Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

Monday, March 15th, 2021

Sharing Information

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” – Margaret Fuller

One of the ways I progressed in my career in public accounting was to network with others working in the public accounting profession (firm administrators, managing partners, marketing directors, HR directors, IT directors, etc.). We shared information.

Most of this experience came from networking in the Association of Accounting Administration, now called The CPA Firm Management Association (CPAFMA), and attending management conferences sponsored by state societies and the AICPA.

I also learned so much from the speakers at conferences. These people were usually CPA management consultants. I got to know them and they helped guide me in my early years of consulting. I soon became a speaker and management consultant myself thanks to so many who mentored me.

I became the first female member of the New Horizon Group, a group of experienced CPA management consultants. We met annually to share best practices, etc. Those early members were: August Aquila, Allan Boress, Steve Erickson, Chris Frederiksen, Allan Koltin, Bob Martin, Jeff Pawlow, Marc Rosenberg, Don Scholl, Steve Weinstein and Jim Metzler. I learned so much because we shared information.

That golden opportunity, of learning from others is available to you today if you take advantage of it.

Now, when I encourage people in management positions in CPA firms to attend meetings and conferences, the problem I encounter is the fact that so many people say they are too busy and some people think they already know it all. If you know it all, it is your responsibility to share (and no one ever knows it all).

If you get a chance to attend a CPAFMA Chapter event. Set a goal to attend other management conferences such as the AICPA ENGAGE conference. This year the CPAFMA annual management conference is in conjunction with ENGAGE.

Never stop sharing information and learning from others. After all these years, I am still learning (and sharing).

  • Sharing knowledge is the most fundamental act of friendship. Because it is a way you can give something without losing something.
  • Richard Stallman

Thursday, February 4th, 2021

Safe

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William Shedd

Are you a follower firm?

So many accounting firm leaders play the safe game, the waiting game. They hear about new software, a new process, or a new employee benefit from reading/hearing an online discussion or attending a CPE session. Then they play it safe, they wait and see what other firms find out, and then dip their toe in the water.

This is not all bad. You learn so much from others and that should definitely continue. But, once in a while, listen to a new idea suggested by staff or by the firm administrator and go ahead and implement it. Try it!

I always recommend you “test it.” Never be afraid to try something new and then determine it just doesn’t work for your firm. Don’t hesitate to tell your team, “That was worth a try but it just doesn’t work. Let’s forget about it and try something else.”

Referencing the above quote, you can always stay in the safe harbor and never progress. Doing things the way you have always done them feels very comfortable (and safe). Show your creativity and become one of those firms that other firms follow!

  • Ironically, in a changing world, playing it safe is one of the riskiest things you can do.
  • Reid Hoffman

Thursday, January 21st, 2021

Getting Better

“To learn about excellence you must study it.” – Marcus Buckingham

You want your firm to get better and better. You want it to gain more and more visibility and to continually build and enhance the firm reputation.

How do you and your firm get better? You learn from others.

Inside your firm, your team members continually learn and improve. This applies to new college graduates, the administrative team, your support professionals, and very experienced CPAs. All of these people learn so much from more experienced people.

Your firm also gets better by learning from other CPA firms that are growing, profitable, and over-all successful.

When I was new to CPA firm management, I attended all of the CPA firm management conferences that I could. There I met people from successful firms. These people would describe how they were doing this or that and if it was something I wanted to pursue, I got acquainted with the person from that successful firm. Over the years, I have made lifelong, personal friends from my contacts in other CPA firms.

When attending these events (in person or virtual now), reach out to others with more experience. CPA management conferences are filled with people who are willing to share their successes and help you and your firm get better.

One of the best resources is The CPA Firm Management Association. Join and learn. The members share their experiences and you can post questions on their discussion board and get immediate answers and advice.

So, to get better, reach out to others and also share your successes and failures with the others you meet. As today’s quote (above) says, “To learn about excellence you must study it.

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

Thursday, November 5th, 2020

So Many Ideas

“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin

Once again, a Seth Godin quote seems to fit perfectly into the management of an accounting firm.

Failing to implement is something that I have covered often. Why? Because it happens SO often!

