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October 2017 Article Archives

The Last Server You Will Buy

Published on October 30, 2017 by Roy Keely, VP of Market Strategy, Xcentric

I drive a 1999 Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s a beast, gets horrible gas mileage, won’t die, and I love it. I bought it for $10,200 8 years ago and could sell it today for approximately $8K. The best depreciating asset investment I have ever made!

The speed at which innovation, market demands and regulation are going (i.e. autonomous vehicles) combined with urban concentration, mind bending traffic, etc. lead me to believe that my beloved Land Cruiser is likely the last car I purchase that a) has a steering wheel that I can control and/or b) is gas powered.

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The Bridge to The Land of Partner

Published on October 30, 2017 by Guy Gage, PartnersCoach

Imagine a deep, but fairly narrow, crevasse with a firm’s senior managers on one side and senior leaders on the other. They stand, looking at each other, waiting for the other side to do something. But nothing happens. It is disappointing to the senior leaders that the managers can’t get over to their side. With all the support, resources and instructions they have provided to the managers, they should be able to cross. But they don’t. And it is frustrating to the senior managers because everything the partners have given them has proven to be insufficient to ford the chasm. So they can’t. This image is what I have when I speak with partners and aspiring partners in firms.

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Someone Should Do Something

Published on October 26, 2017 by Tiffany Taft, PAFM, Baker Holtz

Have you ever said that? I have….at home, in my community, in my family, and at work. We all see places where change should happen, improvements could be made, and help is needed. And we all think, “someone should do something”.

I joined CPAFMA because I needed a resource to help me do my job. I needed information and tools and a good old fashioned sounding board. I found all that in my state chapter. And the more I got involved the more I wanted to be involved. If you know me, you might be surprised to know that I don’t always enjoy the limelight. But by immersing myself in a group that shared my passion and my commitment to the industry, I slowly found my voice. I joined a committee, and then I joined the Board. I learned to share my vision and to believe my ideas had value.

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How to Become a Baby-Friendly Firm: Maternity and Paternity Leave - Get Creative

Published on October 26, 2017 by Sharon Trabbic, PAFM, William Vaughan Company

The Big 4 Accounting firms (Deloitte, PwC, EY and KMPG) have embraced the maternity and paternity leave concept in a big way and updated most of their policies during 2016 and 2017. Deloitte and EY rolled out 16 weeks fully paid leave for mothers and fathers; KMPG now offers 12 weeks paid leave to primary caregivers and 3 weeks for non-primary caregivers. PwC’s policy is 12 weeks of fully paid maternity leave (including short-term disability benefits), and 6 weeks of paid paternity leave. 

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Why Xcentric Pays CPAFMA Dues for Clients

Published on October 26, 2017 by Roman Kepczyk, CPA.CITP, CGMA, PAFM, Xcentric

More than thirty years ago I began my transition into the administrative role within my firm and it was obvious I needed help. While I had been a CPA doing taxes, accounting work, and helping others understand personal computers, overseeing the administrative and technology management of the firm was a little outside my wheelhouse. The firm’s newly appointed Managing Partner and I attended the then-AAA National Conference together with the intent of solidifying my job description and responsibilities, which turned out to be “whatever the rest of the partners didn’t want to do.” One day it was HR, the next billing, then marketing, then new server purchases and audit program updates.

What I found at that first CPAFMA conference was that there were many others exactly like me that had to respond to a wide variety of administrative problems and that there was always someone that had addressed that problem and was willing to share that knowledge. Being a member of CPAFMA provided access to the knowledge and experience of hundreds of other peer administrators, which in turn made each of us smarter and able to direct decisions with confidence that benefitted our firms. As CPAFMA has grown to over 1,200 members, it has retained its position as the leading resource for sharing accounting firm best practices and member to member networking addressing today’s CPA firm management issues. This peer sharing allows members to cut through the marketing hype about what applications work or not, whether a new process is worth pursuing, and understanding the pitfalls of making a change by listening to those that had already run that gauntlet. In essence, providing each of us with reliable, trusted information makes each of our firms better.

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NAPLIA Now McGowanPRO

Published on October 26, 2017

As you may have heard, CPAFMA Vendor Member, North American Professional Liability Insurance Agency, LLC (“NAPLIA”) has entered into an asset purchase agreement with McGowanPRO (A Division of McGowan & Company, Inc.)(“McGowan”). Under the agreement, NAPLIA transferred its client relationships (policies and policyholders) to McGowan. 

