Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

CPA, Robert Raiola, Talks About The Jock Tax

RobertI really like it when CPAs get some big-time exposure and are acknowledged for the incredible vastness of their knowledge.

I also find things like the “Jock Tax” very interesting and definitely controversial.

Here’s a link to where my friend, Robert Raiola (@SportsTaxMan on Twitter) was featured on Bloomberg TV last week, discussing the tax.

Check him out on Twitter for a lot of tweets about the Super Bowl jock tax consequences.

  • Aren't we all striving to be overpaid for what we do?
  • Will Ferrell

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Public Accounting Salary Trends

photoI always try to keep my clients informed about trends in salaries in public accounting. Today, I thought I would share some information with all readers of this blog.

Offers to new hires, annual salary increases and various salary ranges are always a hot topic in CPA management circles. But, please remember…. it takes more than money to keep great talent satisfied.

Glassdoor is just one resource I use. I am providing a link to current salary information from Glassdoor. If you follow this link, you will be permitted access without being a Glassdoor member.

Glassdoor often shares salary information specific to CPA firms. Please keep in mind that when assessing your firm’s salary ranges that geographic location is a major factor.

  • For I don't care too much for money, for money can't buy me love.
  • The Beatles

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

New York City

I’m in New York City this week attending the Spring meeting of the New Horizon Group of CPA management consultants.

Fourteen of us have gathered for 2 days to talk about how we can be a positive and supportive influence for our many clients and all CPA firms across the country.

Today Barry Melancon, CEO of the AICPA, will be meeting with us and giving us an update/status report on the many issues the Institute is addressing.

I’ll be writing more about current trends in the days to come. For now, here’s a tidbit: All of us are seeing firms being much more proactive in addressing their succession issues. Members of the group also reported that their clients (CPA firms) seem “moderately optimistic” about improved growth and success for their firms this year.


  • If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.
  • J. Paul Getty

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Cloud Computing Means Change & Opportunity For CPAs

For some CPAs in public accounting, cloud computing is still somewhat of a mystery. But for many other progressive CPA firms, they are already living in the cloud and loving it.

I hear it over and over again at management conferences – “We have these small firms in town, and even some larger ones, who are under-cutting our fees. We simply can’t do it for what they are quoting.”

Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are looking to cut expenses any way they can and accountants can offer more value-for-money services to these SMEs by being prepared to  offer interactive services rather than the traditional yearly engagement and related discussions. Cloud computing is slowly transforming the accounting industry by offering to streamline accounting processes in order to cut costs and adopt services which add value in a subscription-based scheme.

The big hurdle is that accountants must be able to view cloud computing as a big opportunity rather than a threat. They must be willing to take the lead in this new phase of business.

With this new technology, an accountant can provide timely reports and advice to SMEs so they can stay in business during these tough economic times.

Read more about How the Accounting Industry Is Being Changed By Cloud Computing in this informative article  from

Don’t be like Mark Twain…..

  • I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
  • Mark Twain

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Are You Giving Raises To Your Team?

I was reading Time magazine and noticed a short article under their “Briefing” section, titled: Getting Yours. Even in a down market, some jobs still command pay hikes.

Over-all wages have remained stagnant. Pay increased just 1.8% in the past year, about half as much as inflation. That may be changing, if you are one of the survivors, your employer doesn’t want to lose you. (I definitely think this applies to CPAs.)

A graph in the article shows professions with the biggest raises since the recession began. The fastest wage growth category? Tax preparers.

Just a heads-up for you. Be sure to take care of your best performers.

  • Did you ever notice that when you put the words 'The' and 'IRS' together, it spells THEIRS?
  • Unknown

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Will It Be Another Year of Belt-Tightening for CPA Firms?

Are your team members once again concerned about their jobs? Are they worried that the roller-coaster stock market might mean another ride on the recession merry-go-round?

Yesterday, I posted that many CPA firms are seriously looking for people to aid in maintaining their high-level of client service during the first quarter of 2012. However, will the recent downturn in the market cause firm leaders to go through another season of cautious hiring and expense belt-tightening?

In a WSJ article titled, Memo to Staff: Don’t Panic, it notes that corporate leaders are looking at how they can jack up morale in the work place via town hall meetings and company wide memos.

