Archive for the ‘Crafting Your Career’ Category

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Flashback Friday – Goals

“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.” – Audrey Hepburn

Here’s a post from 2015 – Check-in With Your Team – How Are They Doing With Their Goals?

I hope everyone in your firm, including admin and partners, are making progress in 2017 on their self-improvement goals!

  • They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays.
  • Ted Williams

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Performance Management

“Without a sense of caring, there can be no sense of community.” – Anthony D’Angelo

In the world of CPA firm management, we often talk about performance reviews, performance evaluations or performance feedback. In firms, it has many names. Some call it Career Advancement Process and similar titles.

While giving feedback is an important part of the process, it is much more than that. If your firm simply gathers information and relays that information about their performance to the individual you have only taken one step in the process.

Also consider including some upward feedback or some peer-to-peer feedback.

Be sure to include:

Self-evaluations – Most people are very insightful into their own performance.

Mutual agreed upon goals – – the team member identifies goals and so does management. Then they negotiate to determine the two or three most important ones.

Periodic checking on the progress of goals. Set fewer goals with shorter timeframes. I like to see one goal for every 4-month period.

Everyday coaching. Walk around, talk to people, give them spot-checks on their performance. MBWA (Manage By Wandering Around). Today’s workforce wants feedback immediately.

 

  • Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.
  • Margaret Mead

Friday, August 11th, 2017

Flashback Friday – Amazing Things Can Happen

“If people knew how hard I worked to achieve my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all.” – Michelangelo

If you work hard, amazing things can happen. This Friday I am sharing a post about hard work and success from February, 2015.

Click here for Amazing Things Can Happen.

  • I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.
  • Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The 10 Most Profitable Industries

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn

It’s no surprise to CPA firm owners, but accounting and bookkeeping firms (along with real estate leasing companies and legal services) top the list of the most profitable industries over the last 12 months.

It’s nothing new, accounting has been at the top for several years, but I think sometimes CPA firm owners don’t think much about it, probably because they are used to the profit margins.

The information comes from Sageworks in its annual ranking of the most profitable industries in the U.S.

Most CPAs truly love the work they do. Sure, it involves some long hours, commitment and dedication to client service but being extremely profitable sure is a nice reward.

Share this information inside your firm. Perhaps it will inspire talented, young CPAs to go down the future partner track. Some partners don’t want to share this information because the staff will want bigger salaries. Maybe it is time to have that conversation inside your firm.

most-profitable-2017

 

  • Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget rule No. 1.
  • Warren Buffett

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Summer Reading for Women in Accounting

“Careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.” – Sheryl Sandberg

The dog days of summer have arrived. If you work in a CPA firm, male or female, I hope you have made it a point to do more reading this summer. If not, there is still time.

Here are some great books for females in the business world to read. I also recommend that male CPAs who are managing females make it a point to read some of these books. Try “Why Must There Be Dragons” first – it is enlightening and entertaining for both sexes. In this story, males are dogs and females are cats.

NJ Women Summit

  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Flashback Friday – Put Yourself in Selfie Mode

DSC03008“Vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.” – Earl Wilson

Today I am sharing a post from September 2015.

Selfie Mode

Have a great weekend!

Maybe you are at the beach, I hope so.

  • Laughter is an instant vacation.
  • Milton Berle

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Don’t Waste So Much Time

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” – Bruce Lee

I often talk about how much time is wasted inside growing CPA firms. Sure, most people work hard and often work long hours. But, I have observed that there is a lot of time not wisely used by CPA firm citizens.

Have you ever considered how much time you spend on someone who is already well known as a poor performer? Often, it is someone who has been with the firm for several years and has simply not met expectations.

You spend time talking about this person with others, you spend time counseling them, setting development plans, following up periodically and still haven’t seen much improvement. You notice that other team members spend time complaining to each other about a certain poor performer. If you are fortunate, someone finally makes the decision (after the partners talk about it over and over again) to out-place this particular low performer. Team members think, “Thank goodness, it’s about time!”

What if…. a huge portion of that time was spent on nurturing, coaching, mentoring and encouraging the top performers. Wouldn’t that be more pleasant? Wouldn’t that be a better investment of your time?

  • If time be of all the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.
  • Benjamin Franklin

Monday, July 31st, 2017

Women (and Men) In Accounting – Be Confident!

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe

I have observed that many women, working in the accounting profession, say a lot with their body language. Many times they seem to withdraw, make themselves smaller, cross arms and legs signifying that they are shutting people out.

Here are some wonderful tips from Amy Cuddy to help females with job interviews. I think these tips can help women in accounting – no matter what the situation, as they build their careers.

I also believe these video tips apply to men in accounting. I know many male CPAs who do not always show self-confidence via their body language. My message to PEOPLE in accounting – you are powerful!

  • Each time we face our fear, we gain strength, courage and confidence in the doing.
  • Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, July 27th, 2017

My Favorite Agreements

“First we will be best, then we will be first.” – – Unknown

Yesterday, I wrote about employment agreements and partner agreements. Neither are my favorite, however, I do have some favorite agreements – The Four Agreements.

fouragreementsThe Four Agreements is a book by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read this book years ago and still do my best to follow the agreements. I believe that these four simple statements can make a difference in the culture of your CPA firm. I hope you read this book this summer!


BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

DON’T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

  • There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.
  • E. B. White

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

Sometimes It Is Very Hard To Say No

“The difference between successful people and really

successful people is that really successful people

say no to almost everything. – Warren Buffett

Yes, it can be difficult… saying no. But, for your career success and you sanity, it is a skill

that you should try hard to develop.

Many of us suffer from over-commitment. We don’t want to disappoint anyone

and we put our own well-being much lower on the list of important things.

Here is a great info graphic from GetVoIP.com.

How to Say No at Work

  • Focusing is about saying no.
  • Steve Jobs