Archive for the ‘Crafting Your Career’ Category

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Are You Cruising Or Learning?

Joey Havens writes some great stuff. I really like his recent blog post titled, “Have You Stopped Learning?”

joey-havens2_18-748750-editedHere are some tidbits:

  • Change is happening so rapidly and it creates a steep learning curve for CPAs in public practice.
  • We haven’t seen a strong sense of urgency within our profession to embrace a faster rate of learning, a bigger time commitment to learning or the need to learn new skills and competencies.
  • If we rely on our technical abilities, we will fall short of our full potential.
  • Are we cruising or learning?

Follow the link, above, and read his entire blog post. Share it with your partners. Then, start the climb up that learning curve. If not, you’ll be left behind.

  • I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.
  • Eartha Kitt

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

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

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

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

What You Do Now Will Be Automated Soon

“Before the end of this century, 70 percent of today’s occupations will be replaced by automation.” – Kevin Kelly

The most important skill you possess is the ability to learn new skills.

Read that line again.

sheridanI read it in a recent article by Bill Sheridan, via the CPA Success Blog.

Just in case you haven’t read his article, Our jobs are dead. Time to learn new ones posted on September 7, here are some highlights:

  • Moore’s Law says that computing power doubles every 18 to 24 months.
  • That computing power has given us unimaginable technological advancements that impact every field on the planet, including accounting and finance.
  • Your current job will be automated in the not too distant future.
  • YOU don’t have to become extinct, you simply have to learn new skills.
  • You will always be a newbie because of the speed of technological advancement (the average life of a phone app is 30 days).
  • There will be exciting times ahead if you take advantage of the opportunities and learn to relearn and reinvent your career.

Great article! Again, be sure to read it all here.

  • Always in motion is the future.
  • Yoda

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Rolling Out Something New? Test It!

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard

Accountants do not like to make mistakes. Yet, as they advance in their careers, they learn that not absolutely everything needs to be absolutely perfect.

In contrast to the fear of not being perfect, I have often heard experienced CPAs criticize bookkeepers and some beginners because they spend an exorbitant amount of time trying to find  a few pennies.

IMG_2732Because of the fear of mistakes and of being criticized, firm leaders sometimes hesitate and even procrastinate trying new ideas, new processes, and procedures because they might make a mistake and look bad in the eyes of their clients.

We hear it said over and over…. “you learn from your mistakes.” Yet, beginning accountants in your firm might be under a lot of stress not to make mistakes.

Firm leaders hesitate to initiate a new idea because a client, another firm or other outsider might criticize the firm. Get over it. Be bold. Leap into the future.

Years ago, I learned something at Accountants’ Bootcamp. When trying something new test it. Introduce it to a small group at the firm. Or, try it out on a few selected clients. If it doesn’t work well, then you have a better sense of how to proceed.

Never be afraid to say to your team members, “Well, that didn’t work so well, let’s try something else.”

Read Seth Godin’s blog post – The paradox of the flawless record.

  • Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.
  • Sophia Loren

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Firm Administrators…. Keep Your Momentum Going

I had the pleasure of meeting so many talented firm administrators, human resource professionals, and partners when I spoke at the June CPAFMA National Practice Management Conference in Baltimore.

What I most enjoy about these gatherings of “professionals managing accounting firms,” is the positive comments I hear about what the attendees would like to achieve when they return to their own CPA firm. I always advise not to try to accomplish too much right away.  Just select one or two ideas and get busy implementing. Inside most firms, I find that if people try to implement several ideas, few if any of those worthwhile ideas actually get accomplished.

Here’s a great message from Jim Fahey, Past-Chair of CPAFMA about keeping the momentum going after you have returned to your office.

  • Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
  • Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Dress A Little Better

“Doing the right thing daily compounds over time.” – John Maxwell

CPA firms used to be a place where you could observe, first-hand, professional dress.

IMG_7704Well, that’s gone forever and I am not whining about that. It’s okay. But, making a great first impression has not gone away. It’s alive and well, quietly in the background of the minds of the people you meet. Sure, the people you meet for the first time, judge you. So do the clients and business referral sources you meet on a periodic basis.

I enjoyed a recent story via Forbes (by Carmine Gallo) Why You Should Dress 25 Percent Better Than Everyone In The Office. It is about actor Matt Damon. When he recently appeared on The Tonight Show, he wore a nicely tailored dark suit, vest, and tie. But earlier in the day, he wore a v-neck sweater for another interviewer. He dresses for the culture of the show. Jimmy Fallon always wears custom-tailored suits and Damon is going to dress as good – if not slightly better – than the host.

Follow this link to read Gallo’s article and then share it with you team members. Gallo also talked to a military hero and inquired about the secret to leading a team into battle. The hero commented that it was a long answer but it starts with how you’re dressed the first time they meet you.

George Washington “got it.” How about you?

  • If we are growing, we will always be outside our comfort zone.
  • John Maxwell

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Keep It Simple

I am sure if:

  • You are a CPA firm leader, that you have high expectations for all your team members.
  • You are a CPA firm partner, you have high expectations for your other partners.
  • You are a CPA firm COO/Firm Administrator, you have high expectations for the administrative assistants and other support professionals that report to you.
  • You work at a CPA firm, no matter what your position, you have high expectations for the firm.

One way to help yourself and others to meet expectations is to try your best to keep things simple.

My son, the high school band director, had one bit of advice for his 8th grade through 12th grade marching band members as they embarked on their road trip for the first Friday night football game this weekend:

Be responsible for you.

At your CPA firm, when it comes to yourself and others one of the best things you can do is be responsible for you.

Here’s what is posted in the band room – maybe it applies to your firm.

band

  • In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow