Today's Features

Dom Esposito, Former Grant Thornton CEO, Launches New Advisory Firm

Top CPA CEO takes big-firm experience to small- and medium-sized firms.

Dom Esposito, CPA, and former CEO and partner of a prominent national CPA firm, announces the launch of a new advisory firm, Esposito CEO2CEO. EspositoCEO2CEO specializes in helping managing partners and other senior partners in small and mid-sized firms evolve their firm from good to a mid-market sustainable brand. Esposito CEO2CEO, actively led by Esposito, draws upon a diverse and expansive pool of consultants with a wide range of expertise who are introduced into assignments when called upon.

At the same time, he has launched a new bcache_240_240_0_0_80_16777215_Telberg to Esposito 6892_bsg_esposito_cover_front_v2ook, "8 Steps to Great: The Eight Essential Strategies Driving Success at the World's Largest CPA Firms. And How to Apply the Lessons at Firms of All Sizes," published by CPA trendlines and debut a new weekly CPA Trendlines column.

Esposito CEO2CEO offers CPA firms consulting in a myriad of practice management areas, including:

• STRATEGIC PLANNING: Facilitates partner retreats and strategic planning sessions which includes:

o Firm culture and market position.
o Identification of strengths, limitations, opportunities and threats.
o Goal setting and course planning.

• MERGER COMBINATIONS: Leads firms through an expedited action plan and a process, helping leadership teams make sound decisions in these areas:

o Defining firm’s goals and expectations.
o Targeting the market and beginning the search.
o Reviewing candidates and making an offer.
o Negotiating and closing the deal.
o Planning for post-merger communications, operations and cultural integration. READ MORE →

2016 Roundtable Outlook: Only Change Remains the Same

2016-ROUNDTABLE-OUTLOOK-FOR-ROSENBERG-MAP-COMMENTARY-VF-240x219A roundup of all our experts' commentary.

They say "past results are no indication of future performance." Maybe. Maybe not. But if anyone should know, it's our panel of experts, their comments drawn from the new edition of The Rosenberg Map Survey. These are their visions looking ahead. – Rick Telberg, CEO

Drawn from The Rosenberg Map Survey, the seers for 2016 include:

Gary Adamson: No End to Mergers in Sight
Chris Frederiksen: Why Outsourcing Beats Unicorn Hunting
Rita Keller: Aging Leaders vs. Emerging Leaders
Roman Kepczyk: Private Clouds on the Rise
Angie Grissom: Firms Growing, Still Face Talent Challenges
Jeff Pawlow: Another Economic Storm Coming?
Terry Putney: How Succession Issues Are Driving Desperation Mergers
Gale Crosley: Change Catches Up with Auditors
Carl George: Strategic Plans Undermined by Out-of-Control Partners
Tamera Loerzel: Growth, Succession Plans Critical for Firms
Allan Koltin: Talent Wars Go from White Gloves to Boxing Gloves
Sam Allred: Change Agents Needed

The Roots of ‘Radical’ CPAs

Young businessman thinking, software icons in thought cloudHow the ‘new firm’ was born.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

I started to use this newfangled payroll software that worked through the Internet. Back then they didn’t call it the cloud. It was just payroll software that used an Internet browser. It solved my business problems of preparing paychecks, paying taxes and filing tax returns for my customers. The technology was PayCycle, a cloud-based payroll software.

MORE RADICAL CPA: The First 3 Questions I Should Have Asked Before Starting My Own Practice

PayCycle (which has since been acquired by Intuit) fundamentally changed my firm and my life. All of a sudden payroll became one of the most profitable areas of our firm. It also became a catalyst to selling and packaging our other core services.

It was the beginning of something bigger.


Keep More of Your Busy Season Earnings

Closeup of money being counted by woman6 profit-growing options besides the usual "lower costs, raise revenue."

By Sandi Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

Many accountants these days are anxious to hit the golden $100,000 mark this year. Others are interested in growing their revenues steadily and incrementally. Still others are focused on lowering costs, raising profits from that side of the equation.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Ready for Tax Season? Not So Fast | Make Your Services an Investment, Not an Expense | Want More Clients? Take These 5 Steps | 5 Skills to Grow Your Practice | How A Spreadsheet Can Help Stop Leaks | Two Daily Rituals: Focus and Measure | If You Don’t Develop Your Business, Who Will? | 11 Ways to Add Value for Clients

All of these approaches are well and good to help you keep more of what you make, but there are far more options to grow your take-home dollars besides raising revenue and lowering costs.

Radical or Complacent? You Choose

Erasing the words "status quo""Reacting" is no longer enough.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

CPAs must be “radicalized” so they cannot be lulled into com­placency and driven by reaction to their current firm or live­lihood. The changes that are happening in today’s fast-paced world need to be addressed.

MORE ON RADICALISM: 3 Questions to Ask If You Dare | Are We Really That Radical? | Customer Viewpoint: Creating a Journey Map | Process Maps: Methods, Meetings and Materials | Who, Me A Consultant? | Target Prospects for Best Fit | How Spiritual Value Affects Pricing | Make Radical Connections | Get Ready for Radical Transparency | The Roots of ‘Radical’ CPAs

You and your team have already felt the changes. The silent majority of many employees are hurt, suspicious and feeling unheard. They see and experience the changes happening around them and don’t understand the complacency or the resistance to change from firm management. You may even be feeling this yourself within your firm of one.

17 Ways to Follow Through on Sponsorship

Younger businesswoman and older businessman working togetherAn effective sponsorship requires work from both parties.

