Today's Features —

CPA Trendlines: Top 100 Most Influential

CPA Trendlines: Top 100 Most Influential

The thought leaders and visionaries who are shaping the accounting profession…

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NEW DATA: Strong, Steady Hiring at Tax, Accounting Firms

NEW DATA: Strong, Steady Hiring at Tax, Accounting Firms

Careers and Hiring Outlook:
Join the survey. Get the results.

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The 8-Point Financial Tune-Up for Your Accounting Firm

The 8-Point Financial Tune-Up for Your Accounting Firm

How to tweak your firm’s financials and partner performance…

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What a CPA Firm Is Worth

Look at the revenue stream. Goodwill is another story.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

To illustrate a CPA firm’s value, let’s use an example of a plain-vanilla or average firm:

  • Annual revenues: $6 million.
  • Six partners with ages spread evenly between 45 and 62.
  • Average partner income: $350,000.
  • Ratio of professional staff to partner is 3.5.
  • Firm is located in a city with a population in excess of 1M.
  • Clients are all in common industries such as manufacturing, real estate, health care, etc. No niches or specialties.
  • Services are all traditional annuity types such as accounting and tax.
  • The firm’s accrual basis capital, primarily WIP and A/R, is $1.2M.

Now, let’s compute the value.

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6 Simple Steps to Impress a Prospect

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AHow to walk in with head start.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: How do you make a presentation to get a new client when you do not know everything you should about the client’s business?

RESPONSE: No one can know everything about everything. Smaller firms have a harder time but they can reach out to others in their firm, or even partners in similar firms who have the knowledge to assist in the proposal, or friends in larger firms.

Here’s are six simple steps to learn as much as you can about a prospect and their industry.  READ MORE →

Three Tips for Creating Training Metrics

Plus: Effective budgeting and management.

By Michael Ramos
Michael Ramos and Associates

Ramos

CPA firms want to establish metrics for their learning function as a way to monitor and manage their learning activities. Ideally, firms would do their learning strategies and goals first and then use these strategies to drive the related metrics.

But we do not live in an ideal world, and some firms choose to establish metrics while simultaneously working on firmwide learning structures and goals.

MORE: High-Impact Learning: 4 Ways to Maximize CPE ROI

Recognizing the risks inherent in prematurely defining metrics, here are three tips for creating meaningful learning metrics at your firm that will help manage the learning function and drive performance. READ MORE →

NEW SURVEY RESULTS: Accountants Face Stiff Client Resistance to Cloud Accounting Apps

cloud adoption likelihood

Likelihood of adopting cloud accounting

SMBs say cloud accounting is the last thing they want.

Accountants are encountering extraordinary difficulties in getting their small- and mid-size business clients to adopt cloud computing, according to new research findings made available first to CPA Trendlines.

Accounting is the last operation small business wants to update. Everything else comes first, according to Software Advice, Austin, Texas-based accounting technology reviews company.

Key Findings:

  1. Over half of respondents express moderate to high levels of confidence in cloud-based accounting solutions, with 32 percent indicating “moderate” confidence.
  2. With 5 percent already using cloud accounting, only 16 percent more are likely to move ahead anytime soon.
  3. The top concern with cloud-based accounting, cited by 46 percent of small business owners, is security. Cost and training were other key concerns. READ MORE →

Men, Women: A Tale of Two Brains for Business

What brain science tells us about how to work better together.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

We need to acknowledge that in the tax and accounting workplace, women do not understand men, and men do not understand women. It happens in dating, so it should not be a surprise when it happens at work.

This isn’t a new topic. But what we’re doing now is not working, or it’s working at a glacial pace. We actually lost ground during the recession years and are now going backwards. The statistics are even worse in small firms, where 80 percent of the talent pool are women but only 12 percent are partners.

Luckily, we now know dozens of reasons why and have hundreds of tools and skill builders to help.

Here are just a few revelations from emerging brain science: READ MORE →

Mergers: 11 Lessons from Done Deals

Marc Rosenberg CPA  at cpatrendlines.com

Rosenberg

If they had it all to do over again…

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Mergers

As you might suspect, in 20 years of consulting to CPA firms, several dozen mergers of my clients have taken place.

From time to time, I meet with the managing partner of the firm that was my client and ask them how the merger went, what they would do differently and what advice they would give to firms contemplating a merger.

Here are some choice morsels… READ MORE →

Beyond Mentoring: Why Sponsoring Women for Leadership Matters

man woman handshake shake hands iStock_000010387373SmallIt’s time for the men running CPA firms to “man up” and get serious about promoting women into leadership roles.

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

Smart accounting firm leaders want to be in the forefront of efforts to advance women. As the global economy continues to become more competitive, firms need to use all the talent they can muster — and more and more of that talent will be women.

Ida O. Abbott, Sponsoring Women

Abbott

Today CPATrendlines launches the exclusive new series, “Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know.” Author Ida O. Abbott delivers the tools CPA firms need to develop a new generation of women in leadership. Training, encouragement, and even mentoring are all helpful. But Abbott argues it takes person-to-person sponsorship to finally break through. Particularly, she says, it takes a man. The role of women in the CPA profession is a critical issue. Abbott’s is an eminently practical strategy. And it’s about time that men “manned up” about promoting women CPAs. – The Editors

Companies that successfully tap into the full potential of women will be far ahead of their competitors. The key to doing it is to identify women who are likely to succeed and sponsor them so they reach the top levels of leadership. This requires direct per­sonal involvement by leaders, particularly leaders who are men.

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10 (Nearly) Painless Ways to Keep Up to Date with Technology

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I have a small firm and I’m overwhelmed with all the new technology things I’m hearing about. How can I keep up to date?

RESPONSE: I personally am astounded at what is out there. It is way beyond me.

RELATED SURVEY RESULTS: How Accountants Keep Up with Tech Trends

Here are 10 ways you can stay ahead of the curve: READ MORE →

‘Show Me the Money!’ Partners Balk at Retirement Planning

Targeted retirement age as CPA ages

Targeted retirement age as CPA ages

Developing successful strategies for changing expectations.

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Retirements & Buyouts

The concept of retirement for CPAs is rather amusing.

Younger partners (say, under 40) insist with unshakable confidence that the oldest they will ever work is 50 or 55. They have other things to do with their lives (own another business, do charity work, pursue hobbies, etc.) besides working at a CPA firm and they want to pursue these interests while still young.

Older partners (say, over 55) see themselves working indefinitely, with 65 being the earliest age that they will even consider retiring. READ MORE →