Today's Features —

How to Join the Annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

How to Join the Annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

Join the survey; get the results.

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Accounting Salaries to Rise 3.5%

Accounting Salaries to Rise 3.5%

Top trends: Flexible staffing, retention challenges…

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As Block and Liberty Add Accounting Services, Independents Face 3 Options

As Block and Liberty Add Accounting Services, Independents Face 3 Options

The profession gets a reality-check…

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Men Advance 2 to 1 over Women without Sponsors

man woman handshake shake hands iStock_000010387373Small“Women get advice, while men get promotions.” Here’s how to change that.

By Ida O. Abbott
What Men Need to Know

The benefits of sponsorship are indisputable. Having a highly placed sponsor is a distinct career advantage, and, when competing for top positions, it can be a critical differentiator. READ MORE →

Top 7 Reasons CPA Firms Fail in Planning for Partner Retirements

file0001142145741 in 6 firms have no formal, written exit plans in place.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

Despite the clear, substantial value of a CPA firm, roughly 15% of multi-owner CPA firms – mostly firms with up to four partners – do not have a formal, written partner retirement plan. Why? READ MORE →

10 Do’s and Don’ts for Making Small Business Clients Happy

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ABy Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: Most of my clients are either tax returns or small business clients. The number of individual tax returns grows each year, but I seem to be standing still with business clients. For every new one I get, I lose one. Otherwise, I have about a 6 or 7 percent turnover. Is there anything I can do to keep them?

RESPONSE: I think small business clients need extra hand-holding from us because they are really alone.

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3 Ways to Maximize ROI from CPE Conferences

hands raised 20662867_sWhat’s on accountants’ CPE agendas this year? Join the survey; get the answers.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

Attending and learning from conferences can be amazing opportunities for your career or your business. They can also be huge money drains. It’s easy to take a look at the conference registration and make a quick decision about whether we can afford it – or even worse – whether it will clear our credit card limit or not. READ MORE →

Tax and Accounting Industry on Hiring Binge

Profession adds 1,400 new jobs in latest month.
Next question: Who’s hiring; who’s not. Join the survey; get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines

Jennifer Dizon

Dizon

With practitioners across the country reporting strong demand for new hires, the nation’s tax, accounting and bookkeeping industries added 1,400 new jobs last month, with some sectors marking new highs for 2014 and approaching the pre-crash peak six years ago.

Jennifer Dizon, an audit and advisory partner at Hood & Strong’s San Jose, Calif., office, tells CPA Trendlines her firm is looking to hire.

“We need more staff to service business growth,” says Dizon, who is also the newly elected state chapter president of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

Terri Ryman

Ryman

In Elkhart, Kan., enrolled agent Terri Ryman at Southwest Tax & Accounting says the office is “getting busier.” She “can’t keep up.”

In Northridge, Calif., Gene Wechsler at Wechsler Accountancy reports a similar trend. “The firm continues to grow at the rate of 1 to 2 new clients per week.”

Needs vary though. “We need an additional tax preparer and accountant for small business monthly work,” says one of the owners of a seven-person firm in Prescott, Ariz., which is “currently advertising for an accountant/tax preparer.”

Marc Hutchinson

Hutchinson

In Bellevue, Wash., managing partner Marc Hutchinson at the six-CPA Bashey, Hutchinson, & Walter reports, “We need experienced accountants, and ones that can take over the firm’s clients over the next 10 years.”

In this study, CPA Trendlines reports on:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, tax, payroll and CPA firm segments of the industry.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments.
  • Typical hours worked per week.
  • And trends concerning women in the accounting workforce.

The CPA Trendlines Careers and Hiring Outlook
Join the survey; get the results.

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Deciphering the Current State of the CPA Firm Merger Market

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Mergers

Marc Rosenberg

Rosenberg

With 80 percent of first-generation firms never turning over to a second generation of owners, it’s no wonder that merger mania continues unabated. Each year sees increased merger activity over the one previous.

