Archive for the ‘Partner topics’ Category

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2022

Money

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson

Certified Public Accountants make a lot of money. Well, in most CPA firms, partners make a lot of money.

I have observed partners who become agitated when they discover another partner made $2,000 more than they did when all partners were making over $300,000 per year. Seems petty. “I only made $327,000, but Joe made $329,000? Why is that?”

As firms grow and expand, the partners continue to make more money year after year. That is if the firm is managed properly.

Simon Sinek recently tweeted: “Focus on money and you will make money. Focus on impact and you will make an impact.”

Making money is part of the game. Don’t forget to consider the impact you make on your clients. Don’t forget the impact you make on your team. Focus on both money and impact.

  • You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life.
  • Zig Ziglar

Monday, November 21st, 2022

Keeping Your Employees

“Be thankful for problems. If they were less difficult, someone with less ability might have your job.” – Jim Lovell

I recently read an article suggesting ways to keep your best employees. I found it not to be very helpful. It mentioned things we have all heard before.

It suggested:

  • Improve compensation
  • Increase flexibility
  • Evaluate your benefits
  • Encourage professional development

All of the many firms I talk to and read about are doing all of this. I am sure most of you want to know more. What else can you do?

In 2022, I have observed more and more firms are actually disengaging from many clients simply because they cannot hire enough people to take care of them. Quality service matters more than the number of clients.

Add this to the list above – Don’t punish your staff by keeping clients that are ranked C and D. Shrink our client list to keep your best employees.

  • Be happy with what you have while working for what you want.
  • Helen Keller

Monday, November 14th, 2022

Do This In November

“If I cut you off, chances are you handed me the scissors.” – Unknown

I have written about it often. You have talked about it often.

It is time to off-board several of your current clients. Make room for new and better clients. You do this because:

  • You can add some great clients without overloading (punishing) your staff.
  • You can finally divest yourself of those clients that are always a collection problem.
  • You can weed out those C and D-level clients who are always getting their information to you at the very last minute (again punishing your staff).
  • It gives you room to really focus on providing exceptional, unique client service.
  • It would help you identify, develop and define a true, specialized niche, something your firm can become famous for.
  • It helps you work with people (clients) you really like and enjoy, not those you just tolerate.

Now, November is a good time to notify those clients. If you want a sample of a client termination letter, let me know.

  • People inspire you, or they drain you – pick them wisely.
  • Hans F. Hansen

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

What We Are

“Regardless of what we think we’re teaching, we teach what we are.” – Nathaniel Branden

I hope today you will think about the above quote. I think it says a lot about the CPA profession.

We thought Gen-X would change the way CPA firms operated. But, they were taught by the older generation and that older generation taught what they knew. “We teach what we are” certainly applied.

Those two generations taught the millennials and those three generations are teaching Gen Z.

I believe major changes have certainly happened in some firms but there are many CPA firms operating today much as they operated twenty years ago.

Many people have said, in slightly differing ways, that you become who you surround yourself with.

Have you broken this model? Are you continually acknowledging change and accepting it? Are you teaching what could be rather than what you are now?

  • Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.
  • Mark Ambrose

Monday, November 7th, 2022

The On-Going Dress Code Saga – Crop Tops

Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

Over the years, I have heard CPA firm administrators ask the question repeatedly – what does your dress code specify?

I thought we solved the dress code issue when we all accepted “business casual” years ago.

Soon, it became, what does business casual encompass? We fought the open-toe shoes (sandals) topic but gave in. We accepted jeans on Friday, which soon became jeans every day. Getting people back to the office after COVID we accept shorts now (but not short shorts?)

The latest is how to wear a crop top that is office acceptable. So, are you modifying your dress code once again to accept a new trend, crop tops?

I try to accept all this as simply amusing. People who are seriously building their careers know that people judge you immediately on first impressions.

  • You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.
  • Edith Head

Tuesday, October 25th, 2022

Reflection

“Selling out is doing something you don’t really want to do for money. That’s what selling out is.” – Bono

It is a beautiful Fall in Ohio. The trees have been vibrant with color this year, and we have had day after day of beautiful weather, although we do need some rain.

