Common Reasons for Failure

quit3Failure is a fact of life, and it’s an obstacle from which many lessons can be learned.  But, if possible, wouldn’t you rather avoid failure altogether? 

In a recent article, author Deborah Shane shares “7 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed,” arguing that all successful individuals encounter failure, but they are successful because they persevere.  Here are four of seven most common obstacles to success:

1. They Become Irrelevant.  Technology advances at the speed of light these days, and with it social media trends and consumer interests.  And while as a financial professional you may feel immune to these advances (accounting is still accounting, regardless of what people are tweeting), not staying current on these developments will cost you a competitive advantage.

2. They Lack Discipline, Focus and Balance.  You cannot be a successful entrepreneur without these three things.  Shane encourages entrepreneurs to approach their businesses with “Olympian discipline,” explaining that Olympic athletes “set their goals, surround themselves with a team of coaches and commit to a grinding, daily regimen of practice to achieve.”  This same mindset can be applied to managing a new business.

3. They Lack a Deep Sense of Belief in Themselves.  If you believe you’ll fail, than you might as well surrender your shingle now.  However, if you are convinced you’ll succeed, your chances of success are much greater.  If you find yourself lacking the necessary confidence to more forward, don’t despair.  You can change your thought patterns by practicing positive thinking.  Sometimes it just takes a little concentration to eliminate the negative self-talk we all engage in.

4. They Have Skills Gaps.  As Shane explains, “Make sure all your skills, certifications and qualifications are up to date and current for today’s standards.  No matter what career you are in, make sure you are adapting to and using the best practices today.”

The Professional Bookkeeper Program

If you need to hone your accounting skills, or if you’re looking to acquire a new skillset in accounting, UAC’s Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program is not only reputable, but it’s self-paced, enabling a busy professional like you to take your time or complete the program quickly, in less than 60 hours.

And when you take this program you are trained to act as your clients’ Profit Expert.  What is a Profit Expert?  A proactive accountant who realizes that the information he/she generates provides crucial data that can make or break a business.  It’s the accountant’s job to share this data with business owners, explaining it in such a way that they both understand what the information indicates and can use it to make informed business decisions.  The PB Program will train you how to do that.

You will gain the confidence and skill necessary to start and manage nearly every client’s books, and when you have a question, our follow-up program enables you to call and ask one of our seasoned professionals.

Let Universal help you avoid all the pitfalls in becoming a contact accountant! Act now and enroll in the Professional Bookkeeper Program day.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908.



Shane, Deborah.  “Fail Much?  7 Reasons Why People Don’t Succeed.”   16 November 2014

Lisa Bybee Enjoys Lasting Success

Lisa BybeeAbout ten years ago, Lisa Bybee was working as a Union carpenter who later went on to specialize in custom millwork.  In 2006, when the recession hit, she was the foreman of a Boston-based carpentry company.  It was then that she decided to ensure her financial future by pursuing additional training.  And because she had always been interested in accounting, it was only natural that she gravitate to Universal Accounting Center (UAC).

In 2007 Lisa enrolled in the Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide to QuickBooks.  The hands-on training really appealed to Lisa, who quickly realized that the exercises she was completing for imaginary companies in her training manual were preparing her for real-life scenarios with prospective clients.  Her Universal coach suggested she continue her training with the Professional Bookkeeper Program which enables students to master small-business accounting.  By the end of the year, she had completed both courses and had earned the Professional Bookkeeper designation (PB).

Less than one year later, Lisa started her own practice, Parkers Accounting, which she named after her late grandmother (Edra Mae Parker) and father (James Parker Bybee) who had both spent decades working in the accounting industry.  When we first talked to Lisa, she was still working full-time, running her accounting practice on the side.  She was serving 7 regular clients with the hopes of turning her part-time practice into a fulltime venture.

