Getting by Giving Back

Professionals don't operate in a vacuum.

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

I had lunch recently with a colleague who was surprised when I mentioned that I helped another accountant with a problem and “did not charge him.”

MORE: How to Be ’the Other Guy’s Accountant’ | I Always Want to be ’The Other Guy’s Accountant’ | Learning from Lee Iacocca Et Al. | Getting a Referral from an Adversary
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

I know this colleague and he is a very nice person. He’s a sole practitioner and seems to like what he does, but he has always complained to me that he wasn’t growing and just kept doing the same things over and over again. He told me at the lunch that he would never help someone the way I did without charging for it.
READ MORE →

How to Be ’the Other Guy’s Accountant’

9 concrete tips.

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

I’ve written about wanting to always be the “other guy’s accountant.” I received a number of calls and emails asking how I do it, so here is a followup.

MORE: I Always Want to be ’The Other Guy’s Accountant’ | Some Mistakes I Made | Growing with a Client | Getting a Referral from an Adversary | Secret Success Formula: E=fs4Uh
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

No matter what client I meet with and no matter what the reason, I try to engage them to find out what’s on their mind.
READ MORE →

I Always Want to be ’The Other Guy’s Accountant’

Your reminders must be constant and relevant.

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

I once worked for someone who lost a client to “the other guy’s accountant.”

MORE: Some Mistakes I Made | Why We ‘Kill’ to Get Partnership Returns Out Quickly | My First Thought Is to Never Turn Down Business | The Background to Saving a Business | Secret Success Formula: E=fs4Uh | Becoming an Expert in IRS Collections | High CPA Fees Should Be a Client’s Goal
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

It happened when the client went into a new business with another person – the “other guy.” So my boss lost both the client and the new opportunity to work on the new business. From then on, my boss always wanted to be “the other guy’s accountant.” Me too!
READ MORE →

Some Mistakes I Made

... and some lessons I learned.

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

I’ve been around a long time and did some really great things. I’ve also made some mistakes.

MORE: Why We ‘Kill’ to Get Partnership Returns Out Quickly | Learning from Lee Iacocca Et Al. | I Lost a Client to an Accounting Firm with Cheaper Fees | How I Saved a Business | The Staffer Who Was Too Smart | How I Got a Mercedes as a Fee
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The mistakes linger on my mind more than many of the great things, and I am sharing some of the mistakes here.
READ MORE →

Why We ‘Kill’ to Get Partnership Returns Out Quickly

Businessman looking at calendar on tabletEveryone benefits.

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

Many real estate and venture capital partnerships and LLCs have investors that need their K-1 tax statements to file their individual returns.

MORE: Learning from Lee Iacocca Et Al. | 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.

Depending upon the way they are managed, some never have their books up to date and ready for tax filing until late in the summer, while others are maintained monthly and are closed and ready for tax preparation the end of January or beginning of February.
READ MORE →

What Lee Iacocca’s Life Teaches Accountants

Woman on city train using tabletSUMMER READING: 14 proven leaders can teach us a lot.

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

Lee Iacocca passed away July 2 at age 94. He was a brilliant business and civic leader and a cultural icon who was even considered for president.

MORE: Growing with a Client | My First Thought Is to Never Turn Down Business | Secret Success Formula: E=fs4Uh | High CPA Fees Should Be a Client’s Goal | How Hidden Bias Taints Results | When to Keep Some Plans to Yourself | When Writeups Went Extinct | Kennedy’s Acceptance Speech
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

I never met him but read his autobiography and besides enjoying it I took away a management technique I am sharing with you here.
READ MORE →

Growing with a Client

Businesspeople coming together to cup hands and hold dirt and a seedlingResponsiveness benefits both of you.

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

I’ve told the story of how we were hired to prepare corporate tax returns at a much higher fee than the client said they wanted to pay. This client grew to become our largest client. Here is how it happened.

