Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Are You Happy?

Often, working inside a busy accounting firm, unhappiness vibes abound.

CPAs and their team become stressed, tired, grouchy, impatient and so on.

Then, there are the happy firms. There are plenty of happy firms but not enough!

Sometimes, the people trying to keep people happy inside CPA firms are not happy themselves. Here’s some of their beefs….. We try this, we try that, partners won’t agree, we have to make an exception for old Joe, partners still give the young team member grunt work (and call it that), they don’t want to do social media, they think it is a waste of time, they say they are paperless but we still print a heck of a lot of stuff, females want to be partner but they won’t work for it, males want female partners but they don’t understand, we have too much turnover, we won’t invest in new technology, truthfully, we have fun when we are told to have fun….

Hey! I’m sick of all this…  It’s the weekend – start today and be happy about your success in the CPA profession. If you aren’t happy in your job – quit and do something else that makes you happy.

Please watch this entire video – It’s Pharrell Williams’ happy. Dance as if no one is watching.

More happiness needed? Watch the Despicable Me 2 version.  Wow, I am happy!


  • Bring me down, can't nothing bring me down, my level's too high.
  • Pharrell Williams

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – 20 Years Ago Something Amazing Happened

This past week an amazing anniversary was observed. Twenty years ago on July 16th, The Three Tenors gave a one-night only show at the Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium that was watched by a billion people worldwide. This concert permanently altered how a large amount of classical music is presented, packaged and sold.

The concert was timed to coincide with the Brazil-Italy World Cup final being held the next day at the Rose Bowl. Read about the concert via NPR.

Here’s a short video. I can watch it over and over.

It doesn’t matter that you don’t know what they are saying/singing – their voices, their presence, their joy in sharing their skills, the audience reaction… all make for a wonderful 5 minutes.

Bookmark this video. Then in the heart of your next busy season – watch this for 5 minutes when you are feeling stressed and over-whelmed. I know it makes me feel energized.

Well, if you are a Seinfeld fan, you know it is Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti and the other guy.

  • I'm like the Phoenix rising out of Arizona.
  • Frank Costanza

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Helicopter Parents – An Example

I love this short video from the folks at Robert Half.

As, I talk with CPAs around the country, most of them seem amazed that helicopter parents are actually calling “bosses” at CPA firms in inquire or complain about something on behalf of a young staff person. Larger firm are developing programs to deal with the parents who show up with their young person for the job interview!

Does your firm have a way to connect with parents? Remember, most young people entering your firm have had intense parental support. Build on that.

Because this depiction is extreme, it makes you smile – yes, lighten-up, it’s the weekend!


  • My heroes are and were my parents. I can't see having anyone else as my heroes.
  • Michael Jordan

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Be Happy

For this weekend, a quote to contemplate as you build your career or manage your firm in public accounting.

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – - John Lennon

Friday, July 4th, 2014

A Good Way To Start Your Long July 4th Weekend

We have our ups and downs, but I am still so thankful that I am a citizen of the good old USA.

This march always cheers me up. Somehow it instills energy.  Learn some of the history about John Philip Sousa‘s Stars and Stripes Forever and listen… if it seems to long or you don’t have time today – skip to the 3:52 minute mark and get energized.

Happy 4th of July!

The Google Doodle today also salutes the Stars & Stripes Forever.

  • There, I guess King George will be able to read that.
  • John Hancock

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

Lighten-Up CPAs, It’s The Weekend – Do You Nourish Friendships?

Why do I love working in the CPA profession? Because I love the people. More importantly, I have developed friendships that are deeper than “just” someone you work with.

How about you? Do you make an effort to get to know someone in your business life to a more meaningful level than just a business friend or colleague? My advice…. make the effort!

How often do you invite a “business” friend, associate, peer or employee to get together casually?

IMG_20140626_191412_319A special  opportunity presented itself to me this week. My friend and business associate, Linda Watson met me for coffee on Thursday morning. Linda is the marketing director for my sister company, SurveyCPA. She is also the marketing director for my friend and partner in SurveyCPA, Gary Adamson of Adamson Advisory. You have probably read Gary’s articles about succession, M&A, partner agreements, partner retirement, etc.

During the breakfast I mentioned that another special friend in my work life, Rob Nance of Inovautus Consulting, a person that has become special to me, was dropping by on Thursday evening to have wine, cheese and dessert. Rob lives in Columbus, Ohio but he was in Dayton for his son’s baseball tournament. Linda said, “I would love to see Rob again, it’s been a long time.”

