Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Vault Releases It’s Annual Accounting 50 Ranking of Firms

Here are a few headlines from Vault’s press release:

  • For the third straight year PwC ranks No. 1 in the Accounting 50—a ranking of the firms deemed “best to work for.” PwC also ranks No. 1 in Prestige for the seventh straight year.
  • Quality of life for accountants is getting better. At the Big 4 and across the industry, ratings in workplace categories such as hours, work/life balance, compensation, and overall satisfaction are rising. This underscores recent moves by the Big 4—PwC, EY, Deloitte, and KPMG—to create more congenial work environments for their employees.
  • Armanino and Plante Moran are the big winners in our Quality of Life categories, earning six No. 1 rankings each. California-based Armanino takes the top spot in Compensation, Hours, and Overall Satisfaction, among other categories. Michigan-based Plante Moran’s No. 1 rankings come in Work/Life Balance and Firm Culture, among others.

The Top 10 firms in the Vault Accounting 50 based on Vault’s annual Accounting Survey are:

  1. PricewaterhouseCoopers
  2. EY
  3. Deloitte
  4. KPMG
  5. Grant Thornton
  6. BDO USA
  7. McGladrey
  8. Plante Moran
  9. Moss Adams
  10. Crowe Horwath


Click here to see the entire list.

  • Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.
  • Zig Ziglar

Friday, April 17th, 2015

AICPA Announces A New Resource For Small Business Owners

Most of your firm’s clients probably fall into the category of “small business.”  As you well know, these companies need lots of on-going support and guidance from their CPA.

The AICPA has launched a microsite: to help these millions of small businesses around the country.  The new site is FULL of valuable videos and resource guides beneficial to both new and experienced small business owners.

Be sure to check out the informational videos page. I especially like – Why a CPA! page.

Share this resource with your entire team and have them spread the word to your valuable clients.

  • If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
  • Booker T. Washington

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

CPA Consultants’ Alliance – New Leaders and Top Issues

cropped-cropped-cpac-headerI am so proud to be a member of the CPA Consultants’ Alliance. It is such an honor to be among so many knowledgeable people focused on helping CPA firms become even more successful.

Once a year we have an in-person meeting to connect, share and improve our consulting skills. In February, we met in Tampa and elected the new Board for 2015.

Here’s the press release where you can access our perspectives on the most pressing issues for 2015:

The CPA Consultants’ Alliance (CPACA), a working group of thought leaders united in their efforts to further leadership within the CPA profession, recently held its annual meeting in Tampa, FL.

During the meeting, members approved the following slate of new officers:

  • Terry Putney, CPA, CEO of Transition Advisors, LLC– President
  • Tamera Loerzel, Partner in ConvergenceCoaching, LLC– Immediate Past-President
  • Sarah Johnson Dobek,Founder and President of Inovautus Consulting – Vice President
  • Dustin Hostetler, Shareholder, Boomer Consulting– Secretary/Treasurer
  • Rita Keller, President and Founder of Keller Advisors, LLC – Membership Chair
  • Rick Solomon, CPA, CGMA, CEO of Thriving Firm – Deliverables Chair
  • Carrie Steffen, President and Co-Founder, The Whetstone Group –Marketing Chair

In addition, members shared experiences and insights into issues of the CPA profession. Their perspectives on the most pressing issues for 2015 can be found on the website in a new report entitled: People at the Center of CPA Firm 2015 Top Issues

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. Watch for the CPACA’s next report on CPA firm succession coming later in 2015.

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:

Email at:
Visit our Website
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Twitter

  • A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
  • John Lennon

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

A Change In Overtime & The Average Work Week

How and when a CPA firm pays overtime is something that has been discussed and argued for years. It is not always easy deciding who is “exempt” and who is “non-exempt”.

I have found that most firms are very careful about these rules. I just wanted to give you a heads-up about some new overtime pay protections for low-salaried managers that are in the works.

Here’s the article on CNN Money – be sure you are in the know for your firm and for your clients.

Here’s another interesting fact. According to a Gallup poll from last fall. The average U.S. employee works 46.7 hours per week. So, don’t think it is just the accounting profession that has extended hours.

The best thing about public accounting hours is that, for many accountants, the extra hours occur in winter and when summer arrives it’s a 40-hour work week.

  • Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.
  • Tim Notke

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

CPA Practice Advisor – Gail Perry

gail2Have you read Gail’s editorial column in the February issue of CPA Practice Advisor?

It is titled: The 30,000 Foot View of the Accounting Profession – It’s Time For A Landing.

She provides a list of challenges facing the CPA profession from a group of accountants. Here’s a few examples of the challenges:

  • Technology is replacing or changing the role of entry-level people.
  • Attracting talented graduates
  • Adding advisory services
  • Many client and staff relationships are virtual
  • And, several more

The irony is that this entire list was compiled in the year 2000! Read her column. Do you see a major problem here?

The scary thing for me is the fact that I have been working with CPAs for over 30 years. I am still called upon to assist with some of the same issues I experienced that long ago.

  • All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Be More Aware Of Your Health & The Health Of Your Team

I really enjoyed hearing about wellness programs inside CPA firms. It was all the rage a few years back. As with many programs inside accounting firms, I wonder if they are all thriving.

I have blogged about the topic of how important standing up is to the health of someone, like you, who sits in front of a computer most of the day. Here’s a couple of my posts on the topic:

Stand Up and Be Counted - June 20, 2014

Less Sit Down Time – More Stand Up Time - July 10, 2013 (with pictures)

Here’s more info and ideas about the benefits of standing:

  • Five or more hours of sedentary sitting is the health equivalent of smoking a pack and a quarter of cigarettes.
  • Studies have shown that our bodies can benefit from simply standing up, contracting muscles and moving. Stand up every 20 minutes (set the timer on your phone).
  • New science shows very persuasively that standing up about every 20 minutes, even for only a minute or two, reduces your risks of developing diabetes and heart disease.

Read more about it here…..

  • If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good.
  • Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Nominations Are Open For 2015 Top 10 Public Accounting Professionals

I was not aware of this award, however, when I received the press release, it got my attention. I recognized several of my clients on the 2014 listing!

The National Academy of Public Accounting Professionals (NAPAP) is now accepting nominations for the 2015 “Top 10 Public Accounting Professionals” awards in each state. In addition, NAPAP is also accepting nominations for the newly established “Top 10 Public Accounting Professional Rising Stars” awards, which will recognize outstanding accountants with less than 15 years of experience.

Here’s a link to their website. You can see the 2014 award winners for your state on the site and also nominate someone for 2015.  There is also a link to their selection criteria.

I love to see CPAs get recognition!

  • An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.
  • Gandhi

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