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Creating a positive culture—the key to successful firms

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September 13, 2010

I’m in the process of rebranding my firm—transitioning from James J. Matousek, CPA, Ltd to New Vision CPA Group. Matousek is hard to say and even harder to spell, so it’s never been marketing friendly. It was time for a change. And even though Matousek is my maiden name and still represents our family firm, I had to separate my long-time, nostalgic connection to the name and realize that re-branding was a necessity. After all, a brand is so much more than just a name. A firm’s brand is created based on its broad culture…good or bad.

Culture…we see it, we feel it, and yet it’s really hard to describe. What we do know is that it’s very important. Culture is comprised of a firm’s core values, which evolve from ethics, employee and client relations, professional development, client services, and life-work balance, to name a few. Culture dictates how the outside world sees and feels about your firm—and what makes people decide if they want to do business with you.

One of my favorite companies, Zappos, has created an awesome culture. At the core, the company’s success is stellar customer service. It’s true I love shoes, but my choice for purchasing shoes from Zappos is because of the culture they’ve created. In fact, I love it so much, I wanted to find out more about the company…see what I can pick up and apply to my own firm. So, I arranged a visit, and you are invited.

On November 16, the day before our presentation at Accounting Today’s Growth and Profitably Summit in Las Vegas, my co-presenter, Jason M. Blumer, and I are hosting a behind-the-scenes tour at Zappos’ corporate headquarters, followed by a happy hour. We would love for you to join us. You can get more information and/or sign up at www.thriveal.com.

I also encourage you to attend our presentation, You Got Your Dad’s Firm, Now What? We will focus on how we transformed our family firms into technologically advanced, next-generation businesses, and how it has lead to extreme growth and profitability. We have a lot to share with you, but be assured that at the core of our success is a positive culture!

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. Reach her at jody@matousekconsulting.com.



Comments (6)
Great post, Jody! I offered some similar thoughts on CPA Success today -- http://www.cpasuccess.com/2010/11/zappos-its-gotta-be-the-shoes-and-the-service.html.

We're going to be taking the Zappos tour on Nov. 16, too! Hope to see you there.
Posted by BillSheridan | Tuesday, November 02 2010 at 9:50AM ET
I'm sorry I will have to miss the Zappo behind the scene's tour. As a Girl Scout leader and Boy Scout mom for many years these are my favorite type of adventures.
Posted by mindyluebke | Wednesday, September 15 2010 at 12:55PM ET
Woot! Woot! Can't wait to go to Zappos!
Posted by JasonMBlumerCPA | Monday, September 13 2010 at 5:15PM ET
Now I really wish that I could be in Vegas; I would have enjoyed joining you at Zappos!
Posted by TravisDrouin | Monday, September 13 2010 at 11:40AM ET
NO! We value bill everything. I ask for time spent on clients so I can see how long certain clients take. But I think timesheets are a waste of time! We want clients to call and communicate so we can be proactive and instead of reactive.
Posted by jodypadar | Monday, September 13 2010 at 10:57AM ET
I have to ask: Does your new firm still ask everyone to account for every six minutes of their day? I.e., do you use timesheets?
Posted by | Monday, September 13 2010 at 10:04AM ET
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