Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Friday, June 17th, 2016

CPA Management Newsletter

My newsletter went out yesterday. Here are the stories I included in this edition:

  • The Latest On Issues Being Faced By Firms
  • Keep The Feedback Flowing – Video Interview
  • Need To Talk?

I hope you received your copy. Be sure to check your spam filter. If you are not on my mailing list, you can sign up for my newsletter here.

 

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

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The New Exempt Overtime Rules – A Big Factor For The CPA Profession

In the CPA profession, it used to be that many firms took “overtime” hours into consideration when establishing entry-level salaries often resulting in a higher beginning wage. However, many firms (mostly depending on geographic location) do not offer a salary of over $47,476 for beginners.

Even some long-time bookkeepers and other administrative professionals, currently on salary, do not meet the new threshold.

From a recent SHRM article: “It will be hard to accept and even implement,” said Robert Boonin, immediate past chair of the Wage and Hour Defense Institute, a network of wage and hour lawyers, and an attorney with Dykema in Detroit, Mich.  “It’ll be a cultural change to many and perceived as a step back in career growth.”

You now need to be talking with your people, well before the deadline to comply – December 1, 2016.

Another excerpt from SHRM – very important in this world of expecting an instant response from your staff on weekends and after hours:

What about previously salaried workers who were used to responding managers’ e-mails or phone calls after hours?

“Managers can certainly continue to e-mail after hours and expect timely responses from newly nonexempt employees, [they] just need to be prepared to pay for the time,” Kilborn said. “Perhaps this is a chance for those managers to evaluate how badly they need that response from the employee if they know that they will be paying for it directly.”

Said Wise: “Regardless of what a supervisor may be used to … a manager may have to adjust expectations if response time would result in overtime, or an employer may have to consider financial ramifications if response time is critical and would require overtime.”

Read more here, on the SHRM site. Then get busy planning for this change and how it will impact your firm and your clients. They will look to your firm for guidance.

There is a lot of information on the web a about this new law – Google and read! The details seem to keep changing!

Here’s something from the Ohio Society of CPAs Member Alert:

While the complete rules package is not yet available, key revisions include:

  • Exempt salary threshold increased to $47,476 from $23,660
  • The salary threshold will automatically update every three years, and is anticipated to top $50,000 by 2020
  • The new rules are effective Dec. 1.

 

  • The people's good is the highest law.
  • Cicero

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Opportunity To Fuel Your Professional Growth From The Ohio Society of CPAs

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

I am working with the Ohio Society of CPAs on an upcoming program. It’s called the Business Excellence Symposium and is being held May 11th in Westlake, OH (Cleveland suburb).

I’m excited by the work OSCPA is undertaking to advance business across Ohio by helping CPAs and finance and accounting professionals be positioned to meet today’s business challenges head on to drive growth. The topic selection, and the expertise brought forth is really on-point for the greatest challenges facing our businesses, large or small.

Attend and gain strategies and insights from national leaders in the business and accounting community:

  • Create a culture that top talent can’t pass up – with tips from the leadership coach for The Ohio State University’s football program.
  • Maximize staff resources and harness the power of diversity.
  • Unlock growth strategies that leverage your specific skill sets as an accounting professional.
  • Develop practices to deliver better solutions to organizational challenges.
  • Learn about harnessing business growth potential via a panel discussion with me and Katie Tolin, CPA Growth Guides

All in all, it looks like it’s going to be a great event, you can see the details here. Also, if you can’t make the trip, note there is a live webcasted option.

This is a perfect symposium (and affordable) to send several of your millennial accountants.
If you decide to attend, you can use my personal invitation to get a 20% “friends of BES” discount.  Simply send an email to oscpa@ohiocpa.com saying you learned about the Symposium from me and you would like to attend.

 

  • I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.
  • Eartha Kitt

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Will Much Of What You Do Be Replaced By Machines?

All of us, in the business world, have been dealing with significant changes in the way we work. Accountants have been automating many of their tasks for years now. Remember the first “portable” computers we used in accounting firms? They weighed about 30 pounds but we still thought they were cool.

I am sure that, by now, you have been reading about the massive changes that are continuing to come our way. McKinsey & Co. estimates that 45% of all activities humans perform in the workplace can be done by software or machines.

McKinsey also estimates that somewhere between 85% and 100% of the labor, in 5 categories of jobs, can be done by machines rather than humans. Here are those 5 categories. Take note of #2.

