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4 Lessons Your Child Will Learn at Eagle U

Posted By Jacqueline Ratzing, Project Manager, Friday, January 13, 2017

What do you want for your children? If you are like most parents, you want them to figure out which direction they want to go in life, find their path to happiness and fulfillment and surround themselves with people who will build them up and help them reach their full potential. Did you know there is a program that can help your high school and college-age children do just that? Each year, Eagle U offers a four-day fun and action-packed program where participants meet with mentors and receive inspiration, wisdom and a new way to develop direction in life.  What else will your child learn?

How to figure out what they want to be when they grow up

It is estimated that 20 to 50 percent of students enter college as “undecided” and 75% change their major at least once before graduation. Only 27 percent of college grads have a job related to their major. Following your passion is difficult when you don’t know what it is.

Don’t send your student off to college or into the working world with little or no idea about what they want to be when they grow up. Eagle U teaches them how to research a future career beyond looking through career guides or glancing at job boards. They’ll learn how to talk to people in real careers, and ask questions to find out what they do every day and what they like and dislike about their current job or career path.

How to build and use their network

Research shows that 70 to 80 percent of jobs are never published, so combing job boards and sending out resumes is often a waste of time. Give your child the skills to land a job the most effective way: networking.

Eagle U will teach your student to get noticed by employers with a step-by-step method for using their network to land the career they want by connecting with people who work there or know someone who does.

How to make a good first impression

Do first impressions matter? Within seconds of meeting you, people make judgments about your trustworthiness, status, intelligence and leadership ability. And first impressions, once made, are difficult to shake.

Eagle U teaches students about the power of first impressions and how to impress every time at job interviews, first dates and any other occasion.

How to demonstrate they can add value

You know how important it is to provide value for your clients. Employers are looking for the same thing from their job candidates. Instead of teaching your child to look for a job, Eagle U teaches them to look for places where they can make a significant contribution, then take the initiative to show that to the employer.

Eagle U mentor and former NFL coach Bum Phillips says in football there are two types of players he can’t work with – those who he asked and those who would do nothing more than what was told. Your child will excel when they learn not to wait to be asked or do nothing more than their job.

Boomer Consulting, Inc. is offering a full scholarship to six young people between the ages of 15 and 21 to attend Eagle U this summer. If you know a young person who could benefit from these and other valuable lessons offered by Eagle U, fill out an online application by January 31, 2017.

If you have any questions about Eagle U or the application process, please contact Jackie Ratzing at or Sandra Wiley at


 By Jacqueline Ratzing

 Project Manager

 Boomer Consulting, Inc.


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Client Spotlight: Alan Long of Baldwin CPAs

Posted By Heather Robinson, Thursday, January 12, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2017



Firm Name: Baldwin CPAs

Location: Richmond, KY

# of Offices: 5

# of Partners: 12

# of Employees: 47


Identifying strategic objectives that lead to firm growth! 

The year was 1984, and Alan Long had just been laid off from his first job in public accounting. Being the entrepreneurial sort, rather than turn to the help wanted ads, Long started his own practice in the spare bedroom of his rented condo.  A year later, he purchased the oldest firm in Richmond, Kentucky. Today, Baldwin CPAs is also the largest firm in Richmond, and one of the largest in the state.

That growth did not happen by accident. In 2007, Long ran into Gary Boomer at a training session for presidents of local CPA societies. Familiar with Boomer’s experience in helping firms with strategic planning, Long asked for help. With Boomer’s help, Baldwin CPAs worked through their first strategic planning session in January of 2008.

One of the objectives of that first strategic plan was to open an office in Lexington. They finally realized this goal when they merged with a Lexington firm in November of 2016. Long notes that, although it took eight years to achieve that particular goal, their strategic plan provided a roadmap. Baldwin CPAs may have deviated from the roadmap when new opportunities for acquisitions in Maysville, Louisville and Flemingsburg came up, but that roadmap ensured they never lost sight of their goals.

The firm continues to go through the strategic planning process annually. Long credits Boomer with giving them the courage to do things they needed to do to realize the growth they’ve achieved, including raising fees. Now, they’re considering getting rid of timesheets and moving to value billing.

Advice for young professionals

Long has two pieces of advice for young professionals today. First, don’t take every client who walks through the door. Long said when he started out on his own, he took on small, aggravating clients by telling himself that their fees would pay the electric bill this month. Over the years, he’s had to weed those clients out, and Long believes keeping those clients held him back.

Second, get involved in professional organizations early in your career. Long waited to get involved and feels he missed out on some huge opportunities. Today, he receives many referrals from “competitor” firms for work that they don’t do. He credits those referrals to being known and trusted by other members of his local society. “If you’re doing the job you should be doing, you don’t need to worry about your clients leaving.”

Get to know Alan

Long has been married to his wife, Teresa for twenty years. They have two kids and one seven-year-old grandchild, who he spends time with every weekend. Outside of work, he enjoys fishing and attending basketball and football games at his alma mater, Eastern Kentucky University.


Boomer Strategic Planning

The Boomer Strategic Planning process will help identify your firm’s objectives and set a path for growth. We provide partners and management with the tools to identify dangers, opportunities and strengths while offering instruction on integrating strategic, technology and marketing plans.

We will estimate potential costs relative to long-term value and provide direction as you shape a vision and strategy to maximize the return on your firm’s technology investments utilizing a robust yet simple one-page strategic plan. Our Strategic Plan offers direction for your firm’s most vital growth initiatives. Don’t move ahead without it!

Click to learn more about our Strategic Planning services!

Download our Boomer Advantage Guide to Strategic Planning!

Tags:  Strategic Planning 

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7 Strategies for Marketing in the New Year

Posted By Heather Robinson, Marketing Manager, Friday, January 6, 2017


The New Year is here and if you haven’t looked at your marketing plan in a while, now is the perfect time to dust it off and update your existing strategies. Here’s a list of seven strategies for making 2017 your most successful year ever.

Create a focus on inbound marketing

Referrals and networking are important, but inbound marketing is considered one of the most important tools in the marketing world. It focuses on providing something of value to bring your audience to you.

For CPA firms, inbound marketing starts with education (seminars and articles) and ends with consultations. If your website doesn’t have one already, start a professional blog and share content that helps inform your target clients.  Identify industry-specific publications and contribute articles that demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. 

Offer free seminars that provide updates on issues facing your target industries. For example, if your firm has a nonprofit niche, offer seminars for nonprofit professionals and board members on topics such as understanding financial statements and board governance.

Revitalize your home page

First impressions can make or break a visitor’s decision to spend time on your website. Make sure your site’s home page is clean, uncluttered and provides clear navigational clues. Your visitors should be able to tell right away what your firm does and where they should go next to accomplish the goal that brought them there.

Review and adjust your social media strategy

Every action you take on your social networks – posts, replies, likes and comments - should be a part of a larger strategy. We always recommend getting your goals down on paper and your social media strategy is no exception.

If your firm’s social media strategy is non-existent – or right now you’re thinking “what social media strategy?” – provides a three-step system and a template to get you started.

Make sure your website is responsive

The internet reached a major milestone recently. According to the web analytics company StatCounter, Internet usage on mobile and tablet devices surpassed desktop usage worldwide for the first time in October 2016. That’s why it’s essential that your business website is mobile friendly so clients and prospects can easily browse and find information no matter what type of device they are using. If their experience viewing and interacting with your site is poor, they’ll likely have a lower opinion of your brand and be more likely to visit a competitor’s site.

Realign sales priorities

Are your firm’s sales and marketing teams aligned? If not, you could be missing some huge opportunities. In an article for the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions Blog, Mike Weir, Vertical Director for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions’ Technology business pointed out “upwards of 80% of leads generated by marketing are neglected or never acted upon by a sales rep.”

The first step towards aligning sales and marketing is developing shared goals or key performance indicators (KPIs).  When both teams share goals and priorities, they work together to make prospecting and bringing on new clients as smooth as possible.

