Professionals worldwide rely on CPA Trendlines to deliver exclusive, actionable intelligence to identify and act on emerging issues and opportunities.
In Comments: “More is needed. This is an opportunity for firm leadership.”
Join the survey: Get more results.
Results of a new CPA Trendlines career outlook survey show optimism among staffers about management support for personal advancement and commitment to training. But firms appear to be struggling to keep up with staff demands.
Create competitive value by combining practitioners and educators on the same team.
By Michael Ramos and Cate Miller
CPAs bring a diverse range of skills to any business problem. At small firms, partners wear many hats, including management of the learning function. But as firms grow, it soon becomes apparent that one of the firm’s partners – no matter how talented he or she may be – is not functioning at their highest and best use if they have to manage the entire learning function on their own.
Part 3 in a 3-Part Series: Run Training Like a Business
With size comes a diversity of learning needs and management of the learning function becomes more complex. The opportunity cost of having firm partners and managers limit their billable hours to coordinate training begins to outweigh the costs of engaging the help of a learning professional.
Thus is born the need for a learning team.
Five ways the new generation of CPAs is changing the profession.
By Gale Crosley
The Radical CPA: New Rules for the Future-Ready Firm
When CPA Jody Padar joined her father in his practice after eight years in a traditional mid-market firm, she assumed that his clients would become theirs. But Jody’s dad had a different idea. He believed his daughter should learn how to build a client base, not just serve an existing one.
The approach may not have been what Jody was expecting, but the experience of seeking out and developing client relationships was formative. In fact, she leveraged it to create New Vision CPA Group in Chicago, which provides complete accounting and tax solutions.
Jody and her firm are part of a movement I’ve dubbed “the New Accounting.” Although applied differently by individual practitioners, the movement can generally be defined by five characteristics: READ MORE →
Each offers low-cost CPE, vendors with new products and services, and the chance for professional networking:
By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor
QUESTION: I am in process of buying a practice and would like to know how much to pay.
MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: When Fees Don’t Keep Up With Cost Increases | When Large (or Any) Clients Need Backup Assurances | 18 Ways to Blow a Partnership Opportunity | 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Making Small Business Clients Happy | 10 Ways to Get New 1040 Clients | Before You Even Think about Selling Your Practice…
ANSWER: An alternative question is how much to sell it for. This is a complicated issue with many important variables, some of which are:
8 key questions to get you started.
By Martin Bissett
The secret to overcoming failure to correctly implement a successful business development strategy is by “winning your first client” and this starts by being accountable to someone for your performance.
Now that “someone” may be your fellow partners in the firm. If you are a senior manager, that may be the partner to whom you report.
If you’re a sole practitioner or if you don’t find being accountable to your partners helpful, then you can be accountable to your life partner, spouse or another person you wouldn’t want to see you fail. READ MORE →
Change, in business as in life, doesn’t always happen the way we want it.
Especially in busy season.
It’s at those times when we may need some help. Here, from “change expert” M.J. Ryan, author of “AdaptAbility: How to Survive Change You Didn’t Ask For,” are a few helpful thoughts…
1. Focus on the solution, not the problem. Because society rewards analytic thinking, we believe that identifying the cause of our troubles is the answer: Why is this happening? That’s a starting point, but don’t spend too much time there. What are you going to do about where you are?
And the 3 questions you should be asking yourself today.
By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA
I had just come off a really bad tax season.
This was about eight years ago now, and I knew there had to be a better way. I left a mid-sized firm, with seven partners and about 50 other employees and I joined my dad’s firm — literally and figuratively. Figuratively, because many of his technology and processes were “old school.” READ MORE →
By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator
If you’re an expert at something, don’t be the best-kept secret on your block. Get the word out about what you can offer others, and one way to do that easily, especially if you’re an accountant, is to build your reputation.
Here are 10 quick tips to boost yours.
READ MORE →
By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide
One way to guarantee extra work is to have everything always done differently each time it is done.
Not establishing uniform procedures is bad business and unnecessarily consumes part of your life. Consistency in performance reduces work and review time and creates a greater reliance on the staff people. READ MORE →
If you don’t ask, you can’t know. If not now, when?
