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Michelle Golden
Michelle Golden is an author, speaker, and facilitator helping CPAs price in advance.
Recent Activity
So much chatter about why the percent of women on the earth isn't the same as the percent of women in this business or that industry or the boardroom down the hall. Reach back and... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2013 at Golden Practices Blog
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Setting people up for success is something of an art. Bob had it down pat; he was the consummate professional. He’s retired now, but his reputation of wisdom and effectiveness was earned over decades of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2013 at Golden Practices Blog
Thank you so much for all your comments. I'm deeply touched by the personal reflections this post is inspiring you and others to share! @jeffhupert - I completely understand your personal feelings and choices about parental primary caregiving. But what does that have to do specifically and exclusively with women? Other families chose that dad is the primary caregiver. And in those cases, the same flexibility your wife seeks is sought by men. As a mother of 4 and a mom for 28 years in a variety of economic situations, I've personally experienced being a single parent, a stay-home parent, a dual-income parent, a the working wife with a stay-at-home dad. In each of these situations, I had needs. But my needs as a working mother were no different than a man's needs as a working father. Who cares whether I'm female or male, the needs for understanding and flexibility are the same.
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Law and accounting grads are consistently over 50% female, yet the percentage of female firm owners has just reached 20%, up from 19% several years ago. It's easy to blame the mommy track for high... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
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The chatter everywhere in the accounting world surrounds what a hostile selling environment we're in. It was bad 2-3 years ago and it isn't any better today. Hand-wringing CPAs are convinced there's nothing they can... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
I wrote these FAQs several years ago for my original website and, when renovating that site, I posted it on a magazine site I used to contribute to. But I just discovered this content is... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
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Just had an interesting experience with my daughter and my "very highly trusted" dentist. My phrase is in quotes because CPAs and lawyers frequently tell me their clients don't mind their surprise after-the-fact hourly bills... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
I found this article about Gen Y and financial planning (and social media and web research) pretty interesting: "Firms Must Embrace Social Media to Reach Gen Y." I don't know that I agree that financial... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
@Rod and @Chris - exactly right! Adds perception of credibility when you teach your peers...shows you're ahead of the curve! @David - thank you, sir! That means a whole, extra lot coming from a Prof!! :) @Geni - very awesome to hear how it has elevated your cred related to your specialization. Definitely underscores it! @Michael - thanks! I find most CPAs (you are a great example of this) have chosen their profession because of their altruistic nature...they want to help other people. That desire to help makes this one quite natural once people realize the value of sharing even without charging for it (only to a degree, for sure) and the keys to sharing while CYA, which isn't all that hard to do. Keep up the great work, folks!
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2012 on Marketing by Teaching at Golden Practices Blog
Since 2005 (for years and years) I've raved about the effectiveness and amazing coolness of sharing your intellectual capital in order to build business. It's still one of the most effective and affordable means of... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
Thanks Michael, Kevin, and Jennifer! Kevin, it's not stealing if I've shared of free will! :) Use away.... Michael, you're right about point 2! The goal is to make sure they are equipped. If you need to recommend a third-party resource to teach them or do it for them, it's in both of your best interest to do it! :) Connecting people is awesome. Whatever it takes to make it a win for everybody... them ready and able, you on time. It's all good! Jennifer, thanks for sharing your and Jason's happy reactions! That made my day! I don't think he was able to attend my session on pricing at AICPA #pstech but here is the slide deck... there might be more that is of use to you guys... http://www.slideshare.net/goldenm/pricing-for-profitability Good luck!!
