Today's Features

Managing the Managing Partner

Businessman standing at conference table with 4 colleagues seated behindChecks and balances are key.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli
CPA Trendlines / Succession Institute

As past success and personal development continuously demonstrate, organizations operate more effectively when people are managed. And since partners are people, rather than gods or superheroes, it makes sense that we put something in place to manage them as well.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Accountability Is for Everyone | Succession Plan Requirements | Base Retirement on Today’s Operations | How Involved Should Retired Owners Be? | Firms Say What Would Change Retirement Pay | 4 Ways to Create More Capacity | 7 Succession Questions to Ignore for Now | How Partner Ratings Factor Into Equity | Hazards of Not Reallocating Equity | 5 Harmful Management Attitudes (and How to Fix Them) | Do CPA Firms Need Management or Leadership? |  Job 1 for The Practice Owner: Client Management

With this general background in mind, let’s dive a little deeper into how a managing partner goal-setting process might work.

Get in Front of Application Updates

Young woman updating software on desktop computerInvolve your IT team for server updates.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Every firm has concerns about their systems being hacked or getting attacked by a virus or malware.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: How to Choose Which Microsoft Office Version to Use | Transitioning to Windows 10 | Desktops vs. Laptops
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The 2016 CPAFMA IT survey found that 15 percent of firms had been infected with malware that caused significant downtime in the past 12 months. The vast majority of issues can be effectively negated with one simple process: KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE UPDATED.

New App Claims to Improve Your Vision

Screenshot of GlassesOff appThe downside: It's work, not fun.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

Presbyopia, or farsightedness caused by the loss of elasticity in your eyes as you age, affects 83 percent of adults over the age of 45 in North America, and nearly everyone is forced to wear glasses by the time they hit 50.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Botnet 101 | 3 Big Data Career Opportunities | Overhyping IBM’s Watson Is Dangerous | Starbucks Launches Voice-Activated Ordering | New Satellites Will Soon Allow Flights to Be Tracked in Real Time | New Device Prevents Insulin Overdoses | Charge Your Phone With the Fabric in Your Sweater | The 10-Digit Passcode to Your Private Life
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Combined with an increasing concern for the long-term effects of staring at a screen all day, the future starts to look blurry. But studies show that smartphone apps might retrain your brain to improve your sight.

8 Ways to Improve Firm Profits

Because businesses make money, right?

By Rob Nixon

The purpose of any business is to find and keep customers. So you have a marketing and sales function to find them and then you have great service and services that "wows" them into staying with you.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Sales Is Like Workflow Management | 4 Sales Systems and Some Secret Sauce | Marketing Must Generate Leads | Be an 'Object of Interest' | Marketing Must Be About Sales | Turn Your Knowledge Into Products | 8 Ways to Build Team Engagement | Is Your Business By Design or Default? | The Profession Disrupted: Compliance Commoditized
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That’s all well and good for your clients. What about you? You’ve taken a risk to start/buy your business (it’s not a practice and you need to stop practicing – you’ve been practicing long enough) and you need to be rewarded.

The Cannabis Industry: A Complete Tax Analysis

Piggy bank with marijuana leaf painted on it, atop a calculatorCOGS becomes a legal quagmire.

By Craig W. Smalley

Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have made cannabis legal in one way or another.

MORE SMALLEY: Representation Isn’t for the Unprepared | A Lesson in Basis Taught to Us by Almond Trees
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The problem is when you are dealing with the federal government. Cannabis is an illegal Schedule I narcotic.

Following Up After Tax Season

Stacks of papers on the corner of a deskLay the foundation for work you didn't have time to do earlier this year.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

If you were paying attention during tax season, you likely picked up on other services your clients might need.

MORE ON MARKETING: Advertising Done Right | 12 Branding Tips | Structuring Partnership and Buy-Sell Agreements | The 64-Point Business Startup Checklist | How to Offer Second Opinions | How to Offer Employment Compensation Assistance | Basic Budgeting for Clients | Guiding Heirs | Add New Revenues with Tax Prep Follow-ups
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Here is a checklist of 15 possible additional services, plus a form to track your follow-up.

Sustainable Innovation: How to Pull It Off

Young woman acrobat performingSounds good. But what actually is it, and how do you do it?

By Gale Crosley

Everybody’s talking about innovation these days.

MORE CROSLEY: Think Growth, Not Marketing | Channels, Not Referrals | Technology Will Solve Labor Shortages | The Three Elements of Growth Strategy
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The “i” word may be overused, but when it comes to growing your firm, I’m an unapologetic believer in the power of innovation. This is especially important for mature service lines.

Entity Choice in Light of Estate and Gift Tax Rules

Man and woman in meetingWhat advisors need to know about the structures under which their clients do business.

By Blake Christian

As many advisors have learned, the 2013 increase in personal federal income tax rates – up to 39.6 percent, plus a potential 3.8 percent federal tax on net investment income (NII) – combined with a drop in the maximum estate and gift tax rate to 40 percent (only on net assets of $5.34 million per spouse), significantly changed estate tax planning for most taxpayers. It’s especially important for your successful business owner clients.

MORE: 11 Tax Client Questions for Year-Round Billings

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One of the most common questions I get from clients and friends is about which legal structure they should opt for to run their new or existing business. My standard answer is, “Well, it depends.”