Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2023


“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie

Since 2020, CPAs have experienced more emotions in their work lives than ever before. 2020 opened up a new world for how accountants and their teams work. While accountants are pictured as stoic, and many are, the pandemic brought forth emotions not usually experienced in the CPA profession.

The rapid growth of technology advancements and the unveiling of various programs and applications that could do work more quickly, efficiently, and profitably than humans caused some concern for many.

Owners are concerned about having enough workers and having workers who want to work remotely. Employees are concerned that their desire to have a significantly more flexible work schedule will not be accepted by their bosses.

So many changes have happened and continue to happen for both for the firm owners and employees. Some of the changes came easily, and some did not. Some are still struggling with changes other CPA firms changed 25 years ago.

Identifying how people feel and how they are best managed is so important. It is time to revisit your emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand and manage your own emotions, as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you. The term was first coined in 1990 by researchers John Mayer and Peter Salovey but was later popularized by psychologist Daniel Goleman.

Read more about EQ in this blog post from 2019. Read the quotes above again.

  • CEOs are hired for their intellect and business expertise – and fired for a lack of emotional intelligence.
  • Daniel Goleman

Friday, December 16th, 2022

Flashback Friday – An Online Firm

“The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” – Thomas Edison

Have you ever wondered, contemplated, or wished that you could move your CPA firm online? Check out this flashback post to learn more. Have a great weekend!

  • Innovation is the unrelenting drive to break the status quo and develop anew where few have dared to go.
  • Steven Jeffes

Monday, December 12th, 2022

A Tough Decision

“A lot of things that accounting firms do are job-specific tasks that lend themselves to the gig economy.” – Kyle Walters

Back in July, I did a post to make you think about your people who do not want to come back to the office. They want to work from home and get the same pay and benefits as those showing up at the office daily. Why not simply outsource tax preparation and other tasks?

I realize that when everyone was remote, most CPA firms did not experience a reduction in productivity. Some even had more productivity than when the workers were in the office.

In a recent Accounting Today Voices article, Kyle Walters explores the use of contract workers, and things will change in the future.

He notes, “Increasingly, contract workers are paid on the productivity they deliver — not just for showing up on time — and we have all kinds of metrics and tracking to make remote work more efficient.”

And, “When will firms start offloading their extra workload to independent contractors two or three times per year — and then stop paying them until they need them again during the next crunch period? Sooner than you might think.”

Many CPA firms are already using off-site contractors. Should you expand your use of these more affordable people? Read the article and see what you think. It may be a tough decision.

  • Everyone likes to think they're irreplaceable at their firm, but unless you're bringing in the business or managing client relationships, is that really true?
  • Kyle Walters

Friday, December 2nd, 2022

Flashback Friday – Look Way Back At Tech Trends

“You will never win if you never begin.” – Helen Rowland

For this Friday’s flashback, let’s look way back. Let’s look a the trends in CPA firm technology in September 2009 from Roman Kepczk and Randy Johnston. (Don’t forget, some of the links in the article probably don’t work any longer.)

I hope you will think, “I’m glad we are well past all these issues.” Some firms are not!

  • I was not predicting the future, I was trying to prevent it.
  • Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, November 29th, 2022


“Listening to both sides of a story will convince you that there is more to a story than both sides.” – Frank Tyger

This post is inspired by a novel I recently read by Lisa Gardner.

The passage was about systems. It says something like this:

The world is a system. School is a system. Your neighborhood is a system. Any group of people is a system. Well, even the human body is a system. Then a father says to his daughter:

“You don’t have to like the system. You don’t have to believe in it or agree with it. But you must understand it. If you can understand the system, you will survive.” A family is a system.

You might have guessed where I am going with this. The firm is a system, and it is made up of many sub-systems. If you are new to the firm or have been there for five or ten years, you need to understand the system, or you will not survive.

  • A bad system will beat a good person every time.
  • w. Edwards Deming

Monday, November 14th, 2022

Do This In November

“If I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors.” – Unknown

I have written about it often. You have talked about it often.

It is time to off-board several of your current clients. Make room for new and better clients. You do this because:

  • You can add some great clients without overloading (punishing) your staff.
  • You can finally divest yourself of those clients that are always a collection problem.
  • You can weed out those C and D-level clients who are always getting their information to you at the very last minute (again punishing your staff).
  • It gives you room to really focus on providing exceptional, unique client service.
  • It would help you identify, develop and define a true, specialized niche, something your firm can become famous for.
  • It helps you work with people (clients) you really like and enjoy, not those you just tolerate.

Now, November is a good time to notify those clients. If you want a sample of a client termination letter, let me know.

  • People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.
  • Hans F. Hansen

Friday, November 11th, 2022

If You Want To Grow Or Merge Up, You Need To Be Ready – Flashback Friday

“The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.” – Benjamin Disraeli

When I talk to practitioners, I always stress that if you plan to merge up, you must still pay attention to the health of your firm. Acquirers want a profitable, efficient firm. They don’t want one that hasn’t kept pace with change.

Read this Flashback post to learn what you must do.

Have a great weekend!

  • I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.
  • Winston Churchill

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

What We Are

“Regardless of what we think we’re teaching, we teach what we are.” – Nathaniel Branden

I hope today you will think about the above quote. I think it says a lot about the CPA profession.

We thought Gen-X would change the way CPA firms operated. But, they were taught by the older generation and that older generation taught what they knew. “We teach what we are” certainly applied.

Those two generations taught the millennials and those three generations are teaching Gen Z.

I believe major changes have certainly happened in some firms but there are many CPA firms operating today much as they operated twenty years ago.

Many people have said, in slightly differing ways, that you become who you surround yourself with.

Have you broken this model? Are you continually acknowledging change and accepting it? Are you teaching what could be rather than what you are now?

  • Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.
  • Mark Ambrose

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

Moving Online

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

Have you ever wondered, contemplated, or wished that you could move your CPA firm online?

It is not for everyone, but I bet you wonder how it is done. Here’s an email I received from Laura Gannon. She agreed to let me share so you can see how client communication could be framed. I have eliminated the many helpful links that she included in the communication, like email addresses, physical addresses, etc.

I hope you find this helpful. Maybe your firm is ready for this BIG step?

Dear Rita,
We are closing our office in Chelmsford after 15 years! This community has been so supportive of us, we will be forever grateful. This is where I started my business, and it has continued to support many local businesses and employees over the years.

In these changing times, we have seen how effective our staff can be working from anywhere, and we want to be a part of this culture shift that’s happening worldwide.

While we plan to be as connected to clients as ever, this will no longer include meeting at the Chelmsford office. Instead, we will use video conferencing and flexible co-work spaces in West Concord and Salem, Massachusetts. We will continue to collaborate as a team and give you great service, as always.

To make this transition as smooth as possible, check out our FAQ’s at the bottom of the newsletter, and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

Thank you so much for being a valued client! We appreciate your business.

Laura and the team!
How can I schedule a virtual meeting? Reach out to any of us individually, Barry, Laura or Hannah, to schedule a virtual meeting.

Where can we meet in person? We have two conference spaces available for meetings. West Concord – The Wheelhouse – Laura will meet clients here! Salem – Workbar – Barry has conference availability here, and he can use any of their 9 locations!

Hannah will have some ability to meet in person, but please coordinate directly with her.

Staff contact info? If you have any questions about processes or procedures, Hannah is our client administrator; feel free to reach out to her @ xxx-xxx-xxxx or click here to email her.

Where do I send physical documents? We prefer electronic documents scanned into to the portal, but if you prefer to send us the physical documents, please use our PO Box XXX in Chelmsford. Address below. Hannah will scan the documents in and return them to you when complete.

  • The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.
  • Nathaniel Branden

Monday, November 7th, 2022

The On-Going Dress Code Saga – Crop Tops

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

Over the years, I have heard CPA firm administrators ask the question repeatedly – what does your dress code specify?

I thought we solved the dress code issue when we all accepted “business casual” years ago.

Soon, it became, what does business casual encompass? We fought the open-toe shoes (sandals) topic but gave in. We accepted jeans on Friday, which soon became jeans every day. Getting people back to the office after COVID we accept shorts now (but not short shorts?)

The latest is how to wear a crop top that is office acceptable. So, are you modifying your dress code once again to accept a new trend, crop tops?

I try to accept all this as simply amusing. People who are seriously building their careers know that people judge you immediately on first impressions.

  • You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.
  • Edith Head