Just this week we caught up with Lisa to see how she’s doing.  Since we last spoke just a few years ago she’s become a CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner) and has a graduate degree in both accounting and forensic accounting.  She still manages an accounting practice for which an employee performs most of the day-to-day accounting tasks.  She works as a controller for three companies on a contract basis and dedicates three days a week to forensic accounting.  Lisa explains, “I have a wide range of clients now and close to $200,000 in annual revenue.”

Lisa enjoys many benefits as a contractor.  She explains, “In a job, you are hired for a certain position and that is what you do, all day, every day.  Only if someone retires or leaves is there the [opportunity] … for advancement.  But with my practice, only I determine where I will stop.  There is no limit to the upside I can achieve.  The only limit is myself and my mind.”

Universal’s training enabled Lisa to interact with real small-business owners, convincing them of the value her service provide.  Lisa says, “I understand much better what they need and what I need to do to provide the best service to them.  This is something never taught in two or four-year colleges but is essential…in order to do accounting for small business.  The program gave me a much more rounded education in accounting, not just a corporate view of accounting.”

To those who are thinking about training with Universal, Lisa says, “Just start!  Just enroll and start the programs, and it will happen—everything else will fall into place.  Just know that what you learn here is real-world bookkeeping for small business.  And that no matter what questions are thrown at you, there is always someone at UAC to help.”

Lisa attributes her own success to her undying commitment; she never gave up.  She also explains that “…without my knowledge of QuickBooks, I wouldn’t even be close to those accomplishments.  I owe a lot to Universal Accounting for teaching me not only the skills of QuickBooks, but also that the dream really can be reality.”  To sample the training she received for free online, visit Universal Accounting.

What Small-Business Clients Want

client-centered-servicesIn a recent survey conducted by The Sleeter Group, small to mid-sized businesses were asked what they want from their accountants.   Over 1000 prospects were screened and narrowed down to 188 participants who were then questioned about the services they desired as well as what they believed their accountants could provide verses what they wanted to provide.

The results proved interesting.  Here is a quick summary of what they discovered:

  • Expertise and responsiveness were rated the most persuasive characteristics in selecting an accountant.  The article goes on to explain, “What may come as a surprise is that ‘proactive strategic advice’ was the third-highest-rated factor with an average score of 8.7, coming in ahead of ‘reputation’ and ‘low fees.’  The fact that proactive strategic advice rates so high shows SMBs want a CPA who is a partner in their success and often thinking about their business.” 
  • 47.8% of small businesses would prefer an accountant specializing in their industry while 37.8% don’t care either way and 14.4% require a specialist. 
  • 59% are ”highly satisfied” with their current accountant while 21% are “satisfied” and 20% are “dissatisfied.” 
  • The top five services SMBs are currently receiving include tax return preparation, tax planning, compilation/reviewing/auditing of records, representation at government audit, and bookkeeping. 
  • The top five services SMBs wish their accountants offered include business planning, business strategy, the creation of a business dashboard, business analytics, and tax planning. 
  • The top three preferred methods of communication with accountants are by (in order of preference) email, phone and in person. 
  • The top two reasons SMBs leave their accountants are 1. a lack of proactive advice as opposed to reactive advice, and 2. accountants exhibited poor responsiveness. 
  • SMBs want help in strategic planning and technology but don’t believe their accountants want to provide those services.  The article explains, “When it comes to technology planning, almost two-thirds of respondents said they ‘never’ seek out advice from their CPA, showing SMBs don’t believe accountants have the expertise in technology to provide such advice.”

So what does this survey suggest? Focus your efforts on providing those additional services SMBs desire, like strategic business and tax planning.  Also, consider the importance of becoming a Growth and Profit Expert, helping clients tackle problems proactively while making more strategic and lucrative business decisions.  And gaining expertise in technology will also help you respond to one of their most pressing needs.

UAC’s Training Programs Can Help

Our convenient and practical online training programs can respond to all these demands, helping you become a Profit and Growth Expert, provide tax planning services, and master QuickBooks, the leading software used by small-business owners.

The Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program enables you to do what most accountants can’t: specialize in small-business accounting services.  After just 60 hours, you can become a Profit and Growth Expert, a financial advisor who enhances and/or turns around promising small businesses by providing direction in controlling cash effectively, reducing and minimizing expenses and increasing revenue.

Tax Preparation is just the first part of the Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) Program; you will also learn how to advise businesses to structure their organization to reduce their tax burden. You will assist them to strategically place themselves in a position today that will reap tax rewards next year. While tax preparation peaks around the tax return deadline, there is great money to be made all year long optimizing organizations to take advantage of tax benefits and exemptions.

The Professional Bookkeeper’s Guide (PBG) to QuickBooks will enable you to master this software program that over 80% of small businesses use to manage their accounting.  Once you do, you will be able to work more efficiently as you use all the features, functions, and shortcuts QuickBooks offers.  Not only will the PBG enable you to manage your own books more efficiently, but it can increase your bottom line as you add QuickBooks consultation, help and setup services to your offerings.  With hands-on training you can earn a professional designation as a QuickBooks Specialist that will give you the credibility you need to convince prospective clients that you are an outstanding bookkeeper and trusted technology advisor!

Respond to small business accounting wants and needs by enrolling in these three outstanding programs today.  Call Universal now at 1-877-833-7908 to become a full-service financial provider.



Sleeter, Doug.  “What SMBs Want from Their Accountant – 2014 Update.” 9 April 2014

UAC’s Premier Accounting Service Conference Series

BOn June 12th, Universal Accounting hosted its first ever FREE Premier Accounting Service Virtual Conference designed to help individuals advance or launch their accounting careers.  UAC had 212 register for the first event, of which 117 attended.  We hope to see many more take advantage of future events in the series.

Starting and growing your own successful accounting practice, or advancing your accounting career, can be very liberating and rewarding.  But it’s not always clear how to do it.  This virtual series is designed to teach you!

The conference series features the following:

  • Presentations on how, why and when to start your own service.
  • Presentations from leaders in the small business accounting industry.
  • Presentations by those who can help you get there and do that.
  • Presentations that will inform, educate, motivate and inspire you to DO SOMETHING!
  • Meet product and service providers in our exhibition hall with the tools of the trade to succeed.
  • Receive the educational resources for reference and study after your sessions.
  • Network with other attendees to create a circle of success with others who are committed to success

One attendee, Deana J said, “I wanted to thank Universal Accounting for making these available.  I thoroughly enjoyed all of the presentations and am grateful for the materials provided. Again, thank you for this free conference series.  I am looking forward to the next ones!”

The next conference is the series will be held on June 26th from noon to 6pm Eastern Time.  You can register now at

This conference features a presentation by Universal President Roger Knecht entitled “Accounting: The Best of the Best Home-Based Businesses.” Here you will learn the four criteria to start any business and how you apply them to an accounting, bookkeeping, tax, payroll and/or QuickBooks practice.  Roger will explain why accounting rises to the top as the best of the best in those 4 criteria, as well as the 7 reasons why you can be successful doing this part-time, earning a supplemental income, or full-time, earning a primary income.  He will also explain how to calculate your earnings as a freelance accountant, bookkeeper and/or tax preparer when considering national bill rates.

Clay Neves, Vice President of Student Enrollment, will also be presenting at this conference.  His presentation will examine the following questions:

  • What are the economics that drive your ability to make the most money in the
    least amount of time?
  • What activities drive the most value to your clients?
  • How do you grow beyond yourself?
  • Why does hiring other people to help actually MAKE you more money?
  • How do I leverage my time and money to maximize ROI?
  • What are the traps to avoid?

Join Universal and gain access to ideas, techniques, best practices, resources, connections and providers who can take you from where you are to where you want to be!

