Financial and admin operations

How to price an owner’s interest in a CPA firm

Many accounting firms are facing a daunting challenge paying for partner retirements. Long-standing buyout agreements often aren’t calibrated for today’s demographic and market realities. This article shows how firms can assess and adjust the terms and types of buyout agreements to facilitate successful ownership transitions.

Buckle up: The importance of engagement letters

If your firm has never used engagement letters or perhaps has not implemented them consistently, where do you start? Here are some tips to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of this critical tool.

2014 MAP survey: Firms experience growth, stock up on cash

U.S. accounting firms are storing up equity as they prepare for a number of financial challenges over the next few years. That’s one of the findings of the 2014 National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey, released Monday by the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) and the Texas

Succession challenges for U.S. CPA firms to tackle

U.S. public accounting firms must tackle five challenges in their succession planning to fill the gaps left by Baby Boomer partners who have begun to retire, according to results from a Global Accounting Alliance survey.

High-functioning firms

High-functioning firms have leadership teams that assess situations, develop strategies, and make and execute decisions with relative ease, speed, and success. Others, however, function with a drag that pulls against their momentum, causing the business of leading, managing, and executing to take longer and produce less-than-stellar results. High-functioning firms seem

Do's and don'ts of due diligence

When is the best time to perform due diligence in the accounting firm merger process? What should each side look for? How should the parties respond to unexpected findings? Find out in the 12th and final installment of the series “CPA Firm Succession: Solidifying the Future.”

The culture test

Ask managing partners for the top reason an accounting firm merger succeeded or failed, and the most popular answer you’ll hear is culture. Learn how firms can assess and adjust for cultural differences in a merger in the 11th installment of the series “CPA Firm Succession: Solidifying the Future.”

Managing change successfully

Leaders can foster success and overcome resistance with a well-thought-out strategy for implementing any transition and for communicating their plans.

How to maximize client retention after a merger

Client retention is essential to the success of an accounting firm merger. Find out how to minimize client turnover in the 10th installment of the series “CPA Firm Succession: Solidifying the Future.”

Managing owner transition through an owners' agreement

The contract that establishes owners’ terms with a firm also can play a pivotal part in whether a succession plan will succeed. Find out the key succession-related elements to address in an owners’ agreement in the ninth installment of the series “CPA Firm Succession: Solidifying the Future.”

How to manage internal succession

Young talent is at the core of successful internal succession plans. How can firms identify and develop the leaders they need to replace retiring partners? Find out in the eighth installment of the series “CPA Firm Succession: Solidifying the Future.”

Alternative deal structures for succession

Accounting firm partners looking to retire need to either find an internal successor or sell their practice to an external buyer. What types of deals are possible in an external sale? Find out in the seventh installment of the series “CPA Firm Succession: Solidifying the Future.”

How to value a CPA firm for sale

One of the key components of a CPA succession plan is the sale or transfer of the retiring CPA’s ownership interest. How is the value of that interest determined? In most circumstances, the value of an owner’s interest is different when selling to an external buyer than it is in

A two-stage solution to succession procrastination

The 2012 PCPS Succession Survey, a joint project of the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) and Succession Institute LLC, found nearly 80% of CPA firm owners expect succession to become a major issue for their firms in the next 10 years (see “Succession Planning: The Challenge of What’s Next,”

When is a partner "retired"?

When a longtime partner or employee retires from a CPA firm, a sense of loyalty often compels the existing partners to allow the individual to have a symbolic role at the firm. This can include a courtesy title, office space, and invitations to company soirees. While this may seem like

The long goodbye

The best time for an accounting firm to start work on a succession plan is the day the firm is formed. Of course, most firms don’t do that. The question in many cases has become: “How quickly can I put together a succession plan and head into retirement?” The answer

Mergers emerge as dominant trend

Powerful forces are transforming the accounting profession in the United States. The Baby Boomers are heading into their retirement years. Baby Boomer CPAs are in charge of most U.S. accounting firms. And most U.S. accounting firms don’t have a signed succession or practice-continuation plan in place. These realities are rewriting

Is this client the right fit for your firm?

A contentious divorce. Clients who want to file delinquent tax returns. The new client who represented himself as an upstanding businessman but has been indicted—for the third time. After malpractice claims are resolved, CPAs often say, “I never should have taken this client.” But there is a way to help

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6 key areas of change for accountants and auditors

New accounting standards on revenue recognition, leases, and credit losses present implementation challenges. This independently-written report identifies the hurdles that accounting professionals face and provides tips for overcoming the challenges.

PODCAST

How tax reform will impact individual taxpayers

Amy Wang, a CPA who is a senior technical manager for tax advocacy at the AICPA, answers to some of the most common questions on how the new tax reform law will impact individual taxpayers.