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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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 →

4 Steps to Get More from Your Training Budget

How to run your training like a business.

By Michael Ramos and Cate Miller

With CPA firms spending 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent of revenue on learning, budgets can be hundreds of thousands of dollars even for a modest-sized firm. But firms invest in learning because it is a critical component in addressing many of the top issues facing CPA firms today.

The best organizations view learning as an investment, and they manage their investment the same way a venture capitalist manages a portfolio company – like a business. Unfortunately, many CPA firms have a less disciplined approach to learning, which means they’re probably leaving money on the table. READ MORE →

Reality Check: Achieving World-Class Growth Requires Real-World Intelligence

Gale Crosley

Crosley

Why you can’t believe your own press clippings.

By Gale Crosley, CPA
Crosley+Co

Ever run a race and immediately sense that you got off to an exceptionally fast start? It’s a good feeling, but if your goal is to beat out the competition there’s really only one way to know for sure how you’re doing. And that’s by marking your progress toward the finish line relative to the other racers.

The same can be said of efforts to grow your firm. To gauge your progress you have to get outside your own four walls and see how you measure up to the competition. READ MORE →

Benchmarking ‘Elite’ CPA Firms against the ‘Mainstream’

Looking inside firms with income per partner over $500,000.

By CPA Trendlines
Rosenberg MAP Survey

If you’re a firm with two or more partners wondering just how well your business compares to the CPA profession’s “elite” firms, you should be looking for a 5.2% revenue gain this year, according to the new Rosenberg Survey. And your revenue growth last year should have been at least 7.4%, excluding any changes that resulted from mergers.

The survey, based on activity at firms across the country with annual fees ranging from less than $2 million to more than $20 million, defines “elite” as the firms with income per partner of more than $500,000. By comparison, the average income per partner for the profession’s “mainstream” firms is $345,177.

The report provides comparisons for benchmarks including billing rates, partner-to-staff ratios, hours billed annually, staff turnover rates, men-to-women ratios, partner ages, client services and partner compensation.

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Four Leadership Strengths that Define Accountants

How clients value the intangibles.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

“What leader has the most positive influence in your daily life?”

The answers to that Gallup Poll question may be astoundingly important for CPAs who strive to make a positive difference in the lives of their clients. READ MORE →

Men Advance 2 to 1 over Women without Sponsors

man woman handshake shake hands iStock_000010387373Small“Women get advice, while men get promotions.” Here’s how to change that.

By Ida O. Abbott
What Men Need to Know

The benefits of sponsorship are indisputable. Having a highly placed sponsor is a distinct career advantage, and, when competing for top positions, it can be a critical differentiator. READ MORE →

Top 7 Reasons CPA Firms Fail in Planning for Partner Retirements

file0001142145741 in 6 firms have no formal, written exit plans in place.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

Despite the clear, substantial value of a CPA firm, roughly 15% of multi-owner CPA firms – mostly firms with up to four partners – do not have a formal, written partner retirement plan. Why? READ MORE →