“Merger mania” is particularly prevalent among the top 10 to 25 firms in the largest 75 markets in the U.S. and Canada, partly due to the “new normal” – an economy that remains too sluggish to satisfy the ambitious growth targets of these top performers. But acquiring talent and niches is equally as important a reason for mergers to these larger firms, as is increased revenue.

Sellers, however, remain hesitant.

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How Safe Is Your Internet Lifeline?

internet-laptop-people-flipped-22724323_s-150x150Two strategies to minimize business risk from Internet failure.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The Internet has had a profound impact on accounting firm operations and communications. What if you lost your Internet connection? On April 13? READ MORE →

The Case of the Client Daughter: Tread Carefully

CPA TRENDLINES COMMUNITY FORUMThe lesson: Even the best can make mistakes; talk it with peers.

By CPA Trendlines

In his column Client’s Difficult Daughter Balks at Bill, Ed Mendlowitz fielded a question about a client’s daughter who asked for help with her divorce proceedings, and did not want her father to know what was going on. The work was rushed and difficult, and when the cranky client called the bill highway robbery, the accountant wondered if he should call her father.

Mendlowitz noted that an engagement letter and retainer should have been the starting point, then added, “I would tell your client that if she did not pay you in full, or work out a method of payment including automatically charging her credit card on a monthly basis, you will ask her father for payment and will lay out everything you did for her and the specific benefits she got because of your hard work.”

Readers were swift to disagree. READ MORE →

Surprise! A Partner Retirement Plan Is Not a Savings Plan

time management clock money dreamstime_xs_13009574

Do it wrong and your firm could lose a pile of money.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

Partners have a natural tendency to view the firm’s partner retirement plan as a personal savings plan, but that’s not how these plans work. CPA firm retirement plans are quite different. READ MORE →

4 Metrics to Measure Change, Progress & Success in Your Tax and Accounting Practice

champagne glasses 20460685_sAnd how to set bold new goals for the next year.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

Think back to this day one year ago for just a minute. Where were you in your business? What were your revenues, salary and profits at that time? What were your clients like? What were your biggest issues?

If we don’t occasionally look back to take a snapshot at a point in our history, we may not realize how much we’ve accomplished in such a short time. I’m not much for dwelling in the past, but this exercise is tremendously useful for a couple of reasons: READ MORE →

The Law of Attraction: 15 Ways to Romance a Merger Partner

And 17 ways to repel one.

After more than 20 years as a business adviser to CPA firms, Marc Rosenberg has seen his share of CPA firm mergers. Each one is a little like a romance. There are turn-ons and turn-offs. Every deal is different, but Rosenberg says there are 15 rules of attraction (and 17 for repulsion) that apply to all types of mergers: READ MORE →

18 Ways Sponsors Can Help Their Protegees

And how to tell the difference between a mentor and a sponsor.

Ida O. Abbott, Sponsoring Women

Abbott

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

The practice of mentorship is well known and well established in today’s workplace. A mentor is someone who helps a more junior person learn, develop and achieve her professional goals.

Mentoring is the process by which the mentor and mentee work together to identify and help the mentee move toward those goals. But sponsorship is intended specifically to promote career advancement. READ MORE →

Readers Sound Off on Liberty, H&R Block Plans to Launch Bookkeeping Services

Liberty Block logosNew strategic ally, or competitive threat?

Practitioners are actively debating the effects and impact of H&R Block and Liberty jumping into the bookkeeping business, as detailed by CPA Trendlines’ Hitendra Patil here.

“This is an opportunity to highlight quality,” says Wesley Middleton, head partner at Middleton Raines in Houston. “The only person who has something to worry about are those that are only focused on price.”

Not all practitioners agree in the discussion which began at CPA Trendlines and has spilled onto the 20,000-member CPA Trendlines Linkedin group. READ MORE →