See this week’s complete newsletter here
CPA Trendlines finds tight cost controls, slow wage increases and an influx of women workers.
By Rick Telberg
Lifted by a steadily recovering economy and aggressive re-tooling, the nation’s CPA firms are adding staff at a 2.3% annualized rate, the strongest advance in a year, according to a new CPA Trendlines study. But hours are unpredictable, wage growth is stalled and firms are trading higher-paid professionals for cheaper labor.
The study goes on to report new data, trends and analysis regarding:
– The total CPA firm workforce
– Leverage ratios
– Productivity efforts
– Cost controls
– Wages and hours
– Women in the workforce
And the two methods used by the smartest firms.
By Marc Rosenberg
Author of How to Bring in New Partners
Regardless of whether it is a corporation or a partnership, there is a substantial amount of accrual basis capital in a CPA firm. All the partners “own” some portion of that capital.
There are at least three methods for determining how much capital each individual partner “owns.” One of them should be avoided like the plague. READ MORE →
How to help them take initiative and allow you to be proactive.
By Hitendra Patil
Neuroscience studies have shown that fear is a far bigger driver than we would ever care to admit. According to Kevin Hogan, author of The Science of Influence: How to Get Anyone to Say “Yes” in 8 Minutes or Less!, “most people react to the fear of loss and the threat of pain in a much more profound way than they do for gain. “They overemphasize the importance of pain by about 2.5:1 in decision making.”
Your customers and prospects fear that their actions or inactions will cause bad things to happen, or bad things can suddenly happen to them. It’s therefore important to ask yourself what sort of problems your potential clients are facing during current times. If you can identify their true fears and show them how you can remove the possibility of loss, you are one step ahead of your competitors. READ MORE →
By Jean Caragher
Lack of time is an often-used excuse for failing to plan. However, I believe that we make time for the things that we really want to do. Almost anyone can get a start on a networking plan by answering the following questions: READ MORE →
By Rick Telberg
After what for many was a disastrous season in 2013, many tax prep professionals are laying new plans and taking on ambitious initiatives to avoid a repeat of last year and maybe even vault ahead of the competition.
With input from more than 400 practitioners, CPA Trendlines expects 2014 to be rocky from the start, with Washington politics playing a big role, and also highly competitive, as practitioners battle both fee pressures from clients and each other for a smaller pool of good clients.
In the last 30 days, practitioners’ outlook has been generally positive as they start to get their plans in place and with a momentary lull in Washington infighting. As of today, about 60% of the more than 400 practitioners surveyed expect a better season than last year, including 12% who are hoping for a “much better” season.
If there are themes among the new strategies from lessons learned last year, they fall into a few general categories: READ MORE →
How to become and remain competitive in the marketplace.
By Robert J. Lees and August J. Aquila
Creating the Effective Partnership
The challenge in designing the right system for the firm’s context is ensuring it motivates the partners to deliver the initiatives the firm needs to be successful.
If compensation is supposed to motivate and reward productive behavior and outcomes, and discourage non-productive behavior and outcomes, then you must ask yourself, “How well are we doing?”
We don’t claim that our recommended system is perfect since we know that the perfect compensation system does not exist. We do feel, though, that it encompasses the critical elements needed for leaders to better engage and reward partners.
We believe that if a firm wants to maximize its performance and keep its partners motivated and engaged, then it needs to design a compensation plan, which includes the following elements: READ MORE →
By Ed Mendlowitz
“Tax Season Opportunity Guide“
QUESTION: I do not belong to the NJSCPA and see no value in it. What are the benefits if I am a sole practitioner and just starting out?
RESPONSE: I belong to the AICPA, NJSCPA and NYSSCPA, feel strongly about supporting
these societies and believe it is a responsibility of professionals to do so.
I am also active in these three organizations, in different ways and not always at the same time, although I have never been on the board of any of them.
by Bruce W. Marcus
Professional Services Marketing 3.0
At a VeraSage conference not too long ago Ron Baker addressed the question of why so few Top 100 firms have switched to value billing. But the answer is not difficult to discern. “There are decades of culture,” he says, “around the culture of time sheets.”
They are literally at the center of all financial reporting in the firm, and there is too much investment in time sheets and related financial systems for senior management to move in different directions. “It’s human nature to remain on the shores of the familiar,” he says. As for the future, he is optimistic, as am I. READ MORE →
Follow the 5 C’s to a better website.
By Sandi Smith Leyva
It might feel like the internet, your website, and marketing in general is just one big game of chance. Large companies gamble millions on SuperBowl commercials, while small companies gamble on trade shows, networking groups, and answering the next hot RFP. The question is, is there a better way to market and get clients that doesn’t feel like gambling?
When it comes to websites, there is a surefire formula you can follow to make sure your web site brings you business, no matter what your business. I call it my 5C formula. Let’s take a closer look: READ MORE →