“The elastic heart of youth cannot be compressed into one constrained shape long at a time.” – Mark Twain
Just an observation today about things that are actually happening at growing mid-size CPA firms.
On the “I am not surprised” side of things:
A firm has had a long time policy of partner retirement age at 65. Recently, the 63 and 64 year-old partners changed that policy to 70 years of age.
On the “I’m so glad to see this” side of things:
A mid-size, very successful firm has a new managing partner, he is 28 years old.
Another local firm has a new managing partner who is 36 years old.
Both of these individuals fall into the millennial category.
We are no longer talking about what will happen WHEN the millennials are in control. It is more like, NOW the millennials are in control. Yes, change is happening and the change train is moving very quickly down the track.
Be sure your firm is preparing and ready for change.
To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.
“There are lies, damned lies and statistics.” – Mark Twain
Those of us working in, or affiliated with, the world of public accounting are always interested in the performance of CPA firms across the country. What are they doing that we could do? How do their numbers look compared to ours? What new trends should we be aware of?
That’s why I wanted to share a link to a podcast from Dan Hood, Editor In Chief of Accounting Today. Their annual ranking of leading firms in the profession offers up a host of insights and secrets; in this podcast, Hood shares some of the most interesting, such as, over-all growth in revenue was 8.8%
If you don’t have time, right now, to listen to the entire 13 minute podcast, bookmark this page and take time over the weekend (or after mid-April) to listen and learn.
If you want to really know what being a future-ready firm is all about, read this brief article (via Accounting Today), about Jody Padar’s vision. It explains so much, in a simple straight-forward manner, of where you need to be heading.
The article focuses on Four Hallmarks:
Many of you are so busy doing the work that you don’t have time to do the things the client really needs – consulting, mentoring and business advisory services.
Firms try to insert new tools into the old process, and then they’ll say it doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t work, because the model is broken.
There 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.
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?
I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
“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!)
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.
“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins
Everyone wants to work for a firm that “gets it.” If you can create that special culture within your CPA firm that really understands today’s current workforce, you will be a winner.
While millennials are the focus for most firms, it involves other team members, too. Experienced people will leave firms that are stuck in the past and move on to a high-profile firm with a vibrant culture.
LBMC, headquartered in Nashville, is a shining example.
“When one door is closed, don’t you know, another is open.” – Bob Marley
This week I received a notice from a CPA firm that was sent out via an email blast. I have talked with many CPA partners about this topic and it still creates a lot of lively discussions. While many firms have embraced closing on Fridays or developing some other system for a shorter summer work schedule, I have observed that the majority of firms do not embrace this practice.
It is a huge plus in hiring and retaining top talent. I hope you consider it. Here’s the message:
Dear Clients and Friends:
(Name of firm) Summer Office Hours
To allow our team the opportunity to retool and recharge after the hectic pace of tax season, we will be returning to our summer office hours.
Effective May 27 through September 5 our offices will be open
Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
We will be closed on Fridays during the summer months. (However, since Uncle Sam never seems to rest, arrangements can be made to meet with you on a Friday in the event of any urgent tax matter or if it is the only day you are available to pick up returns and documents from our office. Please contact us in advance to coordinate such arrangements.)
Very truly yours,
It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
“The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.” – Tom Peters
Yesterday, I blogged about flexibility. Since it is such a popular topic, I wanted to continue to provide information to you today.
Isaac O’Bannon, Managing Editor of CPA Practice Advisor, in a recent post tells us that many firms really do offer flexibility. If your firm does not, it’s time to learn more about it and begin making some changes.
Here’s O’Bannon’s take on the rules:
As long as you comply with RULE #1: Get the job done. It is also recommended that you comply with RULE #2: Be damn good at your job, consistently. Oh, and RULE #3: Be responsive to your boss, your clients, and anyone else you do business with or for- so that it’s just like you were in the office.
Here’s some firms that made Fortune’s list of the 50 Best Workplaces for Flexibility. #1 was Ryan, an international tax firm. Other accounting firms on the list: PwC at #12, Plante Moran at #27 and DeLeon & Stang at #30.
You absolutely must have the discipline not to hire until you find the right people.