Tag Archive for Rita Keller

Performance Reviews & Mentoring Sessions – A Way To Communicate

I have worked with many CPA firms to establish and/or re-engineer their mentoring system and their performance review process.  These two things are such an important part of the culture within public accounting firms.

Of course, there is a lot to talk about and a way to communicate in these areas. In fact, communication is one of the most challenging issues consultants to the CPA profession are seeing inside CPA firms.

I find that partners don’t communicate enough OR they have way too many meetings. I also get lots of questions about exactly how to communicate with a subordinate about their performance or how to give meaningful advice to someone you are mentoring.

At your accounting firm, as you enter the season of performance reviews and more frequent mentoring sessions, please keep in mind that you have a special power. Silence is power.

Inside your firm you probably know of situations where “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” but if you really want to increase the power of your voice, silence can be a powerful tool.

In summary, inside accounting firms communication needs to be enhanced at all levels. In conversations inside your accounting firm, often silence is golden.

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”

Aldous Huxley

CPAs – You Are In The Relationship Business

When most people think of accountants, bookkeepers, CPAs, they think of them as numbers-people.

Wrong. If you own or are employed by an accounting firm, especially a CPA firm – you are in the PEOPLE business. It’s all about you, your peers, your employees and your clients.

I read a lot of Tom Peters’ stuff. I read his books, his blogs, even his slide presentations. Peters’ has been saying it for a long, long time:

It’s always about relationships. Always was. Always will be. Only connect.

Connect with others!

In his book, The Little BIG Things, Peters tells a story about General Dwight D. Eisenhower and how he did the impossible. No, not the D-Day landing per se. It was keeping the Yanks and the Brits from annihilating each other long enough to hit the beach and get on with the real job at hand.

Turns out Eisenhower, most keep professional observers agree, had a secret, which he in fact understood:

“Allied commands depend on mutual confidence; this confidence is gained, above all, through the development of friendships.”

That’s Eisenhower’s Success Tip #1 – Aggressively make friends.

In my consulting work with CPA firm partners, I find that when they “skip” their regularly scheduled partner meetings, rarely eat lunch together, never go out for coffee or a beer, “things” begin to go down hill. Suspicion and distrust slowly creeps into the relationship. That’s why I think the most important part of a partner retreat is simply time away from the office (and families) to just talk, debate, discuss, confront, agree, renew optimism, be openly honest with each other and mix in some laughter.

“A passive approach to professional growth will leave you by the wayside.”

Tom Peters

Roman Kepczyk’s Annual Review of CES

Annually, I anticipate Roman’s update on the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Interesting facts: The show has a 45-year history, 3,300 vendors, 150,000 attendees and the total aisle length is 23 miles.

This year Roman’s update made the front page of The CPA Practice Advisor.  You can follow the link to read the entire article.  I guess I should say you MUST read the entire article if you are actively working inside a CPA firm.

Some highlights:

•  Multiple Screens – The size and clarity of display monitors continues to improve dramatically, which will lower the cost of big displays for your home and your office.

•  Second Screen Concept – Most consumers are finding that having a tablet or smartphone available when viewing TV programming is a valuable “second screen” and they can use it to find out more about a story or event that is happening on television.

•  Flexible Screen – The coolest gadget Roman witnessed.

•  Boosted Cameras – Two of the most interesting deices, on the personal front, were cameras.

•  Plus, more – read about mobile internet bandwidth optimization, WiFi scanning and Natural User Interface

Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA, CITP is Director of Consulting for Xcentric, LLC.