Today's Features

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.


Staffing: The How and Why of Upward Surveys

Word "SURVEY" on computer screenIncludes 19 sample questions, industry norms and how to decide who evaluates whom.

By Marc Rosenberg
On Staffing

Why do firms conduct upward evaluations?

MORE ON STAFFING: Survey to Find Out What Your Staff Think | MPs Chime In on Recruiting, Development, Retention | How to Set Your Firm Apart to Recruits | Why Staff Scheduling Should Be Centralized | Compensation: Money and Beyond | How to Make Mandatory Saturdays a Thing of the Past | What Staff Mentoring Is and Isn’t | Do Flexible Hours Help or Hurt Us? | 8 Keys to Keeping Staff Engaged
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Many firms believe staff are just as important as clients. The No. 1 reason why staff stay with their firm is their relationship with the boss. In the case of a CPA firm, "the boss" is the firm's supervisory personnel, mostly partners and managers.

Monitor Real Estate: More Is Better

Empty office space with many monitorsNo, one big screen is not just as good as multiple smaller ones.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The best place to start the discussion on hardware is with monitors as it is the easiest place to see an immediate return on your IT investment.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Keep Your Tech Budget Updated | Develop Monthly IT Flash Reports | Centralize Contact Administration | Is Your AP Digital Yet? | A Better Way to Handle Time & Expenses | How the Best CPA Firms Capture Best Tech Practices in Procedures Manuals | Workflow Systems Make Tax Season Less Tedious | Smart Firms Don’t Happen by Accident
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Your monitors are your windows into all digitally stored information and are the foundation for improving every aspect of firm production. Transitioning tax production processes from physical to digital requires that all input screens and source documents be simultaneously viewable in a convenient format, which today means more screen real estate per workstation.

Starbucks Launches Voice-Activated Ordering

Screen grab of Starbucks appBeta testing in iOS is going on now, with Android available later this year.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

Starbucks is embracing voice-based computing with the launch of a new feature in its mobile app called My Starbucks Barista, which allows customers to order and pay for their food and drinks just by speaking. This includes being able to modify their drink order, as if they were speaking with a barista in real life.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Underwater Imaging Updated for iPhone 7 | FM Radio Begins Leaving the Airwaves | France to Let Drones Deliver Mail | Amazon Launches a Cashier-Free Convenience Store | The Next Target for Amazon’s Echo May Be Your Office | Amazon Patents Tiny Drones for Police | Google’s Getting Serious About Hardware | Microsoft Surface Phone: The Latest Rumors | Flaws in Wireless Keyboards Let Hackers See Everything You Type
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Additionally, the company is launching a skill for the Amazon Alexa platform that lets customers reorder their favorite items by speaking to their Echo speaker or other Alexa-powered device.