Strategic planning leads list of finance priorities

Finance executives were asked to rate how different issues and capabilities ranked among their priorities in business consulting firm Protiviti’s 2014 Finance Priorities Survey. And three-fourths of the respondents were CPAs or chartered accountants.

Because improving strategic planning capabilities ranked as the highest priority in the survey, here I created an infographic of the tips for succeed in following through with a strategic plan, which are offered by Jim Lindell, CPA, CGMA, president of Wisconsin-based Thorsten Consulting Group and author of Strategic Planning: A Simplified and Workable Approach for Private Companies.

All in all, if you want to obtain a successful strategic planning initiative, the upper management should have the strategic vision, and there must have disciplines for staff to complete the plan effectively. In addition, an appropriate scale and the follow-up must not be ignored.

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My wife is a CPA

Recently I heard a funny story told by my friend in Plano, TX, which makes him reconsider if he really wants to make a proposal to his CPA girlfriend.

My wife is a career woman, a CPA. When she took the food out of the refrigerator, she always uses LIFO (Last in, First out).
She thinks that I’m not good at numbers. I agree with this point of her, because she now controls our entire family budget. At the very beginning, she gave me a bill at the end of each month. However, after I emphasized that I was not her client but her husband, she asked for an advance. Over the past few months, our family spending has been growing steadily, so one day I secretly viewed her files. She even counted driving mileage and working overtime in our family budget! No wonder! She is really crazy! I tried to tell her what she did was wrong, but she corrected me: “No, dear, you are not the CPA, I am!”

Every piece of paper in our home should be kept on file. And she told me that according to some accounting regime, she must retain those papers for at least ten years before destroyed.

One day, I had a quarrel with my CPA wife and it lasts one hour. Later I learned that she put the hours counted into her customer timetable.

Once she said she loves me, and I told her I love her too. However, she never believed me. She said my point is the misrepresentation. Besides, she asked me for restatement. Oh, my god!

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Not long ago, we sent out a lot of wedding cards to celebrate my brother’s wedding. After a period of time, I started receiving some reply, making me confused. And later my wife explained to me that she asked all those who received the card to send her the confirmation back, because my wife believes external evidence is more reliable.

When my wife cooks, sometimes she does not go by recipe. For example, the recipe says add half-spoon vinegar, one teaspoon salt or one cup of water, but she just ignores them. Because she thinks they are not material when taken in context of whole meal being prepared.

She’s crazy! Surprisingly everybody calls her a CPA, instead. Therefore, I checked the dictionary and there is no statement saying that accountant is a synonym for crazy. I bet this dictionary is outdated.

When we got married, she gave me an Engagement Letter and I even said how sweet at that time. But now, she gives it to every year, saying her standards state that she must send me a new one if there is any indication that I have misunderstood the objective and scope of engagement. In addition, she says I can’t get rid of her like that. Because I have let her know before I appoint someone else. For a minute, I thought that we had lost in our going concern status.

One of my female friends, also live in Plano who has a CPA husband told me that her scenario is even worse. Apparently he capitalized the wedding expenses as preliminary expenses and is writing it off every year. What’s worse, he is still under consideration for valuation of intangible assets, which is the time he spent dating with his wife before got married.

So if you decide to marry a CPA, please discount it by appropriate rate to arrive at the present value of the risk of doing so! However, keep that in mind, CPAs are all smart, so marrying an accountant is always a high-yield investment program.

CPAs in Plano, TX: We Are Not Nerds!

Some of my friends like to joke about how different we CPAs are from the typical nerdy accountants. However, generally, CPAs are pretty interesting, and, of course, smart guys! Thus, I’d like to share some funny facts that can prove CPAs and accounting professionals who are not nerds!

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Ancient accountants and bookkeepers used clay tokens to keep track of animals and grain, and at that time, a standard numbering system hasn’t been developed yet.

The first CPA exam was given by the State of New York in 1896.

The controller of Howard University in 1930 was John Wesley Cromwell, Jr., who is the first African American CPA licensed in 1921.

Bubble gum was reportedly invented by a twenty-three year old accountant named Walter Diemer in 1926. And he just tried to kill his spare time.

Arthur Blank, co-founder of the Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons, is a CPA.

Ray Wersching, the kicker of the San Diego and San Francisco 49er from 1973 to 1987, was a CPA during the off-season.

John Grisham, the author of many popular novels such as The Firm, received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Mississippi State University in 1981.

Accountants also make a great contribution to Academy Awards. Usually, a team of nine CPAs have to spend up to 1,700 hours prior to Oscar night counting the ballots cast in each category by hand.