Merger Mania: The Non-Traditional Way

Out-of-the-box thinking for CPA firms seeking new growth strategies.

Bill Carlino will be appearing at the Accounting & Finance Show. Click here to learn more

By Bill Carlino
Transition Advisors

The accounting profession has traditionally had three strategies for growth.

  1. Organic growth - adding one client at a time.
  2. Beginning a new client service line that was not previously offered.
  3. Merging with another CPA firm.

But that was then and this is now.

With technologies such as blockchain, AI and robotics promising to revamp the accounting process there will be significant changes afoot – whether the profession is ready or not.

For one, within five-to-seven years, the audit process will likely be automated, sending the folks who normally perform that “Type A” audit or tax work, seeking assignments in other areas such as high end consulting and advisory services.

As a result, the past few years have seen a number of firms adopting a fourth option toward achieving their respective growth targets – that of merging in “non-traditional” businesses.

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2017: Old Challenges, New Opportunities

The five issues that will determine success or failure for firms

Business hand holding hot chart in crystal ballBy Bill Carlino
Transition Advisors

The landscape for public accounting in 2017 and beyond can be distilled into two categories: challenges and opportunities.

And how CPA firms engage both will, for the large part, determine their viability and even existence in the ensuing years.

The truth is that you simply can’t operate a CPA firm in 2017 like you did in 1980 and hope to be successful. It’s still astonishing how many firms remain stubbornly entrenched in antiquated business models developed by the Baby Boomers and even generations before.

The good news for the profession is that the recession of 2008 appears to be safely in the rear view mirror in terms of impacting CPA firm growth. Growth for the Top 100 firms topped over 9 percent according to the most recent statistics available, while firms $2 million and under registered growth of more than 8 percent.

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