Today's Features

SURVEY: Three Reasons To Be Bullish on CPA Firms

Photo Copyright 2016 R. Telberg

New practice management study reveals four strategies to maximize your profits.

By Charles Hylan, CPA
Rosenberg Survey


Charles Hylan is one of the authors of the Rosenberg Survey report and a shareholder in The Growth Partnership, a business development training and consulting firm for CPA practices, which fields the survey.

What an exciting time to be working in the accounting profession!

Why do I say this? Three reasons:

  1. The shift from compliance to advisory work.
  2. Unlimited career paths.
  3. Record levels of profitability

Our profession would be better off if younger staff and managers knew what a lucrative career they could have in the industry. I’m not suggesting that partners share tax returns or W2s and K1s. However, education around practice management topics would enable the profession’s future leaders to understand the “business” side of the profession, the entrepreneurial opportunities, and the economic upside.

Let's run the numbers...


Optimize Scanning Procedures

Woman scanning a documentFirst front-end scanning, then OCR.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

For the next few years it is anticipated that accounting firm clients will deliver the majority of their organizers and supporting tax documents to the firm in a physical format.

MORE: Why a Digital Tax Workflow System is Vital | SURVEY: 72% of Firms Annotate PDFs | SURVEY: 67% Turn Client Documents into PDFs | How 53% of Firms Use Intranets to Work Smarter | Check Your Bandwidth | Microsoft Office 201x vs. Office 365 | How the Cloud Plays into Scheduled Server Replacement | Monitor Real Estate: More IS Better
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To utilize this information in a paperless environment, it must be effectively scanned and managed at the lowest possible cost. Early paperless adopters scanned the tax return and the supporting documents at the back end of the process when a return was complete.

A Long Time Ago, at a CPA Firm Far, Far Away …

Hourglass on rustic wooden tableMany concerns haven't changed.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

Many of my stories occurred many years ago – some are from a half century ago – so the question is, are they still relevant and why am I telling them now?

MORE: Working Hard? Or Hardly Working? | Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | Perception Becomes Reality | The Making of a Consultant
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Well, maybe the exact circumstances are archaic, but the lessons and principles are as applicable today as they were when I lived through them.

For CPAs: The Road to Wisdom Is Paved with Failure

Man with head down on laptop keyboard... but we need it to grow.

By Bill Reeb

Besides guilt, overachievers seem to have a real problem with the idea of failure, which is why it comes up in so many different forms throughout my book.

MORE: Guilt vs. Duty | Duty: A Tough Hurdle to Overcome | You Are Right Where You Are Supposed to Be | Become Your Mind’s Lead Programmer | Stay in the Present | You Might Be Your Biggest Obstacle | What to Stop May Be More Important Than What to Do | Stop Wishing Your Life Away | Don’t Let Inertia Determine Your Direction
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How does this attitude toward failure manifest itself? Well, in business, as with life, we are taught by society that to be considered a worthy and successful human being, we must “grab for the brass ring” or buy into the idea that “winning is everything.” And clichés like “anything other than first doesn’t count” are used to motivate people into obtaining “the right perspective.” This has created some self-destructive and dysfunctional attitudes toward winning.

CLIENT INSIGHT: Small Businesses Sell for Highest Prices on Record

Tariffs and Elections Take Center Stage as Market Aims to Continue Record Pace.

A new report obtained by CPA Trendlines reveals record highs in small business financials, allowing sellers to ask and receive more money than ever recorded.

Sale prices of businesses sold in the third quarter of 2018 reached new highs, according to the BizBuySell Third Quarter 2018 Insight Report. The record sale prices are directly related to stronger business financials which also hit new levels in Q3.

With buyers able to offset increasing prices by acquiring healthier businesses, the result is a well-balanced market.

Full results are included below, with statistics from business-for-sale transactions reported by participating business brokers nationwide.


Robot Teachers Might Be the Largest Internet Business in 2030

Robot teacher in front of classroom of studentsThe AI boom has a lot to do with it.

By Rick Richardson

Thirty years ago, it was a big deal when schools got their first computers. Today, it's a big deal when students get their own laptops.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Add This Phrase for Mobile Check Deposits | Cyber-Security: Finally, Something Better Than Passwords | Microsoft Targets Consumers with ‘Modern Life Services’ | Ride Apps May Benefit Poor, Minority Communities | 6 Blockchain Jobs of the Future | Paying for Life in 2040 | New Lidar Sensor Slashes Cost, Boosts Production | IBM Has Created a Computer Smaller Than a Grain of Salt
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According to Thomas Frey, the senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute think tank, “In 14 years it'll be a big deal when students learn from robot teachers over the internet.”

Basis: Turning a Common Client Question into New Business

How a simple conversation opens the door to a host of new opportunity.

By Barry J. Friedman, CPA

Basis seems like a simple concept, but as with so many tax issues, it can become complicated quickly. This is especially true after recent tax reform.

More Hot-Button Topics for Clients: Supreme Court's Wayfair Ruling on Sales Tax Sows More Confusion  |  Making Passwords Hack-Proof  |  Check Your Clients' Withholding Now  |  What Clients Need to Know about Bitcoin

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First, let's start with what "basis" means. Clients need to understand that basis is usually what you paid for an asset. According to the IRS, a capital gain or loss is the difference between your basis and the amount you get when you sell an asset. So, if you sell an asset that is worth more than you paid for it, you will have to pay taxes on the gain.


Working Hard? Or Hardly Working?

Man working hard at office deskHow to communicate your value to clients. 

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

One summer I worked for my father at one of his large clients. It was a hot July day and I was wearing a suit and tie and there was no air conditioning in the office, just a fan that wasn’t one of the most expensive you could buy.

MORE: Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | When Discounts Don’t Work | Call Me Before You Do Anything | Learning to Delegate: Slow is Faster
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Across from my desk sat the owner’s father. He just sat there; he did no work. I was working hard and barely looked up, but when I did our eyes met occasionally and he nodded, but that was it.

14 Partner Agreement Issues in Mergers

Two businessmen holding giant puzzle pieces in silhouette against a sunriseMake sure you're looking at the big picture.

By Marc Rosenberg

This post applies only to transactions that are true mergers, which require the sellers to sign the buyer’s partner agreement.

MORE: Partner Agreement Issues Affecting Women | Mandatory Retirement: Pros and Cons (And Is It Legal?) | Deciding How to Allocate Partner Income | Making Partner: Today’s 15 Essential Skills and Traits | How to Specify Managing Partner Duties | When Votes Must Be Taken, What Are the Options? | A Crash Course in Partner Retirement/Buyout Plans | Protect Your Business with a Solid Partner Agreement

In a sale, the owner(s) of the seller don’t sign the buyer’s partner agreement because they won’t become owners of the buyers.