Friday, August 23, 2019

You Don’t Always Get What You Pay For

In our line of work, we get asked about value and valuations on a daily basis. It’s only natural CPA firm owners who have worked most of their adult lives to build up a profitable practice and are now ready to take a step back want to know what they can expect to be paid for their years of sweat equity. 

The answer unfortunately isn’t always so simple – there are multiple factors that go into determining a fair valuation for a firm. It’s not a basic asset sale or service where you pay a set price and in return acquire a business or sign up for cable.

I realize this is a bit far afield from accounting, but I wanted to regale you with a value-oriented vignette regarding my local newspaper.

In full disclosure I’m a print newspaper junkie. I read two papers religiously with my morning coffee- my local paper and one of the New York-based tabloids. The newspaper closer to home keeps me up to date on what’s happening in terms of news, taxes, culture and education within my zip and area codes. But like many print businesses, it’s suffered at the hands of digital publishing in terms of readers and revenue.

Friday, August 16, 2019

“Forgive” Does Not Mean “Forget”

I grew up the product of a mixed marriage. No, not ethnically or religiously, but rather politically.

My father at the time of my youth was a staunch Goldwater Republican, while my mother was “All the Way with LBJ.” The old man has since mellowed a bit, but my mother with the curious exceptions of being a fan of GOP lifer Pat Buchanan as well as anti-immigration, has steadfastly clung to her Democratic roots.

In full disclosure, I have tended to lean more toward my father’s beliefs as opposed to my mother’s especially during Presidential and Gubernatorial elections. The opposite has been true however in local and county races.

But on to today’s missive.

One of the many issues that has surfaced during the initial round of debates among the expansive field of Democratic candidates for the Oval Office is the obscene costs of a college education and the subsequent $1.6 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

Two of the candidates, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have posited the absurd solution of canceling all student debt – yep, all of it.

To put that $1.6 trillion figure in perspective, that’s more than the gross national product of England, France or Italy.

Friday, August 9, 2019

The Right Way to Market

Like most folks, I regularly get solicitations in the mail - whether snail or electronic - from various entities looking to drum up business. If it’s not an insurance company promising they can cut my auto and home rates in half, it’s financial and estate planners warning me about the dangers of suddenly expiring without a plan or will.

But lately I have been getting inundated with e-mail and or phone requests for the following: to meet in person for a custom-fit suit; with representatives from a sales lead generation company; a pushy sales person wanting to immediately speak to the person in charge of our company’s phone system (that was a quick hang-up); a staffing firm wanting to know if Transition Advisors is in the market for senior level tax managers or auditors; and finally, a clinic that recently opened in my neighborhood that specializes solely in stretching.

As I am to flexible what a rusted bolt is to a pair of pliers, the last one hurts just thinking about it. I predict I will be able to perform a full split about the same time our national deficit is eradicated.
Believe me I have tried to put a stop to this.

Painfully I have discovered that contacting the “Do Not Call” registry has been about as effective as the time my principal ordered a series of “no smoking” signs put up around school property.

Which in a sort of roundabout way brings us to my message de jour – the right way and the wrong way to announce a merger to your accounting clients. It’s more about packaging as opposed to marketing.