Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Lighten-Up and Lean… It’s The Weekend

4monitors Roger KramerI have blogged about the trend at CPA firms to use stand-up desks. I have seen more and more of them as I visit firms around the country.

A standing desk is nothing new. Did you know that Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill and Ben Franklin used stand-up desks?

The downside is…. yes, it’s tiring to stand-up for hours!

leanchairHere’s a new development that I read about via Fast Company (you should be reading/following Fast Company).

It is a “new chair-ish thing, you sort of get the benefit of standing at work, without fully standing”.

So… lighten-up and smile more this weekend and learn about leaning.

Here is a picture of Hemingway at his stand-up desk.

Here is a picture of Churchill at his stand-up desk.


  • 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.
  • Ernest Hemingway

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend. Is That You With Rita?

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.

It was a wonderful opportunity for me to add to my special album on Flickr – Is That You With Rita? Some of the pictures go back to 2007 (yes, my hair has changed color!). You can see some of the pictures on the right side of this blog page. Here’s a link to the most recent additions.

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.
  • Walt Disney

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Organized, Professional, No Nonsense

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!


  • Clutter is nothing more than postponed decisions.
  • Barbara Hemphill

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend

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.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, May 18th, 2015

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











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