Archive for the ‘On My Mind’ Category

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

The Year – 2019

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” – Robin Sharma

2019 is making its exit. It made me feel better about this past year by watching a link inserted below today’s Google Doodle.

I inserted it below. If it doesn’t show on your phone, go to my blog site to view it or simply go to Google’s home page today (December 31, 2019). It will be two minutes well spent. 2020 will be a leap year – use it to make your firm LEAP ahead.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

  • Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, December 30th, 2019

Think About The Good Stuff

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” – Marianne Williamson

As the year draws to a close, I hope you take some time to think about all the good things that have happened at your accounting firm this year and the things that made you smile and laugh. Often, we focus too much on mistakes and all of the negative drama that happens in the workplace.

  • How often has someone stepped in and helped you without asking?
  • How often has a mistake created a reason to simply laugh out loud?
  • Wasn’t the sack race at the firm picnic a hoot?
  • How did the team look in their Halloween costumes?
  • Didn’t that group of women from your firm have a great time at that Habitat for Humanity project?
  • Wasn’t it nice when that law firm provided donuts for the entire team?
  • Didn’t that particular manager do a great job of training everyone on that new software?
  • Wasn’t it amazing how hard those two young partners worked to land that huge client?
  • How did you feel when that special client sent a referral your way?
  • Life is not just about the good things or not just about the bad things. It is both. It all depends where you focus your attention.
  • Ann Marie Aguilar

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

Merry Christmas

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

Warmest holiday wishes to all my clients and friends in the CPA profession. Celebrate with family and friends and bask in the warmth and joy of the season.

Thank you for allowing me to be a resource to you and your firm and for following my blog and reading my tweets! Do all you can to make 2020 your best year ever!

(To see the video, below, you have to go to my website.)

  • Never eat more than you can lift.
  • Miss Piggy

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

Stress Can Be Your Friend

“Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort.” – Kelly McGonigal

This is an important topic. Working in a CPA firm, we have always looked upon stress as a fact of life and as a bad thing.

I urge you to take 15 minutes over the holidays to listen to this TED talk by Kelly McGonigal, PhD. She is a research psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. Part scientist, part storyteller, she translates the complexities of neuroscience into inspirational yet practical advice that helps people lead healthier, happier, more creative, abundant lives.

If you have teenagers at home, share it with them.

  • Let yourself notice whether the upsetting thought is an old, familiar tune - that's your first clue that it is not critically important information you need to believe.
  • Kelly McGonigal

Friday, December 13th, 2019

Different Policies For Holiday Closings

“The holidays stress people out so much. I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can.” – Giada De Laurentiis

When holidays fall on a Friday, Monday or mid-week, we often wonder if firms are doing anything more than just the one-day holiday.

When it comes to the December/January holidays – Christmas and New Year’s Day – firms differ on what they offer.

I did a quick survey to see what firms were offering this year for Christmas since it falls on a Wednesday.

  • 18.52% – Close only on December 25th
  • 18.52% – Close 1/2 day on December 24th and all-day December 25th
  • 55.56% – Close all day the 24th and 25th
  • 7.41% – Are closing the entire Christmas week

Most firms are just closing one day for New Year’s Day and allowing people to leave a “little early” on New Year’s Eve.

No matter how much time you get off work, celebrate and have fun with family and friends!

  • Sharing the holiday with other people, and feeling that you’re giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism.
  • Caroline Kennedy

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Why Poor Performers Stay

“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan

Some of your team members are not meeting expectations. Some are downright disruptive.

You have been unhappy with them for a long time, usually years. A new employee could easily cover their workload and often at a much lower pay rate. Yet, you do not deal with the situation.

The unhappy employee continues to inject poison into your culture. When asked, they willingly explain that they are not happy with firm leadership but they stay because they love the work, love the clients and the firm needs them.

The real reason they stay – they make too much money to quit. With their performance and work history, they could not easily find another job that pays as well.

  • The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of the wise.
  • Shannon L. Alder

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019

My Ramblings About Mergers

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

You have observed it. In the last several years, many mid-size firms have merged-up into the Top 100 (the AICPA calls this group the Major Firms Group).

The firms in the Major Firm Group have also joined forces to form even larger CPA firms. It is an interesting time in the CPA profession. The big get bigger and many firms I have known and admired for years have disappeared.

An interesting statistic from the AICPA, almost 40% of the Major Firms Group from the year 2000, no longer exists.

This week’s announcement about Skoda Minotti joining Marcum brought all this to mind. Read the press release here. Marcum has had phenomenal growth and success under Jeffrey Weiner’s leadership.

So, mid-size firms are disappearing. However, mergers don’t always lead to a happy life once the honeymoon is over. A lot of the big mergers will result in spin-offs and smaller firms will form and thrive.

  • I always say, complacency is the kiss of death.
  • Shari Redstone

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Flashback Friday – Thinking of Being Thankful

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” -William Arthur Ward

With the upcoming holiday next week, I thought this flashback post from last November would be a good one to end this week with and to take into next week.

Public accounting firms are great places to work. Think about some of the things you are thankful for about your career in public accounting.

Click here.

  • Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.
  • Doris Day

Friday, November 15th, 2019

Words Are Currency – Spend Them Wisely

“A fool is made more of a fool when their mouth is more open than their mind.” – Anthony Liccione

Have you ever been in a meeting where someone spews words in a never-ending dialogue that is pretty much meaningless? It seems they just enjoy hearing themselves talk.

I believe that communication within CPA firms needs to be continuous and enlightening but that doesn’t mean too many meetings where certain people ramble on and on. I recently read the following and realized how meaningful it is to CPA firm meetings.

Joe had always considered individual words as finite units of currency, and he believed in savings. He never wanted to waste or unnecessarily expend words. To Joe, words meant things. They should be spent wisely.

That’s why Joe despised meetings where he felt the participants acted as if they were paid by the number of words spoken and, as a result, the words began to cheapen by the minute until they meant nothing at all. In Joe’s experience, the person who talked the most often had the least to say. (C. J. Box, author)

Does this apply to someone at your firm? Is it you?

  • Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about themselves, and small people talk about others.
  • John C. Maxwell

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Should Sole Practitioners Have Retreats?

“Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities.” – Terry Josephson

If you are part of a smaller firm, with one owner or two partners and are reading this blog – my answer is a resounding YES!

Just because you don’t have a multi-partner firm doesn’t mean you should not devote a special time and place for strategic planning. Try involving your entire team in the planning session. When I have facilitated these types of planning sessions, the employees contribute an amazing amount of relevant ideas and suggestions.

Sole practitioners who include their entire team in sculpting the firm’s future are making a positive difference for their firms. I believe it is a tactic that smaller firms should embrace wholeheartedly. It’s not too late to have this type of session in December or early January. It could even be a half-day event with a follow-up session in late April.

  • Take a chance! All life is a chance. A person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare.
  • Dale Carnegie