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Accounting White Papers

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A View from the Top

Top CPAs offering wealth management services to their clients grow those practices twice as fast as their competitors. And their approach to managing and growing that side of their practice is different than that of their less-successful counterparts.

In A View from the Top, a white paper presented by Accounting Today and sponsored by Cetera Financial Specialists, we parse out what gives the faster-growing firms their edge to help you make your wealth management program more profitable. Youíll learn:

  • The wealth management services top performers employ in their growth strategy
  • How your staff could be your most potent marketing tool
  • How CRM doesnít just make business easier, but more profitable
  • Why introducing your clients to more of your team can lead to greater growth
  • Takeaways to help you build out your wealth management action plan

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10 Questions You Must Ask Before You Sign

Sponsor: Accounting Practice Sales

It doesnít matter if you are selling your practice through a broker or selling on your own to the guy who approached you at the last seminar. At some point you will sit down at a table and get ready to sign the papers that will transition you out of your business and perhaps bring to an end a big part of your life. It makes sense that in this moment you are doing it right.

You owe it to yourself and your family to first read the free report: 10 Questions You Must Ask Before You Sign.

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Tax Preparation in the Cloud

Sponsor: CCH

Tax firms need to utilize new cloud solutions and digital tax workflows to stay competitive and increase profitability through efficiency. If your competitors are using more efficient, effective cloud technology right now, how well is your firm competing?

More important, how will you compete in one year?

Read this white paper and learn what a true cloud-based tax solution should be.

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Real-World Strategies for Effective Document Management

Sponsor: CCH

Accounting firms run on information, and a properly organized system for managing documents can make a significant improvement in a firmís efficiency, accuracy and, ultimately, profitability. To achieve a good return on investment from any new document management system (DMS), youíll need to start with a well thought out strategy and a reliable process.

This paper will discuss:

  • Key considerations for an effective document management strategy
  • How to evaluate must-have document management features
  • Top Tips for avoiding potential roadblocks
  • Best practices for implementing a document management system

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Business Analytics: Ventana Research - Improving Retailing Performance Using Better Analytics: A Pragmatic Approach

Sponsor: IBM

In this guide by Ventana Research, the analysts reports on how retailers have improved performance through using better analytical solutions to connect to customers, manage their operations and handle financial aspects of the business.

2012 Top 100 Best Firms to Work For


Our fifth annual ranking of the 100 most employee-friendly accounting firms in the U.S.

Tax Season Preview 2013: Preparing for Uncertainty

With so many tax issues up in the air in Washington, this filing season looks set to be one of the most challenging ever. Our special report highlights the areas you need to watch out for, and offers some strategies you can help your clients apply now.

The MP Elite 2012

Our inaugural Managing Partner Elite report highlights 10 accounting firm leaders who stand out from the crowd.

Corrections: In the report, we misspelled the name of the chairman and CEO of ParenteBeard; his name, correctly spelled, is Robert Ciaruffoli. We also misstated the year he joined the firm; it was 1979, not 1969.

We also missreported the year that Timothy Christen joined Baker Tilly Virchow Krause; it was 1980, not 1970.

In addition, the report misstated the year that Timothy Christen joined Baker Tilly Virchow Krause; it was 1980, not 1970.

Our apologies for the errors.

Reports and Rankings

VAR 100: Filling the Toolbox

Date: July 30, 2013

Our annual report on the top accounting software resellers in North America not only ranks them by revenue, but explores the new strategies, new products and new services they¹re employing to boost their bottom lines.

Paperless: Next Steps

Date: July 30, 2013

Just scanning paper documents is only the beginning ­- going paperless opens up whole new areas of efficiency, as well as new ways to work and new service offerings.

2013 Accounting Today Top 100 Firms & Regional Leaders

Date: March 11, 2013

Our annual report ranks the biggest firms in the U.S., and in regions across the country.


Click here for the digital version.

The Future of Payroll

Date: October 4, 2012

As payroll gets more automated and more mobile, it opens the door to other services.

Cloud Warriors

Date: August 22, 2012

If you can access all your information, applications and clients while you’re out of the office, what do you need an office for? Cloud-based technologies are helping these accountants get more clients, expand their businesses, and free themselves from their offices.

