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Partner Buyout Nuances: Queries from Firms

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / February 8, 2020

Partner buyout plans can be difficult to navigate. We want to be fair to our partners, and we want to be treated fairly in return. In the process, differences of interpretation inevitably arise. Here are some queries we’ve recently received you may find instructive: Partner’s Question:  As founder and rainmaker of our firm, I have…

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CPA Firm Staff Development: Setting Expectations for Your Team

Kristen Rampe, CPA / February 3, 2020

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone you manage knew what you wanted them to do and executed it well with minimal instruction? I think so, too. And every once in a while, I’ve run across a direct report who could.  But let’s be real, probably fewer than 10% of the people we work with come…

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Is Mandatory Retirement a Best Practice?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / January 20, 2020

I’ll start with the punch line.  Yes, it is a best practice. But only if your firm’s vision is to stay independent into the next generation by developing future leaders and retaining retirees’ clients. If you are a small firm with partners who love what they do, have no hobbies to pursue in retirement, and basically want…

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Selling Your Firm in 2020 – What Makes the Cut?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / January 13, 2020

Attractive firms in the top 50 U.S. cities are still able to find buyers offering a more than fair price. In those instances, the seller’s market is alive and well. However firms with less appeal could face some difficulty. With so many sellers flooding the market, buyers are able to cherry-pick the best firms and…

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When It Comes to Performance Reviews, Ditch the Labels

Kristen Rampe, CPA / January 5, 2020

Say it’s performance review time and you nonchalantly slip in that one of your team members, let’s call her Madison, “needs to be more professional.” In your mind, you know exactly what this means. It’s helpful and straight-forward feedback. Twenty years from now when Madison is managing partner and she is receiving a prestigious accounting…

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Survey Highlights: An Unconventional Analysis of the Results

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / December 16, 2019

This is the 21st year of the Rosenberg Survey.  It reports on over 100 financial and operating performance metrics of over 300 CPA firms. But instead of merely citing key statistics and analyzing them for you, today’s post analyzes 5 key metrics, first from a traditional perspective, followed by a more subtle but powerful analysis…

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Reward Partners For Performing Like Partners

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / November 25, 2019

Any of you who started out as sole practitioners surely remember that it was you – no one else – who made your firm successful.  You brought in the business.  You did top notch work and delivered it on time. You nurtured and grew your client relationships so they came back asking for more.  When…

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Buyers Beware ~ Merging In Sellers: What You Need To Know

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / November 4, 2019

Dramatic changes have swept the CPA firm merger market in the past few years. Due to the avalanche of sellers in the market, as well as the changes in strategic direction many buyers are taking, buyers are being much more selective than in the past. This means that sellers who always thought that their fallback…

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8 Ways Comp Systems Get Partners To Do What The Firm Needs

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / October 13, 2019

Years ago, a senior partner at a 12-partner firm retreat I was facilitating gave us all an ‘aha’ moment: “A partner compensation system is just a way of allocating income among the partners.  It’s not meant to be the primary way to manage a firm.” There are two messages here: one obvious and one that is deeper….

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The Essence of a Well-Crafted Partner Buyout Agreement

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / September 23, 2019

CPA firm partner retirement/buyout plans have always created angst among partners.  Prospective and young partners often question the plans because they see themselves paying into some sort of Ponzi scheme, wondering if their payday will ever come.  The departure of impactful retiring partners seems to jeopardize the future viability and hence, value of the firm. …

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