You are not attending conferences where you once obtained many great ideas that would benefit your firm. But now, in these unique times, you are listening to a lot of helpful podcasts and informative webinars. Something is mentioned that would be a perfect thing for your firm to embrace.

You mention it to others on the firm’s management team. They agree that it is a good idea but with COVID the time is not right.

When will the time be right?

For some helpful ideas, join the CPAFMA Accelerator Program on November 9 and 10. I’ll be involved both days.

  • Have you got a problem? Do what you can where you are with what you've got.
  • Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, November 2nd, 2020

Invest In Your Future Partners

“TPI was one of the most meaningful programs in my professional career.” – Jessica Sayles, Managing Principal

How many of your current partners went through any kind of educational program to prepare them for partnership? Your answer might be, “None.” Or perhaps, one or two. Don’t you wish ALL your partners had some basic training on how to be a productive, successful partner in a CPA firm?

Now is the time to register your prospective partners (current partners might need to also register!) for The Partner Institute.

The Partner Institute is a comprehensive three-year leadership development experience designed specifically for the CPA. The program provides participants with world-class training, a continuous learning environment, and a culture of accountability that is unmatched.

The launch of the next program is on January 13-15, 2021 at the Boardwalk Inn at Walt Disney World.

If in-person attendance is not an option for you at this time, you may choose to attend virtually. If less than 12 participants are available to attend in person, they will forego the January start date and launch the program on June 9-11, 2021.

Never hesitate to invest in your firm’s future. More information about The Partner Institute here.

Click here to view testimonials.

  • The path of light is the quest for knowledge.
  • Lailah Gifty Akita

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Friday Musings

“Great ideas emerges from useless fragments of thoughts.” – Michael Bassey Johnson

On Fridays, I often provide you with a flashback post – something I have written about before. Sometimes I save Fridays for random thoughts, ideas, and comments.

Here’s a flashback post on an age-old topic – Getting Partners to Change.

Now on to other stuff.

This week I spent some time preparing for CPAFMA’s virtual Accelerator for people managing accounting firms. The virtual event will take the place of FMA’s 2020 annual conference and will provide practice managers with some timely and helpful information. This program is exclusively designed to help participants professionally manage accounting firms of varying sizes.

I will be involved in the Strategy, Leadership & Growth Accelerator – Monday, November 9th at 11:40a – 1:30p EST and also in the Talent & People Accelerator on November 10th at 12:20p – 2:20p EST.

This week I was featured via an AICPA PCPS podcast – Small Firm Philosophy. I hope you will set aside some time this weekend to listen.

Next week, I will be speaking (virtually) with one of the AICPA PCPS small firm networking groups.

Finally, my newsletter went out yesterday. Did you receive your copy? Be sure to check your spam filter. Here’s a link to one of the articles titled, Afraid. This article will only be available online for a limited time. Sign-up for my newsletter via my website.

Have a nice weekend. Monday will be November and you have a lot to do!

  • The best advice I’ve ever received is 'No one else knows what they’re doing either'.
  • Ricky Gervais

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

CPAFMA VIRTUAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITY

“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” – B.B. King

A great opportunity to learn what’s happening in the world of CPA firm management!

Understanding the challenges firms have faced in 2020, CPAFMA has designed this virtual opportunity to be affordable and inclusive, providing the opportunity for up to five members of the firm’s leadership group to participate for one low price from the convenience of one’s home or office. The two-day educational exchange has something for everyone involved in accounting firm management. The live online event includes high-level keynote sessions to facilitated discussions customized to provide information that can be implemented immediately.

YOU SHOULD ATTEND IF YOU ARE….

  • Responsible for management of an accounting practice
  • Responsible for the quality and profitability of your firm
  • Supervising and/or training staff in an accounting firm
  • Interested inn developing a team of outstanding professionals
  • Ready to promote your firm in today’s marketplace with expanded services and a desire to strengthen client relationships
  • New to the profession or an experienced firm manager, chief operating officer, human resource director or managing partner
  • Ready to deal with uncertainty with confidence

REGISTER HERE

  • Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
  • W. B. Yeats

Thursday, October 8th, 2020

An Important Conference – Digital CPA

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates

Another important conference for CPAs, Digital CPA, will be virtual this year. Here’s some current information from the AICPA.

