Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Friday, August 7th, 2015

It’s Time To Rebrand

I work with CPAs and their firms. I visit many, many CPA firm websites on a continual basis. For many, it is definitely time to rebrand.

My clients and other CPAs I meet ask me, “What are other firms doing?” or “Can you give me a good example?”. Thanks to my friends at LBMC, headquartered in Brentwood, Tennessee, I can.

Here is a video about their new rebranding project.

LBMC is a very large firm and can afford to spend a lot more money than many other firms. That’s no excuse for you not to consider rebranding. You can do it! Establish a budget and go forward. It is one step in becoming a firm of the future.

  • If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.
  • Howard Schultz

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Aggressively Seeking Experienced CPAs

You used to have to worry about your competitors luring away your younger accountants. After all, $5,000 to $10,000 more in compensation is quite tempting to someone fairly new in the job market.

During the current accounting firm talent wars, firms are pulling out all the stops to find and attract experienced talent. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that experienced accountants are now much more willing to jump ship. I believe there are various reasons for this, one being the fact that some more senior owners dig in their heels when it comes to change. Many of them don’t think they have to spend money to become a firm of the future because, after all, they will be retiring within the next several years.

If you are a 5 to 10-year CPA, even if you are a partner, you are probably being courted. If you are a niche leader you may even become the object of a bidding war.

The bigger firms are paying more for talented people. Smaller firms don’t seem to be as willing to keep pace. That’s what is interesting about the CPA firm model. The percentage that partners are very used to taking home might not be a sustainable model for the future. After all, if you have to pay your people more, it usually means the partners get less.

Here’s a good article via Crain’s Chicago that tells a story about the Chicago area CPA firm market.

  • Opportunity is a bird that never perches.
  • Claude McDonald

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

CPACA Releases New Succession Survey Findings

I am honored to be a member of the CPA Consultants’ Alliance, a group of management consultants serving the CPA profession. We join together to share trends and practices so that we can better serve our clients: CPA firms, their leaders and their teams.

We are pleased to release the findings of our Succession Survey. Here is our press release and a link to where you can download the article.

CPACA Releases New Succession Survey FindingsFirms struggle most with procrastination and lack of “bench strength” 

Overland Park, KS, June 2015 – The CPA Consultants’ Alliance (CPACA), released the findings from their new succession survey in an article entitled CPA Firms Face Considerable Succession Challenges.  With input from 337 mostly owner and non-equity partner respondents across a cross-section of small, medium and large firms, the survey indicates that firms have considerable challenges with succession.  According to CPACA President and survey chairperson Terry Putney of Transition Advisors, “our profession has a long way to go to get ahead of the considerable wave of retirements facing us.”

Key survey findings conclude that firms:

•       Are procrastinating or are in denial about succession with 26% of respondents citing “other priorities” as the reason succession planning gets short shrift in their firm and 51.7% blaming procrastination or denial.

•       Lack significant “bench strength” to plan transition around, particularly at smaller firms. While 48% of responding partners in firms with 100-plus employees “definitely agree” their firm has adequate talent on hand, over half are not fully confident in their bench strength. Fewer than two-thirds of all responding partners in small firms say they have the right talent to replace retiring owners in the next five years, and one-third are not ready at all.

•       Do not have a systematic way to identify and develop talent into future partners. Just under half of surveyed partners in midsize firms say they do not have a system in place for developing internal talent. 35% of all survey respondents indicate their firms do not have a system in place and are not working on one.

•       Lack plans for client transition.  Only 25% of firms have a client transition plan they are confident will work, although over 40% of those who do not have a plan in place say they are working on one.

•       Are uncertain about their buy/sell arrangements. Nearly 25% of the large firm respondents and 50% of small firm respondents don’t know what their agreement says and more than 75% of all firm respondents lack complete confidence they can handle future partner retirement obligations.

•       See a sale or merger as their most likely succession plan, which was indicated by half of the respondents in firms with less than 10 employees and one in five in firms with 10 to 24 employees.

