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Is Your Task List Too Big and Out of Control?

In our fast paced, multitasking world where we are constantly inundated with information and competing priorities, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with things that need to be taken care of.  You cannot do it all and you certainly can’t do it all well.

There is a lot of great content and advice on how to be more productive.  I have read a lot of it and implemented in varying degrees.  As we all know it is a work in process!

One thing that sticks with me is to have a shorter To Do list.  I think it is great to pick 3-5 strategic priorities for the year. However, you must have 1 main focus/priority per quarter or month (depending on scope)!  The key here is to schedule time to work on the project.

Here are a few great reminders:

  • Pretend your Internet access is down!  Email and social media can be a distraction and we are often operating in the important and not urgent quadrant.
  • Imagine yourself at December 31 and what is the one thing you need accomplished to make it a double thumbs up year!
  • Just because you can do it does NOT mean you should!

What items on your to do list are urgent and which can wait?  We’d love to hear what methods work for you.

“Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal”

Happy New Year!

The holidays are over and the calm before the storm of tax season is upon us.  There is no better time to set your intentions for 2014 and review your goals, both for your personal and business lives.

As we have moved thru the discussion of pricing, we have talked about the need to know your WHY and what you want as you define/refine your business model.

As it relates to pricing and client selection, there is another key question you need to consider:

Is it incremental change or business model change you want? If business model, when will you do this by?

It is important to consider both the short and long term in the areas of:

*Impact to you (health)

*Impact to your family

*Hours

*Stress

*Lifestyle

*Capacity

*Work performed

*Capital requirements (if any)

*Profitability

*Timeline

*What will the team look like

*What will the client base look like

As the saying goes.. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”  Your plan may be one year, two year or three-whether it is price change or business model change.  The key is to have a plan that you puts you where YOU want to be and take action.

Aim at something and hit it!

Shannon

 

Stop the madness! How NOT to repeat last tax season!

Time to put a stop to tax season madness!

Time to put a stop to tax season madness!

4/15 and 9/15 have been some of the most stressful in years for tax practitioners.

To get on top of that, we know many firms who held tax season debriefs to get some things off their chests and develop actionable items around the issues of clients, technology, team and creating value.

Thinking about the forthcoming tax season, one of the matters to focus on is how CPA firms allocate their time in a way that reflects their values, strengths and vision for their life and firm, and examining if they might be holding onto old ways of thinking, or doing business that limits their abilities.

Thankfully, there are some questions that CPAs can ask now

This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list, but will get the conversation moving and help determine how your firm might be better equipped:  Read More…

Do not let bad customers drive out your good team members!

Do not work unprofitably.

Do not work unprofitably.

You may have heard me quote Ron Baker, “Do not let your bad customers drive out your good customers”. That statement is still relevant today.

We now need to be extremely mindful and action oriented that we do not allow bad customers to drive out good team members.

Let me explain.

The past 4 business days I have been contacted by 4 firms where the Partner asked me for advice regarding a team member who came to them after 9/16 (word on the street is it was very painful) and said, “Mr. or Mrs. Partner. I can’t work the hours anymore.”

Here are key variables:  Read More…

Technology, labor supply and attitude shift impacts accounting firms and the roles people play

Technology, supply of labor, and a shift in traditional attitudes has dramatically impacted the accounting firm and, most importantly, the roles people play at all levels.

Accounting firms do more with less meaning at all levels accountants do varied things from varied locations. People do their work from home, the office, client sites and the coffee shop.

NICA suits

The new world of a flat accounting firm, along with a rapidly changing business climate, punishes fixed skills and rewards flexible ones. What those in accounting firms do stretches across functional boundaries including client service, sales, project management and workflow driven almost exclusively with technology.

In short, everyone in a firm must do everything. Read More…

4 Major Milestone Shifts

Many practitioners and partners experience a seminal moment as they move towards 50 or shortly thereafter where four major shirts occur

  1. time fliesYou realize your time on earth is finite! That is, you have had many successes, made many mistakes and for someone who ‘feels’ their time is finite you know there are some things that have to change! The sense of urgency you have been waiting for (or avoiding) has finally arrived.
  2. You have not made enough money. For the hours, stress and risk have endured you think you would be making more money. You have held onto that underperforming team member too long, held on to too many small clients, a good client went bankrupt or it always seemed like this year was going to be your breakthrough year. Did not happen. Read More…

Moving forward in tax ‘off season’

Congratulations again on the end of tax season! 

Tax 'Off Season'

Tax ‘Off Season’ kicks off right now

I hope it was successful and that you have a few days off (if not more) planned in the very near future!

Going into the “off season” one of the matters we are going to be focusing on and dialoguing about is how we allocate our time in a way that reflects our values, strengths and vision for our life and our firm?

We will also examine if we are holding onto old ways of thinking, or doing business that limits our abilities.

Just a few thoughts to ponder as you have some time to think!