2017: Old Challenges, New Opportunities

The five issues that will determine success or failure for firms

Business hand holding hot chart in crystal ballBy Bill Carlino
Transition Advisors

The landscape for public accounting in 2017 and beyond can be distilled into two categories: challenges and opportunities.

And how CPA firms engage both will, for the large part, determine their viability and even existence in the ensuing years.

The truth is that you simply can’t operate a CPA firm in 2017 like you did in 1980 and hope to be successful. It’s still astonishing how many firms remain stubbornly entrenched in antiquated business models developed by the Baby Boomers and even generations before.

The good news for the profession is that the recession of 2008 appears to be safely in the rear view mirror in terms of impacting CPA firm growth. Growth for the Top 100 firms topped over 9 percent according to the most recent statistics available, while firms $2 million and under registered growth of more than 8 percent.

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Bill Carlino

Bill Carlino

About the Author

Bill Carlino is managing director of national consulting services at Transition Advisors LLC, a full-service consulting firm dedicated to ownership transition and succession strategies for CPA firms. 

Carlino joined Transition Advisors as Managing Director of National Consulting Services after serving for nearly 12 years as editor-in-chief and editorial director of Accounting Today and AccountingToday.com, where he was responsible for all content both in print and online. During his tenure as editor, Accounting Today won a number of financial journalism awards and was a two-time finalist for the Jesse R. Neal Award, the premier accolade among business-to-business publications. He has been a frequent industry speaker, presenter, and panel moderator and has appeared as an expert commentator on such business channels as CNBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, CNN as well as National Public Radio. Prior to assuming the editor’s post at Accounting Today, he spent 12 years covering the restaurant industry as managing editor of Nation’s Restaurant News, and two years as a sports and news correspondent at Gannett newspapers in New York.

He can be reached at wcarlino@transitionadvisors.com or (914) 273-4327.


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