Posts Tagged ‘events’

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Building A Brand In Public Accounting

I often hear the following from CPA firm partners: What is a brand, anyway? Do you think we have one? How do we build one?

Jean-Caragher-2012-resizedJean Caragher, founder of Capstone Marketing a firm focused on the CPA profession and an inaugural member of the Association for Accounting Marketing Hall of Fame in 2001, offers some great advice in her article, Building Your CPA Firm’s Brand. It was originally published in CCH Practice Management Forum and can be found on Jean’s website.

CPA firm branding is often misunderstood. It is not spending a fortune on a full-blown branding project nor is it as simple as redesigning your logo.

I love Jean’s description…. “Simply put, it is who people think you are, from the way a person answers the phone, to the way you do business, to the look of the invoice.”

That’s where I think CPA partners might get off-track and try to pinpoint developing a brand into a specific activity when actually it is the whole story of how you run your firm.

When I was developing the brand for my firm, many years ago, I always declared to my partners and team members…. “We want to appear bigger and better than we are!”

For example, when business people at a business networking event or charitable fund-raising event said to me, “Your firm must really be growing, I just met three other people from your firm.” It didn’t necessarily mean we were growing, it just meant we organized our efforts to be well-represented at important events. Of course, we were actually growing but maybe not as fast as was perceived from the outside.

In her article, Jean recommends surveying your partners and people to determine what the firm stands for, what the unique strengths of the firm are and what attracted them to join the firm and remain with the firm.

Follow the link above to read Jean Caragher’s helpful article.

  • A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.
  • Jeff Bezos

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Look For The Helpers

As we enter into this last week-end of the year, perhaps you – like me – take time to reflect on the past year and on things that have much more meaning than the day-to-day drama (or comedy) that plays out inside your accounting firm.

After the sad events in Newtown this month, many people were searching for a way to talk about such tragedies with children. A group called 170 Million for Public Broadcasting posted the following words from a voice that many Americans grew-up with, Fred Rogers:

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in the world.

 Watch the following one minute video on talking to children about tragic events in the news.

Now, think about your work life. What a great lesson you can take from Mr. Rogers and actually become “a helper” inside your firm. It seems we always have those, often very successful individuals inside the firm, who seem to fit the title “taker” rather than “helper.”

In 2013, cultivate, educate and reward more helpers. Develop an environment where your valued team members – young ones and more experienced ones – are comfortable talking about issues – any issues.

Part of the communication puzzle inside your CPA firm is the fact that your people watch the partners – all the partners. They make assumptions about their actions and comments. Those assumptions might be completely wrong. In 2013, develop ways to make it easy for your people to ask questions and obtain answers.

When an issue, concern, or rumor arises, address it immediately. As Mr. Rogers advises, “Ask what they know about it. Their fantasies are often far from the actual truth.”

  • There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.
  • Fred Rogers

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Come And Let Me Look In Your Eyes

It’s time for my periodic post about where you and I could meet – face-to-face, eye-to-eye.

My title for this post comes from the John Denver song,¬†Come and Let Me Look In Your Eyes. Click, watch and listen – it’s soothing and maybe a good way to spend 4 minutes during this busy time.

I would love to look into your eyes in 2012. It really does energize me and I try very hard to make my personal connection energize my audience as well.

Here’s the current list (and it’s growing continually) of where we could look into each other’s eyes!

May 4 – Texas AAA Chapter & Dallas Area Administrators – Dallas

May 8 – Tennessee Society of CPAs – Women’s Career Summit

May 17 – Indiana AAA Chapter – Indianapolis

May 23 – Massachusetts Society – Engage Your Staff Workshop – Boston

May 24 – Massachusetts Society – The Importance of Professional Management & Administration Workshop – Boston

June 12 – AICPA PracititionersTECH+ Symposium in partnership with the Association for Accounting Marketing Summit – Las Vegas

June 21 – AAA National Practice Management Conference – Las Vegas

September 19-21 – CPAmerica Firm Administrators Meeting – Denver

September 25 – North Dakota Society Annual Convention – Minot, ND

November 8-9 – AICPA PCPS Human Capital Forum – San Antonio

I love traveling, speaking and meeting people in person. If you attend one of these events, please introduce yourself to me and let me know you read this blog.

For more music this Friday morning – click here to hear my theme song.


  • A man of ordinary talent will always be ordinary, whether he travels or not; but a man of superior talent will go to pieces if he remains forever in the same place.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart