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Cloud Ecosystems

Posted By Administration, Yesterday

Cloud Ecosystems from Boomer Consulting, Inc. on Vimeo.

"I think the winners in the cloud are going to be the ones that approach things with an open mindset and are willing to partner with third party solutions and build out this ecosystem.  So is this a new phenomenon?  No, it's really not.  This has been happening for years with..."

3 minutes

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I Get Answers From My Boomer Technology Circles Peers

Posted By Jon Hubbard, Monday, July 07, 2014

"If you're an IT person listening to this you probably can relate when I say that, the accountants have many other accountants in the firm that they can go to and ask questions. If they've never done something they can go ask another accountant or a partner and say 'hey, how do you do this?' But you might be the only IT person, or one of two or three IT people, and we're constantly being given new projects and new technologies to learn..."

Lisa Dunnigan, Principal & CIO, Olsen Thielen & Co., LTD (2 offices, 19 Principals, 100 people). An excerpt from the webinar "The Benefits of the Boomer Technology Circles™", recorded September 19, 2013.

Tags:  Boomer Technology Circles 

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Three Trends in the Profession (May 2014)

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 16, 2014

Gary Boomer discusses trends at the conclusion of a Boomer Technology Circle™ meeting in May, 2014.

7 minutes

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Tags:  2014  2014 Spring  advisory services  BTC 2  Mergers and Acquisitions  partner compensation  Strategy  Vision 

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2014 Boomer Technology Circles Summit Video!

Posted By Jon Hubbard, Wednesday, May 28, 2014


To learn more about the 2014 Boomer Technology Circles Summit, and to register, please visit www.boomer.com/BTCSummit.

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Client Spotlight: Nancy Peschka - Strategic Planning

Posted By Jon Hubbard, Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Nancy Peschka is the Chief Operating Officer at Adams, Brown, Beran
& Ball headquartered in Great Bend, KS. Founded in 1945, ABBB has over 130 employees, 14 partners and 13 office locations.

What made you decide to have Boomer Consulting, Inc. lead your firm’s strategic planning session?

"We were looking for a new facilitator and executive coach. I searched the web and found we had someone in right here in Kansas. I contacted Sandra Wiley and have contracted with Boomer Consulting ever since."

What value have you received from the firm's strategic plan?

“Direction!  We develop our Strategic Plan at our Firm Summit in August and have our initiatives identified and assigned. Each year we come back to our Firm Summit with all initiatives completed, or if one is not completed there is a good reason for it.”

How has your firm benefited from developing your strategic plan with Boomer Consulting, Inc.?

“They understand our culture but on the other hand bring a wealth of knowledge and ideas from what they have gathered through others in the industry.”

What is your favorite part of the strategic planning process?

“Leaving our Firm Summit with a plan that I didn’t have to prepare. I can be a part of the process and Boomer Consulting produces the end result.”

What would you tell another firm that is considering a strategic planning session led by Boomer Consulting, Inc.?

“Getting a roomful of firm leaders together to come to consensus is a little like herding cats. Boomer Consulting does a great job pulling ideas from the group, putting them in a format that assures everyone is on the same page.” 

Interested in learning about our Strategic Planning process?

Our Strategic Planning process, culminating in a one-page plan, will identify your firm’s strategic objectives and set the path for firm growth. We focus on commitment, accountability, talent management and acceleration through the use of technology. More details at www.boomer.com/strategicplanning.

We are interested in working with firms that are interested in consensus building and understand that success isn't reached by accident. If you are this type of firm, we want to hear from you.  Go to www.boomer.com/requestinformation and complete our informational form. We'd love to speak with you.

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Should Your Firm Consider a Cloud Ecosystem?

Posted By Jim Boomer, CIO & Shareholder, Boomer Consulting, Inc., Monday, April 14, 2014


Over the last five years, one of the most common arguments I hear about moving to the cloud involves data integration. I’m often asked, "Why would I want to give up my tightly integrated suite of on-premise software to move to a bunch of disparate cloud systems?”

