For Adam Odom of LSL CPAs, it all comes down to passion and people. As a math major at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California, Odom questioned the career opportunities available post-college. Figuring accounting would be the “next best thing”, Odom fell in love with accounting in his very first class. He went to work at a public accounting firm after graduating in 2006 and stayed there until he joined LSL seven years later.
At LSL, Odom is known for engaging younger staff and working with them to enhance their career goals and opportunities, although he never had a formal mentor himself. The first firm he worked for did not have a formal mentorship program, but he still credits them with providing excellent support in the form of other audit staff and seniors who were always willing to help answer any questions he had. Today, Odom loves every minute of working at LSL. “It is such a great firm to work for. I feel like everyone is treated with respect and I feel very appreciated at our firm. Everyone is great to work for, and the partners are above and beyond anything I ever would have expected.”
Known for his hard work and positive attitude, Odom may not have had a formal mentor earlier in his career, but it is clear that he benefitted from having some very influential positive role models, including people from his church, school and family. Odom credits his father for passing along a strong work ethic. His father worked in construction and despite having a tough job, Odom never heard him complain. When Odom went to work for his father during the summer, he was advised to “walk from A to B as fast as you can and work as hard as you can. Don’t ever slack off.” Odom still carries that mindset with him, whether he is mentoring younger staff at LSL, helping a friend move, or working with a client to grow their business.
Get to know Adam
Odom met his wife LuAnna on their first day of college at Vanguard University. They married in 2006 and just celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary. They have two children, Liliana (6) and Elijah (3) as well as a beagle named Bruiser. Outside of work, Odom loves soccer and plays every Thursday night.
At the 2016 Boomer Technology Circles Summit, Odom received the Bridging the Gap as an Emerging Leader Award in recognition of his commitment to mentorship, his positive attitude and constant focus on finding improvements and efficiencies in any project he takes on.
Posted By Michael Wherry, Consultant, Boomer Consulting, Inc.,
Monday, August 29, 2016
At the Australian Open in January of 2014, a heat wave had daytime temperatures reaching 42°C (108°F), yet officials did not invoke the “Extreme Heat Policy.” A few players experienced mild heat-related illnesses, but spectators and especially the press were appalled at the conditions and criticized the organizers for letting the matches continue. Roger Federer, on the other hand, chose to demonstrate the attitude that has made him one of the greatest tennis players ever. “It’s just a mental thing. If you’ve trained hard enough your entire life or the last few weeks and you believe you can do it and come through it, there’s no reason. If you can’t deal with it, you throw in the towel.”
When we help firms transition to Lean organizations, we use a mnemonic D-O-W-N-T-I-M-E+A. The letters in DOWNTIME represent examples of waste in an organization, but the +A may be the most important part of the equation because it stands for Attitude.
At its core, Lean is about changing mindsets. To change mindsets, leaders have to be an example for the rest of the team. People observe and follow actions, not words. If firm leaders seek to change a company’s mindset, it starts with leading by example.
So take a good hard look at your attitude in regards to running a Lean firm. Can you take the heat, remaining focused on possibilities and positive outcomes? Or do you tend to focus on the reasons changes can’t happen or won’t succeed?
If you need a tune-up, start practicing the Three Ps:
Positive – Be aware that remaining positive is entirely within your control. Practice positive thinking by becoming aware of negative thoughts and words and making a real effort to push them aside and replace them with positive ones. Keep negative people at arm’s distance whenever possible. When you must deal with negative people, recognize that their effect is up to you.
Persistent – Few people accomplish worthy goals on their first try. If you’ve already tried one method that didn’t get you the results you desire, try again with another approach. On the days you feel like giving up, focus on the immediate moment. Can you take one action that will bring you even the slightest bit of progress by the end of the day? Sometimes the smallest success can help get you back on track.
Patience – Transforming your firm will not happen overnight. Developing a Lean culture can be realized only through a patient devotion to what you are trying to achieve. When we practice patience, we are better people, better managers, and better leaders. Practicing patience is a mindfulness habit. We have to learn to recognize impatience and make a conscious choice to change our mindset.
The success of your shift is in direct correlation to how many people in the company take on the Lean mindset. Make sure your attitude is in the right place, and the rest will follow. When you reach critical mass, your firm will take off.
