Did you ever see the movie, “The Social Network”? It tells how Facebook was invented as a way for Harvard students to rate coeds in terms of attractiveness, sex appeal, etc.

Today’s dating apps such as ­­­­­­Match.com and Tinder have simplified the rating process to a series of swipes, left or right.

The HaydenRock System™ has a rating system, too – albeit without suggestive photos and fictional histories.

Remember last week we talked about the 3 ingredients of business success: vision, plan, and desire. All three ingredients need to work together in order to maximize a company’s business potential.

The HaydenRock System rates each of these key components and determines the overall BIZ rating percentage. This number helps us benchmark the strength of the business foundations today – before we make any improvements or changes.

A lower-than-average BIZ rating means the chances of significant growth are low. The business has weak business foundations. A higher-than-average BIZ rating means the chances of significant growth are greater because strong business foundations are in place.

So what do we mean by “significant growth”? We’re talking about doubling the size of the business, doubling revenues or doubling profits in a short period of time.

Think of the BIZ rating percentage score as the starting point. It helps us answer: Where are the foundations weak? Where do we need to make priority changes? It also allows us to monitor the progress over time.

The HaydenRock System is the tool that helps your clients maximize business potential, grow revenues, grow profits, and double business value.

apple

Some people like apple pie made only with Granny Smith apples. Others mix different
apple varieties. Some like traditional crust. Others prefer a crumb topping.

A Google search for apple pie recipe turns up over 4.7 million options, but there are
certain things they have in common.

Turns out you can’t make an apple pie without apples, butter, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Likewise, you can’t build a successful business without 3 key ingredients:

Vision… Plan… and Desire.

Think of the three ingredients of business success just like going on a journey.

Vision is just like direction: Where are you going and what will it look like when you
reach your destination?

The Plan is the route. What is the best way to arrive at your destination?

Finally, desire: You have to keep moving forward and make sure that the team doesn’t
run out of gas.

The HaydenRock System begins by measuring vision, plan and desire.

We start here because all three ingredients must work together if we’re going
to maximize a company’s business potential, and enjoy the journey along the way.

When my son was 3 years old he would dump all the puzzle pieces on the table and have no clue where to start. He would take hours and hours trying to put the puzzle together with no luck.

That’s when I taught him to first put the 4 corners in their place, followed by the pieces around the edge, then look for common colors and always have the front of the box to look at.

I gave him a very simplistic process to follow and now he can put together any puzzle regardless of complexity.

Who is helping your clients with their strategic puzzle?

Who is helping them get from Point A (where they are today) to Point B (where they want to get to in the future)?

If only you had a very simplistic process to follow . . . wait you do, and you might have heard of it by now – its called Vision Stitching™.

Vision Stitching helps pull together the pieces of the strategic puzzle step by simple step. Combining technology with a proven process, Vision Stitching helps organize top priorities for action. Then funnels the action items into a simple One-Page Plan that’s easy for busy business owners to digest and implement.

This simplifies life for the business owner, keeps the team focused, and provides steady advisory work to the firm.

If you are not helping your clients put together their strategic puzzle, somebody else will be soon.

Photo Credit by Taylor Nicole
Photo by Taylor Nicole

Accounting Today just came out with their accounting Wailing Wall – the annual list of what worries accountants most .

Top concerns this year are Blockchain, artificial intelligence, and automation.

No doubt CPAs are wise to monitor these developments, because they will certainly impact the profession (although it’s difficult to predict how soon and to what degree).

But at least these perils are perils we can see.

Let me tell you about another threat that’s arguably even bigger. Except you can’t see it.

Or, more precisely, CPAs are choosing not to see it.

The danger I’m referring to comes from other professionals – financial advisors, bookkeepers, insurance execs, stock brokers, even attorneys – encroaching into territory formerly controlled by accountants.

Remember when the tax return was the exclusive domain of accountants? That train has left the station, never to return.

Happy Tax founder Mario Costanz has ingeniously separated the selling of accounting services from the doing of accounting services. As a result, Happy Tax clients have their returns done by American-based CPAs while the franchise owners are advertising execs, real estate agents, car insurance agencies, attorneys – anyone who’s comfortable with sales or already has a pool of clients they’re consulting with.

Andrew Argue is coaching bookkeepers and enrolled agents how to earn six figures a month. The secret to high fees, he teaches, is being more of an advisor/consultant and less of a number cruncher.

And here at HaydenRock, our fastest growing market is not accountants and CPAs.

It’s financial advisors.

Temperamentally, financial advisors are the opposite of CPAs. They evaluate quickly, enroll quickly, and start implementing quickly – qualities that give them an advantage in the marketplace.

Also, they’re entrepreneurs and business owners first, and technicians second. They realize that number crunching and compliance work can be outsourced. (Some even include tax returns at no charge as part of their overall service offering.)