The answer is the cloud ecosystems that are developing before our eyes. In the cloud model, integration and data flow becomes much easier through web services. Most of the cloud providers are using web 2.0 technologies to build their platforms which provides for better search, reporting and collaboration capabilities. And better integration.

What is a Cloud Ecosystem?

When a Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor becomes a major player in the market or the leading solution for a given problem, they attract an ecosystem. This ecosystem is a set of partners (often referred to as add-ons) that work directly with the SaaS vendor to fill functionality gaps and increase the value of both. In layman’s terms it is about the sum of the parts exceeding the value of each on its own. And when all the gaps in the ecosystem are filled, users are now able to have the best of both worlds – an integrated suite made up of best-of-breed solutions.

An example of this is the ecosystems rapidly developing around many of the leading cloud accounting solutions such as Intacct, Intuit and Xero. While these SaaS vendors focus on their core competencies of accounting and integrated payroll solutions, they are attracting an army of third-party cloud service providers that are filling gaps like reporting tools, dashboards, work papers, workflow, project management and CRM. Combined, the ecosystem covers the majority of a firm’s software needs. And any holes that remain will likely be filled by a partner joining the ecosystem in the near future.

Open vs. Closed Architecture

This is a new chapter in a long standing battle between open and closed architectures. The infamous battle between Apple and Microsoft over the operating system and office productivity software is a perfect example. Microsoft ultimately won out with an open approach and history would support that most of the time, the open model will prevail over the closed. The underlying force behind this is that consumers prefer choices.

I believe an open architecture is critical to the success of providers in the rapidly evolving cloud world as well. Those cloud providers that accept they can’t be all things to all people will adopt an open, collaborative approach and will win. Those who hold on to a closed, proprietary model will likely get left behind as they frantically try to hold on to the market share of their legacy, on-premise software.

A New Phenomenon?

With the recent growth in popularity of using the ecosystem buzzword in the context of the cloud, one would think this is a new phenomenon. In reality, companies have been building ecosystems by encouraging independent software vendors to build their solutions on top of their enabling software. Microsoft, IBM and HP have done this for years in order to build success in the market. The major difference with cloud ecosystems is that these independent partners are a critical component of the business model.

Another recent example is what the mobile operating systems have done in building out application ecosystems. Apple, Google, Blackberry and Microsoft have all been luring independent developers to build their apps on top of their platform in an effort to become the most valuable mobile ecosystem. As with cloud ecosystems, mobile operating systems depend on their developers as part of their business models.

Make Ecosystems Part of Your Decision

Next time you find yourself evaluating a cloud solution, ask yourself if the service is part of a larger ecosystem. You have to evaluate the whole group of solutions rather than analyzing a single solution in isolation. Don’t rule out an option simply because it’s missing a key feature. That feature might be covered by another third-party tool that is tightly integrated with the cloud offering in question. As cloud ecosystems continue to grow, so will our dependency on them in the software evaluation process.

The Producer CircleTM

The cloud ecosystem is one of the many topics discussed at The Producer CircleTM meetings. The Producer CircleTM is a community of business and IT savvy thought leaders focused on providing improved client accounting service and achieving firm growth and profitability by leveraging technology and the cloud. 

This selective peer network is for Client Accounting Service practice leads and the technology professional that will be supporting them as they transform their practices from an ancillary transactional service to a primary profit center providing higher value-add services and make your firm a most trusted business advisor to your clients. 

We are interested in working with firms that understand technology is an accelerator and want to learn from their peers in the CPA profession. If you are this type of firm, we want to hear from you.  Visit www.boomer.com/ProducerCircle to learn more or go to www.boomer.com/requestinformation and complete our informational form. We'd love to speak with you.


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Does Your Firm Have a Strategic Plan?

Posted By Jon Hubbard, Monday, April 07, 2014
Updated: Monday, April 07, 2014


Where is your firm headed? Would everyone in your firm have the same answer? All progress starts with the truth, it is best to be brutally honest about where you are today and where you want to be in the future. A question we often ask in order to help the firm get the picture is:  If we were meeting here three years from today, what has to happen personally and professionally for you to be satisfied with the progress? As you can see, this is not an easy question and requires thought, honesty and open communication. 

