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Jason Blumer CPA, He’s a Funny Guy

Jason Blumer CPA, the managing shareholder of Blumer & Associates is a funny guy.  No really.  It’s true. There is proof.

I also really like his website:

We believe your numbers are simply telling stories about the relationships, processes and knowledge running deeply through your business and life. The production of numbers is not the end goal of our firm.  We are here to bring clarity to the reasons why your numbers are what they are. We are a next-generation firm, and we are doing this all over the dang world!

That’s some nice copy – wish I had written it!  AND according to Accounting Tomorrow – Jason is the second place winner in the Atom’s Got Talent Video. Congratulations Jason!

Preparer Terror – It’s Real – How to Prevent It

Figure 20 from Charles Darwin's The Expression...

Image via Wikipedia

By Stacie Clifford Kitts CPA

A phenomenon affecting tax return preparers often proceeded by recurrent nightmares centered around tax return preparation. People experiencing Preparer Terror may exhibit the following symptoms:

  1. Extreme anxiety  and temporary inability to remember simple tasks such as how to spell your name
  2. Being jolted from sleep accompanied by an overriding desire to run to the office
  3. Weight gain or if you’re lucky weight loss
  4. Constant fear that you are forgetting something  – like what return was I working on, where did I put that piece of paper, who am I – ya know stuff like that.

Ways to prevent Preparer Terror:

  • Set the proper level of client expectations.

Let your clients know the drop dead due date for receiving 100% of their tax documents. If I receive tax documents after my due date, I let the client know that I might not be able to file the return on time. I will try my best. I’ll even stay up all night. But there are only so many hours in a day. If your stuff arrives late so might your tax return.

  • Evaluate your level of staffing.

If you have a tax practice, the notion is that you have some idea how long it takes to prepare a tax return. Um maybe not. Sometimes partners are so far removed from the daily prep grind that they have NO idea how long it should take a staff to prepare a return. The general rule for me is if I can prepare a return in 8 hours, a new staff may take 3 to 4 times that amount of time. So partners, listen to your staff when evaluating your staffing levels.

  • Be organized.

Well duh, you say. Well ya this is a duh moment. When your mind isn’t working and you are on the verge of losing it, knowing how and where to find the information you need might save you. So if your administrative staff is responsible for filing stuff away, you had better make darn sure your processes, and procedures are being followed like their lives depend on it!

  • Set clear expectations of your staff.

The other day I was visiting a CPA firm, it was pretty late at night, and there were partners and staff in the office working away. Then an extraordinary thing happened, the staff up and left before the partners.

In my day, leaving the office before the partners created a clear and present career danger. It just wasn’t done. I am all about work life balance, heck my kids grew up in my office. However, if you want to have some sort of lasting career in this industry – might I suggest that you get permission before leaving the office during busy time?

Making sure your staff understands what it really means to OWN a project and take responsibility for its completion is an important part of not only managing your firm but also helping to prevent Preparer Terror.

Snubbed Again! And a Sincere Apology

By Stacie Clifford Kitts CPA

I don’t get it. I didn’t make Accounting Today’s top 100 most influential people a-g-a-i-n. I mean, they don’t appear to think that my stay home tax practice or my quirky blog posts are influential enough to name. But I guess I should have been tipped off when I wasn’t contacted to supply a cute pic or provide a snappy bio.

*Heavy sigh* I guess there is always next year….

This year’s list includes many predictable faces. It also includes some fun new ones. Some of which I include in my list of Facebook friends.

Michelle Golden of Golden Practices makes this year’s list. Yeah Michelle. Michelle is the lady you want to know if you are looking for some social networking techniques that will benefit your CPA firm.

Geni Greer Whitehouse also makes the list – Geni is an expert in accounting technology and shares this with her accounting clients through her consulting services.

Other influential women listed are:

  • Teresa Mackintosh,  General Manager and Senior Vice President, Workflow & Service solutions, Americas – Professional, Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. (Good job, but might I suggest that you think about shortening up that title – what a mouthful!)
  • Krista McMasters, CEO Clifton, Gunderson
  • Gale Crosley, Present of Crosley &+Co.
  • Cindy Fornelli, Executive director, Center for Audit Quality
  • Rita Keller, President Keller Advisors
  • Judy O’Dell, Chair FASB Private Companies Financial Reporting Committee
  • Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate IRS
  • Rebecca Ryan, Founder Next Generation Consulting
  • Mary Schapiro, Chair SEC
  • Sue Swenson, President, and CEO Sage North America
  • Jennifer Warawa, Senior director of partner programs Sage North America
  • Sandra Wiley, Partner, senior consultant and COO, Boomer Consulting
  • Jennifer Wilson Co-founder and owner, Convergence Coaching

My personal congratulations to all the professionals who made this year’s list.

On another note – Dear Geni – I screwed up.

Geni Greer Whitehouse provided me a copy of her fabulous book How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting so I could post an interview on my blog. To date I haven’t sent her any questions – this does not speak well for my follow through skills. Which really are good – I swear – or I wouldn’t have the client base that I have?

Regardless, I owe Geni an apology so let’s make it public –

Dear Geni

I want to send you my sincere apologies for failing to send you the list of questions for the interview. You may notice that I have ordered another copy of your book. This is because the initial copy that you so gracefully sent was “barrowed” by a client. It was apparently so helpful that I never saw it again. I will get those questions over to you. I found your book to be quite helpful. It played a key role in helping me to win a best speaker ribbon.

So there it is my lame excuse. If there was any good to come from my failure, it was what I learned  1) never lend out a book before I’m done with it, 2) don’t forgot – branding is important but consider the time investment and follow through necessary to pull off your strategy.

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