Practice management

All in a dishonest day’s work

It’s difficult to believe, but sometimes CPA firm employees, and even partners, steal from clients. While a CPA firm’s leaders may believe this would never happen to them, claim experience in the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program demonstrates this does occur.

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

AICPA advises CPA firms to review state registration and compliance

CPA firms are being urged by the AICPA State Regulation and Legislation team to review their registration compliance procedures to ensure that they are complying with out-of-state registration requirements when performing attest engagements. The AICPA advisory was issued after recent activity by some state boards of accountancy to ensure that

Effective performance management

For a manager, few things are more difficult than delivering honest performance feedback to an employee. And far too many managers don’t give feedback at all. Fortunately, there are ways to address performance review problems. Success lies in the execution of these simple ideas. Define the culture of your organization,

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.”

Payroll, tax top choices for outsourcing in finance

Payroll and tax remain the most often outsourced functions for accounting and finance departments in the United States and Canada, according to a new survey. Outsourcing of payroll occurs at nearly half of U.S. and Canadian companies participating in the fifth annual benchmarking survey released jointly Tuesday by staffing services

Bringing in more clients

Networking and visibility are key to building any CPA firm. To establish their brand in the community, CPAs must find the business development approaches that best suit their individual style. The following steps will help them pave their own business development path: Overcome the urge to be the worker bee.

Harnessing the power of the cloud

Cloud computing and increasingly powerful mobile devices are breaking down communication, data access, and market barriers for CPAs, but the breakthroughs also open the door to potential trouble. A panel of technology experts offers advice on how CPAs can make the most of technology while minimizing the risks.

10 tips for implementing shared services

Shared services are being applied to an increasing number of functions. Human resources, IT, and finance were some of the first areas where shared services commonly were implemented. Now sales operations, supply chain operations, and marketing are taking advantage of shared-services platforms.

Patent predicaments: Be wary of dubious claims

CPA firms and their clients have been targeted by patent-holding companies demanding licensing payments for use of seemingly ordinary business processes. Handling the threat of a lawsuit can be a delicate matter, even as regulators and legislators undertake efforts to rein in patent-holding companies and patent-assertion entities.

Landing more referrals

Referrals are a key to building an accounting practice. Research conducted by marketing consultants Hinge found that 87% of clients turn to referrals first when looking for an accountant and that 76% of clients are “very likely” to recommend their accounting firm to others. Here’s how to get satisfied clients

Seven steps to closing a succession sale

Key to a successful merger or acquisition is keeping the process moving. For firm leaders, there is rarely any item of greater importance than a merger they are pursuing. The adage “time kills all deals” is absolutely true with mergers, and this is why: - Adversarial positions: Naturally, both parties

Survey: Data security concerns soar as more CPA firms access cloud

Concerns about data security are surging as the percentage of CPA firms tapping cloud computing continues to increase, according to a survey from CPA2Biz, the AICPA’s for-profit technology subsidiary. CPA2Biz’s second annual cloud survey found that nearly half of the CPA firms polled said that they are using business-grade cloud

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

Commission to survey accounting profession’s diversity climate

An AICPA-led body plans to gather perspectives on the profession’s views on diversity and inclusion through a survey and provide a new best practices resource for firms that are developing diversity initiatives. The recently formed AICPA National Commission on Diversity & Inclusion is charged with developing methods to help the

Six trends that are reshaping business

Accountants excel at analyzing numbers and developing strategies based off them. The way University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor James Johnson, Ph.D., sees it, the numbers describing the demographics of the United States leave accountants little choice today but to embrace diversity and new business practices. Johnson spoke

How to network and find new clients across borders

Companies increasingly are investing across borders. That includes foreign companies establishing operations in the United States or Canada. The North American investments require accounting and tax services, making foreign companies potential new clients for North American accounting firms. But what is the best way to network across borders and attract

Write it down: The importance of documenting oral advice

CPAs routinely provide oral advice to clients. While professional standards generally do not require such advice to be documented, the experience of the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program demonstrates that undocumented advice weakens the defense to a professional liability claim. This real-life scenario provides an example: A CPA providing bank

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,”

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2018 financial reporting survey: Challenges and trends

Learn the top reporting challenges that emerged in a survey of more than 800 finance, accounting, and compliance professionals across the world, and compare them with your organization's obstacles.

PODCAST

How the skill set for today’s CFO is changing

Scott Simmons, a search expert for large-company CFOs, gives advice for the next generation of finance leaders and more, including which universities are regularly producing future CEOs and CFOs.