Sixty-nine precent of CPA firms surveyed mid-June by the Rosenberg Associates are reporting revenue for the year is down or flat compared to the same period in 2019. The survey involved 61 firms with average revenue of about $10 million.

Consulting firm president Marc Rosenberg said one third of firms except to equal the 2019 total’s by the end of this year. Only 16 percent are expecting a full-year decline, while  only 10 percent of the firms surveyed have laid off staff and 17 percent have reduced partner draws or are planning to do so.

The survey is consistent with other surveys and anecdotal evidence that the virus lockdowns will result in more employees working remotely. Before the virus only 15 percent of firms reported a staff working remotely “to a significant degree." This level is expected to rise 36 percent after the crisis is over.  Still, with almost 100 percent of staffers working remotely, “the biggest sentiment we hear is that staff miss working in the office and the social and professional interaction with co-workers,” he reported. However, that sentiment was not measured.

Rosenberg sees no likely major changes in the sale and merger of small firms as Baby Boomers retire. He says the question is how much of sellers’ practices with survive and also have much revenue will they have left to sell.

He said the work pace triggered by the virus has tired out many sellers, making them more determined to act while buyers may offer slightly lower prices. However, he noted, “sellers with a fine pedigree and healthy economics will continue to get nice offers.”

He said a vast majority of have not determine tactics needed to draw new clients without the ability to meet prospects face to face Rosenberg also noted the impact of social distancing and remote work requirements of firms’ office space and layout needs.

Bob Scott
Bob Scott has provided information to the tax and accounting community since 1991, first as technology editor of Accounting Today, and from 1997 through 2009 as editor of its sister publication, Accounting Technology. He is known throughout the industry for his depth of knowledge and for his high journalistic standards.  Scott has made frequent appearances as a speaker, moderator and panelist and events serving tax and accounting professionals. He  has a strong background in computer journalism as an editor with two former trade publications, Computer+Software News and MIS Week and spent several years with weekly and daily newspapers in Morris County New Jersey prior to that.  A graduate of Indiana University with a degree in journalism, Bob is a native of Madison, Ind
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