Kennedy’s Acceptance Speech

John and Jackie Kennedy in car in Dallas
by Walt Cisco, Dallas Morning News (public domain), via Wikimedia Commons

Selling by swaying.

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

This is not about JFK.

MORE: Make Obsessed Leadership Work for You | Roger Is My Only Client | Blown Loan Covenants and How to Recover from Them | Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | Perception Becomes Reality
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When he was nominated at the 1960 Democratic Convention, his acceptance speech was preceded with an introduction by Chester Bowes narrating a film about Kennedy’s life and achievements.
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Be a Sounding Board to Your Clients

Are you ready to make lemonade?

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

Entrepreneurs are the brightest most focused and determined people I know. But it is also lonely for many of them.

MORE: Clients Buy Solutions, Not Hours | What Consulting Is | Mendlowitz: Why My Firm Merged with WS+B | A Long Time Ago, at a CPA Firm Far, Far Away … | When Discounts Don’t Work | Call Me Before You Do Anything
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There are few people they can trust, and sometimes they just need a sounding board of someone who won’t pass judgment but might point out inconsistencies or illogical conclusions. That is a role for CPAs, and sometimes great things come out of it.
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Clients Buy Solutions, Not Hours

Hand building word "solution" with letter blocksAre you providing the value they expect?

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

Pricing, billing and collecting fees for services are how accountants earn their livings.

MORE: What Consulting Is | Make Obsessed Leadership Work for You | Client Checklist: Top 10 Issues for Real Estate Investors | Working Hard? Or Hardly Working? | It’s Not Always about the Money
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One time, one of my fellow partners at WithumSmith+Brown, Peter Weitsen, billed a client for a lengthy phone call and a followup memo, and the client complained, saying that he did not realize he would have to pay for the work he did.  READ MORE →

What Consulting Is

Businesswoman in a meeting with a male colleague smiling at him as they sit at a table discussing paperwork over coffeeFirst you have to master the basics.

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

There are three broad types of work CPAs do – financial reporting attestation and support, tax compliance and planning, and management advisory or consulting services.

MORE: Make Obsessed Leadership Work for You | Roger Is My Only Client | Blown Loan Covenants and How to Recover from Them | Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | Perception Becomes Reality | The Making of a Consultant
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The consulting part could be described as anything a CPA does that doesn’t fall into the first two categories. Good accountants use all their skills all the time, but consulting could be said to be actually applying all their skills to a specific problem to present possible solutions.
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Make Obsessed Leadership Work for You

Serious-looking businessman in front of empty conference roomThen spread it to your clients.

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

I spend a lot of time with clients and I believe I have identified the one quality that most of my successful clients have – it is obsession.

MORE: Roger Is My Only Client | Mendlowitz: Why My Firm Merged with WS+B | A Long Time Ago, at a CPA Firm Far, Far Away … | When Discounts Don’t Work | Call Me Before You Do Anything
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They have many qualities, but obsession is universal among them.
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Get Paid Faster This Tax Season

STAMP PAID - 3DStart now with the right mindset.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide

Tax season is a business and businesses need to be paid. It is harder to justify prices when providing services rather than products. Products are usually priced before delivery while many times services are priced after delivery, i.e. performance.

Many accountants price returns before they are worked on, usually basing the fee on last year, or a rate schedule. Sending a bill with the return establishes the relationship that you should be paid promptly for the work done.

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Roger Is My Only Client

Man in suit holding crownDo your clients feel important?

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

So are Ralph, Dennis, Judith, Alan, Susan, Fern and Ken. Successful client relationships start when you treat each client as if they were your only client or your best client or most important client.

MORE: Mendlowitz: Why My Firm Merged with WS+B | Client Checklist: Top 10 Issues for Real Estate Investors | Blown Loan Covenants and How to Recover from Them | A Long Time Ago, at a CPA Firm Far, Far Away … | Working Hard? Or Hardly Working? | Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | When Discounts Don’t Work | It’s Not Always about the Money | Perception Becomes Reality | Call Me Before You Do Anything | The Value in Value Consulting | The Making of a Consultant | Learning to Delegate: Slow is Faster | A CPA Looks Back Across the Generations
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Clients know they are not your only client, but they need to be treated as if they were. When you do that, you will have a client for life.
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Mendlowitz: Why My Firm Merged with WS+B

Mendlowitz

Can your firm deliver everything you want to?

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

The last thing on my mind was merging, but it happened.

MORE: Client Checklist: Top 10 Issues for Real Estate Investors | Blown Loan Covenants and How to Recover from Them | Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | Perception Becomes Reality | The Making of a Consultant
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My partners Peter Weitsen and Frank Boutillette and I had previously decided we had to either grow our practice or it would decline – we could not remain where we were. We needed to show growth to retain staff and had to grow to make sure we kept up with the expanding needs of our clients.
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Client Checklist: Top 10 Issues for Real Estate Investors

Explaining the strategies, benefits, and pitfalls.

By Ed Mendlowitz

Real estate is a popular investment, and there are many potential tax benefits to owning it. Want to help your clients get all the tax benefits they could be entitled to? Of course, you do!

So make sure your clients know some of the more popular benefits and pitfalls. The top ten issues to conder are in my real estate tax-benefit checklist below.

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Blown Loan Covenants and How to Recover from Them

business meeting of a woman and two menSometimes a detailed memo can buy you time.

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

One time, one of my clients had a very large equipment term loan from a bank and was in danger of being put out of business because the company had blown an essential loan covenant.

MORE: A Long Time Ago, at a CPA Firm Far, Far Away … | Working Hard? Or Hardly Working? | It’s Not Always about the Money | The Value in Value Consulting | A CPA Looks Back Across the Generations
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A covenant is a condition the lender must meet or the bank has the right to call the loan. Most businesses that borrow cannot pay loans back on demand. Instead, they are paid out of future profits that have hopefully been generated from the added business the loan helped to achieve.
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A Long Time Ago, at a CPA Firm Far, Far Away …

Hourglass on rustic wooden tableMany concerns haven't changed.

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

Many of my stories occurred many years ago – some are from a half century ago – so the question is, are they still relevant and why am I telling them now?

MORE: Working Hard? Or Hardly Working? | Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | Perception Becomes Reality | The Making of a Consultant
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Well, maybe the exact circumstances are archaic, but the lessons and principles are as applicable today as they were when I lived through them.
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Working Hard? Or Hardly Working?

Man working hard at office deskHow to communicate your value to clients. 

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

One summer I worked for my father at one of his large clients. It was a hot July day and I was wearing a suit and tie and there was no air conditioning in the office, just a fan that wasn’t one of the most expensive you could buy.

MORE: Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend | When Discounts Don’t Work | Call Me Before You Do Anything | Learning to Delegate: Slow is Faster
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Across from my desk sat the owner’s father. He just sat there; he did no work. I was working hard and barely looked up, but when I did our eyes met occasionally and he nodded, but that was it.
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Beyond the Numbers: Be a Friend

Green "opportunity" highway sign with sunrise backgroundThe client could have it all, but the accountant had to show him how.

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

Many years ago my boss, Bernard D. Kleinman, had a client who was a creative genius in the advertising industry, and was being courted by many other firms.

MORE: When Discounts Don’t Work | It’s Not Always about the Money | The Value in Value Consulting | A CPA Looks Back Across the Generations
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He liked his job, position, and respect, and he had no desire or thoughts of leaving. But, as a gentleman, he listened to whoever approached him.
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