Should an accounting firm should take the time to plan?

Yes! The reasons are simple, but sometimes overlooked in the quest for the almighty charge hour. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do the owners in your firm know where they are going and how they are going to get there?
  • Do your employees and clients know your vision, mission?
  • Does everyone know what is expected of him or her?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you should take the time required to develop a strategic plan. Since you know strategic planning will get your firm on the right course, you should follow a methodology that has been developed for the professional service firm and follows a proven process. It will save you time and produce positive results. Involve as many people as possible in the process. The return on investment during the execution of the plan will be several times the investment in the time upfront.

Interested in learning about our Strategic Planning process?

Our Strategic Planning process, culminating in a one-page plan, will identify your firm’s strategic objectives and set the path for firm growth. We focus on commitment, accountability, talent management and acceleration through the use of technology. More details at www.boomer.com/strategicplanning.

We are interested in working with firms that are interested in consensus building and understand that success isn't reached by accident. If you are this type of firm, we want to hear from you.  Go to www.boomer.com/requestinformation and complete our informational form. We'd love to speak with you.

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Five habits of a successful delegator

Posted By Sandra Wiley, Wednesday, March 26, 2014


This blog post originally appeared in the Journal of Accountancy Career Insider newsletter (http://goo.gl/v9pcTo).

Are you a leader in your firm such as a partner, manager, or supervisor? If so, you probably understand that one of the skills you must develop is effective delegation.  

Here are a few ways to help move tasks from your list to others on your team—and build confidence and trust along the way:  

Understand the value of delegation. Every professional should have an estimate of what he or she earns per hour. That’s easy if you are still entrenched in the billable hour. So look at your to-do list and your job description to identify how much time you put into your daily tasks, and then figure the investment you are making in each one. Are there things that you are spending ample time on that could really be done by someone at a different level? Are they things that could save the firm a considerable amount of money simply by moving them off your plate to someone else’s? Putting the dollars to the tasks can often motivate you to delegate.  

Identify the appropriate delegation targets. As a leader in your firm, you should make a commitment to teach and mentor the next generation. Delegation should be a natural step in the flow of guiding our top talent. Know your team and understand what the members do well, then delegate the items, tasks, and projects that they will claim success with. Also, make sure you are identifying tasks that the individual needs to learn. If you are thinking this is going to be a lot of work, you’re right. Delegation isn’t easy, but the results are worth the effort. 

Make sure everyone is on the same page. Managers often forget to make sure they and their employees agree about what a successful outcome would look like, and then they are surprised when the final work product is not what they were expecting. To avoid the “implementation gap,” talk explicitly at the start about what a successful outcome would look like. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to get on the same page from the very beginning of a project and ensure that accountability is clear for both you and your team member. 

Exhibit behaviors that earn trust. When you are ready to hand off a project to someone on your team, do it in public and express your commitment and faith in that team member’s abilities. This is an important step in building trust not just with that person but with your entire team. As the delegation process continues, share successes publicly, but never express disappointments in public. That is best dealt with in private and with the attitude that you are mentoring and coaching—not taking the task back. Telling people they have full decision-making authority for the task when they really don’t is a great way to kill trust.  

Don’t let ego get in the way of progress. Don’t allow yourself to be that person who says, “I can do it better” or “I can do it faster.” Of course you can. But that is not the point of delegation. Turn your confidence into a strong ability to communicate, motivate, and promote those who are a part of your future. Be willing to truly let go of the project or task that you are turning over. Relinquishing ownership and allowing team members to do the work on their own and in their own way—including making a few mistakes of their own—is vital to the process.

Interested in The P3 Leadership Academy? 

Delegation is one of the many leadership topics Sandra Wiley trains on during The P3 Leadership Academy™. The P3 Leadership Academy focuses on developing and elevating the middle of your firm to cultivate astute leaders in the areas of people / team management, planning and processes. More details at www.boomer.com/P3.

