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Firm Management

SALT and Summer Reading


When I started my accounting career as a Deloitte tax accountant, we were each expected to choose a niche. I wanted to focus on agriculture clients, but it seemed the Chicago area didn't provide enough to keep me busy in that area, so instead I found myself getting the small business clients, and in particular, those with state and local tax issues in multiple states.

There wasn't a lot written at that time on how to best serve these clients, and so I started writing material of my own. I wrote little guides and checklists for the auditors out in the field to help them collect the proper information so that, back in the office, I could determine the tax liabilities and filing responsibilities of our multi-state clients.

I've always had a soft spot in my tax heart for these clients who have to work so hard to meet so many deadlines for these taxes we used to call the small taxes. And now that SALT issues are getting national attention, thanks in great part to ecommerce, I'm so pleased to announce that we have partnered with the SALT experts at Avalara to bring you a new series called A Year in the Life of a State and Local Tax Accountant. Each month, we'll bring you the latest news, tools, tips, checklists, and information to help you either take your SALT practice to the next level or help you get started in this area if you are new to state and local taxes. Follow our coverage in our print and digital magazines and also online at

Meanwhile, it's June and we're grateful to so many people from within our profession for sharing their thought leadership with us as we offer a summer reading list that's sure to get you thinking about great new ways to improve your practice.

  • The Intentional Accountant: Your Roadmap for Building a Next Generation Accounting Firm – By M. Darren Root, CPA.CITP
    How does an accounting professional go from being a client service provider to an integral advisor and successful leader? The latest book by accounting thought leader Darren Root explains how he did it.
  • Firm Forward – By Edi Osborne
    A business fable that describes the journey one accountant experiences as he faces the challenges of attracting and retaining quality clients, attracting and retaining quality team members, and differentiating and growing his accounting firm.
  • The End of Competitive Advantage – By Rita Gunther McGrath
    It's time to go beyond the very concept of sustainable competitive advantage and forge a new path to wining by capturing opportunities fast, exploiting them decisively, and moving on even before they are exhausted. McGrath calls this transient competitive advantage.
  • No More Cold Calling – By Joanne S. Black
    This one-of-a-kind selling guide shows you how to boost your close rate to eighty or ninety percent, send your commissions, soaring, work less, and enjoy it more – all without ever making another cold call.
  • Professional Services Marketing 3.0 – By Bruce W. Marcus
    Bruce Marcus's newest book documents an important evolution in professional firms and the way law and accounting firms interact with current and prospective buyers. These interactions include serving the client, but also – quite importantly – reflecting how people working in firms present themselves in terms of their ability to bring true value to those who hire them. The author's approach is two-fold: understand the past, and be intentional about the future.


Gail Perry, Editor-in-Chief
Follow me on Twitter at @gaperry


See inside June 2014

The Evolution of Small Business Accounting Software

There are many in the accounting profession who can remember being the stereotypical accountant: the green eyeshade blocking out the glaring light bulb over a desk or table filled with handwritten ledger sheets, footing and cross-footing with a 10-key before handheld calculators existed...


Talking to Your Clients About SALT

The Year in the Life of a State and Local Tax (SALT) Accountant series is being created with the practitioner in mind. In cooperation with Avalara, each month we'll provide you with the latest news relating to state and local tax issues, updates on federal legislation, checklists and tips for building and improving your SALT practice, talking points and guidance for answering the questions posed by your clients, and more.