If your team has been operating “lean and mean” for the last couple of years (or even if you have been adequately staffed) please keep the lines of communication open so that your team knows what to expect in the coming months. It is probably too soon to tell if you will change your strategy. If that is so, then communicate what you are thinking. Keep in mind that team members inside CPA firms are tiring of the excessive workload because firm leaders have not been replacing people who were let go or left on their own.

It seems the need for top talent never goes away in the accounting profession. Communicate that to your team and do it often.

It is also always important to deal with those who are NOT top talent, counsel them on how to become a star performer then if they fail, they won’t be surprised.

  • I always feel like I'm on a roller coaster, but I never want to get off. There's a certain high you're always on.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio

Thursday, November 11th, 2010


Do you give pay increases to poor performers?  I bet you do.  Sure, it might be fairly conservative but probably not that far off from what your better performers receive.

CPA firms tend to ask around (firms in other cities and states, usually in their CPA firm association) and check various surveys for the CPA profession before they give annual pay increases.

For a while (pre-2000 and up through 2007) firms were giving BIG increases to their seniors – – – because their competitors wanted them.  A senior could walk down the street and automatically get a $5,000-$10,000 pay increase.  So, an annual increase of 10-15% kept them at the firm. The rest of the team received an average of 5-7%.

Those times are gone.  Last year, many firms gave no increases and even reduced some managers’ pay.  Of course, partners took a hit, too.  Now, things are getting some better and conservative increases are beginning to happen.

Be careful to not fall into the same “everybody gets X% trap.”  When shouldn’t raises be a given?

I feature this topic in my November newsletter.  Did you receive a copy on Wednesday?  If not, click here to read this month’s issue and visit my website to sign-up for future issues.

  • Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life.
  • Michael LeBoeuf

Friday, October 29th, 2010


Mergers, mergers and more mergers in the CPA firm world.

Just a couple of years ago it was about acquiring good people.  Now, at least for the short-term, it is about acquiring and expanding the client base.

Per John Ezell on CPA Trendlines:  “We expect the M&A market for the next several years to be very active due to retirements…..”

Have you been recently merged into a larger firm?  Even though it is all about the clients now (and yes, they are people, too), has the leadership of the firm made you and all your people feel special?

Did they orchestrate all of the on-boarding activities so that everyone feels included and has a clear sense of what is going to unfold during the next year?  Or, do you feel like there is a dark cloud hanging over your head?

If you joined the right firm, they have a clear plan, well-documented and well-executed for making the valuable people they are merging-in feel part of something extra-ordinary.

How do you feel about going into the office this morning?

  • We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.
  • G. K. Chesterton

Thursday, October 28th, 2010


There is a great article by Steve Erickson (named to the 2010 MOST Recommended Consultants) in the CPA Insider.

He gives you some great information to COMMUNICATE to your staff.  You should share the trends, which are disturbing and negative, but he also has some good news for you to share with staff.

Here’s just one piece of advice from Steve for staff that I often stress and agree with wholeheartedly:

Manage your time. E-mail, voicemail, social networking all take time and can be disruptive when trying to do work requiring critical thinking skills.  Block out time to devote to your client work exclusively. While at the office work with intensity and then go home on time to be with your family. In the long run this approach will make you happier in your career and also at home.

Most of you and your staff could really be more productive at work if you made the effort.  Are you productive or just busy?

  • Nothing will work unless you do.
  • Maya Angelou

Monday, June 14th, 2010


When the economy improves, you will lose some of your top performers.  Since the fall of 2008, I have been talking with firm leaders about the importance of communication and caring in dealing with downsizing their staff.

You assured your Superstars that their jobs were safe.  Then, they watched as you dealt with the Middle Stars and the Falling Stars.  If they didn’t approve of how it was handled, if they did did not receive adequate communication on the “state of the firm” as 2009 evolved, they filed it away for future reference.

This week, according to Christopher Leonard and Christopher S. Rugaber (AP), people are quitting their jobs.

One sign of better economic times is when more people start finding jobs.  Another is when they feel confident enough to quit them.

The government reported this week that the number of people quitting rose in April to nearly 2 million.  During the depths of the recession workers were hesitant to quit.  Many clung to their jobs out of fear.  Not so much anymore.

Read the entire article, More Employees Jump Ship as Economy Improves.

How are you feeling about your good (great?) performers this summer?  Have you redirected SOME of your focus back to making your people happy, showing them you care about them and their careers?  Have you researched any of the new trends in mentoring and career progression, like career lattices rather than ladders?

What are you waiting for?

  • Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
  • Vince Lombardi