Archive for the ‘Things about Rita’ Category

Monday, September 20th, 2021

Communication – Your Firm’s Biggest Challenge

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

I am delighted to be speaking to the Illinois Chapter of the CPA Firm Management Association on Thursday this week.

I have spoken to them several times over the years. Of course, then it was in person and I had to travel to Chicago. This week it will be a “Team” presentation and I will enjoy talking with the members during the presentation and after and I do not have to leave my office.

My topic will be Communication – Your Firm’s Biggest Challenge.

Any time I get a call from a firm about a particular challenge, issue, or problem it can almost always be traced back to a communication problem. When I talk with team members without the partners present, I always hear that communication is one of their highest concerns. There are eight different ways of CPA firm communication:

  1. The firm to the outside world
  2. Leaders to Leaders
  3. Leaders to team (downward)
  4. Team to Leaders (upward)
  5. Performance feedback
  6. Mentoring
  7. Male vs. Female
  8. Listening

If you are interested in having me talk to your team or association about CPA firm communication, don’t hesitate to contact me.

  • When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.
  • Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

Elevating & Embracing Your Role – Firm Administrators & Practice Managers

“Attitude is a choice. What you think you can do, whether positive or negative, confident or scared, will most likely happen.” – Pat Summitt

The newly formed Missouri Chapter of CPAFMA, supported by the Missouri Society of CPAs, has invited me to speak to their roundtable group virtually on Wednesday, June 16 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Central time). If you are outside of Missouri you are invited to attend. Contact Liz Schaetzel at the Missouri Society to register – lschaetzel@mocpa.org.

CPAFMA is so fortunate to have the support of so many state societies such as MOCPA. I know first-hand how much the Ohio and Indiana Societies help and support the Ohio and Indiana Chapters of CPAFMA.

This session (Elevating & Embracing Your Role) is especially helpful if you are new to the role and new to the CPA profession. It also works to motivate and inspire firm administrators even if you have been one for twenty years! I hope you will join me next Wednesday.

Here’s the invitation from the Missouri Society of CPAs:

During this roundtable, we will hear from Rita Keller, an award-winning and widely respected voice to CPA firm management, who will present Elevating and Embracing Your Role. She will discuss: who in your firm supports and encourages the managing partner? Who is the conscience of your firm, the person who always places the firm above their own personal agenda? Is there someone in the firm who enables the partners and staff to be better and more successful CPAs? Join Rita Keller and your peers to explore what a professional, well-trained firm administrator/practice manager can do. It’s time to elevate and embrace your important role.

Click here to register. We’d love to “see” you. Missouri members, as a reminder, you are invited to stay connected with your fellow firm administrators through MOCPA’s firm administrator online Connect Community and virtual roundtables. Click here for more details.

  • None of us can change our yesterdays, but all of us can change our tomorrows.
  • Colin Powell

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

4,225

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss

This is my 4,225th blog post. When I stop and think about it, I even wonder how I can have so much to say about managing an accounting firm. Yet, I haven’t said it all!

Today, go to my website and browse through the Categories. There are topics such as:

  • Communication
  • Client Service
  • Crafting Your Career
  • Culture
  • Firm Administrator
  • Generations
  • Leadership
  • Managers
  • Marketing
  • Mentoring
  • Mergers
  • Reading
  • And, the most important one – Partner Topics!

If you are reading my blog via your email, actually go to my website today and see if you can find the answer to something that is challenging you or your firm right now.

  • Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.
  • Tony Robbins

Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

Motivate Your Team

“Issues inside an accounting firm almost always can be traced back to someone’s communication failure.” – Rita Keller

I am very pleased that the AICPA asked me to do a guest blog post. It was featured yesterday on the daily CPA Letter Daily.

Check it out and learn 5 Ways to Motivate Your Team During Tax Season.

Keep in mind that tax season is showtime for CPAs and their teams.

  • People who cease to grow can't inspire others. Leadership begins with challenging oneself.
  • Daisaku Ikeda

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

A Special Day

“One thing is sure. We have to do something. We have to do the best we know how at the moment. If it doesn’t turn out right, we can modify it as we go along.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

It is the anniversary of starting this daily blog. I have now completed 15 years of daily blogging. That is over 4,100 posts!

I sometimes repost a Seth Godin post in its entirety. The following one from December 29th seems very appropriate for me. Thanks so much for following this blog. I know many of you are very loyal followers!

The Most Important Blog Post

It is on the most important blog.

Yours.

Even if no one but you reads it. The blog you write each day is the blog you need the most. It’s a compass and a mirror, a chance to put a stake in the ground and refine your thoughts.

And the most important post? The one you’ll write tomorrow.

