Posts Tagged ‘complacent’

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

CPAs And Achieving Change

change-architect-sign1There is a conversation going on among several of my peers (consultants to the public accounting profession) about what significant changes we have actually seen in the last 20 or so years in public accounting. Of course, technology. But in regards to how the majority of CPAs run their public accounting business…… not much significant change has happened (just my opinion).

Why do I say this? Because when I pick up the phone and talk to a CPA seeking assistance for more efficiency, strategic planning, finding and keeping good people… I hear the same questions and challenges I heard nearly 30 years ago!!

CPAs are very smart people. Why haven’t they solved some of these fundamental running-a-practice challenges? My answer? They are comfortable, have become complacent and do not enjoy change.

Here’s something that might help if you are hiding from change. It is called the Intentional Change Theory developed by Richard Boyatzis, a professor at Case Western Reserve. He published it in 2006.

The theory outlines five common-sense steps that you need to follow if you want to make lasting change.

  1. Discover your ideal self – discard goals you don’t feel enthusiastic about.
  2. Discover your real self – ask for feedback.
  3. Create your learning agenda – identify your learning style.
  4. Experiment with and practice new habits – it’s time to practice.
  5. Get support – None of us gets far alone.

There is some great advice about each step on Mind Tools. The Mind Tools site offers many great tools and ideas.

  • Believe you can and you're halfway there.
  • Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, September 10th, 2012

If Your CPA Firm Is Not Growing, It’s Shrinking.

“If you don’t continue to grow you’ll die” – Allan Koltin

I’ve been trying to get it across to CPA practitioners for years and years. So has Koltin and many other management consultants to the profession.

Koltin adds to his statement and says, “Worse than that, you will die a slow death.” Sound dreadful? Sound familiar? Why aren’t you taking action now?

To me, one of the biggest issues inside accounting firms is that success breeds complacency. The current group of senior partners experienced amazing success for many years. It seems they reached their goals and were well rewarded. They appear to be coasting off into the sunset.

Now, a new generation of firm leaders is beginning to take over. They were trained and mentored by those who have become complacent. If you are one of these new managing partners or newer executive committee members, don’t do as they did.

I love action. I base my past success on the fact that I am never, never content. I always want to do things better, faster, more efficiently, try new things, not be afraid of failure (learn from it and move on), learn new things, stay current in a rapidly changing business world…. how about you?

I just want you to take a few minutes today to view this video clip from Allan Koltin.

  • Business isn't forever. Clients aren't forever.
  • Allan Koltin

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Accounting Profession Rebels

During 2011, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with a few CPAs who, to me, represent what the future is going to look like. I’m beginning to think of them as the accounting rebels.

Also, in 2011, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet and talk with hundreds of traditional, conservative, highly-skilled CPAs who are embracing change at a snail’s pace. They represent what the CPA profession still looks like, for the most part.

We need more rebels. And, all of those highly-skilled, traditional accountants CAN become one!

If you follow this blog, you know that my world is all about the massive change barreling toward the accounting profession. It has been rolling down the track for several years but the majority of practitioners haven’t actually heard the loud whistle on the train of change.

This whole “keeping up with change” thing has been on my mind more than ever recently because I have had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of CPAs during the last few months and most of them were from small to mid-size firms.

When I speak at conferences, I always try to attend as many of the other session as possible. The questions that CPAs ask during these various sessions helps me better understand their challenges. This fall some of the questions surprised me and helped me see that many practitioners are yet aware of the rapidly changing management, marketing and technology trends in the profession.

For example, during a social media presentation, three highly-qualified professional service firm marketers were discussing the merits of Pull marketing. As they were talking, one partner attendee slowly raised his hand and inquired, “what is Pull marketing? I don’t understand what you are talking about.”  I truly admired the panel, they immediately refocused and turned their discussion toward a more educational theme. I also truly admire the CPA, he asked the question that many in the room wanted to know.

How do YOU become an accounting firm rebel? You, like the CPA mentioned above, must be curious, rather than complacent. You must begin reading everything you can about the current trends in the profession. But, that is not enough. You must read everything you can about trends in business, in general, especially small business if that is your firm’s focus. Plan now to attend MAP conferences and sessions, state society meetings, join a CPA firm association and, most importantly, talk to your own clients. Ask them questions about the challenges they are facing.

The most important thing you can do, if you are an owner or work inside a CPA firm, is to speak-up. Ask the dumb question. Question the status-quo. Embrace change and thrive. Avoid complacency. Too many CPAs just go along with the pack doing what other firms are doing, rather than being creative and unique.

Urban dictionary – A rebel is a person who stands up for their own personal opinions despite what anyone else says. True rebels know who they are and do not compromise their individuality or personal opinion for anyone.

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes – the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing that you can’t do is ignore them – because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Jack Kerouac (1922 – 1969)

  • A populace never rebels from passion for attack, but from impatience of suffering.
  • Edmund Burke