Center >> September 2009
You Be Ready for the Recovery?
CPA profession isn’t waiting for economic revival
by Rick Telberg/For the CPA Channel Marketer
AICPA Custom Media Solutions
Accountants and finance
managers are not necessarily a superstitious bunch. But lately,
they’ve been counting their lucky stars, clutching their rabbit’s
foot, throwing a little salt over their left shoulder, or doing
whatever they think they may need to in order to maintain their
good fortune in escaping the worst effects of a long and debilitating
To be sure,
many firms and finance departments have suffered layoffs. But, lucky
for CPA channel marketers, business activity has remained strong.
The examples abound. Firms like PriceWaterhouseCoopers in the UK,
for example, just reported healthy revenues and 34 percent profit
membership rolls have reached record highs. Mergers
and acquisitions among CPA firms may be accelerating. Firms are
spinning out new products and practices at a feverish pace. CPAs
are relatively confident about their career opportunities. And political
and regulatory forces are expected to provide a raft of new work.
Among the recent mergers
making news, Marcum LLP, a top-20 firm based on Long Island, is
acquiring Margolis & Co., a 70-person firm based in Philadelphia.
It’s the second deal this year for Marcum, which absorbed
Miami-based Rachlin in May. If, as a vendor, you don’t know
Marcum CEO Jeff Weiner, you should. He’s one to watch.
Also in the New York
area, super-regional J.H. Cohn is acquiring Charles Brucia &
Co., another move into the media and entertainment business. And,
again in the Northeast, Parente Randolph and Beard Miller are merging
to form an as-yet-unnamed firm which, at a $175-million run rate
could be one of the biggest in the region.
Meanwhile, firms are
also developing specialty practices – the equivalent in industrial
sectors of launching new products and brands. For instance, Crowe
Horwath is offering a new suite of financial and advisory services
to handle bankruptcy and corporate re-orgs. The firm notes, “Business
bankruptcy filings are up 62 percent compared to the prior year.”
Crowe Horwath calls the new line “Fresh Start Accounting.”
And in Fort
Worth, Texas, Weaver & Tidwell has launched a new Transaction
Advisory Services practice to provide due diligence and business
valuations to private equity companies and to companies “in
transition.” Valuation services include purchase price allocations
(FASB ASC 805), goodwill and intangible asset impairment (ASC 350),
option and warrant valuations (FASB ASC 718 and IRC 409A), taxes
and regulatory estate planning and mergers and acquisitions.
Who would have guessed
that the recession would be such good business?
for CPA Channel Marketers by Rick Telberg:
is president of Bay
Street Group LLC, which provides research and marketing and
communications services to CPA firms and the vendors who serve them.
He is the founding editor of the Insider newsletters and serves
as AICPA Editor at Large and Director of Online Content. In his
two decades in media and marketing for the finance, tax and accounting
industries, Telberg has played pivotal roles in the development
and operation of the leading media and e-commerce outlets in the
business, including Accounting Today, The Practical Accountant,
Accounting Technology, WebCPA.com, SmartPros.com, and CPA2Biz.com.
Contact Rick at email@example.com
or (914) 674-4531. He blogs at cpatrendlines.com.
Trendlines on Twitter.