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A results driven program for firm staff, Career Development Series is designed to help those below manager level understand and embrace concepts vital both to their firm’s sustained success and to their individual careers

  • Overview
  • Business Advisor
  • Professionalism
  • Effective Communication
  • Business Development

Career Development Series

 

 

 

The Career Development Series is designed to help accounting firms train staff members in vital skills.

We start a new live series each June, focused on how those below manager level can consistently improve their skills, confidence and abiltiy.

The first four series on Business Development, Effective Communication, Professionalism and Business Advising are available for purchase and download as recorded sessions. Click on the tabs above for more information on each series.

Each topic is explored during a series of one-hour webinars led by Sam Allred and Tim Bartz. Upstream provides tools to help generate discussion and to encourage participants to immediately implement the lessons learned, establishing a skill development process of listening to learn, learning to do, and doing to become.

To ensure that as many people as possible receive value from your firm’s involvement in each series, there’s no limit to the number of individuals from the firm who can participate in each webinar.

 

Your Satisfaction Is Our Goal

As with everything Upstream Academy does, your satisfaction with Career Development Series is guaranteed. If you are not completely satisfied with the value you receive, we will, at your option, either refund your money or accept the portion of those fees that reflects your level of satisfaction.


Wouldn’t it be great if all firm staff embraced Business Development because they recognized the benefits to their firm, their clients and their careers?

The Business Advisor Series is available for download after each live session.

How would it change your firm if you were able to able to institutionalize development of exceptional client relationships, so everyone in the firm worked to become (and remain) proactive, forward-thinking business advisors?

Would your firm become more adaptable, more profitable and more confident of continued success?

Don’t wait to start this process. Lay the groundwork for becoming a firm of business advisors by encouraging firm members to develop business consulting expertise early in their careers.

The fourth in Upstream Academy’s Career Development Series, the Business Advisor Series, is designed to assist those below manager level understand how to work toward becoming a trusted business advisor, and apply this knowledge successfully to incrementally increase their own business advisor skills, confidence and ability. Gather your team and join us for this series of eight one-hour sessions on becoming a trusted business advisor.

The cost for the entire series is $1,760 with discounts for UAN members and firms under $5 million in net revenue. If you have net revenues under 5 million, use code Under5.


When you purchase the series you receive access to each recorded session as it becomes available.

Sessions included in the Business Advisor Series

   
 

Understand the Characteristics of Good Business Advisors

 
  • Understand why you need to become a business advisor
  • Become proactive and forward-looking
  • Offer fresh ideas and innovative solutions
  • Invest time to understand the client
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Earn Trust

 
  • Understand the trust equation
  • Function as a person, not a role
  • Provide hard truths (with care and humor)
  • Act consistently, reliably and with the clients’ best interests
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Understand the Client Service Continuum

 
  • Establish guidelines for both sides
  • Provide regular updates
  • Measure client satisfaction
  • Review engagements and improve performance
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Increase Business Acumen

 
  • Get past assumptions
  • Clarify with clients what they’re really after
  • Ask empowering questions, establish mutual purpose and create clarity
  • Practice the art of listening
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Ask Better Questions

 
  • Understand why it’s important your clients are successful
  • Find out what success means to your clients
  • Work with the client to reframe issues and brainstorm solutions
  • Provide options and ensure clients can do what it takes to succeed
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Help Clients Get Better

 
  • Be a good steward of firm resources
  • Take personal responsibility for engagement budgets
  • Practice the principles of self‐accountability
  • Share your thoughts and ideas
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Build Client Rapport

 
  • Understand the importance of Quadrant II
  • Build relationships by showing sincerity not technique
  • Search for what’s different in each client
  • Anticipate needs by doing the research
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Avoid Barriers to Becoming a Business Advisor

 
  • Avoid complacency
  • Say what you mean without exaggeration or flattery
  • Learn to advise without fear
  • Avoid jumping to solutions too soon
  • Commit to a course of action
     


Wouldn’t it be great if all firm staff embraced Business Development because they recognized the benefits to their firm, their clients and their careers?

