Hugh Duffy

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Dental CPA Summit in San Diego – Speakers Announced

Immediately after tax season, the Dental Accounting Association will host a Dental CPA Summit in San Diego, CA on April 21, 2017.  The educational workshop will provide Dental Accounting Association members with legislative updates AAO Annualand dental practice management coaching insights to improve our collective capabilities for the dental industry.  On April 22nd to 25th, the Dental Accounting Association will also have a booth at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) Annual show which is expected to attract 15,000 orthodontists.

Z - Bassim headshotBassim Michael, CPA will be our first featured speaker covering best practices for dental practice coaching.  Bassim Michael is the owner of Only for Dentists which has been providing dental practice accounting, tax planning and profit improvements services for over ten years.  Within California, Bassim frequently speaks to dentists on topics ranging from retirement planning, business valuation and various other dental topics.

P WoodOur keynote speaker will be Patrick Wood, founder of the largest dental law firm in the United States, Wood & Delgado, servicing over 5,000 dentists.  Patrick has been helping dentists for over 35 years with emphasis on dental transitions, lease reviews, partnership agreements, and related dental transactions.  Patrick is a frequent speaker at dental conventions, dental societies and dental schools.  Currently, Patrick provides fifteen practice transition seminars throughout the country.


Dental Accounting Association

Logo - PNGThe Dental Accounting Association is a network of CPA Accounting firms located in North America focused on elevating the quality of dental practice accounting, tax reduction planning, and financial management.  Each member of the Dental Accounting Association is committed to providing the tax reduction planning services, dental practice profit improvement coaching, and benchmarking.  Particular emphasis is paid to minimizing your taxes legally by taking full advantage of the tax laws.

Each Dental Accounting Association member delivers these services on a fixed fee basis to avoid hourly billing surprises. Each member of the Dental Accounting Association is a licensed CPA firm, typically close in size to most dental practices (e.g., mostly single owners, occasionally two partner CPAs) and actively speaks to dental study clubs, dental schools and dental associations.

The Dental Accounting Association was founded by Build Your Firm.  Each participant in the Dental Association participates in the outsourced marketing program that Build Your Firm provides to many accounting firms throughout the United States.



Transportation Accounting – Often Overlooked Expertise

In uncertain economic times, every advantage counts.

TruckingThat’s why savvy transportation businesses are searching to work with CPA Firms that specialize within the broader transportation industry.  That’s right, all aspects ranging from trains, trucks, boats, airplanes, couriers, freight forwarders and intermodal containers.  And as you might suspect, the accounting and tax rules for maritime accounting are radically different than aviation and rail and trucking.  And often, manufacturing and distribution companies are using various combinations of transportation carriers to squeeze costs out of the system.

With legislative changes around the corner, it pays to align yourself with the best regional CPA Firm that focuses on transportation accounting.

Transportation CPA Accounting

Shipping ContainersGraber & Associates is a CPA Firm focused on providing accounting and tax solutions for manufacturing and logistics firms using various combinations of transportation.

  • Cargo consolidators
  • Freight forwarders
  • LTLs
  • Ports
  • Truckload companies
  • Bus, shuttle and taxi fleets
  • Boat marinas and maritime freight providers

To learn more, contact the Transportation CPA team at Graber & Associates.

Dental CPA Summit – Strengthening Your Niche Capabilities

Logo - PNGTo improve upon our dental practice coaching capabilities and strengthen our niche offerings, the Dental Accounting Association will be headed to San Diego immediately after tax season.  All members of the Dental Accounting Association will be in attendance sharing best practices and hearing first hand from dental industry experts on dental practice management, fraud prevention, dental practice benchmarking, profit improvement techniques and legal challenges for dental practice owners.

AAO AnnualImmediately following the Dental CPA Summit on dental practice coaching, we will attend the American Association of Orthodontists Annual from April 22nd to April 25th meeting prospective orthodontists from North America.  The trade show is expected to attract 15,000 orthodontists into the San Diego Convention Center.  The Dental Accounting Association will have a booth that will be collaboratively staffed by members of the Dental Accounting Association (all independently owned CPAs).

The Dental Accounting Association is a collaborative group of CPA Firms that are focused on tax savings, practice benchmarking and profit improvement for dentists.  Each member of the Dental Accounting Association provides fixed fees (no hourly billing) and works with the dental specialists such as:

Dental Room

Dental Practice Management Coaches

Dental Law Firms

Dental Transition Brokers

Dental Practice Real Estate 

Dental Loan Providers

In fact, our keynote speaker for the Dental CPA Summit is Patrick Wood, founder of the largest dental law firm in the United States, Wood & Delgado.  Patrick will be providing a Dental Legal Update so all Dental Accounting Association members understand the changing legal landscape for dental practice owners.


