Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

I Don’t Remember This Happening Before

Pope_Francis_Korea_Haemi_Castle_19_(cropped)Perhaps it has happened, but I don’t remember a sitting Pope commenting, in a very public manner, about the important role of accountants in society.

I urge you – CPAs in the corporate arena and CPAs in public practice – to always keep in mind the important role you truly DO play. Here’s a tidbit about what the Pope said in an address in Rome to participants of the World Congress of Accountants.

“So everyone—but especially those in a profession that deals with the proper functioning of the economic life of a country—is required to play a positive, constructive role in the course of their daily work, bearing in mind that behind every document, there is a story, there are faces.

“Those who work in various positions in the economy and finance are called on to make choices in favor of the social and economic wellness of humanity as a whole, giving everybody the opportunity to realize their own development.”

Young CPAs just getting a good start in your career – you should be very proud of the profession you have chosen. Please have the determination and pride to stay in the public accounting arena. You will be able to touch so many lives. I hope you always remember that while the hours are sometimes long and the continual learning is challenging, the rewards are great – both monetary and personal satisfaction and pride.

Experienced CPAs, not only should you keep doing what you are doing, you should also keep in mind how many lives – your clients and your employees – you are responsible for. I believe that you have survived in public accounting because you do strongly feel the commitment to helping people.  Business people and individuals NEED your expertise.

Read about the Pope’s comments on the Journal of Accountancy site.

(photo via Wikipedia)

  • The future starts today, not tomorrow.
  • Pope John Paul II

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

CPA Consultants’ Alliance Welcomes Two New Members

As you probably know, I am a founding member of The CPA Consultants’ Alliance (CPACA), a working group of thought leaders united in their efforts to further leadership within the CPA profession.

This fall we welcomed two additional members. They are experienced and well-known advisors to the CPA profession and we are thrilled to have them join us.

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Gary Adamson, CPA, is CEO of Adamson Advisory, a CPA practice management consulting firm specializing in succession strategies, practice growth, practice structure and management of cohesive partner teams. He is an experienced retreat and strategic planning facilitator, merger and acquisition negotiator and partner performance coach. Gary also brings more than 20 years of experience as a managing partner of a top 200 accounting firm.

 

 

bio-bonnie-200x198Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk is president of bbr marketing. She has been a member of the creative and marketing services community for more than 20 years. Her firm provides marketing and strategy services for professional service firms – helping them reach their audiences and grow their firms. Bonnie offers a unique perspective to the CPACA based on a diverse background of having worked for a health and fitness startup, Turner Broadcasting and various software and financial services firms.

 

  • By building relations we create a source of love and personal pride and belonging that makes living in a chaotic world easier.
  • Susan Lieberman

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

Angie Grissom

My friend, Angie Grissom, President of The Rainmaker Companies, stressed some important insights in their recent newsletter.

Albert Einstein once said,To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

The best leaders get comfortable with being uncomfortable. They know that what once worked for their business, may not always continue to work. We will see this when working with firm leaders that are nearing retirement. The way in which your firm grew over the last 30 years is probably not the way it will grow in the next 30 years. We need to have a culture that is open to this reality.

Angie and the team members at Rainmaker have certainly embraced change and creativity during 2014. Read more about about what they have done in here.

  • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
  • Albert Einstein

Friday, September 26th, 2014

It’s Rosenberg Survey Time!

photoYes, September brings the release of The Rosenberg Survey. It is a National MAP Survey of CPA Firm Statistics.

CPAs love statistics!

When you receive your copy, look on Page 11 for my comments (thanks so much to Mr. Rosenberg for including me!).

My advice, if you are part of the survey….. NEVER settle for average.

Order your survey here.

  • Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable.
  • Bobby Bragan

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Succession Survey – We Need Your Input!

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I am a member of the CPA Consultants’ Alliance and our mission is to explore leadership issues facing the profession and develop and share solutions that benefit practitioners.

Along those lines, we are collecting information to determine how partners in firms view their firm’s ability to address the succession of their partners primarily as they approach retirement. Although there have been several surveys recently conducted in the profession about succession issues, we believe this one is unique. Using the data gathered from this survey, members of the CPA Consultants’ Alliance will provide participants and the profession as a whole insights into an issue with which many firms are struggling. Succession of retiring partners is something the vast majority of firms are facing in the next few years and many firms are unsure how they will navigate through this challenge successfully.

We welcome your participation and would appreciate your help in spreading the word about this survey through email and social media. We will provide you with a copy of the results in advance of the public release. To receive this release first, simply email info@cpaconsultantsalliance.com to let us know how you share the survey and we will send you an email with access to our findings.

The survey consists of 15 short, simple statements to which respondents will enter their level of agreement.  The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. The link below opens the survey. Please distribute this link to everyone in your firm, at all levels. The survey ends October 15th. The more data we collect, the more meaningful the results will be.

We will be releasing our findings in the form of an article that will include ideas and practical advice your firm can apply. All survey participants will receive a copy of this article as well as access to interviews we are doing with CPA firm leaders and emerging leaders.

Survey link:   https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CPACA

Thank you for being part of this survey and for passing it along to others in public accounting.

  • You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely.
  • Ogden Nash

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Top 100 Most Influential People In Accounting

Photo on 11-22-13 at 7.08 AMYes, I admit it. Every year I wonder….. will I make it again? Am I working hard enough, am I helping enough people, am I answering enough questions, am I working with enough firms, am I speaking often enough, is my writing (blogging) on target and relevant?

Again, for 2014 I am honored and delighted to be named to Accounting Today’s prestigious listing. I am so fortunate to be among the individuals on the list. I was first named to the list in 2005. That was a year before I started blogging, in 2006, times certainly have changed.

