Today's Features

A Startling Revelation: 1 Times Fees is a Steal

Click for free report
Click for free report

Do the math and don't be afraid to pay more or ask for more.

By Marc Rosenberg, CPA

Partners in accounting firms are familiar with the rule of thumb that a CPA firm’s goodwill is worth one times fees; however, like many other “rules of thumb,” this notion is often incorrect.

Get the white paper

When buyers begin to think about how much they will pay for a smaller firm, they often have the “1 x fees” concept in mind. Then, when sellers are bold enough to ask for a price in excess of one times fees, buyers often balk because they feel that the asking price is too rich.

Use this white paper to make your case.

Is This a Rut?

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AWhat about five years from now?

QUESTION: My practice seems to be in a rut.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Taking Over Poorly Done Work | When Staff Won’t Use Checklists | How Can We Keep New Staff Longer? | Rule #1 for How to Get Everything Done | Too Much Paper, Too Many Drives | Why Credentials Are Worthwhile | How to Sell Your Practice | Why Your Clients Need Annual Minutes – And How You Can Help | When Partners Stop Growing | Clear Billing Procedures Make Collecting Easier
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We are not growing, our services haven’t changed and our client turnover is almost nonexistent.  Any suggestions of what we can do?

How Do You Know What Clients Want?

Rob Nixon: We’re all busy and time allocation is a priority, not a resource.For starters, they'd like to hear from you more often.

By Rob Nixon

There are two schools of thought on finding out what a customer wants and what they are prepared to pay for.

MORE ON STRATEGY: What It Means to Be a Real-Time Accountant | Are Your Goals Big Enough? | Finding New Opportunity in Compliance Services | How Offshoring Is Shaking Up Accounting | The Profession Disrupted: Compliance Commoditized
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The first I’ll call the Henry Ford way. Mr. Ford (who founded the Ford Motor Company) famously said that if he asked his customers what they wanted they would have said "a faster horse." He didn’t ask his customers what they wanted – instead, he designed something that they needed. However, the customer didn’t know that they needed it yet.

When Partner Vacation Becomes Excessive

Man at end of small pier on lake against purple horizonIt's not usually the time off that's the problem, it's the pay.

By Marc Rosenberg
Partner Comp: Art & Science

If there is a practice management abuse that makes me want to wring a partner’s neck, this one is a great candidate: Partners who take a “clearly excessive” amount of vacation every year, maintain that they are working full time and expect their compensation to be unaffected.

MORE ON PARTNER COMPENSATION: Paying for Current vs. Historical Performance | How Profitability Affects Income Allocation | Paying New Partners and Lateral Hires | 3 Rules for Promotion to Partner | Should the MP Be the Highest Paid Partner? | Integrating Partner Comp with Strategic Planning | Partner Pay: The Declining Importance of Book of Business | 3 Subjective Compensation Systems | How Partners View Compensation: It’s Not All about the Money
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The partners committing this abuse are almost always founding partners, rainmakers or a former MP. In all of my experiences with this problem, the firms were under $10 million.

When Coworkers Fight Flexible Scheduling

Man's finger pointing to watchSaboteurs can step in when they don't realize they can benefit, too.

By Ida O. Abbott
Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

A talented, ambitious woman who works less than full time or takes extended family leave is extremely vulnerable to being derailed professionally.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Image Often Carries ‘Double Bind’ Baggage  | 9 Ways to Help Your Protégée Land Better Assignments | The Political Cost of Sponsorship | Don’t Let Gossip Interfere | Women Fight ‘Kids First’ Perception | 3 Changes for Men to Make | 4 Firm Benefits of Sponsoring Women as Leaders | Being the Best Means Including Women
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Whether because she is “out of sight/out of mind,” or because people doubt her commitment, she may be disregarded for promotions or high-profile projects.

SURVEY FINDINGS: Accountability, Equity, Compensation Are Concerns

Allan Koltin 2016

Risk takers are being recognized.

By Allen Koltin, Koltin Consulting
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

Looking back to 2015, first and foremost remains the human capital challenge.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: MAP Survey Top 10 Findings | CPA Firm Revenues Rise a Hefty 8%
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Firms are gearing up the financial and people resources around recruiting in ways I’ve never seen before. Interestingly it’s not so much at the entry level but rather at the experienced hires all the way up to lateral-level senior managers and partners.

SURVEY RESULTS: Workflow Management Concerns Many Firms

afoats2016coverAlarm bells should ring over tax returns being emailed insecurely and low use of social media.

By Randolph P. Johnston, Leslie Garrett and Brian F. Tankersley
The Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

Workflow and process management ranks as a top concern for all segments, and practitioners have a new wave of workflow automation tools in early 2016, including Karbon, Pascal Workflow and Scalus, which have just emerged from beta testing, while other new products such as Intapp have entered the accounting profession after focusing in other professional markets.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: SURVEY RESULTS: Accounting Firms Add New Service Lines | SURVEY RESULTS: How Top Tech Vendors Are Failing CPAs in the Cloud | Master Change, Master the Future | Why Every CPA Firm Is a Tech Company at Heart
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While innovation is good, we caution users to run pilot projects for a period of time on any workflow system before you implement.

Offering Second Marriage Assistance

Older couple on autumn walk with trees in background6 questions to ask.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

This is primarily a financial planning service for people who are in second marriages, and where there are children from prior marriages.

MORE ON MARKETING: Guiding Heirs | How and Why to Offer Estate Planning | Why CPAs Are Suited to Financial Planning | How to Suggest More Services | Adopt a Marketing Mindset
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Who needs this service

Rotten Tomatoes: What Do Your Clients Really Think of You?

Biological tomatoesThe tell-tale signs of trouble.

By Hitendra Patil

The Urban Dictionary defines “Tomatoed” as the state of a relationship when you're not quite dating but not just friends. Neither party is sure if they like the other enough to date, yet continue to do most of the same things as people in committed relationships. If they get tired of one another, they can simply return to "just friends" status without social upheaval. So named because of the tomato's role as not quite a fruit and not quite a vegetable.

MORE ACCOUNTANEUR:  The Three Gears that Drive Success in the Accounting Business  |  Brexit Worries?  Worry More about Cexits, Texits and Pexits  |  LinkedIn Launches Accountant-for-Hire Service  |  4 Pillars of Future Firm Foundation  |  ‘Uberizing’ Means More Than Technology  |  You Don’t Think Technology Helps Get New Clients?  |  Do You Want a Practice … or a Business?  |  ‘Decisiveness’ Rated Top Trait for   Success in Accounting Business  |  Tax Season Management: Multi-Tasking Is a Myth  |  3 Apps to Automate Business Networking  |

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How can you tell if you're getting "tomatoed" by your clients? How to make it stop? And what does it all mean? Read on...


Clients Buy Solutions, Not Time

Hand building word "solution" with letter blocksPlus 4 notes about client phone calls.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

“Forget about pricing and think about what people buy.”

MORE ON RADICALISM: How to Leverage Social Media | Target Content to Consumers, Not Industry | Social + Strategy = Success | Make the Cloud Work for You | 5 Ways to Capitalize on Trends | Embrace Disruption | New Thinking Brings New Results | 10 Questions to Prepare for Radical Change | Who’s Your Competition? EVERYONE | How the ‘New Firm’ Was Born | Radical Firms Embrace 4 Values | Radical or Complacent? You Choose | 3 Questions to Ask If You Dare
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Customers are not buying our time. They may be buying our expertise. But they’re really buying a solution to their problem.