Today's Features

Why CPA Trendlines: “Battle-Tested Info”

Thank you to one of our newest PRO Members for your feedback and kind words!

Most importantly I appreciate the depth of information contained on one site and its dual value.

It proves to be a valuable resource in that I can get relevant information on best practices for my firm and how to implement them, along with timely technical advice on providing a better end-product to my clients.

There are some other sites that are free that offer something similar, but it’s great to know the advice being given is being used and is battle tested (perhaps after going through several changes over the years) and accumulated over decades in the field by the writers.

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Nine Factors for Dividing the Partner Pie

Cut pie chart on plate flanked by fork and knifeHow to decide who gets how much voting power.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli
CPA Trendlines / Succession Institute

People who can lead, develop, train and supervise others are worth much more than those who can just make themselves faster, better and stronger.

Equity ownership allocation is a critical success factor if you expect your firm to continue after you leave.  For many firms, reallocation of equity ownership is or will be an important part of succession planning.  While it can cause some anxiety for your owners’ group as you go through the process, it’s better to confront the issues now, to help ensure that your firm is in good hands after your leave. It’s not necessarily easy, but it must be addressed for long-term success.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Hazards of Not Reallocating Equity | The Pitfalls of Equity Allocation and Reallocation | Develop Your Employees or Suffer the Consequences | CPA Firm Performance Assessments: 15 Core Competencies, 21 Questions | Do CPA Firms Need Management or Leadership?

When you are deciding which partners should have more say (or less say, which is just as important), you need to consider issues such as whose judgment partners trust, who is pulling the wagon, who consistently acts in the firm’s best interest, or who is viewed as a current or future leader. With this in mind, here are nine areas to evaluate or each partner: READ MORE →

Refunds Still Up, but Only by 0.7%

Chart of filing dataE-filings are nearly evenly split between the pros and the amateurs.

By Beth Bellor

The gloomy season continues. The IRS is slower than ever before, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act didn't simplify our lives, and after all the work we put in, we face clients who are upset about their refunds. Everyone got an eye on their countdowns?

The Internal Revenue Service had received 67.7 million individual income tax returns as of March 8, the latest data available, down 2.5 percent from the same period in 2018. It had processed 65.3 million returns, down 2.8 percent. READ MORE →

Am I Happy?

Life is short, you know.

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

My father was dying – too young and too soon. He succumbed over a nine-month period to coronary heart disease. Today his life could have been extended, but not in 1976.

MORE: How Hidden Bias Taints Results | You Must Push the Pencil | The Art of the Deal: Starts with Listening | Working for a Jerk | The ‘Wrong’ CPE | Be a Sounding Board to Your Clients
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I would visit him and see his strength waning to the point that he could barely lift his head or talk and even then it was in a hoarse whisper. One of the last things he said to me was, “Are you happy?” I answered quickly, “Yes.”

Tax Season Funnies: After the Revolution

Questions college students ask.
As collected by Robert E. Mckenzie
  • “An income tax is the price which the government charges for the privilege of having taxable income.” – Former Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon

More Tax Season Humor: The Tax Season Funnies: Worst Video Game Ever | A Little Tax Humor | How many IRS agents does it take to screw in a light bulb?

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How Effective Project Management Makes Your Life Easier

Happier clients and happier staff are just the start.

By Frank Stitely
The Relentless CPA

I have some excellent news. Effective project management can make owning a firm fun and profitable again. If not fun, it will be at least more tolerable than a lifetime of root canals.

MORE: Value Pricers Ignore Half the Pricing Puzzle | Beware the Leeches and Consultants | The Value-Pricing Con Job | The 21st-Century CPA Firm | Ruthlessly Efficient Workflow Management
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I have worked two Aprils from the NCAA Final Four basketball tournament. This past September 15th, I worked from the beach. No one at the office seemed to miss me.

Survey: Busy Season Goes Sour

February confidence melts under the harsh realities of March.

February's 36% positive ratings slide to only 30% in March, as negative ratings climb from 32% in February to 49% in March, even as the number expecting the same results as last year declined from 32% to 21% from one month to the next.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Join the survey. Get the results.

