Performing Like CRAP Can Be a Badge of Honor

Young businessman using laptop and phone in the officeAre you meeting expectations? Exceeding them?

By Steven E. Sacks

A strange concept you might think. When someone acknowledges that your actions reflect crap there is no positivity in this assessment. And because this term is baked into the American lexicon, people will always view it negatively.

MORE: Getting the Accounting Firm Agreement Right | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | The Damocles Sword of Staff Retention | Does Your Board Know Its Role? | Five PowerPoint Rules to Live By
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But what if we look at it another way – in the form of an acronym? Let’s give it a try.
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Getting the Accounting Firm Agreement Right

Businessman sitting in office and reading documents7 warning signs and 6 solutions.

By Steven E. Sacks

Engaging in what is considered conflict avoidance can undo the progress a firm has made. This can be because of complacency, frustration, intimidation or a host of other issues.

MORE: Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | 7 Steps to Take As Your Firm Grows | How Enthusiastic Is Your Staff? | Can You Recite Your Mission Statement? | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day
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Some things are intuitively understood, but it’s those occasional sticky matters that tend to make situations unravel. Establishing and keeping agreements helps to avoid confrontation – the one typically arising from someone promising to do something in a timely and complete manner and within a specified budget.
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The Eight Signs Your Firm Needs New Leadership

Three business colleagues arguing while seated at tableWith an eight-part self-assessment test.

By Steven E. Sacks

Unless you are really old school (with barely a pulse), are the named and founding partner of your firm, if you rebuff what you believe are challenges to your leadership of the firm, then you are thinking just about you, and not what you built.

MORE: 7 Steps to Take As Your Firm Grows | Today’s Workplace Challenge: Communicating Across Generations, Cultures, and Diversity | Negotiate For Success, Not a ‘Win’  | Does Busyness Really Mean Productivity? | So Much to Do and So Little Time: Achieving Success in the C-Suite
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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.
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7 Steps to Take As Your Firm Grows

A bigger firm needs bigger thinking.

By Steven E. Sacks

There has been talk about consolidation within the accounting profession for the last several years. Will the Big 4 become the Big 2, or will there be the Big One (from a non-nuclear perspective, of course)?

MORE: Today’s Workplace Challenge: Communicating Across Generations, Cultures, and Diversity | The Damocles Sword of Staff Retention | Does Your Board Know Its Role? | Five PowerPoint Rules to Live By | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day | Can We Please Refer to Accounting as a Profession?
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Or, on the other hand, will there be a combination of regional firms whose size will be in the neighborhood of the Top 10 or Top 15 firms that are considered super-regional firms – and who may consider themselves direct competitors to the Big 4?
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Today’s Workplace Challenge: Communicating Across Generations, Cultures, and Diversity

Young businessman typing on smartphoneOur daily communication must include a modicum of respect because we deal with people of all generations and cultures.

By Steven E. Sacks

Today’s workplaces are not only multigenerational workplaces, but they are also multicultural. We can't take for granted that we'll be understood, or that we understand. It takes work. Here's how to start.

MORE: The Damocles Sword of Staff Retention | How Enthusiastic Is Your Staff? | Can You Recite Your Mission Statement? | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day
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The Damocles Sword of Staff Retention

Sword hanging over businessman running with briefcaseDon't wait for exit interviews; conduct retention interviews.

By Steven E. Sacks

There is an old adage: “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.” This covers everything from people to technology and things in between.

MORE: How Enthusiastic Is Your Staff? | Negotiate For Success, Not a ‘Win’ | Does Busyness Really Mean Productivity? | So Much to Do and So Little Time: Achieving Success in the C-Suite
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Some people might make the argument they know or knew what they had, they just always thought they would have it – whatever “it” is.
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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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