Archive for the ‘Helpful Information’ Category

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

What Consultants Talk About

“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.” – Paul Hawken

The CPA Consultants’ Alliance is a group of consultants who focus strictly on the CPA profession. They meet each year to talk about the hot topics (and challenges) they see facing the many accounting firms they work with.

Roman Kepczyk of Right Networks wrote a recent blog post about three takeaways from the Alliance meeting that happened in February.

The three topics:

  • DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives
  • PE (private equity) impacting accounting practices
  • Firms adopting unlimited PTO (Paid time off)

Read about the discussions on each of these topics here.

  • Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and underperformance. Everything else requires leadership.
  • Peter Drucker

Thursday, March 9th, 2023

Don’t Get Caught Unprepared

“One of the major keys to success is to keep moving forward on the journey, making the best of the detours and interruptions, turning adversity into advantage.” – John Maxwell

You are often put on the spot. You are the managing partner or the firm administrator (practice manager), and someone stops you in the hallway as you return to your office with a cup of coffee.

They say it is just a quick question. You know better.

Just know that you don’t have to answer every question immediately. Maybe you feel uncomfortable giving them a quick answer. No matter what the topic, just tell them that you’ll have to get back to them.

It is annoying getting put on the spot with random questions. Maybe you really don’t know the answer. It is okay to tell them that you don’t know and will get back to them. It gives you time to think about what they have asked.

Sometimes a quick answer will come back to haunt you.

Once, I heard a great presenter, at a conference, give this advice – If you don’t want to be bothered or interrupted while walking around the office, carry a clipboard and walk fast.

  • Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte

Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Anytime, Anywhere Work Survey

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Convergence Coaching has announced the release of the 2022 ConvergenceCoaching® Anytime, Anywhere Work™ (ATAWW) Survey Results Summary! In its sixth edition, the ATAWW Survey examines the adoption of flexible work practices in accounting firms across the country.

The 2022 survey featured a series of questions exploring ATAWW programs as well as remote client service, non-traditional staffing strategies, and cultural shifts required. Some interesting findings include: 

  • 95% offer remote auditing, and the percentage who performed more than half their audits away from the client site soared from 14% in 2020 to 54% in 2022
  • 83% of firms allow Admin and Operations to work remote or blended
  • 81% who employ remote talent hired a “stranger” outside their geography (up from 38% in 2020)
  • 73% don’t dictate when extra hours are worked (no more mandatory Saturdays!)
  • 19% offer Unlimited PTO
  • 12% close the office between Christmas and New Year’s

The full Survey Results Summary is now available for download. In addition, they collected even more interesting data that could not be included in our Survey Results Summary. Click here to access the Anytime, Anywhere Work Bonus Content page. There is also an Accounting Today podcast on the survey results.

  • If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.
  • Henry Ford

Monday, March 6th, 2023


 “I would say in the past couple months it’s come a long way, but I still don’t think it’s there yet,” Katie Tolin, CPA Growth Guides

There has been so much discussion about ChatGPT and what it means for many varying situations. Of course, I wonder about CPA firms. My first inclination is that it could be very helpful. Would it actually replace a portion of what a CPA firm marketer does?

Inside Public Accounting provides us with a very informative article about what ChatGPT means for public accounting firms by featuring opinions from CPA firm marketing professionals.

The article is titled: ChatGPT Didn’t Write This Article, But It Could Contribute to Firm Growth, Efficiency.

Consider if ChatGPT is right for your firm.

  • I think that it’s going to give a path for experts who are bad writers to get to market. That’s what I’m hoping it will do, and then also streamline some drudgery that happens in marketing and other industries.
  • Raissa Evans, Digital strategy expert at Weaver

Wednesday, March 1st, 2023

Be Aware

“The paperless office is possible, but not by imitating paper. Note that the horseless carriage did not work by imitating horses.” – Ted Nelson

How much do new college graduates know about life?

You are desperately seeking these accounting majors for your firm. You might be surprised at what they do not know about general life skills that are put to use in the business world. Many times have you heard them say, “I never learned that in college!”

I recently heard a story from a grandmother about her granddaughter, a college student. I was amazed, but I think the more you know about your talent pool, the better you will be able to understand, manage, and mentor them.

A baby boomer lady was driving accompanied by her 20-year-old granddaughter, a college student. The lady couldn’t find a U.S. Postal Service dark blue mailbox where she could simply pull up and deposit her (paper) mail. She parked a couple of parking spaces away and asked her granddaughter to get out of the car, walk a few steps and put a letter into the mailbox. From the sidewalk side of the mailbox, as you know, you simply use the handle to open the mailbox and drop in the letter. The granddaughter admitted she had never mailed a letter this way and couldn’t figure out how to get the letter into the mailbox. Grandma had to give her specific instructions.

