What Really Makes CPA Firms Profitable?
The complete guide to maximizing profitability, by Marc Rosenberg, CPA
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Note: This monograph is updated each year with the latest results from The Rosenberg MAP Survey.
This monograph summarizes dozens of high-impact techniques to maximize firm profitability. Based on Marc Rosenberg’s experiences with over 700 CPA firms across the country, this monograph focuses on the most effective techniques and practices.
FROM THE INTRODUCTION
It has been said that organizations should never have profitability as a goal. Why? Because profitability should be the result of an organization’s efforts, not its goal. Profitability is a measure of success in accomplishing core business goals. The Disney Corporation probably says it best in their mission statement, which is short and sweet, but very powerful: “Our mission is to make millions happy.”
Disney super‐pleases parents by creating hundreds of quality movies and lovable characters that children grow up with and adore and by creating theme parks that tap into our fantasies and imagination. They create the Disney magic by operating their entertainment facilities with fastidious devotion to efficiency and cleanliness and fanatical attention to the tiniest details, and by countless other efforts. Disney’s customers not only pay for their access to Disney, but do so with a smile on their face, and they keep coming back for more. At Disney the philosophy is clear: Create and maintain a world‐class organization that satisfies the customers’ needs, and the profits will come as a result.
The same theme is true with CPA firm profitability. To be truly profitable, firms need to successfully achieve business goals other than profitability. Then, and only then, will firms be profitable.
Do you want to find easy, quick ways to increase profitability? Do you want to hear about proprietary techniques that previously have never been made public? Do you want to discover revolutionary ways to cut costs? Do you want to find a way to increase productivity without establishing partner accountability?
If your answer to any of the above questions is “yes,” this monograph may disappoint you.
If your firm is not profitable today, there are no easy ways to turn things around. There are few quick fixes. Many of the ideas presented in this monograph embrace concepts that you may already be familiar with. Properly applied, they work. Some work better than others, and some techniques are preferable to others, depending upon your firm’s current situation. But they do work.
The approaches suggested are based upon my experiences working with over 600 firms. The ideas presented here are not merely my suggestions; they are the techniques being used by the most profitable and successful firms in this country.
– Marc Rosenberg, CPA
- The essence of CPA firm profitability
- Accountability and acting like a partner
- CPA firm benchmarking
- Marketing and the bottom line
- Strong management and leadership: The most reliable path to profitability • Other ways to improve profitability
- 25 best practices that move firms from good to great
- What doesn’t seem to be important to firm profitability
- Partner relations: Happy partners are productive partners
- 40 great ways to improve CPA firm profitability
This monograph includes benchmarks from the Rosenberg MAP Survey to rate your firm’s profitability.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. THE ESSENCE OF CPA FIRM PROFITABILITY
2. CPA FIRM BENCHMARKING
Why We Benchmark
The 3 Steps of Benchmarking
10 Mistakes Firms Make Reading & Compiling MAP statistics
Benchmarking Statistics for CPA Firms
3. FIRMS >$20 MILLION IN ANNUAL FEES
4. FIRMS $10‐$20 MILLION IN ANNUAL FEES
5. FIRMS $2‐$10 MILLION IN ANNUAL FEES
6. FIRMS UNDER $2 MILLION IN ANNUAL FEES
7. BY SIZE OF MARKET
8. BY GEOGRAPHIC REGION
9. STRONG MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP: THE MOST RELIABLE PATH TO PROFITABILITY
The Proper Management Structure and Positions
The Value of Strategic Thinking
10. THE 25 BEST PRACTICES THAT TRANSFORM GOOD FIRMS INTO GREAT FIRMS
11. PARTNER RELATIONS: HAPPY PARTNERS ARE PRODUCTIVE PARTNERS
Call Me Now or Call Me Later
Partner Collegiality vs. Accountability: Can We Have Both?
Pick Your Partners Right to Begin With
When Is It Best For Partners To Stay Together and When Is It Best To Part
Health and Psychological Issues
12. ACCOUNTABILITY AND ACTING LIKE A PARTNER
The “A” Word in Practice Management
Ten Time‐Tested Partner Accountability Measures
13. MARKETING AND THE BOTTOM LINE
“You Can’t Not Try”
Two Effective Marketing Techniques For Bringing In Business
Client Satisfaction Surveys
Other Effective Marketing Philosophies and Techniques
14. OTHER WAYS TO IMPROVE PROFITABILITY
15. WHAT DOESN’T SEEM TO BE IMPORTANT TO PROFITABILITY
16. 40 GREAT WAYS TO IMPROVE FIRM PROFITABILITY
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MARC ROSENBERG, CPA
CPA Trendlines commentator Marc Rosenberg is a nationally known consultant, author, speaker on CPA firm management, strategy and partner issues.
President of his own Chicago-based consulting firm, The Rosenberg Associates, he is founder of the most authoritative annual survey of mid-sized CPA firm performance statistics in the country, The Rosenberg Survey, also available from Bay Street Group. He has consulted with more than 700 firms throughout his 20+ year consulting career.
Accounting Today magazine annually acknowledges Marc Rosenberg as one of the 100 most influential people in the CPA profession and INSIDE Public Accounting has repeatedly recognized him as one of the ten most recommended CPA firm consultants in the country.
Click here to see him on CPA Trendlines.
- Paperback, 61 pages
- Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery.