Today's Features

Social + Strategy = Success in Five Stages

Businesswoman lassoing light bulb5 specific tips for maximizing your efforts.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

So you want to get on social media? Good! Define your strategy. When I started using social, I was having fun and didn’t have a strategy, except to see what was happening — and it evolved. Jump in, get started and you’ll formulate a game plan naturally.

MORE ON RADICALISM: How to Measure Social Business… and Why | How to Become a Social Business | The Cloud Is Your Starting Point | Why Transparency Matters in the ‘New Firm’ | 10 Questions to Prepare for Radical Change | Radical Firms Embrace 4 Values | Radical or Complacent? You Choose
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Here’s some help in five phases:
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Why Communication Matters So Much

Two businessmen talking at officeThe experts weigh in. Hint: It's not about you.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

What does communication mean at the partner level?

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: 5 Ways to Get Buy-In for Firm Culture | Competence: More Than Technical Skills | Partnership: Competence Is Just the Foot in the Door

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Ask yourself and answer these questions when considering the current and future communication tactics that you’ll employ.
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How to Manage Social Media in 22 Minutes a Day

Young man riding hour hand of clockDon't take on more than you can do well.

By Becky Livingston

When done well, social media management should not take up all of your time. However, it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it process either. Consider the amount of time you plan to spend on social media – and be realistic! In some cases, social media management and community managers do this full time.

MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: DIY Design for Social Media | Write Headlines Worth Sharing | Who Is Your Customer? | What to Say on Social Media | Determine Your Target Audience | How Social Media Works with Accountants’ Top 5 Marketing Goals

But they are overseeing multiple brands and interacting with a variety of audiences throughout the day. In some cases, they are also doing the research for new posts, content development and analytics.
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3 Tips for Following Up with Prospects

Businesswoman talking on phoneIt's the key to 98 percent of your sales.

By Sandi Smith Leyva

It seems there are hundreds of questions swirling around how to follow up with prospects.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 5 Ways a Deadline Can Help Close a Deal | If You Don’t Develop Your Business, Who Will? | 7 Ways to Get New Revenue from Old Clients | Draw New Clients In Like a Magnet | 11 Ways to Add Value for Clients | 9 Ways to Increase Sales through ‘Power Networking’ | 5 Things You Know That Clients Don’t | 3 Ways to Test Your Revenue Forecast | 8 Must-Haves for a Prospect Kit | Whip Out the Wow Factor for Clients | How to Work the Same Hours and Make More Money

The raw truth is that very few people follow up at all. On average, only 2 percent of people buy on the first contact with a vendor.

So if you’re not following up, you’re walking away from 98 percent of your sales.

Here are my tips to maximize sales and take the pain out of following up: READ MORE →

How Savvy CPAs Use the AFOT Survey to Make Smarter Business Decisions

Green "opportunity" highway sign with sunrise backgroundBenchmarks for firms large and small provide roadmaps for strategic success.

By Rick Telberg
Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

Every day in the United States, more than half of all accounting firm owners are thinking about a merger, an acquisition or both. M&A is now as routine to the day-to-day operations of running a tax and accounting practice as turning on the lights in the morning and taking out the garbage at night.

MORE FROM AFOTS: Keep Pace First, Change Will Come (Like It or Not) | You’re Not Tech-Savvy If You’re Not Cyber-Safe, Too | Lions and Tigers and Blockchain and Bots, Oh My!
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Fortunately, the new Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey provides a one-of-a-kind roadmap for growth-minded professionals seeking the hard-boiled data essential to making smarter strategic decisions. With thousands of key metrics for firms of every size, you can compare your firm against similar firms. Better yet: You can compare where your firm is today, to where it will be tomorrow.
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AI Likely to Accelerate Merger Mania

Large fish eating medium fish eating small fishIt may be time to prepare a Plan B.

