Posts Tagged ‘management’

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

The Keys To Success in Succession – MICPA & AAA Michigan Chapter

If you are in Michigan or NW Ohio, I hope you will join me, members of the Association For Accounting Administration and members of MiCPA to explore a topic that seems to be on everyone’s radar:


Succession planning is one of the hottest topics in the world of CPA firm management. Surveys disclose that it is on the minds of firm leaders nationwide. Yet, implementing a succession plan still seems to be a mystery to many firm leaders. It is also a challenge for CPAs working in private companies. Baby Boomers are aging-out in all walks of life and if not fully retiring, they are significantly cutting back on time spent at work.

Photo on 11-22-13 at 7.08 AMJoin me for an afternoon of exploring current trends in succession planning and come away with action steps to help guide your firm into the future. It is a time of significant change and transition in the accounting profession.

It is a good way to spend the day AFTER October 15th! Enjoy a beautiful fall drive to Livonia and spend the afternoon with like-minded professionals who are passionate about the future success of their firm.

Where:  Laurel Manor, 39000 Schoolcraft Road, Livonia, Michigan

Time:  11:15 group luncheon – Presentation 12p to 4:20p

Date:  October 16, 2014

More information about the event here.

Register at the MiCPA website now!

Succession is something you cannot ignore.

I look forward to meeting you face-to-face!

  • Danger - if you meet it promptly and without flinching - you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!
  • Winston Churchill

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

YES, BUT……. Two Words That Are On My Mind

Yes, but…..  How many times have you used those two words?

When reading some stuff from Tom Peters, I immediately latched-on to his “Yes, but…” observations.

When suggesting new ways to do things, new trends to embrace, improved methods of managing people and serving clients, in the life of a CPA firm management consultant, we often hear “Yes, but…” over and over again.

I hear:

  • Yes, we have heard other firms are doing that, but at our firm…..
  • Yes, we tried closing on Fridays, but….
  • Yes, we thought about allowing more people to work remotely, but…
  • Yes, as partners, we know we could delegate more to our staff, but….
  • Yes, the partners want to do paperless billing, but….
  • Yes, all of our partners agree that the managing partner needs to delegate more clients to other partners, but….
  • Yes, we realize our managing partner and other partners should be more visible in our other office, but…..
  • Yes, we would love to have a woman partner, but….
  • Yes, we need some up-and-comers, but……
  • Yes, we have some below-average performers, but….

Need I go on?

  • No one ever excused his way to success.
  • Dave Del Dotto

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

The MBWA 8

I have written and spoken about Management By Wandering Around for years. It is still such an important message for CPAs. I learned about it from Tom Peters and he says he learned it years ago from a Hewlett-Packard management practice.

This Fall, during my presentations and workshops, I have again been stressing the need for CPA partners (and managers) to get out of their office and BE VISIBLE, BE ACCESSIBLE.

People will ask you questions and actually tell you things (about what’s really going on inside your firm) if you make yourself available.

It doesn’t take a lot of time! Just use the MBWA 8.



  • Do one thing every ay that scares you
  • Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

2013 Top 100 Most Influential People In Accounting

2010 Ritav5As a CPA firm management consultant, I continually wonder, am I doing enough.

Am I visible enough? Do I make it easy for practitioners (looking for resources to enhance their firm) to find me? How’s my brand holding up? Are my speaking engagements and presentations on target? Is this blog helpful and relevant? Am I helpful and relevant? And, most of all, are my clients receiving value when using me as a resource?

So, yes, like many of my peers, I always anticipate the publication of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People listing. To me it is verification that I am still “fighting the good fight” of helping accountants attain continued success through my writings (articles, blogs and my newsletter), my speaking engagements/presentations and my consulting work with individual firms.

I was first named to this prestigious listing in 2005 and I guess you could say I have become one of the Old Timers. I am thrilled with that and in 2013, as I did in 2005, I feel overwhelmingly honored, humbled and simply delighted. Thank-you, Daniel Hood and the editors of Accounting Today.


  • Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.
  • John Wooden

Friday, April 26th, 2013

There’s Communication And Then there Is Honest Communication

photoI have been blogging about CPA firm management for over SEVEN years – every work day and usually once on the week-end.

