Archive for the ‘Trends’ Category

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

Monday, May 17th, 2021

The New CPA Exam

“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon

They are changing the CPA Exam again. It is shifting to put an increased focus on technology. July 1, 2021 is when this shift in the Exam will take place.

From Accounting Today: As the accounting profession evolves to meet today’s needs, the Uniform CPA Examination is also evolving to reflect these industry changes. On July 1, 2021, the CPA exam is shifting significantly to put a heavier focus on technology, digital mindsets, data analytics, and the other skills that newly licensed CPAs need to succeed. Candidates preparing to take the CPA Exam must take these updates into consideration.

Here’s the informative article, What every candidate needs to know about the updated CPA exam, via Accounting Today. Read it and share it.

I wonder how many CPA partners could pass the exam if they had to take it in 2021. I have often heard partners joke about it (meaning they couldn’t pass it now, let alone after July 1).

  • Study while others are sleeping, Work while others are loafing, Prepare while others are playing, and Dream while others are wishing.
  • William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, May 4th, 2021

Topgrading

“If we weren’t still hiring great people and pushing ahead at full speed, it would be easy to fall behind and become some mediocre company.” – Bill Gates

Have you heard of topgrading interviewing? It is something I was not aware of until I read a recent article by Suzanne Lucas (@RealEvilHRLady).

Per Lucas:

The term topgrading comes from a 1997 article by Bradford D. Smart and his son, Geoffrey, called Topgrading the organization. Their definition is:

“Topgrading simply means proactively seeking out and employing the most talented people available, while redeploying (internally or externally) those of lesser ability or performance. More specifically, we view topgrading as employing only A players.”

Topgrading, to me, seems like something you would want to use when making lateral hires and so many firms are looking for experienced CPAs.

Read more about topgrading here in the article by Lucas. She gives us a 12-step process for hiring.

  • Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture.
  • Howard Schulz, Chairman & CEO of Starbucks

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

Strengths

“It’s good to strengthen weakness but better to strengthen your strengths. You hired them for their strengths. Why focus on their weaknesses?” – Dan Rockwell @LeadershipFreak

You hire them because they have an accounting degree, they received good grades and they interviewed well.

You teach and train them to perform the basic duties of an accountant working in public accounting. You provide lots of feedback on what they did wrong along the way.

Of course, they still have some areas where they need to improve. Now, it is time to downplay their weaknesses (no one is perfect) and devote time, energy, and dollars to building on their strengths.

Communication – Maybe they are a poor communicator but they can investigate and solve the most challenging tax issues. Maybe they are a great communicator but they dread having their nose to the grindstone for eight hours.

Problem-solving – Maybe they love the challenge to think outside the box and discover answers to specific challenges. Maybe, when they encounter a problem, they prefer to immediately seek the advice of their manager or other experienced person.

Some no-brainers in an accounting firm – Someone just has a knack for preparing corporate tax returns and another can quickly and accurately work their way throw a long list of individual tax returns. Someone seems simply loves working in the tax area and dreads being drafted to be on an audit team.

Discover each individual’s strengths by enlisting their help and then put people with different strengths on the same engagement team. Most engagement teams need a planner and a doer, etc.

Here’s a good article via Forbes that will help you begin focusing on each of your team members’ strengths.

  • Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.
  • Napoleon Hill