Archive for the ‘Firms’ Category

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Can This Be A CPA Firm?

“We are trying to change this old culture to try to sustain our profession for the future.” – Bernie Ackerman, CPA

Quite a few years ago I met Bernie Ackerman and his son, Jason at an AICPA conference. For several years, we would meet-up and talk about their firm, current topics, other firms and the profession, in general.

BernieBernie and Jason have always been, to me, a great two-generational team that had a firm grasp on what they could do to take their firm, BNA, into the future.

Recently, they were featured in the Journal of Accountancy for the very innovative things they were doing. The title: BNA: A Completely Flat Hierarchy.

As the article notes, you might think they were a tech start-up because staffers set their own working hours and never touch a time sheet. All employees get their own offices, starting on day one. There is no path to partner because there are no partners!

While their practices are very unusual in the profession, they are Jasonpaying off in term of recruitment. Jason Ackerman reports that they receive 10 to 15 resumes a week, even when they are not hiring!

Follow the links above to read the article and to visit their website.

I hope this inspires you to create a great culture and a future for your firm.

 

  • The best way to predict your future is to create it.
  • Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

It’s No Longer “When” The Millennials Will Be In Control

“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.
  • Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

2017 Accounting Today Top 100 Firms

Dan Hood, Accounting Today

Dan Hood, Accounting Today

“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.

Here a link to the podcast, A Deep Dive Into The Top 100 Firms.

  • It is the mark of a truly intelligent person to be moved by statistics.
  • George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016

Four Hallmarks of Future Ready Firms

jodyIf 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:

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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.
  • Jody Padar

Friday, October 21st, 2016

The Number Of CPA Firms In The U.S.

Many of us working in the CPA profession always seem to be interested in the various statistics about CPA firms.

I’ve been “hearing” for decades that there are about 45,000 CPA firms in the U.S. and that only a very small percentage have more than 20 CPAs.

Here are the latest numbers from an article via Accounting Today:

  • There are about 42,000 accounting firms in the United States.
  • The #1 firm has revenue of about $16 billion and about 65,000 people.
  • Number 100 has revenues of $35m with 175 people.
  • Number 300 has revenue of $8m
  • Number 400 has $3m with about 20 people.

So, the next 41,600 firms fall into the “small” firm category. Most of these firms are really small, with less than four or five people and revenues less than $600,000.

Read Ed Mendlowitz’s entire article about how bright the future is going to be for these small firms.

I work with many very small firms and I can attest that they have vast opportunities!

  • Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.
  • Jimi Hendrix

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

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Innovation

“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!)

Charles Postal of Santos, Postal & Co., Rockville, Md. Adopted Yammer.com,Slack.com and OfficeVibe.com, among other services, to his firm to improve communication amongst staff.

Honorable Mention – a tie

    • 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.

  • Interviewer:

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Attracting The Millennials And Others

IMG_7704“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.

Be sure you read this article from Accounting Today: The Millennial Riddle.

  • If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs.
  • Anonymous

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Going Denim Every Day? Your Team Might Need Some Help.

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.” – Yves Saint Laurent

I have always been impressed with Armanino LLP ever since I met Andy Armanino many years ago.

As with many larger firms, they have “gone denim” for every day. When they rolled out their new dress code, they provided a helpful video for all their team members.

Just a reminder… clearly communicating expectations is very important, not only to young people but to long-time employees, as well.

Enjoy!

  • Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.
  • Marilyn Monroe

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

CPA Firm Message: We Are Closed On Fridays For The Summer

“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.
  • Mark Twain