By Domenick J. Esposito
8 Steps to Great

We are halfway into the year 2017 and the frenzied pace of CPA firm mergers and acquisitions – when compared to the years 2015 and 2016 when there were over 100 and over 200 transactions, respectively – has not slowed down one bit.

MORE ON STRATEGIC PLANNING: What a Value Proposition Truly Is (and Isn’t) | The Importance of M&A Culture Due Diligence | Are You Attracting the New Breed of Equity Partners? | Quality Work, Quality Service Not the Same Thing | Who Will Be the Next Category Killer? | Why Is Strategy Execution So Difficult? | Time Running Out for Succession Planning | The Benefits of a Client Situation Review
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We continue to witness a perfect storm caused by:
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4 Ways a Production Orientation Can Harm a Firm

Men doing precision work on a production lineWhat kind of partner is more valuable?

By August J. Aquila

A pure production orientation can have negative consequences for an accounting firm.

MORE: Why Choose a Marketplace Orientation? | How Traditional Fee Methods Hurt Firms | 6 Questions for Planning Your Succession | Underperformers Come in Many Shapes and Sizes | 6 Focuses for Managing Partners | 10 Steps to Transitioning to a New MP | What Managing Partners Should Be Doing
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These consequences include a focus on internal measures, billable hours and technical aspect of tasks, and inhibit the development of a marketing orientation.
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Optimize Scanning Applications and Procedures

Fujitsu fi-6110 desktop scannerSoftware will flag potential errors right off the bat.

By Roman H. Kepczyk

For the next few years it is anticipated that accounting firm clients will deliver the majority of their organizers and supporting tax documents to the firm in a physical format.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Is Your Tax Workflow Digital Yet? | Preventing Document Retention Headaches | Which Wireless? | Remote Access Takes Planning | Transitioning to Windows 10 | Desktops vs. Laptops

To utilize this information in a paperless environment, it must be effectively scanned and managed at the lowest possible cost.
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Why You Should Replace Your Smoke Detector Every 10 Years

Back of smoke detectorCheck the back for the expiration date.

By Rick Richardson

You know that you need to replace your smoke detector’s batteries when they run out, but you might not realize that you should also replace the smoke detector itself every 10 years as the sensors wear down.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Americans Would Pay More For a Self-Driving Car | Box Uses WiFi to Detect Home Intruders | How Blockchain Makes Accounting Obsolete | 3 Big Data Career Opportunities | Overhyping IBM’s Watson Is Dangerous | Starbucks Launches Voice-Activated Ordering | New Satellites Will Soon Allow Flights to Be Tracked in Real Time  | New Device Prevents Insulin Overdoses
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Yes, even your fancy Nest detector falls under this guideline.
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Are You Growing or Getting Left Behind?

Businesspeople coming together to cup hands and hold dirt and a seedlingHow to build a successful firm for the future.

By Kyle Walters

As most of you know, the accounting profession is feeling the pressure of commoditization and fee compression. What’s more, many firms are finding it difficult to hire and retain qualified staff.

MORE: What Can You Offer that IBM’s Watson Can’t? | The What, So What and Now What? | Clients Don’t Have a Fee Problem, They Have a Value Problem
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In order to overcome these challenges in your practice, you will need to address three important considerations ASAP:

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The Accountaneur Difference: Eight Uncommon Success Practices of Entrepreneurial Accountants

Save the date: Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 3 p.m. ET.

Join CPA Trendlines expert author Hitendra R. Patil for a one-hour webinar Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, 3 p.m. ET, exploring how insights from behavioral economics apply to the tax and accounting profession.

Patil, author of Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant and AccountantsWorld Director of Practice Development, plans to reveal:

  • The critical difference between accountants and "Accountaneurs,"
  • The eight uncommon success practices of Entrepreneurial Accountants; and
  • Specific tips and tools on how accountants can leverage human behavioral insights to achieve a unique competitive advantage.

To learn more and register, click here.