[IMGCAP(1)]A number of single actions or happenings helped spur great success for me. There have been many, but here are some of the top ones that come to mind.

The order is not significant—it is just how I wrote them.

1. A Wall Street Journal article in 1981 about our firm;

2. An article I wrote about our firm that appeared in the Journal of Accountancy (which also won the award for the best article in 2001);

3. Meeting Marty Edelston in 1976;

4. Working with some leading celebrities that I was able to name drop, providing cachet for my small practice

5. Testifying in Congress twice about tax reform (1980 and 1985);

6. Becoming a regular on television news programs in 1978;

7. Becoming partners with Peter Weitsen in 1988 (and later Frank Boutillette);

8. Merging with WithumSmith+Brown in 2005;

9. Getting some very large key clients that provided opportunities to rise to their needs to do the best that could be done for them, starting right when my practice began (I have always been lucky with this and appreciated the opportunity. I also have been fortunate to have a fantastic array of clients in many differing industries—almost every industry imaginable);

10. Teaching at the MBA program at Fairleigh Dickinson for 11 years, starting in 1977;

11. Being admitted to practice before U.S. Tax Court in 1974; and

12. Having a father who provided a role model of the potential for what I could achieve (since always).

I know—there are 12. Each was significant in the growth of my firm, establishing a powerful brand, initiating expanded business opportunities, and permitting regular interaction with extraordinary people.

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is partner emeritus at WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He is the author of 24 books, including “How to Review Tax Returns,” co-written with Andrew D. Mendlowitz (published by CPATrendlines) and “Managing Your Tax Season, Third Edition” (published by the AICPA). Ed also writes a twice-a-week blog addressing issues that clients have at www.partners-network.com. Art of Accounting is a continuing series where Ed shares autobiographical experiences with tips that he hopes can be adopted by his colleagues. Ed welcomes practice management questions and can be reached at (732) 964-9329 or emendlowitz@withum.com.