Read more by Rita Keller here.
I recently read a tweet by my music-teacher son regarding his fifth-grade musicians: “My fifth-grade flutes and clarinets just exhaust me. They have so much energy and ask sooooo many questions.” Of course they will be excited and have lots of questions. While my son might be exhausted, I know he’s very happy about their enthusiasm. And as managers at CPA firms, you're probably having your own fifth-grade issues.
Basically, your newbies are the new college graduates going through their very first busy season and your interns who “have so much energy and ask sooooo many questions." As an experienced CPA – a senior, a manager/supervisor, or a partner – you might feel absolutely exhausted because of the attention theses newbies demand and need.
A band director invests in the fifth- and sixth-graders so that when they gradually become very proficient and reach high school age, the band director has a group of very impressive, skilled musicians in the high school marching and concert bands. All along the way, while they work very hard, they also have lots of fun.
This is the same investment that CPA managers (at all levels) are making – answer your beginners’ questions with a smile, get them excited and educated about public accounting, and three to four years down the road you will have an impressive, skilled, professional accounting team that works very hard and has lots of fun along the way.
More on Human Resources ...
While you're coping with this, you might be curious on what your colleagues are thinking about HR. At the AICPA HR Forum recently, we asked the attendees what topics they wanted to learn more about while attending the forum.
Here’s the list:
- Some were new and just wanted to learn more about the CPA profession
- Software and technology to support training
- Tips on hiring experienced people
- Restructuring the compensation system
- How to cope with rapid growth
- Best practices in retaining people
- Building infrastructure to support growth
- Training to aid in succession
- Partners retire but they don’t leave
- During growth and expansion, how can we meet the needs of all offices?
- Mentoring programs
- Flexible work arrangements – we need more stability
Quite a list! Perhaps your firm is facing some of the same issues. Don’t wait until after April 15 to begin planning on how to address these challenges. Make the plan now and be ready to move quickly on implementing solutions beginning in early May.
About the author:
Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor, and blogger. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology, HR, and operations. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.