By Michael Wherry, CPA, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Boomer Consulting, Inc.
Four Honored for “Bridging the Gap” at The Boomer Technology Circles™ Summit
Manhattan, KS – August 17, 2016 – Three individuals and one CPA firm took home “Bridging the Gap” awards after being honored on August 14th by Boomer Consulting, Inc. during the 2016 Boomer Technology Circles™ Summit in Kansas City, Missouri. Three of the awards honor firms and individuals within the accounting profession that excel in aligning technology and firm management while the fourth award recognizes an outstanding emerging leader.
Adam Odom, Audit Manager, LSL CPAs LLP, was presented with the 2016 Bridging the Gap as an Emerging Leader Award.
Odom was nominated by his firm due to his positive attitude and focus on helping the firm in any way he can. On any project he takes on, Odom seeks improvements and efficiencies. He continuously looks to engage staff in the firm to enhance their career goals and opportunities. Considered the number one thought leader at LSL CPAs LLC, Odom has worked in multiple departments and has exceeded all expectations with increased business and client relations.
LSL CPAs LLC (http://www.lslcpas.com/) is a certified public accounting and business advisory firm with offices in Orange County, Silicon Valley, and Temecula Valley, California.
Grant Jones, Shareholder, Perkins & Co, was presented with the 2016 Bridging the Gap in Firm Management award. Jones’s commitment to and passion for bridging the gap between firm management and technology is evident in his active participation in the Boomer Technology Circles Summit since Perkins & Co joined in 2002. Currently, he is working to increase security awareness within the firm through a formalized program of baseline testing, interactive web-based training and ongoing assessment.
Perkins & Co (http://perkinsaccounting.com/) is the largest locally owned accounting firm in Portland, Oregon with more than 150 employees plus 24 shareholders. The firm is one of the most admired professional service firms in the area according to the Portland Business Journal’s Most Admired Companies vote.
Cody Page, Chief Operating Officer, Peterson Sullivan LLP, was presented with the 201 Bridging the Gap in Technology Award.
Page led the internal Lean Billing Project and led the charge to further automation, challenging his firm to take their billing practices to the next level. Acting as the liaison between IT and the firm’s partners, he’s a key internal resource and leads the firm from a high level operational and technology perspective. He’s one of a kind in his ability to see and lead the big picture, yet appreciate the details when necessary.
Peterson Sullivan LLP (http://www.pscpa.com/) is a certified public accounting and business advisory firm based in Seattle, Washington. They are ranked among the top 10 largest CPA firms in the Puget Sound region, with more than 170 professionals and support staff.
Cody Page, Chief Operating Officer at Peterson Sullivan LLP accepted the 2016 Bridging the Gap Award for Technology and Firm Management Project, an award that recognizes a firm’s project to leverage technology to accelerate the achievement of the firm’s vision and goals.
With their Lean Billing Project, Peterson Sullivan LLP applied leading edge techniques to the billing process to better automate the process, leverage responsibility and turn invoices around quicker to improve cash flow. The project was rolled out in August of 2015 and since that time, many other firms have reached out to Peterson Sullivan to learn more about what they’re doing.
“These awards are meant to showcase the individuals and firms that are leading the charge to link business management, IT strategies, human resources, training and learning,” said Sandra Wiley, President of Boomer Consulting, Inc. “To stay ahead of the curve and become a Firm of the Future, you must have the right leaders and players in place. It’s an honor to be able to recognize some of the brightest and most influential people in accounting.”
The winners were chosen from nominations submitted by around 100 eligible firms that are either members of the Boomer Technology Circles™ or participants in the P3 Leadership Academy.
About Boomer Consulting, Inc.
Boomer Consulting, Inc. guides accounting firms to increased performance and profitability by providing forward-thinking consulting services, peer-led communities and relevant intellectual capital. Their unique and powerful solutions target five areas critical to a firm's success: Leadership/Management, Client Development, Talent Development, Technology and Processes. For more information, visit www.boomer.com.
