Rick Telberg

New Year Resolutions

CPAs list goals for 2009 — both personal and professional. What are YOUR New Year Resolutions?

January 5, 2009
by Rick Telberg/At Large

Accountants the world over seem to be breathing a sigh of relief that 2008 is finally over. They’re looking forward to a fresh start and better business conditions in 2009.

But that’s not all. Like most everyone else, accountants are also looking to make and achieve new goals in life as well as business.

A few weeks ago, I issued an invitation on LinkedIn, the huge and growing networking site for professionals, for ideas on New Year Resolutions. I was blown away by the number of responses and the thoughtfulness of the resolutions. And they came from the world over — from all across the United States and from Mexico, India and South Africa.

The question remains open: What are your New Year Resolutions? While you consider your answers, check out these from professional colleagues around the world and let us know what you think:

1. I would like to pursue expertise in IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) as I know this is going to be a very important area in future business and finance dealings.

2. I would like to scale back somewhat on my art business, as this is not the time people are likely to spend a lot on luxuries such as art, photography or jewelry.

3. I would like to expand my network to include a group of interesting, knowledgeable professionals who are willing to help each other in this time of uncertainty.

4. I will be talking to my tax clients about tax planning for the coming years, and what they can do to alleviate the pain.

— Christy Nicholas, CPA
Gainesville, Fla.

I do not make New Year's Resolutions. I set goals that I work towards, no matter what time of the year it is. That being said my immediate goal is to build my accounting practice to sustain my family, while devoting time with the family as well. One of my long-term goals is to be healthier, which will enable me to spend more time with my family.

— Aurelia E. Weems, CPA
Owner, Aurelia E Weems, CPA
Houston, Texas

I'd say that given the financial crisis, help to spread urgently needed financial literacy … particularly about credit cards.

— Mario P. Lopez, CPA
Senior Financial Planning & Business Analyst
Mexico City, Mexico

Very good question I must say. Well, this answer of mine comes at the time where the economy is headed south, but here are my resolutions:

1. Spend more money on marketing and diversify our portfolio holdings.

2. Hire talented individuals who are seeking employment with an international firm that is growing rapidly.

3. Seek to restructure companies that are in need of help aggressively, using our in-house created simulation and financial models.

As it goes for the economy, there are more opportunities now then ever before. You just have to make sure you are in the center of the right circle.

— Rahim Thawer
Santa Monica, Calif.
CEO & Founder of Waterbury Financial Strategies Inc

1. Continue building my LinkedIn network of business associates. A large and strong business network is the most valuable long-term asset a successful business-person can develop.

2. Tell our sensible, passive, long-term, tax-efficient, academic-based RIA story to as many people as possible. This is an opportunity of a lifetime to serve more ideal clients as they flee the wire house/broker-dealer environment.

— Stuart Zimmerman, CPA/PFS
Principal at Buckingham Asset Management
St. Louis, Mo.

I have a number of both personal and work priorities and resolutions for the New Year:

1. As far as my profession is concerned, I would like to finish off my accounting studies in CIMA and start working on also obtaining the ACCA qualification.

2. I bought myself a new smaller reliable car that is lighter on fuel to use for business and work purposes.

3. I hope to stay on with my current job but if the recession bites in, then I'll be marketing myself and building some new relationships with recruitment agencies out there.

4. On a more personal note, I might take a big step and get engaged to be married, so I can focus a bit more on my personal growth than my career, which has taken up a lot of my time the last two years

5. I also wish I could move further out of the city.

— Francois Andlau
Accounting Officer and Tax Practitioner
Andlau Accounting CC
Cape Town Area, South Africa

My 2009 resolutions are:

1. Develop my network to include creating relationships with other CPA firms.

2. Develop a new strategy to help CPA firms streamline and outsource their work.

3. Develop a stronger small business base of clientele.

The biggest goal of all this year is to FINISH MY MBA!! December 2009 can't come any quicker!!

— Anne Coates
Coates and Co.
Stockton, Calif.

In difficult times as we are in, it is most important to expand your professional network, as well as increase your education to become more efficient and marketable.

As a young professional in the public accounting industry, it is important for me to help grow the firm I work for, by finding new ways to make contacts and obtain audit and tax clients.

Personal life — balance the checkbook and have children.

— Michael Kresge
Assurance Manager
Bitner & Collings, PLLC
Tucson, Ariz.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN: WHAT ARE YOUR NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS? Is it about career? Management? The economy? Developing a new skill? Spending more time with the family? We’ll read them all and share the best. E-mail us.

Copyright © 2009 CPA Trendlines/BSG LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. First published by the AICPA.

About Rick Telberg

Rick Telberg is editor at large/director of online content.

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Disclaimer: Any views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the AICPA or CPA2Biz. Official AICPA positions are determined through certain specific committee procedures, due process and deliberation.