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Finding, hiring, and retaining quality staff is the number one practice management issue for CPA firms, according to the 1998 "Top Five MAP Issues" poll conducted by the AICPA's PCPS Management of an Accounting Practice Committee.

While staffing also was the top issue last year, Gary Shamis, managing partner of Saltz, Shamis & Goldfarb, and chair of the PCPS Management of an Accounting Practice Committee, feels the problem has escalated dramatically this year. With the employment market remaining tight, firms need to explore new compensation and benefits strategies in order to recruit and retain employees. (For a related article on employment issues, see page 34, "What the New CPA Means to Your Career.")

The PCPS MAP Committee, working with state societies, asked participants to rank their top five practice management issues. More than 50% of the total respondents chose staffing as one of their top five, and over 50% of those ranked it as the number one issue. Staffing was followed by 2) keeping up with technology, 3) capitalizing on consulting opportunities, 4) marketing, and 5) new service development.

1998 marks the second year that the MAP Committee has conducted the "Top Five MAP Issues" poll. Technology and consulting moved up in the rankings from a year ago when they were number three and five, respectively.

Marketing and service development are new to the top five list. Shamis points to the emergence of marketing as a top issue, along with new service development and consulting, as another indicator of the dynamic changes being driven by the marketplace.*

The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.

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