Today's Features

Why Go PRO? Ask Mike

"We have decided to be more intentional in running our firm as a business and I’m interested in gaining the perspective of other firms and experts in our field."


Go Pro Today
Learn more

Collaborative Wealth Management: Defining the Framework

Three key components for helping clients achieve financial success.

By Anthony Glomski

Just like starting a business or building a practice, most of your successful clients know that nothing truly valuable is free or easy. Same goes for their pursuit of financial freedom. It will take hard work, discipline and smart thinking to overcome and solve those challenges.

MORE: Protect Your Clients’ Assets | Even Entrepreneurs Must Diversify | When Clients Cash Out: Four Smart Financial Moves
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But what most Type-A business owners, executives and professionals don’t realize is they don’t have to do it alone. That’s where you come in as your client’s most trusted advisor. Will you be ready when they reach out to you for help?

Cultural Optimization:  Making Mergers Successful

The Rational Optimist
Click to learn more

How to begin successful post-merger integration strategies before the contracts are written.

By R. Peter Fontaine
Newgate Law

Rereading The Rational Optimist by British author Matt Ridley revived my belief in “cultural optimization” when it comes to accounting firm acquisitions. Ridley’s perspective is quite simple – over the millennia, human cultures have only progressed when the interaction between societies was collaborative.  People are better-off today because of the ancestral exchange and integration of ideas, language, beliefs, skills, customs, habits, technology and social structure; rather than as a result of isolation or cultural dominance and extinction.

MORE PETER FONTAINE:  What to Ponder Before Issuing a Letter of Intent  |  Why Due Diligence is Done   |  The Four Ways 'Non-Competes' #FAIL in the Social Media Age  |

While Ridley’s notion of optimizing cultural differences makes perfect sense, it does not seem to be regularly applied in the context of accounting firm M&A activity. READ MORE →

OneNote: Getting the Most from Templates

Click to play

This video focuses on creating and using page templates in OneNote.

By John Higgins

This brief video will show you how to set up page templates in OneNote to provide consistency for related types of content.

Learn more at Roadmap to Microsoft’s Office 365 Ecosystem

A prime example is to create a custom meeting agenda template for each of the specific types of standing meetings that you have. You can also use page templates to create forms that capture specific content in a consistent format. As an example, a client onboarding document. One important point to realize is that you must use the desktop version of OneNote to create page templates. You can use the template in any version of OneNote.

Make CRAP a Badge of Honor

Superhero businesswoman wearing shadow capeHow do your clients view your relationship?

By Steven E. Sacks

Performing Like CRAP. A strange concept, you might think. When someone acknowledges that your actions reflect crap there is no positivity in this assessment. And because this term is baked into the American lexicon, people will always view it negatively.

MORE: The Holy Grail: Finding the Right Talent | Strengthen Your Firm’s Screening Practices | Smart Trust in the Workplace | What Aspiring Accountants Need to Know | Improve Job Satisfaction or It’ll Cost Your Firm | We Hear But Do We REALLY Listen?
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But what if we look at it another way – in the form of an acronym? Let's give it a try.

When to Say No to Pro Bono Work

Young businesswoman putting hand out in "stop" gesture while sipping coffeeSome people can afford to pay for your efforts – and should.

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

I just finished reading John Grisham’s novel “Gray Mountain,” about a young attorney working in a legal aid clinic. At one point she is asked to prepare a will for a woman with property worth about $200,000. This reminded me of some pro bono work I have been asked to do for people who could clearly afford it, and that caused resentment by me.

MORE: Large Clients We Landed from QuickBooks Consulting | Why We Train on Excel, Word and Adobe | Stop Pricing by the Hour | Getting by Giving Back | Some Mistakes I Made | Growing with a Client | Getting a Referral from an Adversary | Start with the Cash | Why a Break-Even Analysis Matters
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

I have done my share of real pro bono work and was glad to do it. It left me satisfied that I was able to help someone. But for those who could afford it, I felt like a sap.

How ‘Tech Stacks’ Can Help You Standardize

Screwdriver and wrenchYou'll be more efficient and better connected.

By Jody Grunden

I believe it’s important for accounting firms to standardize their technology “stack.” Having a standardized tech stack of applications helps to automate every corner of your workflow.

MORE: Automation and the Future of Accounting | The Rise of the Virtual CFO | Ready To Be a Virtual CFO? | The Only Three Metrics You Need to Measure Staffers
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The applications you use should be seen as an extension of your business. Your onboarding process will be more effective if your team doesn’t have to learn a new set of tools every time a new client comes on board.

Is Your Client Newsletter Stuck in the 1990s?

Woman wearing orange shirt texting on a smartphone walking in the street in a sunny dayIf you look dated in one area, that perception can spread.

By Sandi Leyva, CPA

One of the leading client newsletter vendors discontinued its product this year, and we at Accelerator Newsletters having been getting a lot of calls from staff at accounting firms asking about our client newsletter offering.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Outsource or In-House? How Does Your Marketing Get Done? | Making Content Marketing Part of Your Growth Strategy | Tough Lessons from Tax Season | 10 Quick and Easy Tips for a Better Busy Season | 6 Metrics of Marketing | Want Better Clients? 5 Ways to Hook Them
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The calls have been enlightening to me, but also disappointing to find out many firms are stuck in a decades-old way of sending client newsletters. Here’s what I have learned from you and what I’d like to share to get everyone caught up to the way it is today in modern digital marketing.

