Non-CPA “CPA” Firms? Really?

What the AICPA and NASBA could learn from other professions.

By Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA.CITP, CGMA

I’ve been watching NASBA and the AICPA communicate the need for a change to the requirements to be CPA. While their rationale may seem to make sense, I’m not sure I agree with their direction  – enabling more non-accountants to be CPAs.

MORE DONNY SHIMAMOTO: What Small and Midsized Firms Can Learn from PwC’s Digital Upskilling | What Big Data Means to Small Firms | Accountants: Unleash Your Secret Superpower | Ready for Non-CPA CPA Firms? | Accounting Services Aren’t What You Think They Are | Learning from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

See complete coronavirus coverage here

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When I think further about the bigger picture of the accounting profession, I believe the accounting profession needs to be more cohesive and inclusive – and perhaps that is the better course to pursue.


Bill Reeb: New Rules for the COVID Era

Steven Sacks explores how the Coronavirus crisis is exposing all the bad habits of bad management.

With Steven Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

CPA firms are ill-prepared for the new era of virtual, work-from-home partners and staff, according to Bill Reeb, a leading CPA firm practice consultant, in this conversation with CPA Trendlines contributor Steven Sacks.

More COVID Conversations:  When COVID ‘Got Real,’ with Gabby Luoma’ The COVID Outlook with Darren Root and Joel Hughes: A Long, Slow Climb back to Recovery | Steven Sacks: COVID Crisis Management | Jean Caragher: How to Fight ‘Fear’ and ‘Insecurity’ | Sarah Dobek: Learning How to Operate in the New Normal | August Aquila: What Comes Next? | Jody Grunden: COVID and Client Communications | Andrew Argue: On a Mission | Martin Bissett: COVID Slams U.K. Accountants, Too | Bill Reeb: Separating the Winners and Losers |

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Management at all levels will need to adapt, Reeb says, requiring new processes and procedures.  But more than anything, it requires new metrics of productivity. And, most of all, new habits.

Or, listen to the podcast:

After a painful, wrenching re-positioning, Reeb says, firms will emerge stronger, more agile, and more profitable than they were before.


When COVID ‘Got Real’

Tax season turns into ‘advisory season,’ and a whole new niche is born.

^ Click to play

By CPA Trendlines Research

Gabrielle Luoma, long one of the profession’s leading innovators, says the future under COVID-19 belongs to the quick and the smart, in this exclusive video interview with CPA Trendlines. Firms will need to deploy new services to attract new clients who may have not realized that they needed a firm like yours but now do.

MORE COVID CONVERSATIONS: The COVID Outlook with Darren Root and Joel Hughes: A Long, Slow Climb back to Recovery | Steven Sacks: COVID Crisis Management | Jean Caragher: How to Fight ‘Fear’ and ‘Insecurity’ | Sarah Dobek: Learning How to Operate in the New Normal | August Aquila: What Comes Next? | Jody Grunden: COVID and Client Communications | Andrew Argue: On a Mission | Martin Bissett: COVID Slams U.K. Accountants, Too | Bill Reeb: Separating the Winners and Losers |

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^ Play or download the podcast version

In this conversation, Luoma talks about what’s going on in the business, what’s going on with tax season, and what the future holds for CPA firms and the clients of CPA firms.

Speaking from her base in Tucson, Ariz., the CEO of MOD Ventures is bringing some of her DNA to regional powerhouse Beach Fleischman through a joint venture.

We started by asking about “when it got real?”

She responds, “We truly are affected by the whole world. We have clients in New York. Things changed for them rather quickly. And when they started changing, we started realizing, ‘Oh, my goodness, we’re going to have to really buckle down.’ In Arizona, we started seeing shutdowns mid-March. That’s when things really got real for us because then we started seeing that the businesses that we work with on a regular basis – we’re outsourced accounting, so we work with clients weekly, – we knew that we could be in trouble. We started working really hard on transitioning, and seeing what we needed to do to help our clients quickly.”

For PRO Members-Only: Get the transcript:

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The COVID Outlook: A Long, Slow Climb back to Recovery

Why Right Networks’ acquisition of RootWorks may be just what the doctor ordered

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With Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

The accounting world shifted a little with the acquisition by Right Networks, a cloud-hosting vendor, of RootWorks, a technology platform provider to CPA firms.

Though conceived before the pandemic, the deal was closed as the first wave of Coronavirus was crashing against the shores of the U.S. And it may be a sign of the times under pandemic conditions, as accountants — and, indeed, business in general — race for new technology solutions and business models.

See: Right Networks Acquires Rootworks

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In this exclusive interview with CPA Trendlines, Right Networks CEO Joel Hughes and Rootworks founder Darren Root, explain the reasons for the deal, and their forecast for the future under COVID. Warning: Their forecast for the future under COVID is not pretty.

But the combination of the two companies may augur hold clues to the future of the profession.


Here’s the full transcript, only lightly edited:


Prepping for Post-Crisis Opportunities
Free Video Learning: Get ready today for the rebound to come with these top ten practice management video courses.
In partnership with CPA Trendlines, The Succession Institute is offering free access to their top ten video training programs to help firms prepare for the New Normal. Offer expires June 30. Use the password “free”for each video and get all the details here.

COVID Tests Accountants’ Entrepreneurial Talents

Young black woman sitting in front of laptop looking thoughtfulThree questions to re-set your mindset.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide

Accountants and tax practitioners are entrepreneurs. Maybe now, more than ever.

MORE: Have You Gotten Where You Wanted Yet? | 3 Questions for Determining Your Value | 41 Items to Check on Business Tax Returns | Keep These Tax Clients While You Have the Chance | What Makes a Good Tax Season Client?
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This means their practice needs to be run as a business with sound business decisions being made.


In These Turbulent Times, Leaders Must Lead!

cpatrendlines.comSix things you needed to start doing yesterday.

By Allan Koltin

In the face of this unprecedented global pandemic, Leaders must Lead! We need to fill our days with talking to our people, clients, and our families and engaging them in the reality of the situation while at the same time stressing the positive things going on.

RELATED: All CPA Trendlines Special Coronavirus Coverage

I was on a call this morning with a client and I was sharing how wonderful it was to have all three kids back home (they would have been studying abroad, at college, or going to high school) and how nice it was to have family dinners together again. I was also sharing the positives with the kids that their grandparents were healthy, safe, and getting calls from so many family members and how important this was to them. As I was walking the dogs this morning it occurred to me that I heard birds chirping and that I had been “so busy being busy” for the past four decades that beautiful sounds like this or the smell of the morning air were never on my mind. At a deeper level, and to equate it to a sporting event, I feel like the proverbial “scoreboard” has malfunctioned and there is now a new way to keep score, and it is becoming the new normal.