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SURVEY RESULTS: Deal-Savvy CPAs Look to Lenovo Computers

Lenovo challenges Dell and HP's dominance with competitive pricing on desktops.

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 5.24.47 PM

Primary desktop computer, most recently purchased, accounting firms of all sizes. Learn more.

By CPA Trendlines Research
Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

Attracted by competitive pricing, accountants are increasingly turning to Lenovo as their primary desktop computer and challenging the dominant positions of Dell and Hewlett-Packard, according to new survey results available from CPA Trendlines.

To be sure, the Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey shows Lenovo still dwarfed by Dell and HP. But Dell's position is hardly changing, HP's appears to be declining and Lenovo is coming on strong, almost doubling its share of the profession. READ MORE →

Scanners Allow Data Capture at the Source

Epson DS-510Minimize paper handling right at the gate.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

One of the keys to optimizing production processes is capturing information at its “root” source. This means when data enters your firm, regardless of the format (mail, fax, email or on a flash drive).

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: In PC Monitors, More Is Better | Standardize QuickBooks Support for Clients | How to Choose the Right Client Portal Solution | Streamlining Bill-Paying at CPA Firms | Automating Bank Deposits Offers Instant ROI | How to ‘Go Digital’ when Partners Demand Monthly P&Ls on Paper | The 3 Reasons Firms Are Migrating to Digital Timesheets | Digital Tools Streamline Audit Production | Tech Tools for Today’s Properly Equipped Field Audit Teams

Ideally, documents would be provided to the firm in a digital format such as secured email or preferably through a web portal, but the reality today is that a significant portion of accounting firm source documents arrive from clients in a traditional paper format. Your firm will need to develop processes to efficiently scan, name and store these documents.


Billion-Dollar Questions: Cannabis FAQ for Accountants

18 Frequently Asked Questions on Taxes and Accounting for Cannabis Businesses.
Plus: Six Leading Sources for More Info.

By CPA Trendlines Research

With cannabis dispensaries and recreational stores pulling in about $3.1 billion in revenue this year, the U.S. marijuana industry is expected to pump an estimated $10 billion into state and local economies, making it a powerful source of industry, employment and taxes for cash-strapped states, according to the Marijuana Business Factbook. The same source projects a $29 billion industry in four years, rivaling today's U.S. wine industry.

RELATED: See more marijuana-industry reports here

More than 60 tax, accounting and CPA firms in more than two dozen states are already advertising cannabis-related business issues as a specialty niche.

Naturally, accountants have questions. Here CPA Trendlines answers a few of the most frequently asked... READ MORE →

When Staffers Stagnate

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AHigher-level staff person isn't supervising or mentoring anyone.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I have a staff person who does great work, but she seems to be deadened. The good news is that her clients love her and she doesn’t bug me about becoming a partner.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Yes, You Should Send Rejection Letters | 7 Ways to Lose a Client’s Trust | 12 Must-Knows for Niche Markets | 6 Ways to Take a Client Beyond Tax Prep | 18 Ways to Blow a Partnership Opportunity | 8 Times When Hourly Billing Trumps Value Pricing | When a Staffer Stops Listening | 44 Critical Criteria for Accounting Staff Performance Evaluations | 5 Time Management Tips for an Overworked Accountant | Pricing, Billing, Costing: Don’t Blame Clients

Any suggestions on what I could do to move her forward?


Job 1 for The Practice Owner: Client Management



The 8 critical ways CPA firm owners must manage clients.

By Bill Reeb
Succession Institute

Whether you simply desire to improve your firm’s operations or identify and implement a new long-term strategy, you need to be clear about the role that the owners, partners or shareholders should be playing in your firm.


CPA Firms Hike Wages in Battle for Top Talent

Next question: Who's hiring, who's not. Get the answers: Join the survey.

Wad of one hundred dollar bills held in hand on green backgroundBy CPA Trendlines Research

With CPA firms locked in a battle for top-level talent, typical wages in the U.S. tax, accounting and bookkeeping industry are advancing at record rates, according to CPA Trendlines sources.

In this report, CPA Trendlines covers:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, tax, payroll and CPA segments of the industry, indicating growth and shrinkage among sectors.
  • Average hourly wages for key segments, with trends in employee pay rates.
  • Typical hours worked per week, showing utilization and productivity.
  • Trends concerning women in the workforce, including hiring rates. READ MORE →

If You Don’t Develop Your Business, Who Will?

Businessman working on laptop with wall of symbols scribbled behind him5 mistakes to avoid when seeking new clients.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

If you're a sole practitioner or small-firm operator, you’re probably very good at what you do – or you wouldn't be in business today. But when it comes to marketing and selling yourself, well, many of us didn’t voluntarily sign up for that part.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: When Your Business Card Works Against You | 10 Ways to Ruin a Website | 4 Steps to Weather Any Economic Storm | Want to Be Stress-Free? Use Your Strengths | ‘Time Problems’ Don’t Exist | Could You Use More Energy This Tax Season? | 15 Items for Your ‘Business Bucket List’ | 3 Ways to Plug Your Firm’s Money Leaks

As a matter of fact, some of us are resisting – kicking and screaming – marketing ourselves. So no wonder, for some of us, business is slow or not growing at the rate we’d like.


The Market Is Moving Toward the Radicals



5 ways to be prepared.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

A CCH white paper, “Charting a Course for the Future: A Report on Firm Preparedness,” defines some of the trends that will have the most significant impact on accounting firms and their customers over the next five years.

MORE ON RADICALISM: 5 Radical Transparencies; Are You Ready? | 4 Questions Radical Firms Must Face | Being Radical Is All About Your Customer | Being Radical Starts with Being the Change | Why Start Being Radical Now? | Going Radical: The 4 Tenets of a ‘New Firm’ | Why Should CPAs Be Radical? | The Roots of ‘Radical’ CPAs | The First 3 Questions I Should Have Asked Before Starting My Own Practice

The study also notes how well-prepared accountants are to take advantage of these trends. By putting the “very prepared” firm under the magnifying glass, the report examines what makes firm owners confident about the future.

Report on Firm Preparedness

The most important take­away is that firms that feel more prepared for the future report that they are more productive and more profitable today. READ MORE →

Even Partner Agreements Must Face Death

Businessman shaking hands with grim reaper5 life insurance questions you should consider.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

Issues related to the death of a partner should be addressed in the firm’s partner agreement. Consider the following:

  1. Does the firm wish to accelerate vesting in any manner? Does the firm wish to accelerate the payment frequency, vesting or both? Partners are often tempted to be generous out of sympathy for the deceased partner’s family. What stops them from acting on this generosity impulse is the cold reality of how expensive this is. As a result, most firms treat death the same as an ordinary retirement.
  2. What must be done to assign the deceased partner’s clients to other firm members and to retain the clients?
  3. To what extent does the firm want to purchase life insurance on the lives of some or all of the partners? If they opt to purchase the insurance:

MORE ON RETIREMENT: 6 Ways to Leave a CPA Firm (Retirement’s Just 1) | How to Juggle Tax Considerations for Partner Retirement Benefits | Two Ways to Retire, and One’s Not Pretty | Mandatory Retirement? 4 Reasons The Firm Comes First | How to Transition Clients from Retiring Partners | Retirement Vesting: The Devil’s In the Details | Eat What You Kill? Then Maybe ‘Book of Business’ Is for You