On the podcast this week is Tom Angelo, the Managing Partner of Spire Group, PC and Spire IT in Clark, New Jersey.

With roots dating back over half a century, Spire Group, PC is a full-service CPA and Consulting firm specializing in accounting, assurance, tax, business advisory and technology services. Clients include startups, closely held family businesses, nonprofits and governmental entities, and high-net-worth individuals. The firm provides a breadth of services from business valuations and litigation assistance to Cloud computing to outsourced CFO consulting.

Tom has over 20 years of experience working with clients in the not-for-profit sector, including membership, health and welfare, and trade associations. In addition, he has worked with a variety of for-profit industries including manufacturing, retail, distribution & trucking, and professional services.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

My conversation with Tom covered several topics, including:

  • How Spire’s technology services grew over 40% in 2016
  • Why Tom is more entrepreneur than accountant
  • The difference between creating income vs. creating long-term value
  • The secret to keeping employee turnover to 2%
  • Opportunities in “the Internet of things”

Spire Group was named by Commerce Magazine as one of their “Companies That Care” for Spire’s generosity as a firm and their good work. Spire Group was also named an honoree for Inc.’s “Best Workplaces” Award.

Spire IT, meanwhile, is an affiliate of Spire Group and provides management and support of vital IT infrastructure – with services such as:
– Managed Network Monitoring
– Cloud and Remote Access Solutions
– Offsite backup and disaster recovery &
– Hosted Cloud Solutions

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

Visiting with me on the podcast this week is Edward Bortnick, the Managing Partner of SKMB and Associates in Rockville, Maryland.

In addition to being a CPA, Edward is a Certified Valuation Analyst, a Master Analyst In Financial Forensics, a Certified Fraud Deterrence Analyst, and carries the designation Certified In Financial Forensics. Ed has appeared in Circuit, U.S. Bankruptcy, and other Federal courts to serve as an expert in business disputes, divorce and tax matters. In addition, he has issued business valuation reports on more than 100 entities.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Here are some of the topics we covered:

  • The benefits to being proactive
  • How to find the right experts to solve clients’ needs
  • When growth can hurt a business
  • How advisory services have helped SKMB generate over 7 figures in additional compliance work
  • Secrets to why SKMB wants to stay under 15 professionals
  • The best way to find the right people for your firm
  • How SKMB has grown by utilizing non-traditional value-added services

Edward is a frequent guest speaker, and has presented programs for the Attorney CPA Association, the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, the Society of Financial Professionals, and numerous law firms.

He is an instructor for the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts and is the former president of the Maryland/DC Chapter of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

HaydenRock Solutions was profiled in a recent article in AccountingWEB.

Written by Melinda Camp of Sageworks, the article is entitled “Adding Advisory Services Starts With Your Clients,” and is an extensive interview with HaydenRock partners Bryan Eberle and Ian Welham.

Eberle and Welham were the main presenters in the Sageworks webinar, “How to Develop Predictable, Repeatable and Scalable Revenue Streams.” The article reviews the main points of the webinar, and is aimed at accountants who are exploring adding advisory services to their firm.

Camp explores the background and basis of The HaydenRock System™ and touches on the value of proven and tested processes and systems.

Here’s the link to the article: http://www.accountingweb.com/community/blogs/melinda-crump/adding-advisory-services-starts-with-your-clients

Sageworks is a financial information company that provides financial analysis and valuation applications to accounting firms.

This week’s guest is John Bly, the founding partner, CEO and leading visionary of LBA Haynes Strand in Greensboro, North Carolina.