Where these advisors focus instead is on solving problems and adding value. Exactly what business owners crave most.

Three out of four business owners who change accountants do so out of frustration: they’re looking for proactive advice and ideas, and they’re not getting it from their accountant. So they’re turning to other professionals.

Accounting Today
quotes Joey Havens, executive partner at Top 50 firm HORNE, who declares, “The most important issue currently facing the profession is being innovative enough to put today’s historical CPA firm out of business.”

If CPAs aren’t up to the challenge, I know some financial advisors who are.

My guest this week on the Accounting Success Podcast is Vincent Leo, from Insero & Company CPAs, in Rochester, New York.

Vince is a Partner in the Audit and Business Advisory Services Group. He has more than 30 years experience serving some of the area’s largest companies, and joined Insero as a Partner in 2002 from Arthur Andersen. He advises clients on technical accounting matters; private placements; public offerings; and mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.

His areas of focus include accounting and auditing, Sarbanes–Oxley, enterprise risk management, and Employee Benefit Plans.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Vince and I discussed how he’s propelled transformation within the firm, gained national credibility, and:

  • How Insero became one of the top employee benefit plan accounting firms in the United States
  • Benefits of 1/3 of business coming from outsourced project work
  • How racing cars helped Vince get recruited and hired at Insero
  • The problem with trying to drive change at the partner level (and what works better)
  • How to go from a sleepy local firm to having clients in 30 states

Insero & Company is a growing regional firm with five offices, 125 team members, and clients in 30 states. The firm is regularly voted “One of the Best Accounting Firms to Work for in the U.S.” by Accounting Today.

Firm specialties include government, not-for-profit, family businesses, employee benefit plans, and outsourced accounting.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

My guest this week on the Accounting Success Podcast is Ken Cerini, Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, based in Long Island, New York.

Ken has one of those great American success stories, literally starting his practice in a garage – with a table, two folding chairs and a computer – and growing it into the dynamic, innovative firm that it is today.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Ken has won numerous awards, and has been quoted in publications such as the New York Times, Newsday, Long Island Business News, and the Long Island Press.

Some highlights of our conversation include:

  • Why his office décor style is 12th Century Medieval, complete with swords and armor
  • What his wife told him when he announced his plan to leave the security of a Big 4 job to become an entrepreneur and business owner
  • How long he worked a side hustle paper route job while establishing his new CPA firm
  • Why he tells his staff that their job should not be the most important thing in their life
  • Business lessons learned from rock climbing
  • Why he’s seeking cemeteries and wineries as clients

Besides being Managing Partner, Ken is responsible for the firm’s not-for-profit and educational providers practice group. In addition to his extensive audit experience both at Ernst & Young, LLP, and Cerini & Associates, Ken has been involved in providing consulting services for nonprofits and educational facilities of all sizes throughout New York State. He is an expert in preschool special education. His specialties also include Forensic audits and fraud investigations.

Cerini & Associates is a full service accounting firm with a staff of nearly 50, four partners, and a foundation built on value-added ideas and integrity. The firm serves many industries, including healthcare, nonprofit, technology, special education, startups, school districts, and construction, among others.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

This week’s guest on the Accounting Success Podcast is Mario Costanz, founder and CEO of Happy Tax, Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2017 Fastest Growing Tax Business.

For those unaware, Happy Tax is a relatively new but potentially very disruptive player in the tax preparation space. Mario is leveraging technology and innovation to provide a convenient, transparent and reliable service for taxpayers while changing the roles and ownership structure for franchisees. The concept is quickly proving itself. Happy Tax is growing faster than over 3,000 other franchisors in the United States.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

In two short years, Happy Tax has over 600 franchisees, independent contractors and area representatives. We talked with Mario about his diversified past, his exciting present, and what’s in store for the future including:

  • How a high school dropout invented a new business model that turns the tax prep industry on its head
  • How to go from zero to Entrepreneur magazine’s fastest growing tax business in a little over two years
  • How he discovered his true calling while working as a New York City sanitation worker
  • The 6-week tax class that spearheaded Mario’s career
  • The lightning bolt idea that became Happy Tax
  • 3 reasons clients are attracted to Happy Tax over H&R Block and other tax preparers
  • Ways CPAs partner with Happy Tax to better serve their clients
  • Valuable lessons learned from business failures

Judging by traditional measures, one may not have predicted business success for Mario Costanz. Long before becoming a successful businessman, Mario was a high school dropout and New York City garbage collector. An entrepreneur at heart, he tried a number of other businesses, and eventually ventured into the tax business. Eventually he bought a Liberty Tax franchise and became the #1 ranked franchisee in the country.

