Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Rosenberg Annual Survey

img_7794It’s September and I just received my copy of the 2016 issue of The Rosenberg Survey. It is the 18th Annual Edition. The Rosenberg Survey is one of the most popular and widely respected national MAP surveys for the CPA profession.

Comments and insights from many well-known CPA management consultants are included. Look for my comments on Page 21.

The survey includes numbers from:

  • Firms with over $20M in fees
  • Firms with fees of $10-$20M
  • Firms with fees of $2-$10M
  • Firms with fees under $2M
  • Sole practitioner firms

Order yours here.

  • Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.
  • Gertrude Stein

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016


“When all think alike, then no one is thinking.” – Walter Lippman

It makes me SO happy when I hear about innovative things coming from people working at CPA firms.

While I often lament that we don’t see very much innovation and creativity within firms and that many firms are very happy with the status quo, there are some great firms out there leading the way for others.

The following is an announcement from about the 2016 Innovative Practitioners’ awards. announced this week that Caitlin Lacher and Rachael Higginbotham, both representing Louisiana accounting and business advisory firm Postlethwaite & Netterville, have been named winners of the Innovative Practitioners 2016 Award. The annual award looks to recognize innovations in process, services or technology implementation in public accounting firms.

Lacher and Higginbotham both developed Pounce, a new business development tool, this previous summer. Pounce allows CPA firms to more easily manage and match staff resumes, industry experience, and other firm materials, allowing marketing and sales teams to quickly respond to new business opportunities.

Runner up:  (One of my clients – Congratulations, Charles!)

Charles Postal of Santos, Postal & Co., Rockville, Md. Adopted, and, among other services, to his firm to improve communication amongst staff.

Honorable Mention – a tie

    • Kathy Ryan of RoseRyan, Newark, Calif. Kathy helped develop her firm’s own in-house application, the RoseRyan Dream Team System, to automate time tracking, recruiting, revenue forecasting and more.
    • Dixie McCurley of Trusted CFO Solutions, Atlanta. Dixie helps lead workshops on client accounting services in the cloud, but also walks the walk with her firm, developing customized accounting models for clients that deliver powerful data analytics for business decision-making.

    For more on the 2016 Innovative Practitioners Award, head to’s site here.

  • Interviewer:

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Finally, A Movie About An Accountant

If you are or work with, an accountant you must watch these trailers from the new movie, The Accountant, coming out on October 14th.

Ben Affleck, as the accountant, doesn’t seem to be like the accountants I know although he does seem to be very busy!

In Trailer #2 you can see that he has a pocket protector….

Here’s my favorite line/conversation, so far:  Who is he? The accountant. Like a CPA accountant? Not quite.

Trailer #1

Trailer #2

  • I have no use for bodyguards, but I have very specific use for two highly trained certified public accountants.
  • Elvis Presley

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

CPA Honored On A Topps Baseball Card

Robert_Card-copy“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.” – Yogi Berra

Did you ever collect baseball cards? Topps baseball cards have been around since the late 1880s.

Who would think it, a CPA’s picture on a real baseball card?

I have blogged about my friend Robert Raiola many times. Why? Because he is unique among CPAs and exemplifies what being a CPA, famous for something, is all about.

Raiola is director of the sports and entertainment group at New York-based PKF O’Connor Davies. He appears on the 2016 Topps’ Allen & Ginter baseball card set, issued on August 13, which includes Major League Baseball players and other sports figures, such as radio host Mike Francesa and actor Kevin (“Field of Dreams”) Costner.

Inside Public Accounting covers the entire story very well. And, by the way, he has over 52,000 followers on Twitter – @SportsTaxMan.

Congratulations, Robert! (Read the entire IPA story here.)

What are you famous for?

  • You could be a kid for as long as you want when you play baseball.
  • Cal Ripken, Jr.

Friday, June 17th, 2016

CPA Management Newsletter

My newsletter went out yesterday. Here are the stories I included in this edition:

  • The Latest On Issues Being Faced By Firms
  • Keep The Feedback Flowing – Video Interview
  • Need To Talk?

I hope you received your copy. Be sure to check your spam filter. If you are not on my mailing list, you can sign up for my newsletter here.