By Jean Marie Caragher
The 90-Day Marketing Plan for CPA Firms
Tax season is the perfect time to identify cross-selling opportunities, strengthen client relationships and ensure client satisfaction.
Consider asking your clients the following 14 questions this tax season. You may discover a new gold nugget of opportunity: READ MORE →
Get real. Get up from your desk. Go for a ‘gemba’ walk.
By Tom Hood
The Radical CPA
I remember sending a video intro to Jody Padar’s first meeting of IC Opportunities where I read a quote from the February 2012 edition of Fast Company magazine in which the editor, Robert Safian, introduced the concept of “Generation Flux” and it reminded me of Jody and her tribe:
“In our hyper-networked, mobile, social, global world, the rules and plans of yesterday are increasingly under pressure; the enterprises and individuals that will thrive will be those willing to adapt and iterate, in a disciplined, unsentimental way… Generation Flux is a term that describes all of this — the chaotic business era that we have moved into — as well as the people who are poised to thrive in this environment.”
So what is a “gemba walk,” you might be thinking? READ MORE →
By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts
Vesting of retirement benefits is not unique to CPA firms. But vesting concepts for accounting firms are somewhat unique and are important to understand.
MORE ON BUYOUTS: Compromise Is In Order for Some Goodwill Payouts | When Retiring Partners Take a Specialty With Them | If Clients Leave, Do You Reduce Retirement Benefits? | Why You’ll Get Less from Your Partners in a Buyout than You Might by Selling the Whole Firm | Three Ways to Calculate Goodwill Payable in Partner Buyouts, None of Them Great | Eat What You Kill? Then Maybe ‘Book of Business’ Is for You | The Multiple of Compensation Method, Fully Explained | The Ins and Outs of AAV for Goodwill | 5 Points to Consider When Paying Out Goodwill | Clients Leaving? Time to Reduce Retirement Benefits | How to Set Terms and Limits for Goodwill Payouts | 4 Ways to Decide How to Pay Out Capital | Partners May Balk at Guaranteeing Retirement Obligations
Employee retirement plans are intended essentially as “savings programs” that people can take with them when they leave the firm, even if they depart well in advance of a normal retirement age. When there is employer matching, vesting provisions are common, and vesting is fairly rapid. In contrast, vesting in partner retirement plans is intentionally slow.
By Ida O. Abbott
Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know
Sponsorship is a personal undertaking. A man who sponsors a woman takes it upon himself to advance her career. He puts his reputation on the line for her and tells the world she is worth it.
She still has to earn that promotion, but his solid, public vote of confidence – and the power he puts behind it – at least gives her a fair chance to get it.
MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: And Now, a Few Words About Sex (and 14 Tips) | Make Flexible Scheduling Work for Everyone | Your Protégée Needs Your Feedback | 9 Ways to Promote Your Protégée to Others | 8 Ways to Help Your Protégée Focus on Career Opportunities | How to Start an Effective Sponsorship … and Follow Through | 3 Ways to Initiate Informal Sponsorship | How to Establish a Sponsor-Protégée Relationship | 3 Roadblocks to Women and Men Working Together Well | Fear of Sex and Rumors Inhibits Sponsorship | Why Women Resist Networking and Powerful Role Models | Women Must See Politics as Leadership to Get Ahead | Mommy Bias Persists | Different Standards, Double Binds Challenge Women | 5 Ways Gender Bias Plays Out at CPA Firms | 3 Reasons Why Men Don’t Pick Women Protégées | 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
In return, sponsors receive personal satisfaction and capable and loyal leaders who help them achieve their business goals and build their legacy. READ MORE →
And 5 practical ideas to implement measures to create real work-life balance at your firm.
By Hitendra Patil
Do you want employees who have:
- greater engagement in their jobs
- higher levels of job satisfaction
- stronger intentions to remain with their employers
- less negative and stressful spillover from job to home
- less negative spillover from home to job
- better mental health
Aren’t these the things most accounting firms would want their employees to experience? READ MORE →