"Bill and duck" is a term I coined a few years ago. In the case of CPA firms, billing and ducking is the process of proposing a price (as with an audit), and later billing... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
Veteran CPA firm marketer Katie Tolin had posted an article on the need for a social marketing audit in a LinkedIn group I manage a while back and I just spotted it (yeah, I know,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
A Facebook friend said today that she misses her hour. (I miss mine, too.) It got me thinking about billing by the hour and what someone actually does when he or she works into the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
Changing workforce mentality, evolving customer/client needs, and transparency of service are shining big, scary spotlights on many of the flaws in the professional-firm business model of old. Some problems inherent in the traditional business model... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
We all do it. We agree to do something that we immediately regret. Sometimes we even propose on work we know we don't want. Part of it is not knowing where our next work is... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
So many great comments! I'll answer a few at a time... @ Melinda Guillemette, I love your points about exploration and innovation. I really think formal benchmarking and informal surveys (picking other CPAs brains) play an evil role in close mindedness. @ Rebecca Ryan, It's interesting... I'm not sure who exactly made the remark I mentioned in my post, or the women's issues comments, but I'm okay with the idea of consultants sharing their/our observations because we've all been around the block and have seen quite a lot. The thing is that we all come at it from different angles and with different lenses and this makes our perspectives more valuable. The more thought I give it, I really do think that the audience needs to take the responsibility for vetting the content given its context. The audience KNEW none of the panelist were women. I hope they knew none are social media experts. Well, I take that back... David Maister (until he retired) had a phenomenally successful blog... he did blogging right, engaging his community and humanizing himself. He even retired from the blog very gracefully and left it live for posterity. A very generous contribution of his intellectual property. I know we discussed the merits of blogging and (early) social media on his blog but you're right, David is not, to my knowledge, a social-media tactical expert or strategist. Back to opinions, context is key. Think about how, when we read Shakespeare or Aristotle, we have to consider the eras in which they lived for their ideas and scenarios to hold their intended meaning. And when Romney talks, we have to consider his background and biases. Why would it be any different when we talk? I don't think I want to ask consultants like Allan Koltin, Gary Shamis or Gary Boomer (or you or me) to stop opining. I like diversity of thinking and want to hear others' ideas and observations. Maybe it was the tweeting that got to me... tweeted quotes can sound so damn authoritative! I do know that I, personally, will definitely be more conscious of qualifying my statements on areas where I dabble versus specialize. But I really look to the listener to take what they hear with a grain of salt until they assess things themselves and test the ideas against their realities. The audience should ask questions and prompt the speakers to provide more context and not take everything at face (ear?) value. I think it's (to some degree) laziness that makes us cling to what we hear, especially when it supports our biases. And, to Melinda's point, there's no excuse for leaders doing that!
I think industry experts have some responsibility to qualify their opinion statements, but their audiences have a far bigger responsibility to vet what they hear. For one thing, experts don't all agree, so what does... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2012 at Golden Practices Blog
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A few months ago, I had one of those career shock-and-honor moments. Bruce Marcus (of The Marcus Report and Marcus Letter fame) called to ask me if I would write the introduction for his sixteenth... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2011 at Golden Practices Blog
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Partners and associates often worry about marketing “the individual” versus marketing “the firm.” When a person markets herself (whether online or off) and receives some attention around it, colleagues can become envious. Some may speculate... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2011 at Golden Practices Blog
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Social media takes considerable time and energy. There are certainly aspects of maintaining a social media presence that are tempting to delegate to interns or outsource to outside companies. But wait. Before you turn to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2011 at Golden Practices Blog
@Rod, so true. Sometimes several examples in a single firm. It's not intentional, just a predicament that occurs very easily in our current business model, especially where marketing is not taught and encouraged early in every young professional's career. The way this post is speeding around the interwebz, I think it is resonating with a LOT of people. @Eric, your scenario rings true, also. I have seen that happen more than once. Being "marketable" now means even more than ever because we need to continually make sure we are valuable even when we have a job. As we've seen so much in cuts of recent years, even partners aren't assured security when firms are paring back. I don't want it to seem all bleak, just to reinforce the importance of personal responsibility in shaping our own careers so we don't just find ourselves, ten or 20 years later, in a position we never meant to be in. What is flattering, at first, isn't always best in the long run.
Today, I want to talk about a recent revelation I've had that a problem I thought I just observed "here and there" is actually so common that I now estimate it occurs in about a third of the 100+ firms I've been exposed to during the past 12 years that I've spent consulting. Here's the scenario. The Partner and the Apprentice There's a dynamic, successful partner with some of these traits: A natural at marketing. By that, I mean that she makes friends readily and plants seeds with just about everyone she meets. She exudes confidence and is pleasant to interact with. Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2011 at Golden Practices Blog
Steve, that is a fantastic story and you clearly get it! Congrats and I can tell just from what you've written and the way you've written it that you enjoy the relationship aspect of your business so that is why other people enjoy talking with you. It's a beautiful circle! Info, I love "freebie time" - we should all budget that in! Ron, as you totally know, selling one's "time" interferes completely with the greater mission of quality service. Melinda, those of us who hold the belief that the journey, not the destination, is the whole point (and it's easy to forget during the daily grind...) certainly find it easier to look on even the "wasted" conversations as worthwhile in some way. Just because they don't turn into profits doesn't mean they don't have value. You always make me think. Love that about you!
Thanks so much, Melinda. Your suggestion is outstanding (and I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of it!). Definitely want to eliminate any ambiguity! Thanks for sharing this important tip!