Adam Smith published his first edition of Wealth of Nations in 1776, the same year 13 American colonies declared independence from the British Empire. Amongst his other monumental economic theories was the idea that self-interest drives the best outcomes, famously asserting that “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest”. Such is the case with expense reporting - it is driven by multiple parties, but the most influential is the employee who desires reimbursement as quickly as possible with the least amount of effort. Knowing this and with the advent of mobile devices, new technology, and processes, what strategies can we apply to the deeply burdensome expense reporting process to reduce the challenge of expense reporting.
This Guide focuses on Five Objectives:
1.Reduce the time and costs associated with entering, managing, documenting, reconciling, and paying travel and operational expenses.
2.Improve the processes and workflow for both employees and their firms with real-time report management.
3.Improve the experience for vendors and business partners.
4.Leverage mobile technology to enhance digital documentation and workflow.
5.Integrate – not just link – expense management into the company’s accounting ecosystem (Practice Management, General Ledger, and Document Management).
These objectives are a reality today due to the exponential growth of processing power, bandwidth and digital storage. We are all familiar with Moore’s Law, part of what is more recently Ray Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns. Let me demonstrate with a question, most of you will answer incorrectly, because we are trained to think linear and local rather than exponential and global.
How much money will you have at the end of a 31-day month if you start with one cent and double it every day? You have 15 seconds to answer.
My guess is most of you were considerably under the correct answer of $10,737,418.24. Go ahead…do the math yourself. At 28 days you will have $1,342,177.28. Initially the results are deceptive and then disruptive.
Disruptive technology should make you think about how you are going to automate as many processes as possible, especially key processes that add little or no value to your services. More importantly it should make you think about your current business model and technology ecosystem. Are you future ready and do you want to continue to compete in a rapidly changing world? After-the-fact data (especially paper) is no longer adequate and too expensive to manage. Businesses need real-time information and decision making wisdom, now!
This Guide will help you expedite the process of automating one of the most time consuming and arduous tasks accountants and employees face – expense reporting. And by the way… the software was designed to help employees drive this process so you are assured of their acceptance and buy in. Receipt documentation is easy to capture via the camera on your mobile phone, easy to submit reports along with the required policies and procedures provide employees timely reimbursement. Using the principles of Lean Six Sigma (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control), accounting and the back office can meet the challenge and streamline their expense reporting processes.
Enjoy the Guide, it is a quick read by design and especially take note of the One-Page Action Plan in the appendix. It will quickly start your firm, business or organization on your road to success and future readiness.
A tax department leader taped a fortune to the back of her monitor. She would often point to it when someone would enter her office and say; “Houston, we have a problem!” The fortune states; “problems are just opportunities dressed in work clothes”. This fortune rings true in today’s ever changing world, especially for CPA firms. Many predict that technology and automation will revolutionize the compliance work firms have counted on as their bread and butter.
Clients see how technology has changed their personal lives. Remember the computers used by NASA during the journey to the moon? There is now more computing power in the palm of your hand! Your clients’ expectations have changed and your firm must deliver faster, cheaper, better and easier! You have invested in various technologies and trained staff members on how to best use it. Yet, the same question persists; do I have the right technology and is my team sufficiently trained on how to use it? Your internal structure, the changing landscape of technology and your clients’ view of technology create the perfect storm.
SafeSend Returns Software
Tax returns have historically been delivered to taxpayers in paper mailed through the US Postal service. Recent polls indicate that over 75% of tax returns are still delivered this way. However, the process of printing, collating, assembling and mailing a paper tax return is both time consuming and expensive. For a simple return it can take 10 minutes, and for a complex return it can take hours. The cost of the paper, folder, postage, and envelopes is easily $10-$15, let alone the labor to complete the task. Then after you deliver it, you will be unpleasantly surprised to find out how much time you spend chasing your clients to get the signed 8879 back, and to collect your tax preparation fees. Then every quarter you have to go through it all over again with estimated payments. This entire process is a huge problem that exists in almost every tax and accounting firm. To compound the problem, taxpayers are becoming more dependent on mobile capabilities to complete their tasks.
Practice Management has come a long way in the last decade. With an ever increasing number of software applications coming on the market promising to take you to administrative nirvana—and an increasing majority of firms implementing them in some form—the pressure has never been greater to take the plunge. But with a dizzying array of options it can be hard to know where to start. We’re going to look at six facets of firm activity that can greatly benefit from some practice management best practices and recommendations.