  1. Production workers
  2. Bookkeeping, accounting, auditing and billing clerks
  3. Mechanics and automotive technicians
  4. Construction equipment operators
  5. Bakers and butchers

Maybe the talent shortage in the CPA profession will lead CPAs to more quickly move down the road to automation.

Read more about this topic here.

  • The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that man may become robots.
  • Erich Fromm

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Battle For Talent: Will Denim Daily & Other Enhanced Benefits Win Out?

I see lots of professional young men and women on CPA firm Facebook pages still dressing professionally – most are business casual but they still look professional to me.

All that is changing as the battle for talent heats up. It’s going to be jeans for every day.

News From GoingConcern:

Baker Tilly’s announcement: Baker Tilly Makes Everyday Denim Dreams Come True:

The Chicago-based accounting firm has launched a pilot program allowing its professionals to wear jeans any day of the week they deem it appropriate. No longer will denim be confined to Friday, a fairly common practice in the profession, or purchased as a one-off dispensation for a $5 charitable donation.

Such a practice is fairly unusual in the buttoned-down profession. “If Baker Tilly is jeans every day, they’re probably leading the way on that,” said Todd Shapiro, president and CEO of the Illinois CPA Society in Chicago.

The official name for this pilot program is “Dress for Your Day” and it is effective immediately for all offices. Naturally, BT employees still have to dress professionally for client meetings but otherwise, they can rock denim every day. Just be aware that some people have strong feelings about tuck/no-tuck.

A few days later (via GoingConcern), Crowe Horwath joined the movement:

Not be outdone by their crosstown1 rivals,Crowe Horwath announced earlier this week that not only can their employees wear whatever they want, they can work wherever they want, too (subject to approval of course):

The firm’s new mobility strategy, which was rolled out in December, includes two policies integral to the firm’s approach to attracting and retaining the profession’s best talent. The first initiative, “What to Wear,” dictates that if you’re in the office and aren’t meeting with clients, you can keep it casual and wear jeans any day of the week. The second, “Where to Work,” allows personnel to work wherever it’s convenient and they’re most productive, with support from their performance manager.

Then there is paid maternity leave and unlimited vacation time via CPA Practice Advisor:

The accounting profession is no different. Brown Smith Wallace, a nationally ranked top-100 accounting firm, added new features to its employee benefit package in an effort to recruit and retain more Millennials. As of January 1, 2016, the firm offers paid maternity leave and increased personal time off—including unlimited vacation for managers and principals—based on years of service at the firm.  

Dear CPA friends….. Times They Are A Changin’

  • ..you better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a changin'.
  • Bob Dylan

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Technology & Consumers

It’s a Why Am I Surprised type situation. I periodically “meet” firms (they usually contact me to ask basic questions) that are not embracing the digital world robustly. Many times they have not even dipped their toe in the paperless world. Seventeen years ago my firm went paperless. For many of the more progressive firms it has been nearly that long.

Technology has taken amazing leaps. CPAs must keep-up and be aware of the giant leaps in technology if they are to be a firm of the future. That is why I wanted to share the following. It’s the 10 Hot Consumer Trends via ConsumerLabs.

For many years ConsumerLabs has been in tune with Technology and Consumers and has once again compiled predictions for next year in Tech Trends.  Today they released Ericsson’s 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2016.  You can find the full story on our media rich website we built for this release

http://dnr.vnr1.com/2015/12/03/Ericsson_ConsumerTrends2016/

This is a quick list of the 10 on the list

  1. The Lifestyle network effect
  2. Streaming natives
  3. Artificial Intelligence
  4. Virtual Get Real
  5. Sensing Homes
  6. SMART Commuters
  7. Emergency Chat
  8. Internables
  9. Everything get hacked
  10. Citizen Journalism

Visit the website for the full story and media elements.

When you visit the website, be sure to hit the Read More button and also follow the link to a PDF of the full report – it is fascinating reading! And, extremely important information for progressive CPA firms.

For example, #2 Streaming Natives tells us that 20% of 16-19 year olds watch more than 3 hours of YouTube daily. The original internet generation does not follow this behavior and only 9% of today’s 30-34 year olds (millennials) watch 3 hours or more of YouTube daily. How will this change your clients and employees of the future? Are you doing YouTube videos to help your clients now?

 

  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic.
  • Arthur C. Clarke

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 CPEadvisory.com, 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 CPEadvisory.com, 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.

CPEadvisory.com 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