Outsourced Marketing for CPA Accountants

All members of the Dental Accounting Association are independent CPA Firms scattered throughout North America.  Each member CPA Firm works with Build Your Firm (BYF) in the Outsourced Marketing Program.  BYF has been providing Outsourced Marketing and Coaching for over twelve years and is the leader within the accounting industry for outsourced marketing and lead generation programs.   This Dental CPA Summit is the second annual in-person meeting and is supplemented by regular educational webinars throughout the year.

To learn more about BYF’s Outsourced Marketing comprehensive system, visit our Outsourced Marketing video library.  BYF’s Outsourced Marketing Program extends well beyond the dental and medical industry.

International Tax Alliance for Multinational Businesses

Intl Tax AllianceThe International Tax Practitioners just relaunched their online presence and continues to expand their global footprint.

The international tax global alliance dates back to 2013 and consists of independent accountants and tax lawyers who are focused on international taxation as goods and services become more global in nature.

If you are searching for international taxation guidance, then this website is well worth investigating.

Intl Tax Alliance Flags

CPA Accounting Firms for Lawyers and Attorneys

Law Firm 2Just like there are all kinds of law firms and specialties, the same applies to the CPA Firms.  There are generalists and then there are specialists who provide additional expertise to law firms.  Below are examples of CPA Accounting Firms that focus on the legal industry and provide additional guidance to

Law Firm Accounting and IOLTA Compliance – Maryland CPA – Graber and Associates – Graber and Associates has operated since 1993.  They have two offices locations to better service lawyers throughout Baltimore, Annapolis and greater Maryland.

Law Firm Accounting – New York City CPA – Mark Feinsot CPA services law firms throughout the Tri-State region of New York.  They have two offices in New York City.  Mark has been a CPA for over twenty years.

Law Firm Accounting – Chicago – 1st Chicago Accounting services law firms throughout Chicago.  They have three office locations to conveniently service busy law firms.

More examples of law firm accounting websites designed by Build Your Firm.

Law Firm3

Restaurant Accounting and Tax Compliance

RestaurantRestaurant businesses constantly juggle staff turnover, inventory management, and operating costs in order to stay profitable and ahead of the competitive pack.  In fact, today’s competition is not only the newest restaurant in town but it often means competing against food trucks and food delivery (Uber, Amazon, and Google).

To help restaurants make better decisions, minimize taxes and avoid compliance issues, the savvy restaurateurs align themselves with CPA Firms that specialize in the food and beverage industry rather than the closest CPA Firm nearby.  With today’s technology, specialized advice trumps location when it comes choosing the right CPA Firm for your business.

Restaurant - bar imageHere are several CPA Firms that specialize in the food service industry and work with all types of restaurants, bars and hotels.

1. CPA Accounting for Restaurants – Florida Panhandle – Pensacola – Turner CPA works with all formats within the food and beverage industry.  Tallahassee to Pensacola and Alabama as well.

2.  CPA Accounting for Restaurants – Indianapolis – Garrison Sims CPA works with independently owned restaurants, franchises, catering, bars and brew pubs throughout Indiana.

3. CPA Accounting for Restaurants in Long Island NY – James Castaldo CPA & Associates works with restaurants, bars, brew pubs and hotels across Long Island.  They understand the need to limit costs, minimize compliance issues, and financial reporting requirements to help your business operate more competitively.

4. Hospitality Accounting in Georgia – Roe CPA works with hotels, golf clubs, restaurants and bars throughout Georgia and understands the needs and demands for various hospitality formats.  In some cases, a focus on internal controls is key and others need to focus on operating costs.

5. Restaurant Accounting in Northern California – Chahal & Associates works with franchise restaurants, family owned restaurants, hotels and bars across the Bay area.

6. Restaurant Accounting in Houston TX – Mike C Manoloff PC is a leading CPA Firm for restaurants, bars and nightclubs in Houston providing restaurant accounting, tax and payroll services.

7.  Hospitality Accounting for Restaurants, Bars and Hotels in Atlanta GA – Delerme CPA works with all types of restaurants, lodging and night clubs throughout Atlanta.

More custom design examples of restaurant accounting websites.

Rest Acctg4 - video


Oil and Gas Accounting Expertise

Oil Gas CPAThe petroleum industry has been steadily rebounding and has been a primary economic driver in Texas.

