craig-ballantyne_blog

This week we did two things completely different. First, since I was out of town, HaydenRock partner Paul Partridge served as the podcast host. Second, the podcast had little to do with a CPA business, per se, but everything to do with a CPA’s productivity and sanity.

The theme of the podcast was time management and productivity – about getting things done without having to work 80 hours a week. And I can’t think of a better person more qualified to talk about this than Paul’s guest, Craig Ballantyne. Craig is the Editor of Early to Rise and author of The Perfect Day Formula.

Check out our conversation here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/accounting-success-podcast/id1140252087?mt=2#episodeGuid=858712527f67c6a6e094345a927f3c3f

For those of you who may not be familiar with it, Early to Rise is the online personal development newsletter that wakes you up every day by giving you inspiration and practical advice on how to accomplish your goals. Craig’s daily essays reach over 150,000 readers and teach executives how to build their wealth, improve their health and become the best version of themselves.

Craig is also a Strength & Conditioning coach and the creator of Turbulence Training. He has been a contributing author to Men’s Health magazine for over 15 years. If that’s not enough, he also coaches entrepreneurs all over the world. Since 2008 his business clients have sold over $175 million dollars worth of health, fitness and nutrition products. Thanks largely to strong time management skills, Craig has achieved his dream of running a thriving business while traveling the globe, visiting over 35 countries.

Paul and Craig discussed The Perfect Day Formula, as well as:

  • The 5 Pillars of Success and Transformation
  • The two things missing from your to-do list
  • The best ways to control and protect your time
  • The importance of putting systems in place in both your work and personal life

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

 

michael-rozbruch_blog

Perhaps the most effective way to grow your firm is to find a specialty or niche that makes you different than the other 650,000 licensed CPAs out there. This week I had a fascinating discussion with Michael Rozbruch, one of the most successful niche CPA practitioners in the country.

In addition to being a CPA, Michael is a Certified Tax Resolution Specialist. He is a nationally recognized entrepreneur and the founder of the Tax & Business Solutions Academy™ as well as Roz Strategies™, an eLearning, training, and consulting services company that coaches and helps practitioners build highly profitable IRS representation practices through proven marketing, sales, practice management, and case resolution strategies.

Check out our conversation here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/accounting-success-podcast/id1140252087?mt=2

Michael helped pioneer the tax resolution industry over 18 years ago. He founded and built one of the most successful and reputable tax resolution firms in the country, going from zero to over $22 million in revenue in 12 years.

Michael was a 2011 semifinalist in Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. He has made the Inc. 5000 list twice and has been featured as a guest expert on more than 200 radio and television shows, including Fox News. He has been interviewed and published in US News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Tax Analysis, Tax Notes Today, and others.

Rather than try to be all things to all people, Michael has built a finely tuned niche practice based on the simple fact that one in 50 taxpayers has an IRS problem that needs to be solved. We discussed the importance of niches and also:

  • The reason most conventional CPAs feel unappreciated and under paid
  • Treating your Accounting firm like a business can be a big advantage
  • The “Swipe & Deploy” theory: How to incorporate great ideas into your firm
  • Why accountants should never take their foot off the marketing gas pedal
  • How to get paid in advance
  • Important IRS enforcement changes in 2017
  • Positioning your firm from a different perspective—marketer first, professional second

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

 

tom_filomeno

It was refreshing to have Tom Filomeno, President of Filomeno & Company, a 10-CPA firm in West Hartford, Connecticut, on the podcast this week.

Tom’s father, Joseph Filomeno, founded the firm in 1966, and Tom has adopted his father’s mantra, which is to always look ahead and make the firm better.

Tom doesn’t consider himself an accountant; he considers himself a problem solver. Likewise, he doesn’t consider his firm an accounting firm; he considers it to be a proactive advisory firm. As such, Filomeno & Company offers an extensive list of services beyond traditional tax and compliance, including: Business Advisory, Business Valuation, Corporate Tax, Estate, Gift & Trust, Fraud Prevention, Individual Income Tax, and Qualified Plans, to name a few.

