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Three Main Stages of Evolution: Where Is Your Firm?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / April 13, 2020

There are some products that are so iconic and popular that it doesn’t seem possible that their success could ever be in jeopardy.  Oreos.  The New England Patriots.  Microsoft Office.  It must be wonderful to own and manage businesses like these that seem to run themselves. CPA firms enjoy no such advantaged status. THE THREE…

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Most CPA Firms Never Make it to the Second Generation – Why?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / November 5, 2018

The short answer is that CPA firms stink at succession planning.  Firms’ entire operations are geared to maximizing short-term profits, focusing on today at the expense of tomorrow.  Evidence of this is the following: A 60 year-old sole practitioner wants to sell her firm and work eight more years.  She has revenue of $1M and…

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Succession Planning: Views From A Luminary

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / September 24, 2018

A classic TV commercial showed two businessmen talking over drinks in a noisy, wood-paneled men’s club when one says: “My broker is Smith Barney and he says…”  All of a sudden, everyone in the club leans in to hear. The message:  When a wise person talks, shut up and listen. Advice from a luminary is…

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What A Great Succession Plan Looks Like

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / May 14, 2018

The most stunning statistic today in the CPA industry is this:  80% of first generation firms never make it to the second.  Why?  They have non-existent or ineffective succession plans. What’s the one key element to a great succession plan? Effective practice management. It creates a vision that provides for the development of great people who advance…

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Acquiring Business Development Skills Critical to Succession Planning

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / April 24, 2018

CPA firms are in the midst of a succession planning crisis that will continue until the retirement of Baby Boomers joins Y2K and other issues on the ash heap of history.  A paltry 20% of first generation CPA firms make it to the second.  The primary roadblock: ineffective or non-existent succession planning and leadership development….

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The Right Stuff To Be Partners: 12 Must-Haves

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / February 19, 2018

What IS the right stuff…to earn a promotion to partner?  Ask 10 partners from different firms, you may get 10 different answers.  I have worked the following script dozens of times at partner retreats:  I ask the group everything it takes to become a partner and write their responses on a flipchart.  When we’re done,…

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The Mandatory Retirement War – A Reader’s Response

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / August 29, 2016

Last week, we received several comments to our post on mandatory retirement, evidence that this concept is indeed controversial. This week, let’s drill down further. Firms’ positions on mandatory retirement vary widely.  According to the 2016 Rosenberg Survey, 88% of firms over $20M have mandatory retirement compared to only 60% of $2-10M firms. My mother…

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Why is Differentiation Such a Big Deal?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / August 1, 2016

Virtually everyone agrees that being able to differentiate your firm is cool. Yet, very few local CPA firms are in fact, different. To be fair, the nature of what CPAs do naturally makes them look more alike than different. But when I think about the 1,000+ firms I have consulted with over 20 years, many…

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We’ve Seen the Enemy and the Enemy is Us

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / February 15, 2016

Why do only 20% of all CPA firms make it to the second generation? In short, firms suck at succession planning. (1) Partners often lack effective mentoring skills, (2) Very little accountability for mentoring, (3) Partners fail to give mentoring the same high level focus as their client activities, (4) Firms have inadequate leadership development…

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Merger-Minded? Optimize Your Firm’s Sales Value

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / November 30, 2015

In last week’s post we identified long-term steps your firm can take to insure you’ll maximize your return on a potential sale. This week we’d like to follow up with short-term specifics to be addressed when you’re more actively considering an eventual merger. In the 2-3 years prior to starting the sales process: Minimize your…

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