McGowan is one of the oldest, largest, and most well-respected firms of its type in the United States. It is a family-run and financially-stable organization which believes in providing its clients with the finest products, premiums, and service in our industry . . . in terms of competence, courtesy, integrity, quickness, and friendliness. These are goals that are shared by NAPLIA.

NAPLIA’s staff was hired by McGowanPRO. As employees of McGowanPRO, they will manage client relationships and run the programs which McGowan purchased from NAPLIA, including the following:

(1) Accountants Professional Liability Program (“CPAOnePro”);
(2) Fiduciary Insurance Program;
(3) Bookkeepers Professional Liability Program;
(4) ERISA Bonding Program; and,
(5) Deductible Reimbursement Insurance Program (“DRIP”).

“As part of McGowanPRO, we will be able to leverage our underwriting experience and McGowan’s strength, capabilities, reputation, and focus on cutting-edge technology to offer you an even broader array of coverages and services than we were able to previously (at NAPLIA). Our guiding principle will always be to provide you great insurance coverage and outstanding service . . . at a great premium!” said Gary Sutherland, Managing Director.

McGowanPRO will provide Risk Management and Hotline services through Ralph Picardi.

How Does This Affect Me, a CPA Firm Manager with a NAPLIA Relationship?

From a practical standpoint, there is nothing required of you… other than updating your records to reflect our new e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and physical address. Further, your insurance policy is unaffected by this transaction, except that the name of your insurance agency is now “McGowanPRO (A Division of McGowan & Company, Inc.). NAPLIA's main phone numbers will remain the same. And, to make this transition as easy as possible for you, their old e-mail addresses will continue to work.

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A Lot of Exciting Things!

Published on October 26, 2017 by Jane Johnson, MBA, PAFM, ACMPE, Grimbleby Coleman

Welcome to fall! Most people associate the season of spring with the words rejuvenation and excitement. But, here at CPAFMA, we have a lot of exciting things happening now.

At our conference in June, I spoke to you about leadership. Recently, I had the privilege of attending a luncheon that included a keynote address by Maryum “May May” Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali. Maryum’s field of passion is social work, specifically in the area of gang prevention and intervention for at-risk children and family. While it was interesting to hear her stories regarding her father and his qualities, she focused her talk on leadership. In relating leadership to her field, she mentioned the importance of several success factors, including “multi-faceted solutions and collaborative planning.” Wow – universally, leaders are focusing on the same things.

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Irma Gerd!

Published on October 26, 2017 by Joyce Arthur, PAFM, BDO Alliance USA

Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc for us Florida folks and so many other coastal areas. As a family, you get supplies as needed, fill up the gas tanks, secure your home, etc. Believe me, my family took all of those precautions such as boarding up windows, making sure our generator was up and running and picking up large items from the yard that could pose a threat. We ended up making it through the storm okay, with a little mini-area war zone left in our yard and no power, internet or TV for 8 days! Fun stuff! We were one of the lucky ones though. My heart breaks for those in Houston, Miami, Puerto Rico, and so many more that were – and still are – impacted by the flooding and devastation. Hopefully most took the necessary precautions and braced for Mother Nature’s brutal attack as much as it was possible. Hopefully you made it through securing your home, but what about your firm and maintaining business continuity? Was your firm ready?

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Performance Indicators to Keep Your Firm Healthy and Happy

Published on October 26, 2017 by Ira S. Rosenbloom, CEO, Optimum Strategies

While the rest of the firm is crunching numbers for clients, CPA firm administrators are generally charged with creating conditions to achieve certain performance numbers and results. Many firm administrators have their favorite key performance indicators. Some are from the traditional pool, such as realization, utilization, revenues, and client satisfaction. Some are more non-traditional metrics. Whatever your preference, here are some potent elements of which to be aware:

1. Days Receivable – If days receivable – or days sales outstanding (DSO) – is growing, it means clients aren’t paying you as quickly as they used to. This could mean clients are having financial troubles, that they are not happy with your firm or services, or that your internal team is not being effective with collection efforts. Increasing days receivable is an indicator your cash flow is going to be extended, that people on your team may be overworked, and that morale internally and externally will become impaired. An acceptable target for days receivable should be determined and reviewed at points during the year to keep cash flow healthy and predictable.

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