I owe so much to my colleagues in the CPA management world, to the members of the AICPA, AAA and so many state societies and CPA firm associations – they give me a forum, a voice and I am grateful. Of course, a special thanks to Dan Hood and the editors of Accounting Today.

My reports tell me that this blog and my tweets are my best tools for reaching all of you. I also get a lot of great feedback on my monthly newsletter. If you don’t get it, sign-up here.

My advice for today – to all of you….. You have potential that you probably are not completely aware of. Keep your passion burning and never give up. As a young lady, I never dreamed I would speak in front of hundreds of people, and be influential in such a highly-regarded profession as public accounting. Keep your dreams alive.

  • It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
  • Sir Edmund Hillary

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Trust and Making Employees Feel Valued

Inside your busy accounting firm, how do your people really feel? Do they trust the firm’s leaders? Do they feel valued? Do they feel like a team…. a family?

I was watching CBS Sunday Morning last weekend and they did a segment on the challenges faced by a supermarket chain in New England when employees walked out because the boss they liked was fired by Chairman of the Board (his cousin) who wanted more money to go to shareholders and less to employees. Guess what? The employees won the battle. One of the signs carried by employees on the picket line said, “Don’t reward greed.”

But, more than that, this segment features companies that continually make the Fortune magazine 100 Best Places to Work list. These companies are consistently more profitable than other companies.   Robert Levering, one of the creators of the list says, “too many companies are mediocre.”  The segment went go on to feature Whole Foods – a company that has made the list every year since it was created in 1998 and Radio Flyer, the maker of the little red wagons.

It’s worth your time to watch this video.

I meet and talk to representatives of many, many firms every year. There are some who really work at employee engagement and many more where it’s still about chargeable time, realization and hitting deadlines.

By the way, accounting firm Plante Moran has made the list for 16 years. In 2014, they rank #23, up from #25 in 2013.

Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost U.S. businesses up to $550 billion dollars per year. Gallup says that only 3 out of 10 employees are engaged.

I like the story in the video about the Radio Flyer wagon company.  They ask employees to live by the Little Red Rule: Every time we touch people’s lives they will feel great about Radio Flyer.

Their employees, called Flyers, have a good time (fun and games). But, the point is to make sure that nothing gets in the way of the business of fun and games.

So, think about your firm. Do your team members think the partners are greedy? (I have heard this mentioned numerous times among groups of CPA firm employees.)  Do your team member feel like they get enough recognition? Many simply want to hear the words “thank you” more often.

I have always thought that accounting firms really are great places to work. However, I think owners need to be more open and active in engaging their workforce and focusing on positives and downplaying the negatives.

  • When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.
  • Simon Sinek

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

CPA Firm Practice Management Newsletter

Newsletter pictureMy newsletter went out yesterday. Did you get your copy?

It’s official name is “Solutions For CPA Firm Leaders” but I’m rethinking that.

I like to call it CPA MAP Talk (with Rita Keller).

Why? Because my newsletter, this blog (every business day for almost 10 years), my business Facebook page (and some of my personal page), My Google+ posts, my tweets, my LinkedIn posts and the message in all my in-person presentations is all about MAP.

By the way, how are you doing with Managing an Accounting Practice?

I hear stories. Oh boy, do I hear stories!! Many of you are puzzled, confused, stressed, disgusted – yet… passionate, determined, ambitious and caring.

I hope you will sign-up for my newsletter and follow me on the other venues. I lived through what you are living through. Never a dull moment when you are dealing with MAP. Believe it or not, most of what you are experiencing (successes and challenges) haven’t changed that much over my many years working in the profession – that’s what makes me sad. Use all of these free resources to help you PUSH your firm forward.

Twitter – @cpamanagement

Facebook – business page

Facebook – I have lots of personal and business FRIENDS.

LinkedIn

Google+

Instagram (mostly for fun).

Also, check out my Flickr page. Click on Albums to find “Is That You With Rita?” Maybe you will see a picture of YOU.

 

As Margaret Mead said:

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  • We all agree that your theory is crazy, but is it crazy enough?
  • Niels Bohr

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

DON’T MISS THIS DEADLINE

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On behalf of my friends at AICPA/PCPS, I urge you to take part in the National MAP Survey…..

Ready…set…GO, CPAs:  This is the final push to gain the most reliable benchmarking survey data; we need to reach as many Public Accounting Firms as possible.  If you want to compare your firm’s performance to other firms like yours, take a couple hours to complete the 2014 AICPA PCPS/TSCPA National MAP Survey which is closing August 15th

Use the personalized results to pinpoint what it will take for your firm to perform “above average” in the categories most important to you. The information gathered benefits the profession as well – please participate if you haven’t already and ask your peers to do the same. 

 

  • When you control the mail... you control information.
  • Newman, on Seinfeld

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Clear The Hurdles & Win the Race – Winning Is Everything Conference

In January, I will be speaking at the Winning Is Everything Conference in Las Vegas at the beautiful Aria hotel, January 28-30, 2015.

If you are working in the CPA profession, I’m sure (at least hoping) that you are familiar with this premier practice management conference.

Winning is Everything is not just for large firms and only managing partners. The conference welcomes knowledge leaders and forward-thinking professionals who are ready to learn from other attendees and knowledgeable speakers.  Attendees include managing partners, partners, CFOs, COOs, Firm Administrators, Marketing professionals and HR professionals from firms around the globe.

Meets and Events:  Check out the Agenda.

Clearing the Hurdles: Your Coaches (the speakers)

Enter the race: Register here

I like the 2015 theme: Clear The Hurdles… And Win The Race.

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  • Finishing races is important, but racing is more important.
  • Dale Earnhardt