Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

Net Fees Per Partner – CPA Firm

“Money often costs too much.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks to Charles Hylan for sharing some information from this year’s Rosenberg Survey.

Each year The Rosenberg Survey does an analysis to see which metrics have the strongest correlation to profitability, as measured by income per partner. As we work with firms who are struggling with profitability, we start by looking at their various leverage ratios followed by comparing their rates to like-sized firms in like-sized markets. One very important leverage ratio is net fees per equity partner.
Take a look at some of the numbers from this year’s Rosenberg Survey:
CLICK HERE to Order the Survey!
Charles
  • "An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
  • Benjamin Franklin

Friday, December 21st, 2018

Triple Dog Dare

To all the wonderful followers of this blog, I wish you a happy holiday season and a prosperous new year!

holiday card

 

  • "It's a major award!"
  • Mr. Parker, A Christmas Story

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

Say Thank-you

“Take time to be kind and to say ‘thank you’.” – Zig Ziglar

It has been a busy year and for most firms, a very successful year. This week, just before Christmas, would be a good week to bestow your gift of thank-yous on the many people who have helped make the year so remarkable.

Whether you are a firm partner or a person who just joined the firm sometime during the year, you have a lot of people to thank for your career success.

Of course, you have lots of other people outside the firm to thank but for today and tomorrow focus on the people you spend so much time with – your work family.

If at all possible, say thank-you in person or via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom!

  • "Thank you for life, and all the little ups and downs that make it worth living."
  • Travis Barker

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

Are You Getting Two 4-Day Weekends?

Some of you are getting some extra time off this holiday season. I did a casual survey to see what CPA firms were doing about giving their teams time off since Christmas and New Years falls on Tuesdays this year.

Here are my findings:

  • 17% will close their offices for two 4-day weekends. Both New Year’s Eve and Christmas are holidays.
  • 56% will close Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and be open on December 31.
  • 11% will close one-half day for Christmas Eve and a full day for Christmas and New Years Day.
  • 16% will be closed only for the traditional holidays – Christmas and New Years.

Several firms noted that many people will take PTO to extend their holiday time but the firm offices will be open.

I periodically ask questions to a group of CPA firm administrators and HR directors. If they respond to my question, they receive a summary of all of the answers from various firms around the country. If you would like to be part of my “Advisory4Keller” group, email me and let me know.

 

  • "When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
  • Helen Keller

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

What Managers Should Be Doing In CPA Firms

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Peter Drucker divided the job of the manager into five basic tasks:

1) Sets objectives. The manager sets goals for the group and decides what work needs to be done to meet those goals.

2) Organizes. The manager divides the work into manageable activities and selects people to accomplish the tasks that need to be done.

3) Motivates and communicates. The manager creates a team out of his people, through decisions on pay, placement, promotion, and through his communications with the team. Drucker also referred to this as the “integrating” function of the manager.

4) Measures. The manager establishes appropriate targets and yardsticks, and analyzes, appraises and interprets performance.

5) Develops people. With the rise of the knowledge worker, this task has taken on added importance. In a knowledge economy, people are the company’s most important asset, and it is up to the manager to develop that asset.

Does this sound like the managers at your firm? I find that so many so-called managers are actually higher-paid and more experienced technicians. If owners want more freedom to bring in business and talent, be sure your managers are trained and expected to manage.

Read What do managers do via WSJ.

  • "Hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, you need to cut your losses and move on."
  • Howard Schultz

Monday, December 17th, 2018

Digital Client Advisory Services Roadmap Workshop

“Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door.” – Kyle Chandler

I have talked to many CPAs about truly organizing and adding Client Accounting Services to their menu of services. Many firms are experiencing great success. It is important for you to understand the digital part of the equation.

CPA.com is offering a helpful workshop – Digital Client Advisory Services Roadmap Workshop – on January 23-24, 2019 in Burlingame, CA. Here a link to more information.

There is a $300 discount that expires on December 23.

Who should attend:

  • Client accounting service practice leaders
  • Key staff
  • Partners in small, midsize and large CPA firms
  • Accounting firm business development and marketing professionals

I hope you explore this opportunity.

