Today's Features

Growing and Developing Future Leaders Is a Two-Way Street

Businessman with briefcase riding on rocket5 leadership skills to hone and 4 questions to ask about your firm.

By Carrie Steffen
Bridging the Gap

Bemoaning a lack of future leaders within the firm is not a solution to the perceived problem. Instead, it behooves current leaders to identify and nurture potential leaders, helping them develop the relevant skills and clearly communicate a defined path to leadership as well as expectations for applying targeted competencies. Young professionals with aspirations of leadership, in turn, must embrace opportunities and demonstrate willingness to meet current leaders partway.

MORE: They Don’t Want to Be Owners! | The Culture of Continuous Improvement | A Winning Culture Is an Intentional Culture | A Call for Change: An Open Letter to Each Generation
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Firms are at a crossroad when it comes to transitioning to the next generation of leaders. According to the CPACA study on Succession Readiness, 48.3 percent of firms of all sizes cite “lack of future leadership talent” as a primary obstacle in their succession.

Making Partner: Today’s 15 Essential Skills and Traits

Do you have what it takes? Bonus: Six boxes to check off, and seven tough questions.

By Marc Rosenberg

What is the right stuff to earn a promotion to partner? This is one of several questions that if asked of ten partners from different firms, you may get ten different answers.

MORE: Why You Might Want an Executive Committee | How to Specify Managing Partner Duties | When Votes Must Be Taken, What Are the Options? | Ownership Percentage and Capital Accounts | 5 Key Reasons to Have a Partner Agreement

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I have worked the following script dozens of times at partner retreats: I ask the group what it means to be a partner and write their responses on a flipchart. When we’re done, one of the partners yells out “Oh no. None of us qualifies!” And because the truth is often said in jest, this retort is no joke.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every partner in every firm was a star partner? For almost all firms, this is an impossible dream. So how high should the bar be raised – realistically – to become a partner, or conversely, how low should it go?

Following are common examples of skills and traits that CPA firms require of their partner-potentials before they are promoted to partner. Plus: Six boxes partner-candidates must be able to check off, and seven of the toughest questions to assess readiness. This list is not all-inclusive and will vary from firm to firm.


Measure Your Business Metrics

You have 2 types of goals for this.

By Jassen Bowman
Tax Resolution Systems

If you need help coming up with some ideas on what types of goals to set within your business, I might suggest you review the following list of possible metrics (things to measure) in your business.

MORE ON TAX RESOLUTION: Building Your Dream Team | Suggested Tax Resolution Client Payment Guidelines | When to Follow Up on Prospects | Checklists for New Lead Generation | How to Handle Client Complaints | Case Study: Building a Tax Resolution Business | Marketing Requires Ruthless Accountability
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You want your goals to be specific, measurable, achievable, result-focused and timed. Your goals will probably change over time as you become better and more confident.

Mark Guiley Oversees New Cannabis Niche

Portrait of Mark Guiley

The firm talked to its insurance company first.

By Liz Gold

Mark Guiley is a tax manager at Isler CPA in Eugene, Oregon. And he’s the point person for the firm’s newly budding cannabis practice.

MORE ON CANNABIZ: Cannabis Trends: What CPAs Need to Know for 2018 and Beyond | Tom Achor: At the Intersection of Cannabis Accounting and Technology | PODCAST: John Repetti and Mitzi Hollenbeck of Citrin Cooperman | 4 Best Things About Being a ‘Dope’ Accountant | Five Reasons Accountants Should Serve Cannabis Clients | The Fire Starter: Groundbreaking Cannabis CPA Luigi Zamarra | CPA Kim Walker: ‘We Can’t Be Afraid of Diving into Marijuana’
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Though cannabis has been legal in Oregon since 2014, the firm recently decided to start serving cannabis clients late last year.

Why Tracking URLs Are So Important

"Good vs. evil in technology" illustration using laptops4 specific benefits.

By Becky Livingston
The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook

If you’re creating content and sharing it anywhere online, consider using a URL tracking code to help you identify where links to your website are coming from, i.e., Source/Medium and/or All Campaigns in Google Analytics.

MORE: Crafting Effective Landing Pages | How to Research Keywords | What Goes Into a Buyer Persona? | 3 Big SEO Changes | How Long Does It Take to Rank? | What Is SEO and Why Is It Important?
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First, let's use a URL builder.

Amazon Offers New Delivery Service for Buildings

Woman using Amazon Hub in building lobbyThere's even a way to request one.

By Rick Richardson

No doorman? No problem.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: 6 Blockchain Jobs of the Future | Russian Router Malware Just Got Much Worse | New Technology Purifies Water Using Sunlight | Holographic Memory Film Is Thinner Than Human Hair | Think Twice About Logging into Your Hotel’s Wi-Fi | DNA Nanorobots Killed Cancerous Tumors
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Amazon has introduced a new delivery solution for apartment complexes that promises to deliver both convenience and safety (alongside your actual package, of course).