MORE: My First Thought Is to Never Turn Down Business | I Lost a Client to an Accounting Firm with Cheaper Fees | How I Saved a Business | The Staffer Who Was Too Smart
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

We completed the initial work earlier than the deadline, raising the confidence level with us. We were then asked to bid on a system evaluation of a small retail chain they owned and were thinking of expanding. This was also a fixed fee. Next came an audit of their employee benefit plan, then some pricing consulting, and a flow of continuous phone calls with tax and accounting questions and eventually an audit of their company.
READ MORE →

My First Thought Is to Never Turn Down Business

Someone else could do it, but why?

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

One of my partners once was asked to recommend an accountant who could do corporate tax returns for a very large company.

MORE: I Lost a Client to an Accounting Firm with Cheaper Fees | Getting a Referral from an Adversary | Start with the Cash | Why a Break-Even Analysis Matters | How I Owned a Printing Company and Restaurant | Am I Happy? | My Boss Hated the Client | Fired from My First Job | Staffers Need to Speak Up with Clients | Bored by CPE? You’re Missing Out! | Clients Buy Solutions, Not Hours
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

He was told it would take about 20 days and the fixed fee was an amount that was about a third of our normal rates. My partner was going to refer a CPA who sublet from us who seemed to have the time and he asked me if I thought the accountant could do it.
READ MORE →

I Lost a Client to an Accounting Firm with Cheaper Fees

Businessman holding two papers with happy and angry face each on themWhy they came back.

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

I have never been the lowest-priced accountant, but neither was I the highest.

MORE: Getting a Referral from an Adversary | The Background to Saving a Business | Secret Success Formula: E=fs4Uh | Becoming an Expert in IRS Collections | How Hidden Bias Taints Results | When to Keep Some Plans to Yourself | When Writeups Went Extinct | Kennedy’s Acceptance Speech | What Consulting Is
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Sometimes prices charged are subject to the perception of the client and not reality. Fees are always related to the value provided, although that isn’t always evident.
READ MORE →

Getting a Referral from an Adversary

Businessman standing outside the office on the phone with coffee... but don't go fishing for one.

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

One time I received a call with a referral from another professional who was an adversary in a contentious deal on which I represented a client.

MORE: How I Saved a Business | The Staffer Who Was Too Smart | How I Got a Mercedes as a Fee | Hot Shot Sales Manager Is Not Such a Hot Shot | You Must Push the Pencil | The Art of the Deal: Starts with Listening | Be a Sounding Board to Your Clients
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

I thanked him but expressed surprise because we seemed to always be at each other’s throats.
READ MORE →

The Background to Saving a Business

Pay attention to the parameters and you can do great things.

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

It’s important to get an up-close look at a client’s business in order to save it.

MORE: How I Saved a Business | Start with the Cash | Why a Break-Even Analysis Matters | How I Owned a Printing Company and Restaurant | Am I Happy? | My Boss Hated the Client | Fired from My First Job
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

I’ve discussed how I rescued a business that was in danger of closing because of unpaid taxes. I thought about some additional details that should be shared with readers, so here goes.
READ MORE →

To Save a Business, Plan the Details

a businessman with some jigsaw puzzle pieces in his handDesperate times might require bold moves.

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

I once saved a client’s business that the IRS was in danger of closing. Here is the nitty-gritty.

MORE: How I Saved a Business | Start with the Cash | Why a Break-Even Analysis Matters | How I Owned a Printing Company and Restaurant | Am I Happy?
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

The owner wanted to be able to walk away without her business. She would be broke and would lose her house, but she wouldn’t have a continuing debt for unpaid payroll taxes.
READ MORE →

How I Saved a Business

Happy business professionals giving high five hand slapA step-by-step breakdown.

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

Saving a business creates one of the greatest highs you can have in accounting.

MORE: Start with the Cash | Secret Success Formula: E=fs4Uh | Becoming an Expert in IRS Collections | High CPA Fees Should Be a Client’s Goal | How Hidden Bias Taints Results
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

I remember one instance when I received a referral for a business in another state requiring a plane trip.
READ MORE →