Archive for the ‘Lighten Up’ Category

Thursday, April 1st, 2021

April Fool?

“Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever.” – Charles Lamb

I thought of playing an April Fool’s joke on you but then had second thoughts….. things like:

  • A new survey tells us that Firm Administrators’ average salary for 2021 will be $250,000.
  • The AICPA has mandated that for 2022 firms must abandon Saturday work hours from Jan. 1 until May 1.
  • The Big Four are asking local and regional firms to take on Managers that they are outplacing.
  • Most CPA firms are finding PLENTY of experienced people to hire. There is more supply than demand.

I could go on and on and you can probably come up with some good ones yourself. Instead, I thought I would share with you the #1 April Fool’s Day Hoax of all-time:

April 1, 1957: The respected BBC news show Panorama announced that thanks to a very mild winter and the virtual elimination of the dreaded spaghetti weevil, Swiss farmers were enjoying a bumper spaghetti crop. It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this, the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.” Even the director-general of the BBC later admitted that after seeing the show he checked in an encyclopedia to find out if that was how spaghetti actually grew (but the encyclopedia had no information on the topic). The broadcast remains, by far, the most popular and widely acclaimed April Fool’s Day hoax ever, making it an easy pick for number one. 

Here’s a link to the Top 100 Hoaxes:
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/

  • I sometimes wonder if the manufacturers of foolproof items keep a fool or two on their payroll to test things.
  • Alan Coren

Wednesday, March 17th, 2021

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

“May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold—and at the end of your rainbows ay you find a pot of gold.” – Old Irish Blessing

I like this post for St. Patrick’s Day. I have used it a couple of times before. It still applies – So eat some green bagels or cupcakes and have a green beer this evening and think about NOT being green. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Can CPAs relate to Kermit and his tale about:  It’s not easy being green?

As Kermit says, “Wouldn’t it be nicer being red, or yellow or gold?  Green seems like you blend in with so many other ordinary things and people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water.

Perhaps, because you are a CPA you might feel ordinary or under-appreciated.  Well…. YOU ARE NOT!

As Kermit continues, “But green’s the color of Spring and green can be cool and friendly-like and green can be big like an ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree.  When green is all there is to be it could make you wonder why, but why wonder why wonder, I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful and I think it’s what I want to be.”

  • My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.
  • Jim Henson

Friday, March 5th, 2021

Singin’ the Blues

“The blues ain’t nothing but a good man feelin’ bad.” – Leon Redbone

My husband, Darrell, enjoys the blues and we often listen to Bluesville on satellite radio when we are driving. The names of the artists display when the music is playing and it amazes me how so many have colorful nicknames.

We grew up in a small town so nicknames are nothing unusual for us. I often wondered how my parents’ acquaintances got their nicknames but I never thought to ask. I remember… Fat Parks (it was evident how he got his name), Doc Owens (he was definitely not a doctor), Coon Dog Oakley, Toad Steele, and others that were easy to identify like Red Reid (he had red hair), Whitey for Jim White and Elmo for Larry Wenning because he resembled the Dagwood comic strip character Elmo.

The wonderful blues legend, B. B. King (Riley B. King), is a good example. Early in his career he was a radio personality and became known as the Beale Street Blues boy, later shortened to Blues Boy, and you guessed it, even shorter to B. B.

I guess, to be a really great blues artist you need a cool nickname. Well, here’s your chance. Use your three initials to find your perfect blues name from the chart below. Mine is Skinny Bones Smith- Ha! If I was selecting my own I would choose Washboard Mama Blue – how cool.

Share this with your team and have some fun today.

  • A guy will promise you the world and give you nothin', and that's the blues.
  • Otis Rush

Monday, January 25th, 2021

Bernie & What Digital Firms Request

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferriss

I think we have all enjoyed browsing the hundreds.. thousands… of Bernie memes. I know I had a lot of laughs these past few days.

Of course, the most meaningful Bernie meme, for all of us working in the CPA profession, comes from Shayna Brooke, Founder & Chief Strategist at Shaynaco LLC in Gallipolis, Ohio.

Shayna kindly allowed me to use her recent Facebook post for this blog. Here it is:

Just a reminder that you don’t have to bring your paper tax documents into our Shaynaco LLC office. We have secure web portals available for you to upload any documents and also retrieve documents from us!

  • Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take are of themselves.
  • Dale Carnegie

Thursday, January 14th, 2021

Keep People Connected

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

Once again, Withum shares a great video. This one was shared with their entire team so that they continue to feel very connected to the firm and to each other.

What is your firm doing?

Click here to see the video.

  • As the world becomes a more digital place, we cannot forget about the human connection.
  • Adam Newmann

Friday, December 18th, 2020

Flashback Friday!

“The opportunity to step away from everything and take a break is something that shouldn’t be squandered.” – Harper Reed

I’m in the Holiday spirit right now.

