Michelle Golden's Bio

Michelle Golden Headshot

Michelle (Golden) River

Michelle Golden, CPF, is a growth and profitability strategist with a passion for both pricing and positioning. She’s a seasoned facilitator, speaker, and author with an extensive background in CPA-firm marketing and operations. She ties all these pieces together as she helps firms implement new business and revenue models that are based what they accomplish instead of charging for their time.

What she does best—differently from others—is energize people while she teaches them how to do hard stuff. She clarifies the complicated. She sheds new light, opens minds, and instills confidence. She sets firms up to make big progress possible.


Making big progress possible is exactly what she’s done as the creator of Advanced Pricing Methods® (APM), implemented by thousands of CPAs and consultants since she first taught APM in 2012.

While APM encompasses some core tenets of value-based pricing, it’s both more comprehensive and easier to apply than value-pricing theories you may have seen before. And APM scales beautifully. It’s used just as well by firms over $1 billion in revenue as with practices under $5 million in revenue.

Today, Advanced Pricing Methods® are tested and used in scores of firms including five of the U.S. Top 25 CPA firms and ten of the Top 50 firms.

Michelle’s pricing approach lays out a solid path for CPA firms to systematically build dynamic, client-centric, consultative practices. People who go through her APM Essential Skills Workshop find APM effective, empowering, and inspiring.


Michelle is consistently recognized industry-wide for her original ideas and success with practical implementation. Some honors:

  • Ten Most Powerful Women in Accounting by Accounting Today
  • 25 Most Powerful Women in Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor
  • Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting by Accounting Today 
  • Top 25 Thought Leaders in Public Accounting by CPA Practice Advisor
  • Association for Accounting Marketing Hall of Fame

Michelle earned the International Association of Facilitators’ Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) designation and is a leader in the facilitation space as well, having served as the IAF’s North American regional leader.


As a facilitator, her deep knowledge of CPA-firm practice management, and sharp observation skills allow her to grasp a firm’s nuances quickly. Whatever the objective, she caringly guides CPA firm leaders toward strategic growth, improved customer experience, smoother operations, and stronger cultures.

Since she entered the CPA profession in 1994, Michelle has helped more than 200 firms grow and become more profitable.


In late 2017, Michelle launched Fore LLC to provide revenue model education and implementation consulting. Her sole focus is CPA firms committed to converting from a time-based billing model to pricing their work in advance, based on the worth of the results they help customers achieve.

2013-2017: partner at Top 60 CPA firm K·Coe Isom (now Pinion) where she served as Growth Leader and member of the firm’s five-person executive leadership team.

1999-2013: impacting the profession through her consulting firm Golden Practices Inc and acclaimed Golden Practices blog. She introduced CPAs to blogging and social media, and authored Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms (Wiley, 2011) and the AICPA’s Social Media Toolkit. She inspired or developed most of the first 100 CPA-authored blogs. Always devoted to positioning firms for their true worth, she also designed and facilitated her first full-day pricing workshop in 2012, not realizing it would soon become her full-time passion.

1994-1999: in-house marketing director in a 400-person law firm and an 80-person CPA firm.

1985-1993: accountant with two publicly traded healthcare companies.


Professional Associations

Digital CPA (DCPA): former Advisory Board member

International Association of Facilitators (IAF): Lifetime member, former global board of directors, and past US Regional Representative.

Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM): Inductee into AAM’s Marketing Hall of Fame (2015); past board member; former conference chair and committee member (1995-2003), and 2001 AAM Volunteer of the Year.

VeraSage Institute, senior fellow and faculty

Speaking and Teaching

Michelle leads workshops and speaks professionally for many organizations. See her speaking credentials.


Michelle’s current blog, Fore What It’s Worth is on this site. Here are her recent articles. She’s currently working on her newest book on worth-based pricing to come out in 2025.

Also, Michelle’s acclaimed (retired) blog Golden Practices is still live and chock full of evergreen content. Read what people say about her legacy blog.

Social Media Strategies for Professionals and Their Firms (Wiley, 2011) is Michelle’s timeless guide to modern marketing. Covering firms’ comprehensive marketing strategy, it’s filled with practical ideas for integrating social media into your marketing mix. It’s tailored to professional services marketing (order Social Media Strategies).

In 2010, she developed the Social Media Toolkit for AICPA PCPS members and authored Guide to an Effective CPA Firm Website,” a chapter in Bull’s Eye! The Ultimate How-To Marketing & Sales Guide (AICPA, 2010).

Past columnist for CPA Practice Advisor. Her work and opinions also appear in: Forbes.com, Accounting Today, AccountingWEB, CCH Partners, CCH First Choice, CCH Journal of Tax Practice Management, CPA Insider, CPA Trendlines, CPA Marketing Report, CPA Managing Partner Report, INSIDE Public Accounting, Journal of Accountancy, Managing Partner, MarkeTrends, Practical Accountant, WebCPA, CGA Canada Magazine, Wealth Management Insider, ABA.com, National Law Journal, Law.com, Lawyer Marketing, MPI’s One+ magazine, and various AmCity Business Journals.

See some of Michelle’s past articles.

PO Box 410
Island Park, ID 83429