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IRS Reports Everything Went Up Except Refunds

Tax professionals kept 59 percent of the e-filing segment.

When all the clicking and cursing was done, the IRS had received more than 132.2 million individual tax returns this year, up 0.8 percent from 2014. As of April 17, it had processed 126.1 million of them, up 0.4 percent from last year and a rate of 95.4 percent for the season’s receipts.

RELATED: Tax Preparation Fees: The National Averages [INFOGRAPHIC] | IRS Form 3115: a Sin and a Travesty | Accountants See Solid Business Gains in 2015 | As Market Share Slips Away, Accountants Look Beyond the 1040 | IRS Emerges as Major Tax Season Competitor READ MORE →

Selling on Value Vs. Fees

Martin Bissett


What's the difference? Compliance sells on fee; advisory sells on value.

By Martin Bissett
Understanding Selling

I’ve been asking you to believe in yourself, get your potential clients to open up to you and demonstrate to them what outcomes in their personal and professional lives working with you and your firm would create. Now here’s a checklist for you to run through before you begin your next business development initiative, and before each new business appointment that you have.

MORE ON SELLING: 3 Ways to Convert Scheduling Practices to New Fees | Selling vs. Attracting to Build Relationships | When Selling, Don’t Chase New Fees, Attract Them | Selling Accounting Services Doesn’t Have to Be Hard! | ‘Selling’ Isn’t a Dirty Word | 8 Factors in Practice Development Success | In Sales, Perception Is Reality | Success Begins With Accountability | Do You Realize You’re Failing? | Winning Your First Client


10 Ways to Ruin a Website

target tomatoYou get 8 seconds to make a first impression. Does your firm's site measure up?

By Sandi Smith Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

You can indeed get more business, more clients and more profits from your website. But not if you make these common mistakes!

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 4 Steps to Weather Any Economic Storm | Want to Be Stress-Free? Use Your Strengths | ‘Time Problems’ Don’t Exist | Could You Use More Energy This Tax Season? | 15 Items for Your ‘Business Bucket List’ | 3 Ways to Plug Your Firm’s Money Leaks

Whether creating a new site or updating your existing site, here are some common pitfalls to avoid.


5 Radical Transparencies; Are You Ready?

Jody Padar, CPA MST The Radical CPA


Plus 4 questions as you shift from number cruncher to advisor.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

Aside from creating a new way to do compensation and work, the “New Firm” model brings upon a whole new level of trans­parency for both the customers you work with and your employ­ees. Here are just some of the things that shift:

MORE ON RADICALISM: 4 Questions Radical Firms Must Face | Being Radical Is All About Your Customer | Being Radical Starts with Being the Change | Why Start Being Radical Now? | Going Radical: The 4 Tenets of a ‘New Firm’ | Why Should CPAs Be Radical? | The Roots of ‘Radical’ CPAs | The First 3 Questions I Should Have Asked Before Starting My Own Practice


How to Juggle Tax Considerations for Partner Retirement Benefits

Senior executive in home office with two monitors and keyboard on leather desk and looking at paperwork on deskMinimizing self-employment taxes is desirable but tricky.

By Marc Rosenberg
Retirements & Buyouts

The income tax aspect of practice management issues is an area of my consulting practice in which I have knowledge, but I wouldn’t call it “expertise.” So I sought the counsel of an expert – Jeff Arnol, CPA, Managing Partner of Kessler, Orlean, Silver & Company in Chicago. The information presented here is based on my 20+ years of experience of working with CPA firms on partner retirement plans, liberally supplemented by Arnol’s input.

MORE ON PARTNER RETIREMENTS: Two Ways to Retire, and One’s Not Pretty | Mandatory Retirement Varies by Firm Size | Mandatory Retirement? 4 Reasons The Firm Comes First | How to Transition Clients from Retiring Partners | You Want Goodwill Payments? Give Proper Retirement Notice | Retirement Vesting: The Devil’s In the Details | Compromise Is In Order for Some Goodwill Payouts | Three Ways to Calculate Goodwill Payable in Partner Buyouts, None of Them Great | 5 Points to Consider When Paying Out Goodwill | How to Set Terms and Limits for Goodwill Payouts | Partners May Balk at Guaranteeing Retirement Obligations


Judged on Performance, Not Potential? Must Be a Woman

Young busineswoman evaluating a chart with a measuring tape, concept image of successDifferent standards, double binds challenge women.

By Ida O. Abbott
Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

Common patterns of gender bias include holding women to higher standards than men and expressing contradictory expectations (“double binds”) for women.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Gender Bias Still a Problem | Why Women Are Overlooked (And How to Fix It) | 3 Ways Men Are Favored in the Workplace | Women Need Promotions, Not Just Advice | Mentor or Sponsor? How to Distinguish Roles | 4 Ways Women Leaders Improve Firms | CPA Firms Must ‘Man Up’ and Get Women On Board | | Make Flexible Scheduling Work for Everyone | Your Protégée Needs Your Feedback

Different standards: People expect more of women than of men and they hold women to higher standards. This sets the bar higher for women who aspire to leadership and makes it more difficult for them to prove their value to the organization, even though research shows that women outperform men in 17 of 67 critical leadership skills, while men outperform women in only four.


Make Virus Protection a No-Brainer

Faceless hooded anonymous computer hacker with programming code from monitorAutomation is your friend.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Every firm has concerns about their systems being hacked or getting attacked by a virus or malware. But the vast majority of issues can be effectively negated with one simple process: Keep your software updated. I'll explain how the best firms do it.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: 3 Steps to Truly Reliable Backup | Moving to the Cloud? Do These 6 Things First | 4 Steps to Save On Hardware Spending | In a Pinch, Use Your Phone as a Scanner | Do You Have 3 Computer Monitors? Why Not? | Standardize QuickBooks Support for Clients | How to Choose the Right Client Portal Solution | Streamlining Bill-Paying at CPA Firms | Automating Bank Deposits Offers Instant ROI


When Busy Gives the Wrong Impression

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and ABeware self-fulfilling prophecies.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I have been very busy for quite a while and now caught up and find that I have not been getting as much new business as I used to get, or that I need. What can I do different?

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Administrative Help Can Free Up One or Several | How to Notify Clients of a Partner’s Retirement | 7 Ways to Lose a Client’s Trust | Quote With Care When Asked for Valuation | Closed for Tax Season? Looks That Way | 12 Must-Knows for Niche Markets | Is Joint Representation a Conflict? | When Fees Don’t Keep Up With Cost Increases

ANSWER: This accountant gives a harried impression when she meets with clients and referral sources (which are everyone she meets or interacts with). She was very busy and when asked how she was doing she would reply something like “Boy, am I busy!”


Tax Pros Do 59% of E-filing As Season Nears End

Receipts, processing, refund numbers all down.

With only five days left in the tax season, the IRS had received more than 110.7 million individual tax returns and processed 108 million of them. The April 10 data showed receipts down 1.8 percent from 2014 and processing down 2.1 percent. Processing for 2015 continued in the same range, at 97.5 percent.

RELATED: Have Fun This Tax Season! | Tax Preparation Fees: The National Averages [INFOGRAPHIC] | IRS Form 3115: a Sin and a Travesty | How to Get Paid Faster This Tax Season | Accountants See Solid Business Gains in 2015 | As Market Share Slips Away, Accountants Look Beyond the 1040 | IRS Emerges as Major Tax Season Competitor | Tax Pros Losing Market Share to Self-Filers READ MORE →