Join the Professionalism Series in progress!

Professionalism isn’t automatically conferred when you secure a position at an accounting firm. It’s not something you frame and hang on a wall; it’s who you are 24/7, and you must earn the title every day. But what does professionalism mean and what marks an individual as a genuine professional? How can you develop the professional traits, habits and attitudes that will help you work more productively, create better relationships, reduce misunderstandings and propel professional success?

The third in Upstream Academy’s Career Development Series, The Professionalism Series, is designed to assist those below manager level understand professionalism, and apply it successfully in their interactions with clients and coworkers so they can incrementally increase their own professional skills, confidence and ability. Gather your team and join us for this series of eight one-hour sessions on earning the right to be called a professional.. 

The cost for the entire series is $2,200 with discounts for UAN members and firms under $5 million in net revenue. If you have net revenues under 5 million, use code Under5.

When firms purchase the series, they will receive access to the recorded webinars for all eight sessions to share with current and future firm members.


When you purchase the series you receive access to all eight recorded sessions as they become available.

Sessions included in the Professionalism Series

   
  Look and Act Like a Professional
 
  • Strive to make a good impression
  • Avoid complacency, arrogance and greed
  • Deal with stress effectively
  • Set a positive example
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Be a Great Team Player

 
  • Show respect for others
  • Recognize others’ efforts
  • Strive to help team members be successful
  • Follow through on team assignments
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Show Commitment to Key Endeavors

 
  • Commit to the strategic direction of the firm and local office
  • Exhibit spirited commitment rather than grudging compliance
  • Strive to understand what’s expected of you and do it
  • Set a good example
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Leave Clients Eager to Work with You Again

 
  • Find ways to add value with every interaction
  • Show your clients you really care about them
  • Make every interaction a fact‐finding mission
  • Find ways to improve the services of the firm
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Develop Others around You

 
  • Take an interest in those you work with
  • Find ways to transfer knowledge, expertise and talents
  • Capitalize on teaching opportunities
  • Find ways to build success in others around you
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Be Accountable and Responsible

 
  • Be a good steward of firm resources
  • Take personal responsibility for engagement budgets
  • Practice the principles of self‐accountability
  • Share your thoughts and ideas
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Get Better Every Year

 
  • Develop a plan to improve your ability to add value every year
  • Manage both your billable and investment time
  • Continually improve your technical, marketing and client service skills
  • Stretch yourself and grow in all areas
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Avoid the Barriers to Professionalism

 
  • Handle mistakes well
  • Be a problem solver rather than a problem pointer‐outer
  • Show humility
  • Don't throw temper tantrums
  • Commit to a course of action
     


Wouldn’t it be great if all firm staff embraced Business Development because they recognized the benefits to their firm, their clients and their careers?

 

The impact of good communication skills on individuals' careers, their client relationships and their firm's inner workings is hard to quantify, but undeniable.

Poor communication can alienate co-workers, create confusion and distrust, waste firm and client time and lead to lost time, misspent money and disgruntled employees and clients. 

The second in Upstream Academy’s Career Development Series, Enhancing Your Communication Skills, is designed to assist those below manager level understand communication principles and incrementally increase their own communication skills, confidence and ability.

The cost for the entire series is $1,760 with discounts for UAN members and firms under $5 million in net revenue. If you have net revenues under 5 million, use code Under5.

When firms purchase the series, they will receive access to the recorded webinars for all eight sessions to share with current and future firm members.


 

When you purchase the series you receive eight recorded sessions.

