July 10, 2019

Are Dinosaurs in Our Sandbox?

It’s a sunny, hot mid-afternoon as Sully (my two-year-old grandson) and I make our way across the hot pavement to the sidewalk as fast as his little legs would carry him. We finished the short 50-yard walk to our neighborhood playground that's complete with slides, swings, climbing bars and not a bit of shade. Sully insisted on taking three dinosaurs with us—Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and one of which I have no idea what it is. They are small plastic dinosaurs but large enough he can only carry one in each hand. So Pops is carrying the unidentified one.

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Topics: Anticipatory, Future View, Growth Mindset

July 03, 2019

Are We Really Moving Fast Enough?

Last week, we kicked off 5 Questions that Might Make Us #beEvenBetter, a new blog series addressing the challenges facing accounting firms today. These key questions regarding our firm’s future will help us plot safe passage through what promises to be rapid and radical transformation.

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Topics: Anticipatory

June 26, 2019

5 Questions that Might Make Us #beEvenBetter

Imagine for a moment that your accounting firm is on board a luxury passenger bus headed to an important retreat. A fierce thunderstorm has popped up, and circular winds are starting to form a powerful tornado nearby. You are five miles from the nearest exit, and the twister is gaining on you at frightening speed. The full force hasn’t hit yet, but the winds are picking up and you can see debris and tree limbs beginning to fly by. As driver of the bus, you are responsible for navigating your team through the storm. You can’t outrun it. You can’t avoid it.

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking

June 19, 2019

Technology Saved My Feet

In last week’s blog, Are We Serving up an Eggcellent Experience, I shared about my trip to Seattle with CeCe and our daughter, Haley. We were very excited about hiking and experiencing the beautiful Seattle area. On the first day, we headed out to hike Tiger Mountain Trailhead. Based on the map and writeup, we could do a circular hike of about six miles and come right back down to the trailhead.

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking, Technology

May 15, 2019

What’s in Your Cup?

My feet hit the floor in a rush. With the daylight peeking under our bedroom curtains I knew I had overslept. Yikes! It’s 6:30 and I have a video conference call at 7:00 a.m.! Although I might set the alarm, I always wake up before it goes off. I never oversleep, but obviously, I had today and the timing couldn’t have been worse. I do a quick change and turn on CeCe’s Keurig to warm up while I fire up my computer.

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Topics: Anticipatory, Client Service

May 08, 2019

Dead Leg Leads to Disruption

Growing up, I was a big fan of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin. I loved their comedy and thought the chemistry between them was pretty special. I watched their shows as often as I could.  Now, I realize I probably just dated myself and some of you are thinking, “Who?”

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Topics: Anticipatory, Future Ready

April 10, 2019

Golf Again? Please No!

In golf, your ability to play the “short game” is the quickest way to lower your score. You cannot shoot low scores in golf if you can’t chip and putt. Obviously, the pros spend hours refining this aspect of the game. And guess what skills go the quickest if you don’t play regularly? For me at least, it’s chipping and putting. This has never been more evident to me than last month ─ my once a year golf outing at Sage Valley. This year, I shot the worst score of my golfing career (108). That fantastic little score included triple bogeys on four holes. It was ugly, really ugly.

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Topics: People Development, Life-Long Learning, Anticipatory, Client Service, Leadership

January 30, 2019

The Final Curtain Pull

Yes, we have an elephant hiding behind the curtain. We have been building to this point in our blog series on insights from 20 CEOs and COOs from top 100 CPA firms. Do you want to guess who or what might be the biggest obstacle, the greatest challenge for firms to transform, retool and become #FutureReady? Go ahead, take a guess before you read ahead.

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Topics: Anticipatory

January 23, 2019

Ripping Down the Curtain on People Development

As Barry Melancon, CEO of AICPA, brought up the slide at the Major Firms Group meeting in Naples this January, I knew my simple strategy of “pulling back the curtain” was over as Barry had just ripped the whole curtain down for the entire profession to see. LEARN, UNLEARN, RELEARN was center in his message and vision that our profession must retool itself and embrace a continuous learning culture. 

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Topics: People Development, Anticipatory

January 17, 2019

18 Trends Shaping New Pricing Models

We are pulling the curtain back on key strategies for major firms and this week’s topic might find some of us feeling a little exposed. Why? We might find ourselves clinging tightly to our traditional business model of pricing services based on the time and cost to provide them. Time has been our profession’s friend for the last 100 years. So if the business model is working, why are firms exploring other pricing options or business models? Why do some firms believe they must find new and better ways to price their services?

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Topics: Anticipatory

January 09, 2019

Pulling Back the Curtain on Client Experience

So far in this blog series, we pulled the curtain back on innovation, growth strategies, alignment and change management for large firms. We are now focusing on pulling back the curtain on strategic trends that are prevalent for many firms but not as frequently central to their strategic plan. All of these trends and strategies come directly from interacting with over 20 CEOs and COOs of Top 100 CPA firms. For some firms and maybe for yours, these next trends could be part of your plan to be distinctive and relevant. 

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Topics: Customer Experience, Anticipatory, Client Service

January 02, 2019

Pulling the Curtain Back on Alignment and Change Management

In the last two blogs of this series, we pulled the curtain back on innovation and growth strategies for large firms. This blog and the next two will discuss some observed trends that are not as prominent across the major firms but they are prevalent. In each of these, there are firms that are being very intentional to implement strategic initiatives that they believe are relevant for the future as well as distinctive for them as a firm. Surely, if we ask enough questions, we can learn something from these trends. 

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Topics: Anticipatory, Future Ready

December 26, 2018

Pulling Back the Curtain on Growth

We’ve already pulled back the curtain on trends and opportunities to innovate by visiting strategies of Top 100 CPA firms as well as industry thought leaders. Now, let’s pull back the curtain on what appears to be the primary growth strategy for large firms and certainly for our profession. As we will soon see, there will be no surprises behind this curtain but we may be surprised at the opportunities and challenges hidden behind this strategy. 

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Topics: Growth, Anticipatory, Future Ready

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