Check out our conversation here: http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/id/4906193

Today, Tom spends considerable time serving clients, particularly in manufacturing and Wealth Management. He collaborates with manufacturing clients on their specialized issues, including inventory, job costing, overhead allocation, and financial analysis.

He also consults regularly on wealth management, financial planning, tax planning, succession and estate planning issues. In addition, Tom serves as trustee for many individual clients.

Filomeno & Company services a variety of industries, including Construction & Real Estate, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Professional Service, Retail, and Technology.

Our conversation covered a number of topics, including:

  • From child apprentice to President of the firm… what it’s like to grow up in the business
  • The influence of an entrepreneurial father
  • The single biggest change in the accounting industry
  • Why accountants must learn it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the people
  • The benefits of having a Director of Culture
  • The significance of staying involved in the community
  • Exploring project-based billing
  • Technology as a competitor
  • You start a business to sell it: How to pick your head up from the work and achieve your goal.

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

 

andrew_berg_b

This week on The Accounting Success Podcast I spoke with Chris Billman, Senior Tax Manager at Lougen, Valenti, Bookbinder & Weintraub, LLP, in Amherst, NY, outside of Buffalo.

Previous to joining LVBW Chris accumulated over twenty years of experience in both public accounting and private industry; nearly nine years as a tax director for an SEC-registered international IT services company and 12 years in public accounting, including nine years with a Big Four national accounting firms. With his broad experience, in both private and public accounting, Chris brings value to a variety of industries and business clients.

Check out our conversation here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/accounting-success-podcast/id1140252087?mt=2#episodeGuid=6009c9f04e13b707794f9ad55e1d9c0c

LVBW is a full service accounting firm that specializes in accounting, tax and consulting services to privately-owned businesses. The firm’s mission is to help clients succeed by gaining an in-depth knowledge of their business through the personal involvement of the partners. Their proactive team-based approach to serving clients distinguishes them from other accounting firms.

Firm specialties include audit, tax, and business consulting. Industry expertise includes real estate development, construction, manufacturing, retail/wholesale distribution, medical practices, service organizations, and not-for-profit.

During our short time together, we discussed some of the following:

  • Pros of working in a smaller CPA firm as opposed to a Big 4 public accounting firm
  • Benefits of being a second set of eyes for clients
  • Identifying and implementing a GAP strategy
  • Opportunities arising from the Baby Boomer generation
  • Importance of a work/life balance in an entrepreneurial atmosphere
  • How to thrive at being an outsourced accounting department
  • Ways to make a difference for your client in one phone call
  • The role of technology in a modern day accounting practice
  • How to show a client that your CPA firm is different

Chris’s career has helped empower him to view situations with clients from all sides. He is quick to recognize pain points and proactively searches for solutions to fix issues before they become problems.

Check out our conversation here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/accounting-success-podcast/id1140252087?mt=2#episodeGuid=6009c9f04e13b707794f9ad55e1d9c0c

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

 

andrew_berg_b

This week, I spoke with Andrew Berg, Founder and Managing Partner of Berg Advisors, LLC, outside of Philadelphia. Andrew has been providing CPA services for over 23 years, and has a unique approach to running his CPA firm.

Berg Advisors was named an Intuit “Firm of the Future,” and specializes in Small Business Services ranging from week-to-week bookkeeping services to tax planning to outsource CFO services. The firm offers a popular Back Office Support System to business owners called BOSS.

Check out our conversation here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/accounting-success-podcast/id1140252087?_mt=2#episodeGuid=e285627c7fab3af8ec2e73a172927ad5

Andrew Berg runs his firm in a non-traditional way. For example, his CPA firm business partner is not a CPA and not even an accountant. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile, his firm is thriving.