As your new recruits arrive in the office, you already know that you have to teach them SO much. Sometimes the little things are very baffling to them. Be patient. They are accustomed to a paperless world.

  • I cannot teach anybody anything; I can only make them think.
  • Socrates

Thursday, February 16th, 2023

Analyzing Results of the 2022 Practice Management Survey

“Survey and test a prospective action before undertaking it. Before you proceed, step back and look at the big picture, lest you act rashly on raw impulse.” ~ Epictetus

I hope you participate and study the results of the Rosenberg Survey each year.

The 2022 survey disclosed some very interesting information. I could analyze and recap it for you, but why do that? The CPA Journal has already done it for you.

Find out about:

  • Economic growth.
  • Alternative workforce.
  • Compliance to advisory.
  • Non-traditional hires.
  • Average age of partners.
  • Gender mix & percentage of female partners
  • Private equity.

Read the summary here.

  • Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world’s population.
  • Stephen Hawking

Monday, February 13th, 2023

Risk Assessment Guide

“Don’t be fearful of risks. Understand them, and manage and minimize them to an acceptable level.” – Naved Abdali

Here is some information I received from the AICPA about risk assessment in a financial statement audit:

The AICPA has published a new audit guide, Risk Assessment in a Financial Statement Audit. The authoritative guide will help auditors implement Statement on Auditing Standards No. 145, Understanding the Entity and Its Environment and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement, which takes effect for audits of financial statements for periods ending on or after Dec. 15, 2023, with early application permitted. SAS No. 145 implements several changes to the risk assessment process, including:

  • A revised definition of significant risk
  • A new requirement to assess control risk at the maximum level such that, if the auditor does not plan to test the operating effectiveness of controls, the assessment of the risk of material misstatement is the same as the assessment of inherent risk
  • Revised requirements relating to audit documentation
  • New guidance on scaling the risk assessment process.

The guide is available in e-book format. 

  • Risk Management lets you apprecite the risk while you let somone else shoulder all the worry.
  • Anthony T. Hincks

Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

Webinar – February 16

“The safest principle through life, instead of reforming others, is to set about perfecting yourself.” –B. R. Haydon.

You’ve worked diligently and have built a glowing reputation grounded in your excellent skills in tax, accounting, and auditing. You’re known as the “go-to” person when a client is faced with tax and financial decisions. You have a very successful firm — but that’s not enough.

I am pleased to present a timely webinar titled “The Evolution of Your Firm From Compliance to Consulting” for Accountant Advocate.

The webinar will be on February 16th, 2023, at 11:00 am PDT, 2:00 pm EDT, and 7:00 pm BST.

Join me for an insightful discussion on:

  • Why change is now more important than ever
  • How to convince your partners to move out of complacency and embrace new challenges
  • Learn how to overcome the battles you will face with technology, talent, growth, and client services

Read all about it and register here.

  • Look within, for within is the wellspring of virtue, which will not cease flowing, if you cease not from digging.
  • Marcus Aurelius

Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Strengthening The Relationship With New Clients

“Don’t say, ‘if I could, I would.’ Say, ‘If I can, I will.’” – Jim Rohn

A new client is landed by one of the firm’s partners. They met several years ago at a Chamber of Commerce business event. The client knows the partner, but how much does he/she know about the firm?

It is important that clients become attached to the firm and not just the partner – for various reasons that some of you know all too well. You don’t want clients to leave the firm just because one person leaves.

Begin building the relationship with the firm at the beginning. In some firms, the first written piece of information a client gets from the firm is an invoice.

After a new client is added to the list, progressive firms send out a warm and friendly welcome letter. Make it different, put it in writing, on paper, and mail it (USPS) to them. It should have a real, written signature on it.

I like to see the letter come from the firm administrator. This helps the client know that there is another person they can contact immediately if needed. Eventually, they will get acquainted with the engagement team and build relationships with several people at the firm. However, in the very beginning, they may have many questions and not feel somewhat lost.

Express your appreciation for them joining the firm. It is also a great time to ensure they know your billing and collection policies. Most new clients always wonder about that but have been hesitant to ask.

Let me know if you would like a sample.

  • You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
  • Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

What Do You Do Around Here?

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” – Charles Dickens

I came across this post by Seth Godin. I thought of those working in a CPA firm. Here’s the post:


There are lots of useful, honest answers. Some might include:

I do what I’m told

I challenge the status quo

I show up on time

I solve complicated problems

I absorb nonsense and create calm for others

I raise our standards

I help people feel seen

I’m steady

I don’t cause trouble

I bring energy

I lead the way

I turn mountains into molehills

People like me

The ones that aren’t helpful are things like:

I’m just passing through

I give people a hard time

I’m a bully

I make mountains out of molehills

What do you do???

  • When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
  • Maya Angelou