5 Steps to Better Time Management

Young businessman punching and breaking clock with fistBeing “too busy” may signal a need to reprioritize.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Some firms encourage expanding workloads, creating questionable tasks or keeping people occupied under the pretense that their actual activities provide real value. What is the meaning of busy, really? And how are outcomes from efforts measured for value?

MORE: A Rapidly Changing Business Environment Requires Flexibility | Organizational Change Starts and Ends with People | Busyness Isn’t the Same as Productivity | Staff Orientation: A Little Investment Goes a Long Way | Managing Information Overload | 6 Types of Non-Listeners
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Part of the illusion of being busy is that you can master many things at the same time. It certainly would keep you busy (or occupied) but you won’t nurture new skills and discover what your real aptitude is to help yourself and/or your firm.
READ MORE →

A Rapidly Changing Business Environment Requires Flexibility

notepad with word "hire" crossed out and "outsource" written in underneathThis includes outsourcing.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

One of the revelations arising from the Great Recession was that CPA firms found they could do more with less human resources, or at least maintain the same level of productivity. We are now operating in what is referred to as the gig economy, in which important functions can be outsourced and firms and companies can still focus on core competencies that impact growth and profitability.

MORE: Organizational Change Starts and Ends with People | SWOT’s the Purpose? | Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet or a Repellent? | Building Teamwork under COVID Pressure | Make Your Writing Count
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Because it is increasingly challenging to maintain high standards in all functions while still focusing on core competencies that drive growth, seeking outside help is becoming an attractive option. So, when should you outsource services?
READ MORE →

Blockchain Implications for Business

There’s hardly a business that will remain unaffected by blockchain technology.


^ Play the video

With Steven Sacks

In Blockchain Basics for Business, Steve Sacks interviews Jack Shaw on the elements of the technology, its early beginnings, the industries impacted, and the practical business applications.

MORE VIDEOS and PODCASTS: The Art and Science of Hiring: Three Essentials for the COVID Age | What’s a Bot? New Tech Tools to Boost Your Practice | Your Competition Isn’t Who You Think It Is | Don’t Get Burned by These PPP Pitfalls

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Key takeaways:

  • Bitcoin is only an application of Blockchain which is the platform
  • Decentralized nodes eliminate the possibility of hacking
  • Blockchain has many business uses in the financial, insurance, media, medical, consumer and supply chain
  • Industries impacted by blockchain include energy, entertainment, manufacturing and transportation
  • Blockchain stores records such as identities, ownership of assets, business transactions and contractual commitments

^ Download and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here

Jack Shaw is an innovation and change management consultant, who has been voted one of the world’s top 25 speakers and one of the top 5 technology futurists. Jack integrates his executive experience in Industry, technology, and consulting to speak on Innovation, Change Management, and Transformational Leadership. And, he has decades of experience designing, developing, and implementing emerging technologies and how these will impact business and society.

Jack has advised key decision-makers at such Fortune 500 organizations as Mercedes Benz, Bosch, GE, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Oracle, and SAP. Jack has delivered over 1,000 keynote presentations and executive forums in 26 countries and every state across the U.S. He is a Yale University graduate, and holds a Kellogg MBA degree specializing in Finance and Marketing.

Jack’s expertise is in the strategic impact of leading-edge technologies, including Blockchain technology, 5G, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence. He can be reached at https://jackshaw.io

TRANSCRIPT and SLIDE DECK (for PRO Members)

READ MORE →

Organizational Change Starts and Ends with People

What is your firm’s social contract?

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

You read about companies every day: those that separate themselves from the competition by disrupting the norms and those that remain steadfast, much to their detriment. For the former, think about Amazon, Uber, Netflix and other “change agents.” Now, think about the latter: JCPenney, Kmart and Sears.

MORE: SWOT’s the Purpose? | Another Meeting?!?! … Sigh | Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up | How Can Change Management Really Produce Change? | Trust: One Building Block of Success
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

As the late chairman and CEO of Intel, Andy Grove said, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
READ MORE →

SWOT’s the Purpose?

