Clients benefit when CPAs and investment advisors work together. By Martin E. Levine, ChFC, CPA, MBA 4Thought Financial Group, Inc. Even if the client isn’t always right, helping clients understand and make the best financial decisions is always the right course of action. CPAs understand the implications of financial decisions and strive to advise clients in ways that improve their financial well-being. However, clients frequently have multiple – sometimes conflicting – financial goals, and use other financial professionals, including financial advisors, attorneys and business consultants, to achieve them.
Fines run $100 per day, per employee. By Stephen L. Nelson, CPA and Elizabeth C. Nelson, CPA Small Business and the Affordable Care Act By now, many of your small business clients understand they don’t have to provide employees with health insurance. The employer mandate starts when a firm employs 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees. But here’s an awkward follow-up question: Do your small business clients understand that many of the ACA’s rules still apply to them and that they may still be vulnerable to the ACA’s 4980D excise tax penalty—which runs $100 per day per employee? LEARN MORE: Small Businesses and the Affordable Care Act: What Every Tax Practitioner Needs to Know (55-page PDF digital download) Can We Talk IRC Code Sections? People sometimes […]
How to suggest additional services to clients and why you’re doing them a disservice if you don’t. By Ed Mendlowitz The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor QUESTION: I always feel awkward telling clients they need additional services that I should perform for them. Can you tell something that could “rev” me up for this? MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Yes, You Should Send Rejection Letters | When to Hire an Admin Assistant | 7 Ways to Lose a Client’s Trust | How Much Should You Pay To Buy, Sell or Merge an Accounting Practice? | Why the Average Fee Doesn’t Matter | No More Printouts at CPE Programs? | 6 Ways to Take a Client Beyond Tax Prep ANSWER: Actually, by suggesting additional […]
Are you about to do any of these? Is it worth it? By Ed Mendlowitz The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor QUESTION: I believe I have a very high degree of client trust. But somehow I feel it is not 100 percent. Any comments? ANSWER: This person has a common problem. The trust is very high – probably higher than any other profession – but not complete. It is rare for trust to be 100 percent. But here are seven ways to lose a client’s trust:
Take this quiz to see whether you’re phoning it in. Do you seek out opportunities to learn new things that will help your clients overcome their most difficult challenges? Selling value-creation advisory services is truly a slam dunk with most modern business owners, according MentorPlus. The bad news is that, although most CPAs would say they are their clients’ most trusted advisor, few could answer the following questions in the affirmative.
Accountants relieve their worst headaches. CPA Trendlines sources are reporting on how much time and money small businesses spend each year on accounting and tax preparation and each month on payroll administration. The data should support practitioners’ value proposition to small business owners: Some 40 percent say bookkeeping and taxes are the worst part of being in business. Owners were also surveyed on their opinions of the most burdensome small business management tasks. Next time you talk to your clients — or prospective clients — these pain points might be worth including in the conversation…
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.