Archive for the ‘Crafting Your Career’ Category

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

A Culture of Learning

Jason“Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.” – Jim Rohn

I was so pleased to read a recent article titled, Creating A Culture of Learning, by Jason Ackerman, CPA, CFP, CGMA. Jason is a next generation CPA setting a great example and using his influence to guide BNA CPAs into the future.

In the article, he stresses many issues that I am very passionate about, too!

  • Hire for cultural fit.
  • New hires don’t know anything about how to do their job based on what they learned in college.
  • It is management’s responsibility to teach and train new team members, starting from the ground up, if necessary.
  • Involve less experienced team members in important client meetings where complex issues are discussed. They learn so much just observing and listening.
  • Give them the freedom to make mistakes – not sloppiness, but honest mistakes.
  • Don’t embarrass them or belittle them because of mistakes. Sometimes management takes too hard a line on errors.
  • Review notes should be given in person.

Be sure to take the time to read the entire article and share it with your partners and managers. Then begin building a culture of learning inside your own firm.

I also really like the BNA website. Explore it, it’s fun!

  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
  • Gandhi

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Trying to be All Things to All People

“The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception and response to failure.” – John C. Maxwell

Many CPA firms have remained generalists. They do compliance work for all types of businesses of all sizes. Maybe that is why many people who need a CPA think they are all alike. These firms try to please everyone and probably end up being an average firm.

Some of the most successful firms are evolving into experts. They have become known for special expertise with specific types of businesses. You know who they are, the auto dealer firms, the medical firms, the dental firms, the native American firms and, now, even green firms.

If you continue to try to please everyone, you may end up not pleasing anyone.

Here’s a good post by Seth Godin – Beware of false averages.

  • The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
  • Andy Rooney

Monday, September 18th, 2017

If You Want To Win….

“Reject ordinary, be legendary.” – Brad Lea

CPAs in public accounting are always seeking to find out what those “other” firms are doing. They eagerly await various surveys that give them statistics about other accounting firms. I often smile when I hear partners say that they are so pleased because, according to the most recent MAP survey, they are doing okay, they are average.

How uninspiring that must be for the young accountants in your office. Often, firm partners don’t even share MAP statistics with their team members. It is just one simple step among the many that you need to take to prepare the next generation of firm leaders.

I say, stop comparing and start taking action. Show your team that you listen to their suggestions. Actually implement some of their suggestions! Take the steps necessary to accomplish the initiatives you outlined at your last partner retreat.

I love this comment from Brad Lea, founder of LightSpeed VT.

brad lea

  • I would rather be alone than surrounded by the wrong people.
  • Brad Lea

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Evolving Into a Consultancy Firm

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare

Here’s the message from the AICPA, state societies, top management consultants and your peers:

Your CPA firm must move from

compliance to consultancy if you want

to survive into the future!

Learn from the Big 4. They haven’t claimed to be a CPA firm for years. I think you must admit they have been rather successful. Recently, while reading an article in National Geographic I thought of most of you – those working in local, regional and even national firms “below” the Big 4. Most of you I meet don’t think of yourselves as consultants, you identify with CPA, Certified Public Accountant.

Does your local press, your business community and your clients think of you as a consultancy firm? Now is the time to re-invent yourself. Here’s the passage that got me thinking about all this:

From Skitch

  • People evolve and it's important to not stop evolving just because you've reached adulthood.
  • J. K. Simmons

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

Accounting Today Features the CPACA

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

The CPA Consultants’ Alliance has launched a new series of videos aimed at addressing the key issues facing the accounting profession. I am honored to have participated in this series.

The videos focus on the four key priorities identified by the group as major trends in the next five years:

  • Technology trends;
  • The changing landscape of M&A;
  • The rise of flexible workplaces and remote teams; and,
  • The growth of consulting as a profitable practice offering.

The videos are available on the CPACA website homepage and on its YouTube page.

The segment that I participated in is about flexible workplaces and remote teams – watch it here.

  • It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
  • Aristotle

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

If You Want To Be Better – Read! Here’s An Amazing List.

“Most of us have far more courage than we ever dreamed we possessed.” – Dale Carnegie

Self Development Secrets has done an amazing job of collecting the best personal development books to read submitted from over 200+ “Influencers”.

They asked the influencers this question – – What is the best self development book you’ve ever read and why is it different from the rest?

There is no best book of all time. Different people go through different things and need a different push. Some relate to certain authors, writing styles or even niches. This post will give you a list of the number one book that has helped these influencers tremendously in their lives.

Be sure to browse through the extensive list and share it with your partners and team members.

I am on the list of contributors. I mentioned just one of my favorites (we were only allowed to submit one book… and I have so many favorites!).

  • Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.
  • Stephen Covey

Thursday, September 7th, 2017

Results

“The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo.” – Seth Godin

I hear it discussed often when I am with a group of people who work in the CPA profession. It is the topic of judging performance based upon results. Some say, don’t judge them on methods nor maybe even on attitude and teamwork. How much do they accomplish? (How much do they bill? …is often the question in public accounting.)

Some of that is fine with me, but not completely. There is more to a person’s role in a CPA firm than results.

As Seth Godin puts it…. “Doing work that matters, with people we care about.” Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Doesn’t that matter a lot?

Sometimes we find ourselves doing “busy work” – trivial stuff that sucks up much of our time. Sometimes we find ourselves employing people who are not great performers, nor do they even seem to care about the firm. They demotivate those around them.

Read Godin’s post about this topic. Many things actually do matter more than results.

 

  • Being aware of your fear is smart. Overcoming it is the mark of a successful person.
  • Seth Godin

Friday, September 1st, 2017

Flashback Friday – Emails Make An Impression – It Could Be Good and It Could Be Bad

“Dare to be honest and fear no labor.” – Robert Burns

This Friday, I want to remind you, with a former blog post, about the importance of email. Every email is an impression of you.

What Kind of Impression Do Your Emails Make – from September, 2016. Listen to Jeffrey Gitomer explain the importance in a short video.

Don’t forget, email is permanent. Some people have went to jail based on emails.

Have a great Labor Day weekend! Maybe it is a good time to ignore some emails.

  • Without labor nothing prospers.
  • Sophocles

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

CPA Green Belt Certification

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

It’s that time of year again. Maybe someone at your firm is ready to tackle the task of becoming your firm’s in-house efficiency guru.

HostetlerDustinLeanCPA-1023Boomer Consulting‘s Dustin Hostetler (and Ohio State University) will be offering the CPA Green Belt Certification on October 31 – November 3, 2017 in Wooster, Ohio.

Hear Dustin explain it here.

Read more about it here on the OSU site.

I know there are many ways in which your CPA firm can be more efficient. Invest in having your own guru, in house.

 

  • Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
  • Stephen King

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Flashback Friday – What About You?

“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” – Robert Fulghum

Here’s this week’s flashback: As a Leader You Worry About Others – But Don’t Forget About Yourself!

As a servant leader, you think of others first. You worry about the firm, your worry about your people. Don’t forget to focus on yourself. In the post, featured above, there is a sample of a Personal SWOT Analysis form for you to use.

Have a great weekend. Hope you observed the eclipse this week. One of my clients closed their office for the day – they were in the totality path. Hope others did too!

  • Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.
  • Leo Buscaglia