Archive for the ‘Crafting Your Career’ Category

Monday, October 17th, 2022

Starting A New CPA Firm

“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” – Earl Nightingale

I occasionally hear from a young CPA who has decided to strike on their own and build an accounting firm. Many people have done it, and I imagine they have been successful. I also imagine there have been several who have failed.

I always urge them to begin building the right infrastructure from the beginning. I call these tasks foundational aspects of a CPA firm. For example, standardized processes and procedures, a basic employee handbook, the most up-to-date technology, a social media plan, etc.

CPA Practice Advisor recently posted an article – 5 Tips When Starting a New Accounting Firm. I hope this will be helpful to those of you dreaming of your very own accounting firm and even those of you who need to improve the one you already have.

The 5 Tips:

  • Create a working budget
  • What’s your niche?
  • Invest in social media
  • Use the right technology
  • Be picky about your clients

Be sure to follow this link to read about each one of these tips.

  • A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
  • George S. Patton

Friday, October 14th, 2022

Embrace New Tasks – Don’t Cling To Old Ones

“When I go to a party, nobody says hello. But when I leave, everybody says goodbye.” – George Gobel

This week Flashback Friday addresses a problem that I observe in so many firms. People (including partners and managers) cling to work that is familiar and easily accomplished.

At each level in the firm, you need to say goodbye to routine work and embrace new and more difficult challenges. Read this post from last year – Don’t hesitate to say goodbye.

  • To get a new job you need to leave the old job behind.
  • Seth Godin

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

September Newsletter

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne

I just made it! I got my September newsletter sent on September 30th. I know it is not the best idea to send out a newsletter on a Friday, but I didn’t want to skip a month.

This month’s topic is about distractions. We all get distracted in our personal lives and activities and also in our business lives and activities.

A CPA firm takes a lot of effort and attention to become (and continue to be) successful. Don’t let anything distract you from growing and improving your firm and your career.

You can sign up for my newsletter on my website.

  • We will fail when we fail to try.
  • Rosa Parks

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Recent Podcast

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci

I really enjoyed talking with Blake Oliver of Earmark CPE for his podcast. You can earn free CPE if you listen. They have titled it “If You Want to Grow, You Need a COO” on #EarmarkCPE.

Register for free: https://app.earmarkcpe.com/?course_id=33397f4d-43a9-4553-8803-44ffc4624c16

  • I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
  • Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022

Practice

“Practice makes perfect. After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skillful, swift, and steady.” – Bruce Lee

You might know the old saying, “Practice Makes Perfect.” Growing up, I heard it from my teachers and parents. The same applies to your work in the accounting profession. A first-year team member knows very little about tax (and audit). But, they are repeatedly assigned to various engagements, and with guidance, they become proficient. Practice makes perfect applies to all generations in your firm.

Read Adamson Advisory‘s September blog post about coach John Wooden. Wooden believed in old-fashioned practice. Click here to read the post and learn what things Wooden did to increase efficiency and skill.

  • Nothing will work unless you do.
  • John Wooden

Friday, September 23rd, 2022

Help Them Understand

“Without hustle, talent will only carry you so far.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

On my mind this morning is the topic of communication. Here’s a Flashback Friday post about helping clients understand what you are saying. I think this topic also applies to conversations between generations. Gen Z might not understand certain phrases and words a Boomer might utter (and definitely vice versa)!

Have a great weekend.

  • Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
  • Maya Angelou

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

September 15

“The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.” – Edmund Burke

I bet it’s been crazy at your accounting firm leading up to September 15. Some progressive firms don’t allow clients to string them out. If clients don’t “bring in their stuff” until September 13, 14, or 15, the client knows the CPA will not put his/her people through a massive fire drill.

If you are working at a CPA firm that continually allows clients to punish you and the other staff members, it is your own fault.

Someone gave me some advice once, and I will pass it along to you. If you stay in a nut house, you are nuts.

  • Abused patience turns to fury.
  • Thomas Fuller

Wednesday, September 14th, 2022

It’s On Your Shoulders

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill

I have noticed that many firms, during the last few months, have announced the promotion of several new partners. Those new partners might be thinking, “Wow, I finally made it, now I will have people who will help and support me and do what I ask!” That way of thinking, as a partner, couldn’t be more wrong.

Instead of being at the top of the pyramid, partners are actually at the bottom of an upside-down pyramid. You, as a new partner (or as a firm administrator), are holding up all the other people who work at your firm.

Maybe you had a summer picnic or another gathering for your team and their families. Think about all of those people in attendance – adults, and children. You are responsible for them and their welfare. Your firm is the source of financial security for all those people. The success of the firm leads to the success of your employees.

What you do as a partner has ramifications. People trust you and your judgment.

  • If you hang out with chickens, you're going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you're going to fly.
  • Steve Maraboli

Monday, September 12th, 2022

Registration Is Open For The Partner Institute 2023

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy

Now is the time to invest in the future of your firm. My friends at The Growth Partnership have announced plans for the 2023 TPI.

The Partner Institute has been training partners and future partners since 2004

When you talk with any of the top consultants or leading practitioners in the profession, they confirm that developing an effective successor generation is the number one issue facing accounting firms today.

Why? Research conducted by the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section shows that while 60 percent of CPA firms have owners between ages 55 and 62, over 81 percent of firms have no documented succession plan. These staggering statistics have many firms scrambling to find the next generation leaders in their firms—leaders who will excel in the areas of practice development, performance management, and strategic thinking.

Enroll Now for the 2023 Class
Download the Registration Form Here
From leadership training to results. Sophisticated firms realize that leadership development isn’t something they can simply delegate to “one of the partners” (someone who may have little to no formal training or education on how to develop leaders or serve as an effective mentor and coach)— it’s a deliberate process, precisely crafted with an intentional focus. Sending your future leaders to limited “quick-fix” programs or conferences isn’t a long-term prescription for success. In his Harvard Business Review blog, Ron Ashkenas, managing partner of Robert H. Schaffer & Associates, demonstrates that translating leadership training into results requires a special blend of training, mentoring, and perpetual practice.

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

  • Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating.
  • Simon Sinek

Thursday, September 8th, 2022

Clutter

“In many offices, a clean desk policy means that there is a back-log of work somewhere else.” – Milton Berle

Maybe you have noticed. Accountants tend to keep things. You know, just in case they need it later. They also hold onto things that have already been scanned.

We have hoped that becoming paperless would mean that offices and cubicles would be paper-free, neat, and organized. I bet you have at least a stack of paper documents on the corner of your desk that you intend to “get to” soon. Some of the things in that stack might be six months old, a year old, or more. You receive paper mail, clients drop off some papers, etc. Sure, you will get them scanned, but when?

Scientists tell us that our brains like order and that a messy desk or workspace is a visual reminder of disorganization and that drains our cognitive resources and reduces our ability to focus. They also found that when participants cleared the clutter from their work environment, they were better able to focus and process information, and their productivity increased.

When I tour a CPA firm’s office, I can usually tell which office belongs to a tax partner or manager. They seem to accumulate the most stuff. Is that true in your office?

All of this applies to your home office, too. Do you have a clean and clutter-free space at home to work?

Read this interesting article via HBR – The Case For Finally Cleaning Your Desk.

There is also a train of thought that indicates that a messy desk means you are more creative. Here’s a quote you might like: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign? – Albert Einstein

  • A messy desk reflects a cluttered and confused mind.
  • Obert Skye