Today's Features

Randy Myeroff at Cohen & Co.: Winning the Youth Movement

Myeroff
Myeroff

“Whoever can connect with today’s youth movement and invest in it the right way is going to win.”

By CPA Trendlines

Attracting and retaining high-caliber, younger workers is far and away the most pressing concern at Cohen & Co. in Cleveland, Ohio.

MORE from THE CORNER OFFICE: Rick Dreher Innovates Wipfli for Clients, Younger Workers | How Blain Heckaman Drives Value at Kaufman Rossin | WeiserMazars MP Blake Charts U.S. Expansion | Frank Longobardi: CohnReznick’s Battle for Top Talent | The Robo-CPA: Jim Sikich Prepares for Disruptive Technologies |  Exclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The CPA firm, which ranks among the nation’s 100 largest, is reaching out to young talent via means that include offering one of the top-ranked internship programs in its northeastern Ohio region, and by simply increasing its hiring of new college graduates.
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Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 1.50.56 PMCPA Trendlines specializes in high-quality, concise executive briefings designed to help busy professionals improve their organizations, advance their careers, and enhance their lives. Our reports are relevant, timely and to-the-point, providing only the most essential, most practical, information. Many are readable in only minutes or in under an hour and are immediately actionable.

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Partnership: Competence Is Just the Foot in the Door

Businessman in an umbrella sails in storm in the nightSailing through the 7 C's to partnership may be harder than you think.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Staffers aspiring to be partners must learn the key characteristics of successful partners. They also must learn how to develop their own personal plans to achieve partnership. Firms and staffers alike need a clear set of procedures, processes and milestones for turning top talent into the next generation of firm leadership.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: Key Advice for Potential Partners | Surviving Vs. Thriving | What Does the Next Generation of Practice Leaders Face? | Commitment: A Cautionary Tale | How to Build Your Pipeline | 6 Keys to the Perfect Proposal | Communication: It’s Not About You

There are seven critically important criteria by which partners assess partners-to-be. I call them:

The Seven C's
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Busy Season 2016: Why Some Have It Worse

Picture1The factors that undermine an otherwise better busy season.

How was your busy season?
Join the survey; get the benchmarks

By CPA Trendlines

According to the final results of the CPA Trendlines 2016 Busy Season Survey, this has been a relatively good year…better than last year, anyway. A good 60 percent of respondents said 2016 was much better or somewhat better than 2015.

MORE BUSY SEASON MANAGEMENT:  Better Gets Better. And Worse Gets Worser | Busy Season 2016: Topline Survey Results | Accountants See Economy Improving… But Mainly for Themselves | Tax Season 2016: Turning ID Theft from a Problem into an Opportunity  | Lessons Learned from a Bad Busy Season | Busy Season 2016: More Clients, Fewer Problems | Busy Season 2016: Problem Clients Are Causing Big Trouble | 12 Ways to Stress Less This Tax Season | The Dreaded ‘Quick Question’ | 40 Other Services Your Tax Clients Should Know About | Where WorkFlow Management Runs Off the Rails | Ready for Tax Season? Not So Fast | 8 Ways to Delight Tax Season Clients | Tax Season Management: Multi-Tasking Is a Myth | Digital Workflow Systems Make Tax Season Easier | Tax Professionals Find It Increasingly Difficult to Keep Up with Late-Changing Tax Regs | The New Normal: A Busy Season that Never Ends | PRO Member Exclusives: Sign in or Upgrade to PRO here

Which, admittedly, isn’t saying much. Last year was a bad year, a perfect storm of problems. It left 19 percent grousing about a “somewhat worse” busy season, another 3 percent saying it was “much worse.”

Could 2016 really be worse than 2015, especially given that it was so much better for so many tax preparers? Yep.

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1. Implementing Fee Increases: Ed Mendlowitz, “The Practice Doctor,” answers practitioners’ critical questions with sample client letters, checklists, and illustrative schedules. Click here for details

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How to Track Who’s Clicking Your Links

Example of Google's URL Builder formGet the most out of those URLs.

By Becky Livingston
The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook

You may want to track URLs by posting location.

MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Determine Your Target Audience | What Is Social Media? | How Social Media Works with Accountants’ Top 5 Marketing Goals

For example, you have a tax blog story you want to share on Facebook, LinkedIn and GooglePlus, but you want to know which platform generates more traffic to the website. You would need to add a URL tracking token to the URLs that identified the referral source – often called URL builders.

