Employee Demands a Raise She Doesn’t Deserve

Hands tear money isolated on white backgroundHow to decide when to let people walk.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I have a longtime employee who asked me for a 33 percent salary increase, or she said she would have to explore options. How do you suggest I handle this?

MORE: But I AM Managing! | Make More Money Starting Now | The Wrong Way to Look for Staff | Strategic Planning for the Small Firm | Before You Sell Your Practice | Work the Client Needs … But Won’t Pay For | Tossing Timesheets Is Just the Start
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Additional information: She works five-hour days every day and is paid by the hour. She gives me no added time during tax season. She also gets paid for an extra six days – which is for half of the firm’s allowed holidays – and for eight days for combined sick, vacation and personal days, and I pay her for half of her required CPE time (payment for 20 hours) and all the registration costs.
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But I AM Managing!

Not being the managing partner is no excuse for not polishing skills.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I am a partner in a multipartner firm and have no firm management responsibilities, rather I manage a large book of business and while I do not bring in much new business (I don’t have time) I get substantial additional consulting services from existing clients and my realization rate is highest in the firm.

MORE: Make More Money Starting Now | How Are You Spending the Next Five Years? | How to Get the Most from CPE | Does Your Staff Know All the Services You Provide? | Price Your Practice by Gross | Advising Estate Executors: The Newbie Guide to Getting Started
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But yet you told me I should attend at least one daylong practice management program a year. Why?
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14 Simple, Easy Tips for a Better Tax Season

Tax season is supposed to get better every year – if you know what you’re doing.https://cpatrendlines.com/2021/02/24/make-tax-season-better/

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

Tax preparation is a very serious undertaking that needs to be managed and continuously improved.

MORE: You’re Not JUST Taxes | 20 Good Ways to Boost Tax Season Production | Why Annual Staff Evaluations Fall Short | Why Create an Accounting Firm Business Model? | Creating a Cross-Selling Culture | Value Pricing in Uncharted Waters
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This requires buy-in from partners, managers and the entire staff. The culture of the firm has to be where only the best work done the right way at the right time is acceptable.

Here are some best practices you can consider adopting:
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Make More Money Starting Now

Businessman sitting on stacks of paper currency34 ideas for any size firm.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: Do you have any tips on how I could make more money?

MORE: How Are You Spending the Next Five Years? | How to Run a Practice in 90 Pages | How Improv Can Help Accountants | Four Tips for New Partners | An Alternative to Pro Bono | 14 Better Uses for Timesheet Data | 9 Must-Haves for Firm Growth
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ANSWER: There are always ways to make more money. This includes managing every aspect of your practice and striving for productivity growth.

Here is a 34-item  checklist with quite a few ways you can make more money.
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You’re Not JUST Taxes

Make Sure Tax Clients Know About Other Services.

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

During a tax return preparation interview, getting a client’s information is a tremendous opportunity to find out the concerns of the client and how you can help.

MORE: 20 Good Ways to Boost Tax Season Production | How to Recoup Staff Training Costs | 10 Ways to Stay in Control | Advice to New Accountants | Clients Don’t Lose Sleep for Overpaying Taxes | When Time-Based Pricing Works
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The assistance you give can sometimes provide a life-changing benefit to the client while enabling your firm to increase its service base and gain additional revenues.
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How Are You Spending the Next Five Years?

Make time to learn new things.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I am just starting out in my own practice and started following your Accounting Today web blogs and your CPA Trendlines blogs. I even bought some of your books.

MORE: How to Run a Practice in 90 Pages | The Wrong Way to Look for Staff | Strategic Planning for the Small Firm | Before You Sell Your Practice | Work the Client Needs … But Won’t Pay For
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You seem to know everything. How is that possible and how can I grow to become more knowledgeable like you?
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20 Good Ways to Boost Tax Season Production

People in office releasing balloonsPeople like fun … but that’s not all they value.

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

I have always loved accounting and tax season, but I have worked with many people who did not.

MORE: How to Recoup Staff Training Costs | Granting Unconventional Request Pays Off | 20 Best Practices for Staff Training and Retention | What Does the Client Want to See? | 6 Ways to Increase Your Fees … If You Dare | The Clients Who Got Away
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They resented many of the working conditions and had a closed-in feeling that heightened their dislike of my great profession. I resolved that when I had my own practice I would not create that type of atmosphere.
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How to Run a Practice in 90 Pages

Another author provides a step-by-step guide.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: Do you have a simple checklist that I could use as a guide to run my practice?

MORE: The Wrong Way to Look for Staff | How to Get the Most from CPE | Does Your Staff Know All the Services You Provide? | Price Your Practice by Gross | Advising Estate Executors: The Newbie Guide to Getting Started | How’s Your Overhead?
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ANSWER: Actually my monthly Q&A Newsletters is a great and easy way to get information on how to run your practice. Also my 101 Book with my first 101 Q&As is another great resource.
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How to Recoup Staff Training Costs

Young businesswoman working at laptop while businessman looks onIt might sound crazy. Just try it.

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

Almost every staff person will eventually leave you, unless they become a partner.

MORE: Granting Unconventional Request Pays Off | Why Annual Staff Evaluations Fall Short | Why Create an Accounting Firm Business Model? | The Clients that Keep You Awake at Night | Creating a Cross-Selling Culture | Cross-Selling Beyond Your Comfort Zone
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Because of this reality, and also because you must have staff, training methods must be developed that do not take excessive time and allow the staff person to immediately become productive. I think I have done this with my 30:30 training method.
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