Clients’ Top Worry: Going Broke

Survey shows healthcare costs and market volatility drive client fears.  


Of all the concerns impacting Americans’ retirement today, running out of money, maintaining their lifestyle and rising healthcare expenses continue to top the list, according to a new survey of CPA financial planners.

More on Client Management: BUSY SEASON: Accountants Worry for U.S. Economy   |   Tax Season Launches with a Whimper  |  When to Keep Some Plans to Yourself   |  Shutdown: What to Tell Tax Clients During “The Lapse”  |  How Clients Should Gather Their Papers for Taxes  |  Staffers Need to Speak Up with Clients

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Why CPA Trendlines: “Battle-Tested Info”

Thank you to one of our newest PRO Members for your feedback and kind words!

Most importantly I appreciate the depth of information contained on one site and its dual value.

It proves to be a valuable resource in that I can get relevant information on best practices for my firm and how to implement them, along with timely technical advice on providing a better end-product to my clients.

There are some other sites that are free that offer something similar, but it’s great to know the advice being given is being used and is battle tested (perhaps after going through several changes over the years) and accumulated over decades in the field by the writers.

Many Thanks!

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SURVEY: Tax Accountants Alarmed by TCJA & Shutdown

Join the survey. Get the results.

Busy Season Barometer launches for the 16th year.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Tax practitioners of all stripes across are expressing fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the run-up to Busy Season 2019, according to preliminary results to the annual CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer.

The tracking poll, now in its 16th year, takes a daily measure of the challenges, opportunities and winning strategies of the new tax season.

"With the unknown effect of the Federal government shutdown on the IRS and some of the new provisions of the Tax Cut and Job Act," says one tax accountant, "we are anticipating more issues this year than in prior years. My guess is we will be extending a lot more business and personal income tax returns."


Join the survey. Get the results.

"Many new clients, including monthly clients, and TCJA is adding revenue. However I remain very concerned about workflow given the new complications," says another.

"We’re really beefing up on the new tax law, so we’re slightly ahead," says a third. "But the government shutdown will definitely have a drag in the busy season."

CPA Wealth Advisor Survey

Early results show double-digit growth.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The Financial Awareness Foundation has teamed up with HB Publishing & Marketing Company, LLC and other financial associations to gauge the sentiment of independent financial planning and wealth advisory firms after the first two years of the Trump Presidency.

Here's the link:

Early results show more CPA wealth advisors are expecting double-digit growth in 2019—despite a  higher percentage expecting further market corrections and possible recession.

Trump tariffs (and retaliation) policies are now the No. 1 thing keeping advisors up at night.

We sincerely appreciate your participation in this confidential survey. Your results will arrive within 2 weeks of completing this survey. Rest assured that your responses will be kept in strictest confidence and final results will be published on an anonymous aggregate basis only.

Thanks again for your participation. Later in 2019, findings will be presented at the Accounting & Finance Show-NYC and in various national financial media outlets.

Breakfast with CPA Trendlines Authors

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 Dec. 6, New York: "Bracing Yourself for 2019, What You Need To Know"

CPA Trendlines authors Becky Livingston, Hitendra Patil, and Ed Mendlowitz will be peering into the new year and beyond when they headline a panel organized by the Accountants Club of America, Dec. 6, at the Penn Club in New York, starting at 8 a.m.

Register today  |  Learn more

Early-bird pricing ends Nov. 30.

The panel, "Bracing Yourself for 2019, What You Need To Know," will be moderated by Michael Cohn, Editor-In-Chief, Accounting Today. The Penn Club of New York is located at 30 West 44th Street (between 5th Avenue and Avenue of the Americas).


Busy Season Prep: 12 Essential Checklists

More than 50 items to get off to a good start.

CPA Trendlines Research

Planning for tax season is an important step in both optimizing profits and managing the professional liability risk associated with providing tax services,. Pre-tax season training of personnel and proactive review of administrative procedures will improve efficiency through April 15th and beyond. 

Part 1. What to do now… before the big rush

  • 4 ways to help clients prepare
  • 5 steps to review e-file requirements and processes
  • 4 ways to update engagement letter processes
  • 3 must-do’s to review client acceptance and continuance procedures
  • 8 steps to prepare the firm for tax season
  • 5 ways to help staff prepare for tax season

Part 2. What to do during busy season

  • 11 items to cover in a pre-tax season staff meeting
  • 15 things to include in a control log
  • 4 things to remember when testing tax software
  • 8 things every tax preparer should do for each client
  • 4 ways to better plan for deadlines
  • 2 keys to survival


The Radical CPA Teams with Botkeeper

VC-backed start-up targets accounting firms for growth.

Jody Padar, CPA, MST, principal of New Vision CPA Group and author of "From Success to Significance: The Radical CPA Guide" is partnering with Enrico Palmerino and the team at Botkeeper, a new-age bookkeeping solution enabling accounting firms to expand and modernize their businesses.

