Today's Features

Gary Cokins: The Truth about Activity-Based Costing

How to implement progressive management accounting techniques.

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With Steven Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals: Thriving in Disruption

Management finance expert Gary Cokins says there’s nothing wrong with activity-based costing. Except that you’re probably doing it all wrong.

MORE GARY COKINS: The Myths of Performance Management

MORE STEVEN SACKS: Effective Networking is an Art | Business Development Activities Shouldn’t Be a Chore | CPA’s Best Role: Leveraging Knowledge, Not Just Process | Avoid Last-Minute Deal Making | Five Common Negotiating Mistakes | The Myths of Performance Management | Business Is About Relationships | Reaching for Authenticity in Client Service |

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The problem is, Cokins says, it’s convenient for the accountants to allocate the overhead based on allocation factors, like labor hours, number of units produced in a manufacturer, headcount, number of employees, and square feet, even though none of them reflect the unique consumption relationship between how the outputs products and services consumed.

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Accountants Handle 53% of E-Filings

Refunds larger overall, but down for direct deposit.

By Beth Bellor

Less than a month to go in busy season 2021! Can I get a hallelujah?

MORE: Tax Pros Hold Their Ground | Pros Tackle 49% of E-filed Returns | Survey: Tax Season Swings into the Red | Another Tax Season from Hell? | Pros Process 44% of Tax E-filings | Tax Professionals Report Tough Slogging | Busy Season 2021 Gets Off to Weak Start
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For the period ending April 9, the latest data available, this was the week in both 2021 and 2020 that individual income tax returns surpassed 100 million. At 100.9 million, the figure was down 3 percent from last year, when filing had gone on for 18 days longer and taxpayers still had three more months to turn things in.

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Why Your Google Ranking Is About to Tank

New algorithm could penalize older, slower sites.

By Sandi Leyva, CPA

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to go through tax season without any interruptions, especially about marketing. But Google doesn’t see it that way, and we have a significant search algorithm update hitting us in May 2021. If firms aren’t ready, they could see their search rankings, and correspondingly, prospects and future clients from website traffic, go way down.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Seven Tips to Keep the Clients You Have12 Ways to Stress Less This Busy Season | Six Ways to Make Your Own History During Women’s History Month | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn | How to Lead in a Crisis
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While Google updates its search ranking algorithm on a daily basis, it generally announces big changes ahead of time. Google’s May 2021 update will focus on “page experience,” which includes three metrics called Core Vitals as well as four additional page experience signals.

No one knows the exact algorithm that Google uses to rank web pages in search results. Experts say there are over 200 ranking factors to consider. The latest update is all about providing a better mobile experience for the user.

Here’s what all that means in detail. READ MORE →

Seven Tips to Keep the Clients You Have

Woman wearing orange shirt texting on a smartphone walking in the street in a sunny day“Just about every time I called or emailed a client, they would think of more work for me.”

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

It’s far less expensive to keep your existing clients happy than it is to find new clients, especially because the trust factor between people continues to decline year after year. You might want to think about redirecting a portion of your marketing attention on your existing client base instead of networking for new clients. (And by the way, sending clients an organizer is not marketing!)

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 12 Ways to Stress Less This Busy Season | Six Ways to Make Your Own History During Women’s History Month | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn | How to Lead in a Crisis
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Here are some tips to mine the pot of gold that lies right before you: your current clients who already trust you and are eager to hear about new solutions that will ease their pain and problems.
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Women Lag Men in Accounting Jobs Recovery

New records set in hourly earnings.

By Beth Bellor

Across the tax and accounting industry, almost all the jobs relinquished by men in the Coronavirus layoffs have been regained by men. The jobs given up by women, on the other hand, are still largely vacant.

MORE ON JOBS: Comeback Stalls as Layoffs Hit 1,500 in Accounting | Tax & Accounting Regains 3,800 Jobs | Accounting Jobs Recovery Slows | Tax & Accounting Firms Rehire Two-Thirds of Pre-COVID Workforce | Tax & Accounting Firms Rehire Two-Thirds of Pre-COVID Workforce
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Overall, the tax, accounting, tax prep, payroll, and bookkeeping sectors employed 1.02 million full-time equivalents in March 2020, before 70,000 layoffs hit in April. So far, the industry has re-filled all but 17,600 positions.

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How a Good Managing Partner Impacts Profitability

10 best practices.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Role of the Managing Partner

I have compared a “true” managing partner to an administrative partner. Both are important positions. Both share many common duties and expectations. But true managing partners are more valuable because they function like corporate CEOs and thus make a bigger impact on the firm’s overall performance than admin partners.

MORE: The 9 Biggest Merger Pitfalls | The Managing Partner’s Role in Mergers | Five Ways to Evaluate Partners | Manage Partners with Goal Setting | Overarching Authority That Managing Partners Must Have
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These three duties differentiate true managing partners from admin partners. True managing partners

  1. Manage partner performance and behavior
  2. Hold partners accountable
  3. Drive the firm’s growth and profitability

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How to Assess Your Leadership

key leadership attributesDo they have these four attributes?

By Anthony Zecca

As the leader of the firm, as important as it is to complete a comprehensive assessment of your leadership team, it is equally if not more critical to assess your own leadership. What are the key leadership attributes that reflect great Edge leadership?

MORE: Why Leaders Must Ensure Clarity | Incremental Vs. Exceptional Success | Do You Lead or Just Manage? | Managing Vs. Leading | Is Your Leadership Team at the Edge? | 6 Leadership Challenges Through COVID and Beyond | Edge Leaders Share 7 Strengths | Leadership Must Drive Culture | Leading from the Edge
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How can you get a meaningful and comprehensive assessment of how well you are doing as the leader of the firm? The trap to avoid is to just listen to yourself and your own self-assessment. To really understand how well you are performing, you need multiple checkpoints.
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12 Ways to Stress Less This Busy Season

Calm balanced businessman sitting outdoors on bench in Yoga lotus pose meditating, with office building and blue sky in backgroundTips that are quick and low-cost.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

I don’t want to stress you out, but we really do need to do something about our stress levels, especially during tax season. An American Psychological Association survey showed that our kids are getting headaches, having difficulty sleeping, and eating too little or too much because of pressure from school and household finances. The worst part is that the study showed that most parents were not aware of the severity of their children’s stress.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Six Ways to Make Your Own History During Women’s History Month | Clubhouse: Hottest New Social Platform or Just More Noise? | Who’s Offering Your Clients PPP Services? | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | Survey: Who’s Not Billing for PPP Services? | Add These Money-Making Rituals to Your Work Day | 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn
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Many adults reported not knowing what to do to change their lifestyle so they could reduce their stress, so it just makes sense to talk about this a little.
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What Do Clients Really Want?

Think about how well you know their apsirations.

By Gary Bolinger

Most CPAs believe that they have the answers to clients’ most pressing questions, but often miss the mark on what clients really want.

MORE: How Accountants Are Profiting in Disruption | Ask the Right Question(s) | Seven Elements of Engagement for CPAs | True Advisory Work Isn’t Just Consulting
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We think they want advice on how to:

  • make more money
  • establish a successful business
  • gain more customers or clients

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