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Benchmarking New York

Joanne S. Barry, CAE

As most of us know, New York can be a unique case when it comes to practice management. As the country's financial capital, its marketplace does not necessarily reflect that of other states. Because New York firms operate under the strictest of rules, national surveys don't always reflect the practice and regulatory environment in which our members' firms operate. And for this reason, it gives me great pleasure to provide our members with the results of the first annual NYSSCPA–Rosenberg Survey on page 20 of this issue of The CPA Journal.

The Rosenberg Survey

When it comes to practice management benchmarking surveys, Rosenberg is a household name. Administered by the Growth Partnership, a Missouri-based consulting group, the survey's results are reviewed for accuracy and validity by three CPAs: Marc Rosenberg, Charles Hylan, and Carol Stano. If any answer a firm gives is unclear, they follow up with the firm to get the answer right instead of disqualifying the firm's responses. This year, Rosenberg reports that 83% of survey participants participated last year, allowing for valid year-to-year comparisons. With this new partnership, Rosenberg provides the same level of accuracy and insight as the national Rosenberg survey, but with a focus on CPA firm trends within our state.

One of the key differentiators of this survey is that it is also a qualitative survey—after the data is assembled, reviewed, and analyzed by the Rosenberg team, some of the biggest and most respected names in management and business consulting offer their anecdotal information to complement the data. And, in addition to that, they also share with Rosenberg what they expect to see in the practice management environment in the year ahead. These experts are the trend spotters. So the survey doesn't just provide us with a snapshot of the previous year, it also provides valuable insight about the year ahead. And now we will have that data for New York firms as well.

Keep in mind when you're reading the results that this is the first year Rosenberg analyst Hylan crunched the numbers of New York firm respondents, so the sample size for this inaugural year is a bit too small to draw definitive conclusions about the state of the profession in New York; however, there was enough aggregated data to point to some interesting trends that New York firm leaders will certainly find valuable—some expected, and some surprising.

In order for this partnership to continue to be successful, we need your help. The more New York firms participate in the survey, the better the results will be—and the more valuable the information will be to firms. NYSSCPA members can play an active role in this partnership by participating in the 2016 Rosenberg Survey, which opens in January and can be accessed through the Rosenberg website at http://www.rosenbergsurvey.com/. Participating firms receive a copy of the 100-plus-page survey results, as well as a customized benchmarking sheet for their firm. Please take a look at this year's results and tell me what you think.

Joanne S. Barry, CAE. Publisher, The CPA Journal Executive Director & CEO, NYSSCPA.

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