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As 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
As Thanksgiving approaches, I find myself thinking about family. We all have a family that we’re born into. When we begin our careers, we are hired into another. That’s right. The company you work for is a family too. It’s important to remember that if you plan on hiring your own employees.
The members of this second family spend a significant portion of their life working. If we take the traditional 9 to 5 job (or 40 hour work week) and divide that into the total number of hours in a week (168), we find that employees spend almost 25% of their time with their work family. Depending on sleep patterns, this rivals slumber for the amount of waking time diverted from the traditional family. Read more
I don’t do CrossFit. I work out at home. In my garage. Alone. Partly because I’m an antisocial bastard. Partly because I’m cheap. Partly because it’s convenient. But mostly so I can watch TV with the sound on.
Last Tuesday while I was doing dumbbell lunges¹, I caught this segment of The Daily Show.
In it Trevor Noah talks about the Uberization of different service industries, also known as “the gig economy.” According to The Daily Show, the following actually exist: the Uber of healthcare, the Uber of tailors, the Uber of massages, and the Uber of live chicken rentals.
So I had to ask myself, is it possible to Uberfy the accounting profession? And what objectives would have to be met to achieve full Uberfication? Read more
A couple years ago, I came across an article about the Japanese art of growing apples and it struck a chord with me. Shortly after reading it, I was driving down the highway and it hit me: there was a parallel between this process and what is necessary in running a business.
When you hear the term “pruning,” you might picture a sunny garden and a person gingerly tending to plants, but pruning is also something that every business must do – especially ones with repeat business. Read more