Bruce Buchanan

This week on The Accounting Success Podcast, I interview Bruce Buchanan, CPA and President/Managing Principal of Berlin Ramos in Rockville, Maryland, outside Washington, D.C. The firm has 52 employees and 5 current partners, and specializes in the real estate industry. Bruce began his public accounting career as an entry-level accountant with Berlin Ramos in 1973. He has continued with the firm ever since, becoming a manager in 1981, a principal in 1985 and taking on his current role of managing principal in 1994. He started playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band in the 70’s – and still plays today.

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Bruce works with a diverse portfolio of clients in many types of businesses, with a heavy emphasis on sophisticated tax planning, retirement and estate planning, and business advisory services. He has extensive experience overseeing audits, reviews and compilations of financial statements for various businesses and industries, including real estate ventures, professional service groups, retail businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. Some of the topics we covered include:

  • How to look different from other CPA firms in the Washington Beltway
  • What it takes to get awarded as Accounting Today’s “Best Accounting Firms to Work For” for 8 years running
  • What’s a Toastmasters Group doing inside an accounting practice?
  • How Berlin Ramos uses “reverse mentoring” to get closer to next-generation accountants


The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 11:00 am. But you can listen anytime by going to and downloading the latest episode.

Tom Alongi

This week on The Accounting Success Podcast, I interview Tom Alongi, CPA and Partner at UHY. UHY has offices in seven states and is a member of the UHY global accountancy network. The firm specializes in over a dozen different industries including construction, energy, health care, and government.

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Tom is the leader of UHY’s national manufacturing practice. He has been with the firm for over 20 years, starting right out of college. With most of his clients in the middle market, Tom focuses on providing the same resources as a Big 4 firm but with a more specialized, value-based approach. Tom shared his insights on how to promote an entrepreneurial culture within a CPA firm, as well as:

  • The common mistakes he sees business owners making
  • Why it’s no longer acceptable to just be a great auditor
  • How UHY is adapting to millennials—and how they’re changing the way the firm works
  • Why CPAs need to engage with clients from a value add perspective and the importance of a specialized industry practice
  • Why being the biggest CPA firm does not always mean the best


The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 9:30 am. But you can listen anytime by going to and downloading the latest episode.

Alex Boyd Headshot

This week Ian has Alex Boyd, the Director of Growth at inDinero, as his guest on our Accounting Success Podcast. inDinero is one of the biggest success stories in the accounting industry today. They’re growing by leaps and bounds and their story has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur and almost every major business publication.

Check it out here:


A software and service solution for business owners and entrepreneurs, inDinero provides the financial tools and data to understand, run, and grow your small business. They link to your financial accounts, do your accounting, file your taxes, run your payroll, and provide an intuitive dashboard to view your financials. Their motto is, “Leave your back office to us…Accounting & Taxes—Done Right, Done for You.”inDinero was co-founded in 2009 by then 19-year-old, Jessica Mah. Jessica wanted to solve the pains of bookkeeping for younger less-experienced business owners like herself. Now, seven years later, after a whirlwind of press, support, and some drastic transformations, inDinero has grown from 30 to over 200 employees and is a multi-million dollar company.

As Director of Growth, Alex Boyd has an insider’s viewpoint of inDinero’s success. He generously shares his insights on:

• How inDinero is changing the game when it comes to servicing business owners
• What modern business owners really want from their CPA firm
• The secrets of going above and beyond for clients – without donating your time
• Why technology is essential to “waking up” today’s traditional CPAs, but why technology alone is not enough
• A Director of Growth’s “most lofty ambition”

The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 9:30 am. But you can listen anytime by going to  and downloading the latest episode.

Jeff Sklar headshot
Our guest on this week’s Accounting Success Podcast is Jeff Sklar, CPA at Sklar, Heyman, Hirshfield, & Kantor LLP, a Certified Public Accounting Firm licensed in NY, NJ, and Florida. Jeff is the managing partner of the firm which has 6 partners. He is certified in Financial Forensics by the AICPA, certified in Financial Crime and Financial Fraud, and is a Certified Anti- Money Laundering Specialist. The firm represents businesses in a variety of industries including finance, automotive, legal, retail, among others.

Check it out here:


Founded by his grandfather, Jeff has seen his family’s business evolve over three generations. With his son currently working alongside him, Jeff spends less time today on traditional auditing and income tax work and instead has mastered specialized niche markets and advisory services.

While juggling all aspects of managing his practice, Jeff has continually focused on service and staying ahead of the curve to grow his business. With his vast 30+ years of experience, we asked Jeff to provide his insights on:

  • How business owner clients’ wants and needs have changed over time
  • What differentiates Sklar, Heyman, Hirshfield & Kantor, LLC from other firms
  • How he has handled the transformation from auditing and accounting services to advisory and consulting services and why he feels many CPAs have not made this transformation
  • Where the future of the accounting industry is heading
  • The one thing that scares CPAs more than anything else – and how that causes CPA firms to miss many opportunities


The Accounting Success Podcast is available on iTunes and airs Wednesdays at 9:30 am. But you can listen anytime by going to  and downloading the latest episode.

HaydenRock partner Ian Welham is the host of a brand new weekly podcast airing on iTunes called The Accounting Success Podcast.

