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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Ed Mendlowitz
Ed Mendlowitz


  How to Get Paid Faster?
  How Much Should Overhead Be?
  The Quicker You Bill, the Quicker You’re Paid
  Quoting a Fixed Price
  Increasing Fees and Losing Clients
  Increasing Fixed Annual Fees
  Value Pricing Bundled Services
  Value Pricing, Fixed Fee or Time-Based Fee
  Credit Card Payments
  Time vs. Value Pricing
  Average Fee for a Review
  Abandoning Timesheets
  Using Information from Timesheets
  Finding Out What You Don’t Know
  Taking Notes at CPE Programs
  Administrative Help
  Making Meetings More Productive
  Firm Management Skills for Non-Managing Partners
  Notifying Clients of a Partner’s Retirement
  Managing Partner’s Book of Business
  Staff Evaluations
  Employee Who Wants a Partnership
  Letting Staff Go After Tax Season
  Staff Person Wants a Fancy Title
  Letter of Reference
  Longtime Employee Wants Super Big Raise
  Training Staff Sooner and Quicker
  Post Tax Season Motivation
  Managing Multiple Projects
  Keeping Track of Client Documents
  Keeping Up to Date with Technology
  Life Is Better Without This Client
  Helping a Client Sell Their Business
  Suggesting Additional Services to Clients
  Retaining Small Business Clients
  Prior Accountant Did a Lousy Job
  Initial Financial Planning Consultation
  Preparing to Sell Your Practice
  When Is It Time to Merge?
  When Is it Time to Retire?
  Price to Pay for a Practice
  Letters to Send When You Buy a Practice
  Buying a Practice from an Estate
  Letters to Send When a Practice is Acquired from an Estate



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.

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.



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