Today's Features —

How to Join the Annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

How to Join the Annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

Join the survey; get the results.

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Accounting Salaries to Rise 3.5%

Accounting Salaries to Rise 3.5%

Top trends: Flexible staffing, retention challenges…

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As Block and Liberty Add Accounting Services, Independents Face 3 Options

As Block and Liberty Add Accounting Services, Independents Face 3 Options

The profession gets a reality-check…

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8 Times When Hourly Billing Trumps Value Pricing

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AAnd when it doesn’t.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I am trying to switching to value pricing and am having trouble getting completely away from time-based billing in certain situations.

RESPONSE: Value pricing is a great method and concept. I suggest reading, and thoroughly understanding Ron Baker’s “Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms.” I like what he suggests, have used some of his techniques even before he started writing and speaking about them, and recommend it in many situations.

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6 Reasons CPA Firms Fail at Succession Planning

Plus: Making the math work.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

Why are CPA firms deficient at succession planning?

It is abundantly clear that CPA firms have succession planning challenges. Partners overwhelmingly prefer the exit strategy of passing on the firm to younger partners vs. merging out of existence. But history shows that the vast majority fail at moving their firms into the next generation. What holds them back?

The answer lies in the classic Pogo cartoon line: “We’ve seen the enemy and the enemy is us.” READ MORE →

Is Your Chart of Accounts Stuck in the 1970s?

Help your clients account for marketing costs.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

One of the value-added services we can offer clients is to align their chart of accounts with their tax form so that the numbers are easy to pull off at tax time. But there’s an even bigger opportunity if we take a deeper look. READ MORE →

New CPE: Mendlowitz on Maximizing Your Value

ncci_logo“77 Value-Added Low-Cost Services” and “Improving Your Tax Review Process”

If you’ve enjoyed contributions from CPA Trendlines “Practice Doctor” Ed Mendlowitz, CPA Trendlines is pleased to announce that you can receive four hours of NASBA-approved CPE credit for watching two presentations by him Thursday, Oct 30. READ MORE →

6 Factors in Valuing Total Goodwill of a CPA Firm

CPA FIRM PARTNER RETIREMENT ARTValuing a CPA firm for partner retirement purposes is much different than a valuation for merger purposes.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

Profitable, attractive firms, generally under $2 million, sold in a market with many potential buyers, will often fetch 110 percent to 150 percent of fees.

If this is the case, why do CPA firms value goodwill for retirement purposes at no more than 100 percent of fees and usually, 80 or 90 percent of fees? Here are six good reasons why:

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3 Reasons Why Men Don’t Pick Women Protégées

Woman and Man Working with CalculatorWhen leadership models are male, sometimes female candidates go unrecognized.

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

Let’s assume a powerful man works with two junior colleagues, a man and a woman, who are both equally talented, motivated and superbly skilled performers. According to what we know from research and experience, that powerful man is more likely to sponsor the man than the woman.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Men Advance 2 to 1 over Women without Sponsors | 18 Ways Sponsors Can Help Their Protegees | The 6 Market Advantages of Women-Led Firms | Beyond Mentoring: Why Sponsoring Women for Leadership Matters READ MORE →

Beyond Money Alone: How College Accounting Students Choose Their First Job

PAR Differentiators Students Consider in Accepting Job OffersEY and UT Austin top professors poll.

In considering job offers from competing accounting firms, the most highly sought-after students weigh three criteria equally, and it doesn’t much matter whether the offer is for big money or whether it’s from a Big Four firm anymore, according to a leading survey of several hundred college accounting professors.

Students today consider compensation and benefits, “work/life balance and a family-friendly environment” and a desirable geographic location each about equally, according to the 33rd Annual professors Survey for 2014 by Public Accounting Report.

The difference is barely discernible, PAR reports. On a scale of 0 through 10, with 10 being the most important, professors marginally differentiated between the three in order of importance. They rated compensation and benefits an average of 8.10, quality of life/family-friendly environment 8.09 and desirable geographic location 7.99. READ MORE →

When You’ve Retired, How Do You Get Your Money?

