Choose intelligently and avoid problems later. by Marc Rosenberg, CPA What characteristics do you want someone to possess before you invite them to be a partner? Related: Compensation Issues for the New Managing Partner | 20 Decisions for Your Firm’s New Partner Compensation Committee | Three Ways to Break Partner Gridlock in an Accounting Firm | What Partners Are Entitled To, and What They’re NOT Entitled To | How to Make Partner? | Why Accounting Firm Partners Are “Popping Prozac like M&M’s” | More…. Leading firms across the country generally choose from the following:
Hint: It’s not all about money. And your answers could help you to better understand your clients. How do you define success? Join the survey, see what your peers are saying. In a CPA Trendlines straw poll of accountants about their notion of “success,” the overwhelming majority are telling us that building a growing business or advancing in their career is not necessarily the most important goal. And career and business may not be as important as you think. Real-time results: <></a>
They don’t teach sales in accounting school. But every practicing accountant should know the four basic closing techniques. You’re probably doing some or all of them already. But it’s handy to keep them in mind, nevertheless. They are the basic approaches that make up the four corners of the close. 1. Straightforward Close — The most direct closing method is to simply ask if the prospect is ready to make a decision and, if they are, how they feel about awarding the business to your firm. This method can make some people, especially those new to selling, uncomfortable. But the prospect may be expecting it.
Answering the question: “What can Twitter do for you?” Lisa Barone at Outspoken Media, Inc. says small businesses like accounting firms can use Twitter as a way “to find new leads, build relationships, and as an overall way to cost effectively market their business.” Here she lists 80 ways small businesses are using Twitter. Some may work for your firm, too.
Accounting firms can get left behind of they just stand still.
U.S. clients can’t ignore “the largest economy in the world and access to a highly motivated and educated workforce.” via CalCPA “There is no cookie-cutter approach for a U.S. business looking to expand into China,” says the managing partner at Rowbotham & Company LLP, citing “the fluid nature of tax and legal issues, and industries that are subject to special tax concessions. The Cultural Revolution essentially banned scholars, lawyers and capitalists until they were welcomed back in the late 1970s. As one lawyer from China recently told me, you will not find many lawyers in their 60s and 70s, which means strategies that are well established in the West are still in their early stages in China. In the CalCPA [...]
A few years ago Scot Justice was working for a printing company in Nashville and hoping, someday, to open his own CPA firm. He started blogging as an introductory web presence and marketing tool. A year or so later the company was sold and he was out of a job — and he couldn’t have been happier. Scot says today: Fifty-percent of the prospects who contact me mention this blog and how the topics I’ve written about directly relate the financial management and accounting help their business needs. Scot’s marketing consultant Bill Seaver has the rest of the story, and the video, here: Blogging and Twitter Send CPA 75% of His Business. Read Scot’s blog here.
Sageworks Inc., which makes ProfitCents financial analysis software for private companies, has been getting a lot of ink lately for the benchmarking reports it produces from aggregated user data. A spokesperson sent this to us, with this note: “I thought that Sagework’s table below on total debt in the private sector may be interesting to you in light of Geithner’s speech. Accounting professionals may have an interest in this since their clients are the small and large business owners.” Year Liabilities To Sales Liabilities To Assets Sales To Assets 2003 1.04 0.7113 9.08 2004 1.46 0.7447 5.70 2005 2.18 0.7653 8.10 2006 2.22 0.7794 7.29 2007 2.10 0.7920 5.04 2008 3.51 0.7462 2.44 Clearly, leverage has been building for years. [...]
Luca Pacioli Harvey A. Goldstein, who invented Up Your Cash Flow and remains longtime managing partner of Singer Lewak CPAs in Los Angeles, is birthing a new brainchild: instant cash-flow forecasts for small business. It goes by the unfortunate name GoHagIt, which seems to be based on Harvey’s initials. But otherwise it’s a bold and interesting way to handle small-business clients. â€œOur process is simple and painless,â€ Goldstein continues. â€œSend us your current companyâ€™s financial statement, or budget. Weâ€™ll convert it to forecasted balance sheets and a cash flow forecast of the companyâ€™s future cash requirements. Weâ€™ll spend time with management, via telephone, gathering data, refining the forecast and discuss steps to consider to improve their economic conditions. â€˜No surprisesâ€™ [...]
Pre-season jitters are spiking early this year. Worried by a sinking economy and swirling changes in code and regs, tax professionals are showing acute concerns about the oncoming busy season, with 28% registering at least a 7 on the CPA Trendlines Stress-O-Meter. Nevertheless, 46% of practitioners are predicting a better overall season than last year’s, twice as many as those expecting a worse season. . SELECTED COMMENTS Key causes of stress at this time: Much new work and understaffed. I don’t know were we are heading with the current financial crisis. Which makes it very hard to advise clients. Pressure to meet deadlines, complaints about fees. The sense of not being able to get everything done. Clients that wait until [...]
Top 10 Tips For Surviving an Economic Downturn Kevin Ryan, CPA Partner Citrin Cooperman Philadelphia Many Citrin Cooperman clients are noticing a growing concern among their customers, and consequently, are beginning to prepare for tougher times. Our clients are asking us what they should be doing now to prepare for an economy that goes south. As CPAs, we’re always worried about volatility in the marketplace, so the advice we provide now is the advice we’ve provided to businesses all along. Look at 9/11. Many companies weren’t prepared when the economy sank then, and frankly, many companies didn’t make it. There are steps owners of privately held businesses can take now to prepare for a sluggish economy. They include:
Cost Control Ideas for a Small Business Slowdown John Straccamore, CPA Partner Bederson & Co. West Orange, N.J. A few of the items small business owners should be looking at going into an economic slowdown include: Reducing inventory levels Reviewing insurance coverage and increasing deductibles Reviewing medical plans – reducing benefits and/or increasing employee contributions Reducing energy consumption through conservation and efficiency. John has more than fifteen years of experience in public accounting and private industry. [Have a tip? Send your best ideas to email@example.com.]
Why doing the obvious isn’t always easy. How does your firm measure up? Join the survey. See the answers. by Rick Telberg/At Large There’s hardly a finance or accountant organization on the planet whose owners and staff haven’t decided, resolved, pledged or promised to themselves and each other to deliver outstanding client service, create a great place to work or achieve phenomenal success. Maybe yours is one of them. So why, then, is it so rare to find a firm that actually accomplishes what it says it wants to do? Ask David Maister (pictured). The best-selling author of the classics “Managing the Professional Service Firm” and “True Professionalism” has published a new must-read for accountants and finance professionals called “Strategy [...]
Plus: Four trends to watch. How tech-smart is your firm? Join the study; get the answers. by Rick Telberg/At Large No CPA would think of trying to do business without a computer or mobile phone. So why then aren’t more CPAs taking a strategic approach to their technology investments? After all, most growth oriented accounting firms are already spending 5% to 10% of their revenues on IT hardware and applications, according to most studies. My own research suggests that barely one in 10 firms is following a written, strategic technology plan. For most finance and accounting organizations, that’s like piloting a ship without charts. But where to begin? For that, we went to John Higgins (pictured), CPA, CITP. John is [...]
Women of Color Struggle to Succeed in Accounting Firms. [via Catalyst]Â Workplace experiences of women of color are vastly different from those of white women, white men, and men of color, according to Women of Color in Accounting, the second report in Catalyst’s breakthrough Women of Color in Professional Services Series. Furthermore, the study finds that these unique experiences should be recognized in order to better engage women of color and offer this crucial employee group greater access to advancement opportunities.