Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Merging Up? Get Ready For Some New Rules

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

Have your merged up? Are you considering merging up? Here’s something to think about and understand.

It comes from a post by @SkipPrichard about a book written by Kevin Kruse – Great Leaders Have No Rules: Contrarian Leadership Principles to Transform Your Team and Business. Read the reviews on the book. It might be one you should have on your summer reading list if you are a leader or aspire to be one.

Yes, this whole book came from a crazy Post-It Notes story. About 20 years ago I had sold my company and joined the new company as a partner, VP, and I reported to the CEO. He had me very excited and committed to the future of the new combined organization and how we would build it together. But then the CFO docked my first expense check by about four dollars. He told me they won’t reimburse my Post-It Notes because it was a wasteful expense. It was a rule—no Post It’s—that I didn’t know about. In that moment, that one rule, suddenly made it clear that this was “their” company, not mine. They were in control, not me.

Many practitioners have learned the hard way that a so-called merger is not what they thought a merger would be like. For the most part, I believe CPA firm mergers work out well. But, not always. Just be prepared for a new way of life.

  • "Highly successful people take immediate action on almost every item they encounter."
  • Kevin Kruse,

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Partner Compensation & Performance Webinars

“Do your job and demand your compensation – but in that order.” – Cary Grant

Compensation and performance issues for the partner group in a CPA firm are always topics that CPA firm leaders want (and need) to know more about.

This month you have the opportunity to learn more about these topics via CPA Leadership Institute. Gary Adamson of Adamson Advisory will conduct the following three webinars in June:

Partner Compensation Methods and Trends – June 12, 2019 – 1:00 to 1:50p

Partner Compensation – How it Can Be Linked to and Help Create a Culture of Accountability and Unity – June 19, 2019 – 1:00 to 1:50p

How to Maximize Performance of Best Practices in Partner Admission, Transition and Buy-out – June 20, 2019 – 1:00 to 1:50p

  • "Do what you love and the money will follow."
  • Marsha Sinetar

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Flashback Friday – Does Your Firm Have a Motto or Tagline?

“It has been a motto of mine my whole life – just be yourself.” – Patrick Kane

Most firms have them. Many firms have them prominently displayed on their website. I am referring to the firm motto or tagline. Most are rather boring.

Read more here.

  • "Concentration is my motto - first honesty, then industry, then concentration."
  • Andrew Carnegie

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

The People Around You

You are working in a firm. Take a look at the leadership group.

You are the leaders in a firm. Take a look at the people you have hired.

Sometimes the following applies for a while but not for the long term. If you feel like you might be in a cage, do something about it.

I saw the following on Facebook. Also, ask yourself, “Am I in the right circles with my social media?”

CircleCage

  • "Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions."
  • Will Smith

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

Are You Really Excellent?

“Excellence is a way of life that sustains us and inspires us day in and day out. There is no ‘long term.’ There is only the way we act when we step out into the corridor after a meeting—or, yes, the quality of your next four-line email.” – Tom Peters

The above quote from Tom Peters got me to thinking.

Firm leaders will always declare, “we provide excellent client service.” They will also tell me that excellent could be used in describing how they treat and train their employees.

Is it true at your firm?

Think about the above quote. Do you act in an excellent manner day in and day out? Do you maintain excellent behavior after a heated partner meeting? Do respond in an excellent manner when you avoid a call from an unhappy client? And, what about when you are writing an email?

  • "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit."
  • Aristotle

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

You Cannot Avoid Selling

“Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product or service.” – Brian Tracy.

I have heard it repeated for years and years by accountants of all ages and genders – “I didn’t go into accounting to be a salesperson!”

Get over it. Everyone has something to sell. Sales is a fundamental skill. Selling is not pushing people to buy something they don’t want. Selling is moving somebody else to action. No matter what your role, you are continually selling yourself!

Firm leaders should not wait to introduce young accountants to marketing and sales. Teaching and including them at the very beginning of their career makes it a natural part of their career advancement.

Too many managers have told me that they didn’t realize the importance of marketing/sales until they were almost ready to become a partner.

In an accounting firm, the secret to practice development (bringing in clients) is to simply like people. People are naturally drawn to CPAs because they realize the knowledge you possess. Selling is also all about understanding what you are selling. Do your young accountants know?

Read this article via HBR – How to Improve Your Sales Skills Even If You’re Not a Salesperson by Rebecca Knight. Send a link to all you young accountants

  • "Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full By Prospecting Continuously. Always Have More People To See Than You Have Time To See Them."
  • Brian Tracy

Monday, June 3rd, 2019

Avoid the Trivial

“A good memory is one trained to forget the trivial.” – Clifton Fadiman

There are some people who might be surprised by your actions/decisions (as a boss) but they pick their battles and don’t make a fuss about trivial matters.

Then you have some people who tend to make a fuss about everything. They delight in the trivial and demand more information about almost every decision.

I hope a majority of your team members fit into the first category.

As a boss, you are the one who mentors, coaches and teaches people how to advance in their careers. Are you doing a great job?

  • "Of course it is trivial, but then most things are."
  • John Malkovich

Friday, May 31st, 2019

It’s Time Again For Flashback Fridays!

More and more CPA firms are embracing the practice of closing the office on Fridays in the summer – Memorial Day to Labor Day. It is a very popular and appreciated employee benefit.

So, for the summer months, I am once again providing you with Flashback Fridays – a post each Friday that was written in the past. Usually, it is one from the past 12 months but sometimes it’s older but still relevant.

This week: Busy vs. Busyness. – You are busy but are you productive?

  • "I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught."
  • Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Powerful Words

TYou“We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you. Aren’t those words wonderful, pleasing, and sometimes rare?

I have always urged CPAs and their individual team members to handwrite personal thank you notes to their clients and others.

A handwritten thank you also makes a great impression if you have been interviewed for a job. At many firms, that simple act moves a candidate up a few notches on the hiring scale.

I received the card in the picture yesterday. A young man, completely unknown to me, contacted me to ask some questions about getting a job in public accounting. We talked about how his interest in technology would be a plus and about what size of accounting firm he should approach.

How nice of him to send me a handwritten thank you.

Maybe you have a client who has a child graduating this year, from high school or college. A handwritten congratulations card would be an impressive thing to send.

  • "Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."
  • Marcel Proust

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

Motivate Your Team

I read a recent tweet from Jon Gordon and I just had to share it with all of you.

“The greatest way to motivate is not through big speeches, bold strategy meetings or loud screaming sessions. The greatest way to motivate is through one on one meetings that enhance communication, develop connection and strengthen commitment one team member at a time.”

Enhancing communication and motivating your team are two of the biggest issues I encounter as I talk with firms around the country. It is important in big firms and small firms.

A motivated, inspired team makes all the difference.

 

  • "Creating the kind of workplace that is actually fit for human life goes way beyond mere happiness."
  • Moe Carrick