Archive for the ‘Helpful Information’ Category

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022

The Rosenberg Survey

All successful companies are constantly benchmarking their competition. They have to know what they have to match up with day-in and day-out if their company is going to be successful.” – James Dunn

I just received my copy of the 2022 Rosenberg CPA Management Survey. Did you get yours yet?

Using the Rosenberg MAP Survey is an excellent way to benchmark your firm’s key financial metrics against your peers and uncover profit-boosting potential.

You can order one here.

  • If you're not benchmarking your performance against your competitors, you're just playing with yourself.
  • Al Paison

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

Friday, September 9th, 2022

Three Choices For Emails – Flashback Friday

“The email of the species is deadlier than the mail.” – Stephen Fry

Yesterday, I wrote about clutter. Today’s flashback follows a similar theme. How to deal with ALL THOSE EMAILS! There is no prize given for having hundreds of emails in your inbox.

  • How to write a good email: 1. Write your email. 2. Delete most of it. 3. Send
  • Dan Munz

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

The Daily Briefing

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

To improve communication and to help balance workloads, many firms have a quick morning briefing. Some firms call it the daily huddle. It is a quick, stand-up meeting aimed at enhancing communication. It is said that John D. Rockefeller and Steve Jobs both utilized the daily huddle.

If you have a smaller firm, everyone can meet for 15 minutes each morning. If you are a larger firm, you can do it by department. Keep it short.

Read this article – The Potent Power of the Daily Huddle – via the Growth Institute. I hope you are already doing this!

  • Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

Quiet Quitting

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen Covey

You have heard and read about various descriptions of what is happening in the world of work.

The Great Resignation where, according to some surveys, in 2021, 48 million people left their current positions for what they thought were greener pastures. They received better pay, benefits, and work/life balance. Some wanted to gain new skills, and some resigned to just stay at home to raise a family or simply retire.

Then came the boomerang employees. Many realized they were better off in their previous job and returned. Maybe you had some of those.

Now, something you are facing is Quiet Quitting. It is when employees quit going above and beyond what they are paid to do. The lines between home and work disappeared, and people suffered from burnout. Quiet quitters are still doing their jobs, but they have set boundaries.

Do some Googling and research Quiet Quitting. Assess the situations in your firm and take action to prevent the need for Quiet Quitting.

You can read a good article about it on the Skimm.

  • Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.
  • Betsy Jacobson

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

Be Visible

“The power of visibility can never be underestimated. – Margaret Cho

Soon students will be returning to the college campus. Your CPA firm better be doing the same thing. This Fall, make sure your firm is visible on the college campus.

I vividly remember one conversation with four college students who were seniors and accounting majors. Two of them had jobs with the big four, one had a job in corporate accounting and the fourth was still looking. They shared their lack of knowledge about local and regional CPA firms. They didn’t even seem to be aware that there were such firms!

I always knew the large national firms were very prominent on college campuses, but these students told me that the big four were visible every single week on campus, sponsoring something, hosting a fun event, etc.

How visible is your firm on your local college campuses? For some of you, not at all, and for others, you might be visible on campus once or twice during the fall semester.

Keep in mind the pool of accounting graduates is smaller than ever. What can you do to catch the fish in that small pool? One easy thing is to be more visible.

  • I've found hat luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.
  • Brian Tracy

Friday, August 12th, 2022

Are You The Leader?

“Never assume that people in positions of responsibility are behaving responsibly.” – David McCullough

This Friday, rather than doing a Flashback post. I want to give you something different. I hope you will follow the link (below) and sit quietly for 16 minutes to learn about leadership.

This is directed to firm managing partners or hope-to-be managing partners. It is also vital information for department heads or any other leadership figures inside your accounting firm.

I was saddened this week to hear about the death of David McCullough. I have read many of his books and hope to read more. One of my recent favorites is The Pioneers.

This weekend, find a quiet spot, watch and learn about what made George Washington a great leader.

David McCullough Interview: The Importance of George Washington

I hope you can find some of Washington’s traits within yourself. Have a great weekend.

  • Be courteous to all, but intimate with a few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
  • George Washington

Friday, August 5th, 2022

Simplify vs. Complicate

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius

Here’s a Friday flashback post from 2013 that still applies today. Thoreau said: Simplify! Simplify!

CPAs tend to: Complicate! Complicate!

Have a great weekend!

  • This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
  • Dalai Lama

Tuesday, July 19th, 2022

Keep Your Hook In The Water

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.” – Jim Collins

When finding talent to hire for your firm, a good friend of mine and long-time CPA management consultant, Steve Ericksen, noted that he always told his CPA firm clients to “keep their hook in the water.” Sadly, Steve has passed away, but I remember and appreciate so much of what I learned from Steve.

“Keep your hook in the water” means you must make it widely known that you are looking to hire accountants. You not only have to advertise on all reputable sites but also need to talk about it openly with everyone in your business and personal circles. When talking to attorneys, bankers, and clients, mention that your firm is hiring and actively seeking qualified candidates and ask if they know of anyone.

Make it a positive statement, such as, we are growing and expanding and now have room for more people. If you know anyone who might be interested in working for a progressive, growing, future-focused accounting firm, please let me know.

You can also mention it to friends and relatives. You never know where your next qualified hire might come from.

  • Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to.
  • Richard Branson

Tuesday, July 12th, 2022

What To Wear

“Is there anything in the world more annoyingly creepy than an unspoken dress code?” – Douglas Coupland

Remember the TV show What Not To Wear? I always enjoyed it and was often amazed at how sloppy, untidy, and inappropriate the person was “before.” They looked pretty good “after.”

You might now be facing the challenge of what to wear as you return to the office. Even if it is only for two or three days per week, your at-home work fashions, sweat pants, shorts and t-shirts probably will not do.

NPR offers some advice recently in a post titled: The pandemic has changed workplace fashion. What does that mean for you?

Check out the article and see a picture of the leaders of the Group of Seven (G-7) nations in their official group photo recently. They all ditched their ties for the photo for the first time in 40 years.

Dress codes for CPA firms have certainly relaxed over the years. Still, your team needs some guidance on what your “relaxed” dress code means. Ties and high-heels are out. Now a button-down shirt (probably with jeans) and comfortable flats are in.

  • Yes, we have a dress code. You have to dress.
  • Scott McNealy