Remote Work Success Helps Solve Staffing Shortages

Businesswoman relaxing in the office with bare feet up on her deskTax reform boosted those ready for consulting.

By Carl George

The two most significant changes that I have seen so far are:

  • “COVID has forced us to run our businesses better!” With so much being unknown when COVID first started, many firms developed plans and forecasts under numerous disaster scenarios. Accountability (and in some cases, behavior changes) of each owner was essential and I have seen many firms “pay more attention” to running the business. I believe these changes will become permanent.
  • “We became more comfortable with our technology capabilities and it saved us!”

MORE: COVID-19 Shakes Up M&A Activity | We’re in the Fast Lane… Can Your Partners Keep Up? | SURVEY: 2020’s Disruptions Are Only the Beginning | COVID Brought Us More and Better Client Communication
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The most significant change we will see long-term will be a significant portion of a firm’s practice will be accomplished by a permanent remote work force – at least 25 percent. We have seen that it works, we will continue to refine the model, and firms will be more efficient and profitable once the final model is in place.
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2020 Outlook: Balance Advisory and Compliance

3 solid strategies.

By Carl George

Tax reform – opportunity or burden?

MORE: 2020 Outlook: Talent Shortage Drags On | Demand Is High | Business Development Goes Borderless | Data Import on the Rise | Becoming the Most Valuable Advisor | Top Three Tips for 2020 Success | Where Do You Want to Be? | Dicey Disruptions | Upstream Mergers | Staffing Gets Creative
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The prevalent theme throughout the 2019 tax opportunity season was “…the hardest tax season that I have ever encountered!” System issues. Cyber issues. Tax reform. Changing/last-minute regs.
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2019: Three New Trends to Watch

After profitable years, here’s where to invest.

By Carl George
The Rosenberg Survey: National Study of CPA Firm Statistics

For the most part, it was a very successful year. Profitability improved enough that allowed partners and employees to share in the increases, and ample allocations were made for investments, primarily in personnel benefits and technology. Growth in net fees ranged generally from 5-9 percent, so many firms are experiencing top- and bottom-line growth.

MORE FROM THE MAP SURVEY: 2019: Why Small Firms Shun Mergers | 2019: Using M&A to Launch Consulting | 2019 Trends: Client Service Changes | Staff Policies Improve, But Not Mentoring
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There are three trends developing that will benefit firms for many years to come:

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Leadership Taking Different Forms

Businessmen carving numbers into stone wall and tending fire, asking "Didn't we used to be on the cutting egde?" while looking across gully at caveman working on computer“An effective MP 15-20 years ago does not necessarily spell success today.”

By Carl George
Rosenberg MAP Survey

Looking back to 2016 and onward, I see some very positive trends with the dynamic CPA firms, as they position to continue their firm legacies.

MORE FROM THE MAP SURVEY: Staffing and Succession Still Rocking Firms | Tech Advances Will Lead to Dichotomy | Be a Consultant or Be Left Behind | Survey: Many Firms in Transition
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First, our next wave of leadership in the profession is incredibly impressive. I have complete faith in our current and future Gen X and millennial leaders. They are assuming their positions with the energy and drive that is essential to achieve new levels of firm success. Most importantly, they want to drive change when change is needed.
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Many Firms Have Already Lost the Battle with Succession

Older businessman sitting at desk smiling as wall clock indicates 5 minutes to retirementDoomed by outdated retirement formulas.

By Carl George
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

Firms are continuing to struggle with succession of the partner group exiting the profession.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Recruiting and Retention Are Challenges | Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages | Cybersecurity Grows in Importance | Don’t Just Win Work, Figure Out Why | Mergers Keep Racing Forward  | MAP Survey Top 10 Findings
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While I would hope these issues are being resolved, I really wonder if it’s not too late for many.
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Strategic Plans Undermined by Out-of-Control Partners

2016-ROUNDTABLE-OUTLOOK-FOR-ROSENBERG-MAP-COMMENTARY-VF-240x219Too many firms are waiting to make plans.

They say “past results are no indication of future performance.” Maybe. Maybe not. But if anyone should know, it’s our panel of experts, their comments are drawn from the new edition of The Rosenberg MAP Survey. In this installment, the former CEO of Clifton Gunderson says too many firms are falling short of their own goals because of mis-managed partner teams. He doesn’t exactly blame it on greed. But we can. – Rick Telberg, CPA Trendlines CEO

By Carl George
Carl George Advisory

Lessons from 2015:

Succession remains an issue as the Baby Boomers are leaving the profession. I see many firms that have waited too long for succession planning, and, of course, the owners have aged. I call it the “clip the coupon for one more year syndrome”! The problem arises when that one year becomes three years, five years and longer.

More on the  2016 Outlook & Forecast: Growth, Succession Plans Critical for Firms | CPA Firm Growth Rates Hit a Wall  |  The Five Treacherous Factors Hobbling Today’s CPA Firm  |  Sam Allred: Change Agents Needed  |  Allan Koltin on Talent Wars Go from White Gloves to Boxing Gloves  |  Get the full report: The Rosenberg Map Survey

Without the next tier of leadership and ownership, some firms become very vulnerable, and they have to look at alternatives like merging up. Firms in this position oftentimes see the firm value declining as “buyer” firms may view them as high-risk firms.

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