Tuesday, February 24, 2015

It Happens Every Time

While many things in life remain uncertain, there are things that I can always count on – and not all of them good.

For example, shortly after I get my car washed and waxed I can expect that any moment the skies will darken and a deluge of biblical proportions will ensue. I often wondered if I could hire on to towns and cities that are in the midst of a drought – all I need to do is locate the nearest car wash and wait for an hour. Shortly thereafter, I would probably be handed the keys to the city – or at the very least be encouraged to run for mayor.

At movies and sporting events, I will undoubtedly end up sitting in front of a hyperactive child or an aspiring Fred Astaire, either of whom almost always feel compelled to try out their latest foot routine on the back of my chair. Or being seated in a restaurant adjacent to a noisy family who hastily begin an argument that leaves at least one sibling screaming at an unbearable decibel level?

The above are examples of what I fondly refer to as “paying for pain.” I could have stayed home without the aggravation and expense.

But what about when staying home is not an option? 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why Dilbert Matters

My morning ritual consists of three things: an oversized cup of black coffee, feeding the cat and my two newspapers both of which syndicate the satirical corporate cartoon Dilbert.

First published in April 1989, Dilbert, which chronicles a micromanaged white collar office helmed by clueless management and eccentric rank and file, now appears in some 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries and in 25 languages.

Needless to say that’s staying power.

But its longevity and popularity is not without good reason.

No doubt many of you have at one time or another found yourself in a similar company culture. I know I have, and not just once.

Friday, February 13, 2015

You Can Lead ‘Em to Water…..

Despite a well-documented succession crisis within public accounting firms, not many want to discuss succession plans or lack thereof for oh, about the next eight weeks or so.

And I can’t blame them. Who wants to be told that there’s no one to assume the reins of your firm – either internally or externally – while you’re knee deep in a pile of 1040s?

Our calls to clients are usually treated with the same deference as solicitations from credit card companies promising reduced rates, or a slick pitman offering replacement windows.

So, for the next two months or so, we concentrate on firming up our CPE speaking and presentation schedules for the coming year or else arrange meetings with very large firms whose managing partners and CEOs are not putting in those requisite 80-hour weeks.

Which brings me to today’s topic.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Would You Want To Work in Your Company?

A number of years ago, I interviewed for an editorial position with a business publication that covered the burgeoning field of financial technology.

My current employer at the time was housed in a nice location in midtown Manhattan, a convenient venue offset by depressing office décor including yellow desktops and an orange carpet. It was also one of the last remaining companies to have a dedicated in-house smoking room, replete with yellow-stained acoustic tiles and the constant odor of stale tobacco.

So I began looking elsewhere. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Tax Code for Geniuses

Okay, a quick trivia quiz – this one on the subject of “Who Said It?”

“The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.”

I’ll give you a few seconds to think about it. (If it gets your competitive juices flowing, feel free to imagine the “Final Jeopardy” music playing in the background.)

Hint: It wasn’t yours truly the one time I attempted to file my own taxes not using the short form. That would comprise several blogs in itself.

Give up?