Today's Features

5 Tax Season Motivation Tips

Myriad light bulbsHistorical figures had some wisdom that carries forward.

By Sandi Smith, CPA
Accountant's Accelerator

Here are a few of the best lessons I’ve received from the masters. Although tried and true, their stories and hardships keep me energized, upbeat and thinking bigger.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Ready for Tax Season? Not So Fast | Make Your Services an Investment, Not an Expense | Do You Want to Do Compliance Your Whole Career? | How A Spreadsheet Can Help Stop Leaks | 5 Cool Ways to Streamline Data Sharing | 3 Tips for Following Up with Prospects | If You Don’t Develop Your Business, Who Will? | 3 Ways to Test Your Revenue Forecast

1. Don’t give up.

  • Thomas Edison performed 10,000 experiments before he discovered the light bulb. Friends asked him how he would carry on after getting no results. Edison said, “I got lots of results. I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

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Radical Firms Embrace 4 Values

Core values against open door at top of stairs in the skyThese 4 keys come down to meeting needs.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

People often ask me: What makes a firm a “New Firm”? There are four fundamental tenets.

MORE ON RADICALISM: Radical or Complacent? You Choose | Customer Viewpoint: Creating a Journey Map | Who, Me A Consultant? | How Spiritual Value Affects Pricing | Keep Scope Creep and Seep from Hurting Bottom Line | Get Radical About Pricing | How Social Media Transforms Firms to their Core | Radical Tenet #1: Embrace the Cloud | Being Radical Is All About Your Customer

These four tenets, although adopted dif­ferently within each firm, compromise a new set of values that most of the “movement” firms embrace. Ready? Here we go:
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Increase Fees and Keep (Most of) Your Clients

Growing stacks of blocks with an arrow tracing upwardBONUS: A sample letter you can send clients.

By Sandi Leyva and Michelle Long
The Ultimate Accounting Virtual Conference

When is the last time you increased your fees? Was it the past year, the past one to two years, over three years ... or never? If you haven't, you should.

How do you increase your fees?

Sometimes it’s a sticky situation but you should start setting a policy where you’re going to increase your fees on a regular basis, maybe every year or two. That allows you to avoid having large increases.

If you haven’t increased your rates for five years and you have to go up quite a bit at once that will be harder for the client, but once they get used to an annual or every other year increase and accept it then it’s easier to keep your fees.

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12 Reasons to Merge In a Smaller Firm

Silhouetted figures against US outline mapFrom buying talent to expanding territory, mergers can be fast ways to grow.

By Marc Rosenberg
CPA Firm Mergers: Your Complete Guide 

If an opportunity to merge in a smaller firm were presented to you, would you be interested in pursuing it?

MORE ON MERGERS: 20 Terms to Settle When Merging Up | 3 Factors That Always Affect Negotiations | Mergers: Assessing Compatibility | Case Studies Reveal Potential LOI Issues | One Times Fees Is a Steal! | Looking to Grow Your Firm? How to Find a Seller in Four Steps | 14 Keys to a Successful Merger | 5 Steps to Take Before Merging

My guess is that in excess of 90 percent of all CPA firms would answer this question with a resounding “yes!”
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Accountants Report 12% Annual Revenue Growth… And Accelerating

Arrow rising above ever larger blocks in businessman's hand, indicating growthIndustry heads into 2016 with stronger performances than most clients.

By CPA Trendlines

As professionals who specialize in finance, preparing financial statements and assisting business owners with their financial performance, one would suspect that the tax and accounting industry would have a firm grip on  financial performance. Looking at statements filed over the past year, that certainly appears to be the case.

The average private company falling into the category of either accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping or payroll services grew sales at an annual rate of 12 percent. This was a higher growth rate than the average privately held company achieved over that same period, despite being a healthy rate of revenue growth for the average U.S. company.
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8 Steps to Guiding Your Protégée

Businessman excited to show someone what is on computer screenHow you can steer her to opportunities.

By Ida O. Abbott
Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

Once you have identified a woman to sponsor and determined that you click, you may be wondering how to get started.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Can You Afford to Be a Sponsor? | Fears of Innuendo, Gossip Impede Development | Women Must See Politics As Leadership | Why Some Women Resist Using Networks | 5 Ways Women Get Shoved Aside | Women Leaders Provide 6 Market Advantages | Why CPA Firms Need More Women

Here are some concrete steps to take:
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The CPA Success Formula: Ties that Bind

Firms can only thrive with both A&A and consultants.

By Domenick J. Esposito, CPA
8 Steps to Great

The skills required to provide advisory and consulting services generally aren’t possessed by accounting, auditing and tax partners. That’s why many CPA firms, from the largest to the smallest, have and will continue to add advisory and consulting partners into their firms.

The accounting, auditing and tax business is a long-term relationship business. Once the engagement partners establish a relationship with private company owners-operators and senior management, they become trusted business advisors. Their DNA is wired toward a relationship and their eyes are on providing value-added solutions to challenges facing senior management.

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IT Is Costly, So Budget for It

Technician checking something at data centerWith details, you can calculate cost per workstation.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

We have all heard the saying that if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up going nowhere (or… you won’t ever get there).

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Develop Monthly IT ‘Flash’ Reports | Have an Independent Security Review | Why More Firms Are Using their T&B Apps for CRM | Standardize QuickBooks Support | Digital Report Delivery Includes Owners | Portals, Encryption Boost Client Security | Streamlining Audits by Breaking Old Habits | Why Accounts Payable Should Go Digital

Unfortunately many accounting firms do not do a good job of integrating their information technology requirements into the firm’s overall strategic vision. Information technology impacts virtually every aspect of accounting firm production and is usually the biggest expense after your personnel costs. Accordingly, it should be managed as the critically important asset that it is. This is one case where firms need to do exactly what they advise their clients to do and that is to manage information technology with a detailed budget that ties into the firm’s strategic plan.
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4 Ways to Create More Capacity

Purple No. 4 billiard ballConsider creating two classes of partners.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli
CPA Trendlines / Succession Institute

When partners plan to retire, how do we go about creating additional capacity or freeing up the necessary capacity to handle the client transitions that need to occur?

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: Partner Retirement and the War for Clients | Succession: The Questions to Care About | 7 Succession Questions to Ignore for Now | Develop Your Employees or Suffer the Consequences | What Having Your Employees’ Backs Means | 5 Harmful Management Attitudes (and How to Fix Them) | Job 1 for The Practice Owner: Client Management

First, all of the “C” clients, which is our shorthand way of describing the smallest clients the firm serves – who while profitable, don’t have much opportunity to hire us for additional services should not be transitioned to partners, but rather to managers.
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