Vol. 24 I No. 9 I July 19-Aug. 15, 2010
Succession planning to determine the future of a firm remains a challenge for
many accounting practices — particularly when family is involved.
“While I see more firms addressing the succession issues, it’s still not close to where
it should be,” said Joel Sinkin, president of Accounting Transition Advisors, a New
York-based firm that works with accounting firms in the area of mergers and transi-
tions. “I speak with firms on a regular basis who think they are in a position to address
succession internally, [but] I see it as being very unlikely.”
According the 2008 PCPS Succession Survey from the American Institute of CPAs,
Sinkin isn’t off base. While 35 percent of multi-owner firms had a formal succession
plan, only 9 percent of sole proprietors had one, compared to 25 percent and 8 percent,
respectively, in 2004.
Sinkin said that though he facilitates upwards of 50 transitions a year, generational
successions are still in the over whelming minority. And those who are doing it are doing
it any way they can, as there is no single formula for ensuring a successful generational
transition. We talked to a handful of CPAs facing these issues to get their take.
BY LIZ GOLD
The once and future MPs: Robert and
Robert Minkler, of Anders Minkler & Diehl
Keeping it in the family
Family firms share the secrets of their succession success
TAKING THE REINS
In January, Robert Minkler Jr. was named managing partner of Anders Minkler & Diehl
in St. Louis. He succeeded his father, Robert Minkler Sr., who served in that role for
See SUCCESSION on 20
National CPA and business advisory firm
RSM McGladrey has signed a letter of intent
to acquire Caturano & Co., the top regional
firm in New England.
The deal would enable Bloomington,
Minn.-based RSM McGladrey to expand its
Boston-area operations with a combined
500 employees and 216 CPAs. The deal is
subject to approval by the board of H&R
Block, RSM McGladrey’s parent company.
Terms were not disclosed. The union will
merge two Top 100 firms, as RSM and its sister firm, McGladrey & Pullen, ranked No.
5 on Accounting Today’s Top 100 Firms list
with revenues of $1.46 billion, while Caturano was No. 42, with $61.8 million.
With the deal, Caturano chief executive
Richard Caturano, who will become managing partner of the Boston office, expects
to attract more venture capital and private
equity clients, as well as higher education
clients. The two firms reportedly began dis-
RSM to buy Caturano
Deal to expand national firm’s reach in Boston market
cussing a merger last fall when Caturano
met Block chairman Richard Breeden. He
later met RSM president C.E. Andrews.
RSM and McGladrey & Pullen operate in
an alternative practice structure, with M&P
offering audit and attest services, while RSM
provides tax, consulting and other services.
The two firms nearly parted ways last year,
but ultimately renewed an agreement last
year to continue the arrangement.
“This deal makes a big statement about
how RSM McGladrey and H&R Block are
transforming the firm,” said PDI Global
Inc. CEO Allan D. Koltin, who consults on
mergers. “You get the impression that last
year’s arbitration fight between McGladrey
& Pullen and RSM McGladrey/H&R Block is
a thing of the past and it’s full steam ahead.
Caturano is not only a major player in New
England, but they also have an outstanding
reputation within the profession through-
See CATURANO on 20
Despite calls for Tax Code reform and
simplification, the continuing onslaught of
tax-related legislation means that the system
will only grow more complex.
Hundreds of tax provisions have been
added or modified in the past year, with the
promise of more to come. Recently enacted
legislation contains confusing limitations,
phase-ins, phase-outs, expirations and extensions. As accountants know, this means a
growing number of taxpayers will be turning
to them for advice.
Meanwhile, preparer registration and e-filing mandates should help the profession
as the number of illegitimate and fly-by-night preparers dwindles.
That changing regulatory landscape will
Test drives for tax software
Tax prep vendors are rolling out their summer bargains
BY ROGER RUSSELL
prompt tax software publishers to continually hone and refine their offerings. As a result,
the summer months present an opportunity
for preparers to examine new software that
might be a better fit for the next tax season,
as nearly all major vendors are currently offering previews and tryouts.
The following manufacturers are featuring special summer tryouts and discounts.
CCH, A WOLTERS KLUWER
(800) 739-9998 / http://cchgroup.com
ProSystem fx Office Suite
Evaluation software is available for tryout for
ProSystem fx Office products, including Pro-
See BARGAINS on 44
6 RISING RISK
Competition, regulation and
more mean a greater chance
of malpractice claims
18 PICKING CLIENTS
When it comes to starting a
financial planning practice,
choose your clients carefully
21 WEALTH MAGNETS
Our annual ranking of the
top CPA firms by assets