Archive for the ‘Helpful Information’ Category

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

The Challenge of Launching New Services

carrieMy friend, Carrie Steffen, President of The Whetstone Group, recently shared some news with me about a new blog series The Whetstone Group is offering. It might be just the push you need to enhance client loyalty.  See below:

Success Strategies for Launching New Services

Many firms are looking for ways to combat the increasing commoditization of compliance services. Further, the landscape of the profession is changing and the next 10 years will require greater emphasis on advisory and other non-compliance specialty services. The path to client loyalty and topline growth is understanding how to meet more of clients’ needs—and continuing to innovate new ways of helping them. If firms can’t offer clients the help they need, you can be sure a competitor will.

In the next few weeks, The Whetstone Group is launching a blog series: Your Future Firm Starts Now: Success Strategies for Launching New ServicesWe’ll offer a systematic approach to help identify new service ideas, prioritize which services to develop, and package and launch these services. Readers will learn the important variables to consider in order to make informed decisions about where and how to invest.

Here is the publishing schedule:

September 21: Steps 1 & 2 – Research Market Needs and Evaluate and Prioritize

October 3: Step 3 & 4 – Define the Scope and Go to Market with Your Service

October 19: Step 5 – Tracking Results and Measuring Success (including a downloadable guide for the whole process).

  • There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth... not going all the way, and not starting.
  • Buddha

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

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Rosenberg Annual Survey

img_7794It’s September and I just received my copy of the 2016 issue of The Rosenberg Survey. It is the 18th Annual Edition. The Rosenberg Survey is one of the most popular and widely respected national MAP surveys for the CPA profession.

Comments and insights from many well-known CPA management consultants are included. Look for my comments on Page 21.

The survey includes numbers from:

  • Firms with over $20M in fees
  • Firms with fees of $10-$20M
  • Firms with fees of $2-$10M
  • Firms with fees under $2M
  • Sole practitioner firms

Order yours here.

  • Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
  • Gertrude Stein

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

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Do This Today

Oh boy, email. It can be so problematic.

I love this quote by Jeff Bezos – “Email has some magical ability to turn off the politeness gene in a human being.”

It’s another one of those busy due dates. During the last week, you have probably been inundated with emails both urgent and irreverent.

Maybe today is the day to send some complimentary emails to deserving people. I contend that you should be doing that every day.

I’m going to make it easy for you. I’ll give you some suggested text that you can just copy and paste it into an email, fill in the name and send.

Hi (fill in name),

It has been a very busy time for all of us. I just wanted to let you know that I have been aware of how hard you have been working to serve our clients. I appreciate it and am proud of you.

Thanks,

Copy, paste, fill in names and send. How hard is that??

  • Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.
  • Henry Ward Beecher

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 13th, 2016

Stuff Happens

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein

I used to have a magnetic red sign with bold white letters that stated the title of this blog post (Stuff Happens) except it did not say “Stuff.” It was on the side of a filing cabinet where only I could see it. It helped put things in perspective, at times.

Yesterday, I had some troubles updating my WordPress site and had to go to a back-up (from Sept. 6). Thus, I lost my posts for Sept. 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12 and they can’t be retrieved. If you are a subscriber, you have them via the email you receive. I will try to re-post them from that source.

I pride myself on having a post for every business day. Once in a while, I might miss one day but never that may in a row.

When you have some small troubles or inconveniences, take them in stride. Because, as you know, “stuff happens!”

  • It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.
  • John Wooden

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Saying Good Things

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

Ever wonder what your valuable team members are saying about your firm? I wonder what they say to their friends. I wonder what they say to their parents. I wonder what they say to strangers. And, I wonder what they say to each other!

You should be wondering, too.

In the most progressive firms they are saying things like this:

I can see opportunity here.

They give me ownership of my projects.

I am encouraged to develop myself technically.

I am encouraged to be involved in the community.

This firm is a place for high performers.

They listen to us, we have influence here.

Early in my career, I was given opportunities to have face time with clients.

When something significant happens in your personal life, you get great support from the firm.

I have the feeling I am involved in something special and not just getting a paycheck.

They empower us and give us control over our own schedules.

I love being involved in our Staff Advisory Board.

When I moved to the area, I found the firm online and submitted an application.

These comments come from two, large, progressive, locally owned firms. They didn’t develop millennial-friendly cultures overnight. More and more firms are finding it extremely difficult to compete for top talent. You have to build the culture, the brand, the vision and purpose and… they will come.

  • Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.
  • George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

A Leader’s Mission: Create THE Culture

“Culture drives great results.” – Jack Welch

I have been stressing the culture message for years: If you don’t create, mold, re-mold and monitor your firm culture, it will form anyway and might not be something you had in mind. It might even turn out to be rather ugly!

I was pleased to read, last week, as I followed the Boomer Technology Summit via Twitter that speaker Steven Anderson addressed the topic of culture stressing, “Every organization, whether it’s your firm, your client’s company, or even your family, has a culture, by design or by default.”

Dan Hood of Accounting Today was there in person and wrote a great recap of Anderson’s presentation. It cover’s Anderson’s “natural laws” for creating a place where people will want to work.

Read all about the three “Laws” in Dan’s article here.

On my blog page, I searched for “culture” and found many additional readings you can access if you want to really WORK on your culture. You can access the search here. Do more reading, research, and soul-searching. Then talk with your partners and decide what you want your firm culture to feel like. Next step is to get busy creating it.

 

  • When you lavish praise on people they flourish. Criticize, and they shrivel up.
  • Richard Branson