So far this year, 2013, I have made 29 posts that I have put under the category of Communication. Page down and look at the categories on the right. Click on “communication” and scan the posts. I think you will sense how strongly I feel about open, honest, frequent communication at all levels inside a CPA firm.

Twenty-nine in 4 months. You can imagine how many I’ve done over seven years. Why? Because if HONEST communication isn’t part of your culture, you are probably not building a firm that will last for the long-term.

  • Your owners will merge-up, bail-out or retire.
  • Your mediocre performers will remain at the firm until this happens.
  • Your top talent won’t know when it happens because they will have already quit and moved on to more promising pastures.

Times have changed. You used to be able to keep people in the dark. They worked, you paid them and they were trained not to care about what you were thinking and where the firm was going.

Times have changed. You used to be able to dodge your partners’ questions, skip partner meetings and simply not be honest on how you feel about activities inside the firm. You are skilled at avoiding confrontation.

Now, we have a whole generation that is hooked on communication. Plan now for how your firm is going to adjust, embrace and thrive with honest communication.

This blog post by Seth Godin says it so well in just a few words:

Committing to a cycle of honest communication

Is there any better way to start a business partnership? Any partnership?

If you’re unable to have substantial conversations with your boss and co-workers, go get some professional help. It’s not personal, it’s business.

The inability to say the thing that will make everything better (because of fear of shifting the status quo) is a project killer.

  • Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Missed A Day – Good Reason

DeadlineEver miss a deadline?

I am very proud of the fact that I have been blogging about accounting firm management almost every workday for over 7 years. I must admit, I do occasionally miss a day – it is very rare.

Yesterday was one of those days – but wait! I won’t make a habit of it and I have a good reason.

As you advise and mentor the people working inside your accounting firm, deadlines will definitely be missed. Here’s some advice you can give the people you supervise in case they miss a deadline:

  • Communicate to those involved .
  • Don’t try to hide it.
  • Explain the situation.
  • Plan better next time.
  • Don’t make it a habit.

As for me, another deadline came up. My monthly newsletter goes out tomorrow morning. I wanted to make it special for CPA firm citizens because they are nearing the end of a very busy time. Leaders will be re-engaging with various issues and challenges inside their firms. Unless, of course, you don’t have any issues and challenges inside your CPA firm.

I spent yesterday writing my April CPA Management newsletter. I even expanded it beyond it’s normal content. Then last night, it hit me…. I didn’t make a blog post yesterday!  At other times, I would have written one before midnight just to make the deadline. This time I didn’t. I’ll plan better next time.

I think I hit all the bullet-points, above.  If you aren’t on my newsletter list, you can sign-up here.

  • I work best after the deadline has passed, when I'm in a panic.
  • Tony Kushner

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

You (Yes, YOU) Can Capitalize On The Power of Twitter

I can’t remember when I first began tweeting but I have posted almost 4,000 tweets. I do know that I did not hesitate, contemplate, question my reasoning – I just jumped in.

CPAs are usually more tentative in adopting something new. However, with Twitter I urge you to jump-in, set-up an account and pick a few people/organizations to follow so you can understand how it works and figure out how you can use it for efficiency – Yes, I said efficiency.

Here’s my approach – – I follow a few people/organizations because I want to use Twitter to keep me informed. I selected a few news sources and CPA management resources (and some family members) and I check Twitter every morning – very early – to get the latest world and national news. I can keep current much quicker than reading a newspaper or watching TV.

I check it periodically throughout the day (takes 30 seconds) and I tweet throughout the day, especially if I am attending an event that is of interest to CPAs. I want to share information (that’s the whole point).

To me, CPAs are in the best possible position to tweet. They have unbelievable knowledge to share, especially with clients.

Think about it as you go into a new year – – January 1st is a great time to start a blog or begin tweeting tidbits of information for your clients. Once you begin PROMOTE the heck out of it and educate your clients (so they know that important business thoughts are available to them if they just join Twitter and follow YOUR tweets.)

Rea & Associates, an Ohio CPA firm, promotes their Twitter account in a graphic (with a link) included in their newsletter.

Here are some CPA firms and CPA consultants who are taking advantage of the power of Tweets!

CPAManagement – Rita Keller

Flowtivity – Dustin Hostetler

Sarah Johnson

Fluence, CPAs & Consultants


Schneider Downs

Rea & Associates

Alpern Rosenthal

  • Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
  • Benjamin Franklin