Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Cul de sac

“If your job is a cul-de-sac, you have to quit or accept the fact that your career is over.” – Seth Godin

Cul de sac is a dead-end street. It goes nowhere. Seth Godin talks about cul-de-sac jobs in his book The Dip.

If you are working in a CPA firm, no matter what your title, you might find yourself in a cul-de-sac job. You work and you work and nothing much happens. It doesn’t get better, it doesn’t get worse. It just is.

Get off the cul-de-sac – why invest your life in something not getting any better.

Some of you work in cul-de-sac firms. There is a lot of talk about how things will get better but nothing much seems to happen. Years pass by.

Some of you are in cul-de-sac partner groups. Same as above, lots of talk but not much really happens. Years pass by.

Move your firm and/or yourself out of the cul-de-sac.

 

  • People settle. They settle for less than they are capable of.
  • Seth Godin

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Outsourced Accounting

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” – Anton Chekhov

CPA firms are seeing amazing growth in the area of outsourced accounting services. It not only is of immediate value to clients, it also provides the accountant with the ability (and information) to become even more of a trusted advisor.

Recently, Bill.com released the results of a survey they did regarding the use of outsourced accounting services. They have furnished a report on their findings – What Businesses Really Think of Client Accounting Services. You can download the report here.

In the introduction, Bill.com founder, Rene Lacerte, notes:

We are a nation of outsourcers.

In our personal lives, we outsource both simple and complex tasks—everything from grocery shopping to planning for retirement. We aren’t lazy or incapable, but we know that if we let the experts handle these tasks, they will be done right and allow us time to focus on what matters most. Outsourcing reinforces our priorities.

Businesses, too, are well acquainted with outsourcing. Disciplines ranging from IT to customer support to HR have all found their ways to hire experienced professionals outside of the corporate structure. Now, outsourcing all accounting is gaining traction.

The accounting profession has talked about client accounting advisory services (CAS) for a decade, speculating on the best ways a firm can solicit and handle all of a company’s accounting and finance department needs. For accountants, holding the reins to the company’s financial performance gives them unparalleled insight into the business and the ability to surpass a transactional state in favor of strategic advice and planning. It creates the platform for impactful contributions.

While accountants understand the benefits of CAS, what do businesses think about outsourcing their accounting? If you’re considering starting or expanding your CAS practice, it is good insight to have before you begin.

In this survey with CPA.com, we asked more than 1,700 small and medium-size businesses to share their opinions on outsourcing accounting. The results are summarized in the following pages. Respondents told us how much they’re outsourcing today, what they’d like to outsource, what they appreciate about it, and how it benefits their customers.

The survey data underscores just how important CAS can be to both firms and their business clients and how it will continue to grow and gain even greater value in the accounting world.

  • Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
  • William Shakespeare

Monday, August 6th, 2018

The Bus

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” – Oprah Winfrey

You’ve heard it many times – get the right people on the bus and get the wrong people off the bus. You have probably been working on that for a while and perhaps making slow progress.

Today, I am sharing a complete post by Seth Godin. I want you to ask yourself something. Is your firm the right bus? Is it the right bus for high-performers, people wanting to get somewhere, somewhere in the future, people who are not satisfied with the status quo and implementation that moves at a snail’s pace?

The Wrong Bus

Your first mistake was getting on the A53 bus, the one that goes crosstown instead of to where you’re going.

Mistakes like this happen all the time.

The big mistake, though, the one that will cost you, is staying on that bus.

I know it wasn’t easy to get on the bus. I know you got a seat. I know it’s getting dark outside. But you’re on the wrong bus, and staying on the wrong bus won’t make it the right bus.

If you really want to get where you set out to go, you’re going to have to get off the wrong bus.

  • On a bus, your eyes, ears, and pores are open absorbing in the variety the wonder, and the magic of the city. It's a wonderful way to get to know the city.
  • George Takei

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Flashback Friday – Commitment

“Duty is what one expects from others; it is not what one does one’s self.” – Oscar Wilde

Partner retreats and firm retreats can be very invigorating but what happens afterward?

