Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2022

Signing Bonus

“My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21. Everything since then has been a bonus.” – Stephen Hawking

Signing bonuses are just one bit of ammunition in your hiring arsenal.

Just in case you aren’t up-to-date on what firms are doing in this area, a mid-size firm I recently talked with told me they are offering $10,000-$15,000 as a signing bonus.

I am sure many of you are doing the same AND many of you aren’t, but should.

  • The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.
  • Jimmy Johnson

Monday, April 18th, 2022

Age Discrimination

“You cannot just hire younger people. It’s illegal.” – Suzanne Lucas

Probably, right now, in the CPA profession, you will hire anyone remotely qualified! That’s not really a true statement but finding talent really is a challenging fact of life for CPA firm leaders. There is no end in sight to this problem.

I thought it might be a good time to remind you about age discrimination when hiring. Suzanne Lucas (@RealEvilHRLady) shares a very interesting article about a company that openly proclaimed that they only hire Gen Z. Watch out for lawsuits! Read the article here.

  • Chance words spoken in kindness often help amazingly; and that's what old people are here for —else their experience is of little use.
  • Louisa May Alcott

Monday, December 6th, 2021

Purpose

“Profit isn’t a purpose, it’s a result. Purpose is the reason we do the thing that makes the profit.” – Simon Sinek

Surveys tell us that a large percentage of employees don’t feel fully connected to their firm’s purpose, they don’t see the value they create and that their jobs don’t allow them to fully leverage their strengths.

Every CPA firm started for a reason. Every CPA firm continues to operate and move forward for a reason. That reason results in profit.

Many firms are confused about the difference between a mission statement and a purpose statement. The first step to understanding a purpose statement is to distinguish it from a mission statement because each plays a different role in your business plan.

Here’s an explanation from a blog post by WGU.edu that I think will help you understand the difference:

Mission Statement vs. Purpose Statement

A purpose statement is a single statement that defines the reason your company exists—beyond simply making a profit. It also illustrates how your product or service positively impacts the people you serve. Once your purpose is established, you’ll need a series of goals to drive that purpose. That’s where the mission statement comes in.

First and foremost, a mission statement is actionable. It explains the path you need to take to reach your purpose. So, while a purpose statement is focused on the future, a mission statement is rooted in the present.

Unlike a company mission, your company purpose isn’t something that can be completed or checked off a list. A purpose statement illustrates the ongoing pursuit to push your company forward.

It is important to define your CPA firm’s purpose and share it with your entire workforce. Too many partners attend a partner retreat and then do not share the action steps from that meeting in a way that motivates and connects team members to the firm’s purpose, vision, and core values.

Here’s the Lego purpose statement: “To inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.”

I hope you can define your purpose so clearly and briefly.

  • Nothing will divert me from my purpose.
  • Abraham Lincoln

Monday, October 4th, 2021

My Copy Arrived

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

As with every Fall, I anticipate the arrival of my copy of the Rosenberg Survey. I learn so much from this valuable resource and it is a very helpful tool as I do my advisory work with local and regional firms.

For example: Why should firms located in cities with over 2 million in population have partner billing rates that range from $474 down to $277?

  • Firms with lower rates are less aggressive than those with higher rates.
  • Firms with higher rates believe they are worth every penny of their rates.
  • Firms with higher rates are often providing more advisory level work and less compliance services.

You can order your copy of The Rosenberg Survey here.

  • Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
  • Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, September 27th, 2021

Is It Really Too Hard?

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act.” – Amelia Earhart

Back in late August, Daniel Hood, Editor-in-Chief of Accounting Today asked the question, “Is it too hard to become a CPA?” He referred to the difficulty of the CPA Exam and the extra credit hours needed to sit for the Exam. You can read my opinion here.

Many other people, most of them CPAs, sent their replies and opinions to Dan. Last week, he published many of them.

I think you will find the answers interesting – the ones from practitioners and the ones from CPA want-to-bes. Read them here.

