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16 Delegation Failures

July 17, 2014 | Blog

We've all been there.  Trying to make our work-lives more efficient, transfer knowledge to newer team members and leverage our practice.  Sometimes it works, and, well, sometimes the result is embarrassing at best.  If you’ve ever wondered if you’re a delegation master, or one who could use a few tweaks to make the most of your efforts, you are in the right place.  Below are a few ways to recognize when you might not have done the very best job ever in delegating your work.

If you are engaging in any number of these practices, or a victim of them, you’re not alone.… Continue Reading »

Reclaiming Our Fun

June 17, 2014 | Blog

After my webinar on Building a High-Functioning team, I received a whole lot of feedback from participants saying thank-you for the reminder to have fun. 

This really caught me off guard.  How in the world did we end up so focused on our goals (also a part of building a great team) that we completely let go of the fun part?  Now, I know, some teams have this nailed. Usually the ones featured in hip glossy magazines foosball tables on every floor and ball-pit conference rooms.  But what about the rest of us? Those of us who work in an average office, or whose compan… Continue Reading »

Someday, Someone Will Replace You

June 1, 2014 | Blog

Have you thought about who will be filling your shoes in the future?  Maybe you’re early in your career, maybe you’re approaching retirement, or maybe you’re somewhere in between.  For better or for worse, your time in your current position is limited.

So, what are you doing to create a legacy of well-developed individuals that can rise to the occasion of your progression or departure without causing heart failure for yourself, your partners or, worst of all, your clients?  Most people “don’t want to think about it” because it’s not easy to imagine someone being as… Continue Reading »

Getting Leadership Buy-In

May 1, 2014 | Blog

Ben was sick of having his partner cancel last minute on client meetings.  He knew that his clients were annoyed with the practice too and it needed to change.  Ben tried subtle suggestions, cc-ing others on “we missed you at the meeting” emails, and proposing firm-wide cancellation policies, but nothing seemed to work. Ben needed buy-in, and he wasn’t sure how to get it.

This type of scenario came up during my Integrating Client Service Culture webinar and I wanted to give some tactical ideas here on the topic of buy-in. The tips below are for those of you who dre… Continue Reading »

New: AICPA Webcasts!

April 25, 2014 | News

Earlier in 2014 we began offering webinars hosted by AccountingWeb to showcase a variety of different team, communication and client service topics.  To add to that line up we are also going to be adding some webinars hosted by the AICPA this summer.  

The first one will cover one of my favorite team-building topics, Developing Successful Associates and Managers.   

Seeing as great managers contribute 48% higher profit than average managers according to a recent Harvard Business Review article, their development is imperative to a firm's success. 

Whether your role i… Continue Reading »

Controversial License Renewal Changes

April 1, 2014 | Blog, News

The Board of Accountancy has announced its position today on three significant changes to the CPA license renewal requirements. A final decision on these matters is expected within three years.

Controversial Renewal Assessment

The Board of Accountancy has proposed requiring licensees to complete a “What Type of CPA Are You” assessment as part of their next renewal.  This scientifically based test would allow the State Board to assign each licensee one of seven different CPA Types including The Traditionalist, The Young Professional and The Managing Partner.

Licensee… Continue Reading »

The Big "If" in Client Surveys

March 12, 2014 | Blog

One of my client service webinar participants asked in the Q&A, "Do you suggest the use of client satisfaction surveys?" This one hit a hot button with me, as evidenced by my ensuing five-minute monologue. My short answer is: "Yes!" However, the long answer is a little more complicated, and starts with an "If …"

Client surveys are a great way to get insights into what your clients actually think and feel. That may sound obvious, but most organizations come to conclusions and make decisions based on what they think their clients feel. "Our clients love us because we… Continue Reading »

Turn Crappy Staff Work into Quality Staff Work

March 7, 2014 | Blog

There comes a point in your career when you really want to leverage others.  The problem is that often you hire someone and give them a project or task, and what they come back with is No Where Near what you were after.

A few issues could be in play: 1) you may not have given clear instructions, 2) your staff person is lazy and incompetent or 3) they haven’t yet learned what it means to turn in quality work. 

If you think the problem is #2, well, you know what to do.  If your problem is #1 or #3, your staff might think their job is to start something, spin their whe… Continue Reading »

Top 10 Breaks You Can Actually Take This Busy Season

March 1, 2014 | Blog

This time of year, there's a lot of talk and reminders about keeping yourself refreshed and sane during busy season.  It may sound great to take a rest, relax and recharge every once in a while so you have the energy to make it through the next 17 hour day, but let's get real, busy season stamina is a hard habit to break.  Ideas like "take just one weekend to go skiing", "make it to that company sponsored yoga class", "have dinner at home twice a week" sound about as plausible as taking two weeks off in early March. So, instead of providing you with yet another l… Continue Reading »

Unresolved Client Issues: Taking Money Out of Your Pocket Every Day

February 21, 2014 | Blog

In a my February 18th webinar on "Understanding the Client Experience" a participant asked what can be done about negative customer comments on the web, that "may or may not be true." First I want to specify that it doesn't matter if they're on the web or being spread by word of mouth, negative sentiments are always highly damaging to a firm.  It takes four or five positive comments to make up for one disparaging one, which is a huge ratio considering those who are unhappy are much more likely to be vocal than those who are happy. Second, whether or not the comm… Continue Reading »

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