I have a friend who sells trophies and goes to a trophy convention in Las Vegas each year. While there, she takes courses on how to make more money selling trophies, and each time she comes home with a couple of ideas that help her run her business better and make more money.

Yet CPAs do not do take these types of non-mandatory courses because they do not get continuing professional education credit for them. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

These CPAs also call me with questions about pricing, billing and collections, better client service and retention, hiring and supervising staff, and staff career management, partner compensation, and succession planning, individual professional growth, new business development, and general practice management.

I am glad to help them and it keeps me on the pulse of what is going on out there, but sometimes I ask if they have taken any MAP ("management of an accounting practice") courses or what books they have read, and I usually get the same responses from many of them: "I don't have time for that type of CPE -- there is no state credit" or, "I don't need to read any books about practice management -- I do it every day" or "I'm too busy for that stuff -- I take the minimum I have to." I really do not understand them.

I feel MAP programs are as necessary as the technical courses. It seems that if each partner spent 10 or so hours a year in this regard, there would be a large positive benefit to all stakeholders - owners, employees and their families, clients and vendors.

Make training in practice management part of your "mandatory" programs, including reading a couple of books a year on the topic. It pays!

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is a partner at Top 100 Firm WithumSmith+Brown PC CPAs. Reach him at (732) 964-9329 or emendlowitz@withum.com.

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