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

When you sponsor a woman, there are many steps that you can take to ensure that the relationship is productive and achieves its objectives.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Can You Afford to Be a Sponsor? | How Protégées Can Help Sponsors | Beware Misunderstandings About Work Relationships | Fears of Innuendo, Gossip Impede Development | Women Must See Politics As Leadership | Why Some Women Resist Using Networks | Bias Persists Against Women with Children | Standards for Women Still Differ | Thanks for the Advice, But I’d Really Prefer a Promotion

Here are some tips for getting off to a strong start and following through effectively, especially by focusing on career opportunities and promoting your protégée to others.

20 Terms to Settle When Merging Up

Green checks being made on checklistWhat the smaller firm needs to determine. They get a say, you know.

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Mergers: Your Complete Guide

When a small firm considers merging upward, they listen to the terms offered by the larger firm and decide whether they can accept them. Through a combination of face-to-face meetings, negotiation sessions, telephone calls and review of materials, the seller should be comfortable with each of the following:

MORE ON MERGERS: What to Expect When Merging Up | 13 Questions to Assess an Upward Merger | Mergers: Assessing Compatibility | 14 Provisions to Include in a Letter of Intent | Want to Merge? Ask for Data | Merger Prep: Getting to Know You | Plant Seeds to Turn Up Merger Candidates | 13 Ways to Screw Up a Merger

1. Hopefully, you have identified the problems and the goals you have for the merger (retirement, access to staff, technical expertise, management capabilities, etc.). Do you see each of these problems and goals actually being addressed and resolved with the merger?

How to Find a Partner’s Replacement

Man choosing someone's face from a photo arrayShould you add a partner ... or capacity? They're not the same thing.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli
CPA Trendlines / Succession Institute

Let's assume you have a retiring partner. You have decided how to pay the partner for his/her value in the firm, you have pinned down the mandatory sale of ownership date (MSO) so you can phase that partner out of his or her leadership role in the firm, and you have covered the single most abused part of the succession process, which is client transition. It is now time to discuss how to find replacements for the retiring senior partners.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Action Plans for Transitioning Partners | Partner Retirement and the War for Clients | Succession: The Questions to Care About | The Pitfalls of Equity Allocation and Reallocation | CPA Firm Performance Assessments: 15 Core Competencies, 21 Questions | How to Target What Skills to Develop Now

The most commonly asked question on this topic is “How can we find people with the same technical skills, management ability, client service capacity and vision for the firm’s future as those who are leaving?” The simple answer is “You won’t, so stop looking for that exact combination.”

Uber Invites App Developers to Share the Ride

Making the ride more "magical."uber richardson

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

Your face may be glued to the Uber app while you try to find your driver on a crowded street corner, but once you get inside the car, you probably start using other apps.

Uber sees this behavior, and that's why it introduced a feature for app developers to implement earlier this month called Trip Experiences.

The idea behind Trip Experiences is to make the apps on your phone smarter, or more "magical," during an Uber ride. That could mean Spotify knows how much time you have in the car and queues up the perfect playlist. Or maybe your favorite news app knows to show you a 10-minute briefing of the day's headlines. READ MORE →

8 Steps to Great: The Vast New Opportunities for Smart, Aggressive Firms

Beyond the Big Four and The Next Six, there's a world of opportunity in the vast American heartland of mid-sized businesses.

cache_240_240_0_0_80_16777215_Telberg to Esposito 6892_bsg_esposito_cover_front_v2Today Domenick J. Esposito, CPA, launches a new weekly column at CPA Trendlines revealing the big-firm secrets for creating a powerful brand, large-scale growth and extraordinary profits. If Esposito's name is familiar, it's no accident. He made a career at Grant Thornton, rising to CEO, then becoming vice chair at BDO and, until Jan. 31, serving as national director of practice growth at CohnReznick. Today he is CEO at the Esposito CEO2CEO consultancy. In his columns here and in his forthcoming book, also titled "8 Steps to Great: The Eight Essential Strategies Driving Success at the World's Largest CPA Firms. And How to Apply the Lessons at Firms of All Sizes," and published by CPA Trendlines. Esposito explains the essential strategies that are driving success at the world’s largest CPA firms and he shows how to apply the lessons at firms of all sizes. No one is better qualifed than Dom Esposito to do so. -- Rick Telberg, CEO, CPA Trendlines

By Domenick J. Esposito, CPA
8 Steps to Great

I am not writing here for small boutique firms that are happy to remain boutiques, but for those CPA firms whose partners want more for their firms. They want quality growth. They want to build a CPA firm brand with institutional scale. And they want substantial partner earnings.

In my view, that vision is clearly attainable. There is a great opportunity to take a merely good firm and move it up several notches to a sustainable brand in the mid-market where the Big or, as prefer to call them, the Giant Four, are neither credible nor qualified. The Giant Four bring little value beyond their letterhead – which often brings with it expensive fees, poor service and an attitude that it’s “my way or the highway.”


Partners Must Show Unified Front

Five cheetahs strolling on a pathEven if behind the scenes it's like herding cats.

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

In our work with managing partners, we always talk about the importance of the partners “walking together,” of sharing that common vision.

But if the partners are to share the vision, they have to play an active part in determining the firm’s direction – and, critically, how it’s going to get there.

MORE ON LEADERSHIP FOR PRO Members: 11 Steps to Building a Better Partnership Team | Why Your Firm Should Be a Republic | It’s Not Always about Money: 16 Tweaks for Your Comp System

In most firms, and particularly those with multiple locations, the partners typically give their proxy to the managing partner and the executive team to come up with the options they believe face the firm in its drive for sustained high performance.