Enroll now in this FREE conference series, and you will receive notices of future sessions, occurring ever 2 to 4 weeks!  Then enter the auditorium to see upcoming sessions and put them on your calendar.

Scott McKinley Enjoys Coaching Students to Success

Scott MScott McKinley has worked at Universal Accounting Center (UAC) for eight years now. As the Marketing Coach he engages with students one-on-one as they develop and implement marketing plans, refine their sales skills and conduct successful business seminars.

Each Universal student receives 6 to 12 months of student-initiated coaching upon enrollment. Scott oversees all those calls related to marketing and helps students use proven Universal strategies to create customized marketing plans that meet their unique needs. Scott explains, “Coaching is really a passion of mine because this is where the rubber meets the road with a lot of people.  To have accountability in a situation where there usually isn’t any, can be a big help for these students of Universal Accounting.”

In addition to the traditional coaching students receive with each training program, Universal also has a Master Coaching program through which individuals receive 12 weeks of more focused mentoring that helps them set and achieve goals, complete special assignments, and role play presentations and networking conversations as they launch their own accounting and/or tax practices. Scott manages these student interactions as well. He says, “This is different from the student-initiated calls that come in on a daily basis. We have had tremendous success with our Master Coaching program, and it is something I am very proud to be involved with.”

Scott also travels throughout the country as the primary presenter at Universal’s Start Today Seminars which introduce attendees to UAC and key marketing strategies they can use to start their own accounting and/or tax practices. His infectious enthusiasm and natural speaking talent make him a favorite presenter at Universal Accounting events.  Scott explains his aims in directing these seminars: “…My purpose isn’t just to provide free information.  My objective is to go out week after week and present myself and my company as the experts in this industry when it comes to teaching small business bookkeeping, taxes and also marketing.  If that is successful, the people in my seminars will most likely continue the relationship with Universal Accounting beyond the free three-hour seminar, and enroll to become full students of our curriculum.”

Scott believes the biggest obstacle preventing prospective students from moving forward is fear.  “Fear of not knowing what will happen.  Fear of failure.  Fear of public speaking.  Fear of not knowing what to say.  …This is why I’ve studied the Law of Attraction and implemented the teaching into the coaching that I offer to students that I work with—to help them realize that their thoughts become words.  And those words become actions.  And those actions are attracting either the success or failure into their lives.”

Recently Scott had a special experience with one of his West Palm Beach seminar attendees, Francisco Jimenez.  Francisco stayed after the seminar and waited for everyone to leave so that he could speak to Scott in private.  He told Scott that he had worked in bookkeeping in his native country, but because of his thick accent he was unable to secure a financial position in the states; he had only been able to secure employment in the restaurant industry cooking and cleaning.  Scott remembers, “He saw this as an opportunity to work on his bookkeeping skills with an American background, while learning how to communicate better in English.  He was moved to tears as I welcomed him as a student.  He hugged me and thanked me for helping him take the first steps towards changing his and his family’s life.”

Scott, while wearing many hats, manages all his responsibilities with competence and passion.  And the favorite part of his job is in working with Universal students. He says, “Each one of our students is unique. Some are new to the accounting industry and require extra coaching… Some have degrees in accounting with years of experience. Some are unemployed. Many have families and are trying to juggle their personal lives and a new career. However the one thing they all have in common is an excitement and passion for accounting. And if they are working with me, that means they have a need for marketing training. That’s where I have the opportunity to share what I’ve learned in my 8 years at Universal Accounting…”

Take Advantage of UAC’s Master Coaching Program

If you think you could benefit from working with a Universal coach like Scott McKinley, consider enrolling in our Master Coaching Program.  A coach would help you evaluate your what’s-not-working list and get your business exactly where you’d like it to be.

Look into our Master Coaching Program today!  We’re certain you’re an amazing financial professional.  And we’re also certain, that will a little coaching, you can become even better.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll now!

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