9 posts categorized "Mark Koziel, CPA, CGMA" Feed

Would You Recommend the CPA Profession to Your Kid?

Professional-kidsWould you recommend the CPA profession to your kid? This is a question I used to ask the partners of my firm in Buffalo. I did our firm’s recruiting and felt this was an important question, because every new hire was someone’s kid. And in a small market like Buffalo, chances were, I actually knew their parents. I had to look those parents in the eye and tell them that when their child accepted a job with my firm, it was the right career move. I felt it was important for the partners to understand, if there was something in the firm that wasn’t good enough for their own kid, they had the power to fix it.

That same question sparked some lively discussion when I posed it to a group at the AICPA’s E.D.G.E. conference in Austin, Texas, this month. It goes without saying that the CPA profession provides virtually unlimited opportunities, offering a solid set of core competencies that can be put to work in a wide range of situations. Our CPA training and credential have formed a solid stepping stone for many of us, myself certainly included, to a very rewarding career.

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Selling Your Practice? Make Sure You Cover Your Tail

Insurance-puzzle-pieceMergers and acquisitions and the many issues associated with turning a practice over to new owners are hot topics right now. According to the 2013 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey, succession planning was a concern for firms of all sizes. Practitioners are aware that a proper transition of clients and staff is crucial, but it’s also important to address questions about potential outstanding liabilities.

How are past claims against a practice handled when one firm is sold or merged into another? I recently received a call from a practitioner asking just that question. She was the sole owner of a three-person firm who was selling to her two employees. She was quite concerned that uncertainties about possible past liabilities might stand in the way of the sale.

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Advancement of Women in the CPA Profession [LIVE BLOG]

Today's hot topic at the AICPA's E.D.G.E. Conference in Austin, Texas, is women's professional issues. In this session, Yasmine El-Ramly, CPA.CITP, Project Manager, PCPS – Firm Services, AICPA, and Mark Koziel, CPA, CGMA, Vice President, Firm Services & Global Alliances, AICPA, will describe best practices to promote the advancement of women in the profession at the organizational and individual levels. The AICPA is hosting the Women's Global Leadership Summit, Oct. 24 to 25 in Washington, D.C.

(Email subscribers: See the live blog coverage on AICPA Insights).

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Health Care Reform: The Questions Just Got More Complicated

Health-care-file“What will health reform mean to my small business clients?” That was one of the hot topics identified at the recent AICPA Private Companies Practice Section Executive Committee meeting, and it’s a question that I and my colleagues on the PCPS team have been hearing from CPAs across the country. In addition, in the 2013 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey, “the effect on firms of new federal and state regulations (i.e., increasing complexity, costs to comply)” was one of the top five issues for sole practitioners, possibly due to increased concerns and client inquiries about implementing provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  PCPS uses the Top Issues Survey results to inform members about the challenges being faced by other firms and to monitor and respond to member needs.

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4 Ways to Attract New Clients

New-clientWhat’s one thing that CPA firm owners can agree on? While the top issues affecting CPA firms vary based on size, bringing in new clients is a common concern for all. That’s one of the many things we learned from the 2013 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues survey, which asked CPAs what’s keeping them up at night. The biennial survey, conducted by the AICPA’s Private Companies Practice Section, reveals the chief concerns of CPA firms like yours.  

We released the results of the Top Issues survey at the AICPA’s Practitioners Symposium TECH+ and AAM Summit on June 11 in Las Vegas. The survey responses are categorized by practice size, with top five concerns lists for sole practitioners and for CPA firms with 2 - 5, 6 - 10, 11 - 20 and 21 or more professionals. The findings offer unique insights into the critical challenges facing practitioners across the country, and enable the AICPA to understand and analyze the trends and challenges, and thus provide appropriate solutions and resources to our members.

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Preparing New Leaders Starts with Succession Planning

Vision-conceptWhat does it take to be a leader in your organization? Every accounting firm should be able to answer that question. And, more importantly, the answer should be known to future leaders so they clearly understand what they have to do to advance, especially when senior partners start to retire.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but the 2012 PCPS Succession Survey for multi-owner firms reveals that only 15 percent of firms have a leadership training plan in place. Couple that with the fact that the number one perceived challenge to succession planning is that senior partners lack confidence in those moving up the ranks, and you have a major roadblock to a firm’s health, longevity and ultimate survival.

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Small Business Relief in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Building in chelsea damaged by SandyLarge cities and small towns across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are now recovering from Hurricane Sandy, one of the most devastating storms to have ever struck the East Coast of our country. The images are heart-wrenching, the personal suffering is real and the need is enormous. Many individuals and families are still without the most basic necessities of life…food, clean water, heat and a safe and secure home.

One of the groups being relied upon most to help bring stability, hope, community spirit and pride back to these neighborhoods is small businesses. As a CPA devoted toyour small business clients or your organization, as well as to your friends and neighbors, you are more than a trusted counselor on disaster recovery. You are also the go-to source for the public- and private-sector organizations that can best help small business owners get their businesses up and running, and disaster victims get their lives back on track. Rich Caturano, CPA, CGMA, chairman of the AICPA has contributed a blog post detailing AICPA resources and tools to help CPAs through this difficult time.

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3 Myths of Succession Planning

Sometimes we CPAs are blind to our own advice. We spend hours every day working with clients, steering them toward financial prosperity, helping them prepare for retirement and ensuring their businesses thrive well into the future. What are we doing for own practices? Not always enough.

Although succession planning is a proven strategy for achieving long-term firm goals, the 2012 PCPS Succession Survey reveals that only 46 percent of multi-owner firms have a written, approved succession plan. In addition, six percent of sole proprietors have a practice continuation agreement however, that’s only a first step toward developing a full succession plan.

Dispelling the following three common myths may help further grow succession planning’s role in practice management. It may also help CPAs reap a succession plan’s full benefits—client and staff retention, a more comfortable retirement and the peace of mind that comes from being prepared for the future.

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Value Pricing: Aligning Your Interests with Those of Your Clients

The days of providing services first and billing later are dwindling. As this blog post by Jim Boomer, CIO of Boomer Consulting, Inc. indicates, an increasing number of accounting firms are moving into the digital age and transitioning their practices from billing in arrears to value pricing strategies, in order to better align their interests with those of their clients.

Billing: Where's the Real Client Value?

Value pricingAccounting firms have been billing for, well, forever. Billing may make sense to you as a practitioner, but it may not to your clients.  The truth of the matter is, clients are often baffled by that final bill―which can result in them questioning the real value of your services, or even worse, causing them to look for a better deal elsewhere.

Clients explain the scope of their project (taxes, auditing and the like), firms do the work, tally up the hours spent by partners, junior associates and administrative assistants and send out a bill for services rendered. However, as most firms can attest, a client's reaction to that bill is rarely, “Well that's not so bad at all!” Instead, it will result in an angry client creating perceived indifference between the firm and the client—the number one reason why clients leave. It isn’t about the price, it’s about the surprise of the price. Then before you know it, the client leaves.

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