Build your annual marketing plan

An annual marketing plan can help your business stay on track with goals and objectives for the year and ensures your marketing budget is maximized. The first step is taking a look at last year’s performance. Did you have a marketing plan in place? Even if you didn’t, you should still be able to review part marketing efforts and results. Which activities were useful? Have your target clients changed in the past year? Are there areas where you want to invest more time and money in the coming year?

Boomer Consulting, Inc.’s Strategic Planning process includes instruction on creating marketing plans and integrating them with your strategic and technology plans.

Take time to learn

Marketing is constantly evolving as technologies change and strategies shift. Best practices from just a couple years ago are almost certainly obsolete by now. That’s why it’s important to take the time to learn about challenges, opportunities and trends. Subscribe to trade journals and consumer magazines. Even if they aren’t specific to the accounting profession, you can find things that are relevant. Read blogs and listen to podcasts. You should even keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. You don’t need to chase after every shiny new thing, but you should stay on top of what is important in the profession and what works for your firm.

Take some time now to reflect on your past efforts and strategize for the coming year. Get intentional about marketing strategy in the new year, and you’ll be set up for even greater success in 2017.


 by Heather Robinson

 Marketing Manager

 Boomer Consulting, Inc.

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Mindset, Skillset, Toolset in Action

Posted By Samantha Zerr, Operations Accountant, Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The consultants at Boomer Consulting, Inc. spend a lot of time talking about the Mindsets, Skillsets and Toolsets needed by successful CPA firms. Recently, I had a chance to see these three principles in action while evaluating a new accounting software program.

Gary Boomer, Eric Benson and I were the team in charge of evaluating the new software program. Our discussions were uncharacteristically unproductive and frustrating. We were each coming from different places and having a hard time seeing one another’s viewpoints.

Fortunately, at our annual summit, where Gary mentioned “mindset, skillset, toolset,” we had an A-Ha moment.

  • Gary had the Mindset. He could see the software in place – up and running with everyone trained and using it to its fullest capabilities.
  • Eric was thinking about the Toolset. What software would be replaced and what were the implications? What sort of disruptions would this cause?
  • I considered my Skillset. As one of the primary users of this software, I knew I had the skills to use it effectively. I could see Gary’s vision, but I was having a hard time recognizing Eric’s point of view.

Once we realized why we were coming from three different directions, we spent an entire meeting talking through the issues. As we talked, with a new understanding of each other’s points of view, we got on the same wavelength.

The project is now moving along smoothly and we see the experience as a valuable opportunity to see the concept of “mindset, skillset, toolset” in action.

The next time you are having trouble getting on the same page with your team, consider whether “mindset, skillset, toolset” is at play in your group. Sometimes that little A-Ha moment makes all the difference.


 by Samantha Zerr

 Operations Accountant

 Boomer Consulting, Inc.


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The Importance of Recognition

Posted By Chelsea Roberts, Process Administrator, Friday, December 16, 2016

“People may take a job for more money, but they often leave it for more recognition.” – Bob Nelson

Part of my role at Boomer Consulting, Inc. includes knowing when our clients and employees win awards, have babies, retire, graduate or get promoted. We make a point of acknowledging these achievements with a card, email or some kind of recognition of the achievement or celebration. It’s a fun part of my job, but it’s also important because taking the time to congratulate coworkers, colleagues and associates on their achievements builds relationships and increases motivation.

Writing for Entrepreneur India, Rajeev Bhardwaj, VP of Human Resources for Sun Life Financial Asia Service Centre, says celebrating achievements can be a great PR opportunity. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone for your own organization, the successes of your own employees, or reaching out to clients and business partners,  Bhardwaj says including others in a celebration creates a sense of belonging.

Taking the time to recognize employees is not just a perk – it’s vital for engaging and retaining your staff. When people feel valued, their satisfaction and productivity increase and they’re more motivated to continue their good work.

If you’re reading this and thinking that you need to improve in this area, where do you start?

First, you need to put yourself in a receptive frame of mind, so you actually see and identify opportunities to recognize others.  Maintain a calendar of employee birthdays and work anniversaries, follow your clients on their social media channels, and encourage your staff to let you know when they learn about the achievements of their coworkers and clients.

