Best Practices for COVID-19 from ConvergenceCoaching

The Rush to Remote: Advice From ConvergenceCoaching

With the COVID-19 crisis, firms are implementing social distancing, organizations around the country are scrambling to shift their employees to work remotely.

Your building management may force you to close your office. Public transportation services could be interrupted and disrupted.

We recommend that you create a plan for what it would look like to have all employees work offsite. To help you get there, we have specific steps you can take to smooth the transition, ensure business continuity, and remain more productive.

View the full article

Strategies for Managing COVID-19

These are unprecedented times. One of the most important responsibilities of a leader is to guide their team through crisis and tough times with calm determination and thoughtful execution In the face of a lot of messaging, here are a few items to help you manage this crisis.

View the COVID-19 Strategies

Complimentary Remote-Work Toolkit

You may access 17 documents, articles and best practices for managing a remote workforce.

Access the toolkit

Webinar – Remote Work: Today’s Answer to Staying Healthy and Serving Clients Amidst COVID-19

There has never been a more appropriate time to fully embrace and utilize remote work options than today. Firms know that flexibility and remote work is at the top of the list of motivators of high-potential young CPAs, and now the country’s health imperative is driving CPA firm leaders to give up their attachment to their traditional work norms of “face time” and mandated office hours to move to a remote work model. Attend this session to explore best practices to manage, communicate and serve clients and team members in a remote environment.

Sign up for the March 26 Webinar

Boomer Launches New Certified Consultant Training Program

Boomer Consulting has started a year-long training program for accountants wishing to learn about adding consulting, forecasting and strategy services for clients.

The program is available to accounting firm partners, managers and directors to help deepen client relationships, deliver more value and increase profits for their firms, Boomer Consulting announced. Participants will learn how to build a consulting service line, including business development, trends analysis, and sales and marketing best practices, during an intensive workshop, scheduled for July 14-17 at the Boomer Accounting Innovation Center in Kansas City, Mo.

In addition, industry leaders teach the skills needed to confidently deliver new consulting services. Following the workshop, trainees receive ongoing coaching and support, including progress assessment and guidance.

“Many accountants are looking for a clear path to becoming more consultative with clients, and Boomer Certified Consultant Training provides just that through foundational training and access to key tools,” says Sandra Wiley, president of Boomer Consulting. “Combined with a professional’s current knowledge and strong understanding of their clients’ business, the advanced skillset they gain allows them to serve clients in new beneficial ways while growing their own bottom line. It truly is an investment in their own firms’ future.”

ConvergenceCoaching Names Renee Moelders as Partner

Renee Moelders

Renee Moelders

ConvergenceCoaching, a leadership and management consulting firm serving the public accounting profession, has announced that Renee Moelders has been promoted to partner.

Moelders has been with the Convergence team for five years and previously worked as a CPA firm administrator for nine years.

“She is a key contributor to the Anytime, Anywhere Work™ and other benchmarking studies that help firm clients make the changes necessary to compete in today’s market,” says partner Tamera Loerzel. “Renee develops and empowers leaders as a facilitator and coach in our leadership development programs, adds value as a HR and recruiting consultant for our clients, and is an active speaker for firms and associations around the profession.”

Moelders says, “I’m on a never-ending ‘get-better’ journey of my own here at ConvergenceCoaching and look forward to next steps in providing transformational coaching and thought leadership for our clients and the profession as a whole.”

The 2019 Most Recommended Consultants

Based on more than 550 participating firms in the 2019 IPA Survey and Analysis of Firms, the following individuals represent the 2019 IPA Most Recommended Consultants. These individuals received the highest share of responses to the 2019 IPA survey question: “Please name up to three outside consultants / companies your firm has used whom you would recommend.”

IPA congratulates all the consultants whose dedication and leadership is a credit to the profession.

Company Name ConsultantWeb Address
Boomer Consulting Inc.Gary Boomer / Jim
ConvergenceCoaching LLCJennifer
Crosley Company Gale
Esposito CEO2CEO LLC Dom Esposito
Koltin Consulting Group Allan Koltin
Network Management Group Inc. Randy Johnston
Right Networks Roman Kepczyk
Succession Institute LLC Bill Reeb
The Platt Consulting Group Michael Platt
Upstream Academy Sam

Caragher Becomes Certified Instructor of Fore LLC Program

Jean Caragher

Jean Caragher, president of Capstone Marketing, is now a certified instructor of Fore LLC’s Advanced Pricing MethodsSM, created by Fore LLC president Michelle (Golden) River.

“Jean is a perfect fit to teach the worth-based pricing approach I’ve built and tested over the past decade,” says River. “As an expert in positioning CPA firms for success and growth, Jean is keenly aware of our profession’s evolution. The shift to price based on worth instead of the old charge-hour model requires a whole new skill set that Jean is teaching alongside me.”

Caragher says, “Pricing is one of the four P’s of marketing and requires communication skills, planning and empathy. Michelle has created a process for CPAs, including scoping and pricing techniques, that enables them to increase profitability, enhance the client experience, and build trust.”