We are interested in working with firms that understand developing managers is crucial for their long-term growth. Firms that not only want to recruit great talent, but develop it as well. If you are this type of firm, we want to hear from you.  Go to www.boomer.com/requestinformation and complete our informational form. We'd love to speak with you.


Tags:  delegation  leadership  management 

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Member Spotlight: Greg Davis - CIO Advantage

Posted By Jon Hubbard, Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Greg Davis is the IT Director at Kennedy & Coe, LLC. With approximately 250 professionals, Kennedy & Coe ranks nationally as a Top 100 accounting and consulting firm. Founded in 1932, they deliver services to clients across the country from their 11 offices.

What made you decide to join the CIO Advantage?

“I joined the CIO Advantage for several reasons. I have been in the Boomer Technology Circles for 12+ years and have received great benefits, so I thought this new program would take that to the next level. I also saw the list of other CIOs that had agreed to be part of the CIO Advantage, and I wanted the opportunity to learn from some of the most knowledgeable CIOs in the industry.”

What value have you received by being a member?

“The biggest value is in the relationships I have built with others in the program. If we are looking at new technology or having problems with existing technology, I have a dozen others to contact for help. Everyone is more than willing to provide timely assistance. I also enjoy the regularly scheduled webinars. They give me a chance to learn about what other CIOs have successfully implemented in their firm and the hurdles they faced in doing so.”

How has being a member of the CIO Advantage benefited your firm?

"To expand the benefit our firm receives from the program, I have used the relationships I have built with other CIOs to introduce others in our firm to people in similar positions in the other firms in the program. This includes our help desk staff, network administrators, trainer, and HR director. Having someone else to call saves them time when struggling through problems."

What would you tell a firm that is considering having their IT Director/CIO join the CIO Advantage?

“I have attended many conferences and participated in several user groups in my 20 years with the firm. I have received the most benefit from The CIO Advantage. Give it a try. You will not be disappointed.”

Interested in the CIO Advantage?

The CIO Advantage community prepares technology professionals for a seat at the management table by developing their business and IT acumen. Each group is limited in size in order to maximize the potential for transparency and sharing of best practices. More details at www.boomer.com/cio.

Go to www.boomer.com/requestinformation and complete our informational form. We'd love to speak with you and determine if the CIO Advantage is the right fit for you and your firm.

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Process Improvement

Posted By Jim Boomer, CIO & Shareholder, Boomer Consulting, Inc., Friday, March 07, 2014


The below blog post is a segment of the 2013 Boomer Technology Circles fall letter. This letter highlights the latest strategies, directions and resources discussed at the Fall round of Circle meetings. To learn more about the Boomer Technology Circles, please visit 
www.boomer.com/btc.

Technology is embedded in about everything we do from a work standpoint these days.  It’s also embedded in our processes.  There is a huge interest in increasing efficiency and improving workflow through automation and technology.  And, many firms are attacking this from the process side and initiating major Lean Six Sigma process improvement projects. There are two approaches that firms are taking here: 1) engage a 3rd party expert to lead them through the project and 2) sending employees to training to get their Lean Six Sigma certification so they can drive the initiative.  Both approaches have had success but the firms using an outside resource have made quicker progress.

With the ubiquitous nature of technology today, it’s hard to look at processes and streamlining workflow without considering tools to accelerate your progress.  Some of the tools that are gaining a lot of interest are tools like Bill.com to handle payables and receivables digitally and electronic signatures for client documents such as engagement letters as well as internal documents requiring a signature.  Many firms are anxiously watching the IRS and waiting for them to approve electronic signatures for Form 8879.  In the meantime, we are seeing a growing adoption of this technology  (cPaperless’ CPA SafeSign, EchoSign & DocuSign) due to the time savings and automation of processes.  Tools like Tallie and Expensify are also available to streamline the expense reporting process.    

As with any business, your firm has a lot of processes and a frequent question is “where do we start?”  The answer is to start with the processes that have the biggest impact on your firm’s performance.  Most firms are applying the Lean Six Sigma principals to the tax, audit and client accounting services to get the ball rolling.  Once they have some success and confidence, they are moving on to other areas of the firm.

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