Tools like BurlyBuilder.com, Google’s URL Builder, e-Nor.com and Piwik.org create long URLs with tracking code in them. In this example, Google’s URL Builder was used.

Activity

Complete the fields as described. The campaign medium is the place you are sharing the content, such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, etc. Campaign term and name may be the same, and should include a keyword about the content, such as “Tax-Tips.”

Now that you have a really long URL, you will need to shorten it for use in the social media platforms, especially Twitter, or it will look awkward to have a 250-character link floating behind the content post.

To shorten a URL, consider using tools like HootSuite, Bitly, Google’s URL shortener, Bit.do and TinyURL.com. By shortening longer links with these tools, you can create a record for the URL that may be tracked through your preferred scheduling tool.

Practice Continuation Agreements and Why Solos Need Them

Woman and man shaking hands across a deskIt's a favor, so treat it like one.

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Mergers: Your Complete Guide

A Practice Continuation Agreement (PCA) is a written contract between a sole practitioner and another firm for the latter to take over the solo’s practice, either permanently or temporarily, in the event of a sudden, unexpected event that prevents the solo from working, most commonly a health issue.

MORE ON MERGERS: How to Merge Sole Practitioners | Merging in Smaller: What to Ask | 18 Concerns About Merging in Smaller Firms | 12 Reasons to Merge In a Smaller Firm

Logically, it would make total sense for every one of the 30,000 sole practitioners in the U.S. to have a PCA in place. After all, the solo has no other partners to take her place and in the vast majority of cases, the solo’s staff doesn’t have the skill level or the certifications needed to run the practice in the absence of the owner.
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Busy Season 2016: Better Gets Better. And Worse Gets Worser.

Z_ Busy season before during after much betterWith apologies to Lewis Carroll, 2016 Wonderland compared to 2015.

By CPA Trendlines

When CPA Trendlines sent out its 2016 Busy Season questionnaire, the early results looked good. Comparing the early stages of 2016 against the same period in 2015, 18 percent told us their year was looking much better. Another 32 percent somewhat optimistically told us of a “somewhat better” year. That added up rather neatly to half, which was better than in 2015, when only 44 percent said their year was better than the year before.

MORE BUSY SEASON MANAGEMENT: Busy Season 2016 Topline Survey Results  |   Accountants See Economy Improving… But Mainly for Themselves  |  Turning ID Theft from a Problem into an Opportunity  |  Lessons Learned from a Bad Busy Season  |  More Clients, Fewer Problems  |  Problem Clients Are Causing Big Trouble  |  12 Ways to Stress Less This Tax Season  |  The Dreaded ‘Quick Question’  |  40 Other Services Your Tax Clients Should Know About  |  Where WorkFlow Management Runs Off the Rails  |  Ready for Tax Season? Not So Fast  |  8 Ways to Delight Tax Season Clients  |  Tax Season Management: Multi-Tasking Is a Myth  |  Digital Workflow Systems Make Tax Season Easier  |  Tax Professionals Find It Increasingly Difficult to Keep Up with Late-Changing Tax Regs  |  The New Normal: A Busy Season that Never Ends  |  PRO Member Exclusives: Sign in or Upgrade to PRO here

And then, as the season closed on April 18, something beautiful happened. This year turns out to be even better than expected. Almost a quarter—23.6 percent—report a much better year, and more than a third—36.5 percent—report a somewhat better year.

All in all, 2016 exceeded expectations. In both directions.

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Rick Dreher Innovates Wipfli for Clients, Younger Workers

Dreher
Dreher

'Clients have budgets, and it’s part of our responsibility to deliver a high-quality, value-add solution within those budgets.'

By CPA Trendlines

The CPA profession faces a crossroads at which firms will have to make some fundamental changes in their dealings with clients and staff, according to Rick Dreher, managing partner and chairman of Wipfli.

Wipfli logoMORE from THE CORNER OFFICE: How Blain Heckaman Drives Value at Kaufman Rossin | WeiserMazars MP Blake Charts U.S. Expansion | Frank Longobardi: CohnReznick’s Battle for Top Talent | The Robo-CPA: Jim Sikich Prepares for Disruptive Technologies | Exclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Wipfli is a Milwaukee-based accounting and consulting that generated $203.2 million in revenues for the 12 months ended May 2015. It ranks among the top firms in the nation at $181 million in revenue.
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