However, accounting for the oil and gas sector requires additional expertise and decades of experience.   That’s why many energy businesses in Texas reach out to McKinnon Patten CPA.  McKinnon Patten has been helping oil and gas clients for over fourty years, which very few CPA Firms can say.

To be a long term player in the oil patch, you need to balance risk and uncertainty.  That’s why experience in a dynamically changing marketplace is imperative.  The original founder of McKinnon Patten CPA was a roustabout in West Texas oil fields and later served as a senior executive in Sun Oil Company.  The oil patch permeates all aspects of the CPAs at McKinnon Patten.

If you are searching for additional guidance from your CPA Firm and would like additional connections to open doors, contact Mark at 214-696-1922.





Church Accounting Firms

Church Acctg3While most CPA Accounting Firms tend to avoid churches and non-profit organizations, there are benefits to developing this area of expertise.  First, there is less competition in your immediate area so your marketing area becomes broader geographically.  Second, the depth of services that you provide become more advanced after you acquire enough.  And third, you start to generate more referrals.

CPA for Churches and Ministries – Florida – Sizemore & Associates provides accounting and outsourced controllership for churches, parochial schools and faith-based colleges throughout Florida and Georgia.



CPA Accounting for Churches and Ministry – Michigan – Strategic Accounting and Tax Solutions provides church accounting and outsourced controllership for churches, non-profit schools and faith-based organizations.


More examples of Church Accounting websites designed by Build Your Firm.

Church Acctg4

Real Estate Accounting and Tax – Hot Sector

Real Estate - S PorterOver the past couple of years, the real estate sector has become one of the best sectors for accountants.  That’s right, the availability of inventory coupled with low interest rates has helped has resulted in steady grow.

By real estate, we are referring to property management and leveraging the tax benefits for owner operators.  In other words, commercial property to apartment complexes to upscale student housing to developers.

Below are a small sampling of accounting firms providing additional expertise for property management and the broader real estate industry.

Northern California Real Estate CPA Accounting – San Francisco

Southern California Real Estate CPA Accounting – Los Angeles

Southern California Real Estate CPA Accounting – Orange County CA

Florida Real Estate CPA Accounting – Orlando

Florida Real Estate CPA Accounting – Jacksonville

Florida Real Estate CPA Accounting – Pensacola

Maryland Real Estate Accounting – Baltimore

Chicago Real Estate Accounting – Chicago IL

New York City Real Estate CPA Accounting

North Carolina CPA Real Estate Accounting – Raleigh NC

Real Estate Acctg - Rosson


How to Fire a Client

There is perhaps nothing more unpleasant than firing someone, yet you can’t make a business case for keeping an employee on board if that person isn’t doing his or her job. At the end of the day, the company – and most likely the employee – will be better off if he or she is someplace else.

We’re all conditioned to this scenario in the workplace and most of us have had many years of experience reacting to someone being fired. Why is it so hard, then, when you have to fire a client?

fire-a-clientSevering the relationship between you and your client is even more difficult when you like the client. Nine times out of 10, unless your client commits a crime, there’s really no reason why you should fire a client, right?

Wrong. Once you look at what a problem-client is costing you in terms of money and resources, not to mention stress and angst, there are probably more reasons for letting a client go than there are for keeping that client. Nevertheless, some thought must be given to the “why” and “how.”

Three Primary Reasons to Fire a Client

There may be more than just three reasons to sever the provider/client relationship, but through my years of work with accountants, it boils down to percentages, unethical behavior and lack of interest.

  1. The client takes up too much non-billable time. By far, this is the number one reason to let a client walk. Most of us have heard of the 80/20 rule in which we spend 80% of our time on the bottom 20% of our client base. To put it another way, the time you’re spending with a client often monopolizes your non-billable time. Sure, you could make it clear that you are going to bill the client for each and every phone conversation, e-mail exchange, text (yes, even texting) and other interactions, but that isn’t really realistic.  These kinds of clients aren’t adding to your bottom line, and without fail, you will come to resent the time the client is taking up. In a profession where it’s sometimes hard to measure a return on investment, you definitely can determine if the time you spend with a client isn’t adding to your bottom line. As a result, it’s far better to get rid of the bottom 20% of your clients so you can focus on the remaining clients who will generate more revenue – and bring you more referrals.
  1. The client withholds information or wants you to do something unethical. If you find your client is not being honest with you about a particular situation or withholding valuable information that enables you to do your work in the most ethical, legal manner possible, it’s time to part ways. Asking for a questionable deduction on a tax return is one thing, but hiding assets without your knowledge, for example, is another matter. You cannot afford to damage your reputation when a client who has the potential to do harm to himself, and in turn, to your practice.
  1. The client does not want to be helped. As odd as this might sound, we’ve all had clients who did not want to be helped. The client did not want your professional counsel and expert assistance, and will neither accept your advice nor respect your intentions. It’s time to find clients who will benefit from your professional experience and knowledge. You’ll feel much better about your business acumen, not to mention the inherently altruistic factor of helping someone solve a problem.

