What Happens When You DON’T Push Work Down

Pile of documents on desk stack up high waiting to be managed.“Stop defaulting to asking every talented person you have to work more hours doing stuff other people can and should be doing.”

By Tommye Barie
The Succession Insitute

As we said in our previous column, Why You Must Constantly Push Work Down, we are talking about how firms will need to alter their thinking regarding outsourcing, administrative support and the administrative time of partners and managers. We discuss how the lack of delegation impedes competency development, why partners working more hours end up creating a weaker bench, and more.

Outsourcing

In this case, we are talking about outsourcing offshore. For many years, firms turned away from this idea because of the fact that they need to inform their clients that the services they provide were not 100 percent made in America. And most of our firms would say something like, “Our clients won’t tolerate us shipping their data overseas” or “Our clients will leave us if we outsource some of our work to India or China.” Both of those statements continue to be proven wrong every day.
READ MORE →

Why You Must Constantly Push Work Down

Woman in business attire with papers flying around behind her backNew staff won’t work the hours you did. Forget that notion right now.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli

As we work with firms throughout North America, one of the most constant, critical issues we find is that of staffing gaps. Those gaps are manifested in shortfalls of billable hours, as well as shortages of people, and a lack of critical competencies of people – all at various levels throughout the firm.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: When the Inmates Are Running the Asylum | The Two Most Common Management Styles | Different Roles for Different Partners | How Big ‘Books’ Hurt Firms | Developing a Three-Year Vision [VIDEO] | More Merger Questions Than You Imagined | MPs: How to Elect Them … and Fire Them | Partners as Role Models: The Good, Bad & Ugly
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

In these situations, we tend to find that often the partners, and sometimes the managers, are billing too many hours. Meanwhile many staff, especially at the lowest levels within the firm, consistently are missing their billable hour targets.
READ MORE →

Technology Playing Center Stage in CPA Profession

Woman using midair interfaceAlso: Retirees who want their buyouts had better transition their clients.

By Marc Rosenberg
Rosenberg MAP Survey

Anyone knowledgeable about the state of the CPA firm industry would agree that technology is playing center stage

The potential of blockchain, artificial intelligence and data analytics is set to transform CPA firm technology in the same way that previous blockbuster inventions – PCs, laptops, the Internet and software – did that almost instantly made obsolete the manual work CPAs painstakingly performed for decades.

Every year, the authors of the Rosenberg MAP Survey ask the industry’s top consultants to share their observations of what they are seeing at CPA firms. Specifically, they are asked the following questions: READ MORE →

7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning

Older businessman with jacket over shoulderPlus 6 steps for transitioning clients.

By August J. Aquila

The biggest danger facing the future of accounting firms today is not the economy. It is the lack of planning for partner retirement.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Solving Underperforming or Dysfunctional Partners | Underperformers Come in Many Shapes and Sizes | 6 Focuses for Managing Partners | 10 Steps to Transitioning to a New MP | What Managing Partners Should Be Doing | 11 Things All Partners Must Do | Why Partners Need Written Goals | Fighting Restraining Forces
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

You would think that this would be one of the most important strategic issues for firms, but unfortunately it is not.
READ MORE →

SURVEY: Next Generation Balking at Buyouts

"Partnership" written on two connected puzzle piecesM&A doesn’t solve succession problems.

By Terry Putney, Transition Advisors
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

Succession for retiring partners continues to be a pressing issue for many mid-size and small firms.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Many Firms Have Already Lost the Battle with Succession | Embracing New Technology a Must | Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages | Cybersecurity Grows in Importance | Don’t Just Win Work, Figure Out Why | Mergers Keep Racing Forward  | MAP Survey Top 10 Findings
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

This is not a new trend. It is amazing how many firms are delusional about their prospects of remaining independent, while doing virtually nothing to address the core issue of acquiring and developing the talent necessary to build the new generation of owners.
READ MORE →

Many Firms Have Already Lost the Battle with Succession

Older businessman sitting at desk smiling as wall clock indicates 5 minutes to retirementDoomed by outdated retirement formulas.

By Carl George
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

Firms are continuing to struggle with succession of the partner group exiting the profession.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Recruiting and Retention Are Challenges | Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages | Cybersecurity Grows in Importance | Don’t Just Win Work, Figure Out Why | Mergers Keep Racing Forward  | MAP Survey Top 10 Findings
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

While I would hope these issues are being resolved, I really wonder if it’s not too late for many.
READ MORE →

SURVEY: New Leaders Promoting Positive Changes

Three happy businesspeople looking at laptopPeople issues still among top challenges.

By Sam Allred, Upstream Academy
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

2015 was another good year for the profession.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Cybersecurity Grows in Importance | Mergers Spur Growth | Accounting Profession Demands Swift Change | Don’t Just Win Work, Figure Out Why | Talent Wars, M&A Frenzy Continue | Next-Gen Leaders Getting Restless | Mergers Keep Racing Forward  | Do You Have a Firm or a Co-op? | Accountability, Equity, Compensation Are Concerns | MAP Survey Top 10 Findings | CPA Firm Revenues Rise a Hefty 8%
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Most firms across North America performed well and were pleased with their results. Most firms saw good organic growth – largely coming in non-traditional areas. More and more firms are investing significantly in growing their consulting practices – look for this to be a continuing trend.
READ MORE →

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
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

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.
READ MORE →

SURVEY RESULTS: It’s Now a Buyer’s Market in Mergers

HandshakeRetirements both inside and outside the firm cause problems.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg MAP Survey

For the last 10 years or so, every year’s merger activity seems more frenetic than the year before. 2015 and 2016 continued that trend.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Do You Have a Firm or a Co-op? | Accountability, Equity, Compensation Are Concerns | MAP Survey Top 10 Findings | CPA Firm Revenues Rise a Hefty 8%
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Buyers are getting pickier in deciding which mergers to pursue:
READ MORE →