYONE uses texts to communicate now. However, that doesn’t apply so much to CPAs working in public accounting. Lots of business is conducted using email.

I like Jeffrey Gitomer’s sales advice…. “Email is sales-mail!”

I believe it is also part of building your personal brand. Do you ever misspell words? Do you confuse words such as “your” and “you’re”?

We all make grammar mistakes now and then but if you are trying to impress a prospective client be EXTRA careful.

Here’s some great advice from Gitomer – 1) Every email is an impression of you. 2) The best way to get an unsolicited email opened is to ask a question in the subject line that’s specific to the recipient.

  • "If leaders are to be followed, it starts with clarity of message."
  • Jeffrey Gitomer

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

I Wonder If I Could Write CPA Romance Novels

I can’t help it. This guy simply cracks me up. I just have to share another one of this school principal’s amusing videos.

In this episode, he announces a book series he is writing – 50 Shades of Sharpies, a series of romance novels, written especially for teachers.

When he explained what the first book is about and then divulged the title, I laughed out loud.  Lighten up, laugh and enjoy this your Sunday.

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Rosenberg Annual Survey

img_7794It’s September and I just received my copy of the 2016 issue of The Rosenberg Survey. It is the 18th Annual Edition. The Rosenberg Survey is one of the most popular and widely respected national MAP surveys for the CPA profession.

Comments and insights from many well-known CPA management consultants are included. Look for my comments on Page 21.

The survey includes numbers from:

  • Firms with over $20M in fees
  • Firms with fees of $10-$20M
  • Firms with fees of $2-$10M
  • Firms with fees under $2M
  • Sole practitioner firms

Order yours here.

  • "Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense."
  • Gertrude Stein

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

Great Resource – New Book – Half-Price Today Only

cover-for-promotionI work with many smaller CPA firms and sole proprietors. Sometimes they need advice and resources that are not always available to smaller firms.

That’s why I am happy to let your know that my friend, Salim Omar, CPA has written a new book that is packed with excellent advice and ideas.

It is titled: The Million Dollar CPA Firm. It covers the 7 Principles for Higher Profits, Greater Impact and More Personal Freedom

Salim is one of the leading authorities on growing CPA firms to reach new levels of profits and freedom without more work.

TODAY ONLY, (midnight Wednesday to midnight Thursday) you can get the book for 50% off.

If you are distracted by new client worries, if you are distracted by unproductive staff, if you are stressed about your current state of finances or lack of free time…then you’re caught in a trap.

This book will guide you to the breakthroughs you need to escape that trap and puts you on a path only few practitioners will ever experience.

Salim is offering his “The Million Dollar CPA Firm” book for 50% OFF Today ONLY

Click here.

  • "Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes."
  • Walt Whitman

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

You Should Be Writing For Your Clients

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

It doesn’t matter to me what you write for your clients (and prospects). Just do it. Write things that will benefit their business and their personal finances. I know you have a lot of things inside that valuable brain of yours!

Use a blog, a newsletter, a newspaper column, Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram. Just get information out there!

I write this blog for my clients (and others) every business day and have been for nearly eleven years.

I check my spelling and grammar with something call Grammarly. Every week it gives me a report of how I have done.

Here’s the one I received this week:

  • 5,844 words written – You wrote more words than 93% of Grammarly users did.
  • 64 corrections made – You were more accurate than 66% of Grammarly users.
  • 1,222 unique words used – You have a larger vocabulary than 96% of Grammarly users.
  • Missing commas are my biggest mistakes.
  • "Beware of advice - - even this."
  • Carl Sandburg

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Innovation

“When all think alike, then no one is thinking.” – Walter Lippman

It makes me SO happy when I hear about innovative things coming from people working at CPA firms.

While I often lament that we don’t see very much innovation and creativity within firms and that many firms are very happy with the status quo, there are some great firms out there leading the way for others.

The following is an announcement from CPA.com about the 2016 Innovative Practitioners’ awards.

CPA.com announced this week that Caitlin Lacher and Rachael Higginbotham, both representing Louisiana accounting and business advisory firm Postlethwaite & Netterville, have been named winners of the Innovative Practitioners 2016 Award. The annual award looks to recognize innovations in process, services or technology implementation in public accounting firms.

Lacher and Higginbotham both developed Pounce, a new business development tool, this previous summer. Pounce allows CPA firms to more easily manage and match staff resumes, industry experience, and other firm materials, allowing marketing and sales teams to quickly respond to new business opportunities.

Runner up:  (One of my clients – Congratulations, Charles!)

Charles Postal of Santos, Postal & Co., Rockville, Md. Adopted Yammer.com,Slack.com and OfficeVibe.com, among other services, to his firm to improve communication amongst staff.

Honorable Mention – a tie

    • Kathy Ryan of RoseRyan, Newark, Calif. Kathy helped develop her firm’s own in-house application, the RoseRyan Dream Team System, to automate time tracking, recruiting, revenue forecasting and more.
    • Dixie McCurley of Trusted CFO Solutions, Atlanta. Dixie helps lead CPA.com workshops on client accounting services in the cloud, but also walks the walk with her firm, developing customized accounting models for clients that deliver powerful data analytics for business decision-making.

    For more on the 2016 Innovative Practitioners Award, head to CPA.com’s site here.

  • "Interviewer: "

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Arrr… Matey! Be Sure To Talk Like A Pirate Today

2_350x350_front_color-white“Life’s pretty good, and why wouldn’t it be? I’m a pirate, after all.” – Johnny Depp

It’s Monday. Why not lighten up and smile anyway?

It’s also Talk Like A Pirate Day (TLAPD).

I first heard of it many years ago when a superb CPA firm tech guy introduced it to me. Rob Snell – you know who you are. I thought it was fun right from the beginning.

Why TLAPD? Simple, it’s fun. See frequently asked questions here.

If you visit a Krispy Kreme and talk like a pirate, you’ll get a free glazed donut. If you dress like a pirate, you’ll get one dozen glazed donuts.

Then there’s Long John Silver’s:  “Avast, me hearties! We are celebratin’ International Talk Like a Pirate Day, because who can talk like a pirate better than the original peg-leg – Long John Silver?” LJS is giving a free piece of Alaskan Whitefish. Check out their list of Pirate myths, facts, and legends.

Many CPAs had it rough last week. Start this week with some light-hearted fun.

  • "It's not everyday you get to do a pirate movie, you might as well go for it.""
  • Keira Knightley

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

Lighten Up, It’s The Weekend. Get Yourself Some Smarkers.

Here is my favorite school principal again. This time, he is talking about Smarkers for teachers.

Maybe it’s time to get some Smarkers for your conference room.  Can you think of some names for Smarkers used in a CPA firm?  (i.e., Burnt Coffee Carafe)

  • "You're only here for a short visit. Don't hurry, don't worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way."
  • Walter Hagen