Money falling from the sky; moneyon white9 factors that ensure retirement plans will pay off.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

When a partner group crafts their firm’s partner retirement plan, they are hopeful that the plan will play an important role in their financial futures. They are guardedly optimistic that their buyouts will be realized.

But the path toward the retirement payday is a perilous one. Many actions are necessary and a number of obstacles must be overcome for a firm’s partner retirement plan to pay off. READ MORE →

Wireless Is Hot, and Here’s How to Handle It

Novatel Wireless MIFI 4510L

What you need to know to go from Wi-Fi to Mi-Fi.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

One of the revolutions in remote connectivity is happening within your cellphone, as digital cellular providers have beefed up and expanded their networks to provide reliable Internet access to remote devices.

About 94 percent of firms utilize smartphones for access to email, calendar and contacts, and 33 percent provide tablets or netbooks to senior management, according to the Association for Accounting Administration.

Kepczyk

Kepczyk

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: How Safe Is Your Internet Lifeline? | New Tech Tools for the 24/7 Accounting Firm | The Single Best Defense Against Computer Viruses | When to Adopt Microsoft’s New Office Apps | What Windows 8 Means for How Accountants Will Work in the Future | How to Choose the Right Backup System | How to Know It’s Time to Scrap Your Old Server | Where Laptops Rule at CPA Firms Today | Step 1 in Building the Paperless Firm: Scanners | How Many Computer Monitors Do You Need?

The first step is to determine which telecom provider is the best in your firm’s area of operations. Consider: READ MORE →

6 Ways to Know What You Don’t Know

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ABy Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: Occasionally I get a new client in an area I am unfamiliar with. How do I find out what I do not know?

RESPONSE: This happens to everyone and probably more often than we expect. Thankfully we will continue to get new business and getting clients in areas we are unfamiliar with enables us to grow.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Making Small Business Clients Happy | Client’s Difficult Daughter Balks at Bill | 6 Simple Steps to Impress a Prospect | 10 (Nearly) Painless Ways to Keep Up to Date with Technology | When a Staffer Stops Listening | 10 Ways to Get New 1040 Clients | Making Meetings More Productive | Tax Return Reviewer Ticking and Tying

Here is what I suggest: READ MORE →

29 Tips to Become a Top Achiever

It’s easy to get discouraged. Here’s how to not let it happen to you.

Courage and perseverance are traits you can actually nurture and develop. From the financial advisors’ advisor Horsesmouth.com, here are 29 tips compiled from top achievers. Try one today. READ MORE →

Check Your Relationship Ratios for Better Business Success

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

Here’s a quick exercise: Choose any person in your work life or personal life. Now think back to last few interactions you had with that person. Recall what was said and classify your list into two groups.

What interactions, comments and questions did you have with your chosen person that were negative? Here are some examples of things that are in the “negative” group: READ MORE →

What Does Being a Partner Mean?

Aquila How to engage partners in the firms future clip square cvrPartners persuade their people to join them on the journey and to play a part in building a better firm.

By Robert J.  Lees and 
August J. Aquila
Creating the Effective Partnership

Just as the partners need to engage with the firm’s vision so do the firm’s people. But, like everyone, they actually engage with people not words. So, effective partners continually engage with their people, regardless of their level and role. They go out of their way to create a personal bond, sharing personal information and operating with honesty and integrity in all of their interactions.

Creating the Effective Partnership: Every Partner’s First Question: ‘What’s in It for Me?’ | The 9 Building Blocks of a Winning Vision that the Big Four Have Discovered | The Politics of an Accounting Firm Partnership | Nine Rules to Creating Highly Effective Partnership Teams | Audacious Vision and Grand Purpose Prove Essential to CPA Success | Are You Creating a Sustainable Firm? | The Debilitating Effects of Denial at Accounting Firms | The Five Psychological Hurdles that CPA Firms Must Confront Today READ MORE →