Yes, Accountants Can Perform Conflict Resolution

Smiling woman across the table from a couple Think of it as a different form of reconciliation.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

This service puts the accountant in the role of a mediator attempting to resolve conflicts.

MORE ON MARKETING: How to Offer Second Opinions | Offering Elder Care Assurance Services | 9 Questions to Ask About Divorce and Taxes | Guiding Clients in Investment Allocation and Management | How and Why to Offer Estate Planning | Why CPAs Are Suited to Financial Planning
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The accountant also serves as a facilitator to move things along to accomplish stated goals regarding financial issues.
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How to Offer Second Opinions

Two people sitting across from each other at a deskIt's an old service under a new consultant label.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

Second opinions are just that – an outside look at a client’s business or personal situation.

MORE ON MARKETING: Offering Elder Care Assurance Services | How to Counsel on Retirement Planning | Investment Clubs and How to Counsel Them | Offering Second Marriage Assistance | What You Need to Start a Financial Planning Discussion | Tax Projections: How and Why
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We used to call them second opinions and promoted them as such. We no longer do that, but offer this as a separate and distinct service or product such as we do for performance measurement services. We feel that the difference is how the service is marketed, not how it is performed for the client.
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Offering Elder Care Assurance Services

Caregiver with senior woman in wheelchair outdoorsYou already have the skills.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

There are two distinct types of elder care assurance services.

MORE ON MARKETING: How to Counsel on Retirement Planning | How to Offer Employment Compensation Assistance | Basic Budgeting for Clients | Guiding Heirs | 11 Questions to Ask Every Tax Client | Add New Revenues with Tax Prep Follow-ups | Marketing vs. Selling: Both Must Serve the Client First
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One service is the complete financial care and oversight of elderly clients. These could be relatives of the people retaining us, or the elderly person themselves. The other service is consulting on the financial planning and tax needs of the elderly person.
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How to Counsel on Retirement Planning

Man with briefcase climbing up ladder to top of giant piggy bankGot clients over 50? Get them talking.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

This is a specific financial planning service that helps clients plan for their retirement. This involves calculating how much a client will have to retire on and how much he or she will need.

MORE ON MARKETING: How to Offer Employment Compensation Assistance | 9 Questions to Ask About Divorce and Taxes | Guiding Clients in Investment Allocation and Management | How and Why to Offer Estate Planning | Why CPAs Are Suited to Financial Planning | How to Suggest More Services | Adopt a Marketing Mindset
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This work can take place one to two years before the expected retirement, or 15 to 20 years earlier. It depends on the client. You may also find yourself doing some quick calculations for a client in his or her early 50s who is being offered early retirement. Whatever the case, it is a matter of paramount importance to the client, and must be treated by the accountant as such.
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How to Offer Employment Compensation Assistance

older man and younger man in meetingYou might find yourself negotiating a contract.

By Ed Mendlowitz
How to Build a Stronger Tax Practice

This service includes employment contract negotiations and executive compensation review and planning.

MORE ON MARKETING: 9 Questions to Ask About Divorce and Taxes | Investment Clubs and How to Counsel Them | Offering Second Marriage Assistance | What You Need to Start a Financial Planning Discussion | Tax Projections: How and Why | How to Raise Client Awareness of Services
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Who needs this service

Every client employed by a mid- to large-size company or a public company will need some sort of employment compensation assistance.
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9 Questions to Ask About Divorce and Taxes

Three paper hearts: one whole, one crumpled, one tornHow to guide your client through the settlement.

By Ed Mendlowitz
How to Build a Stronger Tax Practice

Divorce settlement planning attempts to help clients realize the reality of the financial situation and to suggest ways to settling the financial arrangements before extensive, expensive and drawn-out negotiations, depositions and litigation.

MORE ON MARKETING: Investment Clubs and How to Counsel Them | Basic Budgeting for Clients | Guiding Heirs | 11 Questions to Ask Every Tax Client | Add New Revenues with Tax Prep Follow-ups | Marketing vs. Selling: Both Must Serve the Client First | Adopt a Marketing Mindset
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Who needs this service

Divorce today has become commonplace. With 50 percent of first-time marriages ending in divorce it is a good bet that many of your clients are either in the process of getting divorced or considering it. A simple inquiry can tell you where the client is in the process. READ MORE →

Investment Clubs and How to Counsel Them

Hands raising wine glasses to toastConsider the contacts you're making.

By Ed Mendlowitz
How to Build a Stronger Tax Practice

Investment clubs are a social activity where people of similar backgrounds or interests

  • get together,
  • contribute funds in a periodic manner and
  • research and discuss suitable investments for the group.

MORE ON MARKETING: Basic Budgeting for Clients | Guiding Clients in Investment Allocation and Management | How and Why to Offer Estate Planning | Why CPAs Are Suited to Financial Planning | How to Suggest More Services
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Investment clubs invest the money collectively and maintain a single brokerage account with separate records kept within the club.
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Basic Budgeting for Clients

Couple meeting with investment advisor.It may be time for a reality check.          

By Ed Mendlowitz
How to Build a Stronger Tax Practice

Assisting clients who need help with their spending is a valuable service.

MORE ON MARKETING: Guiding Clients in Investment Allocation and Management | Offering Second Marriage Assistance | What You Need to Start a Financial Planning Discussion | Tax Projections: How and Why | How to Raise Client Awareness of Services
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Clients indicating they are high in debt and particularly credit card debt need help. Following are some worksheets you can use to assist clients.
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How Many Hours Should Accounting Staff Work?

It depends. But you knew that.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: How many hours a year do you recommend staff working?

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Get Staff to Take Ownership of Work | The 44-Point Staff Performance Evaluation Checklist | How to Choose the Right CPE | Checklist for Running a Practice | Why More Firms Are Trashing Timesheets | How Much Overhead Is Too Much? | There’s More to Growth than Marketing | How to Make Staff a Team Again
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ANSWER: It depends...
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Guiding Clients in Investment Allocation and Management

Piggy bank with word "investment"You may not have the expertise, but you likely know someone who does.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

Investment allocation construction is a valuable service that helps a client get a perspective on their investments, their projected assets, the current and prospective cash flow from the investments and measures this against the client’s individual risk tolerance and broad long-range goals.

MORE ON MARKETING: Offering Second Marriage Assistance | What You Need to Start a Financial Planning Discussion | Tax Projections: How and Why | How to Raise Client Awareness of Services
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Many times the client has to be “taught” basic investment principles, techniques and vehicles and have these related to what might be best for the client. Then a portfolio model has to be constructed that will provide the right degree of risk with the feelings of security the client needs.
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Is This a Rut?

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AWhat about five years from now?

QUESTION: My practice seems to be in a rut.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Taking Over Poorly Done Work | When Staff Won’t Use Checklists | How Can We Keep New Staff Longer? | Rule #1 for How to Get Everything Done | Too Much Paper, Too Many Drives | Why Credentials Are Worthwhile | How to Sell Your Practice | Why Your Clients Need Annual Minutes – And How You Can Help | When Partners Stop Growing | Clear Billing Procedures Make Collecting Easier
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We are not growing, our services haven’t changed and our client turnover is almost nonexistent.  Any suggestions of what we can do?
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