Next, have a plan to recognize achievements. This doesn’t have to a big budget item. Sometimes a simple card, a shout out at the weekly staff meeting, or a mention in the company newsletter is enough to make people feel appreciated. Just do it as soon as possible after the announcement is made public, before the recipient has a chance to feel like their contributions have gone unnoticed.

Recognizing people for their good work sends a powerful message: you matter. People feel respected and valued when their contributions are appreciated. Take time to celebrate success, so people know you recognize their worth.


 by Chelsea Roberts

 Process Administrator

 Boomer Consulting, Inc.

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5 Ways to Advance Your Career at the Office Holiday Party

Posted By Heather Robinson, Marketing Manager, Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The office holiday party season is in full swing.  Who will dip their cup in the punch bowl one too many times? Who will take part in some terrible karaoke or over exuberant dance moves? If you want to keep yourself off the naughty list this year, instead of drinking too much and chatting up your friends, consider using the office holiday party as an opportunity to advance your career. Here are five tips to get you started.

Do your research

It’s tempting to spend the whole evening hanging out with your usual office friends but do some research before the party to find out who else will be there.  If your company uses Evite or Outlook to send invitations, you can usually start there to see who has RSVP’d.  Otherwise, consider asking the event organizer who is coming.

Target people to speak with

Once you have an idea of who will be there, make a short list of people to talk to that you normally don’t get to interact with. It might be the head of a department you do not work with often or just someone in the company that is doing good things. Now is your chance to casually rub elbows with the higher-ups, so don’t be afraid to approach them.

If you are nervous about approaching someone on your own, find an outgoing coworker ask him or her to make an introduction. However, introverts should resist the temptation to spend the entire event tagging along with a more outgoing person. Otherwise, the extrovert will be the only one making a lasting impression.

Find common ground

Nobody wants to spend the holiday party talking about work, so do a little research on the people you plan to speak with to learn more about their interests outside of work. Bios on the company’s website are a good place to start or you can check out their social media profiles.

Make sure you’re up on current events, but avoid topics that are controversial or depressing. Remember that the best conversationalists are ones who ask a lot of friendly questions.

Thank the hosts

A polite guest never neglects to thank the host or hostess, and the office holiday party is no exception. Sometime during the evening, seek out the Managing Partner or other members of the leadership team to thank them for hosting the event.

Don’t forget to follow up

When you are back at the office on Monday, follow-up with the people you spoke to, telling them how much you enjoyed their conversation and inviting them to grab lunch or coffee at a later date. Send them an interesting article on a topic you discussed or share another resource you think they’ll find useful.

Take advantage of the opportunity to establish relationships at the office holiday party. Connecting with colleagues, meeting new people, and networking like a pro will reflect favorably on you when it comes time for promotions.


 by Heather Robinson

 Marketing Manager

 Boomer Consulting, Inc.

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Managing Client Relationships

Posted By Jacqueline Ratzing, Project Manager, Friday, December 9, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In a prior post, I talked about the importance of listening to the voice of your client to ensure you’re delivering services that are of value. But knowing what the client really wants and needs is just the beginning. From there, you need to continue managing the relationship; otherwise, you could end up undoing any progress made.


Anthropologist Robin Dunbar theorized that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships. Consider that the average Facebook user has about 338 friends, and you can begin to understand why we might need some help organizing client relationships.

Invest time early on to save time later. Collect and store meaningful client information in a comprehensive CRM system.  To be effective, the database must be current, accessible, and actionable. Whatever you do, make sure you have a “master” list. Contacts spread out amongst a handful of systems and files is the fastest way for you – and your clients – to become disorganized and frustrated.


Before the internet, if you wanted to speak to a client, you picked up the phone. Today, there are so many ways to communicate. Email, newsletters, phone calls, text, Google Hangout, Twitter, Slack. The list goes on, but not every method is right for every client.

