Today's Features

More Merger Questions Than You Imagined

Business group of two women and two men shaking handsThere's a lot to consider whether merging up, down or laterally.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli
CPA Trendlines / Succession Institute

Although we find that an internal ownership transition often can be your best bet, a merger makes sense in many cases. So, if this is the direction you are heading, we’ve highlighted some of the issues below that we think you ought to consider, with the first one being to really take a close and hard look at the compatibility of the organizations courting each other.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: How to Compensate Your Managing Partner | The Job of Managing Partner: Empowered or Emasculated? | How the Best Managing Partners Turn Ideas into Reality | Make Accountability a Process | Accountability Requires Clear Expectations | Base Retirement on Today’s Operations

Who Is a Likely Candidate for a Merger?

If you are going to consider a merger, which firms would seemingly be a good fit for your practice – i.e., your clients and your employees and if, applicable, partners?  The better the fit, the more likely you will be able to retain clients and employees, and the greater the chance for overall success of the merged firms.
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Rule #1 for How to Get Everything Done

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ASay 'No.'

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I do not seem to be able to get everything done that needs to be done and still have time for extras, which I like to do, like marketing and doing new things for clients. Any tips?

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Too Much Paper, Too Many Drives | Do You Want to Keep This Employee? | How to Know Everything | Hate Meeting People? Try Improv (No Joke) | Everyone Needs Strategic Planning | 14 Ways to Use Timesheet Data | There’s More to Growth than Marketing

ANSWER: This is a recurring theme, and an issue we all have. It seems that we all have the same amount of time but some use it more wisely than others.
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Buyout: The Flip Side of Buying In

Three businessmen shaking handsPlus 9 reasons why goodwill averages 80 percent.

By Marc Rosenberg
How to Bring in New Partners

One of the benefits that new partners receive in exchange for their buy-in is that they will receive a buyout when they retire.

MORE ON PARTNERSHIP: What Does Buy-In Buy? | How to Structure Partner Buy-In | Keys to Bringing in New Partners

The flip side of this is that they must agree to buy out the older partners when they retire. Therefore, any plan for bringing in new partners must include a provision for a partner retirement/buyout plan.
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4 Reasons Women Say No to Leadership

Serious businesswoman holding up hand in stop signalPLUS: Politics vs. performance.

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

Many women are uncomfortable calling attention to their achievements and ambitions, dislike politics, have difficulty asking others for a career boost or underestimate the importance of powerful backers. That makes it harder for potential sponsors to recognize how worthy these women are of their support.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Women Fight ‘Kids First’ Perception | Women Judged on Performance, Men on Potential | 3 Ways Women Benefit When Seen as Leaders | Being the Best Means Including Women

Some women hurt their own chances for sponsorship by failing to let sponsors know what they want and why they merit it. Sponsors are drawn to star performers who display confidence and a drive to succeed. Where a man might insist he is the right person for a job and asks to be promoted, a woman who is equally or even better qualified may downplay her qualifications for the job. Instead of aggressively pursuing promotions and opportunities, she waits to be asked, and then, when asked, may turn the offer down. Why?
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The 4 Best Ways to Use Pre-Retirement Partners

Older man pointing out something in a document to a younger colleagueA firm's senior partners may be their most underused assets.

By August J. Aquila
Creating the Effective Partnership

There may be some senior partners who want to spend their remaining years basking in the sun or playing golf.

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But given the negative and low returns of the stock market the last few years, more senior partners will be concerned about their economic future and will want to stay involved in the profession. This can be a win-win situation for both parties or it can be a lose-lose.

This can be a win-win situation for both parties or it can be a lose-lose.
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The Cloud Is Your Starting Point

Man typing into cloudYour customers’ expectations have changed, so you might as well embrace them.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

Let me clear this up now: The cloud is not an actual cloud.

MORE ON RADICALISM: You’re Already a Consultant | Why Transparency Matters in the ‘New Firm’ | 10 Questions to Prepare for Radical Change | Who’s Your Competition? EVERYONE | Radical or Complacent? You Choose | 3 Questions to Ask If You Dare

It’s your software in a computer room, miles away from your physical location. I’ve been to the cloud and it’s a funny and interesting place to visit.

It’s just a warehouse; they take your driver’s license, they scan you in, inspect your eyeballs and make sure that you’re not some bad person. There’s a large area full of servers and wires and it’s unbelievably hot. But what was especially endearing about my experience was that my cloud provider, Byron Patrick from Simplified Innovations, couldn’t contain his excitement about taking me. He was like a kid in a candy shop. It must be a techie thing.
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5 Ways to Measure Partner Potential

Learn to read your firm's 'cultural blueprint.'PTP_2ndC

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

What conclusions can you draw from your knowledge of how the promotion system works in your firm that you need to keep in mind?

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: 3 Questions to Evaluate Your Firm Culture | Learn to Read Your Firm’s Culture | 5 Ways to Get Buy-In for Firm Culture | Competence: More Than Technical Skills | Experts Advise What Partnership Takes | Partnership: Competence Is Just the Foot in the Door | Are You Partner Material? Maybe Not

In terms of firm culture, you need to understand the four navigational points of the compass:

  1. Who do I need to stay on the right side of?
  2. What are the unwritten rules in my firm?
  3. Whose opinions can be trusted?
  4. What really impresses the partners?

And here's a five-part analysis to see how you measure up:

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Why Would Anyone Want to be YOUR Partner?

Businessman in black suit straightening necktieHow to attract new partners, including laterals.

By Domenick J. Esposito
8 Steps to Great

As CEO, ask yourself this tough question: Why would someone want to be a partner in your firm?

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Do you have a good answer?
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When to Turn Over Client Data Files

Hands of two men playing tug-of-warNot everyone agrees about how to handle this.

By Sandi Leyva and Michelle Long
The Ultimate Accounting Virtual Conference

How do you feel about turning over a QuickBooks data file when a client leaves?

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: How to Fire a Client | What to Do When a Client Doesn’t Pay | How to Handle Price Sensitivity | How to Find Hidden Money for Your Clients | How Small Firms Can Use Value Pricing | 3 Killer Lead Generation Channels

We asked this in a video conference and limited it to three answers:
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