Remember those heady, sunny, optimistic days of January? Despite the government shutdown, CPAs and tax practitioners—more than a third of them, anyway—foresaw a productive and profitable busy season. They saw a swelling clientele and revenues to follow suit.

MORE on BUSY SEASON: Tax Refunds Up 1.7%|   Lessons Learned: How the Federal Shutdown Hit Busy Season 2019 | Lessons Learned: How the Federal Shutdown Hit Busy Season 2019 | Refunds Rebound, Up 1.3% from Last Year | Tax Refund Fury Roils Busy Season | Tax Pro eFiling Drops 12.5% after Shutdown

But then, apparently, something happened. The tides turned. The season soured. Suddenly, as February turns to March, the responses to the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer readings are tipping into pessimism. Join the survey. Get the results. READ MORE →

Tax Refunds Up 1.7%

Table of IRS filing statistics for the week ending March 1, 2019
Data for the week ending March 1, 2019, the latest available

Professionals hold 48% of the e-filing market.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

With the first March filing results in, tax season has leveled off considerably from the first rushes.

MORE: Lessons Learned: How the Federal Shutdown Hit Busy Season 2019 | Lessons Learned: How the Federal Shutdown Hit Busy Season 2019 | Refunds Rebound, Up 1.3% from Last Year | Tax Refund Fury Roils Busy Season | Tax Pro eFiling Drops 12.5% after Shutdown
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The IRS had received 59.2 million individual income tax returns as of March 1, down 3.2 percent from the same week in 2018. It had processed 56.9 million of those, down 3.7 percent.

Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet?

Two men talking at table, one younger in plaid with man bun, one older with glasses and sweater over shouldersDon't know? Ask, and consider ways to change.

By Steven E. Sacks

In the famous words of management guru, Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”

MORE: Improve Job Satisfaction or It’ll Cost Your Firm | The Holy Grail: Finding the Right Talent | Today’s Workplace Challenge: Communicating Across Generations, Cultures, and Diversity | How Enthusiastic Is Your Staff?
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Accounting firms are starting to get this message because now they are instituting initiatives that would have been laughed at years ago: a) every day is jeans day; b) shorts when there is no client meeting; c) work from home; d) bring your own device to work; and e) reduced Saturday hours during busy season. And on it goes ...

CPA Trendlines Joins Thought Leader Symposium #CPATLS

CPA Trendlines CEO Rick Telberg joins 30 of the of the profession's most influential.

Follow on twitter with #CPATLS.

@adp @AllanDKoltin @atgrissom @bftcpa @bqesoftware @Clayton_Oates @cpa_trendlines @CPAAccelerator @DarrenRoot @dcieslak @donnyitk @DougSleeter @evenanerd @glafollette @intuit @IntuitPatti @JeanCaragher @jimboomer @JimBourke @JoeyHavensCPA @KaceeBOP @LeslieShiner @lgboomer @markkoziel @michellegolden @RomanCITP @ronaldbaker @RPJohnston @tomhood @sandrawiley @JenLeeWilson @gcrosley @MentorPlus @gperrycpa @imobannon

Via CPA Practice Advisor

Nearly 30 of the most influential thought leaders in the accounting profession, including CPA Trendlines CEO Rick Telberg,  are gathering in Indianapolis March 11-13 for CPA Practice Advisor's 11th annual Thought Leader Symposium.

The annual event includes round table discussions of technology and practice management trends and issues that accounting firms and professionals face today, as well as accounting, tax and business issues they and their clients will need to prepare for in the future.

In addition to Telberg, CPA TTrendlines authors and expert contributors expected to attend include: READ MORE →

When Clients Cash Out: Four Smart Financial Moves

How to put your clients in the best possible position.

By Anthony Glomski

There are over 28 million businesses in the United States today. While the odds of being highly successful remain long, many businesses that do succeed are often worth far more than their owners imagined.

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The main reason for that disconnect is that owners are laser-focused on growing their business; they’re not in the business of buying and selling businesses like investment bankers are.