The partnership was unveiled at the three-day QuickBooks Connect event in San Jose, CA. Padar presented on Accountants Day during a breakout session entitled “A New Business Model for CPA Firms: How to Bill $1M per FTE.” Shortly after, the new partners hosted a joint event titled “Getting Radical with Botkeeper” which was streamed via Facebook Live.


Key Considerations for a Successful Merger [Webinar]

A Tale of Two Firms.

Schumacher & Yamamoto and Williams MacNamara & Cappelletti were considering a merger. Synergies existed between the two firms - and a few red flags. Do they have enough information to make a smart decision?

Join CPA Trendlines expert contributor Jean Caragher and special guest Kevin Waits of Talent Won't Wait for a complimentary 45-minute webinar appropriate for firms of all sizes:

Beyond the Dollars and Cents:
Key Considerations for a Successful Merger/Acquisition
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
2:00-2:45 p.m. Eastern
Register Here   |  Learn More

Attend and you will learn:

  • The Top 3 reasons why mergers fail - and what you can do about it
  • How to identify issues and challenges pre-merger that will contribute to your success post-merger
  • About common pitfalls of merger integration
  • About insights on winning cultures

The conventional approach to M&A is relatively narrow and looks primarily at legal, financial, and tax risk – and not at the more dynamic concepts of people and organizational design that enable a business to properly function. It is equally important to assess the cultural and organizational fit between two firms and their key people.

Did Schumacher & Yamamoto and Williams MacNamara & Cappelletti merge - or not? If mergers and acquisitions are part of your growth strategy - or will be in the future - attend our webinar for the answer and gain practical ideas and strategies you can consider for your firm.

SURVEY: Three Reasons To Be Bullish on CPA Firms

Photo Copyright 2016 R. Telberg

New practice management study reveals four strategies to maximize your profits.

By Charles Hylan, CPA
Rosenberg Survey


Charles Hylan is one of the authors of the Rosenberg Survey report and a shareholder in The Growth Partnership, a business development training and consulting firm for CPA practices, which fields the survey.

What an exciting time to be working in the accounting profession!

Why do I say this? Three reasons:

  1. The shift from compliance to advisory work.
  2. Unlimited career paths.
  3. Record levels of profitability

Our profession would be better off if younger staff and managers knew what a lucrative career they could have in the industry. I’m not suggesting that partners share tax returns or W2s and K1s. However, education around practice management topics would enable the profession’s future leaders to understand the “business” side of the profession, the entrepreneurial opportunities, and the economic upside.

Let's run the numbers...


CLIENT INSIGHT: Small Businesses Sell for Highest Prices on Record

Tariffs and Elections Take Center Stage as Market Aims to Continue Record Pace.

A new report obtained by CPA Trendlines reveals record highs in small business financials, allowing sellers to ask and receive more money than ever recorded.

Sale prices of businesses sold in the third quarter of 2018 reached new highs, according to the BizBuySell Third Quarter 2018 Insight Report. The record sale prices are directly related to stronger business financials which also hit new levels in Q3.

With buyers able to offset increasing prices by acquiring healthier businesses, the result is a well-balanced market.

Full results are included below, with statistics from business-for-sale transactions reported by participating business brokers nationwide.


The Do’s and Don’ts for a Happy Accounting Office

The knack of feedback doesn't always come naturally.

By Rick Telberg

If the finance and accounting people in your office work together like a well-oiled machine, then consider yourself lucky.

Let me suggest you take them all out to lunch and raise a toast to their attitudes ... Because without their skills and goodwill, you are no longer working in a firm or company. You are a solo practitioner.

Even if you're not working in a traditional command-and-control hierarchical organization, you are, in the end, a professional. And you work with fellow professionals. Understanding how to trade feedback honestly, openly and without rancor is an essential ingredient to your successful work life.

Personnel who fall short on skills can usually be brought up to speed. All it takes is a little coaching and training.

But personnel who fall short on attitude are a big problem. You need to talk with them, and you need to do it the right way. While a few words might suffice for the wise, you need carefully chosen words for the attitudinally challenged.


Don’t Blame Technology

Source: Sage

Accountant and client expectations are driving today's changes. Technology is only the enabler.


By Jennifer Warawa
Executive Vice President - Partners, Accountants & Alliances at Sage

The world is changing -- that’s no surprise, especially to accountants. Conventional wisdom will tell you it’s new tech adoption that’s changing our field, increasing competition and altering the way we do our jobs. But is that what’s really happening? Not necessarily.

Accountants today are feeling more pressure than ever to stay competitive. At the same time -- accountants are expanding far past their traditional roles -- becoming more holistic business advisors to their clients and strategic partners with an ever-increasing list of demands on their time.