Giving the Pink Slip

pink-slipIn 2006, Radio Shack made headlines when it relieved 400 employees of their jobs – not for the fact that they were let go, but because they were told by e-mail.

While that is an extreme example, it’s also illustrative of today’s always-on culture where text and e-mail are the de facto methods of communication. Don’t let this happen to you; as unpleasant as it may seem, it’s far better to have a conversation than it is to send someone a note. Yes, sometimes for legal reasons you have to send a letter instead of talking to the client. That’s fine, but unless you are legally prevented from talking with the person, send the letter after you have had the initial conversation.

Looking at the three primary reasons above, it’s easy to see why you would want to fire a client, but one of the main traits we have as human beings is we tend to like each other. For example, you may have a client who will literally give you the shirt off his back if you ask him for it, but you need to separate your personal feelings from your professional beliefs. After all, you may see the client in social situations at Rotary, the Lion’s Club or some other venue. What are you going to say to the fired client the next time you see each other?

The best way to move on is to have a professional conversation with the client and explain the reasons why. Just as you owe it to a fired employee to provide concrete examples of how he or she wasn’t doing the job up to standards, you must do the same with a fired client. Explain in plain terms what the problem is, and once you have the conversation, follow it up with a letter, not an e-mail.

Unless there is a sudden ethical problem, the actual “firing” shouldn’t be a surprise – and it may even be a relief. Whatever the outcome is, it’s not going to be entirely pleasant, so the client’s initial reaction may be anger. Reassure him or her that this is a completely private matter between the two of you and should remain so. You will not talk to anyone about this and you would appreciate it if the client would do the same.

Impact of Social Media

You don’t want your conversation to be on Jerry Springer or making the headlines of the local paper, yet you have to protect your reputation, so be wary of the power of social media! Today, a negative blog or Twitter posting can go viral in a matter of moments; you will want to ensure you do not suffer any potential negative consequences.

This wouldn’t happen to you … your “fired” client would never do this … well, wake up! No one can predict human behavior. While the client may seem well-adjusted when he or she leaves your office, it could be only minutes before something is posted that you cannot undo. You have to be realistic and cautious.

When your now-fired client says something negative on Yelp or Google reviews, you may have to get an attorney involved. However, watch your temper. It would be unprofessional of you to lash back and post a response or something you’ll be sorry you said. Take the high road; the best stance is to do nothing. It’s better to let the client stumble over his or her words than to react to them.

If it turns out that your colleagues and even your other clients are aware of the social media problem, it is time to communicate via letter or e-mail to them to allay their concerns. Don’t reveal any information that can be used against you later on; an attorney can guide you through this difficult situation.

Your Practice is Changing – What Happens to Your Clients?

For various reasons, an accounting practice does change over time. You may find you want to devote your expertise to other kinds of specialty services or a niche industry rather than being a generalist.  If this is the case, maybe you should consider selling a portion of your practice rather than severing the relationship.  This enables you to offload the less desirable service to another accounting firm, and cash out.

Your practice may change for other reasons, too. For example, some accounting services generate a lower hourly fee realization. Rather than continuing to accept this, you may make the business decision to depart lower-margin types of services such as payroll and traditional write-up for something more lucrative.

If this happens, you may want to “package” up these clients and sell them to another practitioner or even selling them through a broker. Of course, people are not commodities, but this is business, after all. By selling them to another practitioner, the client still gets service and attention, and you can focus (or refocus) your practice on what you do best – and avoid firing the client!

Keep Calm and Carry On

We may have tax law and regulations that standardize the accounting profession, but practice management and human resource issues definitely are not cookie cutter. There is no manual or Dummies’ guide that gives you all the answers.

As the British government imparted just before World War II, the best advice is to “Keep Calm and Carry on.” Don’t do anything rash. Think about what you want to do with a client before you take action. You can’t get the client back once you’ve let him or her go, so be rational and sensible, but also be honest with yourself about the way you want to grow.

Fire a client for the right reasons. In the long run, you’ll feel better about yourself and your business will prosper.

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