LBA Haynes Strand has been built through a series of mergers and acquisitions. The firm made Inc. 5000’s list of the nation’s fastest growing privately held companies for 3 consecutive years, and ranks as one of the Top 25 CPA Firms in the Charlotte Region with three locations and over 70 professionals on staff.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

John shared some great stories and offered insights on:

  • How to grow a firm through 13 mergers and acquisitions
  • Why he’s more entrepreneur than CPA
  • The benefits to clients and accountants of simplified, all-inclusive pricing
  • An underused growth strategy that’s less risky and provides a quicker payout than more common strategies
  • What John considers his best business decision in his career
  • How outside experts can push your growth forward

John is a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Masters Program at MIT, a past recipient of the “Managing Partner Elite” Award from Accounting Today, and sits on the Global Board of Directors for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. John is also the co-founder and Managing Director of LBA Haynes Strand Capital Advisors, which focuses on the capital needs of small to mid-sized companies.
In his spare time John is an author. He wrote the acclaimed book, Cracking the Code: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Business Through Mergers and Acquisitions for Pennies on the Dollar.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

This week, we travel to America’s heartland – to Great Bend, Kansas, hard by the Arkansas River. Visiting with us on the Accounting Success Podcast is Brian Staats, the Managing Partner of Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, also known as ABBB.

Founded in 1945, ABBB has 150 employees, 14 partners and 14 office locations throughout the state of Kansas. Brian was born and raised in Garden City, Kansas, and joined the firm in 1988, right out of university. As managing partner, he oversees all aspects of firm management while also servicing clients. His areas of focus are in the agricultural industry, small business taxes, and estate planning.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Brian and I discussed his 30-year journey with ABBB and:

  • Why more and more businesses are moving to Cloud accounting – and what it means to the modern CPA firm
  • What elder care has to do with a successful CPA firm in 2017
  • Ways to attract clients away from Big 4 accounting firms
  • Where the growth in outsourced CFO services is coming from
  • How to replace diminishing compliance work with more interesting and more profitable services
  • Reasons why he’s focusing on higher value-add services rather than traditional services

ABBB firm specialties include Agriculture, Construction, Manufacturing, and Oil & Gas, among others.

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

Visiting with us this week on the Accounting Success Podcast was Andrew Argue, one of the most creative and right brain CPAs you’re going to meet, and an up-and-coming voice in the accounting profession.

Andrew began his accounting career at PwC, started racing up the corporate ladder, making senior partner at a young age, then made a complete 180-degree pivot and career change when he found his true calling. Today he’s the founder of AndrewArgue.com and runs a successful training program teaching CPAs, bookkeepers and Enrolled Agents how to develop and strengthen their sales and marketing skills so they can start to have a successful and growing practice.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

In the last 6 months alone, Andrew has helped 112 accounting firms in 5 different countries learn the fundamentals of sales, while also understanding how it relates to today’s modern economy with social media and the digital world. Many of his clients see rapid improvement in new client fees and are able to confidently shed clients that are a drag on the firm.

And here’s the juiciest part: Andrew’s approach goes against much of the conventional wisdom from bloggers and tweeters and shiny object promoters out there.

Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:

  • How to make sales and marketing less intimidating
  • How to establish value for the services you offer
  • Why he says, “The better your website, the less likely you are to be successful.”
  • How to create an effective marketing plan just by asking simple questions
  • The reason why some bookkeepers make more money than many CPAs
  • Beware your CPA license – it could be costing you business
  • The theory behind, “If you want better clients you need to be a better client”
  • How one client tripled growth in less than 18 months

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

I have a Google Alert set for my name.

Paul Partridge must not be a very common name because I get only an occasional alert.

However, last week was different.

I woke up to 2 alerts . . .

. . . informing me that Paul Partridge had died.

Thought I’d better look into it to see if I was still relevant. Turned out to be two gentlemen from England who share my namesake that passed.

It’s a little unnerving confronting your own demise.

Sadly, in the next few years, I fear that scenario is going to play out for certain CPAs.

Specifically, those that continue to be:

backwards looking . . .

reactive . . .

focused on compliance . . .

still working in a 20th Century style.

They’re going to wake up to find out that the world has moved on and their compliance-centric accounting practice has expired.

We made a video about it.

A parable, actually.

Check it out.

Have you heard the parable about the frog that was kissed and turned into a prince?

In this version, the frog doesn’t fare as well.

Revenge of the Bookkeepers

If it feels like your CPA practice is under attack, it is.

First it was online tax software.

Then offshore accountants working for pennies on the dollar.

Next came Watson, artificial intelligence, and the robots.

And now this:

Revenge of the bookkeepers.