The fundamentals of Advanced Pricing MethodsSM will be presented in a joint Fore LLC – Capstone Marketing webinar on Oct. 21.

CPACA Identifies Key Issues, Appoints Kepczyk President

The CPA Consultants’ Alliance (CPACA), a group of thought leaders aiming to further leadership within the CPA profession, met recently to discuss issues facing public accounting professionals. The group identified the key factors firms need to address to become future-ready and attract and retain NextGen talent and clients.

Roman Kepczyk

Roman Kepczyk

“As we explored what firms need to focus on to be future ready, we boiled it down to five key areas: leadership, talent, technology, client experience and growth,” asserts Roman Kepczyk, director of firm technology strategy for Right Networks who was named president of the CPACA. “We believe there are specific, actionable steps that firm leaders can take to progress in each of these fundamental areas,” says Kepczyk.

Over the coming year, CPACA will release a series of podcasts on each of these five focus areas to help firm leaders identify the actions they can take to secure their future.

In addition, the group added a new member, Matt Solomon, CEO at The Center for Enlightened Business. Solomon’s organization develops programs designed to empower firm owners to sell, price and deliver highly profitable client services.

“His passion, unwavering commitment to helping clients, and collaborative spirit are a great fit for the group and will help the CPACA achieve our goal of supporting and improving the leadership and future of the accounting profession,” says Angie Grissom, president of Rainmaker Companies.

“I’m honored and humbled to be part of such a heart-centered and powerful alliance of thought leaders who are willing to put their egos and personal agendas aside to find better ways to serve our shared community of accountants,” says Solomon.

During their recent meeting, CPACA members also approved the following slate of officers:

  • Roman Kepczyk, director of firm technology strategy, Right Networks – President
  • Jeff Phillips, CEO, Accountingfly and GoingConcern – Vice President/Meeting Chair  
  • Terry Putney, president, Transition Advisors – Secretary/Treasurer  
  • Angie Grissom, president, The Rainmaker Companies – Membership Chair  
  • Adelaide Ness, executive vice president, The Rainmaker Companies – Deliverables Chair  
  • Tamera Loerzel, partner, ConvergenceCoaching LLC – Marketing Chair  
  • Carrie Steffen, president, The Whetstone Group – Immediate Past President

ConvergenceCoaching Announces the Graduates of Transformational Leadership Program

Tamera Lorerzel

ConvergenceCoaching has announced the 2017-18 Fall Transformational Leadership Program™ (TLP) graduating class.

“Leading the TLP participants in their leadership journey this past year is some of the most rewarding work we do at ConvergenceCoaching,” says Tamera Loerzel, partner at ConvergenceCoaching. “These TLP participants courageously developed new skills and behaviors to take their leadership to the next level, allowing them to take on new roles and responsibilities in their firms.”

Shannon McCain, senior manager at HoganTaylor, says, “I realized from my leadership assessments at the beginning of the Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) that I wasn’t always the most approachable leader. So, in my TLP journey, I set out to become the kind of leader that people say, ‘Yay! I get to work on a project with Shannon!’ ” The TLP has helped me enhance my communications and approach to others to move closer to the inspiring leader I aspire to be.”

Congratulations to the graduates of the fall 2017-2018 program:

  • Andrew Grice, manager, BerganKDV
  • Michael Chrichton, manager, Burdette Smith & Bish LLC
  • Kevin Hamaker, manager, Burdette Smith & Bish LLC
  • Jill Bosnjak, firm administrator, Echelbarger Himebaugh Tam & Co.
  • Jenny Hashley, senior tax manager, Echelbarger Himebaugh Tam & Co.
  • Gloria Zhao, principal, George Johnson & Company
  • Brian Ray, partner, Hertzbach & Company
  • Shannon McCain, senior tax manager, HoganTaylor
  • Ashley McAdams, partner, Horne
  • Jessica Gooch, shareholder, Huselton Morgan Maultsby
  • Kimberly Lyons, shareholder, Huselton Morgan Maultsby
  • Katie Davis, partner, James Moore & Co.
  • Stacy Joyner, partner, James Moore & Co.
  • Eric Troyer, shareholder, Kerkering Barberio & Co.
  • Mike Varner, partner, Kruggel Lawton CPAs
  • Alex Schaeffer, senior manager, Kruggel Lawton CPAs
  • Heather Lewis, director, Marvin and Company
  • Darrick Lamb, partner, Sallan Nemes Lyman & Strakovits
  • Karl Wolpert, tax manager, Weinstein Spira
  • Mike Lamb, principal, Wessel & Company
  • Chris Weir, principal, Wessel & Company

Upstream Academy Welcomes Two Partners

Jeremy Clopton

The consulting firm Upstream Academy is adding two new partners, Jeremy Clopton and Georgia Cummings.

Clopton’s experience comes from running his own consulting company and his work with Springfield, Mo.-based BKD (FY18 net revenue of $594.6 million), where he led a firm-wide specialty practice. During his 12 years with BKD, he gained extensive experience in data analytics, fraud prevention and business intelligence, but his real passion was going beyond providing the services clients asked for – to help them determine what they needed for future success. Clopton is a speaker at industry events and is a faculty member for the ACFE and as an instructor at the Management Development Institute at Missouri State University.

