Syncing Up for the COVID Era

Woman reading paper document at office desk in front of computerThe three key ingredients for success in internal communications.

By Steven E. Sacks

Imagine this: A local reporter or a potential client contacts your firm after visiting your website. What happens next?

MORE: The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared? | How to Create Effective Internal Communications | How to Select Your Firm’s Board | Trust Is a Key Organizational Ingredient | Real Influence Vs. Immediate Gratification | Fake It ‘Til You Make It: An Ultimate Goal?today.

With the media and clients clamoring for COVID-Era solutions, it’s happening increasingly often. Here’s how to be prepared.

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The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared?

woman's hand with touchless soap dispenserHere’s a question: Do you HAVE to renew your lease?

By Steven E. Sacks

If you are a managing partner and are deciding when and how to reopen your office, keeping in mind the safety and well-being of your staff, what steps will you take? More important, do you know whose brains to pick to do the reopening well and properly?

MORE: How to Create Effective Internal Communications | Profit Is Not a Mission | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive? | Working Remotely Shouldn’t Mean Feeling Isolated | How Engaged Are Your Employees?
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Consider who your advisors should be: scientists, doctors, public health officials, interior office design professionals, air-quality professionals and architects.
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How to Create Effective Internal Communications

Woman yelling into bullhorn and newspapers flying outWho is responsible for them?

By Steven E. Sacks

CPA firms need to focus on internal communications. They have realized that to have a content and motivated staff, they must keep their people “in the loop.”

MORE: Profit Is Not a Mission | Does Your Firm’s Board Know Its Role? | Are Executive Performance Reviews Dangerous? | Influence, Don’t Manipulate | Getting and Keeping the Best: The Struggle Continues | How Does Your Firm Leverage Its Talent?
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How many times do employees hear about a firm’s initiative after it has been implemented or announced in the local (or national) media? What does this do to morale? What impact does it have on the trust factor?
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Profit Is Not a Mission

Businessman relaxing in clouds in skyWhy mission statements matter and how firms fail.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals: Practical Guidance for Today’s Accounting Firms

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

MORE: Does Your Firm’s Board Know Its Role? | Trust Is a Key Organizational Ingredient | Real Influence Vs. Immediate Gratification | 4 Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction | Retention Starts with the Hiring Interview | The New Way to Handle Exit Interviews | Who’ll Quit Next? | Smart Trust in the Workplace
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Wait. Let me back up. Does your staff even know that such a mission statement exists?

My guess is no and no.

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Does Your Firm’s Board Know Its Role?

Six businesspeople in meeting around tableMission, vision, strategies, action plans … they all need to be aligned.

By Steven E. Sacks

The supposed purpose behind a CPA firm 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. This glad-handing, back-slapping culture led to the financial breakdowns in the early 2000s and is possibly still happening today.

MORE: How to Select Your Firm’s Board | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive? | Working Remotely Shouldn’t Mean Feeling Isolated | How Engaged Are Your Employees? | Managing Difficult Personalities in the Workplace | Set Your Staff on the Right Course
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Why would a firm create a board? In theory, it is designed to build and preserve a firm’s prosperity and longevity, in the same vein as a company board. Each board member should have a thorough handle on the profession and the industries that the firm serves. The board members should understand trends, the competitive challenges, and the effectiveness or lack thereof regarding the firm’s structure and operations.
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An Effective Board Begins With an Effective Process

Senior businessman with his team at office

Decide what you need, then look for the right people.

By Steven E. Sacks

In discussing how to select your firm’s board, the issue was that you want to have the proper board composition with the people, right values, philosophies and a shared commitment to the success of the firm.

MORE: How to Select Your Firm’s Board | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive? | Working Remotely Shouldn’t Mean Feeling Isolated | How Engaged Are Your Employees? | Managing Difficult Personalities in the Workplace
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As a firm leader, a matter you think needs immediate attention could simply be a symptom of a larger problem. It’s common sense that you would not visit your doctor to treat your broken leg with a Band-Aid, so why look for a fast, ineffective and incorrect solution as a way to fix an operational or cultural problem? This is why those who are on the board are selected for their acumen and belief in the why the firm or company exists and how it can be improved.
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How to Select Your Firm’s Board

Overhead shot of eight businesspeople meeting around a table5 questions that go beyond the eeny meeny miny moe.

By Steven E. Sacks

The old saying that a camel was a horse created by committee has an element of truth to it. If you think that everyone on a board or executive committee shares the same opinions, philosophies and vision, then think again.

MORE: Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Working Remotely Shouldn’t Mean Feeling Isolated | 4 Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction
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The eeny meeny miny moe may be a little tongue-in-cheek, but the question is how deliberate a CPA firm should be in choosing its board or executive committee members.
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Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing

Two businessmen arguingHow do people respond when a goal isn’t met?

By Steven E. Sacks

If you created a leadership team around you that exhibits the healthfulness of organizational conflict, constructive advice, scenario planning and the flexibility of employing Plans B, C and D, you have created a strong foundation – a far different and more effective approach than the “My way or the highway” thinking. You need to think about what the challenges are to your leadership and the long-term viability of the firm.

MORE: Are Executive Performance Reviews Dangerous? | Trust Is a Key Organizational Ingredient | Real Influence Vs. Immediate Gratification | Fake It ‘Til You Make It: An Ultimate Goal? | 4 Ways to Boost Job Satisfaction
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The avoidance of conflict has morphed into a misguided sense of consensus building. Standing up to philosophical differences with the purest of intentions is a positive; it is not destructive in nature.
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Are Executive Performance Reviews Dangerous?

People seated in board room in near silhouetteor would you rather maintain the status quo?

By Steven E. Sacks

Just like the uncertainties surrounding a client loyalty assessment, so, too, do questions surround the performance of a managing partner. One of a firm’s board responsibilities concerns the development and implementation of an executive review process.

MORE: Trust Is a Key Organizational Ingredient | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive? | Working Remotely Shouldn’t Mean Feeling Isolated | How Engaged Are Your Employees? | Managing Difficult Personalities in the Workplace | Set Your Staff on the Right Course | The Lost Art of the Interview
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If one is lacking, this indicates that there is no mechanism to collect timely and relevant performance metrics, which leads to the lack of hard and accurate data. This prevents honest feedback between the managing partner and the board.
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