I believe in the power of creativity, in innovative thinking, and of play as a conduit to bring forth new ideas. And yes, and I’m a CFO who leads a team of finance professionals who focus on compliance, adherence to regulations, and perfecting the process of predicting and ensuring an outcome based on historic performance and data.
Despite how at odds these two confessions may seem, they work together in a way that supports my belief that finance is a department designed to lead the culture in an organization.
Being a CPA firm marketer means that you are often faced with two major limitations: time and budget. Unfortunately, I’m unable to create more of either, but I can point you in the direction of tools that can help maximize both.
10 More Great Tools at AAM Summit: For more tools, join Bob at the AAM Summit in Portland, Ore., May 15, at 3:50 p.m. for “10 Powerful Marketing Tools CPA Marketers Can Leverage Today.” To get more information or register for 2018 AAM Summit: Think Fresh! click here.
At this year’s AAM Summit, I’ll be sharing 10 of my favorite tools that help CPA marketers work smarter, not harder. While the full list will have to wait until May, I want to share a few “bonus” tools in this blog to jumpstart your post busy season marketing efforts before the conference. All of the tools below are free to try, so get started today!
More work, more clients, more fees, more profits. So who's complaining?
By Rick Telberg CPA Trendlines
Despite beginning in chaos and uncertainty with the biggest tax-law change in three decades, Busy Season 2018 may go down as a banner year in the books for the tax profession – one of the best ever.
Almost half of all CPAs report a busy season better than last year, with more work and higher profits, according to the CPA Trendlines annual Busy Season Barometer. Additionally, two-thirds cite gains in revenue and in the number of clients.
One tax practitioner, reporting a “much better year,” is riding a wave of shifting clientele. “I'm having more people coming in to prepare and use e-file, more than last year,” he tells CPA Trendlines, “especially new business owners opening LLCs.”
Kathy J. Scroggs, of Scroggs & Associates in Montecito, Calif., says, “My team is working like a well-tuned grand piano.”
A CPA with a Santa Barbara, Calif., firm says, “We had to settle into the new filing requirements for business returns, then we were able to plan tax season. For example, beginning in January, we identified clients that needed extensions and filed them.”
Despite the widespread optimism, 22 percent figured this year was about the same as last year—clients coming and going, good staff scarce but locatable, the usual last-minute new rules and regs.
Among the 31 percent who say 2018 was somewhat worse or much worse (21 and 10 percent, respectively) expectations of unprofitable drudgery left them less than eager to get into the season.
The leading concerns among all respondents were the two that seem to always walk hand-in-hand: Clients late or unprepared, at 43 percent, and tax codes and reg changes, 41 percent.
A CPA named Charles speaks for many when he says, “Clients coming in later, more returns with incomplete data. Many clients still do not understand the paperwork requirements and penalties in Obamacare.”
Nearly as common as those complaints are a triad of pressures: security and privacy (35 percent), staffing issues (34 percent), and pricing and fee pressures (34 percent).
Phrased another way, those three might be formulated as Added Work + Fewer People Doing the Work + Not Much Commensurate Increase in Fees = 1 Worse Year.
On the other hand, only 10 percent thought the economy was going to get worse. It’s no coincidence that competition from others was of minimal concern, with only 11 percent worried about it. A booming economy means more business which means a market big enough for all to share.
The economically pessimistic fear trade wars, tariffs, lack of federal stability, oppressive taxation at the state level, debt, interest rates, immigration, media noise, sabotage by Leftists, the Presidency, loss of integrity at all levels, and, more often one would expect from a question about economics, gun control.
Some see their clients and their region getting clobbered.
“Clients are extremely stressed out about the new tax laws, especially small service-based businesses,” says Margaux Milchen, a forensic accounting specialist in Denver. “I have two farmers who don't know if they will continue due to the trade instability with China (I'm in Colorado). Several small business owners are stressed at the lack of available employees and will need to sell or close their businesses if things don't open up.”
In this TEDx Talk, Marc Rosen, co-founder of the Client Experience Institute, addresses the $8 trillion of wealth about to be transitioned by baby boomers and how that impacts professionals like CPAs, financial advisors, and accountants.
Client Experience Institute™ is an advisory firm specializing in serving organizations who are all about delivering more value, more knowledge, and more results to their respective stakeholders. They work with like-minded professionals who are willing to think differently about how value is created, delivered, and sustained.