Practice management

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

Ernst & Young becomes EY as new leader takes helm

Ernst & Young has a new brand name, EY, and a new leader, Mark Weinberger. Weinberger, 51, officially became EY’s global chairman and CEO on Monday, the firm said in a news release. He replaced Jim Turley, who retired after 12 years as the firm’s chair and CEO. Weinberger’s previous

How to open new doors by closing your office

Virtually no one who has leased office space has enjoyed writing that rent check every month. It might have been satisfying at first, when the firm or company was young and having an office was a sign of progress, but watching money go into a landlord’s pocket inevitably gets old.

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

Staffing, succession emerge as top CPA firm concerns

Succession planning and staffing joined new client acquisition and dealing with the complexities of rapidly changing tax regulations as the top issues facing U.S. accounting firms, according to an AICPA survey released Tuesday. The 2013 Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) CPA Firm Top Issues survey found evidence that CPA firms

Survey spotlights need for data and security strategies

On the surface, the results of the 2013 North America Top Technology Initiatives survey show that “managing and retaining data” nudged past “securing the IT environment” to become the top technology priority cited by the nearly 2,000 accounting professionals polled. Dig a little deeper, and the evidence indicates that the

Independence is in the eye of the beholder

The independence of CPAs is the hallmark of the profession. As such, accountants put forth significant focus and effort to comply with independence requirements related to everything from investments to business and employment relationships to services delivered to clients. But being what accountants call independent in “fact” isn’t enough. CPAs

Seven ways to address IT vulnerability

When Mike Foster hears from CFOs about IT security issues, he gets the sense they’re focusing on a single hacking event here or there, instead of viewing IT security as a project that needs constant management and attention. What Foster tells the CFOs is this: “We don’t want to fight

Assurance opportunities broaden

Editor’s note: Beth Schneider is the chair of the AICPA Sustainability Task Force under the Auditing Standards Board. Corporate and public interest in sustainability and climate change issues, and voluntary reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions information, has grown significantly in the United States during the last decade. Companies have

Preparing for disaster

One CPA firm is still recovering from a “superstorm” that damaged nine of its 14 offices. Another has constructed a safe room in its new office, which was built after a tornado destroyed its previous office. A third firm is adjusting to the “new normal” in a city forever changed

Top concern of FVS practitioners: Business development

The top priorities of forensic and valuation services (FVS) accountants have changed drastically over the past few years, with business development concerns outpacing technical issues, according to a new AICPA study. The 2013 FVS Membership Top Issues Survey found that “bringing in new clients,” the classic business development imperative, ranked

Defending third-party audit claims

Early in the 20th century, audits of company financial statements served merely as verification for management that a company was productive and efficient. After the 1929 stock market crash, the role of the auditor evolved. The Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 established requirements for

Time to recruit talent

Millions of Baby Boomers will leave their jobs in the next 10 to 12 years. This exodus of talent will place extraordinary pressure on every U.S. organization’s talent recruitment and retention efforts. Consider these strategies to help your organization compete in an unprecedented people cycle: Ensure your HR leadership is

Data, security take top two spots in AICPA technology priorities survey

On the surface, the results of the 2013 North America Top Technology Initiatives survey, released Wednesday by the AICPA and CPA Canada, show that “managing and retaining data” nudged past “securing the IT environment” to become the top technology priority cited by the nearly 2,000 accounting professionals polled. Dig a

Baker Tilly to merge with New York firm Holtz Rubenstein Reminick

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, one of the 20 largest U.S. accounting firms, is merging with Holtz Rubenstein Reminick LLP in a deal that will give Chicago-based Baker Tilly a significant foothold in New York City. The merger announced Wednesday is scheduled to take effect June 1. It will create

Smart tech tips

Technology mistakes can cause higher expenses and lost revenue opportunities. During a session at the AICPA Advanced Personal Financial Planning Conference in January, Advisor Products President and CEO Andrew Gluck shared tips on how to avoid the biggest technology mistakes. The tips could prove useful for accounting firms and small

Criminal background checks can't remain in the background anymore

Among the many client services they perform, accounting firms often handle client funds in the performance of various services provided to both individuals and businesses—bookkeeping, investment advisory, family office, and more. Imagine what might happen if a firm employee steals or otherwise misappropriates funds from a client: The firm would

Tech talk: What CPAs need to know

Tax Code modifications and new FASB rules aren’t the only changes that CPAs have to concern themselves with these days. Whether it’s the security of clients’ data, the implications of migrating to the cloud, or the uncertain future of the once-venerable desktop, rapid technological transformation continues to generate new challenges

From "write-up" to right profitable

CPA firms for decades saw little upside to providing basic accounting services to business clients. Bookkeeping and other “write-up” activities required extensive data entry and document transfer that chewed up man-hours but did not require much specialized knowledge. Client accounting services (CAS) were seen as commodities that brought with them

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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.

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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.