We’ve found at least 50 items. What would you add? By Ed Mendlowitz The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor QUESTION: What type of information should be kept in, or as, permanent files? RESPONSE: A permanent file should be maintained for each of your clients. This would include the following: Engagement letters Representation letters – I would keep these in the permanent file. An example is that a claim could be made after you no longer have the work paper file associated with the matter. This is especially so with estate planning consultations where a claim could arise many years after a gift tax return was filed. I would keep copies of Crummey letters in the file for the gift tax returns, if […]
Use these busy days to get to know your clients better. With a few quick questions, every client meeting can turn into a new relationship-building opportunity. Ask how the firm is doing as a whole to assess satisfaction. Ask some open-ended questions about the client’s current situation, challenges and goals for the year. Delve a little deeper into potential specific services, such as multi-state tax requirements or pension plan audits. Request referrals. Keep it short and be sure to have a mechanism in place to follow up on the information that you learn from these interactions.
Try these 6 ideas to stop losing business to competitors. By Sandi Smith Leyva The Accountant’s Accelerator It’s rare that I lose business to competitors, and it’s also not an accident. If you are losing business to your competitors, here are some strategies you can use to “become a category of one,” as they say in marketing.
How clients value the intangibles. By Hitendra Patil Pransform Inc. “What leader has the most positive influence in your daily life?” The answers to that Gallup Poll question may be astoundingly important for CPAs who strive to make a positive difference in the lives of their clients.
Becoming a ‘trusted advisor.’ By Sandi Smith Leyva The Accountant’s Accelerator Here’s a question: What portion of your revenues are derived from compliance work – e.g., tax preparation and IRS representation; bookkeeping; QuickBooks setup, cleanup and training; payroll; and audit work – versus value-added work, e.g., revenue improvement, business consulting, profit margin analysis and workflow improvement projects? If you answered 100 percent compliance work and no value-added services, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of lip service about moving from compliance services to becoming a “trusted advisor.” There’s an equal amount of confusion in how to get started. Here are a few tips to help those of you who want to move in that direction.
By Sandi Smith Leyva The Accountant’s Accelerator How you welcome your new client can set the tone for a relationship that could last for years or in the worst of cases, just days. Start out on the right foot by looking super-organized (because that’s part of why we get hired anyway) and making it super-easy for a client to get on board with you. The best vehicle for this is a welcome kit. Here are eight things that should be in your kit at a minimum: