Today's Features

Auditors: The World Needs You in the Fight Against Terrorism

What the Profession Needs to Know about Money Laundering. 

By Wm. Dennis Huber and Larry Crumbley

There are difficulties in measuring funds channeled into financing terrorist organizations and activities worldwide. Various sources estimate this funding to be between $590 billion and $1.5 trillion through money laundering. PwC suggests that “money laundering transactions are estimated at 2% to 5% global GDP, or roughly $1-2 trillion annually.”

However, financing terrorist organizations and activities is not necessarily the result of money laundering. Financing terrorist organizations and activities may be accomplished by reverse money laundering, or “money dirtying” which may make financing terrorist organizations and activities even more difficult to estimate.

Just as evidence of fraud cannot be ignored, so too evidence of financing terrorist organizations can no longer be ignored.

The goal of money-launderers is, like that of a corporate enterprise, to maximize profits and reduce risk while the goal of terrorists, on the other hand, is to further a political agenda or ideology, or to destroy or kill with no regard to profits and with little regard for risk. READ MORE →

True Diversity: The Next Frontier for the Accounting Industry

Jennifer Scott SUM Innovation HR

Understanding the Business Case in the Tax & Accounting Workplace.

By Jennifer Scott
SUM Innovation

Workplace diversity may best be described as the blend of individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, and behaviors — all coming together to achieve a company’s vision.

Catch SUM Innovation founder and CEO Mathew Heggem discussing "The Art of HR" with Jason Blumer and Greg Kyte in a Thriveal podcast here.

Vision is an important concept for small businesses. There are multiple definitions of the word: the sense of sight, a thought or perception, an apparition, even an amazingly beautiful image. But in a business context, a vision is a future-focused statement about what an organization intends to become.


How and Why to Establish Firm Procedures Manuals

It's institutional knowledge; keep it in the institution.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Every firm has accountants who are 10 percent, 20 percent or even 50 percent more productive in their departments than other personnel because they have simply “figured it out.” Unfortunately, when these people leave the firm, their unique knowledge of specific processes and shortcuts goes with them.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Devil's in the Details of Digital File Delivery | Optimize Scanning Applications and Procedures | Document Management Requires Firm Standards | Why Unified Messaging Matters | Get in Front of Application Updates
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It is the responsibility of firms to capture these individuals’ best practices so that that specific knowledge can be shared and accessed by all firm members, both now and in the future. This can be accomplished by making a concerted effort to develop a best practices manual within each department.

Is It Time for a Partner Compensation Checkup?

Green checks being made on checklist6 questions to ask, 9 standards to follow.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

Ever wonder what the most appropriate partner compensation system is for your firm and how to assess partner performance?

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: The 3 Types of Partners You Need | 6 Focuses for Managing Partners | 10 Steps to Transitioning to a New MP | What Managing Partners Should Be Doing | Do Your Partners Pay Their Own Way? | 7 Keys to Becoming an Equity Partner | How and Why to Achieve Partner Unity | How You Can Get Partners to Change | Why Expectations Must Be Defined | Are You Driving Your Best Partners Crazy? | 7 Warning Signs for Your Firm
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A firm’s compensation system is a reflection of its culture and external competitive factors. When was the last time you gave your partner compensation system a checkup?

How Big ‘Books’ Hurt Firms

Young businessman with forehead resting on handsThe invisible hazards of book of business.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli
CPA Trendlines / Succession Institute

As we stated in our last column, balancing “book of business” is one of the largest stumbling blocks for CPA firms.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: How Small ‘Books’ Hurt Firms | The Four Basic Parts of CPA Firm Partner Agreements | Younger Partners See Succession Differently | How to Compensate Your Managing Partner | The Job of Managing Partner: Empowered or Emasculated? | How the Best Managing Partners Turn Ideas into Reality | Make Accountability a Process | Accountability Requires Clear Expectations | Base Retirement on Today’s Operations | How Involved Should Retired Owners Be? | How to Find a Partner’s Replacement
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It is difficult to resolve because it is symptomatic, for most firms, of some real trouble brewing.

Why You Should Process AP Digitally

Person using credit card to pay bill onlineDon't forget to use naming conventions.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Processing accounts payable is another of the manually intensive processes within the firm’s administrative department that can be significantly streamlined through digital processes.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Remote Banking Offers Instant ROI | Deliver All Reports DigitallyHow Audit Field Equipment Has Changed | Optimize Scanning Applications and Procedures | Document Management Requires Firm Standards | Why Unified Messaging Matters | Get in Front of Application Updates | Why You Need Offsite Backup | Use Scanners to Capture Source Documents
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Consider how many “touches” a single payable creates: receipt of the invoice, timing of payment in a folder, writing the check and attaching the stub, sending it to an owner for signature, filing a copy of check with backup in its own folder, and stuffing, sealing and sending the check to the vendor. Now imagine doing this a hundred times per month, every month. Imagine the volume of physical accounts payable vendor files both onsite and in storage, that can be eliminated by storing these images digitally.

