Topic: management

Teamwork: Room for Improvement

You may believe you have a great team in place. But does your team agree? A new set of CPA Trendlines Research findings shows room for improvement.

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Here’s Your New Tax Season Marketing Plan

Think now about June. Yes, June. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Marketing takes many forms. Further, many accountants are not trained in marketing. I also know that while most CPAs want more business, they are too busy with what they have to be actively seeking new business. Additionally, marketing can be external, internal or retentive. MORE ON TAX SEASON: When ‘Quick and Easy’ Tax Season Research Isn’t | 5 Personal Touches for Tax Season | Consistency Simplifies Tax Season | 11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier | 3 Ways to Build a Tax Season Team | Have Fun This Tax Season | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season External is where new […]

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When ‘Quick and Easy’ Tax Season Research Isn’t

Four reasons not to let one question stop a tax return in its tracks. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide I keep a few of the one-volume tax guides in my office so I could look up a quick answer when I need to. Recently a golf buddy emailed me a question that I thought I could answer quickly. He wanted to know that if he was in the “zero” percent capital gains tax bracket, did that apply to an unlimited amount of capital gains? Sounds like a simple question. MORE ON TAX SEASON: 5 Personal Touches for Tax Season | Consistency Simplifies Tax Season | 11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier | 3 Ways […]

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5 Personal Touches for Tax Season

One is a can’t-skip. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Occasionally accountants lose touch with their clients, especially during tax season. Part of this is because of the crush of work, which is compressed into a pretty short period. We sometimes lose sight that we are working on something the clients consider one of the most important things in their lives at that moment.

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Tax Season Urgency: It’s a Bad Thing

Six ways to eliminate stress and potential mistakes. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Urgency creates stress and pressure and leads to mistakes and improper perceptions of the quality of the work. Planning and execution reduce urgency. One way to eliminate urgency is to properly plan the work with realistic deadlines and proper resources. Assign tax returns to the proper level, available staff person. Occasionally, when staff have returns with other work commitments and if there’s incomplete information, a break occurs, and the return isn’t ready for the person who started it, causing additional delays creating urgency. No one likes to always work under pressure, and an atmosphere of occasional urgency usually grows into perpetual urgency for everything. Playing […]

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Consistency Simplifies Tax Season

Apply it to service, processes and standards. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide One way to guarantee extra work is to have everything always done differently each time it is done. MORE ON TAX SEASON: 11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier | 3 Ways to Build a Tax Season Team | Have Fun This Tax Season | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season Not establishing uniform procedures is bad business and unnecessarily consumes part of your life. Consistency in performance reduces work and review time and creates a greater reliance on the staff people.

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Can Accounting Firms Lead With Work-Life Vision?

And 5 practical ideas to implement measures to create real work-life balance at your firm. By Hitendra Patil Pransform Inc.  Do you want employees who have: greater engagement in their jobs higher levels of job satisfaction stronger intentions to remain with their employers less negative and stressful spillover from job to home less negative spillover from home to job better mental health Aren’t these the things most accounting firms would want their employees to experience? In a 2014 National Study of Employers conducted under the “When Work Works” project, Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management noted that employees in more effective and flexible workplaces are more likely than other employees to have such desirable traits […]

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11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier

Help them help you. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Providing instructions of what a client needs to do must be clear enough so that the client doesn’t call you to find out what to do. Sometimes taking an extra minute to lay out what the client should do can eliminate that call or indecisive moment a client might feel.

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And Now, a Few Words About Sex (and 14 Tips)

Your protégée may have concerns. You should anticipate them. By Ida O. Abbott Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know If you are concerned about the possibility of sex-related problems, consider the degree of risk involved and whether you are willing to assume it. Before you decide, consider first that you might be exaggerating the risk, and second that this is a risk that can be prevented and managed. MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Your Protégée Needs Your Feedback |  9 Ways to Promote Your Protégée to Others | 8 Ways to Help Your Protégée Focus on Career Opportunities | How to Start an Effective Sponsorship … and Follow Through | 3 Roadblocks to Women and Men Working Together […]

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3 Ways to Build a Tax Season Team

It’s a long season. Make it a happy one. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide If you have staff, have happy cheerful helpful people. Don’t surround yourself with downers and naysayers. Also have team players. Part of this is your firm’s culture. It takes work to get people to work together and to focus on doing what it takes to service the client fully, properly and timely.  Everyone working together gets it done.

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Have Fun This Tax Season!

No kidding! Here are 12 ways. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Tax season presents exciting opportunities for accounting firms and their staffs. Every moment should be enjoyed and appreciated. Following are 12 reasons: 1. Tax season is profitable and accounting is a business where we try to maximize our earnings. Sure, there is a great concentration of work in a short period with occasional pressure, but if handled properly, the work can be managed sensibly with tensions at reasonable levels. I also believe much of the pressure is self-induced by poor scheduling, inadequate quality control and the lack of uniform systems that are followed by everyone in the firm, particularly the partners.

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How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season

It’s good for business and considerate to clients. By Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide Tax season is a business and businesses need to be paid. It is harder to justify prices when providing services rather than products. Products are usually priced before delivery while many times services are priced after delivery, i.e. performance. Many accountants price returns before they are worked on, usually basing the fee on last year, or a rate schedule. Sending a bill with the return establishes the relationship that you should be paid promptly for the work done.

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How to ‘Go Digital’ when Partners Demand Monthly P&Ls on Paper?

Why 75% of multi-owner firms have already gone to online monthly financial reports. By Roman H. Kepczyk Quantum of Paperless Improving firm efficiency means that the owners have to get on board. One of the more obvious opportunities is the delivery of the firm’s own financial reports. Too many firms still print a hard copy of the monthly financials and distribute them to each owner, many of whom physically store these documents in their office.

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