Today's Features —

Take Advantage of 4 Key Marketing Strategies

Agenda clipboard checklist

Serve your clients better and watch your practice revenues grow. By Sandi Smith Leyva The Accountant’s Accelerator The latest marketing strategies and […]

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Why Women Resist Networking and Powerful Role Models

Young businesswoman and social network over white background

4 ways sponsors can help. By Ida O. Abbott Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know Networking issues: Women tend to have […]

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Making Digital Tax Process Easier Is All About the Workflow

Process Touch Screen Showing Workflow Design

4 ways the new breed of workflow application can simplify your tax season. By Roman H. Kepczyk Quantum of Paperless The most […]

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Target the Low-Hanging Fruit

Five strategies you can implement right now.

ripe apples are hanging on a branch covered with first snowBy Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

If business has slowed for you, it’s not just you. With people finishing their holiday preparations, getting ready for school vacations and trying to keep from falling to the latest batch of colds making the rounds, it’s all most of us can do to stay on our routines.

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Successful Strategy Execution Requires Focus on People

Business people working in group in the officeBy Robert J. Lees, August J. Aquila and Derek Klyhn

Momentum is critical in driving change, so it is no surprise that the initiation of activities that drive and support the strategy is key.

MORE ON LEADERSHIP: Managing Partners Must Remember Partners’ Needs | 5 Questions About Your Firm’s Direction | Like Herding Cats: Partners Must ‘Walk Together’

It is also one of the reasons why focus is critical. And yet one of the mistakes we see are initiatives having too much time between them.

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Fear of Sex and Rumors Inhibits Sponsorship

Career penalties for romance are greater for junior women than senior men.

Image of a female executive explaining something to her boss in office.By Ida O. Abbott
Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

A close work relationship between a man and a woman can generate sexual tensions in one or both of them.

When the man is older and powerful and the woman is young and ambitious, the potential for complications is even greater.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Why Women Resist Networking and Powerful Role Models | Women Must See Politics as Leadership to Get Ahead | Mommy Bias Persists | 5 Ways Gender Bias Plays Out at CPA Firms | 3 Reasons Why Men Don’t Pick Women Protégées | 18 Ways Sponsors Can Help Their Protegees | The 6 Market Advantages of Women-Led Firms | Beyond Mentoring: Why Sponsoring Women for Leadership Matters

Even when the relationship is strictly business focused, it can be the subject of rumors, gossip and speculation among coworkers, and it can arouse feelings of jealousy and resentment in the sponsor’s wife.

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Clients Leaving? Time to Reduce Retirement Benefits

hand on calculatorA lot depends on what type of firm you have.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

The only reason why goodwill benefits are paid is for retention of the clients after the retiring partner exits the firm. A logical extension of this premise is that, if a retiree’s clients don’t stay, there is no basis for paying the money.

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How to Cut Tax Prep Costs with Scanners

A person electronically scanning a documentBeating the rush to front-end scanning.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Most tax clients will continue to deliver their organizers and supporting tax documents to firms on paper.

So firms are learning quickly how to effectively scan and manage those tax documents at the lowest possible cost.

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No More Printouts at CPE Programs?

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ATech advice for everyday use.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I always like to take notes on the handouts when I attend CPE programs. Now all the handouts are provided digitally and it forces me to sometimes print out as much as 400 or 500 pages before I go to the program. How can I get the sponsors to provide printed copies?

RESPONSE: Things change. What worked yesterday doesn’t always work today. READ MORE →

Review These 10 Questions You Can Never Stop Asking

These lessons were learned the hard way in the media business.

But they can apply to accounting firms just as well. READ MORE →

Geography Plays Part in Firm Success

Toledo, Ohio. Red flag pin on an old map showing travel destination.Turnover, growth, income per partner all affected.

Where your firm is based can make some big differences in how much it makes, how much its partners are paid and how employees often come and go to and from the firm, according to the new “The Rosenberg Survey: The National MAP Survey of CPA Firm Statistics.”

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How to Apply Value Pricing to Bundled Services

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ADon’t confuse it with value billing.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I tried value billing and it didn’t work. I would rather bill my business clients on a fixed fee for my services.

RESPONSE: Actually, you are value pricing when you do the fixed fees. You confused value pricing with value billing. Value pricing is where you sit down with the client and you jointly determine the price before any work is done.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: 18 Ways to Blow a Partnership Opportunity | 8 Times When Hourly Billing Trumps Value Pricing | 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Making Small Business Clients Happy | 10 (Nearly) Painless Ways to Keep Up to Date with Technology | 23 Reasons Clients Really Need YOU for Taxes | Running an Accounting Business | 14 Ways to Switch to Value Pricing | Pricing, Billing, Costing: Don’t Blame Clients

Value billing is where you try to get an extra payment after the work is done. I believe the best way to determine a fee for recurring services is to set the fee with the client in advance of performing any work. I’ll explain. READ MORE →

Managing Partners Must Remember Partners’ Needs

a businessman with some jigsaw puzzle pieces in his handAnd 4 questions to consider.

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

Professionals loathe anything bureaucratic. But we know of many firms who ask their partners to account, in detail, for every minute of their time.

To ask high-need-for-achievement professionals at the top of their field to provide what, to them, is bureaucratic data immediately implies a complete lack of trust and respect for their expertise and their position. It is simply a motivational disaster, which distances the partners from the firm. Partners know that they have to account for their time but we know too many firms that, often at the behest of the finance function, ask for a level of specificity that drives the partners to distraction.

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How to Set Terms and Limits for Goodwill Payouts

Money wrapped with chains and secured with a padlockAnd two considerations for the working partners.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

The vast majority of firms pay retirement benefits over a 10-year period. We occasionally see five to seven years at lower payout levels.

Some firms under $10 million adopt five-year payouts for goodwill, reasoning that because five-year payouts are common for the purchase of a CPA firm, the same term should apply to their own buyouts.

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Women Must See Politics as Leadership to Get Ahead

Leadership skills and womenFour reasons women hold themselves back.

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

Many women are uncomfortable calling attention to their achievements and ambitions, dislike politics, have difficulty asking others for a career boost or underestimate the importance of powerful backers. This makes it harder for potential sponsors to recognize how worthy these women are of their support.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: 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

Some women hurt their own chances for sponsorship by failing to let sponsors know what they want and why they merit it. Sponsors are drawn to star performers who display confidence and a drive to succeed. Where a man might insist he is the right person for a job and ask to be promoted, a woman who is equally or even better qualified may downplay her qualifications for the job. Instead of aggressively pursuing promotions and opportunities, she waits to be asked, and then, when asked, may turn the offer down. Why? READ MORE →

Why Firms Need Document Retention Standards

Composite image of hand writing with markerTwo steps can set your firm on the right path.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Managing digital files is in many ways similar to managing paper files in that the firm must have standards for who can create a document, add to or edit a document, file it and eventually purge the file. Unfortunately as digital files are on the network and “out of sight,” many firms are not really aware of: READ MORE →