Archive for the ‘Partner topics’ Category

Monday, February 5th, 2018

There is No One to Replace You

“Leadership Tip: Develop leaders or your vision will die when you die.” – Dan Rockwell

On my mind today. CPA partners have been saying it for several years now, “There’s no one to replace me.”

When I hear it I cringe. When I hear it, I usually ask, “Whose fault is that?”

Have you really been that deficient in training and mentoring your employees? Or, are you telling yourself that there is no one qualified to replace you because you are going to merge up, get your pay-out and don’t want to feel guilty about disappointing some key employees?

  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
  • Will Durant

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Reading For Workaholic Partners

“I’ve heard that hard work never killed anyone, but I say why take the chance?” – Ronald Reagan

Yesterday, I read an article via Harvard Business Review that certainly made me think of many of you (partners in CPA firms around the country).

I personally know many who work WAY TO MANY hours. I know just a few partners who actually work too few productive hours, meaning they work a significant number of total hours but not nearly enough hours that are productive (or billable).

The article is titled, If You’re So Successful, Why Are You Still Working 70 Hours a Week? The author is Laura Empson, a professor in the Management of Professional Service Firms at Cass Business School, University of London, and Senior Research Fellow at Harvard Law School.

If you are not a partner you will probably enjoy the article more than the partners.

  • Either you run the day or the day runs you.
  • Jim Rohn

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Top Five Business Challenges

“What you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” – Tim Fargo

Hinge Research Institute recently surveyed 801 professional services firms of varying sizes and was able to determine the top five business challenges facing these firms.

  1. Attracting & Developing New Business – 75% of respondents cited this as their top challenge.
  2. Finding & Keeping Good People – As boomers retire, it’s increasingly urgent for firms to secure strong talent.
  3. Leadership & Internal Change Issues – You need high visibility experts.
  4. Technology Issues – Technology can be a challenge and an opportunity.
  5. Commoditization of Services – What sets your firm apart from competitors offering similar solutions and great service?

Read the entire article. Do these apply to you? How are you addressing your own top business challenges? Rapid change in the profession makes procrastination very dangerous.

Check out some of the Guides offered by Hinge.

Tomorrow, I will give you my insights about No. 1 – Attracting & Developing New Business.

  • Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all.
  • Sam Ewing

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Your Firm Budget For 2018

“Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” — Warren Buffett,

The AICPA Roundtable 2018 is happening this week in New York City. You can follow the comments on Twitter #AICPAroundtable2018.

Just one comment from yesterday that I think is important to you: 75% of accountants will increase technology spend in 2018

Did you significantly increase your tech budget for 2018?

  • A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.
  • Dave Ramsey

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

Four Important Questions

rob-nixon-blogprofile2copy“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” – Carol Burnett

Today, I want you to read an insightful and empowering post by Rob Nixon, founder of Panalitix, titled The 4 Most Important Questions to Ask

Here’s an excerpt to lead you in….

Let’s park the issues and reasons why you should not be a time selling business and focus on the intellectual capital business. That’s what you really sell so let’s focus on that.

 

  • Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
  • Helen Keller

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Next Year

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.” – Robert Frost

How many times have you said those two words, “next year”?

Maybe to your kids, “You’ll be old enough to do that next year.”

Maybe to your spouse, “Honey, we’ll take that special vacation trip next year.”

Maybe to yourself, “I’m going to lose 25 pounds next year!”

How about inside your firm?

“We will work on it and become COMPLETELY paperless next year.”

“We can’t do it this year, but next year we will out-place those five clients that drive our staff nuts.”

“We promise to be more timely with our feedback process next year.”

“We will add a few more employee benefits next year.”

“We have to update our website next year.”

“We will look into all this new digital stuff like blockchain and artificial intelligence, next year.”

“I’ll pass the CPA exam next year.”

For all these “next years” relating to your firm: Monday is NEXT YEAR.

For NOW – have a happy and safe New Years’ weekend!

  • It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and the broken promises.
  • Chief Joseph

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

The Different Lives of Managing Partners

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” – Muhammad Ali

In his December blog post, Gary Adamson (Adamson Advisory), a former managing partner himself, talks about the different lives a managing partner lives. 

The inside the firm life.

The outside life, representing the firm in the business community.

And, of course, their personal life.

If you are a CPA firm partner, are you living all of these lives, too? You probably act differently in your role as partner inside the firm than you do at home with your family.

What I observe is that while the MP must represent the firm outside – being involved in  civic and charitable organizations, some of the other partners don’t quite live up to that “outside” role.

Young people just building your career in public accounting, start living that outside-the-firm life now.

Take a minute to read Adamson’s blog post.

  • The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.
  • Oscar Wilde

Monday, December 18th, 2017

Frustrated With The Annual Performance Review?

“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence – only in constant improvement and constant change.” – Tom Peters

I am so pleased to be part of the lead article for the December issue of the Journal of Accountancy. The article is by Anna Reitman.

It is titled: Want to jettison the annual performance review? – Here’s how some organizations are making the change.

As I have often stated, in many CPA firms, the reviewers and those being reviewed have come to dread the annual ordeal. This article examines changes that firms have made, the pitfalls they have encountered, and the results of their efforts.

I hope you find it helpful if your firm is considering making a change. Contact me if you need help.

 

  • I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.
  • Elon Musk

Friday, December 15th, 2017

It’s Not a Time For Procrastination

Procrastination under the guise of preparation is stagnation. – Dan Rockwell

Certified Public Accountants working in public practice are known for their very well-developed procrastination skills.

Sometimes, entire partner groups seem to become frozen in time.

It probably would seem strange to outsiders, but some of it comes from success. We’ve worked hard. We’ve done well. We are making great money. Our clients are happy. Let’s cruise for a while! We will think about “those” issues and address them next year.

Firms with that mentality (and there are a lot of them), will not find their way into the future. 2018 could be a key turning point, or not, for many smaller firms.

Plan now to make 2018 an action year.

  • The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They're full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.
  • Norman Vincent Peale

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

It Won’t Be The Same Tomorrow

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” – Arnold Bennett

If you are retirement age, working in a CPA firm, it might be a good time to actually retire.

Here’s an informative, brief blog titled, “What is an Accountant? It Won’t be the Same Tomorrow” by Todd Cheney.

So much of what you have done (or supervised) during your professional life will be done by automation. Young people will need to be equipped to do consulting work much sooner. Almost half of your new hires won’t be accountants. Very soon – NOT the distant future – you will have to change your work skills drastically.

But, there is such opportunity if you are will to invest in drastic change. Mark Belfance, a Managing Partner at the accounting titan EY, sees it as a positive for both clients and employees. “When you take away the mundane, we get the opportunity to give our people differentiated experiences and they become those business advisors sooner. That’s what our clients want.”

If you struggle with accepting change and if you and your firm are really good at the mundane, it’s a rocky road ahead.

  • Action is the foundational key to all success.
  • Pablo Picasso