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June 2017 Article Archives

CPAFMA's ACE Award Recipient Announced

Published on June 30, 2017

Norman D. Saale, PAFM, Chief Operating Officer with McDermott & Miller and now Lutz employee in Grand Island, Nebraska, received the CPA Firm Management Association’s ACE (Achievement, Commitment, Excellence) Award at its June 2017 National Practice Management Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.

During the awards presentation, Robert E. Biddle, Jr., PAFM, outgoing CPA Firm Management Association (CPAFMA) President, noted Saale’s skills in professionally managing Lutz’s practice, including internal operations of the firm with respect to financial oversight, budget preparation, human resources, CPE, technology, benefit and risk management insurance and programs, banking, campus recruiting and executive functions for the Board of Directors/Shareholders. According to Andrew Janzen, President and CEO of McDermott & Miller, now a Shareholder at Lutz, “Norm has always functioned as if he was an owner as he took care of everyone from shareholder to the new employee in some fashion. Norm’s only weakness may be that he tries too hard, but that is a great weakness to possess.”


It's Client Development Time

Published on June 05, 2017 by Art Kuesel, Kuesel Consulting, Inc.

After the crush of busy season is over, it’s the perfect time to get out and have meaningful discussions with your clients. Discussions that go beyond the technical or project that you’ve recently working on with them. Questions that probe wants, fears, pains and build rapport on a personal level. Get an update on how their business is doing. Find out about what their kids are up to. Learn what their growth plans are for the upcoming year. Find out where they are headed for vacation next. Find out what their biggest concerns are for the next quarter.


This Portland, Oregon Startup Wants to Eliminate the Pain of Time Tracking and Help You Find Those Lost Hours

Published on June 05, 2017 by Matthew Volm, CEO, Three Matts

Every CPA has a method for tracking and logging time, whether it's pen and paper, an Excel spreadsheet, or entering directly into invoicing or accounting software. All these methods have one thing in common - they're a pain. Manual time entry is tedious and interrupts your workflow, yet the tracking of time is essential to your business. "I love tracking and logging my time," said no CPA, ever. 

There are direct costs to the pain of time tracking. You lose time in the process of manually entering time, to the distraction of switching tasks to time-tracking, and to the missing time you didn't capture because it wasn't worth the annoyance. When you put those three sources of waste together, they add up! Think about how much your firm might be losing today in administrative and uncaptured time that ultimately isn't payable to the firm. 


Summer & Flexible Working Arrangements

Published on June 05, 2017 by Ann White, PAFM, BDO USA, LLP

As the weather warms, schools are out and vacation plans are finalized, there will be those wanting to work flexible hours. Many firms adopt summer schedules that strike a balance between meeting client needs and extending employee benefits for additional time out of the office. Some firms have formalized programs such as closing the entire office every Friday afternoon or establish a 980 work schedule (work 80 hours in 9 days with every other Friday off) with many other firms incorporating an informal summer schedule.


Can You Lead a Horse to Water?

Published on June 05, 2017 by Jeanie Price, PAFM, DeLeon & Stang

Did you know that horses can help you unlock your leadership potential?  The Washington DC CPAFMA Chapter spent a day at the Days End Farm Horse Rescue ( with the p.Link Equus coaching team ( of Gretchen Pisano, Renee Sievert and Helen Samson Mullen learning about horses and what they have to teach us about leadership and teamwork.  What a great way to learn outside the box not to mention out of doors and you don’t need to have any experience with horses. 


Last Call!

Published on June 05, 2017 by Larry Sheftel, PHR, SHRM-CP, PAFM, Aprio

We are making our final preparations for our National Practice Management Conference at The Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth, June 20-23, 2017. 

Here are a couple of things that you can expect –

As an added bonus the first five people to come up to me at the conference and tell me that they read this article and repeat the code word “Stock Yards” to me, you will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card.

