In an age of massive transformation, taking baby steps won't do.
Here’s what you’re looking for: L. Gary Boomer
And five areas where innovation will produce significant results
by L. Gary Boomer
Accounting firms generally are not who you think of when you mention "innovation," yet many firms excel at innovation and there is a pattern to their success.
Technology isn't new. But the pace of change is.
And it's adding new stresses to CPA firms every day, according to L. Gary Boomer of Boomer Consulting.
The impact can be seen -- and felt -- in how firms attract, retain, nurture and leverage talent, he tells the CPA Leadership Institute. Staffing takes on a whole new meaning when it's done within a firm-wide culture of continuous learning and improvement.
Here's how: READ MORE →
L. Gary Boomer has been talking lately about Liz Wiseman's new book, "Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter."
"Multipliers" reports research that shows so-called "multiplier" leaders get two times more production than "diminishing" leaders.
"Multipliers are genius-makers," Boomer says, "where everyone around them gets smarter." By genius, she is referring to innovation, productivity and the collective intelligence of the team.
Multiplier leaders are not just "feel-good" managers, Boomer says: READ MORE →
What you need to know to get things done.
Gary Boomer of Boomer Consulting explains in this extended, 7-minute interview how good plans can go awry in today's accounting firm.
Boomer's talking points:
- Most partners like to hold others accountable, but not themselves.
- Many firms fail to conduct the critically important conversations that can avoid major problems from developing.
- It's what partners don't know that gets them into trouble.
- Why a CPA may be the wrong person for your firm.
- Who's missing from your strategy sessions.
- How to go beyond hope as a strategy.
Learn the secrets of the top-earning CPAs and highest-grossing accounting firms.
by Rick Telberg
From the iPad to the cloud, new technologies are changing the way we live and the way CPAs work. Indeed, a new technology model is emerging that may be changing the way CPA firms work.
Some firms will be better able and better equipped to make the needed changes. Some won't. Some will be able to embrace the changes to free up highly-trained professional talent for high-end services. Others will cling to old technologies, old workflows and old roles.
"The decisions you make over the next few years will be critical," CPA.CITP Gary Boomer was telling a room full of CPA firm CIOs at the annual CCH User Conference in Orlando, Fla., last week. "You can't ignore it and you can't go back."
In today's uncertain economy, CPA firms must be especially agile and adaptable to survive. They must be real "learning organizations."
So here's the question: What are the characteristics of an agile, adaptable, quick-learning CPA firm? And how do you get that way?
L. Gary Boomer, CPA.CITP
CEO, Boomer Consulting Inc.
LEADERSHIP! Firms that have strong leadership and realize they need a Director of Development or a Learning Coordinator will have the corner on the talent market. Professional development, especially in the soft and IT skills are a big advantage in retention and attraction of quality. A training/learning organization will be able to employ the multiplier effect. Multipliers can do more with less.
Many firms are cutting back on training in an attempt to maintain partner income. I believe this is very short sighted.
Gary Boomer says training budgets may be "tempting targets during tight times."
But should firms really cut expenses in this area?
Boomer, citing Gartner Research, says every hour of IT training provides 5.75 hours of increased capacity. Do the math:
- 4.5 hours of experimentation – it takes an untrained worker twice as long to figure it out on his or her own.
- 0.25 hours of support – for every hour of training, help desk or support time is reduced by .25 hours.
- 1.0 hour of rework – review and fixing errors is reduced by 1 hour for every hour of training.
Boomer charts the areas where firms will see immediate, productive results in the technology:
|6 hours||eMail Management|
|1 hour||Document Storage/Records Retention Standards|
|1 hour||Search Techniques|
|1 hour||MS Word tips and techniques|
|1 hour||MS Excel tips and techniques|
"You will note that a significant amount of time is devoted to email management, because email is where most users (and particularly partners) spend a significant amount of time on a daily basis," Boomer says. "Most have not conducted training, and a majority use email (MS Outlook) as a records management database rather than a mailbox."
You don’t leave your paper mail in your mail box for months or years and sort it every time you need a letter or document. The same should be true for email.
"Too often, accounting firms head immediately for the bunker and dwell on any negative news," practice management consultant Gary Boomer says.
He tells firm leaders: "the challenge for you is to maintain personal confidence while building the same in your staff and clients."
Boomer suggests six steps to take today:
1. Have a New Opportunities conversation with your clients. Discuss what they have and are grateful for.
2. List each clientâ€™s current dangers, opportunities and strengths â€“ then select and focus on the top three.
3. Develop an action plan. Be creative.
4. Focus on progress and not perfection.
5. Agree to speak again with the client within the next 30 days.
"The uncertainty of the times is real," Boomer says. "Fear should not cause paralysis, but rather motivation to take positive action. While some things are out of our control, how we react is not. Take time to think, write down your thoughts and act. In so doing you will devise a remedy for the present and a plan for the future."
More at The Boomer Bulletin.
Four reasons why CPA firms lose young professionals. And what to do about it.
By L. Gary Boomer
I think there are obvious reasons accounting graduates are not sitting for the CPA exam and staying in public accounting. Some of the more relevant reasons are:
1. A large percentage are going into private accounting right out of school. (About 70% from the last statistics I saw.)
2. Firms work them too many hours and don't provide the required technical, soft and IT training. It is all about the charge hour in most public accounting firms.
3. The exam is difficult and many candidates procrastinate. Firms need to develop fast track programs for getting people through the exam as quickly as possible. Existing CPAs de-motivate many candidates by referring to how the exam is easy since is computerized. Most CPAs can't tell you the four parts, nor could they pass it today.
4. Many firms are top heavy and younger people don't see their significance or buy into the vision of the firm.
Most of these are negative, but all progress starts with the truth. The one thing firms should communicate is that a CPA can have the 10 to 20 lifetime jobs talked about by the generational experts . They can even be with the same firm. The CPA certificate provides a multitude of opportunities.