The end of tax season makes a wonderful time to gain the genius of hindsight before the memories fade. To create your very own business season-in-review, ask yourself these five questions and prepare your answers thoughtfully. What were your major accomplishments for the season? What were you most proud of? What was your biggest lesson? What person in your life was most helpful or motivating for you? Is there a negative person in your life you need to spend less time with? How will you celebrate or reward yourself? – Sandi Smith, CPA
And 12 retreat topic no-no’s. by August Aquila Author of “Leadership At Its Strongest” The purpose of the retreat should be clearly thought out early in the year. Articulate one or two goals for the retreat. You need to be very specific as to what you want to accomplish. For example, the purpose of the retreat is to develop a succession plan for the firm. You many not know exactly what it will look like, but you know what the end product of the retreat will be. If you cannot do this, don’t hold the meeting. Ask yourself this one question: “What would happen if we did not hold this retreat?” If the answer is “nothing,” you’ll know what to [...]
When David meets Goliath. By Bruce W. Marcus Professional Services Marketing 3.0 Great turbulence in the accounting profession, as well as in the business world itself, make these difficult and unusual times. Public outcry against the misdeeds of a few accounting firms, corporations, investment bankers and others in government and the business community is tarring the innocent as well as the guilty. In the meantime, mergers and acquisitions are altering the competitive landscape for firms of every size. It’s likely that the major CPA firms will accelerate a long-standing practice of reaching into the low end of the market – the very market of the smaller CPA firms. For the smaller firm, competition is coming from unaccustomed quarters. Can the [...]
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:
What happens when today’s practice management principles become obsolete? By Rick Telberg From “The SevenKeys to Successful CPA Firm Management“ In today’s competitive and rapidly changing business environment, change management may be the single most important skill for every CPA.
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.
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 [...]
Including a sample engagement letter. Question: Some of my clients are getting older and are becoming unable to handle their own financial affairs and I have been asked if I could assist them. What is involved and how do I charge for it? Ed Mendlowitz, VPA, PFS, ABV, responds: Many large firms provide “family office” services. This is a complete one stop financial service that helps clients manage their money, pay their bills, collect their dividends and interest, and make sure insurance isn’t cancelled, mortgage, car lease or condo fee payments aren’t skipped, and tax payments paid on time. More from Ed: Seven Ways to Increase Fees in 2013 | 10 Best Practices for Tax Season | Nine Healthy Things To [...]
‘Tis the season for new promises and plans. We’ve been asking finance and accounting accounting professionals about what 2013 may hold, and you’ve been answering. To get all the details, click here to join the survey and get the results. Meanwhile, here are a few sample New Year’s resolutions from colleagues and peers. Some may sound all too familiar from resolutions made in 2012. Personally, I’m still working on the lose-15-pounds resolution from 2012, and, er, 2011, 2010, 2009… Oh well. – Rick Telberg President / CEO New Year’s resolutions from finance and accounting professionals: New SEO plan for getting higher ranking on Google. Working with tax resolution professional and preparing returns for them at a split fee. Work more [...]
Decision Making in Risk Management by Bruce W. Marcus Author of Professional Services Marketing 3.0 Too often, we simply take risk for granted and go headlong into danger and chaos. It needn’t be so. Even in view of the elements of risk over which we have no control, there are still measures of protection that can be taken to reduce a measure of risk in any enterprise. More for CPA Trendlines PRO members: Managing Risk in Client Relations • Your Clients Love You? What If You’re Wrong? • The Three Degrees of Risk • Four Essential Habits for Building Client Trust • The Nine Hallmarks of a Marketing Culture • The Four Cornerstones to Building A Marketing Culture • Getting the Client is Only Half the Battle • Practice [...]
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