Archive for the ‘People/HR’ Category

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 10th, 2022

Are Your Team Members Average?

“Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” – Garrison Keillor

In a novel I read recently, the main character, trying to solve a complex crime, noted he saw a bumper sticker that said, “Half the people are below average.” Of course, this brought CPA firm performance feedback to my mind!

How many team members, over the years, have you told they are average performers?

From my experience, I would say that you have told a few team members they are outstanding performers.

I would also say that you have told many team members they are average performers.

I would guess that you haven’t told many team members they are BELOW average.

I always think honesty is the best policy.

Of course, if you have people who just need more training, guidance, and coaching, give that to them. Let them know they need to improve their performance. I have observed that almost everyone in a particular CPA firm knows when someone is below average. Yet, that individual is usually the last one to know.

Keep in mind – half the people are below average.

  • You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.
  • Jim Rohn

Friday, October 7th, 2022

Flashback Friday – Recruiting

“When I find an employee who turns out to be wrong for the job, I feel it’s my fault because I made the decision to hire him.” ­­– Akio Morita

The hiring and recruiting battles continue. Luckily, many firms have figured how to get work done more efficiently (needing fewer people) and remotely (by outsourcing). Here’s a flashback post about Boundaryless Recruiting.

Have a nice weekend. Thinking about all our firms in Florida.

  • First, what I try to assess is integrity. For me, integrity is the consistency of words and actions.
  • Kenneth Chenault

Friday, September 30th, 2022

A Flexible Culture Has Become The Norm

“I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.” – Everett Dirksen

Even before the pandemic, accounting firms were figuring out how to offer employees more flexibility and still maintain the level of production to meet the needs of the firm and the clients. My question is, is there danger in becoming too flexible? Read more via this Flashback Friday post from last year.

  • Don't worry about failures worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.
  • Jack Canfield

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

Are You Overworked?

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.” – Arthur Conan Doyle

Partners and managers complain that the firm needs more experienced people. Every firm wants experienced people; they are very difficult to find.

Rather than whining and complaining, delegate. Partners, make sure your managers are delegating. That way, you will have experienced people to delegate to.

The old advice still applies – – – Push work down to the lowest billing level.

If you are really honest, you know that some of the client work you are doing could be done by someone with a lower billing rate.

In the CPA world, young people learn by having more difficult work continually assigned to them. Don’t let higher-level people get too comfortable with their workload. Complacency leads to mediocrity.

  • Jealousy is the tribute which mediocrity pays to genius.
  • Fulton J. Sheen

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

Keep Trying To Engage Employees

“I’m hearing that quiet quitting is about employees setting boundaries.” – Sharlyn Lauby

I am still on the Quiet Quitting topic!

Here is an excerpt from a post by Sharlyn Lauby (@HRBartender).

To me, quiet quitting sounds like what happens when organizations don’t plan and communicate then dump work on employees. Then employees push back against how they are treated. Remember that old saying, “A lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on my part.”? Employees are smart. They don’t want to be taken for granted or taken advantage of.

This one paragraph describes what I have observed happening in CPA firms for years.

Per Lauby, there are some things you can do if you truly want to address quiet quitting:

  • Plan better
  • Communicate earlier
  • Ask for help
  • Be flexible
  • Say thanks and mean it

These should be easy things to do. Read her entire article (a short read) to learn more about each of these things you can do.

  • If employees aren’t meeting the performance standard, then you coach and counsel them.
  • Sharlyn Lauby

Tuesday, August 30th, 2022

Only Working 8 to 5

“Consistently working late is not necessarily a sign of a hard worker, but rather the inability to use time wisely.” – Victor Bretting

If you are reading the latest news and trends, you are aware of something called “Quiet Quitting.” I understand that it means that people (and not only younger people) are tired of going above and beyond. These workers say that they are getting paid for working 8 to 5 with one hour for lunch. That’s an eight-hour day and that is what they are willing to work.

In the accounting profession, going above and beyond usually means working extra hours. Traditionally, most of those extra hours have been from mid-January to April 15.

I don’t see Quiet Quitting applying to the CPA profession because of the enhanced flexibility firms are willing to offer to anyone qualified to work in the CPA profession.

For those workers in any profession that want just to work an eight-hour day, does that mean you will actually work eight hours? What about when you arrive on time but spend 15 minutes in the break room getting coffee (and even eating your carry-in breakfast)? What about the time you spend on personal phone calls, checking personal emails, checking social media, talking to Mary Ann about the guy you met last weekend, and playing fantasy football? What about the times you actually take a little extra time for lunch? Probably, almost everyone in your firm would benefit from a time management course.

In progressive firms, it is simply a negotiation between the firm and the individual. Firm leaders can no longer treat everyone the same or pay everyone the same if they are at a certain experience level (such as, all Seniors make this much, all new graduates make this much, and all Managers make the same.

Keep in mind it is simply paying for performance.

  • Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful.
  • Alexander Kjerul

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

Quiet Quitting

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” – Stephen Covey

You have heard and read about various descriptions of what is happening in the world of work.

The Great Resignation where, according to some surveys, in 2021, 48 million people left their current positions for what they thought were greener pastures. They received better pay, benefits, and work/life balance. Some wanted to gain new skills, and some resigned to just stay at home to raise a family or simply retire.

Then came the boomerang employees. Many realized they were better off in their previous job and returned. Maybe you had some of those.

Now, something you are facing is Quiet Quitting. It is when employees quit going above and beyond what they are paid to do. The lines between home and work disappeared, and people suffered from burnout. Quiet quitters are still doing their jobs, but they have set boundaries.

Do some Googling and research Quiet Quitting. Assess the situations in your firm and take action to prevent the need for Quiet Quitting.

You can read a good article about it on the Skimm.

  • Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.
  • Betsy Jacobson

Tuesday, August 16th, 2022

Be Visible

“The power of visibility can never be underestimated. – Margaret Cho

Soon students will be returning to the college campus. Your CPA firm better be doing the same thing. This Fall, make sure your firm is visible on the college campus.

I vividly remember one conversation with four college students who were seniors and accounting majors. Two of them had jobs with the big four, one had a job in corporate accounting and the fourth was still looking. They shared their lack of knowledge about local and regional CPA firms. They didn’t even seem to be aware that there were such firms!

I always knew the large national firms were very prominent on college campuses, but these students told me that the big four were visible every single week on campus, sponsoring something, hosting a fun event, etc.

How visible is your firm on your local college campuses? For some of you, not at all, and for others, you might be visible on campus once or twice during the fall semester.

Keep in mind the pool of accounting graduates is smaller than ever. What can you do to catch the fish in that small pool? One easy thing is to be more visible.

  • I've found hat luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.
  • Brian Tracy

Thursday, August 4th, 2022

Back to the Office

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Here are some random thoughts/comments for today.

A headline I read this week from The New York Times:

What Remote Work Debate? They’ve Been Back at the Office for a While. Cubicles are largely empty in downtown San Francisco and Midtown Manhattan, but workers in America’s midsize and small cities are back to their commutes.

Some CPA firms are still debating how remote they want to be. And, many small firms kept coming to the office throughout the pandemic.

Of course, progressive firms are using outsourcing so that is a form of being remote.

  • It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company.
  • George Washington