Today's Features

Do You Have a Pipeline or Just a List?

Golden vintage tap with money flowing outBONUS CHECKLIST: 5 points for grading prospects.

By Martin Bissett
Business Development On a Budget

So you’ve done all the work to get yourself composed and prepared to go out and generate new opportunities, find new business and new clients. Now what? How will you know who to contact for the first step?

Answer: your pipeline.

MORE ON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Banish the Idea that Selling is Difficult | How to Win Your First Client | 5 Ways to Make Selling Easier to Swallow | You’re Selling All the Time

Many partners think they have a pipeline, but they don’t. What they actually have is just a list of prospects they’ve

  • met with,
  • would like to meet with or
  • have worked with in the past.


Merger Prep: Getting to Know You

Four people meeting at a restaurantBONUS CHECKLIST: 18 questions to ask and answer.

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Mergers: Your Complete Guide

All merger discussions have to begin somewhere. After merger candidates have been identified, there obviously needs to be an initial meeting for the two firms to get acquainted.

MORE ON MERGERS: The Merger Process in 21 Steps | Plant Seeds to Turn Up Merger Candidates | Looking to Grow Your Firm? How to Find a Seller in Four Steps | 13 Ways to Screw Up a Merger | 15 Can’t-Skip Merger Terms to Decide | 14 Keys to a Successful Merger | 13 Reasons Accounting Firms Merge | Mergers 101: When Negotiations Aren’t Really Negotiations

Everything is confidential and informal. No exchange of financial statements. The two parties simply spend an hour or two – you guessed it – getting to know each other. Many firms like to convene this meeting over breakfast or lunch because meeting at a restaurant gives the encounter an air of informality and sociability. Other firms like to do this in the larger firm’s office so that the smaller firm can get a “house tour.”


Survey to Find Out What Your Staff Think

Blue pencil on survey formIncludes 28 sample questions plus industry norms for results.

By Marc Rosenberg
On Staffing

If you truly and honestly want to make your firm a great place to work, the first thing you need to do is ask the staff what they think.

MORE ON STAFFING: MPs Chime In on Recruiting, Development, Retention | Don’t Underestimate Communication with Staff | Why Firms Can’t Afford NOT to Develop Women Partners | 8 Recruiting Strategies: How Many Are You Using? | 6 Keys to Advancement Programs | Guidelines for Flexible Work Policies | Staff Need Meaningful Recognition | SURVEY: 97% of Leading Firms Now Offer Flexible Work Arrangements | How to Create a Talent Management Strategy
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Two primary types of surveys:

How to Sell Bundled Tax Services

Flat fees relieve "clock watching."

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

Following are two sample engagement proposals for tax return preparation bundled with additional financial planning and business planning services.

MORE ON MARKETING: How to Prepare Returns for a Multiple-Year Non-Filer | Structuring Partnership and Buy-Sell Agreements | The 64-Point Business Startup Checklist | How to Offer Second Opinions | How to Offer Employment Compensation Assistance | Basic Budgeting for Clients | Guiding Heirs | 11 Questions to Ask Every Tax Client | Add New Revenues with Tax Prep Follow-ups | Marketing vs. Selling: Both Must Serve the Client First
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Letter 1:

The Dangers of Low-Hanging Fruit

Pan of apples in woman's hands over green grassSeven questions to ask about new clients.

By Domenick J. Esposito
8 Steps to Great

It’s 2017 (hard to believe).

MORE ON STRATEGIC PLANNING: How to Capitalize on the Trusted Business Advisor Opportunity | Why Is Strategy Execution So Difficult? | Time Running Out for Succession Planning | The Benefits of a Client Situation Review | Capital Markets 101 | How to Implement Industry Practice Groups | What Is ‘Acceptable’ Performance? | 6 Measures of Partner Performance | Is HR Ready for Your Partner Pipeline? | Is Your Pyramid Upside Down? | Taking a Balanced Scorecard to Your Partners
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Many mid-market firms are finalizing their numbers for 2016 and it appears to be shaping up to be a pretty good year with

  • organic growth averaging at 4 percent to 6 percent,
  • equity partner compensation seeing a modest increase principally through technology enhancements,
  • more and more work being shifted to India and
  • intense expense control.


MPs Chime In on Recruiting, Development, Retention

Two coworkers playing ping pong in office as another looks on from deskWhat they do now and are considering for the future.

By Marc Rosenberg
On Staffing

I often poll a group of 100+ MPs across the country on various practice management issues.

MORE ON STAFFING: Don’t Underestimate Communication with Staff | 19 Questions for Your Next Hire | Staff Performance Feedback Done Right | 21 Staff Training Best Practices | Making Flex Time Work in the Real World | 10 Winning Traits of Accounting Firm Leaders | The Importance of Great Bosses | The 12 Reasons Your Staff Hates Your Firm | What Happened to the Relevancy of the CPA Profession?
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Recently, I polled them on leading-edge staff practices.

10 Steps to Transitioning to a New MP

Senior businessman and another businessman talkingPlus 4 questions to answer if the MP is staying with the firm.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

One of the most difficult events that a firm faces is the transition of power from one managing partner to another, especially when it’s the first time.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: 5 Ways to Keep Your Edge | 5 Reasons That Leaders Fail | 11 Things All Partners Must Do | Why Partners Need Written Goals | The 6-Step Plan for Transitioning Clients | Fighting Restraining Forces | Chemistry and Mutual Respect Matter | Great CPA Firm Partnerships Begin with Trust | The 4 Best Ways to Use Pre-Retirement Partners
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Knowing when to pass the baton and how to pass it are critical decisions every firm will have to make.