Archive for the ‘Partner topics’ Category

Monday, August 13th, 2018

Cul de sac

“If your job is a cul-de-sac, you have to quit or accept the fact that your career is over.” – Seth Godin

Cul de sac is a dead-end street. It goes nowhere. Seth Godin talks about cul-de-sac jobs in his book The Dip.

If you are working in a CPA firm, no matter what your title, you might find yourself in a cul-de-sac job. You work and you work and nothing much happens. It doesn’t get better, it doesn’t get worse. It just is.

Get off the cul-de-sac – why invest your life in something not getting any better.

Some of you work in cul-de-sac firms. There is a lot of talk about how things will get better but nothing much seems to happen. Years pass by.

Some of you are in cul-de-sac partner groups. Same as above, lots of talk but not much really happens. Years pass by.

Move your firm and/or yourself out of the cul-de-sac.

 

  • People settle. They settle for less than they are capable of.
  • Seth Godin

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Outsourced Accounting

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” – Anton Chekhov

CPA firms are seeing amazing growth in the area of outsourced accounting services. It not only is of immediate value to clients, it also provides the accountant with the ability (and information) to become even more of a trusted advisor.

Recently, Bill.com released the results of a survey they did regarding the use of outsourced accounting services. They have furnished a report on their findings – What Businesses Really Think of Client Accounting Services. You can download the report here.

In the introduction, Bill.com founder, Rene Lacerte, notes:

We are a nation of outsourcers.

In our personal lives, we outsource both simple and complex tasks—everything from grocery shopping to planning for retirement. We aren’t lazy or incapable, but we know that if we let the experts handle these tasks, they will be done right and allow us time to focus on what matters most. Outsourcing reinforces our priorities.

Businesses, too, are well acquainted with outsourcing. Disciplines ranging from IT to customer support to HR have all found their ways to hire experienced professionals outside of the corporate structure. Now, outsourcing all accounting is gaining traction.

The accounting profession has talked about client accounting advisory services (CAS) for a decade, speculating on the best ways a firm can solicit and handle all of a company’s accounting and finance department needs. For accountants, holding the reins to the company’s financial performance gives them unparalleled insight into the business and the ability to surpass a transactional state in favor of strategic advice and planning. It creates the platform for impactful contributions.

While accountants understand the benefits of CAS, what do businesses think about outsourcing their accounting? If you’re considering starting or expanding your CAS practice, it is good insight to have before you begin.

In this survey with CPA.com, we asked more than 1,700 small and medium-size businesses to share their opinions on outsourcing accounting. The results are summarized in the following pages. Respondents told us how much they’re outsourcing today, what they’d like to outsource, what they appreciate about it, and how it benefits their customers.

The survey data underscores just how important CAS can be to both firms and their business clients and how it will continue to grow and gain even greater value in the accounting world.

  • Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.
  • William Shakespeare

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

A Learning Opportunity

unnamed

 

 

 

Don’t hesitate to invest in the success of your new partners and your future partners.

My good friend, Jeff Pawlow of The Growth Partnership, reminded me that it is time to register for The Partner Institute. Here’s the scoop:

Announcing The Partner Institute™ 2019

The Partner Institute™ is a three-year, multidisciplinary program designed to develop the needed skills and attributes for successful firm leadership. Session 1 starts January 16-18, 2019 at the Boardwalk Inn at Walt Disney World. Learn More

Our Curriculum 

The Partner Institute™ offers participants a robust, in-classroom curriculum led by facilitators who are experts in their particular topic and have a deep pedigree rooted in the accounting profession. This sets The Partner Institute™ apart from other offerings.

View the Full Three Year Curriculum Map

Don’t Take Our Word For It…

You can hear it from our graduates first hand!

Since its inception in 2004, The Partner Institute™ has developed future leaders in the profession. We are proud to have a proven track record of success. View Testimonials

Sign Up Today!
Reserve your spot in The Partner Institute™ by submitting your registration and a deposit of $500. Attend the initial course and then decide if the program is right for you. If you elect to continue, we will invoice you accordingly.

Register Now!

  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  • Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

You Are Good With Numbers But Can You Write?

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” – Jack Kerouac

I have observed that many CPAs in public practice do not like to write articles. They seem to love numbers more than words.

I have also observed that there is usually one or two partners who do have a talent for writing. The best ones are those who can explain complex tax and accounting issues so that their average client can better understand the topic and actually appreciate the information.

Many CPA firm marketing directors have voiced their great frustration with the “write an article for our newsletter” dance. The partner promises to write an article for the next issue. The Marketer begins nagging about two weeks before the deadline and continues to nag right up until the drop-dead date for publication. The partner always has a good excuse…. “give me one more day” is the battle cry.

CPAs who write for their firm newsletter – when you volunteer to write an article, write it immediately and side-step the drama.

Offer your articles to your local business newspaper. They are often looking for tax and accounting articles. Articles can be repurposed. Use them for blog posts!

If you want to build your personal reputation – write, write, write.

  • Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
  • Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Busy vs. Busyness

“Leadership is about creating change you believe in.” – Seth Godin

I just had to share a post by Seth Godin. It is so right-on for the CPA profession. The title is Business/Busyness. I sincerely hope you take just a couple minutes to read the entire post.

You (and all your team members) are busy, but are you productive? Productivity is the amount of useful output created for every hour of work we do.

Take note of number three in his post. Productivity suffers when you are waiting – Waiting on answers from a partner, waiting on tech support, waiting on clients.

What are you going to do about the time killer – waiting on clients? The lost time wasted on clients who keep you waiting could be better spent on the kind of clients who value your services and your team.

