I’ve been a Sterling client about three years. We were really growing fast and I felt like it was getting away from me, like I didn’t have control over staff or over the work. Things were getting done and we were doing okay, but I felt very disorganized. I hooked up with Sterling and went out to do the program in 1995.
I enjoyed the training. I think the Hubbard management technology is great. Everything is spelled out, and that’s good.
When I got back to the office after my training I started doing some organizing. We began using memos and putting everything in writing. We set up the communication system. We worked on getting our office procedures in place. I started keeping closer track of monthly billings and collections, as far as statistics.
It certainly has made a difference. We’re much more organized. The staff are more comfortable with their positions. Overall it runs smoothly and everyone is happy to be working here.
I have more control over the work and more control over myself and I have a much better attitude.
I took my staff to a Sterling seminar last year-a weekend workshop. They give several of these a year. There were a number of topics: we covered the emotional tone scale and the purpose of the practice. It was helpful in that it certainly got us on the same page for the tax season.
All staff know what their goals are personally. I have two accountants (one is a CPA), a bookkeeper and an office manager. I give each of them a separate billable hours goal monthly. I set out the monthly goals that we have for both billing and collections and we have the graph up so we can see where we should be at any point in time. Every three or four days those statistics are posted so everybody can see how we are doing and the amount of billable time they need. Normally we have a weekly staff meeting and go over all this.
With the staff that we have we’re doing a very good job. We’re always trying to do better, to offer more in the way of services. We always have room for improvement, but things are running a lot smoother in the office now. The teamwork is very good—I’m very happy with the staff we have.
The first year after Sterling (’96) our charges went up about 20-25% over ’95. In ’97 we made about a 10% increase over ’96. This year (’98) we’re making about 20% over last year. From the very beginning we’re up a total of about 50-60% over what we were doing before Sterling.
Sterling certainly helped our office organization-wise. Of course, the more effort you put into getting the organization even better, the better it gets.
Other things can be stressful, but I’m not stressed by the work. This last tax season I did so well about not getting stressed. Before Sterling I used to go home and I’d think, ‘I’ve got to do this and this and this’. Now I can leave it here at the office. When I go home, I go home. I would encourage any CPA to go with Sterling.
I’m calmer and less fragmented. It’s easier for me to get focused and get the work done. It really is. I definitely am more focused on work and try to do it now. “Do it now!” is my motto!
Linda Turria, CPA