  • We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.
  • Hillary DePlano

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020

Wrapping Up 2020

“We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” – Joseph Campbell

To all my clients and friends in the CPA profession and especially to the followers of this blog – Have a wonderful holiday. Like mine, it might be very different than in previous years but treasure it all the same.

I will be enjoying a 4-day weekend, so look for my next post on Monday!

  • Let joy be in your journey - not in some distant goal.
  • Tim Cook

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020

Write a Note

“Letter writing is the only device for combining soitude with good company.” – Lord Byron

We have evolved so far with technology that a handwritten note is very rare. We text, we email, we chat. This means that a handwritten note carries so much more clout than it ever did in the past.

During these last few days of 2020, or early in 2021, write a handwritten note to each of your direct reports. Those people, at work, who are closest to you and who help you the most may have never received a handwritten note from you.

I am sure your firm has blasted out a nice Holiday message to all your clients, prospects, and referral sources. That’s nice. But why not set aside some time during early January to write a brief handwritten note to a select group of clients who truly mean something to you.

Of course your whales (those very big revenue generating clients) would not be surprised. They probably expect it. But, why not send a note to some of those smaller, long-time loyal clients who you really like (you might not actually enjoy dealing with some of the big ones!).

I cannot possibly send a handwritten note to all the loyal followers of this blog. But, I do appreciate you so much! Here is my effort in showing you my appreciation.

  • It's amazing how email has changed our lives. You ever get a handwritten letter in the mail today? What the? Has someone been kidnapped?"
  • Jim Gaffigan

Friday, December 18th, 2020

Flashback Friday!

“The opportunity to step away from everything and take a break is something that shouldn’t be squandered.” – Harper Reed

I’m in the Holiday spirit right now.

I am guessing that you are, too. After this weekend, you have a 4-day weekend and a 3-day weekend coming up. Use your time-off from work wisely (meaning, don’t work!).

It’s more difficult to “quit” working when you are working from home. I’ve worked from home for twelve years. I walk by my office door (during my time-off) and think, “I”ll check a few emails” and I end up in my office for two or three hours!

Using your time-off wisely also means:

  • Enjoy family time – play games with your children or spouse.
  • Find time to read. Read a gripping mystery (not a business book).
  • Find some quiet time to simply think. Think about what you want to accomplish in 2021.
  • Get outside and exercise – a winter, snowy walk is so beautiful and so is a sunny walk on the beach.

Here are some flashbacks to make you smile:

Ringing of the Bells!

Triple-Dog Dare You!

No Half-Baked Ideas!

  • Sometimes when we take a break, we may find that solutions then present themselves.
  • Catherine Pulsifer

Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” – Jim Davis

Even though this Thanksgiving is different than any other your family has endured, I hope it is still joyous, perhaps in a more quiet and reflective way.

My husband and I are spending this week in a cabin in the woods. We have been hiking, cooking, reading, and watching movies. We will not be with our family but we are thankful for them every day.

Here is a link to my annual gift to you. It is a classic!

Happy Turkey Day to all my wonderful readers, followers, clients and friends. I count all of you among my many blessings! Enjoy and appreciate the day, even if it is different.

  • Over and over I marvel at the blessings of my life: Each year has grown better than the last.
  • Lawrence Welk

Friday, October 30th, 2020

Friday Musings

“Great ideas emerges from useless fragments of thoughts.” – Michael Bassey Johnson

On Fridays, I often provide you with a flashback post – something I have written about before. Sometimes I save Fridays for random thoughts, ideas, and comments.

Here’s a flashback post on an age-old topic – Getting Partners to Change.

Now on to other stuff.

This week I spent some time preparing for CPAFMA’s virtual Accelerator for people managing accounting firms. The virtual event will take the place of FMA’s 2020 annual conference and will provide practice managers with some timely and helpful information. This program is exclusively designed to help participants professionally manage accounting firms of varying sizes.

I will be involved in the Strategy, Leadership & Growth Accelerator – Monday, November 9th at 11:40a – 1:30p EST and also in the Talent & People Accelerator on November 10th at 12:20p – 2:20p EST.

This week I was featured via an AICPA PCPS podcast – Small Firm Philosophy. I hope you will set aside some time this weekend to listen.

Next week, I will be speaking (virtually) with one of the AICPA PCPS small firm networking groups.

Finally, my newsletter went out yesterday. Did you receive your copy? Be sure to check your spam filter. Here’s a link to one of the articles titled, Afraid. This article will only be available online for a limited time. Sign-up for my newsletter via my website.

Have a nice weekend. Monday will be November and you have a lot to do!

  • The best advice I’ve ever received is 'No one else knows what they’re doing either'.
  • Ricky Gervais