Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Some Folks Are Just Not Closers

In the 2000 movie “Boiler Room” a thinly veiled portrayal of the infamous Stratton Oakmont brokerage firm that was later featured in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the main character Seth is enjoying a breakfast bowl of Cheerios when he receives a call from a telemarketer.

The salesman is selling subscriptions to The New York Daily News, an institutional tabloid in the Big Apple for those of you who are not from the area. Seth tells him he’s not interested and the salesman thanks him for his time and prepares to hang up.

The ensuing conversation goes something like this.

Seth: “That’s your pitch? You’re giving up? C’mon sell me on it.”

The salesman goes full bore into his script and then waits breathlessly for an answer.

Seth: “See, that’s better. But sorry, I already subscribe to the New York Times.”

Sort of smile inducing for sure, but too close to home especially in our business.

Accountants by nature are not what is known in sales parlance as “closers.” I’m convinced that procrastination and driving 15 mph in a 55 are somehow required courses as opposed to electives in accounting education.

Friday, July 20, 2018

I’m Not Ready!

You know how every Fourth of July there are countless articles and television spots warning holiday celebrants of the danger of using fireworks and how the average person should leave the cherry bombs, M-80s and Roman Candles to the professionals?

Then invariably you read about some unfortunate – and most likely careless – soul who waited a millisecond too long and had one detonate while still in their hands – often severing off fingers or requiring someone call 911 like yesterday.

Some people will never learn no matter how many warnings they receive.

While not quite on as drastic a level as having an M-80 explode in your palm, the accounting profession has, historically been a tough group to catch on – especially when it comes to succession.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Experience Required!

This week marked the debut of the New York Accounting and Finance Show, the 2018 iteration of the former New York Accounting & Technology confab, a repetitive annual debacle that convened in a hotel venue that by some miracle had city health and safety inspectors somehow looking the other way.

After spending several hours there it would not have been impractical for those who are certified germaphobes to undergo a complete physical and receive a tetanus shot for good measure.

It attracted legions of sole practitioners whose firms generated an average of $100k a year and aside from getting their required CPE it was a matter of how many pens and other free giveaways they could stuff in their canvas conference bags.

Simply put, it was hardly our target audience. It was a show that had technically died somewhere circa 2005 but no one bothered to tell the management.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

A “Driver” Toward Small Business Ownership

I don’t think a week goes by when I don’t receive a text from ridesharing concerns Uber or Lyft offering me up to a $500 bonus if I decide to begin driving for them.

Since driving is not one of my decided passions, visions of a late Friday afternoon pickup at Newark or JFK airports or attempting to get cross-town in Manhattan quickly eradicates any notion of me signing aboard.

Although in full disclosure I do kind of like the “be your own boss and make your own hours” mantra of each.

Late last week Amazon jumped into the fray – sort of – recruiting folks to begin delivering their Prime packages from its local sorting centers to the customers who ordered them - in company branded vans and uniforms as what they call “local delivery service partners.”

All you need is $10,000 and, if you’ll pardon the bad pun, and a drive to succeed. According to an announcement from the company, its Amazon Prime unit ships 5 billion (yes, that’s with a B) packages a year on a global basis. The $10,000 initial outlay will go to helping them start an independent business that has to begin with at least five delivery vans and ramp up to 20 vans over an undisclosed period.