CPA David Bergstein wrote an excellent article in the April issue of Accounting Today about “a whole new set of advisors coming into play in accounting.”

These new professional services companies are CPA-firm-like…

Except without the CPA.

As Bergstein points out, many of these hybrid firms have their roots as bookkeeping companies providing back office accounting services – now bolting on value-added services such as consulting and strategic advisory services.

In the process they’re servicing small and mid-sized business owners at a higher level than many compliance-centric CPA firms do.

Entrepreneurs and business owners today are looking for more from their advisors than 20th Century thinking and historical record keeping. If CPAs won’t provide it, these executives are willing to look outside traditional channels to find it.

Last week on our podcast we heard about several bookkeeping firms who are doing six figures.

A month.

As you can imagine, to generate steady revenue like that, they’re doing much more than balancing a company’s checkbook.

Separately, I had a conversation with a millennial CPA who walked away from a lucrative career at a top “name” regional firm to join a bookkeeping service because he:
1) was fed up with 80-hour workweeks
2) was tired of practicing “drive-by accounting”
3) now has more freedom to add value wherever he sees need
4) feels like he’s using more of his brain
5) can engage clients on a much deeper level that they appreciate
6) can still make a very good income

Some CPAs look down on bookkeepers because they don’t have a CPA license. Meanwhile, many bookkeepers are rejoicing because they DON’T have one.

Not having a CPA license means they never have the responsibility and aggravation and liability of doing tax returns. They’re free to build a firm unchained to the tax return.

Which means proactive, value-added, forward-looking services that speak to the modern business owner.

And when it comes time to do the tax return?

They can hire that low-level commodity service out.

With us this week on The Accounting Success podcast is Mark Zinman, the owner, CEO and managing partner of Ziman & Company, outside of Philadelphia. Mark is an AICPA Continuing Education Instructor, an NBC Tax Panel leader, and the Online Tax Expert for Philly.com. He’s also a Certified Information Technology Professional, whose passion is leveraging technology to improve business.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Mark uses his expertise to keep Zinman & Company on the forefront of technology while leading team members in business management, consulting and tax planning for clients. Marks’s unique team approach to helping clients is another demonstration of how Zinman & Company is “thinking beyond the numbers.”

The firm focuses on small and mid-sized businesses, Internet & technology, and construction, among other niches.

Here are some of the topics Mark and I discussed:

  • What is “Virtual Controllership”?
  • The best way to provide a “no-surprise” approach to billing
  • Crusading against “that’s the way we’ve always done it”
  • How to make numbers tell a story
  • His proudest and most rewarding moment in 30+ years as an accountant
  • Why proximity is no longer a consideration for Cloud CPAs
  • Why advisory services are the firm’s #1 focus

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w

I had a special guest this week — Lindsay Patterson, Senior Manager – Communications and Public Relations at the AICPA.

A few weeks ago, Jena Wilson, who works in our HaydenRock office, showed me a story in AICPA Insights that was written by Lindsay – telling about a surprising and serendipitous encounter she had with Mark Cuban, the billionaire businessman, investor, basketball team owner, etc.

Everyone in the office loved the story, and Jena suggested, why don’t we ask Lindsay on the podcast, and she can tell the story? So we did and she said yes.

Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

We dove right in to why Lindsay is so passionate about defending the CPA profession and also:

  • The reason why Mark Cuban wouldn’t want to be a CPA right now
  • Why Mark Cuban thinks the accounting profession is dying
  • The effects of Bitcoin and other new technologies
  • How the CPA exam has evolved to reflect today’s changing landscape
  • Practicing what she preaches—why Lindsay is motivated to get her Master’s in Accounting amidst the changes taking place in the industry

To view Lindsay’s blog, “That Time I told Mark Cuban He Was Wrong About the CPA Profession,” visit
http://blog.aicpa.org/2017/03/that-time-i-told-mark-cuban-he-was-wrong-about-the-cpa-profession.html#sthash.fvXko7v3.dpbs

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. You can listen anytime by going to https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c and downloading the latest episode. Or, you can tune in on YouTube on The Accounting Success channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf8iui-YUVIhTxVCSItxV0w