100 “Best Accounting Firms to Work For”

Accounting Today's fourth year for the list.

Top winners are to be announced at Accounting Today's 2nd Annual Growth & Profitability Summit on Oct. 25-27 in Las Vegas.

The Best Accounting Firms to Work For list includes 50 small firms (15-49 employees), 45 midsized firms (50-249 employees) and five large firms (more than 250 employees).


Looking for a Life? Look Past the Big Four

Vault.com ranks accounting firms by "quality of life" issues.

Leading the way was Elliot Davis, which took the top spot in four categories, with WithumSmith+Brown and Deloitte each earning No. 1 rankings in three categories.

S&G Financial Services took the lead in two categories, and Armanino McKenna, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Rothstein Kass each grabbed one top spot in this year’s rankings.


IRS to Start Fingerprinting Tax Pro’s

FBI background checks for some PTIN registrants.

The IRS is airing proposed rules and user fees for fingerprinting and for taking the new competency examination.

Total fees, counting the IRS share and corporate contractors doing the work, are expected to be between $60 and $90 for fingerprinting and $100 and $125 for testing.

The IRS share of the fingerprinting fee is expected to be $33 and $27 for the test.


Clark Nuber’s Six Proven Ways to Attract and Develop Talent [VIDEO]

Maybe the 150-person firm in Bellevue, Wash., has found a winning formula.

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Tracy L. White

Clark Nuber is consistently ranked among one of Washington’s best places to work and the firm has an 88 percent retention rate. Tracy L. White, SPHR, Senior Director of Human Resources, shares insights into what it takes to build a dedicated staff:


Robert Fligel: It’s Pre-Season Time

Last chance to take care of yourself, your career, your firm -- before busy season begins.

Robert Fligel

What are some of the things you have you been meaning to do for a long time but haven't?

Robert Fligel at RF-Resources suggests, for example:

  • Do you want to find out more about business networking through sites like Linkedin.com? Use this time to sign up and get started.
  • Take a top performer out to lunch (or someone you think has that potential). This is not part of a year-end evaluation or similar type of meeting, but just a chance to show your interest and get to know them better .
  • Not happy in your job? Use this time for some planning. Get your resume up to date. Talk to your close friends and advisers about what you are thinking, create a presence on sites such as Linkedin and Facebook and determine possible target companies.
  • Been thinking about your firm's succession? If you don't have an internal successor, sit down and do some planning regarding the different alternatives.

More at: RF Resources

Old-Fashioned Accounting Marketing Dies Slowly

The painful journey to a new era.

by Bruce W. Marcus
Professional Services Marketing 3.0

Bruce W. Marcus

In the years following Bates, accounting firms began a long and difficult process of learning how to market.

Accountants were still so steeped in the no-commercialization ethic that they tried to resist any form of marketing. They couldn’t, because other firms had started doing it, and were winning clients.


What’s Social Media All About? [VIDEO]

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"The ROI on social media is that you'll still be in business in five years."

Part of the world's most watched social media video series; "Social Media Revolution" by Erik Qualman. Based on #1 International Best Selling Book Socialnomics by Erik Qualman. This is a shorter version that includes new social media statistics for 2011.

The Four Flavors of Niche Strategies

But it depends on your taste for risk.

Jean Caragher

Jean Caragher

by Jean Marie Caragher
Capstone Marketing

There are at least four types of opportunities your firm can pursue in considering new niche growth, each with its own level of risk:

1. Market penetration.

Better known as cross-selling, market penetration is providing existing services to existing clients. This is the least risky opportunity since you are already familiar with the service and the clients. For example, you may be developing a niche in the construction industry. Currently, succession planning is a firm specialty. This is a service needed by and could be offered to your builder and contractor clients.

2. Market development.

Provide existing services to new clients. This is a bit more risky since you need to learn about a new market segment. For example, you may currently offer retirement planning services to your current clients. This is a service needed by and could be offered to new business prospects.

3. Product development.

Provide new services to existing clients. This is also a bit risky since you need to learn a new service area.

4. Diversification.

Provide new services to new clients. This opportunity is the most risky since you are moving into a new line of business. Sarbanes-Oxley compliance work has provided many regional and local firms with opportunities to expand their bottom lines.

Caragher is president of Capstone Marketing, a partner with CPA Trendlines in the Seven Keys to Successful CPA Firm Management. This article is adapted from one that appeared in the AICPA Insider, which was excerpted from "Bull’s Eye: The Ultimate How-to Marketing Guide for CPAs," available at Amazon.com.

Get Real: Six Practical Goals for Accounting Marketing

And why it's not product marketing.

by Bruce W. Marcus
Professional Services Marketing 3.0

The adjectives and comparisons and superlatives so common in product marketing have no place in professional services marketing.

The boast, even when there seems to be a foundation for it, rarely works. But professional services marketing can work when it’s designed to: READ MORE →