Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

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

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Enjoy Some Music

Most people will admit that listening to music is an enjoyable, stress-relieving activity in their life.

During this time of year for CPAs and their team members they may need some relief from deadlines, busyness, long hours, heavy workloads and perhaps even some grumpy co-workers and bosses.

I love all types of music, bluegrass to classical, and was delighted with this performance by Chris Thile, mandolinist, and member of the Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek. A bluegrass guy playing Bach on a mandolin.

  • Music touches us emotionally, when words alone can't.
  • Johnny Depp

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Lighten-Up! – Let The Arrow Hit You!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my wonderful clients, associates and friends in the CPA profession. Honestly, I do LOVE my work and the people I serve.

I hope you are feeling the love inside your firm. CPAs are honest, caring people – sometimes they just don’t let it show.

If you are a CPA firm leader, don’t let your people feel like Charlie Brown!

  • Who, being loved, is poor?
  • Oscar Wilde

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

For Women To Become Partners, They Need Help From Men

Male Allies Gender BalanceI hope to see lots of men and women at my session at Winning is Everything this afternoon.  It is all about how male allies can foster gender balance in accounting firm leadership.

In honor of this topic, I thought I would share a little male – female communication humor – so lighten-up!


An English professor wrote the words:

woman without her man is nothing

on the board and directed the students to punctuate it correctly.

The men wrote:

Woman, without her man, is nothing.

The women wrote:

Woman! Without her, man is nothing.

Don’t groan…. there’s more:

A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day – – 8,000 to a man’s 4,000. The wife replied, “the reason has to be because a woman has to say everything twice”. The husband then turned to his wife and asked, “What?”


  • Communication works for those who work at it.
  • John Powell

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – It’s Always Something

“….it goes to show you, it’s always something – – if it ain’t one thing, it’s another.” – – Roseanne Roseannadana (Gilda Radner).

Maybe this famous line, often used years ago by Roseanne Roseannadana on Saturday Night Live, applies to how you feel about the frustrating changes from the IRS this year and the implications of the ACA. When I hear CPAs complain about some NEW process, procedure, guideline or whatever… I usually think to myself…. “It’s always something!” (I hear Roseanne’s voice in my head and it makes me smile to myself.)

Maybe the next time you are about open your mouth to complain pause,  then count your blessings, and simply say, “It’s always something!” Continually show your positive side to your team and to your peers. Keep in mind those around you are counting on your positive attitude and enthusiastic support. Often, it is simply easier to whine and complain – don’t do it.

Here’s Roseanne’s description of what happened after she opens with …. Last Thursday, I quit smokin’ now….

It’s only 16 seconds long but maybe it’s how you feel after you have an encounter with the IRS. Have a great weekend. 

  • Nevermind.
  • Gilda Radner as Miss Emily Litella

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Fun With Ping Pong Balls

Pepsi used thousands of mousetraps and ping pong balls to create a spectacular chain reaction. It was used to send out 2014 with a bang and to say Happy New Year from Pepsi.

I’m weird. I think this is pretty cool (and fascinating). See if it fascinates you and makes you smile. Lighten-up, it’s tax season.

  • When he worked he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.
  • Dr. Seuss

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Is That You?

As you can see, over on the right side of this blog page, I love having my picture taken with YOU. Follow the link to see all of the pictures.

Be sure to seek me out at conferences this year and we’ll get our picture taken!  Here’s a short video highlighting just a few of the pictures:

Is that you?

  • Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past.
  • Berenice Abbott

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Tax Season Is Beginning And….

You are probably thinking it’s going to seem like a billion days until April 15th. 

Who’s the King of millions, billions, trillions and quadrillions? I’m not talking about money – I’m talking about our galaxy…  Carl Sagan! During his Cosmos series he taught us how small we really are and helped us attempt to comprehend the vastness of our universe.

I found this video via Gizmodo. It’s remise is very simple. It’s literally every time Sagan says million, billion, trillion or quadrillion on his 13-part series. It may seem funny but you begin to comprehend the incredible scale of these BIG numbers. I hope you will be intrigued.

  • Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
  • Carl Sagan

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Accountants Keep Too Much Stuff

There is a video going around out there on Facebook of Jerry Seinfeld on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. It is one of those famous types of Seinfeld stand-ups where he asks logical questions about why we all do illogical things. I hope you will watch it, below, and think about your accounting firm.

I definitely laughed…. because, as usual, Seinfeld hits the nail on the head. Why do we keep so much stuff…. garbage?

Guess what? I immediately thought of CPAs. When I visit a firm, the managing partner usually gives me an office tour (something accounting firm leaders love to do). I do enjoy seeing how different firms make the workplace a place where people don’t dread coming to work. Okay, I hate to say this but it has proven true over the years – – the office that looks like a paper factory exploded belongs to the tax guy! – – My question is always the same, “I thought you were paperless!”

Take 5 minutes, watch this gig and smile… it’s the weekend.

  • eBay, another great step in our culture. Why don't we mail our garbage back and forth to each other.
  • Jerry Seinfeld

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Lighten-Up – – Rita Is Wrapping…..

Best wishes to all my clients, associates and friends – especially all of you who follow this blog daily! Let’s have some holiday fun, good cheer, time with family, time with friends, laughter and joy…. then keep it going throughout the new year! Click play to read the greeting (it’s brief!).


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Click here to see Rita’s GRAND wishes from 2013.

Click here to see Rita starring in A Christmas Story in 2012.

Click here to see Rita cooking up some ideas for you in 2011.

  • I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
  • Shirley Temple