Koltin’s Perspective

Coming to you live from Las Vegas. I am here attending the AICPA Practitioners Symposium. I will present “10 Marketing Tips for Small Firms on a Budget” tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. More on that tomorrow.

During his session, “Succeeding in the Changing Financial Environment,” Allan Koltin, CPA, President and CEO, PDI Global, shared his perspective on many issues:

  • It is time to upgrade talent. Rate your talent on a scale of 1-10, 10 = super star and 1 = why are they here? Eliminate those rated 1-4.
  • One Big 4 firm has cut their rates by 30% in selected markets. This will increase competition with local firms in those markets.
  • More firms are willing to run their firms like a business.
  • More partners are involved in goal setting, incorporating accountability and coaching.
  • CEOs and Audit Committees are looking for firms to deliver 80% of current value for lesser fees.
  • There will be more mergers in the next five years than the last 10 years combined.
  • There has been more activity regarding lateral and merged-in partners in the past five years than there has been in the last 20 years.
  • Koltin is not seeing a lot of 30-somethings starting their own firms. Perhaps this is because there are better firms today and they don’t want to leave.
  • The average growth rate for 2009 is predicted to be 3%.

Now, I’ll try my luck at the slot machines. That’s about as daring as I get with gambling!