Friday, July 1st, 2022

Happy Friday!

“It will be celebrated with pomp and parade, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other.” – John Adams

Enjoy this 4th of July message. Click here.

Have a great holiday weekend.

  • "Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country."
  • John F. Kennedy

Thursday, June 30th, 2022

Who Thanks You?

“We cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Recently, three of my clients took the time to send me a message, thanking me.

It made me think about all you do for your clients. You worry about them. You explore and research to find answers to their questions. You send out a monthly newsletter to keep them informed. You write articles to educate them. You work long hours to be sure they are able to adhere to various federal, state, and local due dates. And, one of the most important things you do for your clients is to listen.

How many of your clients take the time to thank you? I am sure some do. Many of your clients do not.

Of course, they pay you and maybe they think that is payment enough but a thank-you is icing on the cake.

Right now, because of labor shortages, you are deciding which clients to outplace. When you think about each client, consider if they truly appreciate your efforts and what you do for them. It is one factor that will help you decide which ones to keep and which ones to refer to a provider that better fits their needs.

P.S. You also need to thank them every time you have an interaction with them.

  • "Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other."
  • Randy Pausch

Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

Technology Podcast

“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” – Paul J. Meyer

I know you are always looking for new tools to help your firm become more efficient. You also want to make things easier for your valuable team members.

Much of your efficiencies these days depends on having the absolute best technology. It means the best hardware and software.

A good place to keep up to date is listening to Randy Johnston and Brian Tankersley‘s podcast via CPA Practice Advisor. It’s called The Technology Lab Podcast – New Technology Tools for Accountants

In a recent podcast, they review AuditMiner. I wasn’t aware of it but, of course, I am not an auditor! It appears to be a great tool if you do employee benefit audits.

Hear their review of AuditMiner here.

  • "Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all."
  • Peter Drucker

Monday, June 27th, 2022

Keep It Top Of Mind

“You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes we get stressed. The client needs something pronto. We pressure staff to get work done. We are backlogged on review. Many people want our attention. There seems to be question after question from the team. There seems to be interruption after interruption.

Don’t forget to be kind.

I occasionally repost a Seth Godin blog post. Here’s one that is important inside a busy CPA firm. It is titled: The Kindness Bonus

“Please be kind” sounds like a moral imperative. And in some ways, it is.

But behind the theory of the firm and a key building block of successful communities is the idea that kind interactions are significantly more productive.

When people feel seen and respected, they’re more likely to focus on what needs to be done, instead of taking umbrage or being defensive.

When we leave opportunities and pathways for others, they can move forward with less friction.

And when we’re enjoying our days, we’ve created a posture that spreads.

Hockey games aren’t supposed to be kind. But just about everything else works better when we don’t throw elbows.

  • "Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind."
  • Eric Hoffer

Friday, June 24th, 2022

Cutting Back – Flashback Friday

“I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket.” – Kellie Elmore

So many businesses have had to cut back on choices and services simply because they can’t find adequate help. Some are calling it skimpflation. Read more about it in this flashback post.

Enjoy this Friday afternoon (and the weekend).

  • "Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."
  • Henry James

Thursday, June 23rd, 2022

Contribution

“Replace your pursuit of success with the pursuit of contribution.” – Peter F. Drucker

Management guru, Peter Drucker, stressed the importance of contribution. To be a great leader you need to ask yourself how you can contribute to the success of your firm and your people.

What more can you do? What more can you contribute?

From Drucker: “What is the most important contribution I can make to the performance of this organization? What knowledge and skills do I need to acquire? What strengths do I have to put to work?” They become more focused on what skills, talents, and abilities they need to develop through continuous practice which would assist them in fully contributing towards the organization. As a result, they establish standards for themselves based on excellence, ambitious goals, and doing work that has a meaningful impact (Drucker, 1966).

As a firm leader, you establish performance standards for your team. What standards do you establish for yourself, as a partner?

  • "Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes."
  • Peter F. Drucker

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Signing Bonus

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.” – Stephen Hawking

Signing bonuses are just one bit of ammunition in your hiring arsenal.

Just in case you aren’t up-to-date on what firms are doing in this area, a mid-size firm I recently talked with told me they are offering $10,000-$15,000 as a signing bonus.

I am sure many of you are doing the same AND many of you aren’t, but should.

  • "The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra."
  • Jimmy Johnson

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

Insights On Managing Your Firm

“For some of them it is too late….. they are not going to change the system.” – Allan Koltin

Yuri Kapilovich, CPA does a podcast titled, the Capital Contribution. Recently, he did an interview with Allan Koltin. I urge you to listen to it. They both have good advice for CPAs in public practice. Click here for the podcast with Koltin.

There is so much good advice in this podcast that I can’t possibly share it all in one blog post. I am pleased that much of it has been said by many of us in the CPA firm management world. I know most of it applies to the clients I am serving right now.

Here are some highlights. Maybe you have heard them before from me and other consultants but probably Koltin sees inside more top 100 firms than anyone.

  • There is still too much “old school” thinking out there in the CPA profession.
  • We neglect the A client because we are swamped with the crappy C & D clients.
  • Give young people client contact early on. Don’t leave them in the back room grinding.

Listen to the podcast. It is worth your time.

  • " In a CPA firm, change only happens when change is better than status quo. And right now status quo feels pretty good."
  • Allan Koltin

Monday, June 20th, 2022

Keeping Them

“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.” – Vikrant Massey

You are and have been for several years, very focused on finding and hiring additional talent for your firm. You have worked on being a unique firm. You are paying significant sign-on bonuses. You offer remote and hybrid options. You will do almost anything (within reason) to attract college accounting majors and experienced accountants.

Don’t forget about something just as important, keeping the employees you already have. How do you keep them? Experts are calling it “the great recognition.” Research has found that feeling recognized makes a huge difference when it comes to employee engagement, productivity, and loyalty.

I have been writing and speaking about it for years. Young people hear applause when they take their first step, when they play soccer, when they perform ballet, when they are in marching band or sports or drama club. Then they enter an accounting firm and they hear silence.

Offering a bonus or an incentive program helps but CPA firm employees are facing burnout and in some cases, boredom.

Take 3 minutes and watch this video I did several years ago. It applies more now than it did then (when we were attracting millennials). Sometimes a simple thank you makes all the difference.

  • "Don't work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition."
  • H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Friday, June 17th, 2022

How Would Others Describe You?

“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.” – Edward R. Murrow

I know that we always pretend that we don’t care what others say about us. However, most of us do care. CPAs should care deeply about this because you want your clients to say great things about you to their friends and business associates. That is how you get new business.

Here’s a Flashback Friday post that tells the story of one person’s HIGH REGARD for another person.

Have a great weekend!

  • "What is left when honor is lost?"
  • Publilius Syrus