"Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall: Have I Got My Priorities Straight?"

Is your professional/personal lifestyle out of whack? Too much of one, not nearly enough of the other? Take this simple test—you may be surprised at your answers.

Burned out—or balancing tasks well? Are you juggling multiple tasks every day and exhausted from the demands of your personal and professional life?

Perhaps it’s time for a schedule that provides more opportunity for work/life balance. There may be times in your career when an alternative schedule provides the support you need to manage life’s challenges. Use flexible work arrangements and support them throughout your organization.

Focused on today’s tasks—or on the future? Are you always busy with a to-do list?

Consider your goals, understand what it takes to accomplish them and then set aside time for the tasks that are tied to your career. Don’t get so wrapped up in today’s tasks that you neglect the important personal and professional development and networking opportunities that are essential to your future.

Conventional—or creative? Are you willing to think about things from a different perspective?

People who have advanced to the most senior positions at their firms often are the ones who offered new solutions to business problems. Fight the urge to do things the way they have always been done and let your creativity bring you the recognition you deserve.

Isolated—or engaged? Are you making the most of your relationships with clients, colleagues, protgs, mentors and family?

Despite the fact that accountants constantly work with people, it’s easy to feel isolated. The demands on your time may be so extensive that you may wonder whether you can spare any time to spend with others. Recognize that much of the success in accounting results from building relationships.

Behind the 8 ball—or leading the pack? Are you so worried about getting the job done that you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture?

It’s likely your organization is looking to identify the next generation of leaders. Involve yourself in programs and important projects that allow you to develop and demonstrate leadership skills.

—Nancy R. Baldiga, CPA, associate professor and chair,
department of economics, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Mass.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.