Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

The Real Story About CPE Courses

I use Yelp and Trip Advisor to find great restaurants. How about you? I also use the reviews and book reservations with Open Table. These are helpful tools. I feel like I get the real story about the restaurant.

What if you could find the same type of reviews (from different perspectives) when you are deciding upon a CPE course? Helpful, right? Check out the following press release and visit the site. It’s new.

Trinocity launches, a CPE user-review site

CPAs can now rate and review any online CPE course from any provider

Nashville, TN – Trinocity announced today the launch of, a rating and review platform for CPE courses. CPAs can find, rate and review any online CPE course from any provider.

Trinocity President, Eric Busby, said, “Much like Yelp and TripAdvisor did with restaurants and hotels, CPEadvisory brings user reviews to CPE. We believe user reviews increase transparency, which helps CPAs make more informed choices and, over time, drives quality higher.”

The CPEadvisory platform can also be integrated with state CPA society websites. The Kentucky Society of CPAs was the first to do so, with other states coming online soon. contains over 6,000 course listings and is updated daily. Beginning today, CPAs can use the site to find any online CPE course and are encouraged to post reviews on courses they’ve taken.

About Trinocity: Trinocity is a software company specializing in the advancement of the best instruction through user-generated rating and review platforms. It is based in Nashville, Tennessee.

  • I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
  • Abraham Lincoln

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Make Sure Urgency Is Obvious

Thanks to my good friend, Anita Goetz (former CPAFM national president), for sending me a great blog post by Kris Dunn on The HR Capitalist blog site.

It is about the situation at the University of Missouri. There are lessons to be learned for many and specifically CPA firms which is a “people” business.

Read the entire blog post here.  The title is: Make Sure Urgency Is Obvious to All…

Here are some “things we can learn”:

When you see low level hate activity with no names or individuals to attach to it, it’s not enough to say we’re “looking into it” or “we’re going to work on that”. You have to take action, and if you don’t, you may be held accountable in a way that is career-threatening and embarrassing to you.

(It’s not hate activities at your firm but how many time have you told your employees, “we’re going to work on that”, and then you don’t?)

You can’t be stand-offish to small interest groups that form. You have to engage, or the problem is probably going to get worse.

(At CPA firms, unhappiness of one person spreads. If a star performer is unhappy, they won’t engage, they will just leave and get more money down the street.)

Social media can blow any situation through the roof.

(Be aware! Do you, as a firm leader, even follow social media? One unhappy employee can tell thousands about your firm with one tweet or post on a hiring site.)

All it takes is one group with over-weighted power to take a stand and you’ll be out. Let’s face it, the deans of the various schools came forward and recommended to the president to stand down. Crickets. The football team came forward and it was all over for that president in less than 48 hours. Money and viral pressure from social media, the kind that maybe only sports can deliver in our country, reigns supreme.

(Managing partners, how are you doing? Do you have the support of your partners and your team? Ask them. Talk about it.)

As the author says, take action when you see bad stuff.

  • To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy, a whole heart and a free mind.
  • Pearl S. Buck

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Top 100 Most Influential People In Accounting

image025I am so delighted and honored to once again be included in Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People In Accounting.

It is always something very special to me and humbling to be included with so many great contributors to the accounting profession.

However, this year it is especially meaningful because I was first named to the list in 2005!

Thanks to Dan Hood and all the folks at Accounting Today.

  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.
  • Steve Jobs

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

CPA Consultants’ Alliance Newsletter

The CPA Consultants’ Alliance released their summer recap newsletter this week. It contains the following timely articles:

A Winning Culture is an Intentional Culture by Tamera Loerzel

A Simple Way to Dissolve the Gap by Rick Solomon

Eliminate The Mystery Through Communication And Inclusion by Rita Keller

Read the newsletter here.

Sign-up for future issues on our website!

  • Get your facts first and then you can distort them as much as your please.
  • Mark Twain

Friday, August 7th, 2015

It’s Time To Rebrand

I work with CPAs and their firms. I visit many, many CPA firm websites on a continual basis. For many, it is definitely time to rebrand.

My clients and other CPAs I meet ask me, “What are other firms doing?” or “Can you give me a good example?”. Thanks to my friends at LBMC, headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, I can.

Here is a video about their new rebranding project.

LBMC is a very large firm and can afford to spend a lot more money than many other firms. That’s no excuse for you not to consider rebranding. You can do it! Establish a budget and go forward. It is one step in becoming a firm of the future.

  • If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.
  • Howard Schultz

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Aggressively Seeking Experienced CPAs

You used to have to worry about your competitors luring away your younger accountants. After all, $5,000 to $10,000 more in compensation is quite tempting to someone fairly new in the job market.

During the current accounting firm talent wars, firms are pulling out all the stops to find and attract experienced talent. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that experienced accountants are now much more willing to jump ship. I believe there are various reasons for this, one being the fact that some more senior owners dig in their heels when it comes to change. Many of them don’t think they have to spend money to become a firm of the future because, after all, they will be retiring within the next several years.

If you are a 5 to 10-year CPA, even if you are a partner, you are probably being courted. If you are a niche leader you may even become the object of a bidding war.

The bigger firms are paying more for talented people. Smaller firms don’t seem to be as willing to keep pace. That’s what is interesting about the CPA firm model. The percentage that partners are very used to taking home might not be a sustainable model for the future. After all, if you have to pay your people more, it usually means the partners get less.

