10 Best Practices for Tax Season

First: Are your fees high enough?

by Ed Mendlowitz, CPA
Author of “Implementing Fee Increases” and “The Tax Season Opportunity Guide.

  1. Increase your fees 3-5% at a minimum – to offset your increased costs.
  2. Deliver your bill with the return.
  3. Call clients before return is sent to explain and give a heads up for unexpected results. READ MORE →

Nine Healthy Things To Do During Tax Season

How to be at your best through April 15th.

Tax season can be a marathon. Everyone has their own tips and tricks, habits and techniques for staying sane and healthy. Here are 10 from CPA Trendlines contributor Ed Mendlowitz:

  1. Eat lunch out of your office.
  2. Go for a 15 minute walk in middle of afternoon instead of eating a snack.
  3. Take off either March 17 or 18. READ MORE →

10 Tips for Creating More Energy this Tax Season


Good habits for thriving through the tough times.

By Sandi Smith, CPA
Accountant's Accelerator

Is keeping a high energy level a challenge for you? Here are a few tips to revitalize your personal energy. Some of these are very simple, so simple you may think they won’t do anything for you.

Sandi Smith

More for soloists and small firms:  Take a Cue from Venture Capitalists: Your Firm Needs a Brain Trust Trinity    •   Accountants, Do You Know Your Opportunity Number?    •  Five Ideas to Overcome Client Price-Sensitivity   •    5 Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking New Clients  •  3 Steps to Start Running on Millionaire Time   •  The Missing Ingredient in Your Marketing That Will Make All the Difference   •  On the Road to a Stress-Free Life: Identify Your Character Strengths  •   

As you read, check to see which ones have slipped from your current daily routine. In that way, you’ll discover how to change your routine to gain more energy. READ MORE →

When’s the Right Time for a Full-Time Quality Control Reviewer?

Not when, but how?

Question: I want to improve my firm’s review and quality control. Do you have any suggestions?

Ed Mendlowitz responds: This is a recurring issue for most firms. Every CPA practice needs quality control. The issue is whether a dedicated quality control (“QC”) person is needed and, if not, how the QC can be done without one.

A practice is a business and every business must be run efficiently and profitably. QC is an area that I have found many firms getting tied up in and either spending nothing or much more than they should.

More Ed Mendlowitz:  FREE INSTANT DOWNLOAD: Sample fee schedule for 1040s    |  Tax Season Opportunity Guide 2013   |  12 Reasons to Love Tax Season   |   Implementing Fee Increases for 2013

A firm needs a dedicated QC person when the work load volume warrants it, especially where there are bottlenecks and backlogs because the supervisor or partner who would review the work is not readily or easily available; the scheduling becomes exceedingly difficult; and the expertise and training becomes more specialized and wider in scope. READ MORE →

Do Accounting Firms Really Want an ‘Image’?

It’s a hollow view.

by Bruce W. Marcus
Professional Services Marketing 3.0

Some years ago, in a remarkably successful marketing move, a graphic designer specializing in logos, letterheads and the like came up with the concept of the corporate image. A brilliant concept, but more mirage than image.

Now one of the most successful operations in the marketing business, this company has managed to persuade its clients that corporate image is the key to corporate success. Image, it seems, is the magic elixir. At many thousands of dollars a dose.

Bruce W. Marcus

Bruce W. Marcus

More for CPA Trendlines PRO members:  What Accounting Firms Need to Learn from Personal Financial Planning Specialists  •  The Delicate Art of Positioning Your Firm in the Mind of the Prospect   •   Who’s Better at Marketing? Lawyers or CPAs?Even a Random Disaster Can Be Controlled with Risk ManagementManaging Risk in Client RelationsYour Clients Love You? What If You’re Wrong? • 

In fact, the word “image” itself has taken on a life of its own — a tribute to the triumph of virtual reality. But maybe it’s time, now, to lose the word. The image of image is long since tarnished, and well beyond burnishing. READ MORE →