From personal assistant to true COO: How firms are delineating the job. Sophisticated CPA firms are adding the position of firm administrator at an an increasing rate. But there is still little consistency in what that entails. Some firm administrators have the authority and responsibility of a chief financial officer or chief operating officer. Others may be little more than personal assistants to the managing partner. After years of study at hundreds of CPA firms, practice management consultant Marc Rosenberg has formulated a 16-item checklist by which to gauge an FA’s role within a firm. in “CPA Firm Management and Governance,” where his findings are spelled out, he plots the 16 criteria along a three-point scale of authority, showing how [...]
The position of firm administrator or COO is quickly gaining in importance, and just as quickly evolving. According to Marc Rosenberg, author of “CPA Firm Management and Governance: The Managing Partner’s Guide to Running a CPA Firm Like a Business,” there are at least ten duties that are both critically important to the firm and that define the job of the COO. They are:
by Bruce W. Marcus Professional Services Marketing 3.0 While some firms have explored the idea of client service groups, and leading thinkers like Patrick McKenna have been training firms in the concept for several years, few firms have developed the art and science of the team as successfully as the Washington-based law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld. More for mid-size and large CPA firms: What We’ve Learned Since Accounting Marketing Was Legalized • Do Accounting Firms Really Want an ‘Image’? • What Accounting Firms Need to Learn from Personal Financial Planning Specialists • The Delicate Art of Positioning Your Firm in the Mind of the Prospect • Even a Random Disaster Can Be Controlled with Risk Management • [...]
By Ed Mendlowitz, author of “Implementing Fee Increases“ Question: I haven’t raised my fees in three years. How do I suddenly go about it now and how much should I raise them? Also, I have many business clients where the individual returns are done as part of the yearly service with extra billing. How can I start charging for this?
The main categories of information for internal communications and management. By Bruce W. Marcus Professional Services Marketing 3.0 While the substance of information varies from firm to firm, there are 10 categories that cannot go unconsidered:
In this report, Sandi Smith, CPA and creator of Accountant’s Accelerator, directs practitioners to an online psychology test from a top university and shows how to put it to work for yourself. She describes a process for identifying personal characteristics that can aid in building a practice.
Study identifies the value-adds of a COO. By Marc Rosenberg Author of “CPA Firm Management and Governance: The essential managing partner’s guide to running a CPA firm like a business.” In baseball, the Most Valuable Player award is conferred to superstars of the game. There is controversy over who should win the award: the player with prodigious individual production stats or the one player in all of baseball who was the most valuable player to his team, who was indispensable, without whom the team would not be a winner. In a CPA firm, the nominees for the MVP award are: The managing partner. The rainmaker. A great client handler. The firm administrator. Both our experiences with CPA firms as well [...]
Now second only to oil drilling as nation’s most profitable industry. A new analysis of financial statements shows tax and accounting businesses are improving their net profit margins despite an otherwise harsh economy, according to new data obtained by CPA Trendlines.
Lessons from the best-managed firms. By Marc Rosenberg Author of “CPA Firm Management and Governance: The Managing Partner’s Guide to Running a CPA Firm Like a Business.” Baby boomer partners are rapidly approaching retirement age, resulting in a dramatic increase in new managing partners at firms. In fact, CPA Trendlines estimates that up to 25% of multi-owner firms are operating under managing partners who are relatively new to the job, with tenures under three years. And over the next five years, one-third of multi-owner firms will undergo a change in ownership and/or control.
By Marc Rosenberg Author of “CPA Firm Management and Governance.” Managing the firm, rainmaking, client management. All vie for the managing partner’s time. Statistics from The Rosenberg Practice Management Survey show: Firm Size Annual Billable Hours % MP to All Managing Partner All Equity Partners Over $20M 632 1,079 59% $10-20M 736 1,090 67% $2-10M 959 1,117 85% . Armed with the above, my experience with firms would indicate that the managing partner’s time is spent as follows:
That depends. By Marc Rosenberg Author of “CPA Firm Management and Governance.” In allocating partner income, a firm needs to look at all performance attributes of each partner. From a 35,000 foot altitude, firms should be reviewing these items for each partner: The partner’s role in the firm, the relative values of the various roles (MP, rainmaker, client handler, QC expert, niche specialist, administrator, etc.) and how well the role was performed. The extent that the partner achieved his/her goals. More on CPA firm management and leadership: Not Every Firm Needs a General Patton • Overcoming the Three Biggest Obstacles in Succession Planning at CPA Firms • CPA Firm Merger “Non-Negotiables” • The “Aha Moment” in CPA Firm Leadership • [...]
by Ed Mendlowitz Adapted from The 2013 Tax Season Opportunity Guide One way to guarantee extra work is to have everything always done differently each time it is done. Not establishing uniform procedures is bad business and unnecessarily consumes part of your life. Consistency in performance reduces work and review time and creates a greater reliance on the staff people. Checklist:
Options to grow your profits besides raising revenue and lowering costs. By Sandi Smith, CPA Accountant’s Accelerator Many accountants these days are anxious to hit the golden $100,000 mark this year. Others are interested in growing their revenues steadily and incrementally. Still others are focused on lowering costs, raising profits from that side of the equation. More for soloists and small firms: Seven Checklist Secrets for Turning Tax Season into Opportunity Season • How to Stay Energized, Upbeat, and Thinking Bigger through Busy Season • Seven Ways to Wow Your Prospect • Rev Up Your Revenue with These Two Daily Rituals • 10 Tips for Creating More Energy this Tax Season • Take a Cue from Venture Capitalists: Your Firm Needs a Brain Trust [...]
Tasty tips from a lousy cook. by Drew West @DeltekDrew You know why I like writing articles? It keeps me out of the kitchen, where from bachelorhood through fatherhood, I still make any culinary task a bumbling trip down a path of missed ingredients and inaccurate measurements – right to the doorstep of “didn’t-turn-out-like-I-expected.” Why is our local pizzeria on the speed-dial? For those (thankfully infrequent) times when my wife is traveling, and I’m on the hook to keep my two youngsters relatively nourished. Unlike my cooking endeavors, yours in public accounting surely go beyond the simplicity of cold cereal or the occasional peanut-butter sandwich. Today’s modern engagements require delicate management of people, their work, the client’s demands and the [...]
. . . and what you can do about it. By Sandi Smith, CPA Accountant’s Accelerator A critical measure for accountants – whether they bill either by the hour or a fixed price – is the amount they bill clients each month. As anxious as many accountants are to raise their revenues, their daily activity often sabotages that goal with the same common billing mistakes. More for soloists and small firms: Seven Checklist Secrets for Turning Tax Season into Opportunity Season • How to Stay Energized, Upbeat, and Thinking Bigger through Busy Season • Seven Ways to Wow Your Prospect • Rev Up Your Revenue with These Two Daily Rituals • 10 Tips for Creating More Energy this Tax Season • Take a Cue [...]