On the show, Ian brings together successful accountants and industry thought leaders to share with you how they serve business owners – and how you can, too.

One of his early guests is Alex Boyd, the Director of Growth at inDinero. inDinero provides the financial tools and data to understand, run, and grow your small business, and is one of the biggest success stories in the accounting industry today. They’re growing by leaps and bounds and the inDinero story has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur and almost every major business publication.

If you are a CPA in 2016, you MUST pay attention to what inDinero is doing.

Another August guest is Tom Alongi, partner at UHY and leader of the firm’s national manufacturing practice. Tom is one of the most entrepreneurial accountants you’ll ever meet, and he shares how he offers high value advisory services to middle market business clients.

You can catch The Accounting Success Podcast every Wednesday at 9:30 am on iTunes. You’re welcome to tune in live or download the latest episode and listen whenever you want. You can also subscribe for free.

Ian Welham is a Chartered Accountant who specializes in helping CPA firms maximize their profit potential and become the Most Relevant Advisor to clients. He is a founding partner of HaydenRock Solutions.

Today, rapid change in business is the new normal. But it wasn’t always the case.

Most CPA s today started their working life in the Twentieth Century – and things in those days were very different. We were in the ‘twilight’ of the ‘Industrial Age’ – and we all knew our place and ‘status quo’ ruled (that’s not a reference to the rock band in case you’re wondering!). Innovation? What was that?

In the Twentieth Century most CPA s operated under a ‘Command & Control’ style. The organization chart prevailed and everybody ‘knew their place’ (you may remember the Monty Python sketch :-). In those days employees did what their managers told them, who in turn did what their bosses told them.

But the world has moved on – we are in an age where employees are no longer content to be told what to do and what to think. Almost without noticing we have passed from the ‘Industrial Age’ into the ‘Knowledge Age’. If accountants want their people to be profitably ‘engaged’ then they need to shift their management style from “dictate” to “collaborate” (just like Tom Brady below in the huddle). If you can engage your people – you can leverage their talent – you will profit and build business value.

But – as a further consequence of the shift from ‘Industrial’ to ‘Knowledge Age’ the way we work with employees is not the only change. Everything has changed. In fact ‘change’ is far too weak a description.

In the Twenty First Century business is all about words like ‘reinvention’ – ‘redefine’ – ‘transformation’. If you want to win you can’t ‘look backwards’ and you can’t stand still. You must jump forwards and ‘leapfrog the competition’.

In fact, ideally you probably should just ignore the competition. If you concentrate on them, you will get locked into words like ‘best practice’ which almost inevitably dooms you to be working on incremental change or ‘death by 1000 tweaks’ to your existing business model.

You will also certainly not survive by ONLY trying to do things cheaper or faster. The competition now is more intense than it has ever been – and it will be even stronger next year and the following year. If you allow yourself to only go down the cheaper/faster path then you are inexorably skidding towards small incremental changes (ultimately you will probably be doomed to working harder for less and less profit).

Instead, you will survive and prosper by ‘leapfrogging the competition’. In the Knowledge Age the way you will achieve this is by reinventing your business model and focusing towards the key intangibles in your business. You will most likely find your particular answer somewhere in the following list. Words like: ‘reputation’, ‘image’, ‘service’, ‘culture’, ‘design’, ‘values’, ‘customer experience’, ‘innovations’, ‘solutions’, ‘brand’, ‘knowledge’. Basically you probably won’t be able to ‘touch’ the answer, but whichever is your key intangible will unlock the door to your business transformation – and your personal transformation into your clients’ most relevant advisor.

A quick question for you …

  • Are you working more hours today than you did five years ago, or fewer?
  • Are your clients looking for ways to pay your more for your services or less?
  • Do you spend much of your day in “crisis management” mode – reacting to problems and putting out fires?

And does it feel like those fires are coming at you faster and faster . . .
to the point where each week, each quarter, each tax season is more exhausting than the last?

What about five years from now… do you expect the pace of change to speed up or slow down?

There’s no denying it. The accounting world is changing dramatically — and rapidly. Since the publication of AICPA’s CPA Horizons 2025 report, we’ve all been put on notice: A CPA is no longer defined by “traditional services such as tax preparation, audits, and financial statements.”

In the time since CPA Horizons 2025 appeared in the Journal of Accountancy, there’s been much discussion about “the firm of the future.”

But while everyone’s talking about “the firm of the future,” there have been few practical details. For example,

  • What does it look like?
  • How does it work?
  • How do I add value to my practice?

Where are the opportunities for growth?

HaydenRock answers these questions. And provides a simple roadmap for success in the Knowledge Age.

HaydenRock Solutions is a partnership between accountants and entrepreneurs – a way for CPAs to maximize the value of their practice… and become more relevant to the modern business owner.

There’s a tendancy in America to think we’re the leaders and pioneers in everything. But the truth is, accountants in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain are a decade or more ahead of us in thinking about and developing “the firm of the future.”

That’s why the HaydenRock System is based on a formula used to transform a small-town practice into one of the largest accountancy firms in England (you can read more about it at

It’s tried and tested – with an 18-year track record of success – and proven to work in firms large and small.

It follows a simple, logical, step-by-step process – no special skills required.

Just a mindset that is ready to change.