  • "The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity."
  • Lewis Grizzard

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Changes to the CPA Exam

“Exams test your memory, life tests your learning; others will test your patience.” – Fennel Hudson

Hopefully, you have already been reading about the future changes to the CPA Exam.

This from The Journal of Accountancy:

A working group formed by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the AICPA is exploring possible changes to the CPA licensure requirements that would incorporate the skills and competencies in areas such as technology and data analytics that increasingly are needed in practice and business.

Through an effort known as the CPA Evolution project, NASBA and the AICPA have discussed possible approaches to the changing demands in the accounting profession. NASBA and the AICPA have consulted with various stakeholders on this issue in an effort to help the profession meet the challenge.

Then there is this from Going Concern.

  • "Recipe for success: Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing."
  • William A. Ward

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Think of the Potential

“Don’t let fear of risk paralyze you.” – Marianne Williamson

Accountants often doubt themselves. Of course, in the world of public accounting, the CPA is the most trusted advisor. CPA owners are also trusted bosses. When you count all the clients and all of the employees, there are a lot of people and families depending upon their CPA.

That is why all of the work flowing through an accounting firm is reviewed, reviewed and reviewed. Don’t let this daunting responsibility slow you down. Establish processes that include “safety nets” and be an enforcer when it comes to everyone following the documented procedures. Don’t let fear of risk paralyze you.

I see so many firms NOT taking advantage of their potential. Your CPA firm should be having amazing successes. Lots of clients need your knowledge and assistance. There is so much potential with Client Accounting Services and other services that maybe you haven’t offered in the past.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Take some risk and take a chance on success.

 

  • "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."
  • Helen Keller

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Making Your CPA Firm Successful

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” – -Émile Coué 

Sometimes you fool yourself thinking something magical (or lucky) will happen and then your firm will become all that you want it to be.

You want to have employees who are truly engaged and passionate about the success of the firm. You want top performers. You want the firm to be more profitable. You want processes that really work and ones that people consistently follow. You want partners to be more visionary. The list goes on and on.

Nothing magical or lucky will happen. Overnight success is a myth.

The most successful firms did not become successful overnight. They worked to make small improvements every day. The secret is small, CONTINUAL, improvements in all areas of the firm.

Focus on the day that is ahead. I always describe it as taking baby steps. You can’t take a magic wand, wave it over the firm, the partner group, the staff and make things better.

Take that first baby step today.

  • "The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways."
  • Robert Greene

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Emails From Partners

“The average American worker has fifty interruptions a day, of which seventy percent have nothing to do with work.” – W. Edwards Deming

If you are working in a CPA firm, first of all, good for you. For the most part, they are wonderful places to work. You learn so much, no matter how long you have worked there and you are in a profession where you are helping people.

One of the challenges of working inside a CPA firm is email. It is a beast and a beast that you are constantly attempting to train and control.

One of the complaints I have heard many times over the years is the fact that partners (and sometimes managers) send work-related emails to you at any time from 5:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m. Of course, many come during business hours but often several come during non-business hours.

Those frequent emails during the business day interrupt your train of thought and your concentration on client work that you are attempting to complete in a timely and efficient manner. There are many methods to handle those emails, such as turning off notifications and responding to emails three times per day. I have written many posts on the topic of emails, just type email in the search box on my website and browse through them.

So, what about those emails you receive late in the evening or early morning even before you wake up? You might make the assumption that the sender expects you to answer ASAP. That is not often the case. If your firm does not have clear guidelines about the handling of emails, it is time you create a policy that documents the expectations. If there is an urgent situation that needs immediate attention, it should be communicated in person, by phone or maybe even text. Make it clear that emails should be used for non-time-sensitive communications. Here’s a great article about all of this via HBR – Protecting Company Culture Menas Having Rules for Email.

As for emails, in general, remember that work and life have become blended. If receiving an email from a work colleague during personal time bugs you, consider your time spent in the office. Have you ever sent a personal email or a text, checked social media, scheduled a doctor’s appointment, dealt with a child’s issue on company time?

  • "Permission marketing is marketing without interruptions."
  • Seth Godin