Don’t just go through the motions.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

CPA firms that seek to position themselves for the future must be brutally honest and self-aware. They might normally start with a top-down or bottom-up analysis of their operations. One tool that has been around forever is the SWOT analysis.

MORE: Another Meeting?!?! … Sigh | Busyness Isn’t the Same as Productivity | Staff Orientation: A Little Investment Goes a Long Way | Managing Information Overload | 6 Types of Non-Listeners
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. There are benefits to this tool because it serves as a motivator to examine a situation (e.g., operational, cultural, financial), assess core competencies and capabilities, identify the need to (and key drivers of) change and enable – if conducted correctly – an organizational cross-section of input and insight.
READ MORE →

Another Meeting?!?! … Sigh

Business meeting with people around table facing forwardIf they’re necessary, so be it. But set some guidelines.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

When in doubt, call a meeting. Jeez! How many hours in the U.S. are cumulatively wasted on a daily basis with meetings? Are they really necessary?

MORE: Busyness Isn’t the Same as Productivity | Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet or a Repellent? | Building Teamwork under COVID Pressure | Make Your Writing Count | Etiquette Never Goes Out of Style | Make News, Not Noise | Take That Extra Breath with Email | Effective Communications in the Age of COVID |The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared?
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

If yes, do you employ rules of courtesy, such as strongly encouraging punctuality? Do you have a clearly articulated agenda that was distributed in advance of the meeting? If yes, did it provide advance notice about any preparatory work or research expected to be done by the participants? Finally, will the meeting be structured in such a way that it will allow for participation by the complete group?
READ MORE →

Busyness Isn’t the Same as Productivity

Stacks of papers on the corner of a deskDo you really need to go to that meeting?

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Did you ever notice when you call an associate, 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: Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet or a Repellent? | Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up | How Can Change Management Really Produce Change? | Trust: One Building Block of Success | Make Your Presentations Memorable | Have a Real-Life Conversation | Is Your Message Open to Interpretation?
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Has busy become too colloquial and is simply a throwaway line? What is actually meant by “busy”? Or, more specifically, what is the condition of “busyness”?
READ MORE →

Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet or a Repellent?

Magnet drawing in three peopleThe partners want the money; the younger professionals want the meaning.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

In the famous words of management guru Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Accounting firms are starting to get this message because now they are instituting initiatives that would have been laughed at years ago: a) every day is jeans day, b) shorts when there is no client meeting, c) work from home and d) reduced Saturday hours during busy season. And on it goes …

MORE: Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up | Staff Orientation: A Little Investment Goes a Long Way | Managing Information Overload | 6 Types of Non-Listeners | Political Correctness or Just Common Courtesy? | Syncing Up for the COVID Era
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Attracting and retaining quality staff has become one of the top concerns for CPA firms that want to grow and remain competitive. Salary is no longer the number one concern for today’s younger professionals. Opportunity, responsibility, accountability and a well-defined career path are the motivators. Firms are pulling out all the stops to attract professionals who will be viewed as tomorrow’s leaders.
READ MORE →

Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up

Businesspeople chatting around a water coolerAre employees angry? Take time to listen.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

There should be trust among individuals, trust among teams and finally, trust within an organization. The first two have their particular challenges, but when you consider establishing trust across an entire organization, you have to address issues that have been wider impact such as how to communicate pending layoffs, changes in employee benefit packages, or the sale or merger of the firm or organization.

MORE: Staff Orientation: A Little Investment Goes a Long Way | Building Teamwork under COVID Pressure | Make Your Writing Count | Etiquette Never Goes Out of Style | Make News, Not Noise | Take That Extra Breath with Email | Effective Communications in the Age of COVID | The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared? | Does Your Firm’s Board Know Its Role? | Are Executive Performance Reviews Dangerous? | There Is No Leadership Without Integrity
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

A firm or company must explain the how as well as the what and the why when informing employees. Change can be shocking, it can be demoralizing and it can raise stress to unhealthy levels. It can also increase feelings of hurt and betrayal. We are in a state of flux because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has only added to the tough challenges of globalization, technology and competition. These and other change agents have long been a source of angst well before the pandemic appeared on our radar screens.
READ MORE →