Today's Features

How to Make Mandatory Saturdays a Thing of the Past

Dog sleeping in home office as woman works at computer in backgroundFour mental shifts to make.

Sound-Off: Does your firm require working on Saturdays?
Join the conversation here.

By Jennifer Wilson
On Staffing

I always challenge firm leaders to evaluate their “old school” practices and shift toward more engaging, motivating and even “cool” ways of operating to retain top talent.

MORE ON STAFFING: Guidelines for Flexible Work Policies | 10 Winning Traits of Accounting Firm Leaders | The Importance of Great Bosses | The 12 Reasons Your Staff Hates Your Firm | What Happened to the Relevancy of the CPA Profession?
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One of the ideas we’re hearing cool firms employ is the elimination of mandatory Saturdays during busy season. When I’ve shared this in group settings at CPA conferences, I literally hear a gasp of surprise because it challenges one of the most fundamental elements of public accounting – tracking, measuring and valuing time.

Today I want to explore the possibility of eliminating mandatory Saturdays – which does NOT mean eliminating overtime in most cases – and discuss ways that might help make this “new school” idea work and make public accounting an even cooler profession for up-and-comers.

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What Our Top 25 Most-Popular Posts Say about 2017

Today's Top Trends: Because You Say So

To learn more about what practitioners are planning for 2017:
Join the Survey. Get the Answers.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

Today's final installment of The Top 25 Countdown of the year's top trending posts throws a harsh spotlight on the biggest challenges and opportunities for 2017:

With the three earlier installments of the Countdown, the next seven of the Top Ten Issues for 2017 snap into focus:

You can be sure that CPA Trendlines will be covering these trends in-depth throughout the year ahead. Stay tuned.

See the complete list >>>
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Prepare Your Next Generation of Professionals

Group of four young professionalsFirst, lead by example.

By Martin Bissett
Business Development On a Budget

If you are a partner in your firm, you may already have asked yourself the all-important question: how can I successfully retire and have someone else take over the firm?

MORE ON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Banish the Idea that Selling is Difficult | How to Win Your First Client | 5 Ways to Make Selling Easier to Swallow | You’re Selling All the Time

The partner who has a satisfactory answer to that question is the one who is committed not only to developing business and building the firm on a regular basis, but also to developing and preparing the next generation of professionals in the firm.
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What Products Should You Create?

20 ideas to get you started.

By Rob Nixon
Panalitix

We are moving away from the time-selling business and into the productized IP business. The first step is to work out what you know and the second step is work out what the package looks like.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Turn Your Knowledge Into Products | How to Deliver Wow! Every Day | Communicate Until It Hurts | Why a Virtual Team Makes Sense | 14 Ways to Leverage Client Data for New Billings | What It Means to Be a Real-Time Accountant | 12 Predictions on the Future of Accounting | Will the Internet Replace CPAs?
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Most accountants I meet believe that there are opportunities for additional business in their current client base. However, they don’t seem that active in discovering the opportunities nor promoting the services. I think it is a BIG disservice to the client if you do not promote new ideas and new services.
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Compensation: Money and Beyond

Chef garnishing a platePlus 6 types of bonuses and 12 extraordinary benefits.

By Marc Rosenberg
On Staffing

Every CPA industry survey I’ve seen for decades shows that compensation is #1 to staff.

MORE ON STAFFING: 6 Keys to Advancement Programs | Making Flex Time Work in the Real World | 10 Winning Traits of Accounting Firm Leaders | The Importance of Great Bosses | The 12 Reasons Your Staff Hates Your Firm | What Happened to the Relevancy of the CPA Profession?
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For example, the AICPA/PCPS 2011 Top Talent Survey showed:

  • Salary was #2 for what attracts staff; #1 was career growth opportunities.
  • Salary was #1 for what retains staff.

My feeling is that compensation is ante to enter or stay in the game.
READ MORE →

7 Questions for Succession Planning

This work uses our highest skills.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

Clients who own businesses should have a plan of succession.