The Less-Paper Office

Date: June 1, 2012

Our special report on the long, slow, march to a paperless environment: What's slowing things down, and how to speed them up.

Inside the Top 100

Date: May 1, 2012

Our annual report features in-depth profiles of four of the most successful firms from our Top 100 Firms list, to see what makes them tick.

2012 Top 100 Firms

Date: February 29, 2012

Our annual ranking of the largest firms in the country, including our expanded Regional Leaders lists of the largest local firms.

Nonprofit Niches

Date: February 3, 2012

Every not-for-profit sector is different. Which one is right for your firm?

Tax Season Kickoff: 2012

Date: January 3, 2012

Our annual roundup of best practices and strategies from cutting-edge tax firms, and the most critical issues facing tax preparers, from registration to late-breaking legislation.

2011 Top 100 Best Firms to Work For

Date: November 29, 2011

Our fourth annual ranking of the 100 most employee-friendly accounting firms in the U.S.

Tax Season Preview 2012

Date: October 31, 2011

A sneak peak at the new regs, new laws and new technologies that will drive your firm’s filing season.

Cultivating Possibilities: Change from Within to Grow Your Practice

Date: October 7, 2011

It goes without saying that most accounting professionals want to grow their businesses. However, few would probably admit that the biggest obstacles to reaching their goals are self-imposed.

Special Report: The Lure of Payroll

Date: September 28, 2011

For many firms, payroll services are a profit center; for others, they’re a headache. We look at the latest developments in the field, from Congress and payroll providers, to help firms decide.

2011 Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting

Date: September 5, 2011

Our annual list of the thought leaders and change-makers who are shaping the future of the profession

2011 The Cloud Pays off

Date: August 9, 2011

Accounting firms discover new benefits in SaaS

Var 100 Signs of Life

Date: August 9, 2011

Our annual ranking of the top accounting resellers

Firm of the Future

Date: June 27, 2011

Knowing what your staff knows — and knowing how to charge for it — is becoming the key to the future for accounting firms. Plus, our panel of experts shares their ideas on the most important firm initiatives for the next decade.

Wealth Magnets: Top Firms by AUM

Date: June 27, 2011

Our annual ranking of the top CPA financial planning firms by assets under management, including the formulas they’re following for success.

Paperless: A Work in Progress

Date: June 7, 2011

Going paperless is more about processes and best practices than software packages.

Inside the Top 100

Date: April 27, 2011

We take a look under the hood to see what powers four of the fastest-growing firms in the country.

2011 Top 100 Firms

Date: March 7, 2011

Our annual ranking of the largest firms in the country offers a wealth of data on how they’re weathering the tough economy, as well as our newly expanded Regional Leaders lists of the largest local firms.

Untangling Nonprofits

Date: February 8, 2011

Cutting through the red tape surrounding NFP organizations offers all kinds of rewards.

Tax Season Kickoff

Date: January 4, 2011

With 2011 shaping up to be one of the most uncertain and complex tax seasons in recent memory, we offer best practices and strategies from cutting-edge tax firms, and a round-up of the most critical issues facing tax preparers.

Special Report Cloud Computing

Date: November 30, 2010

Our roundtable of technology experts and tech-savvy CPAs explores the issues surrounding the cloud — and the best ways accountants can take advantage of it.

Top 100 Best Firms

Date: November 30, 2010

Our third annual ranking of the 100 most employee-friendly accounting firms in the U.S.

The Changing Face Of Payroll

Date: November 9, 2010

This special report takes an in-depth look at the flood of legislative changes from 2010 that affect payroll reporting, and also convenes a roundtable of CPAs to highlight the perils, pitfalls, profits and best practices of providing payroll services to clients.

Tax Practice Essentials

Date: October 14, 2010

Our special report on everything a growing tax practice needs to know, from workflow processes to the latest technology — and what niches to tackle next.

CPA Wealth Provider

Date: September 29, 2010

This special edition of CPA Wealth Provider looks at the perils and promise of managing clients’ investments, and some of the best-of-breed tools available to help financial planners do it.

