Are You Marketing for 2022 Yet?

It’s not too early to plan for next season.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide

Marketing takes many forms. Further, many accountants are not trained in marketing. I also know that while most CPAs want more business, they are too busy with what they have to be actively seeking new business. Additionally, marketing can be external, internal or retentive.

MORE: Don’t Fire That Staffer on May 18! | What To Do with a Lousy Client? | But I AM Managing! | How to Run a Practice in 90 Pages | How Improv Can Help Accountants | Four Tips for New Partners | An Alternative to Pro Bono | 14 Better Uses for Timesheet Data
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External is where new clients are solicited. That takes effort, ingenuity, time and maybe even some money.
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Wealth Is a State of Mind

Businessman holding two papers with happy and angry face each on themTwo clients, one rich and one poor.

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

Some time ago I had breakfast with a client who was not able to make ends meet but was fortunate to have his brother-in-law send him monthly checks so he and his wife could get by without any pressure.

MORE: One Hour a Year Since 1972 | Finding New Business in Sustainability | 14 Simple, Easy Tips for a Better Tax Season | How to Recoup Staff Training Costs | 10 Ways to Stay in Control | Advice to New Accountants | Clients Don’t Lose Sleep for Overpaying Taxes | When Time-Based Pricing Works
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I had a very pleasant time talking with him and he was a truly happy and content man. It was a pleasure to be with him.
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Don’t Fire That Staffer on May 18!

Midsection of businessman moving out with cardboard box from officeFour reasons not to let people go after tax season.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I am planning on letting go of some staff after tax season and will hire replacements at a higher level. Any suggestions?

MORE: What To Do with a Lousy Client? | Stop Drowning in Client Documents | Make More Money Starting Now | The Wrong Way to Look for Staff | Strategic Planning for the Small Firm | Before You Sell Your Practice | Work the Client Needs … But Won’t Pay For
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ANSWER: 1) Your implication is that you will hire replacements at a higher level.
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One Hour a Year Since 1972

Digital visualization of a blue alarm clock“I love it when clients’ children call me.”

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

One day I met with a client for one hour to get his tax information. This is a client I have had since 1972.

MORE: Finding New Business in Sustainability | The Six Types of “Impossible” Clients | You’re Not JUST Taxes | Granting Unconventional Request Pays Off | 20 Best Practices for Staff Training and Retention
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At this point his tax return is much less complicated and he could easily mail in his info, but then we would forgo the meeting. We met when his lawyer introduced me to help negotiate his divorce. I got it done and in a way that he and his soon to be ex-wife did not fight and remained friends (to this day!). Because of this I will never lose this client. We are truly in a great profession!
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What To Do with a Lousy Client?

Young businessman staring at laptop computer in officeExamine how you’re managing the relationship.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I have a client that is a not-for-profit and they are having a dinner and expect me to attend as well as take an ad.

MORE: Stop Drowning in Client Documents | Employee Demands a Raise She Doesn’t Deserve | How Are You Spending the Next Five Years? | How to Get the Most from CPE | Does Your Staff Know All the Services You Provide? | Price Your Practice by Gross | Advising Estate Executors: The Newbie Guide to Getting Started | How’s Your Overhead?
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However, they are a lousy client. They do not give us the requested information until the last minute and then complain we are always late with our report. They pay us months after the bill is sent and then only after quite a few phone calls, and then they complain about the fee being too high when it is half of our time charges – they are on a fixed fee and don’t let us raise it each year. And now they expect a “contribution.” What should I do?
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Finding New Business in Sustainability

Green "opportunity" highway sign with sunrise backgroundWhy now is the time to invest in corporate sustainability and social responsibility reporting.

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

My columns are autobiographical and some tell about things that happened decades ago – although they’re still relevant – and hopefully, there are takeaways you can benefit from.

MORE: The Six Types of “Impossible” Clients | 50 Ways to Make More Money in Busy Season | 20 Good Ways to Boost Tax Season Production | Why Annual Staff Evaluations Fall Short | Why Create an Accounting Firm Business Model? | The Clients that Keep You Awake at Night | Creating a Cross-Selling Culture | Cross-Selling Beyond Your Comfort Zone
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This one is about something just starting to happen and presents an opportunity for you to get in on the ground floor of what could become a hot area for additional revenues. The overall topic has various names, two of which are sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
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50 Ways to Make More Money in Busy Season

Checklist: Leverage tax season to increase income, productivity, and profits.

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

Tax season creates many opportunities for an accounting firm. One main reason is the compression of sometimes an almost unbearable amount of work into a short period with tight deadlines.

MORE: 14 Simple, Easy Tips for a Better Tax Season | You’re Not JUST Taxes | Granting Unconventional Request Pays Off | 20 Best Practices for Staff Training and Retention | What Does the Client Want to See? | 6 Ways to Increase Your Fees … If You Dare | The Clients that Got Away | Upselling Made Painless | Boosting a Fixed Fee Substantially
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But it also creates opportunities to benefit immediately from small changes in your system or in a reaction to your awareness. An on-the-spot investment in making the extra effort or change will pay dividends many times over the rest of tax season and thereafter.

Here are 50 ways to make more money. For the ones that are obvious – do it! For the not-so-evident, try it!
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The Six Types of “Impossible” Clients

Not that there aren’t others.

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

As a CPA, I deal with many types of clients’ personalities. If I chose only one type, I would not have had much of a practice. And I doubt I would have found that one perfect type too many times. I have been very fortunate to have really nice and very smart people as clients.

MORE: 50 Ways to Make More Money in Busy Season | 14 Simple, Easy Tips for a Better Tax Season | How to Recoup Staff Training Costs | 10 Ways to Stay in Control | Advice to New Accountants | Clients Don’t Lose Sleep for Overpaying Taxes | When Time-Based Pricing Works
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I believe entrepreneurs are the most stimulating people to work with. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have peculiarities and that this sometimes makes them difficult to deal with – sometimes, but fortunately not most of the time.

Here are six examples of types I had to put up with and had to learn to overlook some of the unfortunate traits.
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Stop Drowning in Client Documents

Pile of documents on desk stack up high waiting to be managed.A better way to keep track.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: We are in an era of paperless procedures and files, but many times clients send in paper documents, CDs or stick drives, besides emailing their information or using our portal.

MORE: Employee Demands a Raise She Doesn’t Deserve | But I AM Managing! | How to Run a Practice in 90 Pages | How Improv Can Help Accountants | Four Tips for New Partners | An Alternative to Pro Bono | 14 Better Uses for Timesheet Data | 9 Must-Haves for Firm Growth
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How can this be handled? We seem to always be tripping on the information.
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