When Fall arrives, it makes me feel like it is time for reflection. It puts me in a “winding down” mood. For CPA firms, after the October 15th deadline, it means it is time for action! November is when you have to finish all of those internal projects that make the firm more efficient and profitable. It is not a time for “winding down” it is a time for gearing up for the busy season that will arrive after the holidays.

As for my reflection, I read this morning that another well-known CPA firm has given up the ghost and merged up into one of the mega firms. It makes me sad. I think about so many firms (dozens of them) I have known and worked with over my many years working in public accounting. They have disappeared and are mostly forgotten. The local/regional mid-size firms have evidently failed to develop the next generation of owners, and they have no choice but to sell out.

  • It's not selling out, it is called making lots of money.
  • Mick Jagger

Wednesday, October 19th, 2022

New Ideas

“Ask forgiveness, not permission. But make sure you bring your results with you.” – Amy Jo Martin

I read a tweet by Dan Rockwell (@Leadershipfreak) that describes life inside many CPA firms.

I encounter it often – resistance to new ideas and too much time spent by the firm’s leader asking permission and building consensus. Sometimes it is even the staff trying to get the partners to embrace new ideas and make needed changes. Get real, you will never get everyone to agree. It causes the firm to get stuck. Forward progress halts.

Here’s the tweet from Dan:

New ideas always encounter resistance.

Success requires initiative.

Leaders act without permission.

There’s too much permission-asking in organizations.

You’ve been asking permission all your life. It began when you were a kid.

  • Give yourself permission to do what you've always wanted.
  • Chris Guilebeau

Thursday, October 13th, 2022

Now It’s Non-Linear Work

“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they [are] at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.” – Richard Branson

All of these new terms for the workforce just keep expanding. Flexible, remote, hybrid, off-shore, on-shore, the great resignation, quiet quitting, and there are probably more!

Here’s one I just read about; maybe your team is already utilizing it. They probably are if they are fully remote.

It is called the non-linear workday. We have been so used to and comfortable with the regular 8 to 5 workday. Some employees are expected to be online and available during those hours even if they are working from home.

Remote work has given rise to all sorts of new working patterns, including the ‘non-linear workday.’ Employees in this arrangement can do their jobs outside the traditional rigid nine-to-five block, often whenever works best for them.

Some of your employees might be much more productive if they work very early in the morning and end their workday early afternoon. Another employee might prefer to work a couple of hours in the morning and return to work after dinner or after the kids go to bed. The day can be broken up in many different ways that suit the work style of the individual.

“It’s no longer really about effort and time spent, it’s about creating the best outcomes. As the nature of work has shifted, so too has the way workers want to optimize how they do that work.” – Aaron De Smet

Read more about it in this informative article via the BBC. Of course, I know that CPAs will be thinking, “How do we keep track of it all?”

  • I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
  • Thomas Edison

Wednesday, October 12th, 2022

2023 Public Accounting Starting Salaries

“Don’t let money run your life, let money help you run your life better.” – John Rampton

Those of you charged with managing and leading your CPA firm, I know you are wondering where salaries are going in the public accounting arena.

Going Concern has been examining data from Robert Half, focusing on cities with high, middle, and low costs of living.

Check out the Going Concern articles and see what you think. I always thought Robert Half’s numbers seemed on the high side, but with the talent shortage, it will be interesting to see where public accounting salaries actually go this year.

  • Money is usually attracted, not pursued.
  • Jim Rohn

Monday, October 3rd, 2022

September Newsletter

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A. A. Milne

I just made it! I got my September newsletter sent on September 30th. I know it is not the best idea to send out a newsletter on a Friday, but I didn’t want to skip a month.

This month’s topic is about distractions. We all get distracted in our personal lives and activities and also in our business lives and activities.

A CPA firm takes a lot of effort and attention to become (and continue to be) successful. Don’t let anything distract you from growing and improving your firm and your career.

You can sign up for my newsletter on my website.

  • We will fail when we fail to try.
  • Rosa Parks