101 Questions and Answers: Managing an Accounting Practice, Volume 2


By Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, ABV, PFS

With tables, checklists, sample letters, illustrative examples, real-life stories, step-by-step instructions, and appendix.

Foreword by reknowned technology strategist Jim Bourke, CPA.CITP.CFF.CGMA


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Ed Mendlowitz
Ed Mendlowitz


  • How to Get Paid Faster?
  • How Much Should Overhead Be?
  • The Quicker You Bill, the Quicker You’re Paid
  • Quoting a Fixed Price
  • Increasing Fees and Losing Clients
  • Increasing Fixed Annual Fees
  • Value Pricing Bundled Services
  • Value Pricing, Fixed Fee or Time-Based Fee
  • Credit Card Payments
  • Time vs. Value Pricing
  • Average Fee for a Review
  • Abandoning Timesheets
  • Using Information from Timesheets
  • Finding Out What You Don’t Know
  • Taking Notes at CPE Programs
  • Administrative Help
  • Making Meetings More Productive
  • Firm Management Skills for Non-Managing Partners
  • Notifying Clients of a Partner’s Retirement
  • Managing Partner’s Book of Business
  • Staff Evaluations
  • Employee Who Wants a Partnership
  • Letting Staff Go After Tax Season
  • Staff Person Wants a Fancy Title
  • Letter of Reference
  • Longtime Employee Wants Super Big Raise
  • Training Staff Sooner and Quicker
  • Post Tax Season Motivation
  • Managing Multiple Projects
  • Keeping Track of Client Documents
  • Keeping Up to Date with Technology
  • Life Is Better Without This Client
  • Helping a Client Sell Their Business
  • Suggesting Additional Services to Clients
  • Retaining Small Business Clients
  • Prior Accountant Did a Lousy Job
  • Initial Financial Planning Consultation
  • Preparing to Sell Your Practice
  • When Is It Time to Merge?
  • When Is it Time to Retire?
  • Price to Pay for a Practice
  • Letters to Send When You Buy a Practice
  • Buying a Practice from an Estate
  • Letters to Send When a Practice is Acquired from an Estate



For over 40 years I have asked fellow professionals for assistance, and for almost as long I have reached out to offer assistance. As professionals, we do not live and work in a vacuum. We need each other and the more we collaborate the more we all grow.

I have not done everything I would have liked to do, but through interaction with fellow CPAs, colleagues, other professionals, staff and clients I have learned many things and I’ve tried to refine some of those lessons here. Without sharing, I would not have been as successful. I have also learned that sharing causes me to grow also. It forces me to be clearer about what I do, be able to express myself better, help me better articulate my thoughts, and puts me in contact with some of the brightest people I know – my fellow CPAs.

At some point, I realized that many of the questions repeated themselves and that most of us have the same concerns. For that reason, I started to write up the most often asked questions with my answers. There are, of course, very few perfect answers. But, hopefully, through the thorough consideration of the question and the possible solutions, the best (if not perfect) answer can emerge. I hope that you can get some your questions answered here.


Edward Mendlowitz – CPA, ABV, PFS
Partner, WithumSmith+Brown

Edward Mendlowitz is a partner in Withum Smith + Brown’s New Brunswick, NJ, office and has over 40 years of public accounting experience. He is a licensed certified public accountant in the states of New Jersey and New York and is accredited by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in business valuation (ABV), certified in financial forensics (CFF) and as a personal financial specialist (PFS). Ed is also admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court and has testified as an expert witness in federal and state court regarding business valuations, and twice at the House Ways and Means Committee on tax reform, fairness and reduction

A graduate of City College of New York, Ed earned his bachelor of business administration degree. He is a member of the AICPA, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). Also, Ed was a founding partner of Mendlowitz Weitsen, LLP, CPAs, which merged with WS+B in 2005. Currently, he serves on the NYSSCPA Estate Planning Committee and was chairman of the committee that planned the NYSSCPA’s 100th Anniversary. The author of 19 books, Ed has also written hundreds of articles for business and professional journals and newsletters. He is the contributing editor to the Practitioners Publishing Company’s 706/709 Deskbook, and the AICPA’s Management of an Accounting Practice Handbook, Corporate Controller’s Handbook and Wiley’s Handbook on Budgeting and is on the editorial board of Bottom Line/Personal newsletter and the Journal of Accountancy Member Panel on Business Valuation. Appearing regularly on television news programs, Ed has also been quoted in numerous major newspapers and periodicals in the United States. He is the recipient of the Lawler Award for the best article published during 2001 in the Journal of Accountancy.

Ed is a frequent speaker to many professional and business groups, including the AICPA, NJSCPA, NYSSCPA, American Management Association, the National Committee for Monetary Reform, University of Medicine and Dentistry in NJ and many more. For 11 years, he taught courses on financial analysis, corporate financial policy and theory, monetary and fiscal policy and managerial accounting in the MBA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Fantastic…! Wise…! Great reference…!

Withum-Smith+Brown partner Ed Mendlowitz is the Dear Abby of accounting, providing answers to tough questions from colleagues, peers and anyone else who wants to reach out for years. This fantastic book is a compilation of their questions and his wise answers on a huge range of topics related to running a practice, from how to raise rates or add new service lines, to how to deal with careless staff or plan your retirement. A great reference to keep by your desk for whenever you run up against a problem. – AccountingToday


Managing Director of Advisory Services – WithumSmith+Brown, PC

Well, my partner and friend, Ed Mendlowitz does it again! In 101 Questions & Answers for Managing an Accounting Practice (Vol 2), Ed hits every single question I’ve heard professionals ask when dealing with the challenges of running an accounting firm today. Ed has spent his entire career in listening

Ed has spent his entire career in listening to, and helping, fellow practitioners take their practices to the next level, and I am so happy to have frequently joined him as a fellow presenter, addressing many of the challenges noted in this book. Author and contributor to more books than most professionals read during their career, Ed gets a perfect “10” on his latest work of art!

If you’re dealing with billing and collections issues, the challenges of growing a practice, the ups and downs of relationships with your partners, workflow and technology issues or contemplating a merger or acquisition, this book is a “Must Read.” Reading this book is the equivalent of sitting in one of Ed’s educational sessions on managing your practice, except, in the case of this book, you’ll be walking away with a reference guide that you will not be able to put down.

Whether you’re a sole practitioner or a partner in a large firm, there’s something in every chapter of this book for you. I don’t just encourage you to read this book, I encourage you to keep it close at hand, and reference back to it as you continually face the questions that so many of your peers have already dealt with before you.

101 Questions and Answers: Managing an Accounting Practice, Volume 2