I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been reporting on various topics that were prominent at the AICPA Practitioners’ Symposium & TECH+ conference, the Association for Accounting Administration National Practice Management Conference and the Association for Accounting Marketing Annual Conference that were co-located in Orlando this year.
I have such a good time with these pictures and often get requests from attendees for a picture (which thrills me). Here’s one of my favorites, thanks to the AICPA PCPS party. I have been waiting for a picture with Mickey for many years!
You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
Because I love CPAs – old, young, middle-aged – I am thrilled when I get a call to go into a firm and provide some common sense advice on many of the little things that helps build a career in public accounting. It amazes me at the stories I hear about professional CPAs who do not dress the part or know how to host a business lunch!
Yes, for young accountants, “professional and organized” is about building, for middle-aged accountants it’s about enhancing and for older CPAs with lots of experience, it’s about not being embarrassed.
If you are not organized in your personal life, it sure bleeds over into your professional life.
One comment I hear from accountants that are under 40 – especially females – is the fact that partners have stay-at-home wives who “take care of all the little things at home”.
Younger accountants, working very hard to build their careers almost always have a working spouse, who is working very hard to build their own career. These young couples also often have children and they manage home-life as a true 2-person team. Each person has to know how to do a variety of things. Then there are the young accountants, just out of college and living the single life, on their own away from Mom and Dad, and learning to maintain a home life as well as a business life.
Organized at home helps being organized at the office. That’s why this video makes me smile and may help you fold the laundry!
The weekend is time for something off-topic, humorous or even weird.
This weekend, I direct my lighten-up post to all of the young accountants just entering the CPA profession. You have such an exciting, challenging and never-boring life ahead of you that, if you focus, work hard and keep your sense of humor, it will give you an enormous payback. Not only a monetary payback but also the satisfaction that you have served your clients and employees well.
You will age and so will your peers and clients. So – lighten-up – and watch this young couple age from their 20s to their 90s – – enjoy the ride because you will be at retirement age in what will seem like a blink of an eye!
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
Now, here’s an idea for many CPA firms….. sleeping pods that are designed to let you live at work.. it’s one way to address work/life balance, just eliminate it entirely! You could replace your standard cubicles with these.
Seriously, these pods are in a new space for entrepreneurship built at the University of Utah where students working on a startup have the option to live in a sleeping pod in the middle of a larger collaborative workspace as they work on a project.
Here’s my take on this (you were expecting this, right?) – –
CPA partners will immediately think this is a great idea for staff. Staffers will immediately think this is a great idea for partners. It’s one of the GDs (great disconnects) between CPA firm leaders and CPA firm younger team members and future leaders.
CPA partner thoughts: The staff needs to work so much during busy season, let’s make it easier for them. They won’t need to go home at all.
CPA young staffers thoughts: All the partners like to do is work, work, work. With these they could just live at the office and be happy.
Of course, this is an idea for college campuses.. but could it catch on elsewhere? Did you know the employees at Google already informally compete to see how long someone can live at the office, using company showers, food, and sleeping pods? The record is supposedly around two years! Read more about these pods here.
When I talk to very successful business people, I notice one thing they almost always tell me…. I love what I do!
What a joy it is to not dread going to the office (or workplace) every day. I have to admit, all the years I worked in a CPA firm, I never dreaded going to work – I did love my job and my firm. I was never bored. New and exciting things were always on the horizon.
However…. not everyone loves working in accounting. That’s why this true story has always made me smile.
Mexico City — Carlos Barrios Orta squeezed himself into his rubber diving suit, pulled on an 18-pound helmet that made him look like an astronaut, then lowered himself into the sewer. He disappeared into the filthy water, which looked like some cauldron of rancid beef stew, until the only sign of him was air bubbles breaking the surface.
“It’s very, very cold,” Barrios, 48, said into the radio microphone in his diving helmet.
Above ground his partner, Julio Cesar Cu, monitored his radio transmissions and urged him to keep talking. As long as Barrios was still chattering away, it meant that he was okay, that his air hose was working properly and that he hadn’t been swept away to his death by an unexpected rush of waste — as happened to another diver some years ago.
It was 11 a.m. in a massive drain underneath Mexico City, where the smell of human waste and rotting trash was so strong it was hard for a visitor not to vomit. But it didn’t seem to bother Barrios, one of four divers who maintain the 600 miles of sewers and pipes beneath the biggest city in North America. He was just doing his job: keeping pumps and sewers clear.
“I feel plastic bottles, wires, glass,” said Barrios, his every breath exaggerated on the radio.
In the darkness of the sewer, Barrios could see nothing. He doesn’t bother to carry a light, because it would be of no use in the thick waters. He inched forward in his bright red suit, an airtight model that sealed away the disease all around him, feeling his way with his rubber gloves, listening in the darkness. He could hear the powerful, whirring pump that pushed the flow through a six-foot-wide pipe. His mission was to clear away the debris around it so it wouldn’t back up into city streets. Thousands of homes have been flooded in the past by dammed-up wastewater.
“I’ve got it!” Barrios said as he pushed away bottles, plastic bags and other junk he could not identify by touch. At least there were no human bodies today, like the two he found floating by recently.
Now Barrios was singing. “I live in the water, lah-deh-dah-dum.” It was a popular children’s song, “The Pretty Little Fish,” and Barrios sang it like he couldn’t possibly have been happier. He loves his job. Two years ago, he gave up a career in accounting for this — which, he noted, says something about accounting.