No, I am not talking about going out and getting drunk. For the uneducated, it is sort of a universal e-mail sent out via the Web. Until last week, I have spot-read a few, but haven't paid much attention to them. The blog I came across was Rita Keller's, in which she keeps in touch with others in CPA firm management.

For those who don't know her, Rita Keller is a shareholder with Brady Ware, an Ohio/Indiana regional CPA firm. She serves as the chief operating officer and has over 27 years' experience in accounting firm management and administration. Keller also is a member of The New Horizon Group, which is comprised of consultants to the CPA profession.

So what did I find on this two-month old blog? I found out why Brady Ware holds its open house during the tax season, the busiest time of the year. There was a suggestion for firms that have their internal telephone listing on their Intranet to link a picture and short bio to each name on the listing to help new people joining your firm.

I found a hyperlink (tablegroup.com/our_books/death_by_meeting.php) to a great checklist to ensure success for the following types of meetings: a daily check-in, weekly tactical, monthly strategic, and a quarterly off-site review. There was consultant Gary Boomer's Top 10 list for how the best firms get better.

My favorite was detailed descriptions for five firm administration positions: chief operating officer, director of administration, firm administrator, office manager, and administrative supervisor. The one I hated was Keller's suggested reading list for 2006. It was very informative and they looked like great books, but there were 16 of them. It would take me a decade to read that many books.

Keller was inspired to write the blog by her son, Ben, a high school band director who maintains a blog (http://fhsbando.blogspot.com) to communicate quickly with his students and their parents. A techie at her firm encouraged her to "just do it!" and suggested she use one of the free bloggers on the Web, adding it always could be brought inside the firm later.The first entry on Keller' blog reads as follows: "I know that many of you visiting this blog are part of my expanding team of CPA firm management explorers - seeking new ways and revisiting proven, old ways of efficiently and profitably managing the CPA firm of the future - the firm where young professionals will want to build their careers." I agree, and believe that the key to the firm of the future is knowledge sharing, and to be truly successful, knowledge must flow freely and not just from the top down. I wonder if we polled the staff of your firm and other firms about blogs, what would the results be. How many would say they write a blog? Read blogs regularly? Could identify how they find them useful? And the final question--How can clients use them in their businesses?

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