Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

Thursday, March 17th, 2022

Finding Time

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” — William Penn

When you work in the CPA profession whether you are a CPA, a firm administrator/practice manager, an HR director, a marketing director, or a technology specialist, you are always busy. Very busy. It is the nature of the CPA profession. So much to do and so little time.

You want to do more things to improve your life, like exercise, read, spend more time with family, etc. But for some reason, you just can’t find the time.

You may have missed it. So, take a couple of minutes and read this interesting post by Daniel Hood (@AccountingEdit), the Editor-in-Chief of Accounting Today, titled Carving Up The Day. I think you will be able to relate!

  • All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, March 9th, 2022


“The rare individual who unselfishly tries to serve others has an enormous advantage.” – Dale Carnegie

I have dealt with male CPA partners for decades.

I have read Dale Carnegie books and quotes for years and love them.

Here’s a quote via Carnegie that I read this morning. It does not apply to most male CPA partners!

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie

All partners need to keep this quote in mind as they deal with their valuable employees. It does apply to today’s workforce.

  • Pay less attention to what men say. Just watch what they do.
  • Dale Carnegie

Thursday, January 20th, 2022


“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.” – John Maxwell

Many think accounting and being a CPA is a number business. A number career. A career for a math whiz. Wrong! It is a people business.

I remember an extremely knowledgeable CPA tax advisor who told me he just loved to work on taxes and figure out challenging situations but when faced with meeting with a client, in person, his stomach began to ache.

Of course, you have to be knowledgeable, experienced, and creative when it comes to numbers but you also need to develop exceptional people skills.

Through your career, you will develop some wonderful and meaningful relationships with clients and also with your peers, employees, vendors, and even competitors. However on occasion, whether it is certain situations with certain clients or with certain peers/employees, you might feel like Jerry and Elaine.

“Elaine: Ugh, I hate people. Jerry: Yeah, they’re the worst.”

  • Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
  • Bill Gates

Friday, December 31st, 2021

It’s Time For A New Year

“You’ll never get bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do.” – Dr Seuss

It’s time to welcome a New Year.

Don’t keep doing the same old “tax season dance” this year.

Jazz it up and have some fun. Click here.

(Card via

  • You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
  • C. S. Lewis

Friday, December 17th, 2021

Don’t Get Stuck – Flashback Friday

“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.” – N. R. Narayana Murthy

Check out this flashback post from December 25, 2016. Apply it to this coming year.

  • Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.
  • George Carlin

Thursday, November 25th, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am thankful for so many things and so many people in my life. Today, I want you to know that I am thankful to all of you who read this blog daily. I hope it is helpful, in some way, as you manage your way through the minefield of CPA firm management. Happy Thanksgiving!

Most of you have seen this many times. However, I feel a strong desire to share it with you almost every Thanksgiving. At the time, I watched this episode live and now, thanks to the internet, I can watch the clip every Thanksgiving.

Have a joyful day with family and friends and always make time for laughter.

  • Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.
  • Eckhart Tolle

Friday, October 29th, 2021

Friday Flashback – Halloween

“There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people; Religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.” – Lucy Van Pelt

Here’s a post from October 31, 2015. The thought still applies. People spend a lot of money on Halloween. Maybe it wouldn’t be too scary if you raised your billing rates! Boo!

  • We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
  • Stephen King

Thursday, September 2nd, 2021


“You control your own life. Your own will is extremely powerful.” – J. K. Rowling

I am assuming you are familiar with Harry Potter. I read all the books and watched all the movies. J. K. Rowling created a fascinating world. Let’s take a somewhat light-hearted look at how Dementors might apply inside your firm.

When you read the following meaning of Dementors, I wonder what it brings to mind.

Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. … If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself – soulless and evil.

I know I am weird, but it brings to my mind, some managers in CPA firms who seem to “suck the life out of people.” Thankfully, it doesn’t apply to all managers.

Some Managers are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the accounting firms that are stuck in the past and glory in the status quo. They drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them. If they can, the Manager will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like themselves – uncaring and demanding.

J. K. Rowling has revealed that the inspiration for Dementors came from her bout with severe depression before her phenomenal success. She described the feeling as an “absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope.”

I have said all of that to remind you that, as firm owners, you must invest in the non-technical training and education of your managers. Managers need to be people developers. In some firms, they are simply highly-trained technicians charged with getting the most work out of subordinates. They don’t know how to build strong relationships and engage with the people they supervise.

I’ve been working in public accounting for decades. I have heard many stories about inadequate managers. And yes, they have been described as “sucking the life out of people.” I have also heard the same about some partners.

  • We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.
  • J. K. Rowling

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

Dilbert Gets It Right

“Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handly available, they will create their own problems.” – Scott Adams

In today’s above quotation, you could easily replace engineeers with accountants. Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert.

If you work in a professional service firm office, you can almost always relate to the Dilbert comic strip every day.

Reading a comic strip might be a good way to lighten-up on this Monday workday. It appeared in yesterday’s Sunday newspaper and I just had to share it with you in case you missed it.

It begins with Dilbert saying, “I invented a technology that will manipulate people’s brains for our profit.” Read more here and see if you agree.

Have a good week!

  • You don't have to be a 'person of influence' to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me.
  • Scott Adams

Monday, June 28th, 2021


“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask, ‘What if I fall?’ Oh but my darling, what if you fly?” – Erin Hanson

It is Monday and you need to smile.

I was looking for some hand-outs I have on the topic of partner sabbaticals. It was a popular topic a few years ago but I haven’t heard much discussion about it lately. Maybe because partners (and others) have had a lot of time away from the office because of COVID (although they were still working).

I honestly don’t know who gave me this but here’s a sample sabbatical policy for CPA firm partners that will make you smile:

Sabbatical Program for CPA Firm Partners:

We take a vote to decide which partners we’d prefer not seeing around the office.

The remaining partners pool their funds and try to collect enough to send them as far away as possible for the longest period of time. The idea is that most of us will be retired by the time they return.

We find that the system works pretty well, the staff is happy and the office environment much more relaxed.

We’ve set up a system whereby partners can contribute to the fund through their cafeteria plan so they can send others away with pre-tax dollars.

  • Two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less traveled by.
  • Robert Frost