We are very excited about seeing everyone in Fort Worth. It’s not too late to register and my invitation is still open – if you need someone to speak with your Managing Partner to explain why you should be attending this amazing conference I would be glad to reach out to them. Please email me. That’s how strongly I feel that everyone should attend.


Let's Talk Sports: Hiring to Build an Unstoppable Team

Published on June 05, 2017 by Larry Sheftel, PHR, SHRM-CP, PAFM, Aprio

Each year millions of people tune in to watch the NFL draft. It’s an event that bonds, excites, and builds momentum for the upcoming NFL season. As an all-around sports enthusiast, I grew up watching and anxiously awaiting the annual draft, always eager to see if my favorite teams — the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns — would select the college players I regularly cheered for (or against). Over the years, the NFL draft has remained one of the main sporting events I look forward to each year. While I do still anxiously await and anticipate watching the Falcons and the Browns unveil their newest team members, the annual draft has become more than just a simple sports event for me. Instead, I now see the NFL draft as an exquisite example of how the seamless convergence of the logical, emotional, and technical aspects of a company’s talent acquisition strategy can blend to strengthen and fortify a team, so it has the potential to one day become unstoppable. Perhaps it’s a side-effect of being a human resources executive that has influenced my perspective, but the truth is that at its finest, the NFL draft can teach all management professionals how to recruit and hire not only the top talent, but also the players who will round out and elevate their company rosters.


We Have an Idea . . . 75 of Them

Published on June 05, 2017 by Jim Fahey, PAFM, HBK CPAs and Consultants

That’s the topic for one of our general sessions in Fort Worth this year, Thursday morning to be exact, "75 Innovative Ideas in 75 Minutes". For all you perfectionists, beware that we may have more. Hopefully, not less, but the session will be fast paced for sure.

While we have many ideas, we are counting on you for more. This session is interactive. You’ll get a card(s) to fill out at the beginning to submit your ideas. We will have moderators to assist with the sharing of these ideas to the audience. Don’t worry, there will be a scribe to keep track of them all and share them post event. This medium is something new for us, but hopefully it will rank right up there with the breakouts by firm size as a highlight of our events.

I’ve been reminded on many occasions of crossing paths with fellow CPAFMA members that I owe a big part of my success in firm administration to this organization. Much of it from taking what I’ve learned from peers and not having to reinvent the wheel in my firm. What I’ve learned (at the core level) is simply hearing what other firms are doing and applying it in your own backyard. We have a lot to give back!


Thank you!

Published on June 05, 2017 by Bob Biddle, PAFM, Bowman & Company, Voorhees, NJ

Well, the last twelve months as Chair of CPA Firm Management Association certainly have flown by.

I want to start thanking a number of people, including my fellow Board of Directors for their dedication and support and their significant time commitment.  More than fellow Board members, I consider them friends.  Those include:

Thank you to a terrific leadership team. I would also be remiss if I did not thank my Firm and my partners for their support during my tenure on the Board over the last seven years. The Chapters and their Presidents are an integral part of the Association and I appreciate everything they do for the Association. The Past Chairs of this organization have contributed much and during the past year, it was no different. I cannot say enough about Kim Fantaci and her staff.   They are what keeps the Association together and they are great at what they do. I want to thank Jane Johnson, our incoming Chair, for her counsel.   She will be a great leader for our organization beginning the first of July.


Interacting with Firms Across the Country

Published on June 05, 2017 by Joyce Arthur, PAFM, BDO Alliance USA

Among the many hats I wear within my position at BDO Alliance USA and as a CPAFMA board member, one of my favorites is interacting with all of the members of different CPA firms across the country.  My interaction consists of attending national conferences as well as smaller regional meetings where I feel I really get to know what’s on the minds of the professionals in the accounting industry.  One topic always seems to come up at these events, employee recruitment and retention.  It’s on the minds of managing partners, firm administrators and professionals who want to build their bench strength.

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