I am guessing that you are, too. After this weekend, you have a 4-day weekend and a 3-day weekend coming up. Use your time-off from work wisely (meaning, don’t work!).

It’s more difficult to “quit” working when you are working from home. I’ve worked from home for twelve years. I walk by my office door (during my time-off) and think, “I”ll check a few emails” and I end up in my office for two or three hours!

Using your time-off wisely also means:

  • Enjoy family time – play games with your children or spouse.
  • Find time to read. Read a gripping mystery (not a business book).
  • Find some quiet time to simply think. Think about what you want to accomplish in 2021.
  • Get outside and exercise – a winter, snowy walk is so beautiful and so is a sunny walk on the beach.

Here are some flashbacks to make you smile:

Ringing of the Bells!

Triple-Dog Dare You!

No Half-Baked Ideas!

  • Sometimes when we take a break, we may find that solutions then present themselves.
  • Catherine Pulsifer

Friday, December 4th, 2020

Dress Code – It’s Still Business

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head

Lighten up, it’s Friday. The following comes from Suzanne Lucas (@RealEvilHRLady)

It seems a Judge in Florida was fed up with how attorneys appeared for hearings (via Zoom). The following was added to the Bar Association’s website as a pop-up message.

One comment that needs sharing and that is the judges would appreciate it if the lawyers and their clients keep in mind these Zoom hearings are just that: hearings. They are not casual phone conversations. It is remarkable how many ATTORNEYS appear inappropriately on camera. We’ve seen many lawyers in casual shirts and blouses, with no concern for ill-grooming, in bedrooms with the master bed in the background, etc. One male lawyer appeared shirtless and one female attorney appeared still in bed, still under the covers. And putting on a beach cover-up won’t cover up you’re poolside in a bathing suit. So, please, if you don’t mind, let’s treat court hearings as court hearings, whether Zooming or not.

Per Lucas: “Work is still work. yes, this is an abnormal situation. Yes, you should be forgiving of employees with childcare issues, or space issues, but it’s still work.

Today is Friday, maybe you can consider it casual Friday. Remember those days? They seem so long ago. Stay safe and enjoy your weekend.

Read the entire article here.

Just for fun – The 80 Greatest Fashion Quotes of All Time via Harper’s Bazaar for your weekend reading!

  • Trendy is the last stage before tacky.
  • Karl Lagerfeld

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis

Even though this Thanksgiving is different than any other your family has endured, I hope it is still joyous, perhaps in a more quiet and reflective way.

My husband and I are spending this week in a cabin in the woods. We have been hiking, cooking, reading, and watching movies. We will not be with our family but we are thankful for them every day.

Here is a link to my annual gift to you. It is a classic!

Happy Turkey Day to all my wonderful readers, followers, clients and friends. I count all of you among my many blessings! Enjoy and appreciate the day, even if it is different.

  • Over and over I marvel at the blessings of my life: Each year has grown better than the last.
  • Lawrence Welk

Monday, October 26th, 2020

What Not To Wear

“Dressing well is a form of good manners.” – Tom Ford

Do you remember the TV show, What Not To Wear? It was a makeover reality television series based on the British show of the same name. The show premiered on January 18, 2003, on TLC and ran for 10 years. I watched it for several years and did find it very entertaining. Once the person went through the makeover, the end result gave them a whole new appearance and they certainly made a better first impression.

It came to mind while I was reading a recent article – What to Wear While Working Remotely.

The article goes into a little more detail than I think is needed for a person working for a professional service firm, like a CPA firm.

I get a lot of questions about remote work policies but most of them steer away from how people should dress. Yet, some people do need advice on how to work from home and still feel like a polished professional.

Of course, you should not work in your pajamas! But perhaps a different wardrobe (still very casual) for work and other clothing for your household duties should be something you consider. Recently, I have read where some people were even wearing t-shirts with their political views on display. Of course, that doesn’t happen in CPA firms!

I have worked from home for years and have always put on my make-up, styled my hair, and wore clothes I wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen wearing when I am out and about shopping or running errands. I have different clothes for housework, exercising, etc. That was before Zoom calls! Now, I feel like I need to be even more prepared to be seen!

Hopefully, you will look like the What Not To Wear subject in the “after” mode rather than the “before” mode! Read the article and see what you think. But, basically, use your common sense and wear pants!

  • Elegance is not standing out, but being remembered.
  • Giorgio Armani

Thursday, October 15th, 2020

October 15

“This isn’t a hospital! It’s an insane asylum! And it’s your fault!” – – Sally Kellerman (Hot Lips) in MASH (1970).  Substitute the word firm for hospital.

For many CPA firms, you are down to the wire on extended individual income tax returns and all of the activity that surrounds that huge event.

Clients were late providing their information while still expecting immediate attention. They are often just plain rude to your Director of First Impressions. Partners have high expectations of the tax team, partners and the tax team have almost unreasonable expectations of the administrative team. Yet, you all pull through and give the best service possible.

Happy October 15th!

  • Be sincere; be brief; be seated.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt