At one time, you could count on busy season to provide respite from mergers and acquisitions and talent snatches.
But not this year.
Robert Fligel (pictured), the New York-based CPA firm broker and headhunter, reports that unlike past busy seasons, this busy season is as busy as ever.
“My theory is that it might have something to do with more partners looking at the slowing economy as a time to sell while other forward thinkers are thinking growth by acquisition,” Fligel says. “Whatever it is, we are seeing an extremely active market unlike past busy seasons which tend to be the quietest historically.” READ MORE →
Gen Y workers (ages 26 and younger) know what they want-in particular, a good work/life balance and ready opportunities for advancement.
But this doesn’t mean that they aren’t a dedicated workforce capable of loyal service. The lessons here come from the restaurant business, but they apply just as well to CPA firms. After all, companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s and T.G.I. Friday’s probably know a thing or two about hiring and keeping Gen Y employees. READ MORE →
Brian D. Rowbotham (pictured) spent 14 years investigating the international fraud case of Robert Ian Maxwell. So he knows a thing or two about forensic auditing.
The Maxwell Communication Corp. case was one of most spactacular business scandals of the 1990′s. Maxwell (“The Bouncing Czech”) died, somewhat mysteriously, while at sea on his yacht. His empire quickly crumbled in a sea of chaos and confusion, leaving $4 billion in debts and $2 billion in assets. Rowbotham & Co. was brought aboard by one of the jilted banks to work with Price Waterhouse and Robson Rhodes.
Gale Crosley’s highly anticipated new book, “At the Crossroads: The Remarkable CPA Firm that Nearly Crashed, then Soared,” is now available.
I’ll just repeat what I told Gale when I had the privilege of reviewing the galleys:
“At the Crossroads” is a compelling fable with an inspirational lesson for every CPA firm. It’s an entertaining page-turner of a novel that shows how a little vision, courage, and knowledge can transform any group of also-rans into a team of true champions. More than merely a lesson in business, Gale gives us a lasting lesson in life. Every managing partner should take a dose of this book each morning before going into the office. Every aspiring CPA should embrace the message. They won’t succeed without it.
“Practicing professionals have a 15 to 25 percent chance of being sued during the course of their career, ” says Wilhelm Dingler, an attorney in the professional liability department of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin in Philadelphia.
And mostly for the same reasons, year in and year out: READ MORE →
Brown Smith Wallace, a St. Louis firm with 66 CPAs and 200 staffers, is letting its three-member technology services group join local tech consultants SSE, bringing SSE up to 75 staffers.
Brown Smith Wallace formed its IT team about four year ago, but the firm said it had limited ability to offer technology services to existing clients, according to the St. Louis Business Journal.
“As auditors, our independence is crucial and fundamental to the core of our business. Client demands for complete IT support can be in conflict with that independence,” Tony Caleca (pictured), member at Brown Smith Wallace, said in a statement.
CPA firm consultant Allan Boress asserts that part of the reason that the profession has difficulty retaining people is that we fail to embrace higher values. Lawyers do it with “pro bono” work. But in accounting, “pro bono” is “accounting-ese for ‘are you out of your mind?’ â€
“CPAs are the greediest people I know,” Boress says. “Not that attorneys and doctors and other professionals arenâ€™t. Except they tend to donate time and money to help people.” READ MORE →
Every business has problem clients, but not everyone subscribes to the “customer is always right” philosophy. In fact, some businesses will actually fire such clients and report being happier and more successful for it.
CPA firms are often told to be strategic in prospecting for and selecting clients to help dodge such dysfunctional relationships-even when money is tight and all clients look like a gem. That’s easier said than done, of course. READ MORE →
The 1.9-million-member Service Employees International is arguing that Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center violated the SOX act by including losses from bad debts in its tally of the charity care it provides. The union wants the hospital’s financials restated.
The union has little in the way of legal or regulatory grounds for its argument. And it’s not an organizing tactic. But the union’s point has been made. And I think we can expect more controversies like it. More…
The Southfield, Mich., accounting firm has grown revenue 40 percent in the last three years while adding 30 percent more staff.
Managing partner Don Clayton (pictured at desk) and shareholder Kevin McKervey are targeting growing, mid-sized companies with global ambitions.
They credit the firm’s growth to their focus on identifying and pursuing the one thing that they can be best at, what “Good to Great” author Jim Collins calls a company’s “hedgehog” concept. For C&M, that’s helping entrepreneurial companies from other nations expand into the U.S. and U.S. companies to go abroad. The firm counts new clients from China, Britain and Mexico.
“We’ve got a razor-sharp focus,” Clayton said. “That’s a competitive advantage.”
“Over the past decade, the leisure activity has been in a kind of recession,” the New York Times reports, “The total number of people who play has declined or remained flat each year since 2000, dropping to about 26 million from 30 million, according to the National Golf Foundation and the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association. More troubling to golf boosters, the number of people who play 25 times a year or more fell to 4.6 million in 2005 from 6.9 million in 2000, a loss of about a third. The industry now counts its core players as those who golf eight or more times a year. That number, too, has fallen, but more slowly: to 15 million in 2006 from 17.7 million in 2000, according to the National Golf Foundation.”
What will CPAs do for a marketing strategy if they can’t play golf?
Sage Software is launching an initiative to encourage accountants to drive more business to its resellers with free consulting.
It’s a good sign that the top management at Sage is seeking to leverage the company’s most ardent supporters.
The plan seeks to connect the 10,300 firms in the Sage Software Accountants Network, which has over 22,000 members, with the 620 resellers in the Business Partner Alliance. So far, Sage has signed up 121 resellers, or 20 percent of the the BPA.
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