Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Changes to the CPA Exam

“Exams test your memory, life tests your learning; others will test your patience.” – Fennel Hudson

Hopefully, you have already been reading about the future changes to the CPA Exam.

This from The Journal of Accountancy:

A working group formed by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the AICPA is exploring possible changes to the CPA licensure requirements that would incorporate the skills and competencies in areas such as technology and data analytics that increasingly are needed in practice and business.

Through an effort known as the CPA Evolution project, NASBA and the AICPA have discussed possible approaches to the changing demands in the accounting profession. NASBA and the AICPA have consulted with various stakeholders on this issue in an effort to help the profession meet the challenge.

Then there is this from Going Concern.

  • Recipe for success: Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.
  • William A. Ward

Monday, December 10th, 2018

This is What is Trending in CPA Firms

marc-rosenberg-2017“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”—Peter Drucker

Thanks to my good friend, Marc Rosenberg, I am pleased to share his recent article: Trending: What I’m Seeing at CPA Firms This Year.

I am sure many of my fellow CPA management consultants will agree with Rosenberg. I know I am seeing the same issues with my CPA firm clients.

If you haven’t already, take a minute or two to read Rosenberg’s view on current trends. Also, if you haven’t yet, order a copy of the 2018 Rosenberg survey.

 

  • The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake—you can’t learn anything from being perfect.
  • Adam Osborne