Paperless Special Report 2010

Sponsor: CCH, CPA2Biz and Office Tools Professionals
Date: September 20, 2010

Paperless and Beyond Even as more and more firms realize that “paperless” really means “less paper,” they’re discovering a wealth of other benefits in digital workflows and document management. This report looks at the past, present and future of the paperless revolution, as well as the best of the current tools and solutions, and takes an in-depth look at a CPA firm that’s been a paperless pioneer, WithumSmith+Brown.

CPA Review 2010

Sponsor: Kaplan
Date: September 20, 2010

The CPA Exam is one of the great milestones of an accountant’s career, and we offer a comprehensive guide to it — from the upcoming changes to the test, to the study and exam-taking strategies that recent candidates have used, to what firms can do to help their staff pass.

2010 Accounting Today Top 100 Most Influential People

Sponsor: SurePrep and CPA2Biz
Date: September 9, 2010

2010 Accounting Today Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting Every year, Accounting Today compiles a roster of the thought-leaders and change makers in the profession. This insightful, often-controversial list is a must-read guide to the people who are rewriting the rules of accounting.

Top 100 VARs

Sponsor: CCH
Date: August 23, 2010

VAR 100: Still standing New this year to Accounting Today, this comprehensive feature ranks the top resellers of accounting software in terms of revenue. See which companies have forged a presence in the VAR marketplace and the product lines they carry. A must-read for any tech-centric CPA firm.

Inside the Top 100 Firms: How They Got There

Sponsor: Digital Editions
Date: May 20, 2010

As a follow-up to our industry-leading Top 100 Firms ranking, we present “Inside the Top 100 Firms: How They Got There,” which will include in-depth profiles of the most successful firms from the Top 100. Offering unique insight and actionable intelligence, it aims to give firms the best practices and proven practice strategies they need to become the best themselves.

Top 100 Firms 2010 digital edition

Sponsor: Digital Editions
Date: March 12, 2010

Filled with valuable benchmarking data and analysis, the Top 100 Firms 2010 report is referred to throughout the year by accounting firms and industry observers. Starting this year, it will also include the well-regarded Practical Accountant Regional Leaders survey of the pre-eminent firms in major regional markets.

Top 100 People 2009 digital edition

Sponsor: Digital Editions
Date: September 24, 2009

This popular report lists the biggest movers and shakers in the accounting profession. Some names may be familiar. However, this year there are a number of new inductees, and while some of the choices may even be considered controversial, we prefer to call them 'cutting edge.'

Inside the Top 100 Firms 2009: Why the Best Are the Best

Sponsor: Digital Editions
Date: August 27, 2009

Accounting Today's most highly anticipated - and best read - report of the year ranks the largest U.S. Accounting firms by revenue.

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Trends in the Accounting Profession

April 18, 2014

Jim Metzler, former AICPA vice president of small firm interests, and founder of Metzler Advisory Group, talks about how the CPA profession is changing.

Lessons in M&A: Client and Staff Retention

April 14, 2014

Transition Advisors president Joel Sinkin talks about what firms should do after a merger to retain their clients and staff members.

Are You Missing These Growth Opportunities?

April 2, 2014

Gale Crosley of Crosley + Company discusses the practice areas and international opportunities that firms often overlook in trying to grow.



Dumbest Employee Excuses for Being Late

March 31, 2014

Running a little late could have big repercussions, especially at a firm in the midst of busy season. From escaped zebras to must-see TV, employers told CareerBuilder some of the most memorable excuses they've heard from tardy employees.

Common Taxpayer Misconceptions

March 19, 2014

The NAEA’s collection of ridiculous things tax clients believe.

The 10 Fastest-Growing Firms in the U.S.

March 10, 2014

The firms with the highest 2013 revenue growth in our Top 100 Firms/Regional Leaders list.

Top 10 Tech Trends for 2014

March 3, 2014

As companies gain more affordable access to new technology and platforms, they also seek to make smarter investments.

Strangest Tax Deductions

January 31, 2014

The Minnesota Society of CPAs recently conducted its annual survey about the most strange and unusual tax deductions proposed by clients.