Here’s a 2016 post about Commitment.

Have a great weekend!

  • Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.
  • Peter Drucker

Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

The Future of Your Firm

Are you, as leaders, doing the right things today to prepare your firm and yourselves for the future?

I love this quote from Marcus Buckingham:

The future isn’t

somewhere you discover.

It’s somewhere you create 

out of the choices

you make today.

As you prepare for your partner retreat, as you enter into the fall season, as you do year-end planning for the firm, as you participate in the fall college recruiting activities…. be sure you make the right choices.

 

  • Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.
  • John Maxwell

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Hiring of Accounting Graduates Is Down

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” – Winston Churchill

How will this affect your CPA firm?

Bob Dylan’s theme “The Times They Are A-Changin’” continues to apply to the CPA profession.

Acctg grad hiring down

  • If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
  • Maya Angelou

Monday, July 30th, 2018

Credulous

“I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”  – Ed Sheeran

You are in a leadership role in a CPA firm. You are charged with managing a significant number of people. It’s not easy.

An admin person comes to you to make you aware of a troubling situation with another admin team member.

A staff person comes to you to complain about one of your long-time managers.

A manager comes to you to complain about a first-year staff person.

A couple of managers come to you to let you know that the latest modification to the tax flow procedures is not being well received by a lot of staff members.

Are you too credulous? Do thorough research before acting.

Often, inside busy accounting firms, a change is made and one (yes, one) person complains about the change and partners overreact and might even change things back….. just because one person complained.

You can’t please everyone. I like this quote attributed to Aristotle: “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”  

  • You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all the people all of the time.
  • (Poet John Lydgate as made famous by Abraham Lincoln).

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Busy vs. Busyness

“Leadership is about creating change you believe in.” – Seth Godin

I just had to share a post by Seth Godin. It is so right-on for the CPA profession. The title is Business/Busyness. I sincerely hope you take just a couple minutes to read the entire post.

You (and all your team members) are busy, but are you productive? Productivity is the amount of useful output created for every hour of work we do.

Take note of number three in his post. Productivity suffers when you are waiting – Waiting on answers from a partner, waiting on tech support, waiting on clients.

What are you going to do about the time killer – waiting on clients? The lost time wasted on clients who keep you waiting could be better spent on the kind of clients who value your services and your team.

Godin states: Busy is not your job. Busy doesn’t get you what you seek. Busy isn’t the point. Value creation is. 

You only get today once. Your team does too. How will you spend it?

  • People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.
  • Seth Godin

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Essential Questions

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

You have gathered all of your partners for the annual partner retreat. You are not going to discuss day-to-day issues. You are all going to focus on strategic issues that will take your firm into the future.

You work diligently for one or two days and document a strategic plan. Allow time at the end of the retreat to discuss one more thing. It is David Maister’s essential questions of strategy (from his book Strategy and the Fat Smoker). Consider these questions, discuss these questions because they are the questions that are often avoided in strategic planning:

“Which of our habits are we really prepared to change, permanently and forever? Which lifestyle changes are we really prepared to make? What issues are we really ready to tackle?”

 

  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  • Nelson Mandela

Monday, July 16th, 2018

Six Habits of Mind

“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be.” – John Wooden

Alan Wurtzel, the former CEO of Circuit City, spent three years exploring the rise and fall of his company. He offers some important Habits of Mind. He wrote a book titled, Good to Great to Gone. Here are his Habits of Mind:

6 Habits of Mind:

1. Be Humble; Run Scared. Constantly doubt your understanding of things. Say, “I may not be right.”

2. Curiosity Sustains the Cat: Answers end curiosity. Keep curiosity alive by saying, “That’s a great answer are there other options?”

3. Confront the Brutal FactsIf you don’t confront the brutal facts now, they’ll confront you later.

4. Boldly Follow Through: Big ideas require bold leadership and attract loyal followers.

5. Mind the Culture: Create a caring and ethical culture where employees can make mistakes without fear of adverse consequences.

6. Encourage Debate: Encourage and learn from dissent.

  • There is no failure except in no longer trying.
  • Chris Bradford