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Deeper Weekend 2014

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CPA firm

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  • Adrian Simmons
    Adrian Simmons
  • Bryan Coleman
    Bryan Coleman
  • Greg Kyte
    Greg Kyte
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  • Jason Blumer
    Jason Blumer
  • Jennifer Blumer
    Jennifer Blumer
  • Scott Kregel
    Scott Kregel
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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Category:
CPA firm, Strategy
Comments:
2

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

Category:
CPA firm, Cliff Jumpers
Comments:
2

bryanAs 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

Category:
CPA firm
Comments:
1

Greg Kyte 2I 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.

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.51.34 AM

 

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

Category:
CPA firm
Comments:
2

bryanA 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

Category:
CPA firm, Cliff Jumpers
Comments:
3
Jason BlumerI keep a keen eye on how our profession is changing. The change in our profession really affects our Thriveal Network and it’s members so I’m very interested in it’s change. One story I’m hearing a lot is how larger firms are buying smaller regional firms. More seasoned practitioners are ready to retire, and it seems they aren’t finding the younger partners eager to take over the firm (especially when the seasoned partner stays around to micromanage them). If you want to get your cash out, then just sell to a larger firm. Makes sense.

 

But one thing we are not hearing in the news is the growth, enjoyment, profitability, and freedom that comes from running your own firm. Communities like Thriveal are becoming the place where smaller firm entrepreneurs can find a community fighting the same battles they are, and winning! Thriveal firm owners are growing, caring, maturing, and fighting to be profitable. And they are doing it. Creative, entrepreneurial firm owners have decidedly shed the large firm mentality, and have exchanged it for the creative, entrepreneurial lifestyle of building firms around their lives, instead of building their lives around their firms. But the news doesn’t talk about this, because it’s not very interesting. The lifestyle firm owner is committed to changing lives, one client at a time… and that does not usually make the news.
Category:
CPA firm, Personal Growth
Comments:
14