Mark Your Calendar: Big-time Practice Management Conference Open to All Firms

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One of the accounting profession's biggest annual events dedicated to tips and trends in the successful management of firms—the Advisory Board's “Winning Is Everything” conference – is scheduled for January 11-12 at Las Vegas's newest casino, Wynn Las Vegas. Registration is still open and can be made by calling 860-489-4887 or visiting the event's web site,

Attended by a cross section of managing partners and other key people from midsized to super-regional CPA firms across the country, the event is sponsored by the Advisory Board, a consortium of the highest-profile practice management consultants to those firms. Attendance is open to all firms, not just clients of Advisory Board members.

As in the past, this 2006 show will feature training sessions and panel discussions covering the current major issues facing the leaders of firms –finding and retaining staff, succession planning, how operational changes at the Big Four affect smaller firms in their local markets, and mergers and acquisitions, including how to deal with competitors which have merged and what managers should consider when entertaining merger and acquisition (M&A) offers involving their firms.

“The accounting profession and the management of firms are changing in a number of subtle, yet powerful ways. Our conference will shed some light that should get key management people thinking in more profitable ways,” said Advisory Board member Allan D. Koltin, president of Practice Development Institute, Chicago, Illinois.

He noted, for example, that M&As now are often driven by partners looking to secure their retirements and get better value for their ownership stakes, as opposed to years ago, when market expansion was the key driving force. Among many other new trends to be reviewed at the conference are firms' movement to compensation approaches recognizing “qualitative factors,” and the business volume that partners generate.

How managers can reposition their firms for growth amid today's changing business climate will be the topic of a panel discussion involving managers of three of the profession's more successful midsized firms, Lattimore, Black, Morgan & Cain of Knoxville, Tennessee; Denver-based Hein & Associates; and Meyners & Co. of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In an effort to meet the specific needs of different sized firms, training will be divided into separate sessions for firms having less than $6 million in annual revenue, ones having between $6 million and $12 million in revenue, and the larger firms having revenues exceeding $12 million.

The event also features the installment of new members of the Advisory Board's Accounting Hall of Fame. To be inducted at the upcoming show are American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) President, Barry Melancon and the late Bruce M. Carlin, who had been managing partner of the regional CPA and advisory firm Carlin, Charron & Rosen of Westborough, Massachusetts.

Motivational speaker Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, whose determination to beat the odds and become a varsity football player at Notre Dame University was the subject of the film “Rudy,” will deliver the keynote speech.

In addition to Koltin, the other advisory board members who will be among the speakers and breakout session leaders are: Gary Shamis, managing partner of SS&G Financial Services of Cleveland; Gary Boomer of technology consulting firm Boomer & Associates, Manhattan, Kans., Troy Waugh, head of Waugh & Co./ The Rainmaker Academy, a leadership and sales training specialty firm; and Jay Nisberg of Jay Nisberg & Associates in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

The conference is offering room rates at the Wynn starting at $250 a night. For conference registration rates, visit or ask for Kathy Sautters when calling 860-489-4887.

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