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

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

The New Exempt Overtime Rules – A Big Factor For The CPA Profession

In the CPA profession, it used to be that many firms took “overtime” hours into consideration when establishing entry-level salaries often resulting in a higher beginning wage. However, many firms (mostly depending on geographic location) do not offer a salary of over $47,476 for beginners.

Even some long-time bookkeepers and other administrative professionals, currently on salary, do not meet the new threshold.

From a recent SHRM article: “It will be hard to accept and even implement,” said Robert Boonin, immediate past chair of the Wage and Hour Defense Institute, a network of wage and hour lawyers, and an attorney with Dykema in Detroit, Mich.  “It’ll be a cultural change to many and perceived as a step back in career growth.”

You now need to be talking with your people, well before the deadline to comply – December 1, 2016.

Another excerpt from SHRM – very important in this world of expecting an instant response from your staff on weekends and after hours:

What about previously salaried workers who were used to responding managers’ e-mails or phone calls after hours?

“Managers can certainly continue to e-mail after hours and expect timely responses from newly nonexempt employees, [they] just need to be prepared to pay for the time,” Kilborn said. “Perhaps this is a chance for those managers to evaluate how badly they need that response from the employee if they know that they will be paying for it directly.”

Said Wise: “Regardless of what a supervisor may be used to … a manager may have to adjust expectations if response time would result in overtime, or an employer may have to consider financial ramifications if response time is critical and would require overtime.”

Read more here, on the SHRM site. Then get busy planning for this change and how it will impact your firm and your clients. They will look to your firm for guidance.

There is a lot of information on the web a about this new law – Google and read! The details seem to keep changing!

Here’s something from the Ohio Society of CPAs Member Alert:

While the complete rules package is not yet available, key revisions include:

  • Exempt salary threshold increased to $47,476 from $23,660
  • The salary threshold will automatically update every three years, and is anticipated to top $50,000 by 2020
  • The new rules are effective Dec. 1.


  • The people's good is the highest law.
  • Cicero

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Opportunity To Fuel Your Professional Growth From The Ohio Society of CPAs

“A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

I am working with the Ohio Society of CPAs on an upcoming program. It’s called the Business Excellence Symposium and is being held May 11th in Westlake, OH (Cleveland suburb).

I’m excited by the work OSCPA is undertaking to advance business across Ohio by helping CPAs and finance and accounting professionals be positioned to meet today’s business challenges head on to drive growth. The topic selection, and the expertise brought forth is really on-point for the greatest challenges facing our businesses, large or small.

Attend and gain strategies and insights from national leaders in the business and accounting community:

  • Create a culture that top talent can’t pass up – with tips from the leadership coach for The Ohio State University’s football program.
  • Maximize staff resources and harness the power of diversity.
  • Unlock growth strategies that leverage your specific skill sets as an accounting professional.
  • Develop practices to deliver better solutions to organizational challenges.
  • Learn about harnessing business growth potential via a panel discussion with me and Katie Tolin, CPA Growth Guides

All in all, it looks like it’s going to be a great event, you can see the details here. Also, if you can’t make the trip, note there is a live webcasted option.

This is a perfect symposium (and affordable) to send several of your millennial accountants.
If you decide to attend, you can use my personal invitation to get a 20% “friends of BES” discount.  Simply send an email to saying you learned about the Symposium from me and you would like to attend.


  • I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.
  • Eartha Kitt

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

Will Much Of What You Do Be Replaced By Machines?

All of us, in the business world, have been dealing with significant changes in the way we work. Accountants have been automating many of their tasks for years now. Remember the first “portable” computers we used in accounting firms? They weighed about 30 pounds but we still thought they were cool.

I am sure that, by now, you have been reading about the massive changes that are continuing to come our way. McKinsey & Co. estimates that 45% of all activities humans perform in the workplace can be done by software or machines.

McKinsey also estimates that somewhere between 85% and 100% of the labor, in 5 categories of jobs, can be done by machines rather than humans. Here are those 5 categories. Take note of #2.