So, we did have wine, cheese and dessert with my husband, Darrell, on my deck over l00king the 9th fairway on Beavercreek golf course. The evening weather was beautiful, we talked more about “other things” than we did about CPAs until the sun set after 9pm.

Nurture those special relationships. Don’t focus on the past. Don’t focus on the future. Live now.

Linda Watson & Rob Nance, is that you with Rita?

  • The past has no power over the present moment.
  • Eckhart Tolle

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Time For Something Off-Topic, Humorous or Even Weird

This weekend it is not really off-topic. I don’t think it’s weird (you might). However, I do think it is fun.

I have been traveling extensively during May and June and have taken some new pictures for “Is that you with Rita?”

Check out my Flickr page to view the entire album where I have 195 pictures of various people “with Rita.” It spans many years.

IMG_3867This last week I connected with so many great firm administrators, partners, COOs, marketers and vendors at the Association for Accounting Administration Practice Management Conference in San Diego. It was pleasure to congratulate this year’s ACE Award winner, Ronda Lawson, in person.

I also got to meet and talk with Krista McMasters the first ever female CEO of a Top 50 CPA firm (now retired from CliftonLarsonAllen). The week before that was the AICPA PCPS PractitionersTech+ Conference in Vegas. It was in Vegas where the famous bologna sandwich picture was taken thanks to Xcentric.

Page through the older picture, too. I love the one from last fall with Danielle Lee of Accounting Today in her zombie face. Plus, what fun it was to have my picture taken with Lou Holtz and of course – Elvis.

Check carefully, you might spot yourself.

  • A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.
  • Eudora Welty

Monday, June 16th, 2014

The Joy of Connections

The best part of working in the CPA profession is the people.

Over the years, I have developed alliances, associations, and friendships with so many wonderful people. They fit into many categories: CPAs, firm administrators, HR directors/managers, marketing professionals, administrative team members, CPA profession media people, CPA firm association staff members, people at the AICPA and state societies, CPA management consultants and also with the tireless vendors serving the CPA profession.

The list is very long but today I want to feature some special friends, Trey James, CEO of Xcentric also Roy Keely, VP of Market Strategy for Xcentric.

Last week I was able to “catch-up” with so many people working in the profession at the annual AICPA PCPS Practitioners Symposium & Technology Conference (Pstech).

After the Sunday night reception, Trey and Roy invited me, along with Ginny Fedrich of HBLA CPAs, to join them for dinner. We went to the Todd English P.U.B. just outside the Aria Hotel (where the conference was held).

Guess what was on the menu? A fried bologna sandwich!  Ginny noted, “It brings back childhood memories, I’m going to get it.”  I wholeheartedly agreed and ordered the bologna sandwich.

Of course, I had to tease Trey about going all out and buying me a bologna sandwich. How many business dinners have you experienced while eating a fried bologna sandwich? What fun we had. You can tell by looking at our faces. Thanks to Roy for taking this fun picture.  P.S. – It was the best fried bologna sandwich ever!

Trey James, is that you with Rita?

Trey James

  • People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
  • Dale Carnegie

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Lighten-Up It’s The Weekend – Tracking Roadkill? There’s An App For That

My blog topic is CPA firm management. That being the case, I urge CPAs and their employees to “lighten-up” on the weekend. Almost every weekend I do a blog post about something off-topic, humorous or even weird.

Okay, so roadkill isn’t exactly a lighten-up topic. However, tracking where the most motorists hit deer could be beneficial in many ways.

Tracking where deer were hit, in Utah, used to be a huge task involving sorting through mountains of paperwork. Now, a team of scientists at Utah State University has developed a smartphone application to make the task of tracking where deer were hit easier.

Their reason is very important. The team developed the roadkill app hoping that reports from the general public logging into the application will help authorities determine where to construct fences and wildlife crossings to prevent dangerous encounters between motorists and animals.

The scientists wanted to name the app the Roadkill Reporter, but that was not quite in line with the thinking of the Utah Dept. of Transportation. So, it is called Wildlife Vehicle Collision Reporter.

Read the story here, thanks to NPR.

  • Better a thousand times careful than once dead.
  • Proverb

Saturday, June 7th, 2014

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Something Off-Topic, Humorous or Even Weird

This week’s Lighten-Up post is off-topic and sort of weird. But it truly is amazing.

I’ve always been a big National Geographic fan – magazine, TV and not You Tube

Thanks to National Geographic for this video story.

  • In all thing of nature there is something of the marvelous.
  • Aristotle