It’s been 3.5 years since we took the leap and became entrepreneurs. Has it been everything I imagined it would be? Yes and no, and so much more. It’s been amazing to build something from the ground up with two awesome business partners, but we have big dreams and we’re still climbing…sometimes a bit slower than we would like. But no matter what happens in a day’s time, at the end of it, when I close my eyes at night, I am so very thankful to be on this journey and for the people that I’m sharing it with.
In 2012 I left public accounting. Well, kind of.
We were launching our business and an opportunity presented itself to help a local sole practitioner (George) get through the October 15th deadline. No long term obligation and decent pay; sounded good, especially during a time where on paper, our personal finances should have never added up.
Yesterday Jody Padar shared a great post on LinkedIn titled "Stop Playing the Time Game" (originally published in Accounting Today, Oct. 1, 2013). The article focused on the pros of ditching the billable hour and focusing on pricing your services based on the actual value you are providing, instead of the time it takes you to complete the project.
I took the liberty of using the comment box to voice my frustrations about what comes to mind when I hear the phrase “The Time Game”.
This morning I dropped my 2 year old off at preschool. When we decided to enroll her in the program it was purely a decision intended to give her a positive social experience. We are fortunate enough to have family available for childcare, so the “need” component was off the table. It was simply a choice we were making as parents to provide an opportunity for her to build confidence and independence, with the thought that there might be some educational benefits sprinkled in.
Traditionally, CPA’s bill their services by the hour. The time it takes to complete a project is inherently tied to the project’s value. Billable hours and revenue are directly correlated. So, in order to increase your revenue, you need to increase the amount of billable hours.
The problem with this logic in a modern CPA practice is two-fold:
By now, you’ve heard the term “outsource” hundreds of times. We all know that outsource strategies could play a significant role in giving you the time and ability to bring more value to your clients, a true component of a “firm of the future.” But at the end of the day you’re left with one question, “How the heck do I start?!” The scariest idea when it comes to outsourcing is change. It’s tough to change and it doesn’t happen overnight, so take it one step at a time. It’s not as scary as it seems…
The good ol’ CPA newsletter…Love it or Hate it? Either way, here’s some thoughts on increasing it’s ROI. Let’s start with some interesting stats from Sidekick on email open rates based on the subject line:
Stat #1: There is an 18.7% decrease in open rates when the word “newsletter” is used in subject lines.
Stat #2: Using “Daily” or ‘Weekly” in subject lines boosts open rates whereas “Monthly” hurts them.
It’s been a hot topic lately – where has the talent gone? I remember the days when firms were reluctantly “letting go” of talent to try to make ends meet. Now it seems that firms can’t hold onto talent to save their lives. So, where has the talent gone and how do we get it back? Here are a few ways to start…
As I posted up at the local Coffee Bean today, I felt motivated and ready to have a productive Monday. My day was off to a good start, green tea in hand and good music playing (surprisingly not blaring in my ear like most days). I began doing some research on outsourcing (something I’m obviously interested in) and was on a roll when I was abruptly interrupted by an older man asking, actually more like demanding, a nearby father to keep his child quiet. Now this is a topic I don’t want to get into today, but I am well aware of what a touchy subject it is – you can’t always control your 4 year old or the levels that his/her small voice reaches, but others expect peace and quiet at their “office” even though it’s a very public place. Needless to say, the demand turned into a yelling match with profanities being thrown left and right. I tried to keep my eyes on my computer, but who can look away from a train wreck?! I assumed after the cops were threatened to be called by both men and the Coffee Bean employee began playing defense, the feud would calm down. Boy, was I wrong. At this point, I seriously considered packing up and sneaking out the side door – I was actually afraid. Finally, after what seemed like forever, the employees were able to calm the situation down. So now I sit here, trying to get back to my work, fearing another outburst. How can I focus after that drama?!
Last week I was reading an article published by the New York Times interviewing Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) on Holocracy, a radical self-management theory where traditional corporate hierarchy gets thrown out the window. The idea seems far-fetched for most traditional business models, but leave it to Zappos to lead the charge. Can you imagine a CPA firm without titles such as senior, manager, or partner? While I was interested in the topic of the article, what I actually got stuck on was the following quote from Hsieh: