Archive for the ‘Crafting Your Career’ Category

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022


“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson

Certified Public Accountants make a lot of money. Well, in most CPA firms, partners make a lot of money.

I have observed partners who become agitated when they discover another partner made $2,000 more than they did when all partners were making over $300,000 per year. Seems petty. “I only made $327,000, but Joe made $329,000? Why is that?”

As firms grow and expand, the partners continue to make more money year after year. That is if the firm is managed properly.

Simon Sinek recently tweeted: “Focus on money and you will make money. Focus on impact and you will make an impact.”

Making money is part of the game. Don’t forget to consider the impact you make on your clients. Don’t forget the impact you make on your team. Focus on both money and impact.

  • You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.
  • Zig Ziglar

Friday, November 18th, 2022

Are You A Hurdle Or A Linchpin?

Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.”
― Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Here’s a Flashback Friday post from way back in 2017. It definitely still applies today.

In your firm, you have two kinds of people. On the leading end are the Linchpins. On the opposite, following along, dragging their feet, are the Hurdles.

  • Transferring your passion to your job is far easier than finding a job that happens to match your passion.
  • Seth Godin

Wednesday, November 16th, 2022


“There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.” – E. B. White

Often I write about employment agreements and partner agreements. Neither is my favorite. However, I do have some favorite agreements – The Four Agreements. I have written about them before on this blog, but I think it is important to bring it to your attention again, especially with another busy season nearing.


The Four Agreements is a book by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read this book years ago and still do my best to follow the agreements. Every few years, I read it again. I believe that these four simple statements can make a difference in the culture of your CPA firm. Before tax season, make time to read this book. It is a quick read.


Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.


Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.


Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.


Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

  • Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent.
  • Jimmy Carter

Tuesday, November 15th, 2022

Focus On The Positive

“Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.” – Mandy Hale

If you were a fly on the wall inside many CPA firms, you would hear people complain.

Sad to say, many of those complaints are about people. People complain about the partners, mostly about one or two specific partners. People complain about clients or the people who work for clients. People complain about their peers. People complain about people who clean the office.

In a novel I read recently, the main character is my kind of guy because – – “He really did like people because most people were pretty likable.”

One of the reasons I have worked in the CPA profession for so many years is the fact that most of the people working in the CPA profession are pretty likable.

So, the next time you start to complain about some person in your work life, stop and think. Are they really “pretty likable”?

On the other hand, if you have a legitimate complaint about a person, don’t do what happens most often in CPA firms. You are unhappy with Sally (she made a minor mistake), so you voice that complaint to Sue. Soon everyone knows you are unhappy with Sally except Sally. Don’t practice triangulation. So, if you have an issue with someone, talk only to them and don’t involve a third party.

  • Watch out for the joy-stealers: gossip, criticism, complaining, faultfinding, and a negative, judgmental attitude.
  • Joyce Meyer

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

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

The Biggest Issue

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

If CPAs in public practice could become skilled communicators, things would be better for clients and staff.

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

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

Friday, November 4th, 2022

Need A Raise? Flashback Friday

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn

The firm should be prepared to paint a picture of the future for you.

Here’s a flashback post from 2015.

  • I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
  • Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, November 1st, 2022

Billable Hours

“It’s not that there’s a lack of credible, successful and even intelligent candidates out there looking for work. It’s the fact that CPA firms haven’t changed their models.” – Lorrine Beste

I hope you have read a recent article via Accounting Today. It is titled Confessions of a tax manager: CPA firms just aren’t getting it.

If not, here’s what it is all about. Like most experienced tax managers, the author, Lorraine Beste, has been inundated with contacts from various recruiters. She works for a small firm and has enjoyed work/life balance for many years. The unbelievable salaries being offered inspired her to do some research.

The recruiters seemed absolutely overjoyed when she replied. The firms seeking a tax manager seemed to offer all the “bells and whistles” that make their firm a great place to work.

The one question they did not divulge, but Beste sought out, was – How many billable hours do you require? She was shocked by the consistent answer – 55 to 60 (or higher) in tax season and early fall.

She will stay at her small firm. Be sure to follow the link above, and read the interesting article. Consider what work/life balance really means at your own firm.

  • You can't do a good job is your job is all you do.
  • Katie Thurmes

Monday, October 31st, 2022

Do What You Love

“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” – Dalai Lama

Warren Buffett boils happiness down to four words: DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Here’s a quote from Mr. Buffett:

“I get to work in a job that I love, but I have always worked at a job that I loved. I loved it just as much when I thought it was a big deal to make $1,000. I urge you to work in jobs that you love. I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume.”

In an article via Inc., they give you five really good reasons why you should commit to doing what you love.

  • You’re aligned with doing the things you care about.
  • You feel like you belong.
  • You do the things you’re actually good at.
  • You’re more optimistic.
  • You’re more motivated.

Follow the Inc. link to read more about each of these five reasons.

  • Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
  • Steve Jobs