Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What Does Success Look Like?

Now I realize that the above question is highly subjective in nature and not something that many can detail on the fly.

Obviously success can mean different things to different people. Someone may define success via accumulated wealth and possessions, while others may take a more philosophical or holistic view defining success as forging strong relationships and family bonds.

But how does a CPA firm define success when mulling a merger with another practice? You would be amazed, or perhaps you wouldn’t, as to how many practitioners eager to enter into a merger have any vision beyond, say, the vision of suddenly becoming a larger firm as to define success. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

It was a Very Good Year(s)

This week my wife and I celebrated our 26th anniversary, a feat notable not only for its longevity among current marriages in the U.S. but for the fact that my spouse has, for some unknown reason, not been nominated for sainthood in at least five churches.

All self-congratulations aside, it’s time to move on to the topic de jour – change management or perhaps more correctly, managing change, something that historically has not been among the strengths of the CPA profession.

I got to thinking about all that has happened to the profession since we each said “I do,” back in 1988, but trying to recount it all would take far more space and time than I have allotted here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Buffet of Synergy

As most of you know we teach a fair amount of CPE each year with roughly 90 percent of it centering on the intricacies and strategies surrounding M&A. We never seem to tire of explaining the reasons to merge and conversely reasons NOT to merge – which to the surprise of many, we advise clients on the latter more times than you would think.

Some firms obviously merge for revenue growth, while others may wade into the arena for geographic reasons – perhaps to establish a footprint in a market they currently don’t have a presence. Certainly succession or lack thereof remains a prime motivator for many smaller firms to merge up. But often, a firm decides to add new client niches that it may not possess the expertise to offer and therefore has to look outside.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Just the Paper Please!

I’m not an overly indulgent person, but there are certain events during the course of a day that if they don’t happen, I become awfully cranky.

For example, I’m a ridiculously early riser – even on the weekends if I get up past 6:30 a.m., I’ve overslept in my mind. So whenever everybody else in Chez Carlino hits the snooze alarm until at least 9, I use that time to enjoy my freshly ground cup of dark roast black coffee with my newspapers.


My sunrise habits have me convinced that in a previous life I was either a farmer or an infantryman.

Ditto at 6:30 pm, when, after completing the obligatory prep work for dinner, I sit down to an oversized glass of Sauvignon Blanc, with a virtual “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging over my head. My offspring know not to bother me for a minimum of 30 minutes. If I've had a less-than-stellar day at work, that span can easily stretch to an hour.

But with the holidays encroaching, both sessions have left me frustrated. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Folks, it’s Not Brain Surgery

Years ago one of my former bosses bestowed upon me this little pearl of wisdom that I have never forgotten: “Sinners can always repent but stupidity is forever.”

You would be amazed, or perhaps maybe you wouldn’t, how often I have found that to be true.

After spending three days at one of the year’s top accounting conferences I continue to be amazed at how some folks, each of whom has passed one of the hardest professional exams currently given, still don’t get it when it comes to optimizing their own business.

Picture Inspector Clouseau with a pocket protector.