Cannabis Trends: What CPAs Need to Know for 2018 and Beyond

Booming new niche where opportunity meets complexity.


By Liz Gold

Cannabis startup costs are on the rise, as cultivators, vertically integrated retailers and laboratories are spending upwards of $1 million just to launch, making the sector as potentially treacherous as it is potentially lucrative for many tax and accounting firms on the leading edge of the booming new industry.

MORE at CPA Trendlines' Tom Achor: At the Intersection of Cannabis Accounting and Technology  |  Jessica Velazquez on Cannabis Accounting and Activism  |  PODCAST: Rich Wortmann Pioneers Cannabis in Pennsylvania  |  PODCAST: John Repetti and Mitzi Hollenbeck of Citrin Cooperman  |  PODCAST: Jim Marty and Cory Parnell Go National  |  PODCAST: Drew Dearlove Talks about the Cannabis Business    |  4 Best Things About Being a ‘Dope’ Accountant  |  5 Biggest Mistakes Cannabis CEOS Make  |  Five Secrets to Launching Your Own Cannabis Accounting Firm  |  Five Reasons Accountants Should Serve Cannabis Clients  |  Derek Davis Keeps California Cannabis Clients Informed

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The budding industry is confounded by differing regulatory models emerging nationally for both medical marijuana and adult use programs. But it’s clear – those cannabusinesses that are succeeding have help. More accountants are moving into the cannabis space, helping clients develop a sound financial infrastructure, a regular accounting and bookkeeping process and a solid understanding of IRS Tax Code 280E.

That said, there is so much up in the air.


CPAs Converge for #AccountingShowNY

New Accounting & Finance Show launches.

By Rick Telberg

Thousands of accountants and finance executives are gathering in New York this week for the inaugural launch of the new Accounting & Finance Show produced by Terrapinn Holdings, which has completely revamped the meeting since acquiring it last year from Flagg Management.

Since so many of the headline speakers are part of the CPA Trendlines brain trust, the event offers a special opportunity to meet some of the profession's most renowned commentators and experts – live and in-person.

See the CPA Trendlines authors and experts headlining the new show

This year's two-day event boasts more than 50 exhibitors, 150 speakers, and 100 hours of CPE, innovatively broken into short, 20-minute sessions.

The West Coast version of the same event is scheduled two weeks later, July 25-26, at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

10 Marketing Materials You Need

The number 10Including one to implement RIGHT NOW.

By Sandi Leyva

You need materials with the right messaging to fuel your marketing plan. There is a certain core of materials you need across all marketing channels.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Make Direct Mail Work for You | How to Use ‘Warmed-Up’ Telemarketing | Technical Aspects of Video and YouTube | How to Maximize Online Profile Sites | Build Your Community Reputation | 5 Ways to Get More Referrals | Use Feedback for Service Innovation | Create Your Marketing Plan
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Crafting a really tight message will get your prospects’ attention and more easily convert them into accounting clients. When you have a bad message, you work much harder and have to meet many more prospects to convert into clients. When you have a great message, you work less, convert more and keep your costs down.

Check Your Bandwidth

Abstract illustration of binary data flow... and always have a backup.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The Internet has undoubtedly had a profound impact on firm communications. It has become the primary driver toward the next generation of accounting applications that run entirely on the web through cloud computing.

MORE: Remote Access Requires Planning | Proactively Manage Application Updates | Offsite Backup Is Critical | Scanners Capture Documents at the Source | Two Tech Trends to Watch
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Before we get ahead of ourselves discussing cloud opportunities, we have to assess how the Internet is used within our firm today. Most likely the Internet is

  • a digital pipeline;
  • a conduit for communications, updates, research and backups; and
  • a platform for exchanging files with clients.


6 Blockchain Jobs of the Future

Computer keyboard with blackchain button, heavy chain and fiber opticsPlus the specific skills needed.

By Rick Richardson

While blockchain adoption remains slow, industries including finance, manufacturing and health care are exploring the developing technology's potential to create business advantages such as reduced operational costs, faster transaction speeds and more secure records.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Russian Router Malware Just Got Much Worse | EY’s ‘Day One Ready’ Creates Needed Competencies of the Future | Your Next Bank Card Might Have a Fingerprint Scanner Built In | How Blockchain Is Changing Our World | Microsoft CEO Sees Need for Education Revolution | FCC OKs First Wireless Distant Charger | Bitcoin Mining Uses More Electricity per Year Than Ireland | The Biggest Thing Since Double Entry Was Invented [VIDEO]
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An estimated 1,520 blockchain startup companies are now looking for workers, along with a number of corporations like IBM and Microsoft. As the market continues to grow, more lucrative career options will open up for those who are skilled in the various blockchain technologies.