  • Difficult things aren't easy, but they're worth it.
  • Mia Love

Friday, September 24th, 2021

Remote Workers – Flashback Friday

“Friday is a day to finish your goals for the week. It is a day to celebrate that which you set out to accomplish at the beginning of the week.” —Byron Pulsifer

You have people who want to be fully remote. You have people who want to get back to the office. You have people who want a hybrid schedule. No matter which way you go, it’s still going to be different for everyone. Someone who has always been a key “go-to” person for staff might now be hybrid and not always easily accessible and so on.

Check out this post about Another View of Remote Workers.

Have a nice weekend!

  • If my boss knew how unproductive I am on Fridays, he wouldn't want me here either.
  • James Johnson

Friday, August 6th, 2021

Is Your Firm An Overachiever? – Flashback Friday

“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” – – Albert Einstein

This week’s Flashback Friday is SO OLD that I am not able to provide a link. So, I am copying and pasting it into this post.

I thought it would be fun to look back on my blog posts from the very first year I began writing this blog – 2006. Here’s a flashback to August 17, 2006. Koltin had a different role then.

Is Your Firm An Overachiever?

According to Allan Koltin, President and CEO of PDI Global Inc., your firm is probably an overachiever if it has these traits:

  • Outstanding leadership and management
  • Common focus and culture
  • Specialization or niche-market dominance
  • Sustainable momentum
  • Powerful leverage
  • Tendency to “spoil” clients
  • Performance discipline
  • High billing rates; low write-offs
  • High-end clients; valuable CPA services
  • Great confidence in “self-worth”
  • Strong work ethic

Have a great weekend!

  • Laughter is an instant vacation.
  • Milton Berle

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

Professional Courtesy – Flashback Friday

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James

Has professional courtesy completely disappeared? Do you talk to people and they are not even looking at you, they are looking at their phone or computer. Check out this post from 2019 about what a school is doing to instill professional courtesy in their students.

Have a nice weekend. I love summer!

  • And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021

Doing Your Best With Virtual Meetings

“No matter what time it is, wake me, even if it’s in the middle of a cabinet meeting.” – Ronald Reagan

I hear it over and over again, CPA firm citizens are suffering from Zoom fatigue. I have experienced some frustrations, too. There are people who never participate, don’t turn on their video on, don’t mute sound and so on.

It is up to the meeting host to facilitate a productive meeting. If you are the host for some meetings, there is a great list of suggestions from Paul McDonald in a recent issue of CPA Practice Advisor. The topics are:

  • No agenda, no meeting
  • Use visual stimuli
  • Have a backup plan
  • Get everyone involved
  • Set some ground rules
  • Video on, sound off
  • Keep to time
  • Show empathy
  • Always follow up
  • Consider alternatives
  • Do check your tech
  • Don’t multitask
  • Do check your background
  • Don’t use speakerphone
  • Do come prepared
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Do connect on a human level

Be sure to follow this link to read the helpful information about each of these bullet points. Become the champion meeting host for your firm!

  • If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be 'meetings'.
  • Dave Barry

Monday, May 24th, 2021

The Rosenberg Survey

“Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant.” – Mitch Kapor

Today I have a message (and reminder) from my friend Charles Hylan:

Welcome to the other side of the tax deadline!
The 2021 Rosenberg Survey is well underway and so far, we’ve received a great response.

Our world has certainly changed and the need to proactively lead your accounting firm cannot be any higher!

The 2021 Rosenberg Survey will include financial results from 2020 and how the accounting profession navigated the pandemic.
Click Here for this year’s Rosenberg Survey Form
For over two decades, The Rosenberg Survey has proven to be the benchmarking standard for mainstream accounting firms across the US and Canada. The Rosenberg Survey provides highly relevant and in-depth analyses and serves as a guide to help your firm make strategic decisions.

See how valuable The Rosenberg Survey is for yourself! The deadline to complete the survey is Thursday, July 15th.

Thank you to those firms who have participated thus far!

Regards,
Charles Hylan
  • Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
  • Gertrude Stein