Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

Monday, May 18th, 2015

A Light-Hearted Look At Working Too Many Hours At Your CPA Firm

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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.

(Image via Yazdani Studio of Cannon Design)

  • Happiness is good health and a bad memory.
  • Ingrid Bergman

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

LIGHTEN-UP, IT’S THE WEEKEND – The Accountant. The Assassin.

IMG_4922It’s the weekend – time for something off-topic, humorous or even weird.

Finally, a movie about an accountant. Most of them I know are truly NOT boring.

Maybe you haven’t heard about it but Ben Affleck will be starring (filming is under way) as a CPA, a mild-mannered accountant who moonlights as a lethal assassin.

I know some of you out there think the partners are killing your life (with too much work), but this movie may change the stereo type image of a CPA, at least temporarily!

Notice the picture I took of a picture in People magazine – how’s he’s dressed, eating a home-packed lunch, thermos of coffee, wearing glasses and, of course, on the phone. Sound like anyone you know?

Lighten-up and have some fun this weekend!

  • I was never a Certified Public Accountant. I just had a degree in accounting. It would require passing a test, which I would not have been able to do.
  • Bob Newhart

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s Mother’s Day Weekend

I enjoyed a post that NPR did yesterday in honor of Mother’s Day. It is a compilation of songs. They asked listeners to tell them about the songs that remind them of mom.

To me, the following song is special. It has been sung to children by their moms for years. I sang it to my son and to my grandchildren. Here’s Johnny Cash’s version.

Check-out all the others on the NPR site.

  • A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
  • Tenneva Jordan

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Relax With Some Poetry

Why not relax with some poetry this weekend. Follow the links to read and relax! Some of these you probably haven’t read since high school.

Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe (It was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea…)

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe (Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,)

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…)

The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service (There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold….)

The Face On The Barroom Floor by Robert W. Service (Twas a balmy summer evening and a goodly crowd was there..)

  • Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
  • Rita Dove

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend!

Actually, this is rather depressing.

We used to walk down the street and actually smile at people. I bet you know many people who need these texting hats. You can’t buy one but their site tells you how to make your own.

Lighten-up, smile at someone you don’t know today, it’s the weekend.

  • Don't be yourself - be someone nicer.
  • Mignon McLaughlin

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – It’s Important To Love Your Job

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.

Deep-Slime Divers Keep Vast & Smelly Sewers Flowing

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.

Thank goodness we have people who love accounting!  Read the entire newspaper article here

  • Doing what you love to do, with your whole heart and spirit - it doesn't get any better than that.
  • Kris Kristofferson

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Astronaut Reid Wiseman

This weekend – take just a couple of minutes, put on your headphones and look at this!

It’s from NPR – Cmdr. Reid Wiseman is an astronaut, and a photographer and a pro at Twitter. He shares his favorite shots from space.

I love the picture of Italy and his explanation of the red dot – – I’m not going to tell you about the red dot – you have to watch to find out what it is!

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  • Hardest thing in space? Folding a shirt neatly before putting it away. #Impossible.
  • @astro_reid

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Lighten-Up – – It’s March Madness – – In Two Ways For CPAs!

udDuring March, the numerical athletes that prepare your taxes, I’m talking about your all-star CPA, experiences a March madness of their own.

First, there is the March 15th due date (business tax returns). It’s a crazy time hitting that deadline – long hours and hard work. It is immediately followed by the countdown until April 15th when individual income tax returns are due. Those of us who have worked through those busy times, year after year, often call it March Madness.

However, the actual March Madness (NCAA basketball tournament) is somewhat of a relief for accountants because it diverts their attention to something more fun and exciting. When I was working full time in a firm, we always had a bracket contest. A local law firm had a two-day open house during the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament and business people could stop by for refreshments and viewing of the games – plus the camaraderie.

Check out this story from NPR: March Madness: Keeping Society Sane Since 1908. The opening picture has an amazing shot of Oscar Robertson rebounding in 1959.

Interesting facts from the article:

  • The original March Madness started in 1908 with a boys’ high school tournament in Illinois.
  • Before our current madness, a handful of teams from Kentucky high schools call the “Sweet Sixteen” drew sold out crowds.
  • A former Illinois high school coach, Henry V. Porter, first coined the term in a 1939 essay, “March Madness.” Quote: “A little March madness may complement and contribute to sanity and help keep society on an even keel.”

This year, American Gaming Association projects that 40 million Americans will fill out more than 70 million brackets.

Now, to make you smile and lighten up for sure: Urologists reported a national increase of up to 50% in the number of vasectomies scheduled on the days preceding the tournament. (So, they can stay home and watch the games.)

I think you will enjoy the article – be sure to click it above (and lighten-up).

By the way…… I live in Dayton!!

  • Anything that I felt good about, my mom and dad felt better about. Everything that I did was supported. I think this type of sustenance had a lot to do with me being confident as an adult.
  • Mike Krzyzewski

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend. Bored With Tax Season Hours?

Accountants work hard. They have amazing skills. They help business owners become more successful, However, if you are working inside a busy CPA firm, maybe you sometimes day dream about doing something more exciting.

Lighten-up, it’s the weekend….. picture yourself doing this…..

  • Oh to speed where there is space enough and air enough at last!
  • Walt Whitman

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – CPA Firms Aren’t The Only Ones With Dress Code Challenges.

As noted in the Washington Post this week, the 113th Congress (the group that departed in December, 2014) was pretty notorious for being bad at a lot of things. But now we can add another to the list: biggest slobs. Visit the Post site and you can see the ranking of the most sloppily dressed Congresses of the 21st century.

Now the 114th Congress is in place and John Boehner, on Wednesday, scolded them to stop bustling around the chamber during speeches, stop taking photos during House business, and stop being late to votes. He also reminded members of the importance of wearing “appropriate business attire during all sittings of the House, however brief their appearance on the floor might be.” You can watch his message here on the CBS news site. Boehner noted, “You know who you are” and everyone chuckled.

It has become necessary to frequently lecture Congress on how to act and how to dress. It is done rather routinely.

Sound familiar? Now, those of you who have more longevity in the CPA profession, don’t need to feel so alone. It is my observation that professional, business attire for CPAs has almost entirely disappeared. Times are changing and that’s okay. But, here’s one of my true stories:

I was guest speaker at a state society women’s award luncheon a couple of years ago. The female honorees were dressed in business attire (although it is more difficult to tell with women!). Many male supporters, colleagues, peers and bosses of the females were also in attendance.

I just observed the people (I love to do that… just watch and listen) as they entered the room, chatted and took their seats.

One gentleman who entered caught my eye immediately. He was of average height, weight and features but he was immaculately groomed. Expensive suit (you could just tell by looking), great tie, pressed shirt, polished shoes, good haircut and wonderful posture. I knew the names of the firms that were represented by the award winners. One of the firms was a very high-profile, successful, rapidly growing, large firm. I thought to myself, “I bet he’s with XXXXXX.” I did not know him but, as it turned out, he was the managing partner of the firm I described. He looked successful. Self-confidence shows.

I hope you take all of this lightly – times really are changing. So smile, but remember if you are a leader at your firm, your people watch you so they can judge how to behave (and dress).

Passing thought:  I was going to blog about the Llamas but I think that has been very adequately covered! Have a great weekend!

  • The only rule is don't be boring and dress cute wherever you go. Life is too short to blend in.
  • Paris Hilton