Tech Race: Are You Falling Behind Your Clients?

Laurie McCabe SMB Group Partner and Analyst
McCabe

Survey: Small business rushing into new tech.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

Digital transformation may be the biggest thing to happen to business since the invention of the steam engine, creating both problems and opportunities for accounting firms.

For CPA firms, the rapidly evolving uses of digital technologies means three things:

  1. Keeping up with the competition.
  2. Keeping up with clients.
  3. Identifying and satisfying new market opportunities.

According to a survey from SMB Group, 23 percent of small, medium, and upper mid-market companies (known as SMBs) believe they have a well-defined digital business strategy. In fact, only 33 percent even know what the “digital transformation” means.

Laurie McCabe, SMB Group Partner and Analyst, says the survey should help all SMBs get a better grasp of what’s happening. As well, the findings can also help CPA firms make better decisions.

READ MORE →

Five Questions You Need to Ask Tax Clients Today

CHECKLIST: Tax-Time Client Needs Assessments and Referral Generation.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

Get a read on the busy season. Join the survey; get the results
Benchmark your busy season. Join the survey; get the results.

Busy season may be hectic and the hours may be long, but if you’re not making time to get to know your clients better, then you’re missing an opportunity that may not come again for another year.

MORE TAX SEASON: When Clients Face ‘Unreal’ IRS Audits  |  IRS Warns about Private Debt Collectors for Tax Season 2018  |  Underfunded IRS Swamped with Problems  |  2018 Tax Filing Season Begins Jan. 29  |  2018 Tax Season: The Race to Be Ready  |  The IRS Tip 10 List for Choosing a Tax Pro   |  New eBook: Maximizing Sec. 199A Deductions

Browse more at CPA Trendlines’ taxtrendlines.com

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

By then, a competitor may have beaten you to the punch.
READ MORE →

Tax Accountants Fill the Breach of a Failing IRS

But is it good for business or just a headache?

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

The Internal Revenue Service appears to be making a big mistake in trying to digitize its outreach and education efforts and to outsource education to tax preparers and related organizations.

SPECIAL REPORT – Fixing the IRS: IRS #FAILs at Online Services Spell Problems for Professionals | Tax Accountants Fill the Breach of a Failing IRS |  Beware the EZ Way Out   |  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  |  IRS in Retreat from Communities  |  Military Personnel Face New Battles at Home: The IRS | As New Economy Surges, IRS Falls Further Behind | Is the IRS Winning the Battle Against Identity Theft?  |  IRS Mulls Raising Fees to Cover Budget Shortfalls |

Browse more at CPA Trendlines’ taxtrendlines.com

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

In the absence of IRS assistance, tax preparers and CPA firms can expect an influx of taxpayers seeking help. This could be a boon for the industry, but it could also be a seasonal headache for tax pros who can’t bring themselves to charge for quick bits of advice.

READ MORE →

Artificial Intelligence Gets a Boost with Tax Reforms

The five new complications humans can't handle alone.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines Research

The tax reforms of 2018 may mean a lot more than a radical drop in the corporate tax.

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

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today

Because the reform reaches so far into and across transnational corporations, the power of artificial intelligence may leverage tax data into a driving force that pervades all aspects of operations—and not just at big companies.

The slashing of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent opens all sorts of options for corporations. Five, to be exact:

READ MORE →

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

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

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.

READ MORE →

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 

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

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.

READ MORE →

Beware the EZ Way Out

IRS mulls new 1023-EZ rules for 501(c)(3)'s.

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

It’s safe to say that CPA firms tend to love IRS Form 1023-EZ, the simplified form for application for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status. Introduced in 2014, the form was EZ on the nascent, smallish not-for-profit and on the CPA trying to help them get started.

SPECIAL REPORT – Fixing the IRS: IRS #FAILs at Online Services Spell Problems for Professionals | Tax Accountants Fill the Breach of a Failing IRS | Beware the EZ Way Out | 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 | IRS in Retreat from Communities | Military Personnel Face New Battles at Home: The IRS | As New Economy Surges, IRS Falls Further Behind | Is the IRS Winning the Battle Against Identity Theft? | IRS Mulls Raising Fees to Cover Budget Shortfalls  |

More at taxtrendlines.com

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

This easier version of Form 1023 was a good and necessary idea. The IRS was way backed up on approvals of the original application. Approval was taking an average of 315 days. To the delight of do-gooders, wanna-be do-gooders, and outright frauds, virtually all 1023-EZs are approved in short order. Approvals were and still are passed down in just a couple of weeks.

Trouble is, a lot of those expedited approvals were for organizations that didn’t qualify for 501(c)(3) status.

READ MORE →