Today's Features

New eBook: Maximizing Sec. 199A Deductions

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Get your "pass-thru" questions answered in the new instant download.

By Stephen L. Nelson

Congress just passed the biggest tax bill in 30 years, and you’re probably already getting calls from clients in small business owners and real estate about how the new “Sec. 199A” or “Pass-Thru” deduction works.

“Maximizing Sec. 199A Deductions” e-book monograph by Stephen L. Nelson, CPA, at Evergreen Small Business Tax & Accounting, gets you immediately fluent with the new tax law, so you can confidently and comfortably talk with clients. And it outlines the urgent actions some of your clients need to take even before it's too late.

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5 Ways to Capitalize on Trends

Number5-AdobeStock_58123020The market is moving. Can you keep up?

By Jody Padar

A CCH white paper, “Charting a Course for the Future: A Report on Firm Preparedness,” defines some of the trends that will have the most significant impact on accounting firms and their customers over the next five years.

MORE ON RADICALISM: You’re Already a Consultant | Why Transparency Matters in the ‘New Firm’ | Embrace Disruption | New Thinking Brings New Results | 10 Questions to Prepare for Radical Change | Who’s Your Competition? EVERYONE | How the ‘New Firm’ Was Born | Radical Firms Embrace 4 Values | Radical or Complacent? You Choose | 3 Questions to Ask If You Dare

The study also notes how well-prepared accountants are to take advantage of these trends. By putting the “very prepared” firm under the magnifying glass, the report examines what makes firm owners confident about the future.
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Karbon Builds a Practice Management Platform on Steroids

Portrait of Ian Vacin
Vacin

Cofounder Ian Vacin explains the value of connectedness.

By Kayleigh Padar

Ian Vacin is the cofounder and vice president of product marketing at Karbon, a software designed to help firms improve their processes. He described why process improvement is vital to a functioning firm.

MORE ON RADICALISM: Firm Product Management Is the Way to the Future | Josh Zweig’s LiveCA Offers New Thinking from the Ground Up | How ‘Agile’ Applies to CPA Firms | Our Pain Points Are Opportunities | Transitioning to a Radical Firm: Bringing a Legacy Customer Along
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“You can't keep operating at the same pace using the existing processes that you have today,” Vacin said.
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New Tax Law Roils Busy Season 2018

How savvy CPAs turn confusion into new billings.

Join the survey. Get the results

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines Research

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act won't officially take effect until next year, but professionals are already reporting that it's causing problems and depressing their forecasts for this year's busy season results.

MORE on BUSY SEASON: Tax Pros Gain Slight Ground in E-Filings   |  Tax Pros Turning in Only 39% of E-Filings  |  Beware the EZ Way Out  |  IRS #FAILs at Online Services Spell Problems for Professionals  |  Can the IRS Improve Its Phone Service?  |  When Clients Face ‘Unreal’ IRS Audits  |  IRS Warns about Private Debt Collectors for Tax Season 2018

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Early soundings from the annual CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer show that 33 percent of practitioners are forecasting more trouble this year than last year – and they blame it on the new tax law.

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When Artificial Intelligence Gets Real

Survey: 78 percent “would work with an A.I. manager if it meant a more balanced workload.”

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

There’s a brave new world rising, a world juiced up on artificial intelligence.

MORE on A.I.:  Lessons for Accountants from Self-Driving Cars   |   How Artificial Intelligence Will Drive the Next Wave of Merger Mania   |   How Artificial Intelligence Feeds Accounting Marketing 

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What’s it going to be like? What will A.I. be capable of? Is it the dawn of a glorious new age of automation or a Cat-5 storm cloud on the horizon?

CPA Trendlines has some answers, and you might not like them.

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A CPA Goes into a Pet Shop to Buy a Parrot…

A little tax humor for Busy Season, as collected, curated and refined by Robert E. McKenzie. Enjoy!

  • It’s not that we can’t fill out a simple tax return. The problem is that in so many cases, a simple tax return simply doesn’t exist.

– Anderson Independent Mail, 1-25-12

  • Love, sex, and the I.R.S are three things that will always be with us.

– Dave Howell, The Morning Call, 3-30-15

  • It’s always sunny the day after tax season, regardless of the weather.

– Kurt Schneider, CPA 4-20-17

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Tax Prep Services Slash 10,000 Jobs as Busy Season Begins

Even as headcounts rise at CPA firms.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

Employment figures in accounting are running hot and cold, with new highs seen in earnings overall, for staff and at CPA firms, as well as in CPA firm employment.

MORE ON JOBS: All Staffed Up? New Tax Prep Hiring Stalls on Eve of Busy Season | Hiring and Pay Trends in Tax & Accounting | What’s the Profession Going To Do with 79,000 New Accounting Graduates? | Tax & Accounting Salaries Increase 2.8% | Regional CPA Firms Go Head-to-Head with Big Four in Talent Wars
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Tax preparation, meanwhile, is bleeding jobs in the double digits.

In this report, CPA Trendlines analyzes:

  • Current hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the profession,
  • Average hourly earnings for each segment,
  • Average hours worked per week by segment and
  • Trends regarding women in the accounting workforce.

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Tax Pros Gain Slight Ground in E-Filings

The IRS remains in beast mode with its processing rate.

Chart of IRS filing statistics for the week ending Feb. 9, 2018
^ IRS filing statistics for the week ending Feb. 9, 2018

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines

Two weeks into the filing season, tax professionals have picked up a few percentage points over self-preparers.

MORE ON TAX SEASON: Tax Pros Turning in Only 39% of E-Filings | Beware the EZ Way Out  | IRS #FAILs at Online Services Spell Problems for Professionals | Can the IRS Improve Its Phone Service? | When Clients Face ‘Unreal’ IRS Audits | IRS Warns about Private Debt Collectors for Tax Season 2018 | Underfunded IRS Swamped with Problems
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Comparison to 2017 remains a challenge because this year's Jan. 29 season opener lops a full six days off the same reporting periods.

The IRS had received 30.9 million individual income tax returns as of Feb. 9, down 3.8 percent from the same period last year, when there had been six more filing days. It has processed 30 million returns this year, down 4.5 percent.

The IRS has processed 97.2 percent of returns received in 2018.

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