  1. Production workers
  2. Bookkeeping, accounting, auditing and billing clerks
  3. Mechanics and automotive technicians
  4. Construction equipment operators
  5. Bakers and butchers

Maybe the talent shortage in the CPA profession will lead CPAs to more quickly move down the road to automation.

Read more about this topic here.

  • The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that man may become robots.
  • Erich Fromm

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Battle For Talent: Will Denim Daily & Other Enhanced Benefits Win Out?

I see lots of professional young men and women on CPA firm Facebook pages still dressing professionally – most are business casual but they still look professional to me.

All that is changing as the battle for talent heats up. It’s going to be jeans for every day.

News From GoingConcern:

Baker Tilly’s announcement: Baker Tilly Makes Everyday Denim Dreams Come True:

The Chicago-based accounting firm has launched a pilot program allowing its professionals to wear jeans any day of the week they deem it appropriate. No longer will denim be confined to Friday, a fairly common practice in the profession, or purchased as a one-off dispensation for a $5 charitable donation.

Such a practice is fairly unusual in the buttoned-down profession. “If Baker Tilly is jeans every day, they’re probably leading the way on that,” said Todd Shapiro, president and CEO of the Illinois CPA Society in Chicago.

The official name for this pilot program is “Dress for Your Day” and it is effective immediately for all offices. Naturally, BT employees still have to dress professionally for client meetings but otherwise, they can rock denim every day. Just be aware that some people have strong feelings about tuck/no-tuck.

A few days later (via GoingConcern), Crowe Horwath joined the movement:

Not be outdone by their crosstown1 rivals,Crowe Horwath announced earlier this week that not only can their employees wear whatever they want, they can work wherever they want, too (subject to approval of course):

The firm’s new mobility strategy, which was rolled out in December, includes two policies integral to the firm’s approach to attracting and retaining the profession’s best talent. The first initiative, “What to Wear,” dictates that if you’re in the office and aren’t meeting with clients, you can keep it casual and wear jeans any day of the week. The second, “Where to Work,” allows personnel to work wherever it’s convenient and they’re most productive, with support from their performance manager.

Then there is paid maternity leave and unlimited vacation time via CPA Practice Advisor:

The accounting profession is no different. Brown Smith Wallace, a nationally ranked top-100 accounting firm, added new features to its employee benefit package in an effort to recruit and retain more Millennials. As of January 1, 2016, the firm offers paid maternity leave and increased personal time off—including unlimited vacation for managers and principals—based on years of service at the firm.  

Dear CPA friends….. Times They Are A Changin’

  • better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone, for the times they are a changin'.
  • Bob Dylan

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Technology & Consumers

It’s a Why Am I Surprised type situation. I periodically “meet” firms (they usually contact me to ask basic questions) that are not embracing the digital world robustly. Many times they have not even dipped their toe in the paperless world. Seventeen years ago my firm went paperless. For many of the more progressive firms it has been nearly that long.

Technology has taken amazing leaps. CPAs must keep-up and be aware of the giant leaps in technology if they are to be a firm of the future. That is why I wanted to share the following. It’s the 10 Hot Consumer Trends via ConsumerLabs.

For many years ConsumerLabs has been in tune with Technology and Consumers and has once again compiled predictions for next year in Tech Trends.  Today they released Ericsson’s 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2016.  You can find the full story on our media rich website we built for this release

This is a quick list of the 10 on the list

  1. The Lifestyle network effect
  2. Streaming natives
  3. Artificial Intelligence
  4. Virtual Get Real
  5. Sensing Homes
  6. SMART Commuters
  7. Emergency Chat
  8. Internables
  9. Everything get hacked
  10. Citizen Journalism

Visit the website for the full story and media elements.

When you visit the website, be sure to hit the Read More button and also follow the link to a PDF of the full report – it is fascinating reading! And, extremely important information for progressive CPA firms.

For example, #2 Streaming Natives tells us that 20% of 16-19 year olds watch more than 3 hours of YouTube daily. The original internet generation does not follow this behavior and only 9% of today’s 30-34 year olds (millennials) watch 3 hours or more of YouTube daily. How will this change your clients and employees of the future? Are you doing YouTube videos to help your clients now?


  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is equivalent to magic.
  • Arthur C. Clarke