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Rosenberg Survey: CPA Firms are Hale and Hearty

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / February 5, 2019

There’s exciting news from our 20th annual Rosenberg Survey, which reported on 2017 results. Perhaps the iconic phrase from Star Trek’s Mr. Spock is pertinent:  “Live long and prosper.” CPA firms continue to grow and post impressive profits, as good a definition of “prosper” as there is. Firms are not living long, as evidenced by…

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Developing a Truly Progressive Next Gen Culture

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / January 14, 2019

Our Chicago roundtable, consisting of the most prestigious and largest local CPA firms in the Windy City, recently convened a conference that brought the house down.  Our goal was (a) to address the #1 challenge to CPA firms today – managing all staff issues from recruiting to retention to developing NextGen leaders and (b) to…

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Mergers: Experienced Buyers Talk

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / December 17, 2018

Two Chicago area MPs recently talked to our roundtable about their experiences merging in smaller firms: Shelly Casella-Dercole, MP of 8-partner Eder Casella in McHenry, IL and Jon Segal, MP of 15-partner Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond in Schaumburg, IL (both Chicago suburbs). Each has completed several mergers and is very active in the merger market….

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Trending: What I’m Seeing at CPA Firms This Year

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / November 26, 2018

Staff.  Firms are continuing to step up their efforts to be more liberal and staff-friendly with their staff policies.  More unlimited PTO polices including many variations of this, working remotely, staff setting their own hours, etc.  Unfortunately, I am not seeing any changes in the lip service most partners give to staff mentoring.  80% of…

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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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Partnership Offers: Questions Prospective Partners And Firms Should Answer

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / September 4, 2018

This post serves two purposes: Prospective partners should ask the basic questions below to help them judge whether they are making a smart decision in accepting a partnership offer. At the same time, the existing partner group should use the questions below as a checklist to help “get their house in order” before extending a…

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Signing A Partner Buyout Agreement: A Spectacular Investment for New Partners

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / August 14, 2018

Sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?  How can assuming a significant debt obligation be a great investment?  Bear with me. For years, CPA firm partner retirement/buyout plans have been controversial.  Buyout plans have been around for decades, with trillions of dollars paid to retirees during that time.  It’s a practice that works.  So why is there controversy?…

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Partners: The Issues That Keep You Up Nights

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / July 23, 2018

CPAs seem to tend towards conservatism – they dislike change. Old school practices dominate and change is hard.  But change is inevitable.  Progressive firms will tell you they thrive on change.  They are eager to adopt new school practices.  Why not you? Here are some examples of old school vs. new school practices. Bringing in New…

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Are You A ‘Best In Class’ Firm?

Marc Rosenberg, CPA / July 2, 2018

I recently spoke at a BDO Alliance conference where the theme was identifying traits of high performing firms and their leaders.  One speaker used a bell curve to describe ‘best in class’ firms, with the majority of firms falling in the middle or “bell” part of the curve and a small percentage representing firms substantially…

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