I’m Only Sorry We Hesitated

By September 23, 2016 February 24th, 2020 No Comments

There was some hesitancy getting onto the Sterling program,” says Henry Varga, CPA, of Kingman, Arizona. He had been practicing as an accountant for almost 20 years when he got his first dose of Sterling’s executive training. One year ago in July, almost to the day, he went to Sterling.

“That was because of the expense and the time I would have to be away from the office,” he says. “Afterwards, the only thing I was sorry about was that we had hesitated. My greatest regret is that I didn’t hear about Sterling fifteen years ago.”

Mr. Varga remembers the practice before Sterling. “I had two lives, one now and one I call B.S., ‘Before Sterling.’ At that time my business was running me, instead of me running my business. I needed greater control over the business and also over the people who worked for me. There was a lot of stress and it was hurting my family life.

“When I was in college,” says Mr. Varga, “I heard that the life of a retired accountant averaged less than five years, just because they couldn’t handle the stress reduction! Now I understand that, but also I don’t worry about it anymore. Now I have a Sterling life.

“The way I heard about Sterling was through a client of mine who had just gotten out of optometry school and who had become a Sterling client. I was struggling to work out how to get him started on the program and then I had a chance to observe the effects of the Sterling program on his practice and on his confidence. As I watched him implement the program in his office it seemed clear that there was something here I had to know more about and that there was something there for me.

“As I said, there was a lot of reluctance, but at the conclusion of my three hour free consultation, we reviewed his performance compared to what Sterling had to offer me. And we decided we could possibly benefit. Benefit? Hah! Actually, I’m only sorry we hesitated!”

When Mr. Varga got to the Glendale headquarters of Sterling he found the courses “very enlightening. The thing that impressed me the most was that I observed what I was learning in the courses were the same things Sterling was using in running their operation. So I walked around and observed this implementation of their technology as practical examples of what I was studying!

“I was also extremely impressed at the accuracy of their understanding of my practice and the people in the office, as a result of their review of statistics and staff test results, which I had provided.”

While he was studying, Varga says, he was hard put to separate one principle which he thought would be most useful. “But I’ll tell you that the first thing I did implement the day after I arrived at home was the communication system and it had immediate effects on production, the flow of information and the morale of everybody in the office!

“Just about the next thing I did was I took every person in the office and assigned them hats—well-defined post duties and responsibilities. As a result individuals knew clearly what they needed to get done and the work people were supposed to get done arrived where it was supposed to.

“The flow of work in the office is controlled, too. It all arrives at the person who is supposed to log in the work and if it needs to be specifically assigned, that is done by me or one of the partners. We adapted the communication system to our work flow and how it moves from place to place. As a result, we don’t have to worry where to put things and my desk is not cluttered with piles of work.”

If you ask Henry Varga about the stress in his office, such a major problem before, he replies, “Stress? What stress?”

Did production change? “Dramatically!” he says. “Our lowest producing person tripled her production inside six weeks. In fact, we had somebody who for some time had needed some training and had been neglected. So we made a plan for the personnel, worked that plan and everybody’s production went up. Today we take on increased workload and we don’t have to take on new personnel. Before Sterling we were always behind; today we have surplus capacity.

“Furthermore, my business is not encroaching on my home life. Now I have time to do things I didn’t before. I’m home more evenings and I’m home more weekends.

“I’ll say this: I wouldn’t be so silly as to hesitate if I had it to do over again. If I were talking to a CPA considering Sterling, I’d tell him the rewards far outweigh the costs, that the time and resources expended are small in comparison with the results and the benefits. And most of all, I think I’d say: don’t think so much, just go get the job done so you can be happier!”