Nums Turns Your MacBook Trackpad into a Keypad

MacBook laptopBonus: Faster typing.

By Rick Richardson

When it comes to design, you would be hard pressed to criticize Apple. Everything the company makes is both beautiful and highly functional. But even Apple can’t cover every base.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Hackers Using Hotel WiFi to Spy, Steal Data | New MIT Drone Flies 5 Days on 1 Tank | Will HEIF Kill JPEG? | Why You Should Replace Your Smoke Detector Every 10 Years | Meet the World's Fastest Camera
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For instance, you cannot realistically squeeze a full number keypad into a MacBook. You can buy plug-in pads – but that means you need a spare USB port and a bigger bag. Alternatively, you could just use Nums.

Be a History Maker

Illustration of man pushing "SERVICES" buttonThe Awesome 8 beyond compliance.

By Rob Nixon

The old model suggests that most of the work that accountants do is history writing.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Growth Is All About the Clients | Why Average Project Value Matters | Do Your Clients Want More? | The Bizarre Habits of Accountants | 12 Traits of a Better You | 8 Ways to Become Super-Efficient | Sales Is Like Workflow Management | How to Dominate the Internet | Marketing Objectives Determine Marketing Amount
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Writing up the past and presenting it is a timeframe that it is not relevant anymore. Clients want additional help and if you take the view that by being proactive and really helping your clients, you can become a history maker.

Blockchain: Questions Are the Answer

Blockchain will find answers. But you need to know the right questions.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

If blockchain were human, here’s what it would say to you: “Dear accountant, your intelligence is far more powerful than my algorithmic intelligence. I can do the math, audit the authenticity of transactions incredibly faster than you can. But that’s not the point. The point is: I can provide you answers much faster than was ever possible. But only if you ask me great questions!”

MORE ON ENTREPRENEURIAL STRATEGY:  The 7 Experiences Millennials Want from Your Firm | Is Blockchain an Extinction Event for Accountants? | Is Blockchain a Cloud Killer? | How to Beat Automation in Accounting | 3 Reasons Small Firms Stay Small | The New Needs of People at Accounting Firms

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We are just about starting to see what Pablo Picasso saw way back in 1964 about “the enormous new mechanical brains” and “calculating machines.” They are “useless," he said. "They can only give you answers.”

If the mechanical brains “can only give you answers,” it is imperative that someone asks those brains the right questions. That someone had better be you.

The Entrepreneur’s Questions READ MORE →

Growth Is All About the Clients

Large group of people gathered into an upward arrow shape3 questions to ask.

By Rob Nixon

The old (traditional) growth model is all internally focused. Nowhere in it is the client mentioned.

MORE ON STRATEGY: Why Average Project Value Matters | Experience Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does | Why ‘Steady as She Goes’ Isn’t Enough | The Final Critical Traits: How Do Your Tires Look? | How to Calculate a Value Price | Boost Efficiency and Your Bottom Line | 4 Sales Systems and Some Secret Sauce
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The new growth equation is all about the clients. It’s about marketing to get additional clients from firms that are not giving legendary service (like hopefully you do). It’s about serving them well to keep them delighted, loyal and referring more. It’s about offering all services to them and it’s about you receiving fair compensation for the value that you create for the client.

The Four Types of Competition

Businessman drawing one arrow longer than others6 ways to differentiate your firm.

By August J. Aquila
Price It Right

After demand, perhaps the next most important factor affecting a CPA firm's pricing policies is competition.

MORE: How Demand Affects Pricing | Understanding the Product Pricing Life Cycle | 4 Ways a Production Orientation Can Harm a Firm | Price to Get the Maximum Fee | 7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning | 5 Ways to Keep Your Edge | The Toughest Job in the World: Managing an Accounting Practice | How to Become the Firm of Choice
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As clients and prospects become more educated about CPA firms in their market, more sophisticated about the services offered and more cost-conscious, pricing becomes more important and more firms are beginning to stress the price of their services, especially in competitive request-for-proposal situations. Intensive price competition in most professional service industries is now a way of life, from hotels to airlines, from car rentals to telecommunications and from law firms to CPA firms.

Accounting Profession Shows Steady Growth

BONUS: Our statistical snapshot.

By Beth Bellor

Hiring in the accounting profession no longer racks up double-digit increases, but there's growth in more areas than not.


True Diversity: The Next Frontier for the Accounting Industry | Wages Up, Headcounts Down at Tax & Accounting Firms | Accounting Employment Creeps Back Up | Tax & Accounting Industry Shows Signs of Slowdown | CPA Firms Post 5% Growth Rate

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