Georgia Cummings

Cummings has been integral to the development of Upstream’s programs,  products and reputation and you can see the influence of her dedication to exceptional client service and attention to detail in everything Upstream does.  For 14 years she has acted like a partner, so we are pleased to officially confirm her inclusion in the Upstream partner group.

Michael Platt: Future Brings Opportunity for CPA Firms – Along With Angst

The accounting profession is expected to undergo more change in the next 50 months than it has in the last 50 years – a prediction that is sparking anxiety among firm leaders, but also a recognition of vast opportunities, says IPA Publisher Michael Platt.

“They’ve been very, very successful getting to this point, but going forward it’s going to be a little bit of a different ball game – different business model, different services and different ways to serve their clients,” Platt said in an interview with Jody Padar, CEO of the New Vision CPA Group.

Platt appeared on “Let’s Get Radical,” hosted by Padar and David Knoch, president of 1st Global, which provides wealth management services to CPA firms. The interview was broadcast live on the Voice of America Business Network June 12 at the AICPA’s ENGAGE conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Platt, in an interview that hit upon major issues affecting the profession, provided a glimpse of some of the trends emerging from IPA’s annual survey of more than 500 accounting firms.

He says profit margins are shrinking for two reasons – fee pressures, particularly for audit services, and rising staff costs, which are increasing by 6-7% per year. Billing rates are going up only 4% in the same time frame. “The accounting profession is one of the few professions that has a monopoly,” he says. “They’ve taken the monopoly, in this case the audit, and just driven the price of the audit into the ground.”

The most successful firms, which IPA recognizes every year as “Best of the Best” firms, are those that are changing the definition of a CPA firm and articulating the value of their knowledge to clients. Progressive firms are no longer selling products and services; they’re selling help and solutions for clients, Platt says. “Shifting from the expert who has all the right answers to the advisor who has all the right questions is a big hurdle for a lot of people to get over, but one that is quite achievable.”

View the entire interview.

ConvergenceCoaching Announces Transformational Leadership Program™ Graduates

ConvergenceCoaching LLC announced the 2017-18 Spring Transformational Leadership Program™ (TLP) graduating class.

“Our Spring 2017-2018 program completed on May 30th and we are pleased to congratulate our most recent TLP graduating class,” says Tamera Loerzel, partner at ConvergenceCoaching. “We are honored to have been a part of our graduates’ leadership journey. It is truly our privilege to guide NextGen leaders as they practice new leadership and management techniques and position themselves for future leadership with their firms.”

Congratulations to the graduates of the Spring 2017-2018 program:

  • Marianna Willey, tax senior manager with Bader Martin PS
  • Kevin Majchrowicz, partner with Brock Schechter & Polakoff LLP
  • Laura Clark, tax senior manager with Caler Donten Levine Cohen Porter & Veil PA
  • Breanna Howard, senior manager with Cooper Norman
  • Sharon Cook, senior tax manager with Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs
  • Walt Derengowski, audit partner with Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs
  • Ricardo Trujillo, partner with Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs
  • David Sternberg, partner with Green Hasson Janks
  • Debby Baker, manager with Grimbleby Coleman
  • LeeAnne DeCosta, supervisor with Grimbleby Coleman
  • Kathy Wilson, shareholder with Grove Mueller and Swank PC
  • Chad Pfeiffer, partner with HBE LLP
  • Sarah Langham, senior manager with HoganTaylor LLP
  • Melania Powell, senior manager with HoganTaylor LLP
  • Zach Chalifour, partner with James Moore & Co.
  • Kari Young, senior manager, Jones & Roth PC
  • Ashley Christie, director with Katz Sapper & Miller
  • Chris Baxter, senior manager with Peterson Sullivan LLP
  • Erika Allen, senior manager with Peterson Sullivan LLP
  • Kristi Meier, principal with Presley & Partners
  • Carrie Steffen, president with The Whetstone Group
  • David Schwartz, manager with Wilkin and Guttenplan PC

“Our firm has accessed the TLP to help nine of our future leaders increase their self-awareness and develop new skills. Through TLP, they refine their performance, identify their passions and interests and clarify their pathway with our firm,” says Clive Grimbleby, MP with Grimbleby Coleman CPAs Inc. “We truly appreciate ConvergenceCoaching’s shared faith and values and their personal investment in our leaders’ success.”

The ConvergenceCoaching®, LLC Transformational Leadership Program™ is a one-year accelerated “finishing school” for CPA firm high potentials. “With the rapid pace of succession and leadership transition, part of our mission is to provide truly transformative leadership development so future leaders are ready to take on new and meaningful leadership roles in their firms,” says Jennifer Wilson, co-founder and partner. “Each bright graduating class affirms our enthusiasm about the future of the profession. And we are grateful to have just kicked off our 2018-2019 Spring program with a new group of 26 talented NextGen leaders.