Sessions included in the Enhancing Your Communication Skills Series

   
  Understand the Importance of Good Communication Skills
 
  • Understand how communication can impact your firm and your career
  • Learn the fundamental challenges of communication
  • Explore the connection between good communication and strong leadership
  • Develop a plan to get better at communication
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Improve Your Listening Skills

 
  • Learn to listen well
  • Put away distractions
  • Increase your empathy and practice emotional intelligence
  • Ask questions that will lead to quality information shared
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Improve Your Speaking Skills

 
  • Explore how to begin with the end in mind
  • Organize your thoughts and content
  • Get and keep participant attention
  • Tailor your message to your audience
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Create Deeper Relationships

 
  • Ask insightful, well-thought-out questions
  • Connect to other people’s emotions
  • Choose an effective communication style for each individual
  • Find your voice in meetings
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Develop Your Personal Brand

 
  • Use appropriate humor
  • Incorporate story telling
  • Develop a script for small talk
  • Remember people’s names
  • Make the most of your LinkedIn profile
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Improve Your Writing Skills

 
  • Write for your reader
  • Be brief, yet specific
  • Be transparent and convey a specific message
  • Avoid common writing errors
  • Write a business letter, proposal or article for publication
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Be Proactive in Challenging Situations

 
  • Give quality constructive feedback
  • Seek the feedback you need to hear
  • Initiate a difficult conversation
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Avoid the Barriers to Effective Communication

 
  • Gain focus and minimize distractions
  • Avoid negative body language
  • Mitigate stress
  • Manage your email inbox
  • Commit to a course of action
     

 

 


Wouldn’t it be great if all firm staff embraced Business Development because they recognized the benefits to their firm, their clients and their careers?


Firm leaders have repeatedly expressed concern that new staff are slow to embrace business development. 

Knowing that organic growth is vital to the sustained success of any firm, and recognizing that firms will soon be retiring many of their strongest and most consistent rainmakers, Upstream Academy has develeoped this eight-part series on Business Development.

The Business Development Series is designed to assist those below manager level understand and embrace business development, and incrementally increase their BD skills, confidence and ability.

The cost for the entire series is $1,760 with discounts for UAN members and firms under $5 million in net revenue. If you have net revenues under 5 million, use code Under5.

When firms purchase the series, they will receive access to the recorded webinars for all eight sessions to share with current and future firm members.


When you purchase the series you receive eight recorded sessions.

 
Sessions included in the Business Development Series
   
  Understand the Importance of Business Development
 
  • Understand how business development impacts the firm and your career
  • Learn the fundamental principles of good business development
  • Develop a plan to get better at business development every year
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Pursue Shadowing Opportunities

 
  • Actively pursue opportunities to shadow others
  • Be quick to observe the approaches and strengths of others
  • Ask questions and learn how others are helping clients and prospects
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Develop Helping Skills

 
  • Become a Trusted Advisor rather than a Historian
  • Reach out for opportunities to learn how to be more helpful
  • Actively read good books and articles
  • Begin developing tools to help others
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Commit to Networking

 
  • Follow best practices for building a strong business network
  • Give up the right to remain silent
  • Increase your presence in the community
  • Serve on community boards
  • Maximize your time spent at business development events
  • Get more from networking groups
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Pursue Opportunities to Refer Others

 
  • Learn the solutions and solution providers within your firm
  • Learn other great solution providers outside your firm
  • Look for opportunities to help clients and prospects by referring others
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Prepare Properly for Meetings with Clients and Prospects

 
  • Learn all you can before meeting with others
  • Ask effective questions and actively listen
  • Go on fact finding missions
  • Position yourself to be helpful and successful
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Develop a Personal Business Development Plan

 
  • Exhibit discipline in setting proper Business Development goals
  • Work with clients, prospects, and referral sources consistently
  • Accept responsibility and accountability for your goals
  • Use the Personal Business Development Plan
  • Spend the majority of your business development time with clients
  • Commit to a course of action
     
 

Avoid the Common Business Development Mistakes

 
  • Distinguish between great prospects and poor prospects
  • Spend time helping the right clients
  • Focus on helping not selling
  • Avoid the path of least resistance
  • Guard client confidentiality always
  • Stay out of your comfort zone
  • Commit to a course of action