Posts Tagged ‘CPA profession’

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

CPA Management Monthly Newsletter Published Today

BANL-June102-231x300Every month I email my newsletter to thousands of people working in the CPA profession. The October issue was mailed this morning.

It’s free, so if you would like to be added to the mailing list you can do so by completing the form on my website – here. 

If you sign-up in the next week or so, I’ll send you a link to the October issue. The October articles are as follows:

  • Talent Analytics – A Growing Trend
  • You Are Running A Business – Manage Your Accounts Receivable
  • Yes! I Work Directly With Firms.

As for today, I hope all of you working on taxes in public accounting enjoy October 16th – the day AFTER the last major due date of the year. Get ready for 2014!

  • I've got a theory that if you give 100% all of the time, somehow things will work out in the end.
  • Larry Bird

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em?

IMG_1191There is a World War I era song titled, How Ya Gonna Keep Em Down On The Farm, after they’ve seen Paris (pronounced in the song as Par-ee)? Farm boys had gone off to war in Europe at a time when farm boys knew no other life than the one they were living on the farm. Up to this point in time they stayed on the farm and worked very hard.

The song title over the years seems to have become a slang phrase to express the frustration with being able to keep people in current jobs.

Think about your CPA firm. You want talented people with a solid work ethic to “stay down on the farm”. This issue certainly needs to be on your list of strategic initiatives in light of the steadily growing competitive activities focused on finding, hiring, developing and RETAINING great talent in the CPA profession.

Here’s a summary of an article I read THIS WEEK in my local newspaper that came originally from the Seattle Times. It is titled, Managers Turn To New Tricks To Lure, Keep Employees.

A young female employee’s manager asked them to report immediately to a conference room. As she approached, she noticed that the room’s windows were papered over so that no one could see in or out. She thought to herself, “this must be very serious.”

But her company executives had called her there to express appreciation for her hard work and to give her an iPad Mini. The CEO, later noted, “I felt like Oprah, it was my most fun day of work ever!”

As the economy improves and the job market strengthens, some employers are getting creative to hold on to key employees.

I am hearing from many CPA firm executives that they have been very cautious with salary increases and other perks for several years now and are beginning to wonder what they should do to remain competitive. As you have probably, read many times by now, a Gallup survey found that only 3 of 10 Americans were engaged at work, while 50 percent were “just kind of present” and 20 percent were actively disengaged (or miserable).

As the CEO of the small company in the article noted, she must compete with the bigger, corporate entities for people. She can’t afford the expensive benefits of Seattle’s large, publicly traded companies. So, instead she offers a range of smaller perks.

In public accounting, it will continue to get harder to find top-quality people. You have to sell them on your “life is different inside our CPA firm” story and then you have to actually live the story! As one CEO noted, “Once they’re on board, we have to keep them engaged for the long term.”

At your next partner meeting discuss this question:  How we gonna keep them at our firm after they have learned that the firm down the street offers free gym memberships, flexible hours and free iPads for the BEST performers?

(photo by Rita Keller)

  • One of the first things I bought when I made 'Roseanne Show' money was a farm in Iowa.
  • Roseanne Barr

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

More On Women “Leaning In” From Mary Bennett

IMG_3036Do you know Mary Bennett? If not, I hope this post helps you understand how Mary has been key in resolving some of the on-going challenges for women in the CPA profession.

She is the founder of MLBennett Consulting and has more than 25 years of experience as a client services consultant to the accounting profession. She is the long-time chair of the AICPA Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee.

Mary recently contributed an article to CPA Insider that is important for you to read and to pass along to others at your accounting firm. It is titled, Time To Level The Playing Field For Men And Women. 

Here is just one thought-provoking paragraph from the article. Please follow the link, above, to read the entire article.

I recently had a meeting with a senior partner and two leaders. One of the leaders was a young man, the other a young woman. The man demonstrated his initiative and willingness to take on a risky assignment by using sports analogies and repeatedly stating that he was on board. The woman demonstrated her commitment and willingness to jump in and take the risk by asking questions about the assignment, assessing the situations, and preparing to plan. After the meeting, the partner said to me, “Obviously he is ready for this and she is not because all she did is ask questions. It is unfortunate because she is really more qualified to lead this.” This commonplace “reading of behavior” and looking for what we have seen in male peers in past situations is an example of not recognizing “leaning in” when it may be there. 

(Picture: Mary Bennett, is that you with Rita?)

  • No one has ever asked an actor, 'You're playing a strong-minded man...' We assume that men are strong-minded, or have opinions. But a strong-minded woman is a different animal.
  • Meryl Streep