Deeper Weekend 2014

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  • Adrian Simmons
    Adrian Simmons
  • Bryan Coleman
    Bryan Coleman
  • Greg Kyte
    Greg Kyte
  • guestblogger
  • Jason Blumer
    Jason Blumer
  • Jennifer Blumer
    Jennifer Blumer
  • Scott Kregel
    Scott Kregel

Jason BlumerHierarchical models of management in professional accounting firms all over the world are being challenged by new ways to build a business. It seems new business models (based on hearing every voice on the team), or focusing on results (and nothing else) are becoming more and more popular as the younger generations begin running the world. It seems some of these methods are hell bent on eliminating management, whether management is needed or not. Is it?

What is a business model, anyway? For that answer, let’s turn to the guru and author of Business Model Generation, Alex Osterwalder. In this book, Osterwalder defines a business model as “the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.” Basically, an accounting firm’s business model explains why they sell what they do, how they price for it, and how what they sell transforms their clients. According to Osterwalder, you need a cool chart, building blocks, and some markers to get it done. Business model creation is currently a fad, growing more and more popular every day. I guess it’s our search for why working at a lame firm sucks. But do we need a new business model? Read more

Business, Leadership, ROWE, Strategy
Jason BlumerI’m reading Peter Thiel‘s new book, Zero to One. Wow. He is truly a contrarian as most of his ideas fly in the face of doing business in any type of traditional way. Some would even say his ideas are scary. One overarching idea I’m noticing in the book is about his focus on building the future. He is dead set on investing in things now that have far reaching future-focused results. I’m glad he has made this his focus. This sums up the struggle in our profession – we do things for immediate results instead of investing in the future. Truly, creating a future-focused firm is hard for a number of reasons:


-You have to commit to a future that you think you can create. The future is not here yet. Peter Thiel believes the future will be here when we create it. Many people avoid thinking about the future, as it brings uncertainty and fear. What if we don’t like the future that we create?

Read more

Book Review, Business, Innovation

Greg Kyte 2All joking aside, I’m scared, I’m insecure, and I’m worried that I’m making the stupidest decision of my life.


My mom sold drugs for 20 years on a street corner in Seattle because that’s what pharmacists do. She had a decent job, working part time at a drug store on the intersection of 56th and 232nd. To me as a kid, the job seemed like it gave her just enough money and just enough time to be a pretty damn good single mom.


Shortly after I got into middle school, she and two of her co-workers¹ decided to open their own pharmacy. I thought that was really cool, only partly because I figured the kid whose mom owned the drug store got candy for free.² Read more

Jason BlumerJuly 1, 2014 was the Blumer CPAs 2 year anniversary of being a virtual firm. We messed some stuff up, but have also learned a lot. I believe our virtualness sets us apart, so we are committed to getting better at being a virtual firm. So that I can add to my learning around being virtual, I’m documenting 9 things we’ve learned in 2 years of being virtual.

First, let me define virtual. We do not have offices, and thus we don’t exist anywhere except at a web address. But you could have firm offices and still be virtual to your clients. In that scenario, the team still meets together in one location, but the clients may or may not come to your offices. I don’t call that virtual, I call that paperless. Virtual in my definition is when a client can not assume that they have access to you physically. It’s a totally different mindset, and that’s why I’m defining it. Read more

Business, Leadership, ROWE, Strategy
REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBThose of you tracking the Thriveal blog for a while may have noticed one of the themes I’ve been exploring over time through my posts is: where is the practice of accounting headed? Entries on that topic include:  A Profession In Search of an IdentityThe Firm(s) of the Future(s)Accounting Is Not the Language of Business, and the most recent: Accounting For What. In that post, I came right up to, but didn’t take, the last leap in the hopscotch of the thought process, which is what I’d like to share now: “The customer is the product.”


I first heard that phrase uttered by good friend and Verasage founder, Ron Baker, at a conference last fall and it caused me to do a full stop in my tracks. I realized I can be focused on what we’re selling, and changing our offerings, and marketing our products and services, and on and on. But the truth of the matter is, it’s the customer that’s the product. And what I do is best measured by how it changes their lives.
Business, Customer Experience

REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBIt’s coming. But somehow it helps to know it’s coming.


There’s always the initial excitement, and the expansive vision of new possibilities. Then reality sets in.


The key is to recognize it’s part of the process: One does not reach the “plateau of productivity” without walking through the “trough of disillusionment.” The trough is where the idea is purified, distilled, crystallized — stripped of its misconceptions, to see what truly lays inside. Read more