CPA Cathro Goes 90% Cannabiz in the Bay State

Portrait of Charlotte Cathro

“I am making the industry better at following the rules.”

By CPA Trendlines Research

Massachusetts has always been at the forefront of social and legal progress. It’s where the Pilgrims signed their Compact. It’s where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired. In 1911, it became the first state to outlaw possession of “Indian hemp.”

MORE CannaBizCPA.Pro: Cannabis CPA Readies for When Maine ‘Goes Recreational’ | New to Cannabis? Maybe a Joint Venture Is the Answer | Cannabiz Meets Intellectual Property Protection | Green Bits: Helping Cannabis Retailers Stay Compliant | Silver Leaf CBC: An ERP Platform for Cannabis Companies | CohnReznick Goes National on Cannabis | Minorities, Women & Cannabis
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

And 101 years later, it became one of the first to allow sales of cannabis for medical purposes.

In that auspicious year of 2012, Charlotte Cathro was a CPA with a regional firm in Holyoke, an hour and a half west of Boston. The firm started getting inquiries and referrals from attorneys. They had clients applying to open dispensaries of medicinal weed, but they weren’t quite sure how the tax, finance and business entity rules were going to work.

And no wonder. It was complicated – a new frontier in accountancy.


Three Steps to Giving a Raise

Man putting dollars into suit pocketIf employees leave, find out if money is why.

By Barry J. Friedman, CPA

If you run a business with employees, you have at some point wondered how you should compensate them for good work. It's actually a much trickier task than people realize.

MORE: Seven Changes in the New Taxpayer First Act Clients Need to Know | How Manufacturers Can Use the R&D Tax Credit | The Latest Rules on Charitable Donations | How Clients Should Gather Their Papers for Taxes | The Latest Fraud Problem: Synthetic Identities | How to Challenge Property Taxes | Real Estate, IRAs & Clients | Percentage-Withholding for Clients | Bitcoin: What Clients Need to Know
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

You have to take into account employee morale, employee performance and market averages. To get a fuller picture of how to fairly distribute raises to your employees, keep reading.

What Happens If You Don’t Use Airplane Mode in Flight?

Woman sitting on plane looking out window while holding phoneRemember roaming charges?

By Rick Richardson

You hear the warning every time you fly: Please set all devices to airplane mode. But what happens if you don't?

It’s not that long ago that airlines stopped telling passengers to keep their mobile phones, tablets, e-readers and other devices turned off throughout the flight.

Why airplane mode?

We’re asked to turn our devices off or to put them in airplane mode because of electromagnetic interference from phones, tablets, e-readers, electronic headsets and more. Because some planes were built before these became a thing, it took a while for the industry to make sure it was entirely safe to use them.


How to Start (or Re-Start) Your Own Accounting Firm

Checklist: 18 Steps to Success.

By Brannon Poe

Are you exploring the idea of starting your own CPA firm? Or perhaps you are ready to re-invent the one you have? Either way, we’ve gathered some of the key focus areas to help you create your plans for the future.

More by Brannon Poe: Five Keys to Successfully Selling a CPA Firm  |  10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying an Accounting Practice  |  Five Key Decisions for Your Exit Strategy  |  How to Transfer a Boomer-Owned CPA Practice to a Millennial |

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

1. Should you start your own CPA firm? This is a great place to start, don’t you think? Not everyone is cut out to own their own business. Starting a CPA firm takes a variety of different skills and talents.

In the meantime, here's a short list of what’s needed to thrive: READ MORE →

Caragher Becomes Certified Instructor in Advanced Pricing Methods

Click to learn more

Free webinar on advanced pricing strategies set for Oct. 21.

Jean Caragher, president of Capstone Marketing and a CPA Trendlines expert author, is now a certified instructor of Fore LLC Advanced Pricing MethodsSM.

The fundamentals of Advanced Pricing MethodsSM
will be presented in a joint Fore-Capstone webinar:
Monday, Oct. 21
2 p.m. ET
Accounting firm partners, managers, and marketers can register at
Eligible for 1 CPE credit


Accountants: Unleash Your Secret Superpower

It's Time for the Super-Heroes of Ethical Behavior and the Public Trust to Help Save the World.

By Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA.CITP, CGMA

It seems like every day there is either news of a new scandal or additional “discoveries” about an on-going scandal. It’s quite depressing.

I finally took a step back to ask myself: “Why is this happening? Are we just doomed to a world that is just becoming more and more corrupt? Or is there something that can be done to stop this degeneration of society?”

Are Accountants Natively Ethical?

As I pondered how to solve the corruption problem, I asked myself, “how do we get more people to behave more ethically—more like us accountants?”

This then caused me to ask…

  • What is it that makes accountants more ethical?
  • Is it something that is inborn in us?
  • Does being an accountant make us more ethical?
  • Or is it an inborn belief in ethical behavior that makes accounting attractive to us?