Today's Features

Shift Thinking from ‘We’ to ‘You’

Portrait of a cheerful businessman smiling at the cameraBusinesses place value on expertise.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Please start understanding, valuing and respecting your own value in the marketplace with clients who could not reach their goals without you.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: When to Ignore a White Lie: A Cautionary Tale | RFPs: 7 Things NOT to Do | 5 Ways to Evaluate Your Communication | 7 Levels of Communication Management | 5 Ways to Get Buy-In for Firm Culture | Partnership: Competence Is Just the Foot in the Door | Are You Partner Material? Maybe Not
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Businesses are in need – sometimes desperate need – of your technical expertise and caring approach.

Generational Differences: Truth and Fiction

Young businessman working on laptopBONUS: Matrix of how partners see Millennials vs. how they see themselves.

By Marc Rosenberg
On Staffing

George Orwell said, “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”

MORE ON STAFFING: The How and Why of Upward Surveys | Survey to Find Out What Your Staff Think | 19 Questions for Your Next Hire | How to Set Your Firm Apart to Recruits | Why Firms Can’t Afford NOT to Develop Women Partners | Staff Performance Feedback Done Right | 8 Recruiting Strategies: How Many Are You Using? | 21 Staff Training Best Practices | Compensation: Money and Beyond | Making Flex Time Work in the Real World | How to Make Mandatory Saturdays a Thing of the Past | The Importance of Great Bosses | The 12 Reasons Your Staff Hates Your Firm | What Happened to the Relevancy of the CPA Profession? | Staffing: What CPA Firms Are Learning the Hard Way
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Before we delve into the differences between generations, let's go over some definitions.

Future State or Future Shock? IRS Watchdog Warns of Dubious IRS Plans

Questionable solution: IRS outsourcing taxpayer communication.


By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

A few years ago the Internal Revenue Service launched a belt-tightening overhaul it called The Future State.

The changes were devised with good intentions. The service wanted to deal with taxpayers more through the Internet and less over the phone or in person. It would also expect taxpayers to hire outside tax specialists to give them advice that the IRS had once offered as a free service.

Ideally, all of this would reduce the cost of collecting taxes. But the Taxpayer Advocate Service soon warned that the changes would lead to more aggravation and less goodwill among taxpayers. Less goodwill, the TAS said, could lead to less compliance, which translates into less revenue to the United States Treasury.

The IRS heard the warnings and initiated a country-wide series of forums and a website dedicated to explaining the Future State plan. IRS representatives even went before Congress to explain that the service was not eliminating all phone or personal contact with taxpayers.

National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson, who heads the TAS, commended the IRS on these outreach efforts, but she felt that the real problems had not been addressed. The plan failed to consider and incorporate the needs and preferences of people who are expected to voluntarily comply with their tax obligations, i.e., American taxpayers.


Tax Season Productivity Hacks

Five good habits for getting things done.

The Best Time Management Tips:
Join the survey, get the answers

By Salim Omar

Tax time is widely considered the “busy season” for practitioners, but it doesn’t have to mean chaos and misery. A well-managed firm allows its owner to conduct business and live life at a reasonable pace no matter what the season.

MORE on PRODUCTIVITY: Does Busyness Really Mean Productivity?  | How Many Hours Should Accounting Staff Work?  |  When Everything Takes Too Long  | New Lessons in Time Management
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By employing a few clever and surprisingly simple productivity hacks, you, too, can have a better tax time experience beginning this very season. Put these new habits to work for you now: READ MORE →

How to Turn Routine CPE into a New Marketing Opportunity

CPE: It's not just for staff.

By Jassen Bowman

As public accounting firms continue to make strides in the modernization of their business development processes, there is one unique opportunity that they might be overlooking: In-firm CPE offerings.

About half the accounting firms I speak with each week tell me that they produce a significant amount of their continuing education training in-house. These programs are most often created and delivered by the firm’s own subject matter experts, and are delivered to staff not just to fulfill CPE requirements, but to directly improve the skills of these accountants.

What most firms miss, however, is that these presentations are also an opportunity for the firm to showcase their capabilities to both prospects and existing clients.

In short, think of your in-firm CPE programs as a content marketing opportunity.


The Economy’s Biggest Winners & Losers from Immigration

CPA firms with clients in coastal and southern border states may be most vulnerable to loss of immigrant economic activity.

Economic impact of immigration, ranked by state. Source: WalletHub

By CPA Trendlines Research

If there’s ever any massive curtailment of immigration into the United States, CPA firms in states along ocean coasts and in major metro markets may be the most vulnerable to losing prospective clients and future job candidates.

A new study of demographic trends nationwide finds that immigrants play an especially key role in economic growth on both coasts with California, New Jersey, Florida, New York and Hawaii, ranking as the states with highest percentages of jobs created by immigrant-owned businesses.

The study, conducted by the personal finance advisory web site WalletHub , further finds that California, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Massachusetts are where foreign-born people hold the greatest percentages of jobs in the fast growth technology science, technology and engineering fields.

Meanwhile, New Jersey, along with the District of Columbia and its neighbors Virginia and Maryland, are where households headed by immigrants have the highest incomes.