He started Happy Tax based on an innovative and patent pending business model that’s already shaking up the tax prep industry. The company combines convenient come-to-your-door service, along with accurate, reliable and professional tax returns prepared by CPAs with a minimum of 5 years of training and experience.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

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With us this week is Jody Padar, CEO and Principal of the New Vision CPA Group, based in the Chicago area.

Jody is a radical pioneer and “change agent” who specializes in shaking up the accounting profession. If it feels like she is singlehandedly trying to drag the accounting profession into the 21st Century, well… maybe she is. Within her own firm, Jody has embraced cloud services and social media to shift the way she serves clients. Jody and her team provide proactive financial insight and practical strategies to their clients in real-time, not just during tax season.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Jody is a highly sought after speaker and thought leader. She is the author of The Radical CPA: New Rules for the Future-Ready Firm, a book that sparked a movement within the accounting profession. She’s also about to release her second book, so I asked Jody to give us a little sneak peek. We examined the progress she has seen in the past 2 ½ years since her first publication.

  • The rude waking awaiting her when she joined her father’s accounting firm
  • How an old-fashioned 1040 firm begat a cutting edge ‘future-ready’ firm
  • How Jody leverages social media to bring on the right clients
  • Who inspired Jody by saying, “You are the future of the profession.”
  • How to use firm culture to drive transformation
  • Secrets to embracing an implementation mindset
  • One radical idea that Jody thinks will change the game in the industry – hint: it may already be in your kitchen
  • Why Jody is not worried about Baby Boomers retiring and there not being enough trained accountants to replace them

Jody is a regular contributor to a number of industry publications, including CPA Trendlines and Accounting Today, where she offers practical tips and advice on running a next-generation firm. For 5 years running she’s been named by Accounting Today as among the “Top 100 Most Influential to the Profession.” She has written for Forbes and is a regular contributor to Intuit’s QuickBooks’ Blog. She has also been interviewed by Inc., USA Today, International Business Times, The Washington Post, and CNNMoney.

Jody also has her own radio show called “Let’s Get Radical,” and works in partnership with several leading technology companies to spread the word about “digital CPAs.”

In her spare time she is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College and a contributing member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

This week on the Accounting Success Podcast we’re venturing to the land Down Under with guest Chris Hooper, Accounting Futurist and CEO of Accodex, located in Adelaide in South Australia. Accodex is a hi-tech accounting firm providing compliance, administration and advisory services to startups and tech enabled businesses. The firm specializes in Cloud Technology and helping clients become more technologically literate. It’s an interesting model because Accodex has both business owners and accountants as clients.

The firm was named Australia’s Most Innovative Accounting Firm in 2015 – beating out PwC and KPMG in the process – and has achieved Platinum Partner status with Xero, the cloud-based accounting software.

Chris joined me from a pub, so at times it got noisy; but it’s worth putting up with a little noise to hear Chris’ insights. Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

In our short time together, we covered:

  • Ways in which Australian accountants are ahead of their American counterparts
  • The unusual arrangement that allows him to have both business owners and accountants as clients
  • How Accodex invented a new business model called a “Market Network” and how it’s changing the accounting profession
  • The 4 mega trends that make up the “Accountapocalypse”
  • What Millennial accountants have against accounting
  • Secrets to starting a successful firm from scratch
  • How to benefit from the globalization of the profession

Chris is an evangelist for the accounting profession and writes and speaks extensively about accounting industry trends. He’s a TEDx speaker and presenter at XeroCon on the future of the accounting profession. Chris has made it his mission to change the accounting game forever.

To read Chris’s acclaimed article, “I Am a Millennial Accountant, and I Hate Accounting” visit
http://goingconcern.com/i-am-millennial-accountant-and-i-hate-accounting

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

This week on the Accounting Success Podcast is Josh Lance, Founder and Managing Director at Lance CPA Group, a virtual CPA firm based in Chicago.

Josh has many years of experience helping startups grow and develop through customized, value-added accounting, tax prep and coaching services. He spent most of his career at a top-10 national public accounting firm and then worked with high-net-worth individuals, managing cash flow and investments.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

What did we talk about? Here are some of the highlights:

  • How to make beer an integral part of your practice
  • How to attract clients from around the world without ever meeting them or taking them to lunch
  • Why clients are keeping important information from you (and what to do to fix it)
  • How to be an “accountability partner” to your business clients
  • The benefits of working with start-ups
  • Why Josh has eliminated hourly billing and offers an unlimited call and email policy
  • How to keep up with fast-changing technology

Josh is married to his college sweetheart Leesa, and they have 2 children. He enjoys spending his free time making wine at home, cooking, traveling, and cheering on his favorite teams: the Green Bay Packers and Everton FC in the English Premier League.
When he’s not spending time with his family, Josh is making strides to help small businesses reach their potential.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w