Communication is about making it easy for clients to do business with you.  Discuss with your clients the best way to stay in contact. Give them the opportunity to tell you the best way to reach them, and never assume that one method works for everyone.

Realistic promises and managed expectations

Managing expectations may be the single most important aspect of maintaining healthy client relationships. Reputations are everything, so be honest about what you can deliver. It’s okay to underpromise and over deliver. If you know it will be a stretch to complete a tax return by Friday, you’re better off promising the return by Monday and delivering it early rather than missing a deadline.

Also, be clear with the client about what you’ll need from them to get your job done. For instance, say you have audit fieldwork scheduled to begin on a Monday, but in the week leading up to your start date you still don’t have a trial balance or anything else necessary to prepare. Rather than keeping quiet, showing up on Monday and hoping for the best, discuss your needs list with the client and reschedule fieldwork if necessary.

Proactively managing clients builds stronger relationships and supports cross- and up-selling of services. But this can only happen if client relationships become an integral part of day-to-day operations. Take the time now to listen to learn about your clients’ needs and manage your communications with them – before your clients have time to think of looking elsewhere.


By Jacqueline Ratzing

Project Manager

Boomer Consulting, Inc.

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Types of Flex Work Arrangement

Posted By Arianna Campbell, Consultant, Wednesday, December 7, 2016

In a previous post, I shared seven trends impacting flexible work arrangements. So now that you’ve concluded you need to offer flexible work options for your staff, what’s next?

Flexible work arrangements are not a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, there are nine types of flexible work arrangements.


Flextime involves giving staff flexibility on the start and finish times of their working day, typically with a mandatory “core” time in the middle of the day.

Compressed Work Week

A compressed work week allows employees to work 40 hours in fewer than five days, such as working four 10-hour days.


Flexplace is often referred to as telecommuting. Employees may work from home or another remote location on an approved schedule, either for a certain number of hours or days a week, or 100% of the time.

Job Sharing

In job sharing, two or more employees split one position and split necessary work hours between them.

Work Sharing

Often used by companies as a method of avoiding layoffs. The company temporarily reduces hours and salary for a portion of the staff while maintaining the number of employees.

Expanded Leave

Expanded leave gives employees greater flexibility for requesting extended periods of time away from work without losing their rights as employees. Extended leave can be granted on a paid or unpaid basis and may be used for a variety of reasons, including sabbaticals, higher education, community service, family issues, or medical care.

Phased Retirement

The employee and the firm agree on a schedule to gradually reduce the employee’s full-time work commitments. Their responsibilities may be phased out over a period of months or years.

Partial Retirement

Older employees are allowed to continue working on a part-time basis, with no predetermined end date.

Work and Family Programs

Employers provide some assistance to their employees to help with child care and elder care, such as on-site child care facilities.

Choosing the flexible work arrangement(s) that work for your firm can seem tricky, but taking a systematic approach to implementing your program can narrow down the list of options that will most benefit your firm and employees. Consider using a focus group or a sample survey to figure out which options your staff needs. You may even consider a pilot program to test your options and see if the program needs tweaking.

Remember that flexibility doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing program. It can be a gradual process. Chances are, you’re already providing some informal flexible work arrangements for certain employees who need to leave early on certain days or work from home on occasion. Now, you just need to take the next step to formalize the policy and extend it to all staff members.


By Arianna Campbell
Boomer Consulting, Inc.



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4 Questions to Prevent Mind Stray in Meetings

Posted By Deanna Perkins, Solutions Advisor, Friday, December 2, 2016

We’ve all been there: sitting in a meeting that may or may not be necessary, but our mind is 1,000 miles away, thinking about the mountain of ‘real’ work waiting for us once the meeting is over. There may be some truth to the old saying, “If you want to kill time, the meeting is the perfect weapon.” Yet there are times when meetings are productive and valuable, and you do need to be there – mentally and physically. Before you send or accept your next meeting invitation, ask these four questions.

Is it necessary?

A 2014 piece from Harvard Business Review made a case for three fundamental reasons to hold a meeting (outside of general relationship building):

  1. To inform and bring people up to speed.
  2. To seek input from people.
  3. To ask for approval.

If the meeting serves none of these goals, it probably doesn’t need to happen.

