Today's Features —

What Windows 8 Means for How Accountants Will Work in the Future

What Windows 8 Means for How Accountants Will Work in the Future

More mobile, more monitors, more power…


Tax Return Reviewer Ticking and Tying

Tax Return Reviewer Ticking and Tying

And complaining and correcting…


5 Must-Do’s for Every Managing Partner Today

5 Must-Do's for Every Managing Partner Today

New study shows new imperatives for the year ahead…


The 13 Big Reasons Firms Merge

And 13 potential sticking points with conflicting agendas.

Marc Rosenberg


By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Mergers

Whether you’re looking to acquire a smaller firm, merge upward into a larger one or join forces with an equal, answering this basic question honestly and objectively is key to laying the groundwork for a successful merger.

There are 13 main reasons that firms seek mergers, outlined in the chart below. The reasons range from making more money, which is often the seller’s goal, to filling in important niches, often a buyer’s goal.

Clearly some goals benefit all parties across the board, like achieving synergies, while others provide a greater advantage to one or the other of the merger partners. There are only three reasons that seem to benefit both parties equally.  Can you guess what they are? Check the chart below to see the answers. READ MORE →

All Great Strategy Starts with “Why”

Question marksWhat do we want people to know, think or feel as a result of our internal communications efforts, and why?

By Bruce W. Marcus
Professional Services Marketing 3.0

The answers to these questions are the foundation for any communications activity, internal or external. They define the dynamic of the program, its focus and its program goals. They make possible a foundation for defining and shaping the strategy.

Bruce W. Marcus

Bruce W. Marcus

More for CPA Trendlines PRO members: Managing Knowledge as a Growth and Management Tool The Secret Formula for Getting New ClientsWhat We’ve Learned Since Accounting Marketing Was LegalizedDo Accounting Firms Really Want an ‘Image’?What Accounting Firms Need to Learn from Personal Financial Planning Specialists

There are three crucial concerns…


Eight Key Goal Areas for Partners



Getting specific with leadership duties and partner accountability.

By Auqust Aquila
Creating the Effective Partnership

As leaders of a firm, partners need to do more than pay for themselves and contribute to overhead expenses. Their duties to the firm and to each other extend to bringing in new business, improving their own skills as well as developing skills in others, contributing to strategy and a passion for continuous improvement in all things.

MORE PARTNER ISSUES: Are Bad Clients Driving You Crazy?  |  6 Steps to Handle Staffing Problems in a Merger  |  New Times Call for New CPA Firm Metrics  |  Why CPA Firms Fail in Innovation  |  When the Deal is Done: A 24-Point Checklist for the Morning After  |  7 Signs Your Firm Is Headed for an Implosion  |  Why Some Partners Should Not Retire  |  Why Is It Always about Partner Compensation?

Most firms don’t take enough time to develop meaningful partner goals because it is a very time-consuming process. But, if you want to get better results in this highly competitive environment, this is the road you need to take.

Here are eight key areas where partners can and should provide leadership in a firm. READ MORE →

15 Deal Breakers and Non-Negotiables in Mergers

man on broken ladderPrepare for the unexpected.

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Mergers

Potential deal breakers in a merger negotiation can crop up at any time – and unexpectedly. But here are 15 that seem to occur more often than others. In most cases, one firm wants something, the other firm doesn’t and the two can’t agree on how to resolve the conflict. Be prepared. READ MORE →

Before You Even Think about Selling Your Practice…

Check the checklist: 32 reasons for a merger or acquisition

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and A

QUESTION: I am getting ready to think about retiring. I don’t want to work forever, and have enough saved so I will be pretty well off when I retire. However, I would like to get the most that I could for my practice. I also would like my staff to not lose their jobs and for my clients to be well cared for.

MORE Q&A WITH ED MENDLOWITZ: 44 Critical Criteria for Accounting Staff Performance Evaluations  |  23 Reasons Clients Really Need YOU for Taxes  |  Why I Don’t Hire on Experience  |  5 Time Management Tips for an Overworked Accountant  |  Complaining Client? No Wonder!  |  Running an Accounting Business  |  14 Ways to Switch to Value Pricing

I am a sole practitioner with two part-time bookkeepers, two full-time CPAs and a full-time secretary/office assistant. I have an informal relationship with a larger firm where I refer business I can’t handle and they refer back smaller clients they do not want.


How to Choose the Right Backup System

As tape drives fast become overloaded, unreliable and obsolete.



By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Your firm’s safety net in the event of any disaster is your data backup. It better be consistently performed and securely stored offsite.

Typically, firms have a problem when their old backup systems fail or the tapes don’t complete because there’s too much data to fit. This is becoming a common problem as more data and more applications add significantly more volume, making the backup application require more storage and a longer running time to complete.

MORE TECH TRENDS: 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 9 Ways Managing Partners Leverage Technology for a Competitive Edge  |  2014 Roundtable: Tax Season Tech Boom

The tape drive you have today will be the last one you will ever own. Today 57% of firms are backing up all their data to the Internet at least once per month. And the trend shows every sign of accelerating. But how do you choose the right solution for your firm? READ MORE →

44 Critical Criteria for Accounting Staff Performance Evaluations

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AQUESTION: Do you work from a checklist when you’re conducting staff performance appraisals?

RESPONSE: Silly question. Checklists? Do I have checklists?

Seriously, staffing is a big concern, and I believe many smaller firms settle and hire the wrong people, which I’ve written about and probably beaten to death expressing my views.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Why I Don’t Hire on Experience  |  5 Time Management Tips for an Overworked Accountant  |  Staff Training Starts with Doing Something  |  11 Business-Getting Tips for the Young Staffer  |  When Staffers Don’t Listen to You  |  Questions and Answers on Selling a Practice to Staff Members  |  Measuring Growth in Yourself, Staff and Partners  |  Complaining Client? No Wonder!

Here is a checklist to get you started.


A Real-World Approach for the Smaller Firm

Blue Dart Hit the Dollar Sign.The myth of “niche marketing.”

By Bruce W. Marcus
Professional Services Marketing 3.0

There is much ado, these days, about niche marketing and target marketing and using mailing lists and knowledge management.

How does it all come together to make sense for the smaller accounting firm, particularly when there’s a limited marketing budget, and a limited opportunity to reach out to the marketplace?

Bruce W. Marcus

Bruce W. Marcus

More for CPA Trendlines PRO members: Who’s Better at Marketing? Lawyers or CPAs?Even a Random Disaster Can Be Controlled with Risk ManagementManaging Risk in Client RelationsYour Clients Love You? What If You’re Wrong?The Three Degrees of RiskFour Essential Habits for Building Client TrustThe Nine Hallmarks of a Marketing CultureThe Four Cornerstones to Building A Marketing CultureGetting the Client is Only Half the BattlePractice Development: It’s Not Rocket ScienceNine Fundamentals for a Healthy Marketing Culture in an Accounting Firm

In this report:

  • The limited value of “niche” marketing
  • Six key variables to evaluate
  • The role of target marketing
  • The role of sales
  • The fusion that creates Total Context Marketing
  • 15 steps to success in integrating and balancing marketing strategies


6 Biz Dev Metrics Accountants Should Measure

Business diagramme with magnifying glass, workplace businessman.Yes, you can do marketing with a spreadsheet and a checklist.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

One way to help accountants embrace marketing is to fill training sessions with spreadsheets and numbers, things that most accountants love working on. There’s a lot of insecurity around learning marketing, but when accountants hear they need to do some spreadsheets first, they dive right in.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 5 Areas to Improve Client Acquisition Success  |  Are Accountants Newsworthy? You Bet!  |  When Accountants Don’t Know They Don’t Know  |  Seven Hot Lead Generation Methods for Accountants   |  What Stage of Business Are You In?  |  8 Essential Ingredients for Your New Client Welcome Kit  4 Ways Small Firms Can Surpass Larger Firms  |   REBUTTAL: The 3 Most Unused Marketing Methods for Accountants

Here are six numbers we suggest you track: READ MORE →