Topic: business

Serving on a Not-for-Profit Organization Board

  Question: I am on the board of directors and am treasurer of a not for profit organization.  One of the board members is an officer of a commercial bank where we have our accounts.  The organization wants to get a one-year CD with some excess funds they have.  It turns out that the interest rate is less than half of what we could get from a local savings bank.  I suggested that we open the CD in the savings bank and the bank officer got very agitated and threatened to cut off the bank’s support of the organization if we did not keep the funds in his bank.  The bank is a substantial contributor to the organization, and I […]

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Pick Your Partners Right to Begin With

Choose intelligently and avoid problems later. by Marc Rosenberg, CPA What characteristics do you want someone to possess before you invite them to be a partner? Related: Compensation Issues for the New Managing Partner | 20 Decisions for Your Firm’s New Partner Compensation Committee | Three Ways to Break Partner Gridlock in an Accounting Firm | What Partners Are Entitled To, and What They’re NOT Entitled To | How to Make Partner? | Why Accounting Firm Partners Are “Popping Prozac like M&M’s” | More…. Leading firms across the country generally choose from the following:

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Eleven Easy Ways to Deliver More Value to Clients

(And add to revenues.)

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How Do Accountants Define “Success?” [SURVEY]

Hint: It’s not all about money. And your answers could help you to better understand your clients. How do you define success? Join the survey, see what your peers are saying. In a CPA Trendlines straw poll of accountants about their notion of “success,”  the overwhelming majority are telling us that building a growing business or advancing in their career is not necessarily the most important goal. And career and business may not be as important as you think. Real-time results: <></a>

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How to Close a Sale: The Four Corners

They don’t teach sales in accounting school. But every practicing accountant should know the four basic closing techniques. You’re probably doing some or all of them already. But it’s handy to keep them in mind, nevertheless. They are the basic approaches that make up the four corners of the close. 1. Straightforward Close — The most direct closing method is to simply ask if the prospect is ready to make a decision and, if they are, how they feel about awarding the business to your firm. This method can make some people, especially those new to selling, uncomfortable. But the prospect may be expecting it.

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Three Secrets to Easy Billings

Test your firm’s business savvy. Accountants know that winning additional work from current clients is a whole lot easier than finding brand new clients. But too many firms fail to seize the opportunities. Why? Simple:

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80 Ways for Accountants to Use Twitter

Answering the question: “What can Twitter do for you?” Lisa Barone at Outspoken Media, Inc. says small businesses like accounting firms can use Twitter as a way “to find new leads, build relationships, and as an overall way to cost effectively market their business.” Here she lists 80 ways small businesses are using Twitter. Some may work for your firm, too.

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Hugh Duffy: Taking Control of Your Own Destiny [VIDEO]

Accounting firms can get left behind of they just stand still.

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Brian Rowbotham: A CPA’s Guide to Doing Business in China

U.S. clients can’t ignore “the largest economy in the world and access to a highly motivated and educated workforce.” via CalCPA “There is no cookie-cutter approach for a U.S. business looking to expand into China,” says the managing partner at Rowbotham & Company LLP, citing “the fluid nature of tax and legal issues, and industries that are subject to special tax concessions. The Cultural Revolution essentially banned scholars, lawyers and capitalists until they were welcomed back in the late 1970s. As one lawyer from China recently told me, you will not find many lawyers in their 60s and 70s, which means strategies that are well established in the West are still in their early stages in China. In the CalCPA […]

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Blogging and Twitter Send CPA 75% of His Business

A few years ago Scot Justice was working for a printing company in Nashville and hoping, someday, to open his own CPA firm. He started blogging as an introductory web presence and marketing tool. A year or so later the company was sold and he was out of a job — and he couldn’t have been happier. Scot says today: Fifty-percent of the prospects who contact me mention this blog and how the topics I’ve written about directly relate the financial management and accounting help their business needs. Scot’s marketing consultant Bill Seaver has the rest of the story, and the video, here: Blogging and Twitter Send CPA 75% of His Business. Read Scot’s blog here.

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SageWorks: Small Biz Liabilities Grow

Sageworks Inc., which makes ProfitCents financial analysis software for private companies, has been getting a lot of ink lately for the benchmarking reports it produces from aggregated user data. A spokesperson sent this to us, with this note: “I thought that Sagework’s table below on total debt in the private sector may be interesting to you in light of Geithner’s speech. Accounting professionals may have an interest in this since their clients are the small and large business owners.” Year Liabilities To Sales Liabilities To Assets Sales To Assets 2003 1.04 0.7113 9.08 2004 1.46 0.7447 5.70 2005 2.18 0.7653 8.10 2006 2.22 0.7794 7.29 2007 2.10 0.7920 5.04 2008 3.51 0.7462 2.44 Clearly, leverage has been building for years. […]

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Creator of “Up Your Cash Flow” Goes Online

Luca Pacioli Harvey A. Goldstein, who invented Up Your Cash Flow and remains longtime managing partner of Singer Lewak CPAs in Los Angeles, is birthing a new brainchild: instant cash-flow forecasts for small business. It goes by the unfortunate name GoHagIt, which seems to be based on Harvey’s initials. But otherwise it’s a bold and interesting way to handle small-business clients. “Our process is simple and painless,” Goldstein continues. “Send us your current company’s financial statement, or budget. We’ll convert it to forecasted balance sheets and a cash flow forecast of the company’s future cash requirements. We’ll spend time with management, via telephone, gathering data, refining the forecast and discuss steps to consider to improve their economic conditions. ‘No surprises’ […]

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SURVEY RESULTS: Busy Season Outlook

Pre-season jitters are spiking early this year. Worried by a sinking economy and swirling changes in code and regs, tax professionals are showing acute concerns about the oncoming busy season, with 28% registering at least a 7 on the CPA Trendlines Stress-O-Meter. Nevertheless, 46% of practitioners are predicting a better overall season than last year’s, twice as many as those expecting a worse season. . SELECTED COMMENTS Key causes of stress at this time: Much new work and understaffed. I don’t know were we are heading with the current financial crisis. Which makes it very hard to advise clients. Pressure to meet deadlines, complaints about fees. The sense of not being able to get everything done. Clients that wait until […]

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