Who needs to be there?

Every person in attendance at a meeting should be a resource, able to contribute through knowledge, experience or both. Some people are prone to falling into the trap of attending meetings just to feel important, but ask yourself this question, “If I was sick, would this meeting have to be rescheduled?” If the meeting could go on just fine without your presence, you probably don’t need to be there.

What’s on the agenda?

If the agenda is in someone’s head, it’s a problem. An agenda should be set in writing and shared with all participants. The more detail, the better. Consider allocating a set number of minutes to each agenda item, and make sure to stick with it during the meeting.

When participants know what’s on the agenda before the meeting, they have time to prepare for the meeting, can choose to attend only sections that are vital for them, and are more likely to stay engaged and present.

How long does it need to be?

Consider this: TED talks are inspiring, educational, informative and never last longer than 18 minutes. The short length is one of the reasons behind their success. We have a tendency to schedule meetings in hour-long blocks – maybe it just looks tidier on our calendars. But remember Parkinson’s law: “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Change the default length of all meetings to 15 minutes, scheduling longer when necessary, and you may be surprised at how much gets accomplished in a much shorter period.

Once you’ve determined the necessary length of time to fulfill the meeting’s purpose, make sure you start and end on time. This simple rule will help you gain favor with your colleagues because it shows you respect their time.



By Deanna Perkins
Solutions Advisor
Boomer Consulting, Inc.





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The Future of the Profession at QB Connect

Posted By Michael Wherry, CPA, Consultant, Monday, November 21, 2016

A few weeks ago I attended QB Connect, where I took in the keynote address from Intuit CEO Brad Smith. Smith discussed five trends for the future of the profession, all of which signaled to me that the profession as we know it is being changed by technology.



Our clients are looking for answers, and many of them are becoming increasingly comfortable with posting their questions on social media. How can firms update their marketing strategies to take advantage of social media?


We counsel our Lean Clients to listen to the voice of your customers (internal and external). Following your clients (and potential clients) on social media is an excellent way to listen to that voice. Your internal customers (employees) may be understandably nervous about giving out advice on social media. But perhaps firms can train someone to engage clients on social media, laying the foundation for in-person conversations on more complex topics.



Intuit is using the mass amount of data that is stored within all their products to help make their products better. From coding of transactions to helping improve margin to helping look for cash via different lending options. My big takeaway was that we are closer to a big change in how we audit financial statements than we are probably ready for. Firms should dedicate resources to figuring out how they can leverage technology to help make their audits more future-ready.



BrightHub defines open source technology as “the production and development philosophy of allowing end users and developers to not only see the source code of software, but modify it as well.” Most platforms and software used by firms today are not very open. Smith predicts that this will change in the not so distant future, allowing developers to bring products to market that help accountants do their jobs easier. Think working smarter not harder.



Next year is the ten year anniversary of the iPhone launch. Think about what will be possible in the next ten years. How can we integrate with clients mobile devices to help us communicate with them? If we can buy a home using a mobile device and electronic signatures, why can't we do the same with tax returns? What do our clients want? We need to be ready to use these new technologies so that we don't lose clients simply because we make it harder to do business.



With everything moving digital, security is one of the most important things firms need to consider. More people are getting comfortable with the idea that the "cloud" is safe, or at least just as safe as our "regular networks." However, we need to monitor this continually to stay current.


Our profession continues to be challenged and changed by technology, with no signs of slowing down. Lean Six Sigma helps firms manage change by addressing the two critical why questions; why do we need to change and why will this idea be better? With the pace of technological change, we need to recognize that we might not have a choice about answering the first why question; why do we need to change? Focusing on two lean principles - continuous improvement and customers define value - can help you answer the second why question; why will this new technology be better? The concept of continuous improvement helps us focus on improving our processes and adapt them to technology. Matching your processes, technology and the voice of your customer will put you best position with your clients rather than being the victim of that change.


By Michael Wherry, CPA
Boomer Consulting, Inc.




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