Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

March Madness for CPAs

“No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” – Aristotle

It is that time of year again. The annual period of time when CPAs have successfully put the March 15th due date behind them and are working madly toward the April 15th deadline. It’s CPA March Madness!

Hopefully, you are finding time to watch the basketball March Madness. Take a breather and read the history of the basketball event: March Madness: Keeping Society Sane Since 1908. 

  • You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it.
  • Robin Williams

Friday, February 15th, 2019

New State Electronic Filing Requirement

“You have to learn the rules of the game, and then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

One of my clients recently talked to me about the 10 business day rule for state electronic filing. I was unaware.

Since then, I have talked to several more of my clients and most of them were not aware of this new “rule.” The new requirement has been implemented for every software company and is intended to reduce the error rate of returns filed without the latest update(s).

Via CCH: The requirement mandates that “users/customers of this product who attempt to e-file 10 or more business days after a production release will be required to download and apply the product update.”

Read more about it here via CCH and also here via Accounting Today.

  • There are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something.
  • Thomas Edison

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Mergers 2019

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.” – Colin Powell

My firm did its first acquisition/merger in 1993. It was a fast way to grow and to enter a new market. It worked for us and the firm did several more over the years. The firm also acquired non-traditional firms such as an employee benefits firm and a TPA company when it was very unusual to do so.

Things have certainly evolved in the CPA firm M&A market since 1993. During our first merger, all we could think about was not losing clients of the acquired firm. We did not lose clients but we lost employees. We learned from that experience and for the next acquisition around 1996 and going forward, we focused on retaining talented people. It had become more important to retain people than clients.

Daniel Hood of Accounting Today recently interviewed several CPA consultants who focus on M&A. There are major changes ahead for M&A. Valuations of firms are declining. It is becoming a buyer’s market. Acquirers are more selective and do not necessarily want more compliance clients. The cost of technology, going forward, is also an issue, especially for smaller firms.

Be sure to read the interesting article. I know many of you are experiencing a succession dilemma.

  • The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man's determination.
  • Tommy Lasorda

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

CES Top Techs

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Tolstoy

Every year, my good friend Roman Kepczyk does his review of the Top Techs and Innovations from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

He focuses on what the various new technologies mean to those of you working in a CPA firm.

Read his article here.

  • The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.
  • Sydney Harris

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

State of the Firm (SOTF)

“Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality. – Dalai Lama

When I was working inside a successful, growing firm, we did a state of the firm event every year. We brought everyone together from our three offices for a full morning of information and fun. It was a great time for people from different offices to see and talk to each other face-to-face. Our team seemed to enjoy hearing about the progress of the firm and news about what might happen in the future. It was held in the Spring, usually in May. We had just over 100 people.

This morning I read an article about Withum’s annual SOTF event where they bring together over 1,000 people! They hold theirs in January. Read all about it here.

Is it worth it? Absolutely.

It is my observation that people working in an accounting firm want to be included. They want to know what’s going on and how the firm is doing. It is a great recruiting and retention tool. Your people read about these events at other firms and probably wonder why their firm isn’t doing it.

  • An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
  • Benjamin Franklin

Monday, January 21st, 2019

It’s Healthy to Stand

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.” – H. G. Wells

I noticed a news article about a firm unveiling new offices in a new market.

The firm, Lutz,  offers accounting services including tax, bookkeeping, and business consulting to individuals and organizations in a variety of industries. The company was founded by Ralph Lutz in 1980 in Omaha as the CPA firm of Lutz, Kinsey, Friedman & Meyers. They also have offices in Grand Island, Lincoln, and Hastings, Nebraska.

Check out the picture of two of their accountants utilizing the stand-up desk option. Are you offering the option to your team members yet?

standup

  • Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
  • Winston Churchill

Friday, January 11th, 2019

What Does Leadership Look Like Podcast

“The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water and breeds reptiles of the mind.” – William Blake

Thanks so much to Jessica Salerno of The Ohio Society of CPAs for interviewing me for one of the Society’s podcasts.

Episode info:

As the accounting profession evolves, leadership has to evolve along with it. We spoke with Rita Keller, respected CPA firm management consultant and author of the daily blog “Solutions for CPA Firm Leaders,” on how leadership in accounting has changed over the years, the common leadership mistakes she’s seen, the one thing leaders aren’t doing enough and more.

Click here to listen to the podcast. I also appreciate the Young CPAs of Ohio tweet!

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  • Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.
  • Victor Hugo

Monday, January 7th, 2019

Herb Kelleher

I was sorry to learn of Herb Kelleher’s passing. I have always admired his unique approach to being a company leader.

“Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that.” – Herb Kelleher

That quote inspired me and many CPA firms to begin to focus more on keeping employees happy and engaged.

If you ever attended one of my presentations, you probably saw a slide I used very often. To me, it said so much about the functioning of so many CPA firms. You see, I think CPAs often make things way too difficult, especially when it comes to managing their firms.

They spend days talking about and drafting a strategic plan that gets distributed to staff and is never seen again. Here’s some advice from Herb. R.I.P.

Kelleher

  • You don't hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.
  • Herb Kelleher

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Are You Getting Two 4-Day Weekends?

Some of you are getting some extra time off this holiday season. I did a casual survey to see what CPA firms were doing about giving their teams time off since Christmas and New Years falls on Tuesdays this year.

Here are my findings:

  • 17% will close their offices for two 4-day weekends. Both New Year’s Eve and Christmas are holidays.
  • 56% will close Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and be open on December 31.
  • 11% will close one-half day for Christmas Eve and a full day for Christmas and New Years Day.
  • 16% will be closed only for the traditional holidays – Christmas and New Years.

Several firms noted that many people will take PTO to extend their holiday time but the firm offices will be open.

I periodically ask questions to a group of CPA firm administrators and HR directors. If they respond to my question, they receive a summary of all of the answers from various firms around the country. If you would like to be part of my “Advisory4Keller” group, email me and let me know.

 

  • When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
  • Helen Keller

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Digital Client Advisory Services Roadmap Workshop

“Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.” – Kyle Chandler

I have talked to many CPAs about truly organizing and adding Client Accounting Services to their menu of services. Many firms are experiencing great success. It is important for you to understand the digital part of the equation.

CPA.com is offering a helpful workshop – Digital Client Advisory Services Roadmap Workshop – on January 23-24, 2019 in Burlingame, CA. Here a link to more information.

There is a $300 discount that expires on December 23.

Who should attend:

  • Client accounting service practice leaders
  • Key staff
  • Partners in small, midsize and large CPA firms
  • Accounting firm business development and marketing professionals

I hope you explore this opportunity.

  • The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity.
  • Lewis Grizzard