The AICPA and CPA.com have added another keynote speaker – former CNBC chief economist Marci Rossell — to the lineup of this year’s Digital CPA, which takes place Dec. 8.

Rossell, a co-host of Squawk Box during her time at the financial news network, will discuss the current state of the economy and the larger trend of “seismic surprises” that businesses face, including cyberterrorism, environmental disasters, swings in the regulatory regime, and pandemics such as COVID-19.

Before her stint at CNBC, Rossell was an economist and investment spokesperson for Oppenheimer Funds, an expert witness on economic issues for Deloitte & Touche and an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Digital CPA is an all-virtual event this year and will be complemented by a Nov. 12 pre-conference session on remote work and decentralization.

Other keynotes at the main Dec. 8 event include:

  • Jeffrey Rogers, a moderator of executive education programs and international summits for Singularity University, who will speak about change dynamics, managing complexity and transformation in a period of continuous, accelerating change,
  • Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA, who will give an in-depth professional issues update on accounting and finance
  • Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, who will discuss trends in firm management, advisory services and technology.

The conference will also include a panel discussion with CPA firm leaders.

  • Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.
  • Bill Gates

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020

No Big Surprise – DIGITAL CPA Conference Will Be Virtual

‘It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning.’ –Claude Bernard

DIGITAL CPA has become one of the most popular and helpful AICPA conferences in recent years. It is always held in December. No surprise that this year the event will be virtual. Here’s the scoop from the AICPA:

AICPA and CPA.com Announce All-Virtual Digital CPA Event This Year

Acceleration of Change is Overarching Theme of Dec. 8 Forum

NEW YORK (Aug. 3, 2020) – Digital CPA, an event hosted by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and its business and technology arm, CPA.com, will focus this year on change management, successful deployment of distributed teams and technological innovation in the accounting profession.

The all-virtual event will be held Dec. 8 and will be complemented by a Nov. 12 pre-conference session on remote work.

“We’re living through a year defined by uncertainty, disruption, complexity, but also opportunity,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “Businesses need guidance and insight from trusted advisors like no time in history. Market dynamics are accelerating technology adoption timelines and the bonds between CPAs and their clients will be a critical component of economic recovery. We want to make this discussion the hallmark of Digital CPA 2020.”

Conference keynotes at this year’s event include:

  • Jeffrey Rogers, a moderator of executive education programs and international summits for Singularity University, who will speak about change dynamics, managing complexity and transformation in a period of continuous, accelerating change,
  • Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA, who will give an in-depth professional issues update on accounting and finance
  • Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, who will discuss trends in firm management, advisory services and technology.

The pre-conference session, “Distributed by Design: A Framework for Future Forward Organizations,” will be led by Radical Ventures cofounder Pascal Finette. It will provide a framework and toolkit for CPA firms to conduct strategic planning and decision-making on remote work, decentralization, and the opportunities and challenges that arise from them. Participation is limited and will be on a first-come. first-serve basis.

Digital CPA is designed for CPA firm partners, managers and staffers responsible for implementing cloud solutions and practice management innovations, as well as business development, firm marketing and human resources directors within firms.

  • It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
  • Harry Truman

Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Practice Management Webinars

“Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.” – Denis Waitley

On May 6th and May 7th, Gary Adamson, President of Adamson Advisory will be hosting two webinars for CPA firm leaders. The sessions are sponsored by CPA Leadership Institute.

May 6th – Valuation is Driven by Terms of CPA Mergers – And Other Keys to Success

  • Date/Time: May 6, 2020 @ 1-1:50pm ET

During this session, you will receive an overview of the M&A frenzy in the profession today and give you tools to help you, whether you are a potential buyer or seller. Adamson will discuss the trends in valuations and the terms, and why the terms drive the multiples that we all hear about.

For more information and to register, click here.

  • May 7th – How to Maximize Performance of Best Practices in Partner Admission, Transition, and Buyout

Date/Time: May 7, 2020 @ 1-1:50pm ET

This session focuses on partner admission, transition and buyout. Adamson will discuss the 25 best practices in both admitting a new partner, buying out a parter and the transition issues associated with the buyout.

For more information and to register, click here.

  • Any fool can know. The point is to understand.
  • Albert Einstein