Godin states: Busy is not your job. Busy doesn’t get you what you seek. Busy isn’t the point. Value creation is. 

You only get today once. Your team does too. How will you spend it?

  • People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.
  • Seth Godin

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

CPA Firm Best Practices Network

“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” – Benjamin Franklin

I received the following press release yesterday. Another good resource for practice management ideas and trends.

CPA Leadership Institute and Adamson Advisory announce the formation of the CPA Firm Best Practices Network™ 

Effective July 15, 2018–The CPA Firm Best Practices Network™ is a ground-breaking initiative dedicated to CPA firms that would like to reach a higher level of performance. 

The Resources of the CPA Firm Best Practices Network™include the CPA Firm Self-Assessment Tool™ the CPA Firm Self-Assessment Survey,™ and the Best Practices Focus Group Program. 

The CPA Firm Self-Assessment Tool™ is an inventory of generally accepted best practices employed in virtually every segment of the business of CPA firms. Each best practice is accompanied by a description of what it means to be performing at a high level with respect to that best practice. 

Firms use the CPA Firm Self-Assessment Tool ™ to guide them in rating their performance. They submit their ratings to the Network, which periodically publishes the CPA Firm Self-Assessment Survey,™ for member firms to compare themselves with their peers. 

The CPA Firm Self-Assessment Tool™ helps develop insights into the strengths and weaknesses in firm operations– in their own view—to begin the process of developing the initiatives to move from good to great. 

The Best Practices Focus Groups are online sessions that help firms prioritize and work on best practices. They will expand on the answer to the question–what does it mean to perform at a high level with respect to each best practice?

The Panel of Advisors:
Gary Adamson, Adamson Advisory

Joel Sinkin, Transition Advisors
Lisa Tierney, Tierney Coaching and Consulting
Marc Rosenberg, The Rosenberg Associates
Randy Johnston, Network Management Group, Inc.
Bryan Eberle, Haydenrock Solutions
Joel Shiffrin, CPA Leadership Institute

  • Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.
  • Abigail Adams

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Essential Questions

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

You have gathered all of your partners for the annual partner retreat. You are not going to discuss day-to-day issues. You are all going to focus on strategic issues that will take your firm into the future.

You work diligently for one or two days and document a strategic plan. Allow time at the end of the retreat to discuss one more thing. It is David Maister’s essential questions of strategy (from his book Strategy and the Fat Smoker). Consider these questions, discuss these questions because they are the questions that are often avoided in strategic planning:

“Which of our habits are we really prepared to change, permanently and forever? Which lifestyle changes are we really prepared to make? What issues are we really ready to tackle?”

 

  • Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  • Nelson Mandela

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Left Standing At The Altar

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” – Rumi

Your accounting firm has several partners in their late 50s or early 60s. You don’t have enough young partners or future partners to take the firm into the future and still pay-out a significant amount of retirement dollars.

What do you do? The popular choice is to seek a larger firm to acquire your firm.

In a recent article for Accounting Today, Terry Putney and Joel Sinkin have shared ways to make your firm more attractive to acquirers. It used to be a seller’s market but it has now become a buyer’s market because so many smaller firms are looking for succession assistance.

A large firm is “looking at” your firm and another firm of similar size. The other firm has embraced technology and you are still not completely paperless. They choose the other firm and leave you standing at the altar.

Here are the Five Ways to Beautify Your Firm For M&A. Follow the link to read helpful descriptions about each of the five ways.

  1. Embracing technology
  2. “Brand” versus “partner” loyal
  3. Good clients and staff
  4. Niches
  5. Realistic terms

Thanks to Terry and Joel of Transition Advisors for this helpful information.

  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Be Careful What You Say and Where You Say It

“A secret spoken finds wings” – Robert Jordan

Client confidentiality is a very important issue inside a CPA firm. So, my warning to all CPA firm team members, including new hires and the administrative team (includes techies and marketers) is – Be careful what you say and where you say it!

This shouldn’t happen, but it does. Team members joke about clients. Perhaps, inside your firm you even have “pet” names for clients, i.e., Mr. Always Late (or even more unflattering names). Be careful!

Never forget that people sitting in your lobby or conference room can overhear many conversations. Develop a culture where clients are always talked about with respect except behind doors and for a good reason.

Here are some examples to avoid and to educate everyone in your firm to avoid:

One firm had a stairway in the lobby leading to the upstairs staff offices and meetings rooms. Anyone sitting in the lobby could hear what was said in the upstairs landing. After an incident occurred, continual reminders kept people from having any kind of client discussions on that upper landing.

Another firm had a client approach a partner to warn him that he, the client, was dining in a popular business lunch spot and overheard a table of administrative people discussing a client of the firm. The client didn’t want his business discussed in public places.

These examples are just one segment of client confidentiality. Some clients don’t even want people to know who handles their financial affairs.

Again, be careful and educate everyone working at the firm.

 

  • Confidentiality is an ancient and well-warranted social value.
  • Kay Redfield Jamison

Thursday, June 28th, 2018

Reminder – Participate in the Rosenberg Survey

unnamed

 

 

 

 

 

 

unnamed (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

to participate in the Rosenberg Survey!
The Rosenberg Survey, a comprehensive benchmarking study for CPA firms, is now open for participation. Our Survey is nearly 200 pages, full of dozens of metrics, ratios and analyses of accounting firm financial performance. Participate and receive valuable data to help guide your firm.
Thank you to those who have already participated!
The fee for the Survey is $400. For questions, please contact us at (314) 209-0922 or email chylan@rosenbergsurvey.com.