Friday, December 18, 2015

Ending 2015 Not With a Bang but a Survey

I recently completed my last trip of the year and had the rare privilege of flying two separate airlines to and back from Las Vegas and experiencing neither schedule nor mechanical problems with either carrier.

Naturally, upon my return, my email inbox contained customer survey requests from both as well as one from my hotel. As a rule, my average is 50-50 with regard to completing them – whether they’re for airlines or other service related businesses such as lodging and restaurants. But in this instance I decided to burn the 15 minutes or so required to complete all three and do my civic duty. I gave all three mostly high marks and even singled out an outstanding front desk employee who went out of his way to ensure I didn’t have to wait for a room.

But back to the airlines.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Where’s a Typewriter When You Need One?

With regard to all things technology, I’m sort of like the Washington Generals; you know the hapless basketball team and perennial losers to the Harlem Globetrotters? With regard to tech malfunctions, I’m a summa cum laude graduate of the Woody Allen school of repair – I speak nicely and try to reason with it for at least a minute.

After that I start to hit.

So, it was about a mile past ironic that last week when attending the AICPA’s Digital CPA – one of the year’s most prestigious tech gatherings and where inexplicably, the organizers asked me to present, that I should suffer a humiliating software glitch that apparently even our IT consultant performed a terrific impression of the Washington Generals in their inability to solve it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Is Your Firm Ready for a Sale?

With one daughter out of college and another a year away from graduating, my wife and I have made the decision to put our house on the market within the next two years.

Where we are going to live after that is the subject of a rather wide disagreement between us – she’s looking to eventually settle in the Mid-Atlantic region, while I have my sights squarely on the Sunshine State. But that’s fodder for a future discussion.

But first things first.

Topping that relocation agenda is a number of home improvement projects that I have inexcusably procrastinated on. I won’t bore you with the details, But once completed, I’ll expect that our home will be in fighting shape so to speak and ready for the (hopefully) highest bidder.

I imagine the same logic applies to a CPA firm that is near a transition. As long as the ship was sailing in the right direction both cosmetic and infrastructure improvements were no doubt pushed at or near the bottom of a “to-do” list. But now that potential suitors are lining up, owners and equity partners are no doubt paying a lot closer attention to what needs to be done to present their firms in the most complimentary light.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Please Don’t Say It!

 “Let’s try and think out of the box.”

How many of you have been subject to this torturous phrase since you began your respective careers? I can only speak for myself that if I had a dollar each time some higher up uttered this shopworn axiom, I’d be living either in Palm Beach or Beverly Hills and not working.  

Trust me, that’s not an exaggeration.

“That being said…”

Another line that ushers in regular dyspepsia during boardroom meetings.

Although more often heard throughout the C-suites in corporate America I’m sure the leaders at CPA firms are hardly immune to dispensing the all-too-frequent workplace catchphrases – you know the ones that prompt the rank and file to roll their eyes or engage in that creative game known as “boardroom bull…t bingo!”

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Myth of Living Together

Welcome back.

Here’s hoping you and your families had an enjoyable holiday.

As it turns out, my birthday falls on the week of Thanksgiving and this year, I received a Fitbit as a gift. You know that gadget that monitors, and chronicles your exercise activity? Considering the tractor trailer of food consumed at Chez Carlino over the long weekend, I’m wondering if someone was trying to tell me something.

I’ll let you know the next time I try on my suit pants.

But I digress.

Today’s missive focuses on tearing down a myth, that to my dismay I’m encountering more often. The best way I can explain it, is it’s the CPA version of a couple living together prior to marriage.