By Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, ABV, PFS

With tables, checklists, sample letters, illustrative examples, real-life stories, step-by-step instructions, and appendix.


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Fantastic…! Wise…! Great reference…!

Withum-Smith+Brown partner Ed Mendlowitz is the Dear Abby of accounting, providing answers to tough questions from colleagues, peers and anyone else who wants to reach out for years. This fantastic book is a compilation of their questions and his wise answers on a huge range of topics related to running a practice, from how to raise rates or add new service lines, to how to deal with careless staff or plan your retirement. A great reference to keep by your desk for whenever you run up against a problem. – AccountingToday



This book brings together Ed’s forty-plus years of experience as an entrepreneur and a professional services provider.  Its easy-to-ready Q&A format makes it a great reference tool for accountants at all stages of their career.

Ed’s mentorship of our partners and staff has been invaluable. His philosophies on managing an accounting firm, our clients and oneself are timeless, full of common sense and most importantly, successful.

My favorite chapter is the “Family Tree of Referrals,” discussing how to work smarter by understanding the power of referral sources, and having the confidence that new business will come when deciding to cull unprofitable and irritating clients.  It’s sage advice which every partner at every CPA firm should follow. Enjoy the book, and may you have the discipline to follow through on Ed’s recommendations.  You’ll be a better person – and professional – for it.

Ed Mendlowitz
Ed Mendlowitz


  10 Reasons Clients Don’t Pay, and What to Do about It
  Preparing to Sell Your Practice in a Few Years? 13 Things You Need to Know Today
  10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide to Add Financial Services to Your Practice
  Asking An Attorney for a Referral Fee
  What You Need to Know Before Expanding Into Business Valuation
  47 Types of Business Valuation Services
  Dealing With Busy Season Demands
   Not to Offer a Free Initial Consultation
  15 Tips for the Novice Manager
  Three and a Half Ways to Get into Your Own CPA Practice
  14 Techniques To Get Your First Clients In A New Practice
  Improving Quality Control
  Talking Too Much Trying to Get a Client
  Adding Family Office Services
  Sample Engagement Letter for Family Office Services
  Merging Your Practice
  Selling Practice to Staff
  Managing Client Meetings
  Consulting With a Client Who Is Also a Friend
  Serving on a Not-for-Profit Organization Board
  Curing Careless Staff
  Five Ways for a Young CPA to Network
  Recognizing a Value Pricing Opportunity
  Collecting Past Due Fees
  Value Pricing
  Transforming From a Practice to a Business
  Below Normal Fee Assignments
  Ten Tips to Managing an Acquired Tax Practice
  13 Ways to Get Better Value from Using Timesheets
  Seven Ways to Increase Fees
  Advising a Client Buying or Selling a Business 139
  Eight Traits that Make for a Happy CPA
  The Right Attitude for an Exit Strategy
  Complaining Partners
  Lowball Fees
  Essential Data for a Merger or Acquisition Discussion
  When a Partner’s Out Sick
  Suing a Client
  Five Ways to Bill for Phone Calls
  Partnership Buy-Sell Agreement
  22 Guidelines for Outsourced Bookkeeping Services
  32 Guidelines for Outsourced CFO Services
  I Just Lost My Biggest Client
  Referral Fee to an Employee
  Outsourced CFO Services Fees
  Introducing Business Clients to Additional Services
  When a Client Threatens to Sue
  17 Ingredients for Successful Change Management Projects
  11 Tips for Keeping Partners in Sync with Each Other
  Eight Elements in Determining a Value-based Price
  19 Easy Staff Retention Ideas 231
  How to Nurture a Staffer’s Professional Growth
  Staff Development and Growth Checklist
  Six Touchy Issues When Clients Divorce
  Time Management for Partners
  How Partners Really Spend Their Time
  Choosing a Type of Office and Car
  Charging Clients Late Fees
  Five Clauses to Clarify and Protect
  Mitigating Risk in New Services
  19 Tips on How Not to Lose a Lawsuit
  Being Judged Based On The Clients You Have
  Moonlighting Staff
  Referral from a Bad Accountant
  78 Potential Value-Add Services
  Preparing a Client Newsletter
  Reasons for CPA Firm Mergers
  Succession Planning for CPAs
  Managing Partner by Default
  Effective Staffing
  Complaining Client
  Thinking about Selling
  32 Reasons To Do a Deal
  Future of Small CPA Firms
  Practice Continuation In Event Of A Death Or Disability
  Letter Agreement That Can Be Made With A Fellow Practitioner
  Instructional Letter To Accompany Practice Continuation Letter



For over 40 years I have asked fellow professionals for assistance, and for almost as long I have reached out to offer assistance. As professionals, we do not live and work in a vacuum. We need each other and the more we collaborate the more we all grow.

I have not done everything I would have liked to do, but through interaction with fellow CPAs, colleagues, other professionals, staff and clients I have learned many things and I’ve tried to refine some of those lessons here. Without sharing, I would not have been as successful. I have also learned that sharing causes me to grow also. It forces me to be clearer about what I do, be able to express myself better, help me better articulate my thoughts, and puts me in contact with some of the brightest people I know – my fellow CPAs.

At some point I realized that many of the questions repeated themselves and that most of us have the same concerns. For that reason I started to write up the most often asked questions with my answers. There are, of course, very few perfect answers. But, hopefully, through the thorough consideration of the question and the possible solutions, the best (if not perfect) answer can emerge. I hope that you can get some your questions answered here.


Edward Mendlowitz – CPA, ABV, PFS
Partner, WithumSmith+Brown

Edward Mendlowitz is a partner in Withum Smith + Brown’s New Brunswick, NJ, office and has over 40 years of public accounting experience. He is a licensed certified public accountant in the states of New Jersey and New York and is accredited by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in business valuation (ABV), certified in financial forensics (CFF) and as a personal financial specialist (PFS). Ed is also admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court and has testified as an expert witness in federal and state court regarding business valuations, and twice at the House Ways and Means Committee on tax reform, fairness and reduction

A graduate of City College of New York, Ed earned his bachelor of business administration degree. He is a member of the AICPA, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). Also, Ed was a founding partner of Mendlowitz Weitsen, LLP, CPAs, which merged with WS+B in 2005. Currently, he serves on the NYSSCPA Estate Planning Committee and was chairman of the committee that planned the NYSSCPA’s 100th Anniversary. The author of 19 books, Ed has also written hundreds of articles for business and professional journals and newsletters. He is the contributing editor to the Practitioners Publishing Company’s 706/709 Deskbook, and the AICPA’s Management of an Accounting Practice Handbook, Corporate Controller’s Handbook and Wiley’s Handbook on Budgeting and is on the editorial board of Bottom Line/Personal newsletter and the Journal of Accountancy Member Panel on Business Valuation. Appearing regularly on television news programs, Ed has also been quoted in numerous major newspapers and periodicals in the United States. He is the recipient of the Lawler Award for the best article published during 2001 in the Journal of Accountancy.

Ed is a frequent speaker to many professional and business groups, including the AICPA, NJSCPA, NYSSCPA, American Management Association, the National Committee for Monetary Reform, University of Medicine and Dentistry in NJ and many, more. For 11 years, he taught courses on financial analysis, corporate financial policy and theory, monetary and fiscal policy and managerial accounting in the MBA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.



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