Today's Features

Cyber Sleuths Muscle Accountants Aside in Forensic Investigations

Chart of desirable skills
Source: ACFE

Teams want more cyber-security experts than accountants.

By CPA Trendlines Research

Fraud investigation teams are currently seeking or expecting to add people with skills in digital forensics and cybersecurity, according to a new benchmarking survey from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

MORE: Focus on Cyber Risk, Not Just Security   |  You’re Not Tech-Savvy If You’re Not Cyber-Safe, Too  |  SURVEY: Cybersecurity Grows in Importance  |  Do You Belong In Cybersecurity?  |  Why CPAs Need to Worry about Cyber Crime (Especially in Tax Season)  |  Hackers Using Hotel WiFi to Spy, Steal Data

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Interviewing tops the list of desirable skills, followed by litigation support, data analytics and social media snooping. Forensic accounting comes in fifth. READ MORE →

Centralize Contact Administration

Woman entering information on computerNew information needs to be shared.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Many firms today maintain contact information within multiple applications such as practice management, Outlook, tax systems, and other marketing and CRM (customer relationship management) programs.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Standardize Your QuickBooks Support | Portals are Vital for Secure File Transfer | Deliver All Reports Digitally
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Too often, a significant amount of time is wasted in firms pulling contact information together, reconciling and verifying lists for mailings, invitations and even organizers. It is critical that firms centralize the updating of contact information for consistency.

The Entrepreneurial Accountant: An Oxymoron?

Thoughtful businesswoman studies documents in officePLUS: 21 characteristics of an ideal partner.

By Rob Nixon

Entrepreneur: “One who takes the initiative to create a product or establish a business for profit. Generally, whoever undertakes on his/her own account an enterprise in which others are employed and risks are taken.”

MORE ON STRATEGY: How to Structure Your Firm for Success | Be a History Maker | 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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Are partners of accounting firms entrepreneurs? This is an interesting question. According to the definition they own a business (although most did not start the business they own), they employ people, they take risks and they provide products and services – hopefully for a healthy profit.

6 Tips for Fostering Leadership in Your Organization

Smiling businessman in front of his boss3 each for current and future leaders.

By Sarah Johnson Dobek
Bridging the Gap

Encouraging new leaders and creating smooth transitions are easy goals to identify. Homing in on specific tactics to accomplish these broad objectives can be much more difficult.

MORE: 3 Ways to Keep Your Team Members Connected, Engaged and Energized | Marketing Is Not Just for Partners Anymore | Growing, Developing Future Leaders Is a Two-Way Street | The Culture of Continuous Improvement | A Winning Culture Is an Intentional Culture | A Call for Change: An Open Letter to Each Generation
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This post offers practical suggestions from current leaders at firms that are finding success at developing the leadership capabilities of younger team members.

Market to Your Ideal Clients

Three arrows in center of bull's-eyeNetting just one recoups your costs.

By Jassen Bowman
Tax Resolution Systems

The ideal client prospecting campaign is established with the distinct goal of creating a relentless, never-ending effort to literally have 100 percent of these prospects become your client.

MORE: Follow Up with Leads Longer | Marketing Requires Ruthless Accountability | First, You Need Clients | The Tax Resolution Client Intake Checklist | How to End the Tax Revenue Roller Coaster with a Four-Season Practice Model
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For most firms, this list won’t be that long. It may run from as little as a dozen ideal prospects, to at most a couple hundred.

Track Your Online Reputation

Businessman using Internet on smartphone and laptopWhat do people see when they search your name?

By Sandi Leyva

One thing you will want to track is your online reputation. This is a little different from online marketing.

MORE: The ABCs of Getting Started with Advisory Services | Build Reputation through Credentials, Testimonials | Use Feedback for Service Innovation
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What do users see when they Google your name? Does your website come up, or is it a person with the same name as yours whom clients could mistake for you?

7 Steps to Take As Your Firm Grows

A bigger firm needs bigger thinking.

By Steven E. Sacks

There has been talk about consolidation within the accounting profession for the last several years. Will the Big 4 become the Big 2, or will there be the Big One (from a non-nuclear perspective, of course)?

MORE: Today’s Workplace Challenge: Communicating Across Generations, Cultures, and Diversity | The Damocles Sword of Staff Retention | Does Your Board Know Its Role? | Five PowerPoint Rules to Live By | Your Firm’s Biggest Assets Walk out the Door Every Day | Can We Please Refer to Accounting as a Profession?
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Or, on the other hand, will there be a combination of regional firms whose size will be in the neighborhood of the Top 10 or Top 15 firms that are considered super-regional firms – and who may consider themselves direct competitors to the Big 4?