Today's Features

Managing Partners Only: Advanced Sales & Marketing Work Group

CPA Trendlines contributor Jean Caragher has opened enrollment to a new managing-partner-only peer-group on business development and marketing.

"It costs 400% more to close an unreferred prospect versus a referred prospect," says Caragher, CEO and founder of Capstone Marketing. The new online working group is designed to help managing partners "generate more referrals from your network."

The Capstone Community pulls together managing partners interested in education and collaboration regarding CPA firm marketing, growth and client retention. To encourage accountability and execution, each managing partner is encouraged to participate with another member of his or her firm.

Each Capstone Community will meet 13 times over a 15-month time period (no meetings in March or December):

– Monthly one-hour group webinar/online meeting
– Monthly one-hour individual coaching call




Social + Strategy = Success in Five Stages

Businesswoman lassoing light bulb5 specific tips for maximizing your efforts.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

So you want to get on social media? Good! Define your strategy. When I started using social, I was having fun and didn’t have a strategy, except to see what was happening — and it evolved. Jump in, get started and you’ll formulate a game plan naturally.

MORE ON RADICALISM: How to Measure Social Business… and Why | How to Become a Social Business | The Cloud Is Your Starting Point | Why Transparency Matters in the ‘New Firm’ | 10 Questions to Prepare for Radical Change | Radical Firms Embrace 4 Values | Radical or Complacent? You Choose
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Here’s some help in five phases:

When a Client Balks at Necessary Work

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AMaybe it's time to part ways.

By Ed Mendlowitz

QUESTION: I know that one of my clients needs some extra work done, but they don’t want to pay for it. It is important that this work gets done.

Do you think I should do it anyway? What is my responsibility?

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: It’s Not Sales. It’s Your Duty | 7 Ways to Lose a Client’s Trust | Is Joint Representation a Conflict? | What Goes in a Client’s Permanent File? | 6 Ways to Take a Client Beyond Tax Prep | Client’s Difficult Daughter Balks at Bill | 6 Simple Steps to Impress a Prospect | Complaining Client? No Wonder!

ANSWER: I don’t think you have a responsibility to do the work if the client doesn’t want to pay for it, no matter how necessary.


A Call for Change: An Open Letter to Each Generation

Three businesspeople of different agesDrop the preconceptions and start working as a team.

By Jennifer Wilson

Much like siblings, multiple generations working at the same firm often bring entrenched points of view and strong biases that have at least some basis in truth. Dropping these notions may be uncomfortable and require a conscious effort, but will benefit the firm as well as individual relationships within it.

With three distinct generations in the workplace today, the impacts of generational differences are phenomenal. Firm leaders are challenged to balance and blend each generation’s unique historical context, motivators and somewhat differing values systems to create a unified team and a sustainable firm.

Are You Growing or Getting Left Behind?

Businesspeople coming together to cup hands and hold dirt and a seedlingHow to build a successful firm for the future.

By Kyle Walters

As most of you know, the accounting profession is feeling the pressure of commoditization and fee compression. What’s more, many firms are finding it difficult to hire and retain qualified staff.

MORE: What Can You Offer that IBM’s Watson Can’t? | The What, So What and Now What? | Clients Don’t Have a Fee Problem, They Have a Value Problem
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In order to overcome these challenges in your practice, you will need to address three important considerations ASAP:


The Accountaneur Difference: Eight Uncommon Success Practices of Entrepreneurial Accountants

Save the date: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 3 p.m. ET.

Join CPA Trendlines expert author Hitendra R. Patil for a one-hour webinar Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 3 p.m. ET, exploring how insights from behavioral economics apply to the tax and accounting profession.

Patil, author of Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant and AccountantsWorld Director of Practice Development, plans to reveal:

  • The critical difference between accountants and "Accountaneurs,"
  • The eight uncommon success practices of Entrepreneurial Accountants; and
  • Specific tips and tools on how accountants can leverage human behavioral insights to achieve a unique competitive advantage.

To learn more and register, click here.

Keep Pace First, Change Will Come (Like It or Not)

Man scratching head while standing at crossroadsBuckle up, buttercup, but remember the choices are yours.

By Seth Fineberg

If you’ve been paying attention, albeit sporadically, you’ve gleaned that the accounting profession as a whole – much like small businesses in general – is at a crossroads.

MORE FROM AFOTS: You’re Not Tech-Savvy If You’re Not Cyber-Safe, Too | Lions and Tigers and Blockchain and Bots, Oh My!
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You’re most likely now in a place where you are, in many ways, forced to decide who it is you are and want to be. You’re in a place where, many of you, just want to survive another year and make the incremental changes (yep, there’s that word again) you all need to get through, survive and maybe, just maybe, thrive.

Why Choose a Marketplace Orientation?

Smiling businesswoman offering a handshake5 basic principles to follow.

By August J. Aquila

Let's look at the different focuses or orientations that firms can take toward managing and running their practices and see which ones the traditional pricing methods encourage.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: How Traditional Fee Methods Hurt Firms | Price to Get the Maximum Fee | 7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning | Is It Time for a Partner Compensation Checkup? | 13 Points of a Good Compensation Plan | 5 Ways to Keep Your Edge | The Toughest Job in the World: Managing an Accounting Practice | How to Become the Firm of Choice
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Any organization, whether an accounting firm or not, usually tends to have one of four focuses. They are either selling-oriented, product-oriented, production-oriented or marketing-oriented.

The Bizarre Habits of Accountants

Percentage signs on round hanging tagsEight crazy assumptions destroying tax and accounting firms.

By Rob Nixon

I am convinced that the inventor of the current profit model of an accounting practice was NOT very good at strategy or business development.

MORE ON STRATEGY: The Final Critical Traits: How Do Your Tires Look? | 4 More Critical Traits: Be Your Best You | 12 Traits of a Better You | Why Old Pricing Models Are Unethical | 8 Ways to Improve Firm Profits | 17 Killer Questions for Prospects
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5 Reasons Your Firm Training Needs Nano Learning

Woman on city train using tabletMobility and repetition are points you may not have considered.

By Jassen Bowman
Tax Resolution Systems

Training employees effectively in our fast-paced, information-saturated world can be a big challenge for business leaders.

MORE: When Tax Filing Season Is Over, What’s Next? | How to End the Tax Revenue Roller Coaster with a Four-Season Practice Model | How to Turn Routine CPE into a New Marketing Opportunity
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In the past, you might have been able to get staff to sit through a three-hour training course without issue. Today, accomplishing the same can seem impossible.