Archive for April, 2007

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

Sad News for an AAA Member Firm

There was a shooting yesterday at an AAA member firm in Troy, Michigan.
Click here.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – – Maria Robinson

Monday, April 9th, 2007

Nisberg’s Ready One Theory

If you know Jay or have heard him speak, you have probably been exposed to his Ready One theory. It is so true and so basic but I am sure that most of the key individuals in CPA firms do not have the “ready one.”

Can you identify who will step into your shoes in the firm if you are not able to come back tomorrow, or ever? The possibility of a catastrophe, an unexpected opportunity, the changing nature of the practice, dictate that there be a “Ready One” individual ready to replace key individuals and ensure uninterrupted practice continuation, solidifying client and staff confidence.

Get this started now in your firm. It’s not just the MP or the lead tax partner and audit partner. It is the IT leader, the controller, the firm administrator, the niche leaders and the marketing director.

If it is a two partner firm or a sole practitioner – be sure to have practice continuation agreements and plans.

As Nisberg says, firms have built their succession strategy on the belief that younger partners will replace and pay out the older partners. That has become a problem as of late, because with the staffing shortage, there is a lack of highly qualified people to easily replace the firm’s business getters.

Who is your Ready One?

“By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” – – Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, April 7th, 2007

Lighten-Up (it’s the week-end) – Yes, I Love My Blackberry

(At left is a picture of the Blackberry Mascot)

We are all just too connected, aren’t we!? However, my Blackberry keeps me from lugging my laptop around everywhere I go.

While I am a huge technology fan and user, I’m not hooked on the Blackberry (like some of my partners and friends). If you are hooked – here’s a good site for you.

I thought the picture above would make you smile on this snowy (yes, I said snowy) April 7 – Saturday morning in Dayton, Ohio.

I’m off this afternoon to spend Easter with my grandkids – Maria and Sam. Hope all of you have a great week-end.

“Perfect love sometimes does not come until grandchildren are born” – – Welsh Proverb

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Good Article to Help You With E-Mail

There was a great article in a recent issue of Catalyst, the magazine of the Ohio CPA Society. It’s worth taking a look at. I know I constantly struggle for ways to better manage e-mails.

Title: Who has time for anything but e-mail?

The author is Tim Morrison of The Geode Group, a Cincinnati-based sales, communicaton and management skills training and coaching firm. Tim and his brother Chris will be giving an e-comm presentation at the Ohio and Indiana joint chapter meeting on May 11th right here in the Brady Ware office in Dayton, Ohio.

It’s a full-day meeting and all AAA members and prospective members are encouraged to attend. I can guarantee it will be a day packed with great firm administration/operations topics and discussion. Plus, I would love for all of you to visit me!

“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” – – Thomas Edison

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

A Day at the AICPA

Yesterday I had opportunity to spend a day in the AICPA headquarters in New York City. Jim Metzler, Vice President of Small Firm Interests, hosted a meeting of the New Horizon Group. Fourteen of the profession’s most prominent consultants were in attendance.

We were honored to have Barry Melancon, President and CEO of the AICPA, spend about an hour and a half with us giving us some timely insight into the profession. This is of such value as it helps us do a better job for all of our clients – firms like yours!

One topics that I have talked about on this blog before is the fact that there is a significant shortage of accounting professors. There are 50% fewer PhDs than ten years ago. The AICPA Foundation is raising money to fund expanded PhD slots at universities.

Melancon noted:
  • Every accounting program at every university in the U.S. is full.
  • There is a greater percentage of graduates going directly to industry.
  • There is a smaller percent going to the firms below the Big 4.
  • CPAs are leaving the Big 4 and not talking to local and regional firms before they decide not to stay in public accounting.
  • Smaller number of accountants are sitting for the exam.
  • He strongly urges firms to have tracking and monitoring systems so they know how the young accountants are progressing on the exam.
If your firm is not actively monitoring the progress your young accountants are making on the exam, please get a system started immediately. This is an important area for your mentors to focus on in their counseling sessions with team members.

“Education is one of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get.” – – William Lowe Bryan

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

AAA Chapter Meetings – Ohio/Indiana Joint Meeting Coming Up!

After joining the Association for Accounting Administration and attending the National Conference each year in June, the next most important thing is to attend Chapter meetings.

These meetings are just the spark to light you fire, especially when you need a kick in the pants!

I have heard members say SO many times…. “I wasn’t going to come to the Chapter meeting, I have SO MUCH to do, but now that I am here I can’t believe how much it has helped!”

Hopefully, there is a meeting within a reasonable distance from you. Even if you have to do an overnight – it is worth the commute to a Chapter that might be some distance away.]

AAA has 19 Chapters now:

Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Canada, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minn-Dak, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Northern California, Northeast, Ohio, Southern California, Texas and Washington, DC.

Within the last couple of years I have had the honor of being asked to present at Minn-Dak, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Northeast and Michigan. I enjoy these meetings SO much and always come back to Ohio with some fantastic, new ideas.

Next month on May 11th there is a special treat for me! There will be a joint meeting of the Indiana and Ohio Chapters and guess where they have decided to meet?? Right here in the offices of Brady Ware in Dayton, Ohio – it is a good central location for both states.

If you are within driving distance, I hope you will consider coming – if you are within flying distance, I hope you will come!

Contact David Hill of Arnett & Foster, the Ohio Chapter President:

That’s David pictured above with 2 other fantastic Ohio Members – I call them the 3 amigos!
“Associate yourself with those of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.” – – George Washington

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

Structuring Your Firm For Growth

I am very pleased to be featured in the April issue of The Journal of Accountancy. The article begins on Page 38 – Sturcturing For Growth. Click here to read the on-line version (without pictures).

The Jounal asked a wide range of accounting consultants, managing partners and firm administrators to share their insights into how a small firm can expand, keep its focus, reinforce the firm culture and avoid managing-partner burnout.

“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – – Unknown