Deeper Weekend 2014

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  • Adrian Simmons
    Adrian Simmons
  • Bryan Coleman
    Bryan Coleman
  • Greg Kyte
    Greg Kyte
  • guestblogger
  • Ian Crook
  • Jason Blumer
    Jason Blumer
  • Jennifer Blumer
    Jennifer Blumer
  • Scott Kregel
    Scott Kregel
Jason BlumerThe state of the public accounting profession in the US is to focus on compliance. And we’re good at it too. But when compared to the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, we are imbalanced in our focus on compliance services. For the US, a higher percentage of our revenue comes from compliance services than it does in other countries. I believe public accounting firms are nervous about making professional judgments to clients for fear of their “answers being wrong.” But our professional judgments could be just what our clients want from us, and are willing to pay for the benefits.


What are professional judgments?
To me, a professional judgment is a statement, document, spreadsheet, or presentation that tells a client how things are going in his or her business. It is really our educated opinion. And once you figure out clients want these professional judgments from us, you can become an expert at selling them.

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CPA firm

Greg Kyte 2It’s time to get over The Cloud.


Don’t get me wrong. The Cloud is great, but so are urinals, and at this point I’d rather read “Five Ways Urinals Will Transform the Accounting Profession”¹ than read one more GD blog post about how CPAs need to embrace The Cloud.


The realization that The Cloud has become passe hit me late last month. Jason Blumer, Caleb Newquist and I were getting ready to launch our new monthly videocast on Blab called #WhatsNext in Accounting. Jason suggested the topic for the first episode: “Can The Cloud Save the Accounting Profession?” And I said, “Great topic!” because I’m a team player, but inside I said, “Holy F. I’m probably going to spend the entire episode taking a dump on anybody who thinks this is still an interesting thing to talk about.” Read more

Jason BlumerThe year 2015 was a year of me learning all about the depths of the risks we face in our firm. I think I was mostly blind to the risks we were bearing in how we pay our team, how our clients pay us, and the rewards we were assuming we were receiving as a result. But my partner, Julie Shipp, helped me to see how serious the risks were.


An Example of our Risk
I’ll take a diversion and give an example. Each client is assigned to one of our CPAs to lead the relationship with that client. The CPA is called a Customer Ally. We feel this is a differentiating position for our firm to take and allows our team to remain focused on just a few clients at a time (each CPA can handle about 10 to 12 clients). Mid-year 2014, we had to let one of our CPAs go, and this caused HUGE problems we are still working out in our firm. When a CPA leaves our firm, then there are clients that go without service. This is really bad. Most clients were understanding as we searched for a replacement but still we lost a few good clients because of this fiasco.

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CPA firm, Strategy

bryanAs some of you may know, my Twitter handle is @openitemlist. This can elicit a knowing grin from people who have worked for, or with, CPA firms. (I believe there’s actually an episode of the Soul of Enterprise podcast where Ed Kless comments on the appropriateness of the name).

The name is both a specific reference, but also a metaphor.

At CPA firms across the country, the “open item list” is a to-do list of unfinished tasks for a specific client file. Every file will have one at some point; the universe tends not to hand you things tied up with a bow.

Thus at any given time a person working on multiple clients may have several open item lists going.  Sometimes it may feel like just about every client you’d like to get wrapped up has something outstanding. And as soon as you wrap one up, the next client comes along with an issue that requires research or a phone call.  We start to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day –trapped in an unending open item list. Read more

Cliff Jumpers, CPA firm

Scott KregelI have been a fan of Todd Henry since reading The Accidental Creative several years ago. His first book so uniquely expressed for me the idea that even an accountant can be a creative. In Thriveal, we talk regularly about approaching our businesses from the perspective of a creative, but I always wondered if we could really be taken seriously as a creative – just because we called ourselves creatives. We needed to develop practices and environments to fuel creativity in ourselves and in our firms. The Accidental Creative set the stage for building practices into our daily lives to help generate brilliant ideas “on demand.” Practices such as intentional journaling, identifying a Big Three, and curating new stimuli to generate new ideas. These are the ideas that creative professionals and knowledge workers are rewarded for. If you haven’t read The Accidental Creative, I highly recommend this as a must read for anyone who uses their mind to deliver value to others. With Todd’s third book, Louder than Words, we have a manuscript for developing our unique voice.

“Voice” is the expression (idea) you make through a medium (platform) in order to achieve a desired outcome (impact). Your authentic voice is the expression of your compelling “Why.” Read more

Book Review