Here’s a good article via Crain’s Chicago that tells a story about the Chicago area CPA firm market.

  • Opportunity is a bird that never perches.
  • Claude McDonald

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

CPACA Releases New Succession Survey Findings

I am honored to be a member of the CPA Consultants’ Alliance, a group of management consultants serving the CPA profession. We join together to share trends and practices so that we can better serve our clients: CPA firms, their leaders and their teams.

We are pleased to release the findings of our Succession Survey. Here is our press release and a link to where you can download the article.

CPACA Releases New Succession Survey FindingsFirms struggle most with procrastination and lack of “bench strength” 

Overland Park, KS, June 2015 – The CPA Consultants’ Alliance (CPACA), released the findings from their new succession survey in an article entitled CPA Firms Face Considerable Succession Challenges.  With input from 337 mostly owner and non-equity partner respondents across a cross-section of small, medium and large firms, the survey indicates that firms have considerable challenges with succession.  According to CPACA President and survey chairperson Terry Putney of Transition Advisors, “our profession has a long way to go to get ahead of the considerable wave of retirements facing us.”

Key survey findings conclude that firms:

•       Are procrastinating or are in denial about succession with 26% of respondents citing “other priorities” as the reason succession planning gets short shrift in their firm and 51.7% blaming procrastination or denial.

•       Lack significant “bench strength” to plan transition around, particularly at smaller firms. While 48% of responding partners in firms with 100-plus employees “definitely agree” their firm has adequate talent on hand, over half are not fully confident in their bench strength. Fewer than two-thirds of all responding partners in small firms say they have the right talent to replace retiring owners in the next five years, and one-third are not ready at all.

•       Do not have a systematic way to identify and develop talent into future partners. Just under half of surveyed partners in midsize firms say they do not have a system in place for developing internal talent. 35% of all survey respondents indicate their firms do not have a system in place and are not working on one.

•       Lack plans for client transition.  Only 25% of firms have a client transition plan they are confident will work, although over 40% of those who do not have a plan in place say they are working on one.

•       Are uncertain about their buy/sell arrangements. Nearly 25% of the large firm respondents and 50% of small firm respondents don’t know what their agreement says and more than 75% of all firm respondents lack complete confidence they can handle future partner retirement obligations.

•       See a sale or merger as their most likely succession plan, which was indicated by half of the respondents in firms with less than 10 employees and one in five in firms with 10 to 24 employees.

“This survey’s purpose is to shed light on a topic that is clearly on the back-burner in firms.  By highlighting the challenges and providing suggested solutions, we hope to help firm leaders take steps to plan for and execute transition,” continued Putney.

Download the article at DOWNLOAD SUCCESSION SURVEY.

About The CPA Consultants’ Alliance

The CPACA was formed in 2012 with the purpose of exploring leadership issues facing the public accounting profession and developing and sharing solutions that benefit practitioners. Other insights from the group include the article What Drives Happiness at CPA Firms and the whitepaper CPA Firm Leadership: Communication Drives New Possibilities. The group’s vision is to inspire positive change in the CPA profession by collaboratively establishing tools and content that will educate, motivate and increase the wisdom of current and future leaders.

The CPACA’s members are successful consultants within the CPA profession. Members’ expertise includes CPA firm strategic and succession planning, leadership and management, growth, sales and marketing, information technology, human resources, coaching, mergers and acquisitions, diversity, leadership development and more.

For more information about The CPACA, its members and to stay connected, please:

Visit our Website


  • A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
  • Greek proverb

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

LBMC – Passing The Touch

I love this video widely distributed by Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain (LBMC) this week.

David Morgan and Mike Cain have been the poster-children for co-managing partners in CPA firms and have built an amazing firm. They never disappoint when it comes to managing in a first-class style and this “Passing The Torch” video is just another example.

I have had the pleasure of knowing David and Mike personally and have benefitted from their experience and the example they set. Best wishes to Jeffery S. Drummonds, new Managing Partner of LBMC.

  • March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path.
  • Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The Latest Trends In CPA Practice Management

Dec NL KellerJust a reminder that my monthly CPA firm MAP newsletter went out yesterday.

Each month I offer two articles focused on current topics and trends in the CPA profession and a short, third article about me and what I do to help firms with the minefield called “practice management”.

Articles this month:

Making Too Much Of Emerging & Future Leaders

A Message For Emerging Leaders: Experience Counts!

Struggling With “Firm Of The Future”? – Rita Can Help.

If you are a CPA in public practice or someone working with CPAs and didn’t receive a copy, you can sign-up here. 


  • By the time we've made it, we've had it.
  • Malcolm Forbes

Monday, April 27th, 2015

One Of The Youngest CPAs

It’s amazing what you might accomplish if you work hard and pursue your dreams.

I enjoy success stories and was fascinated as I read about Belicia Cespedes, CPA. She’s 17 years old and passed the CPA exam last summer.

After graduating from high school at 13, Belicia took a QuickBooks course and enjoyed bookkeeping so much she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree and study accounting.

As of January 8, 2015, she became the youngest voting member of the AICPA.

Be sure you are challenging and coaching the youngest members of your CPA team. They do not want to be ignored; they crave your attention. Who knows what they might accomplish.

Read more about this amazing young lady’s story on the AICPA site.

  • The person who is waiting for something to turn up might start with their shirt sleeves.
  • Garth Henrichs