Accountants scramble as competition surges for bread-and-butter tax work. Join the survey; get the results. By Rick Telberg CPA Trendlines Pricing and fee pressures are surging as the hot-button issues this tax season, according to the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer. To be sure, late or unprepared clients remain the single biggest issue, with 48% of more than 500 practitioners surveyed in February citing it, followed by tardy 1099s and K1s at 35%. Those metrics are little changed from last February. But this year, 31% of practitioners are complaining about pricing and fee pressures, which is triple the year-ago 10% figure. RELATED RESEARCH Is the Tax Prep Business Topping Out? The number of filings by tax professionals appears to have slowed […]
Survey shows new sense of confidence – and urgency.
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY By Rick Telberg CPA Trendlines Most tax practitioners across the nation are preparing for the 2014 busy season with the hoping it can’t possibly be as bad as last year’s “worst tax season ever,” according to exclusive CPA Trendlines polling. About 61% of accountants today expect at least a “somewhat” or even “much” better season this year, according to the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer, a tracking poll now approaching its 11th year. Some 26% expect no change from last year, and 13% are bracing for “somewhat worse” or “much worse.” In the CPA Trendlines Special Report, responses and comments from more than 400 practitioners surveyed have been tabulated and analyzed. Key findings: Economic outlook for firms, clients, […]
Join the survey, get the results. By Rick Telberg CPA Trendlines It’s too early to draw a final conclusion, but the early returns from the annual CPA Trendlines Marketing and Business Development Survey are startling and may represent a dramatic trend reversal. After three years of intensifying marketing activity — with 33% of firms last year saying they were increasing their business development efforts “significantly” — today only 19% of accountants tell us they are planning to “significantly” expand their programs.
But CPAs lag behind non-CPAs. Get the accountants’ business outlook: Join the survey; see the results. By Rick Telberg CPA Trendlines The tax and accounting industry is extending a two-year expansion by adding 2,500 new jobs in the latest month, according to CPA Trendlines research. In this report: Employment trends for the public accounting, bookkeeping, tax and payroll sector of the economy. Licensed CPA firms are lagging in growth behind non-CPA accounting providers. Employees book more hours. But wage growth gets cut back. More jobs and better pay for higher-paid positions and for men; fewer new jobs and smaller pay increases for women and production workers. CPA firms add to headcounts more slowly than non-CPA firms, grant lower pay increases, […]
Download the sample client satisfaction survey. by Ed Mendlowitz Question: Is there any value to sending clients a survey? Response: Yes. Our firm sends a survey with every deliverable to a client. We want to know what they think and how they feel about our service. I think your best friends are the clients that complain. This gives you an opportunity to correct any deficiencies or exceptions. One time a long time very good client put on the survey that we were great but our fees were high. I immediately met with him, reviewed our charges, had the time runs and details of everything extra we had been doing beyond the scope of our engagement, and the value to the […]
Seven hot topics that “pushed a button.” Tax guru Bob Jennings (CPA, EA, CFP, and RTRP) has been polling past attendees of his CPE seminars about Tax Season 2013. Clearly, tax professionals are still seething. “We sent our survey out and it must have pushed a button because the responses overwhelmed our servers,” says Jennings, taxspeaker.com. The results may not surprise you. But they are sobering nevertheless. He offers new data on workloads, profits, software, volume of returns handled, exit strategies, and the use of engagement letters and portals. Here are the highlights so far:
Updated with responses from May 2013. The latest update to the topline results for the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer shows additional confirmation of four key findings, beginning with the across-the-board problems of a late-starting season and buggy software. How did your season compare? We’d love to hear. Send your comments, rants raves, ideas, or questions to me here. – Rick Telberg Key Finding #1: Most practitioners, across all size firms, report a tougher 2013 than 2012. (See chart below for comparisons by size of firm.)