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.

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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.

READ MORE →

Effective Communications in the Age of COVID

Misunderstandings and shortcuts in the workplace can create a hostile and stressful environment.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

With more people using mobile devices for communication shortcuts, are we facing troublesome challenges in speaking in a recognizable language in the U.S.?

MORE: Why Proper Communication Is Critical | Syncing Up for the COVID Era | The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared? | How to Create Effective Internal Communications | Profit Is Not a Mission | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive?
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While it may be convenient for some, for others it leaves them scratching their heads. I am not seeking to be a public scold. However, if you want your communication to be effective, then understand your audience, situation, and topic.

This is especially relevant with teams working virtually, and at a distance, in the Age of COVID.
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Why So Many M&As Fall Short

Three office workers glaring at cameraPLUS: The 3 prongs of culture and why they matter.

By Domenick J. Esposito
8 Steps to Great

Principally because of the “post COVID-19 blues” and anticipated difficulty in growing organically at an acceptable rate and because of the ever-increasing number of baby boomer retirements, there is a sense that small and mid-sized firms will continue to merge at a healthy pace.

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To illustrate, in just the past few weeks, we learned that Anders CPAs + Advisors picked up Cummings, Ristau & Associates (both of St. Louis), Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball Chtd (Great Bend, Kansas) added Jonesboro, Arkansas office of EGP PLLC and Hancock Askew & Co. (Georgia and Flordia) acquired CAPA (Miami). These are noteworthy transactions and we believe that there are more to come.
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Say Hello to the New 24-Month Busy Season

Deann Auman Hill and Mike Shost at AICPA Engage: “The 24-Month Tax Season?”

COVID chaos turns Busy Season 2020 from bad to worse.

BUSY SEASON BAROMETER:
How accountants are battling the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Last year—the good old days!—Busy Season seemed to be about as bad as it could get. Congress enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act without explaining how it was to be enacted, and then changed some things. And then the IRS shut down before the rules could be set and the new forms and schedules made available. And all of a sudden it was April 15.

MORE on the 2020 SEASON: The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | Tax Pro E-Filings Down 20 Percent | IRS Web Traffic Doubles over Year-Ago | COVID Drowns IRS in New Filings | 2020 Tax Season Comes to a Screeching Halt | The Tax Season 2020 Dumpster Fire | Tax Pros Fall Behind 6.2% in Returns Filed
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Tax practitioners had little good to say about 2019. According to last year’s CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer, 46 percent said 2019 was worse than the previous year. Only 13 percent thought it was “much better.”

That was then.

This is now. And, now is worse.

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Don’t Let Exiting Partners Double Dip

Senior businesswoman in officeWhy pay if the firm doesn’t get the clients?

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

Here’s a question that frequently arises in my consulting engagements: What are your thoughts on partners wanting to work for the firm in a non-partner role after they retire, who continue to control “their” clients while receiving deferred compensation and a salary for their work?

MORE: The 13 Signs You Have a Partner Problem | COVID-19, Adversity and Innovation | Is Mandatory Retirement a Best Practice? | Merging in Sellers: What You Need to Know | Take Yoda’s Advice on Strategic Planning | 15 Amazing Organizational Tactics to Manage a CPA Firm | How to Develop a Truly Progressive NextGen Culture
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The answer is rooted in the maxim: “No transition … no goodwill.” This means that retired partners should not have the inalienable right to deferred comp without actively and effectively transitioning their clients. If they don’t transition, then the remaining partners, at their sole discretion, should be able to reduce the deferred comp payments.
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Why We Risk Change

Two men training in tae kwon do at gymFrom martial arts to business: 5 steps of evolution.

By Bill Reeb

John, my instructor, teaches us that there is a hierarchy to learning martial arts.

MORE: Work ‘Better,’ Not ‘Harder’ | Why Your To-Do List Isn’t Getting Done | Appreciate the Joy That Comes From Work | Covid Crisis Requires New Mindsets | 3 Early Warning Signals for Overachievers | How Overachievers Can Get ‘Unstuck’
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First you learn techniques, like punching and kicking. As you gain confidence in your technique, you can jump to a higher level and incorporate interval into your self-defense toolkit.
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When Time-Based Pricing Works

Time is money : clock hands on $100 billsWhat is most fair?

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

Back in 1980, I got a pretty large client and quoted a fixed annual fee to start, which would cover the routine regular work.

MORE: The Clients that Got Away | Cross-Selling Beyond Your Comfort Zone | A Test of Concentration | Value Pricing in Uncharted Waters | I Am an Accountant Because of Clients like Stanley | Advising Cheapskates | Getting Bonuses from Clients
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After about three months I was asked to suggest some methods of compensating highly paid managers and to present them at a meeting in two weeks. I put together a memo with a few suggestions. When I showed up for the meeting, there were four other “groups” who were given the same assignment. One was the client’s law firm, one was the personal accountant for the client’s lady friend (who later became his wife), another was an insurance agent and one was an employee benefit plan specialist.
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The Seven Simple Steps to Thrive in the COVID Crisis

https://cpatrendlines.com/2020/07/21/thriving-during-the-covid-19-crisis-and-beyond/Leveraging the relationships you already have. Step 1: Make a list.

By Anthony Glomski and Russ Alan Prince
Your $5 Million High-Net-Worth Practice

The COVID-19 crisis has put a lot of financial pressure on many businesses, including many accounting firms. At the same time, a percentage of professionals, such as accountants, lawyers, and wealth managers, are strategically taking action to deal with the economic pressures.

See also: The Three New Business Models Delivering Significant Profits for Accounting Firms | The 5 Meetings of the (True) Wealth Management Process | Collaborative Wealth Management: Defining the Framework | Protect Your Clients’ Assets | Even Entrepreneurs Must Diversify | When Clients Cash Out: Four Smart Financial Moves |

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The result is that they are doing well as the crisis progresses and are smartly positioned to do exceptionally well as the crisis abates.

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