How Enthusiastic Is Your Staff?

Steven Sacks: "Creating a workplace that allows open and honest communications will go a long way toward employee retention – one of the biggest challenges facing firms and companies today."More enthusiasm = more productivity and profitability.

By Steven E. Sacks

Did you ever take a survey of your firm’s staff to gauge its level of job satisfaction or how enthusiastic it is about working in your firm or company?

MORE: Negotiate For Success, Not a ‘Win’  | Does Your Board Know Its Role? | Can You Recite Your Mission Statement? | Does Busyness Really Mean Productivity? | Five PowerPoint Rules to Live By | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day | So Much to Do and So Little Time: Achieving Success in the C-Suite | Can We Please Refer to Accounting as a Profession?
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Every so often you should conduct a survey that asks anything ranging from clarity of purpose and level of commitment to flexibility and advancement. It costs nothing to do but will yield important anecdotal data to be addressed by senior leadership. You may find that staff wants more input on developing business or increased exposure to clients and customers.
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Negotiate For Success, Not a ‘Win’

5 common mistakes to avoid.

By Steven E. Sacks

We enter into negotiations every day without realizing it, whether it is on a professional or personal basis.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Does Your Board Know Its Role? | Can You Recite Your Mission Statement? | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day | Can We Please Refer to Accounting as a Profession?
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Irrespective of whether it is a contractual transaction between a company and vendor or if a husband and wife are deciding on which couch to buy, each side is seeking to gain something. Neither side may get everything it wants because an all-or-nothing-at-all approach will be a barrier to making any progress.
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Does Your Board Know Its Role?

Business meeting with people around table facing forward4 questions for review.

By Steven E. Sacks

The purpose behind an organization creating a board is not to micromanage, design a company logo or address human resource issues. Neither is its role to sit around and smoke Cohiba Esplendido cigars and sip Louis XIII de Remy Martin Grande cognac.

MORE: Can You Recite Your Mission Statement? | Does Busyness Really Mean Productivity? | Five PowerPoint Rules to Live By | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day | So Much to Do and So Little Time: Achieving Success in the C-Suite | Can We Please Refer to Accounting as a Profession?
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This glad-handing, back-slapping culture led to the financial breakdowns in the early 2000s and probably still is happening at this writing.
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Can You Recite Your Mission Statement?

Coffee cup by napkin with words including "action plans."Does it sound more like a wish list or a to-do list?

By Steven E. Sacks

Do you think your staff knows what your company’s or firm’s mission statement is?

Wait. Let me back up. Does your staff even know that such a mission statement exists?

MORE: Does Busyness Really Mean Productivity? | Five PowerPoint Rules to Live By | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day | So Much to Do and So Little Time: Achieving Success in the C-Suite | Can We Please Refer to Accounting as a Profession?
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My guess is no and no. Does your organization explain to everyone what actually defines success and the framework for achieving it?
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Does Busyness Really Mean Productivity?

Harried business teamHow to change your firm's culture.

By Steven E. Sacks

Did you ever notice when you call an associate or a friend or a business of any type, more often than not he or she will always respond with “I’m really busy” or “I’ve been jammed up”? It does not matter the time of the year, much less the time of week or day.

MORE: Five PowerPoint Rules to Live By | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day | So Much to Do and So Little Time: Achieving Success in the C-Suite | Can We Please Refer to Accounting as a Profession?
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Has busy become too colloquial or just a throwaway line? What is actually meant by “busy”? Or, more specifically, what is the condition of “busyness”?
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Five PowerPoint Rules to Live By

Drawing of man giving presentationEssential tips for keeping the focus where it belongs: On you.

By Steven E. Sacks
Solutions 2 Results

Have you ever attended a conference where the presenter plans to supplement his or her key topics by showing an illustration of what is being currently said?

MORE ON PRESENTATIONS: DIY Design for Social Media | No More Printouts at CPE Programs? | Four Ways to ‘Wow’ Not-for-Profit Clients with PowerPoint

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Do I look at the speaker or do I look at the slides? Will the slides be available later or should I take notes now? Should I move up 50 rows so the microscopic wording improves to barely readable? Can I ask the speaker to back up a couple of slides?
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Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day

There are nearly 80 million Baby Boomers today, and this cohort of 65 and older is projected by the US Census Bureau to reach 83.7 million in the year 2050. By 2030, more than 20 percent of U.S. residents are projected to be aged 65 and over, compared with 13 percent in 2010 and 9.8 percent in 1970. A large part of this growth is due to the aging of baby boomers (individuals born in the United States between mid-1946 and mid-1964), who began turning 65 in 2011 and are now driving growth at the older ages of the population. Every day, 10,000 people turn 65. There are more than personal financial issues at stake here.

What does this mean for the CPA profession?