With a wide array of services, modern technology, collaborative culture, and an out-of-the box education program, Berg Advisors believes gone are the days of being just an “order-taker”. We discussed that philosophy along with these topics:

  • How to run your CPA firm like a business, not a practice
  • Why accountants need to focus more on what is going to happen rather than what happened in the past
  • When CPAs need to take their own medicine
  • Overcoming the fear of advisory services steering you away from the work that has to be done
  • How to help your business owner clients not just acquire useful technology but implement and execute it successfully
  • Ways CPAs sabotage presentations to prospective clients

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

 

maria-rollins

This week on the podcast I’m pleased to interview Maria Rollins of Kreinces, Rollins & Shanker (KRS), a four-partner firm located in Paramus, New Jersey. Maria manages the firm’s tax practice and spearheads the handling of regulatory and compliance matters arising from state, federal and industry oversight.

With 20+ years of public accounting experience, Maria brings extensive knowledge in the complex art of tax planning and compliance, plus an arsenal of proven strategies. She has represented her clients before the most demanding regulatory bodies, including all manner of state and federal tax agencies. She has won significant tax abatements, penalty concessions and favorable audit outcomes for dozens of clients across industries.

You can listen to our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

After speaking with Maria, I realized that although she has had a long prestigious career, her interest resides in her clients’ success. In today’s rapid, ever-changing business climate, Maria emphasizes the need to have her clients’ backs more than ever and to go beyond being simply a trusted advisor. We also discussed:

  • “Real Time” accounting
  • The secret to winning (and keeping) clients
  • What business owners value most (it’s the #1 answer on survey after survey)
  • Why the best clients are the trend leaders in their industry

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

KRS has been honored as one of the Best Places to Work in New Jersey for six consecutive years, has been named one of the Best Firms to Work for by Accounting Today, and was a winner in the Best Practices in Leadership competition. Their specific firm specialties include family-owned businesses, health & dental care, real estate, food & beverage, hedge funds, business valuation and litigation support, and employee benefit plan audits.

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

 

eric-majchrzak

Eric Majchrzak is chief marketing officer of BeachFleischman PC, one of Arizona’s largest locally owned CPA firms. He joined BeachFleischman in 2012 and is responsible for the firm’s overall marketing initiatives, including institutional firm branding, innovation, client satisfaction, firm growth initiatives, niche marketing and digital marketing.

Eric has been acknowledged as one of the accounting profession’s pioneers in digital marketing and social media and has been named as one of the ‘Top 100 Most Influential People’ in the accounting profession by the editors of Accounting Today magazine. Most impressively, he won the prestigious “Marketer of the Year” award last year, presented by Inside Public Accounting.

Having a marketing maven on the Podcast was a bit of a change, but Eric enlightened me on a number of topics, such as:

  • Why marketing is no longer a one-way conversation
  • The importance of selling outcomes vs. selling time
  • If your selling message leads with compliance services, you’re doomed to be judged on price
  • Is it more important to market to your current clients or to prospective clients?
  • How in the future, your biggest competition might not be other CPA firms
Check out our conversation here: https://itun.es/us/32T9db.c

Eric has been profiled in dozens of media outlets, including Accounting Today, CPA Practice Management Forum, AAM Growth Strategies, AICPA’s Insider, MarketingSherpa, Mashable (firm), Success Magazine, Chief Marketer Magazine, and WCEO-HQ’s “CEO Hour”.

BeachFleischman, PC is a part of Leading Edge Alliance (LEA Global) and has multiple niche markets including healthcare, construction, real estate, hospitality, manufacturing, and not-for-profit, to name a few. The firm also offers Strategic Operations and Advisory Resources (SOAR), which provides full-service 360-degree consulting and outsourcing options for business owners.

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

tom

The editors of Accounting Today magazine describe Tom Hood this way: “If there is a conversation going on about the future of the profession, you’re bound to hear Tom Hood’s name mentioned as one of the people leading the way there. The relentlessly forward-thinking Hood is a constant force dragging the profession (yes, with some kicking and screaming) into the future.”

This week’s podcast is all about the future. I am very excited to have had Tom Hood on the podcast with us. Tom is President and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPA’s and the Business Learning Institute. He’s ranked the #2 most influential person in all of accounting, according to Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People list. This year marks Tom’s 11th appearance on the Top 100 list.

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

If you own a computer, you’re bound to run into Tom online. He is very prolific in social media. In fact, he’s one of LinkedIn’s Top 150 Thought Leaders and was named to the Top 25 Influencers in Learning by HR Examiner.