“This survey’s purpose is to shed light on a topic that is clearly on the back-burner in firms.  By highlighting the challenges and providing suggested solutions, we hope to help firm leaders take steps to plan for and execute transition,” continued Putney.

Download the article at DOWNLOAD SUCCESSION SURVEY.

About The CPA Consultants’ Alliance

The CPACA was formed in 2012 with the purpose of exploring leadership issues facing the public accounting profession and developing and sharing solutions that benefit practitioners. Other insights from the group include the article What Drives Happiness at CPA Firms and the whitepaper CPA Firm Leadership: Communication Drives New Possibilities. The group’s vision is to inspire positive change in the CPA profession by collaboratively establishing tools and content that will educate, motivate and increase the wisdom of current and future leaders.

The CPACA’s members are successful consultants within the CPA profession. Members’ expertise includes CPA firm strategic and succession planning, leadership and management, growth, sales and marketing, information technology, human resources, coaching, mergers and acquisitions, diversity, leadership development and more.

For more information about The CPACA, its members and to stay connected, please:

Visit our Website

 

  • A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
  • Greek proverb

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

LBMC – Passing The Touch

I love this video widely distributed by Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain (LBMC) this week.

David Morgan and Mike Cain have been the poster-children for co-managing partners in CPA firms and have built an amazing firm. They never disappoint when it comes to managing in a first-class style and this “Passing The Torch” video is just another example.

I have had the pleasure of knowing David and Mike personally and have benefitted from their experience and the example they set. Best wishes to Jeffery S. Drummonds, new Managing Partner of LBMC.

  • March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection. March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life's path.
  • Khalil Gibran

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The Latest Trends In CPA Practice Management

Dec NL KellerJust a reminder that my monthly CPA firm MAP newsletter went out yesterday.

Each month I offer two articles focused on current topics and trends in the CPA profession and a short, third article about me and what I do to help firms with the minefield called “practice management”.

Articles this month:

Making Too Much Of Emerging & Future Leaders

A Message For Emerging Leaders: Experience Counts!

Struggling With “Firm Of The Future”? – Rita Can Help.

If you are a CPA in public practice or someone working with CPAs and didn’t receive a copy, you can sign-up here. 

 

  • By the time we've made it, we've had it.
  • Malcolm Forbes

Monday, April 27th, 2015

One Of The Youngest CPAs

It’s amazing what you might accomplish if you work hard and pursue your dreams.

I enjoy success stories and was fascinated as I read about Belicia Cespedes, CPA. She’s 17 years old and passed the CPA exam last summer.

After graduating from high school at 13, Belicia took a QuickBooks course and enjoyed bookkeeping so much she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree and study accounting.

As of January 8, 2015, she became the youngest voting member of the AICPA.

Be sure you are challenging and coaching the youngest members of your CPA team. They do not want to be ignored; they crave your attention. Who knows what they might accomplish.

Read more about this amazing young lady’s story on the AICPA site.

  • The person who is waiting for something to turn up might start with their shirt sleeves.
  • Garth Henrichs

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Vault Releases It’s Annual Accounting 50 Ranking of Firms

Here are a few headlines from Vault’s press release:

  • For the third straight year PwC ranks No. 1 in the Accounting 50—a ranking of the firms deemed “best to work for.” PwC also ranks No. 1 in Prestige for the seventh straight year.
  • Quality of life for accountants is getting better. At the Big 4 and across the industry, ratings in workplace categories such as hours, work/life balance, compensation, and overall satisfaction are rising. This underscores recent moves by the Big 4—PwC, EY, Deloitte, and KPMG—to create more congenial work environments for their employees.
  • Armanino and Plante Moran are the big winners in our Quality of Life categories, earning six No. 1 rankings each. California-based Armanino takes the top spot in Compensation, Hours, and Overall Satisfaction, among other categories. Michigan-based Plante Moran’s No. 1 rankings come in Work/Life Balance and Firm Culture, among others.

The Top 10 firms in the Vault Accounting 50 based on Vault’s annual Accounting Survey are:

  1. PricewaterhouseCoopers
  2. EY
  3. Deloitte
  4. KPMG
  5. Grant Thornton
  6. BDO USA
  7. McGladrey
  8. Plante Moran
  9. Moss Adams
  10. Crowe Horwath

 

Click here to see the entire list.

  • Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.
  • Zig Ziglar

Friday, April 17th, 2015

AICPA Announces A New Resource For Small Business Owners

Most of your firm’s clients probably fall into the category of “small business.”  As you well know, these companies need lots of on-going support and guidance from their CPA.

The AICPA has launched a microsite: www.cpapowered.org to help these millions of small businesses around the country.  The new site is FULL of valuable videos and resource guides beneficial to both new and experienced small business owners.

Be sure to check out the informational videos page. I especially like – Why a CPA! page.

Share this resource with your entire team and have them spread the word to your valuable clients.

  • If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
  • Booker T. Washington

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

CPA Consultants’ Alliance – New Leaders and Top Issues

cropped-cropped-cpac-headerI am so proud to be a member of the CPA Consultants’ Alliance. It is such an honor to be among so many knowledgeable people focused on helping CPA firms become even more successful.

Once a year we have an in-person meeting to connect, share and improve our consulting skills. In February, we met in Tampa and elected the new Board for 2015.

Here’s the press release where you can access our perspectives on the most pressing issues for 2015:

The CPA Consultants’ Alliance (CPACA), a working group of thought leaders united in their efforts to further leadership within the CPA profession, recently held its annual meeting in Tampa, FL.

During the meeting, members approved the following slate of new officers:

  • Terry Putney, CPA, CEO of Transition Advisors, LLC– President
  • Tamera Loerzel, Partner in ConvergenceCoaching, LLC– Immediate Past-President
  • Sarah Johnson Dobek,Founder and President of Inovautus Consulting – Vice President
  • Dustin Hostetler, Shareholder, Boomer Consulting– Secretary/Treasurer
  • Rita Keller, President and Founder of Keller Advisors, LLC – Membership Chair
  • Rick Solomon, CPA, CGMA, CEO of Thriving Firm – Deliverables Chair
  • Carrie Steffen, President and Co-Founder, The Whetstone Group –Marketing Chair

In addition, members shared experiences and insights into issues of the CPA profession. Their perspectives on the most pressing issues for 2015 can be found on the website in a new report entitled: People at the Center of CPA Firm 2015 Top Issues

About The CPA Consultants’ Alliance

The CPACA was formed in 2012 with the purpose of exploring leadership issues facing the public accounting profession and developing and sharing solutions that benefit practitioners. Other insights from the group include the article What Drives Happiness at CPA Firms and the whitepaper CPA Firm Leadership: Communication Drives New Possibilities. The group’s vision is to inspire positive change in the CPA profession by collaboratively establishing tools and content that will educate, motivate and increase the wisdom of current and future leaders. Watch for the CPACA’s next report on CPA firm succession coming later in 2015.

The CPACA’s members are successful consultants within the CPA profession. Members’ expertise includes CPA firm strategic and succession planning, leadership and management, growth, sales and marketing, information technology, human resources, coaching, mergers and acquisitions, diversity, leadership development and more.

For more information about The CPACA, its members and to stay connected, please:

Email at: info@cpaconsultantsalliance.com
Visit our Website
Follow us on LinkedIn
Follow us on Twitter

  • A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.
  • John Lennon

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

A Change In Overtime & The Average Work Week

How and when a CPA firm pays overtime is something that has been discussed and argued for years. It is not always easy deciding who is “exempt” and who is “non-exempt”.

I have found that most firms are very careful about these rules. I just wanted to give you a heads-up about some new overtime pay protections for low-salaried managers that are in the works.

Here’s the article on CNN Money – be sure you are in the know for your firm and for your clients.

Here’s another interesting fact. According to a Gallup poll from last fall. The average U.S. employee works 46.7 hours per week. So, don’t think it is just the accounting profession that has extended hours.

The best thing about public accounting hours is that, for many accountants, the extra hours occur in winter and when summer arrives it’s a 40-hour work week.

  • Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard.
  • Tim Notke