Nov 15, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Major Obstacles to More Advisory Services

Recently, I was fortunate to participate in an intense brainstorming session on the future of our profession with six other top 100 CPA managing partners. One of the hot topics was the very evident need for our profession to provide more advisory insights and services to our clients. With oncoming automation around data input and analysis, we know our services need to evolve into more advisory type services. We discussed that our "trusted advisor" status is anchored too closely to compliance, transactional and historical type services. Primarily, we have been a very responsive profession where few have consistently served as proactive strategic advisors.

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Topics: Focus, Anticipatory, Leadership

Nov 8, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Client Service Is Dated

I admit that I have been known to keep a shirt, coat, pants or tie that according to CeCe look “dated.” Our conversation usually goes something like this:

CeCe: You can’t wear that, it’s completely out of style!

Me: Well you liked it just fine when we bought it, it’s in great shape and it’s comfortable.

CeCe: I don’t care, you are not wearing that!

And that’s usually the end of our discussion. I then proceed to change clothes because, you know, I really wanted to wear something else anyway. 

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Topics: Client Service, Forward Thinking

Nov 1, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Inward Mindset Dominating Client Experiences

Over the last 50 years, CPAs have been riding a wave of success, high trust and flowing demand that is frankly quite impressive by any measurement. This high level of relevance and success has been the result of excellent service, extreme competence, unparalleled work ethic and the integrity of a profession that has put the public interest first.

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Topics: Client Service

Oct 25, 2017 12:02:32 PM

Face Your Fear and Reach Your Full Potential

People ask me, “Joey, aren’t you scared of this massive fast-moving change and exponential technology transformation?” The quick answer is YES, absolutely! I really think a professional would have to be in denial to not be afraid of what is in front of us. It reminds me of the first time I jumped on a big street bike.

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Topics: Growth, Leadership

Oct 18, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Anticipate. Engage. Disrupt.

My wife, CeCe, and I just finished a home defense course which, like CPR, is simply great training and awareness. I started the course at the request of CeCe so I was a little skeptical of the overall value of the course. In the first afternoon, we learned the importance of three keywords to the foundation of good home and self-defense. Aware, was the first stage. As we walk to our car or answer the front door, we should be head up and alert to any possible dangers rather than head down, reading our last text message. Then, if you identify danger or a situation that could be dangerous, you immediately move into escape mode and look for the easiest ways to put distance or cover between you and the danger. Then if you are unable to avoid the danger, you confront it and defend yourself. Even yelling in a very loud voice that you see them or stop it can have a significant effect on the situation. 

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Topics: Engagement, Disruption, Anticipatory

Oct 11, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Are You Prepared for Accelerated Change?

Springtime was always associated with a garden when I was growing up. Even today, garden fresh vegetables are simply divine and one of my favorite meals. Every spring my mouth waters waiting on that first home-grown tomato.

It was in the family garden where I lost the end of my left thumb. It’s attached back now, but it’s not the prettiest thumb you will ever see. Even to this day, when I take pictures, I feel myself slipping that thumb inside of my hand and out of sight. My grandkids routinely ask me, “What happened to your thumb, Pops?” “Does it hurt?” “Let me see your boo-boo!”

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Topics: Anticipatory, Leadership

Oct 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Are You Thinking Too Small?

Sometimes I wonder how many opportunities I have missed because I think too small. It’s clear to me today, in the future our greatest service to our clients and our teams will be the ability to collaborate on what’s possible. But if I know that I simply think too small many times, how can I learn to help others think about something as big as What’s Possible?

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking

Sep 27, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Leveraging Technology  to Anticipate and Create New Opportunities

If you are an accountant, lawyer, doctor or really almost any knowledge worker today, you can’t scroll a line of tweets, check out LinkedIn posts, read a blog, headline or web conference without reading about IBM’s Watson or some bot or other artificial intelligence (AI) replacing you. Although I have a passion for anticipating the future to work on strategy and initiatives to help our clients and firm grow, I suspect you are like me in that we get fed up with the constant barrage of AI and Watson taking over our lives. 

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Topics: Anticipatory, Artificial Intelligence

Sep 20, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Innovation Requires Focused Leadership: Part 3 of Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation is a key to our future success, and we can build a culture of innovation within our own teams. This 3-part series explores what it means to build a truly innovative culture at your business or firm. Make sure to read Choosing to be Open Minded, Part 1 of Building a Culture of Innovation, and Culture Leads Innovation, which is Part 2 of Building a Culture of Innovation to understand the entire journey.

Recently, when Tom Hood addressed our partners at our annual partner retreat, he helped us understand what type of leadership is required today when we are faced with such a disruptive rapid transformation. Today, every organization must be innovative and must have an incredible commitment to learning in order to remain relevant. Someone said, “survival is not mandatory.” And unless we become extremely focused as leaders, we will miss an amazing opportunity for growth. This rapid transformation brings an abundance of opportunities to leaders and firms that are focused. It also means that everyone leads, but our top leadership must be intensely focused. 

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Topics: Focus, Culture, Leadership

Sep 13, 2017 1:30:00 PM

Culture Leads Innovation: Part 2 of Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation is a key to our future success, and we can build a culture of innovation within our own teams. This 3-part series explores what it means to build a truly innovative culture at your business or firm. Make sure to read Choosing to be Open Minded, Part 1 of Building a Culture of Innovation, to understand the entire journey.

Sunday, I went to a church where my son Brandon and his family attend. CeCe was not feeling well so I was meeting Brandon, Margie and the kids there. On the way to the church, I got a text that they were not going to make it as they had been up all night with the baby. Sully (Sullivant) is four months old now and our sixth grandkid. As I sat in the parking lot realizing I barely knew anyone at this church, I started thinking about heading home. I did not have a sense of belonging and was really dreading having to meet a lot of new people or explain why I was alone visiting today. Lots of excuses go through our minds when we do not have that sense of security—our sense of belonging.  

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Topics: Culture, Sense of Belonging, Leadership

Sep 6, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Choosing to be Open Minded: Part 1 of Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation is a key to our future success, and we can help build a culture of innovation within our own teams. This three-part series explores what it means to build a truly innovative culture at your business or firm.

Yes, I am tired of hearing about our world being transformed. I really am. I am also tired of hearing my wife, CeCe (a nickname from our grandkids), coach me on better eating habits by challenging my legacy thinking that if it’s healthy food, two or three servings will not hurt me. Does she get on my nerves at times? Yes! Has she helped me be more open minded about what it takes to eat healthier? Yes! I know that I owe her a big thanks for my progress (seven painful pounds so far) to getting healthier. I know at my age, my metabolism and body have changed, yet I want to cling to my old fun habits. My mind searches for things that support my old lifestyle and tries to stifle information that says I need to change. I realize that neither being tired of hearing about getting healthier or simply knowing about it is going to help me be any healthier. It’s time for me to be more open minded.

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Topics: Innovation, Forward Thinking, Leadership

Aug 30, 2017 11:30:00 AM

The Trouble With Looking Backward

I was laughing uncontrollably on the back of a golf cart when this blog came to life. We were in Palmetto Bluff, SC for our annual HORNE LLP partner retreat. (By the way, this experience is bucket list material. Highly recommend a visit with a few days in a cottage facing the water—incredible views). 

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Topics: Windshield View, Future View, Leadership

Aug 23, 2017 11:00:00 AM

The Future Is Bright — If You Embrace Incompetence Today

Why are firms and CPAs moving so slowly to do what it takes to move from transactional/technical/compliance work to serving as an advisor that actually helps clients redefine reality and discover what’s possible in their future?

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Topics: Leadership

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