In addition, Tom and his team have led over 100 strategic planning sessions for the Top 100 CPA firms, the AICPA Leadership Academy and the Maryland Competitiveness Coalition. And oh, by the way, Tom was recently named to the CPA Practice Advisor “Accounting Hall of Fame.”

During our conversation, Tom and I discussed not only his vision for the future of accounting, but how to actually get your firm there. Through the Business Learning Institute, Tom and his team help CPA firms get future ready with training, strategic planning, and other tools.

Some of the topics we covered:

  • What it will mean to be a CPA in the future
  • Where the biggest opportunities will be going forward
  • What new skill sets accountants need to master in order to not just survive, but thrive
  • The gravitational pull of the past—how it may be affecting your firm & how to fix it

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

steven

It was a real treat speaking to Steven Bankler, Founder of Steven Bankler, CPA, Ltd., in San Antonio, TX. Steven has almost 40 years of experience in the accounting industry. He was employed by the United States Senate as sole investigative accountant to provide tax and accounting services to the Special Whitewater Committee. He was also a pro bono consultant to the United States Senate Banking Committee’s inquiry into Swiss banks’ involvement in holding Holocaust victims’ assets.

For more than two decades, major media outlets have published and broadcasted Steven’s insights on a wide range of forensic accounting and tax topics, and he has been an on-the-record accounting expert for The Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, NBC Nightly News and Tax Notes Today.

Check out our conversation here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/accounting-success-podcast/id1140252087?mt=2#episodeGuid=82e8801af74be3a17727b1f4a9afe7c1

Throughout our discussion I learned that Steven is a not your traditional accountant.  For one thing, he’s not afraid to turn away prospective clients that do not match his niche.  Here are some other things I learned:

  • Why most business owners see accounting as a “necessary evil,” and how you can change their mind by becoming a revenue source
  • 3 questions that set you apart from every other CPA firm
  • When to turn potential clients away – and why
  • The mistake many CPA firms make when doing value-based billing
  • How he manages to only complete under 20 individual tax returns a year

Steven’s expertise lies in consulting, planning and tax and financial statement services for closely held businesses, litigation support, sophisticated tax and business planning, business negotiations, and estate planning.

The firm also offers forensic investigative accounting and accounting expert witness services to assist lawyers, judges and juries in the court of law with complicated accounting and tax matters.

 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

Peter Reilly

This week on The Accounting Success Podcast I had the chance to visit with Peter B. Reilly, CPA, CVA, President and Managing Partner of Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell, P.C. CBM has been an audit, tax, accounting, and business advisory firm serving clients in the Washington, DC-Baltimore metropolitan area since 1921. This year the firm celebrates its 95th Anniversary!

Peter has over 30 years of audit and tax experience. He serves on the Executive and Quality Assurance committees, and as a Director of the Construction and Real Estate practices. He performs business valuation services and represents the firm in business valuation and litigation matters. In addition, Peter has extensive experience with family owned and operated businesses, and co-authored the book “Minding Your Family Owned & Managed Business.” In 2015, Peter received the Greater Washington Society of CPA’s “Outstanding Member in Public Practice” Award.

 

Check out our conversation here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/accounting-success-podcast/id1140252087?mt=2#episodeGuid=0e4c6fdd2688a4a96ff40e4eb3cc5446

During our chat you’ll find the firm has some interesting history. In 1930, CBM hired Edna Nick — one of the first women to be employed by an accounting firm. She was also the first woman ever to pass the CPA exam in Virginia. Eventually, Edna was named a senior partner, and enjoyed a 51-year career with the organization.

With such a vibrant and historic past, Peter encourages the firm and its employees to remain ahead of the curve. CBM recently developed, “Project Clear Path” which pairs junior staff with more experienced senior members, enhancing their personal and professional development. We asked Peter to note how things have changed through the generations, and also discussed:

  • How intimate knowledge of niche industries can lead to organic growth
  • Why client service should remain a cornerstone both 90 years ago and today
  • How technology can be used as an efficiency builder
  • Why it’s OK to talk about your weaknesses with your team

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