MORE ON MARKETING: How to Conduct Business Valuations and Forensic Investigations | The 64-Point Business Startup Checklist | How to Offer Second Opinions | How to Offer Employment Compensation Assistance | Basic Budgeting for Clients | Guiding Heirs | 11 Questions to Ask Every Tax Client | Add New Revenues with Tax Prep Follow-ups
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One plan should be for when and how they will retire, and another for if they should die while they are in full control of the business. Things happen and will happen and can be devastating to the family – financially and emotionally.
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6 Keys to Advancement Programs

Six vintage keysPlus 7 ways to make staff jobs more challenging.

By Marc Rosenberg
On Staffing

A great table-setter for this topic is an AICPA/PCPS Top Talent Survey, conducted in December 2011.

MORE ON STAFFING: Making Flex Time Work in the Real World | How to Make Mandatory Saturdays a Thing of the Past | What Staff Mentoring Is and Isn’t | Do Flexible Hours Help or Hurt Us? | 8 Keys to Keeping Staff Engaged | Staffing: What CPA Firms Are Learning the Hard Way
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The following were noted as keys to retaining CPA firm staff:

  • Career growth opportunities
  • Interesting and challenging client projects

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Reader Sound-Off: Mandatory Saturdays Stir Controversy

Commenting on “mandatory Saturdays,” clockwise from top left: Stitely, Boress, Michel, Evarts

Is it work-life balance, or firm-employee balance?

Sound-Off: Does your firm mandate Saturdays?
Join the conversation here.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

Tax season has yet to start and already tempers are flaring in the CPA Trendlines Comments section as practitioners debate requiring staffers to work on Saturdays during busy season.

MORE ON STAFFING: Making Flex Time Work in the Real World | Guidelines for Flexible Work Policies | Do Flexible Hours Help or Hurt Us? | SURVEY: 97% of Leading Firms Now Offer Flexible Work Arrangements | The 12 Reasons Your Staff Hates Your Firm | Staffing: What CPA Firms Are Learning the Hard Way

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In "How to Make Mandatory Saturdays a Thing of the Past," CPA Trendlines contributor Jennifer Wilson says the "cool firms" are eliminating the age-old practice nd replacing it with flex-time, work-at-home, and results-oriented strategies. Still, she says, "I literally hear a gasp of surprise because it challenges one of the most fundamental elements of public accounting – tracking, measuring and valuing time."

READ MORE →

France to Let Drones Deliver Mail

French mail droneRural and mountain delivery is the eventual goal.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

The French postal service will soon start a new drone delivery program to carry parcels on a set nine-mile route, the agency announced, following approval from the French aviation regulatory authority.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: New Device Prevents Insulin Overdoses | Go Abroad and Take the Internet With You | Wearable Aims to Help the Blind Move Safely | The New Gadget that Turns Your SmartPhone into the Ultimate Remote | Number-Changing Credit Card May Help Eliminate Fraud | How CPAs Are AMPing Up Their Websites for Mobile Clients
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It’s just an experiment for now, not a fully launched program, and will only operate once a week. But it is the first time a federal postal service will use drones to deliver on a regular route.
READ MORE →

Thought Leader Symposium Invites CPA Trendlines CEO

CPA Trendlines' founder and CEO Rick Telberg is joining some of the most respected and influential leaders in the accounting profession in Indianapolis for this year’s Thought Leader Symposium hosted by CPA Practice Advisor.

The annual event gathers 30 thought leaders together to discuss emerging trends, technologies and workflow practices that will influence the profession, professionals, and clients in the years to come.

“This exclusive event provides a unique opportunity for key members of the accounting profession who are taking the reins and moving the profession forward to share ideas and insights, consider changes and trends in the profession, and discover new and innovative ways in which they can work together to education and improve the profession as a whole,” said Gail Perry, editor-in-chief of CPA Practice Advisor and facilitator of the event. READ MORE →