Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

Monday, November 28th, 2022


“Denial just makes it easier for you to drive around your problems instead of removing them.” – Ken Seeley

Are you still “sort of paperless”? It’s time to get fully on board, or the train will leave the station without you.

I have a client that was entirely paperless and mostly remote well before we experienced the COVID pandemic. He accepts no paper and teaches his clients how to submit their data by doing actual training videos for them.

Many CPA firms have experienced fantastic growth since March 2020 (when the pandemic hit the U.S.). They tell me they have more clients than they can adequately serve. They worry about staff turnover and wonder if they are asking too much of their dwindling team.

So, you served clients well while working remotely. You took unusual steps to be able to do that. Mainly, you required your admin team to be in the office scanning documents so the remote accountants could work.

What’s wrong with that picture? Why not require your clients to submit scanned documents in the first place? Why not have a video that teaches them exactly how to do it? It is a requirement if they want to be a client of your firm.

So many CPAs are in denial. They can’t possibly give up all paper. I suspect they are in denial because they are comfortable with the way things are and believe “things” will not change in the future.

This rant was inspired by a quote posted by Steve Keating (@LeadToday). It read:

“Denial is the worst kind of lie… because it is the lie you tell yourself.”

  • The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists.
  • Isaac Asimov

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, 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


“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 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