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December 2017 Article Archives

CPAFMA Announces the Graduation of its First Leadership Institute

Published on December 22, 2017

The CPA Firm Management Association is proud to announce the graduation of its first Leadership Institute Class. Nineteen professionals from CPA firms across the country completed the program in mid-November 2017. The half-year long program is designed to put CPA firm leaders through instruction and discussion to provide them with information and best practices to assist them in managing and leading their firms and serving as leaders in the profession. The participants represented firms of varying sizes, each with administrative, operational and management roles at their firms.


Stop Turning Wrenches, Turn Up Value

Published on December 22, 2017 by Roy Keely, VP of Market Strategy, Xcentric

How will you show your value to your firm as an IT person?

Keeping the servers going? Making sure the backups are working? How about making sure you are legal on licensing?

All of these things are important but are they valued or commoditized? We both know the answer to this but unfortunately, it’s those things that take up most of your time.

How about engaging various technology vendors to save 8% on your IT budget? What about rolling out a learning management system to better facilitate training and CPE tracking? What about connecting siloed data via APIs or figuring out a better way to get reports out of your practice system?


Moving through CPAFMA

Published on December 22, 2017 by Michael Mariano, PAFM, Director of Membership

My name is Michael Mariano, I am the Director of Membership and Growth for the CPAFMA. More importantly, I am a new board member. Since the day I heard about CPAFMA (known then as AAA), I have been steadily moving through this wonderful organization. At first, I knew about the CPAFMA, and just the idea of it was inspiring to me – an organization devoted to helping me to learn how to do my new job, and it was cooperative in nature. Coming from outside the Accounting Industry, these were two ideas that were astonishing. All of my previous industries were very closed in and there was never any cooperation between “competitors” – to hell with the industry as a whole, it was each to his own. It was a breath of fresh air just to understand what CPAFMA was about.


The Holidays Are Upon Us!

Published on December 22, 2017 by Jane Johnson, MBA, PAFM, ACMPE, Grimbleby Coleman

The holidays are upon us! Christmas is a joyous time at my office. We look forward each year to our annual Christmas party, going ice skating as a team with our families and participating in our gingerbread house making/ugly sweater contests. I’ve included a few pictures to show you the magic that occurs around my fabulous firm. We really “deck the halls” around here!

As you have probably deduced, the theme I’ve selected for my year as Chair of CPAFMA is leadership. In one of my favorite business books, The Advantage, author Patrick Lencioni details the importance of building a cohesive leadership team. There are several behavioral principals he asserts must be embraced if a team is to be effective: building trust, mastering conflict, achieving commitment, embracing accountability and focusing on results.


The Growing Role of a Firm Manager: From Admin to Executive

Published on December 22, 2017 by Ginny Fedrich, PAFM, HBLA CPAs

The dynamics of the practice and operations in CPA firms today have become infinitely more complex, creating a challenge for firms that are resistant to change. Many firms have a managing partner that functions more as a high-level firm administrator or firm manager than a leader of the firm. Resistance to letting go of management and administrative duties by managing partners results in less than effective leadership for the firm. Is it not the managing partner’s role to “lead” the firm? Partners who hang on to administrative functions are the most underutilized group doing things that others can do and not concentrating time on things that “ONLY” partners can do. So the question becomes, what are the firm’s needs in terms of management and administration? And then, who should fill this role?


Introducing the Blockchain Concept to Your Firm

Published on December 22, 2017 by Roman Kepczyk, CPA.CITP, CGMA, PAFM, Xcentric

For the past year, AICPA leadership has been touting the evolution towards the “audit of the future,” with one of the core discussion points being how Blockchain will be one of the driving technologies behind financial reporting and operating a business in the future. This has been bolstered by a tidal wave of articles describing how Blockchain currencies (primarily Bitcoin) were eliminating traditional banking middlemen, how companies were using Blockchain technology to streamline their supply chain with “smart” contracts, and how it could be used to secure digital rights to virtually everything; potentially disrupting every type of transactional information that accountants traditionally utilize to provide their accounting services. Unfortunately, most accounting firm partners are barely aware of the concept and those that have been exposed to it most often take a “wait and see” approach. This nonchalant attitude could put your firm at a strategic disadvantage by not understanding how it is fundamentally changing the way your clients will do business in the near future, and how your firm’s services will need to evolve to be able to advise clients effectively.


CPAFMA's Strategic Plan and Leadership

Published on December 22, 2017 by Bob Biddle, PAFM, Bowman & Company, Voorhees, NJ

The CPAFMA Board of Directors has been hard at work on the renewal of the organization’s strategic plan, a process started in November of 2016 and continuing to evolve with successes and updates.  Through the process, the leadership has identified five initiatives as priorities over the next two years. 


1) To evaluate the organization's leadership structure to engage new members, develop new leaders and provide education about CPA firm practice management.

2) To leverage and expand our alliances to increase market reach and protect our space.


CPAFMA's Public Accounting Firm Manager Program Accepting Applications

Published on December 20, 2017

Think. Experience. Elevate.
The process of attaining the PAFM designation includes meeting the experience-and education-based eligibility requirements, agreeing to adhere to CPAFMA’s Core Values of a Firm Manager, and fulfilling the continuing education/recertification requirements.

The PAFM designation will identify you as a dedicated and experienced accounting firm manager who understands the unique and challenging issues of managing your firm. Accreditation recognizes that you have achieved a level of expertise within the profession of firm management, exemplifying your professional capabilities and experience. Your firm can also take pride in your accreditation as it affirms their success in employing a recognized leader. If transitioning between employers, the credential will demonstrate mastery of the skill sets necessary to qualify you as an individual who has attained an unparalleled level of competence in firm management.