Posts Tagged ‘retire’

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

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Special Award Presented to Clarke Price

I have known Clarke Price for many, many years. Simply put, he is a class act. I am so pleased to report on the special award he received last week.

At the June 19th Ohio Society of CPAs (OSCPA) Members Summit & Annual Meeting in Columbus, more than 500 CPAs looked on as J. Clarke Price, CAE, president and CEO of The Ohio Society of CPAs, became the second of only two non CPAs in OSCPA’s long history to receive the Gold Medal for Meritorious Service to the Accounting Profession. More than 20 past Gold Medal recipients joined Price on stage as he accepted OSCPA’s highest honor.

Price will retire December 31 after 40 years with OSCPA. During his 22-year tenure as president and CEO, he has led several high-profile legislative initiatives for OSCPA including driving tort reform, overhauling Ohio’s antiquated tax code and the 2009 creation of the Ohio Budget Advisory Task Force in response to Ohio’s $8 billion budget crisis.

On September 21, Price will be speaking to the Ohio Chapter of The Association for Accounting Administration. Price has been a dedicated supporter of the important role of firm administrators working in public accounting firms and especially of the Ohio Chapter of AAA.


  • (On what her longevity is attributed to) - Red meat and gin.
  • Julia Child

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The Dilemma of Continuing Contribution

Next month, Paul McCartney turns 70 years old. As the story goes, 20 years ago his manager suggested that 50 was a good age to retire because you don’t want to embarrass yourself.

Paul’s answer as he continues to age: You get the argument, ‘Make way for the young kids,’ and you think, let them make way for themselves. If they’re better than me, they’ll beat me.”

For now, McCartney continues to draw huge crowds who are willing to pay a lot of money for his performance and what he contributes to their sense of well-being.

As I talk with CPAs around the country, I encounter a similar mindset. CPAs who are around 60 who intend to work until they are 70.

Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting puts it this way when addressing the Paul McCartney situation in a blog post on the Winning Is Everything blog: “That’s not how it works for you and me. We toil in organizations where some of our elders hang out – sucking up resources and biding their time, well past their expiration date. They hide behind a smokescreen of success that veils the hollowness of their contributions.”

Ryan notes that many Boomers are scared because they haven’t saved enough to retire and many of them love to work.

Relating this to the public accounting profession, my first issue is, some of them say they love to work but what they really love is coming to a nice, comfortable office every day surrounded by bright younger people and simply enjoying the environment. What would they do at home anyway?

My second issue is, younger CPAs (the younger partners and even younger managers) let this happen. They must step-up to the plate and demonstrate their ability to bring in business, manage a growing firm and take the firm to the next level. They have to prove their ability. Like the McCartney quote, “If they are better than me, they’ll beat me.”

Firm leaders, young and old, take on the project of addressing the dilemma of continuing contribution.

If a 60-something is still contributing ideas, showing creativity, providing over-the-top client service, keeping up with technology and social media and bringing in business – their performance still draws a crowd and brings in lots of money – they are contributing. If a 60-something comes in every day at nine or ten, checks emails, surfs the net, often plays golf in the afternoons and “sucks up resources” without any visible signs of personal growth – they are not contributing.

It’s going to be an issue for years to come – the oldest baby boomers are just now turning 65. Figure out your firm’s plan to deal with it.

  • I'd never just want to do what everybody else did. I'd be contributing to the sameness of everything.
  • Don Van Vliet