Friday, January 4, 2019

To Make a R-E-S-olution, You Need R-E-S-olve

Welcome back and Happy New Year.

By now, most of your hangovers – whether food or alcohol - are thankfully a thing of the past. On a personal note, my new best friend for the months of January and February will be the treadmill at my local health club. One more over-sized holiday meal and I could have easily performed my best impression of John Candy.

But with a new year comes the perfunctory annual resolutions. You know the usual bromides, lose weight, make more money, spend more quality time with the family... etc.

You can always tell when it’s early January at my above-referenced gym as people you’ve never laid eyes on before suddenly begin to populate the workout area – a typical New Year resolution that usually lasts at most until the end of the month before cobwebs once again begin accumulating on their membership cards.

Sadly, the same lack of resolve is often seen at CPA firms – particularly those who have done little or nothing in terms of succession planning. “Next Year” is a phrase often tossed my way when I inquire about succession plans – the same barren promise often heard in the locker rooms and front offices of perennially losing sports teams.

As an example, I had been working with a firm that had no succession plan and vowed to end years of procrastination and do something about it. Their strategy (which they until recently they had withheld from me) to fix their situation - look for a smaller firm to acquire. Now let me repeat that for emphasis, a firm with partners comfortably in their 60s and no succession plan wants to multiply their existing problems.

That’s like a person who wants to lose weight dining regularly at Domino’s Pizza.
Whether it’s planning for succession, deciding to go paperless or adding a new client service line, there has to be – for lack of a better term – a firm-wide resolve to actually accomplish those initiatives. And unlike the typical early January health club members who quickly disappear after breaking a sweat, they must be in it for the long haul. And again, that takes resolve to do it.

Like every year I’m heading into 2019 full of optimism that I will finally encounter more “yays" than “nays” from clients. But I’ll not exactly go out on a limb here by predicting that by June it will be business as usual.

Gym memberships included.

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