Communication

The Hard Truth about Soft Skills

“We’re in a relationship business.” I’ve heard this more times than I can count during the 20+ years I’ve worked with CPAs firms. It’s the one constant in the CPA profession. But, I wonder…have we devalued relationship building? We have access to limitless technology tools as a means of communicating and finding the information and…

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A Simple Way to Dissolve the Gap

There is a fundamentally false assumption that’s responsible for the gap between current and emerging firm leaders. This gap limits what we can accomplish, makes things harder than necessary, and undermines the very quality of our lives. What is this false assumption? That the reality we experience is “the reality” when in fact it, is…

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Collaboration Technology to Improve Your Firm

Communications is critical component within every business and can either enhance or detract from overall productivity within a firm.  Core communication skills are developed as people grow and most are comfortable with the communication tools they were introduced to and utilize during their career, especially those they use most often on a day to day…

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Improve Communication in Your Firm

As we survey firm team members and ask them what leaders could do to improve culture and engagement in their firm, the overwhelming #1 response we hear is “we need better communication”. The response I get from leaders is “we have been working on that every year, will it ever be good enough?”  My answer…

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Do You Know What Your Clients’ Silence Means?

When I teach topics like deepening client relationships and delivering exceptional client service, I discuss the importance of proactively meeting with clients outside of your regular engagement to further your relationship, identify any potential service issues and uncover new opportunities to add value. Participants nod their heads in agreement and some even approach this discussion…

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The Concept of Privilege

Recently in working with a group of senior leaders in an accounting firm, one of the baby boomer white males said to me:  “I have learned in my journey of understanding regarding diversity in our profession that I was born on third base, yet all my life I have thought I hit a triple”. This…

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Never again sell anything. Ever.

How would you like to comfortably engage in a conversation with an existing or prospective client and end up with a very profitable engagement without selling a thing? Seem like an unrealistic dream? Not only is it possible, but when you totally, completely drop the idea of selling, it can actually become quite easy. The…

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Two Simple Questions To Ask Your Clients

Every CPA we meet is committed to delivering exceptional client service. However, it’s easy to get caught in a transactional rut working on client engagements and miss the opportunity to spend a few minutes on your relationship with each of your clients.  Since client retention has consistently been one of the top five issues for…

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IRS Expands Use of Electronic Signatures to Forms 8878/8879

One of the biggest hassles that firms have to deal with is getting signed authorizations from clients to file/extend their tax returns.  This usually entails multiple staff being involved in communicating with the client and dealing with a myriad of delivery methods to and from the client.  Source documents can include physical forms, faxed forms,…

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