Bill Reeb: New Rules for the COVID Era

Steven Sacks explores how the Coronavirus crisis is exposing all the bad habits of bad management.

With Steven Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

CPA firms are ill-prepared for the new era of virtual, work-from-home partners and staff, according to Bill Reeb, a leading CPA firm practice consultant, in this conversation with CPA Trendlines contributor Steven Sacks.

More COVID Conversations:  When COVID ‘Got Real,’ with Gabby Luoma’ The COVID Outlook with Darren Root and Joel Hughes: A Long, Slow Climb back to Recovery | Steven Sacks: COVID Crisis Management | Jean Caragher: How to Fight ‘Fear’ and ‘Insecurity’ | Sarah Dobek: Learning How to Operate in the New Normal | August Aquila: What Comes Next? | Jody Grunden: COVID and Client Communications | Andrew Argue: On a Mission | Martin Bissett: COVID Slams U.K. Accountants, Too | Bill Reeb: Separating the Winners and Losers |

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Management at all levels will need to adapt, Reeb says, requiring new processes and procedures.  But more than anything, it requires new metrics of productivity. And, most of all, new habits.

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After a painful, wrenching re-positioning, Reeb says, firms will emerge stronger, more agile, and more profitable than they were before.

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Effective Communications in the Age of COVID

Misunderstandings and shortcuts in the workplace can create a hostile and stressful environment.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

With more people using mobile devices for communication shortcuts, are we facing troublesome challenges in speaking in a recognizable language in the U.S.?

MORE: Why Proper Communication Is Critical | Syncing Up for the COVID Era | The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared? | 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?
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While it may be convenient for some, for others it leaves them scratching their heads. I am not seeking to be a public scold. However, if you want your communication to be effective, then understand your audience, situation, and topic.

This is especially relevant with teams working virtually, and at a distance, in the Age of COVID.
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The 13 Signs You Have a Partner Problem

Businessman holding two papers with happy and angry face each on themAnd seven ways to fix it.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

In my experience, roughly 60 percent of all CPA firms (below the Top 100) have either major partner conflict or a pronounced lack of effective partner communication and/or relations.

MORE: COVID-19, Adversity and Innovation | How Covid Impacts Partner Retirements |  Three Tough Questions in Partner Buyouts | Is Mandatory Retirement a Best Practice? | COVID-19: How Your Firm Can Respond | Reward Partners for Performing Like Partners
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This is a huge problem because unless the partners of a firm work reasonably well together, it is very difficult for their firm to be truly successful. I’ve always been a believer of the adage “partners who play well together do well together.”
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Work ‘Better,’ Not ‘Harder’

Man working hard at office deskThis extends to how you use and train your people.

By Bill Reeb

Overachievers typically don’t have a problem working hard, but they often have a problem working “better.” So let’s focus on learning how to work better.

MORE: Why Your To-Do List Isn’t Getting Done | Learn to Embrace Failure | What Would Make You Happy? | COVID-19 Crisis Requires New Mindsets | 3 Early Warning Signals for Overachievers | How Overachievers Can Get ‘Unstuck’
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Regarding any technique, know that by remaining open to learning while doing the work (letting go of what you think you know), that is where you will find the “wisdom in the work,” which can bubble up into profound thoughts and ideas that can help you work better.
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COVID-19, Adversity and Innovation

Young businesswoman using smartphone and tablet at outdoor cafe3 things firms have learned so far.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

Our country has a long way to go before we fully adapt to a COVID-19 world and navigate compounding national issues. But CPA firms are resilient and have made major strides in adapting to a new and challenging environment.

MORE: How COVID-19 Impacts Partner Retirements |  Three Tough Questions in Partner Buyouts | Is Mandatory Retirement a Best Practice? | COVID-19: How Your Firm Can Respond | Reward Partners for Performing Like Partners
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I took some time to jot down a few high-impact observations. If you don’t see any mention of people working remotely and communicating via videoconferencing, the reason is obvious – everyone’s doing it.
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Why Proper Communication Is Critical

Businessman smiling and talking on phoneConsider the impression you deliver.

By Steven E. Sacks

Often, we are so concerned about getting out a message that we don’t stop to think whether the delivery mechanism matches the nature of the content.

MORE: Syncing Up for the COVID Era | 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 | Influence, Don’t Manipulate
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In a face-to-face conversation, the reaction you get is immediate because you may have employed the wrong tone, selected the wrong words or chosen an inappropriate time to engage. Younger professionals who are observant, especially when admonished – either overtly or subtly – will learn from the experience. The signs are not as clear when it involves email communication or phone calls.
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The Only 3 Metrics You Need

A totally virtual firm outlines the metrics it uses to measure staffers.

By Jody Grunden
Summit CPA Group

If you want to grow your accounting firm, it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of your process on a regular basis. You want to be aware of what’s working well and what’s not. You also want to continually be improving upon your services over time.

MORE: How to Attract Clients Like a Magnet | Riches in Niches | Marketing Is About Thought Leadership | How to Audit 401(k)s | 3 Measures of the Effectiveness of Your Team | How to Profit with Workflow Apps
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There are three things you can specifically monitor when it comes to the effectiveness of your team. Here’s how we do it at Summit CPA Group. Maybe these ideas will work for you too.
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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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