Rick Norris – Founder of Rick Norris CPA

Rick earned a Bachelor of Science from U.C.L.A. in 1979. After receiving his Certified Public Accountant certificate in 1982, he earned a Juris Doctor from Southwestern University School of Law in 1985. He founded Rick E Norris, Accountancy Corporation in 1992. He has published articles in the California CPA Society magazine, among other periodicals, including the company bi-weekly newsletter. He is also a board member of the L A Chapter of the Association for Strategic Planning. He speaks frequently at various events in the area of personal and business financial matters.

Where did the idea for your company come from?

The idea for the company initially was a combination of two business worlds of which I had experienced: 1) as an entertainment CPA business manager, I learned how to be the main business consultant to entertainers in every aspect of their lives. 2) Another area of which I gained experience was in the area of small business in several other industries. I combined those two: Bringing business acumen to entertainers who spin off small businesses, and bringing “hand-holding” business relationships that I engaged in with entertainers to small business people.

What does your typical day look like?

Managing the company; accounting and tax review, fielding calls from clients asking for advice, and writing free business articles.

How do you bring ideas to life?

We started with a strategic planning session; set up a strategy, tactics, and metrics. I review where we are on our journey each month.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Our increasing presence on the web as a premier accounting/strategy firm to small business both inside and outside the entertainment industry.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am a musician, composer and author and therefore are probably more right-brained than my peers.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Working for my first CPA. He was a tyrant. I vowed to never to treat employees like that.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Probably start writing more earlier.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Learn to strategize and implement the plan.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Combining all sub-strategies like marketing and processes into one overall vision.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Over the last few years I had to dismiss three accountants in the middle of tax season, each after a few weeks. They were very underqualified. I will try to assess their abilities within five days next time.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Provide a service to train companies how to use 3D printers, especially companies that do repair work. Right now, you can scan a part and build a new one using a 3D printer. This could reduce a company’s turnaround cycle who may have to wait for parts to complete a project.

Tell us something about you that very few people know

I sat on the Board of Directors of a non-profit named El Rescate in the early 1990s for a few years. The organization was form to combat human right abuses in El Salvador. At that time the nightly death squads (military) would invade homes at night raping and murdering those who were against the government. Some of their victims were missionary nuns and Archbishop Romero (who was murdered while celebrating Mass). El Rescate compiled around 90 oral testimonies of survivors who had escaped such atrocities. We submitted the testimonies to the United Nations who pressured the El Salvadoran government to purge their military which stopped the death squads. This was completed in 1993. Today they are a democracy (though a fragile one). I am proud to have play a very tiny role in this movement as Treasurer and Board Member.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

QuickBooks, Lacerte, BillQuick, FocusMX. They work in the same direction

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The E- Myth. It show the basic struggle of entrepreneurs.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Jim Collins, (Good to Great, Built to Last). Kim and Mauborgne (Blue Ocean Strategy).


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Rick Norris on Twitter: @rickenorris