Advisory Services: Real Commitment or Just Talk?

Overhead view of two businessmen meeting in lobbyHow your answer affects growth.

By Sarah Dobek

The unfolding events of 2020 will continue to be the tailwind of change for the profession.

The most significant and obvious change is the forced adoption of remote/flexible work. So many firms were convinced that remote work just wasn’t feasible. The pandemic has proven otherwise.

MORE: 2021: You’ll Never See ‘Normal’ Again | SURVEY: We Adapted to Remote Work … Now What? | SURVEY: 2020’s Disruptions Are Only the Beginning | COVID Brought Us More and Better Client Communication
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Yes, for some firms, it’s not working well. But on closer inspection, these challenges are actually bringing to light systemic management and operational issues. From today’s vantage point, long- term operational change is inevitable as firms evaluate more permanent work-from-home scenarios in both the long and short term.

COVID: Learning How to Operate in the New Normal

Coronavirus crisis management outlook and analysis.

With Sarah Dobek

We’re out of the crisis stage or the triage mode,” Inovautus founder and president Sarah Dobek tells CPA Trendlines in a video interview.”And we’re moving in to the second phase, which is learning how to operate in what everybody’s calling the new normal.”

MORE COVID CRISIS MANAGEMENT VIDEOS: Jean Caragher: How to Fight COVID-19 ‘Fear’ and ‘Insecurity’ | Jody Grunden: COVID and Client Communications | August Aquila: What Comes After Coronavirus?Andrew Argue Is on a MissionMartin Bissett: COVID Slams U.K. Accountants, Too | Bill Reeb: COVID Crisis Separates the Winners from Losers

Chaos and confusion make client communications “so critical right now for CPA firms,” she says, adding. ” If clients aren’t getting information, they’re absolutely getting information from your competitors.” READ MORE →

NEW & UPDATED! COVID-19 Crisis Toolkit
Click to learn more | Save $50 with code CPATRENDLINES20

Guidance, templates, client letters and emails, phone scripts, conversation starters, best practices for your firm – available through CPA Trendlines.

CPA Trendlines is partnering with Inovautus Consulting, a nationally recognized leader in marketing and business development programs for accounting firms, to offer a new client COVID-19 client communications and practice management toolkit that will be updated continuously for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis.

Save $50 today with discount code CPATRENDLINES20
Click here to learn more

The “FFCRA+ Toolkit” was launched with coverage for the Families First Coronavirus Response and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Acts, and will include coverage of all future crisis-related legislative, regulatory, and business impacts.


Three Ways to Step Up in Uncertain Times

Coronavirus crisis opens new opportunities to serve.

By Sarah Johnson Dobek

In the late hours of March 11, President Trump instructed the Treasury Department to defer tax payments without interest or penalties for certain individuals and businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, commonly known as coronavirus.

See CPA Trendlines Special Coronavirus Crisis Coverage

As many individuals and businesses grapple with the possibility and effects of illness, travel bans, quarantine, and economic distress, accounting professionals have a unique opportunity to step up as proactive advisors.

Here are three ways you can help your firm and help your clients through uncertain times.


Top Three Tips for 2020 Success

As talent wars drive tech strategies.

By Sarah Dobek

Heading into the new year, firms are diversifying their services to strengthen their position in the market and gain the ability to go deeper with clients.

MORE: 2020 Outlook: Where Do You Want to Be? | 2020 Outlook: Dicey Disruptions | 2020 Outlook: Upstream Mergers | 2020 Outlook: Staffing Gets Creative
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The most popular new offerings are wealth management, client accounting services and some version of consulting.

However, the majority of firms are struggling to define and build out their consulting practice. There is still a lot of confusion between consulting and advisory services.

2019: Doing More With Less

Also closely examined: whether clients are the right fit.

By Sarah Dobek
The Rosenberg Survey: National Study of CPA Firm Statistics

It’s all about transition. The transition of leadership feels like it’s peaking at a lot of firms. If firms aren’t on the tail end of a transition, they’re in the middle of it.

MORE FROM THE MAP SURVEY: 2019: The Biggest Tech Changes Yet | Why You Need a Tech Strategy Consultant | 2019: Why Small Firms Shun Mergers | 2019: Expect More Alliances | 2019: Firms Grapple with Change | Staff Policies Improve, But Not Mentoring
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Among these transition opportunities, we’re noticing a few things.

Survey: Many Firms in Transition

Pair of men's black shoes with words "Are you ready?" written above toesAre you walking or just talking?

By Sarah Johnson Dobek
Rosenberg MAP Survey

We saw 2016 as the year of transition for many firms.

MORE FROM THE MAP SURVEY: Technology Playing Center Stage in CPA Profession
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For firms that have been making the changes to grow and adapt to the marketplace, they had a good year. For many other firms that had been doing more talking than doing, we saw them struggle. Growth was down or nonexistent.

6 Tips for Fostering Leadership in Your Organization

Smiling businessman in front of his boss3 each for current and future leaders.

By Sarah Johnson Dobek
Bridging the Gap

Encouraging new leaders and creating smooth transitions are easy goals to identify. Homing in on specific tactics to accomplish these broad objectives can be much more difficult.

MORE: 3 Ways to Keep Your Team Members Connected, Engaged and Energized | Marketing Is Not Just for Partners Anymore | Growing, Developing Future Leaders Is a Two-Way Street | The Culture of Continuous Improvement | A Winning Culture Is an Intentional Culture | A Call for Change: An Open Letter to Each Generation
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This post offers practical suggestions from current leaders at firms that are finding success at developing the leadership capabilities of younger team members.