Today's Features —

Successful Strategy Execution Requires Focus on People

Business people working in group in the office

Momentum is critical in driving change, so it is no surprise that the initiation of activities that drive and support the strategy is key…

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Fear of Sex and Rumors Inhibits Sponsorship

Image of a female executive explaining something to her boss in office.

Career penalties for romance are greater for junior women than senior men…

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Clients Leaving? Time to Reduce Retirement Benefits

hand on calculator

A lot depends on what type of firm you have…

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What if Accounting Firms were ‘Apps?’

Smartphone12 ways the app phenomenon could change the way you think about your practice.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform

Consider, for a moment, the new “app economy.” There are over a million apps in Apple and Google stores, with hundreds of them doing much the same thing in almost the same way. According to Pew Research, 90% Americans have cellphones and 67% find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.

So, are accounting firms like apps already — offering the same services, same deliverables, same outcomes at the same or similar prices? If so, the only thing missing in the accounting marketplace is an “accounting services app store.”

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Wisdom tells us to “hang out where clients do.” Yet, there are hardly any “accounting firm apps” on the app stores. READ MORE →

Make Busy Season into Business Development Season

file000114214574Five reasons this is the wrong time to take your eye off the ball.

Firms need to look at the busy season as a stepping stone, while their clients are focused on taxes and accounting more than any other time, according to John Ezell’s ProHorizons.

Here’s why you need a business development strategy in busy season: READ MORE →

Target the Low-Hanging Fruit

Five strategies you can implement right now.

ripe apples are hanging on a branch covered with first snowBy Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

If business has slowed for you, it’s not just you. With people finishing their holiday preparations, getting ready for school vacations and trying to keep from falling to the latest batch of colds making the rounds, it’s all most of us can do to stay on our routines.

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How to Cut Tax Prep Costs with Scanners

A person electronically scanning a documentBeating the rush to front-end scanning.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Most tax clients will continue to deliver their organizers and supporting tax documents to firms on paper.

So firms are learning quickly how to effectively scan and manage those tax documents at the lowest possible cost.

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No More Printouts at CPE Programs?

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ATech advice for everyday use.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I always like to take notes on the handouts when I attend CPE programs. Now all the handouts are provided digitally and it forces me to sometimes print out as much as 400 or 500 pages before I go to the program. How can I get the sponsors to provide printed copies?

RESPONSE: Things change. What worked yesterday doesn’t always work today. READ MORE →

Review These 10 Questions You Can Never Stop Asking

These lessons were learned the hard way in the media business.

But they can apply to accounting firms just as well. READ MORE →

Take Advantage of 4 Key Marketing Strategies

Agenda clipboard checklistServe your clients better and watch your practice revenues grow.

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

The latest marketing strategies and trends are almost as hard to keep up with as the tax law changes these days. Here is a quick taste of four underutilized marketing trends that can solve a couple of issues in the accounting industry and increase firm profits in 2015.

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Why Women Resist Networking and Powerful Role Models

Young businesswoman and social network over white background4 ways sponsors can help.

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

Networking issues: Women tend to have a limited appreciation of how their networks can help them get ahead professionally. Developing strong business networks is critical for career advancement. Because a leader operates through others, her value and effectiveness are largely tied to the power of her network.

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Making Digital Tax Process Easier Is All About the Workflow

Process Touch Screen Showing Workflow Design4 ways the new breed of workflow application can simplify your tax season.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The most important aspect of transitioning the firm’s tax process to a digital environment is managing electronic files that are no longer physically viewable in assorted stacks around the office. This requires a digital tax workflow system that lets everyone know the status of every return and easily connects that person to digital copies of the return and the source documents. Under traditional manual tax systems, firms utilized due date tracking databases that identified when a return was due, but not what information was missing, or the preparation, review or extension status.

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Geography Plays Part in Firm Success

Toledo, Ohio. Red flag pin on an old map showing travel destination.Turnover, growth, income per partner all affected.

Where your firm is based can make some big differences in how much it makes, how much its partners are paid and how employees often come and go to and from the firm, according to the new “The Rosenberg Survey: The National MAP Survey of CPA Firm Statistics.”

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How to Apply Value Pricing to Bundled Services

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ADon’t confuse it with value billing.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I tried value billing and it didn’t work. I would rather bill my business clients on a fixed fee for my services.

RESPONSE: Actually, you are value pricing when you do the fixed fees. You confused value pricing with value billing. Value pricing is where you sit down with the client and you jointly determine the price before any work is done.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: 18 Ways to Blow a Partnership Opportunity | 8 Times When Hourly Billing Trumps Value Pricing | 10 Do’s and Don’ts for Making Small Business Clients Happy | 10 (Nearly) Painless Ways to Keep Up to Date with Technology | 23 Reasons Clients Really Need YOU for Taxes | Running an Accounting Business | 14 Ways to Switch to Value Pricing | Pricing, Billing, Costing: Don’t Blame Clients

Value billing is where you try to get an extra payment after the work is done. I believe the best way to determine a fee for recurring services is to set the fee with the client in advance of performing any work. I’ll explain. READ MORE →

Managing Partners Must Remember Partners’ Needs

a businessman with some jigsaw puzzle pieces in his handAnd 4 questions to consider.

By Robert J. Lees, August J. Aquila and Derek Klyhn
Creating the Effective Partnership

Professionals loathe anything bureaucratic. But we know of many firms who ask their partners to account, in detail, for every minute of their time.

To ask high-need-for-achievement professionals at the top of their field to provide what, to them, is bureaucratic data immediately implies a complete lack of trust and respect for their expertise and their position. It is simply a motivational disaster, which distances the partners from the firm. Partners know that they have to account for their time but we know too many firms that, often at the behest of the finance function, ask for a level of specificity that drives the partners to distraction.

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How to Set Terms and Limits for Goodwill Payouts

Money wrapped with chains and secured with a padlockAnd two considerations for the working partners.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

The vast majority of firms pay retirement benefits over a 10-year period. We occasionally see five to seven years at lower payout levels.

Some firms under $10 million adopt five-year payouts for goodwill, reasoning that because five-year payouts are common for the purchase of a CPA firm, the same term should apply to their own buyouts.

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