Today's Features

Hiring, Firing and the Checklists You Need

Magnifying lens over group of job candidatesFrom marketing to onboarding to termination.

By Jassen Bowman

To grow your business beyond just what you yourself can accomplish, you’re going to end up hiring staff. Unfortunately, with hiring also sometimes comes firing.

MORE: What Your Tax Resolution Staff Must Do | How to Build a Tax Resolution Business | Why Lists Are Not Leads | Your Sales Funnel Needs Systems | Need a New Service Line? Consider Tax Resolution
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Having a written process for how you conduct your hiring will make the process much smoother. In addition, having written criteria established ahead of time for how you evaluate candidates and make hiring decisions could prove invaluable in the unlikely event of a discrimination lawsuit or other employee-related incident we never really want to think about dealing with.

When Clients Create Errors

One cause? Taking us out of our familiar workflow.

By Frank Stitely
The Relentless CPA

Who makes the errors in your firm? Staff obviously, but that’s half of the answer. Clients are a major source of tax return errors. Clients cause errors in three ways:

  1. Errors of omission
  2. Errors of commission
  3. Errors in attitude

MORE: How to Reduce Tax Return Errors | Teaching the Meaning of ‘Done’ | Why Millennials Are the Answer | Calculating and Cutting Turnaround Time | Debunking the Demise of the CPA Firm | How Many Tax Preparers Do You Need? | How the Annual Tax Meeting Died | How to Teach Reviewing and Time Management | 4 Steps to Take Before Next Tax Season | 3 Tips for Handling Rookie Tax Preparers
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Every tax season, we finalize and deliver returns only to hear from the client, “I think I might have forgotten to tell you that we had a baby last year.” Does this happen to you? This is a client error of omission. Unintentionally, clients withhold important information.

Invest in the Right Guidance

Hand watering small plant in pot shaped like upward arrow“We never look at the money we’re missing out on.”

By Matt Solomon

There is one final shift you need to get your business kicking into high gear. The cornerstone to building a successful, growing business is shift #5: investing in the right guidance. Growing a sustainable business for the long term requires having the right team of advisors because, to put it simply, you don’t know what you don’t know!

MORE: Tap into Your Gold Mine | Your Secret Weapon for Exponential Profits | Step into the Role of a Business Advisor | Shift Your Practice: Stop Depending on Compliance Work
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Getting the right guidance can be the difference between success and failure, between time spent with family and loved ones and endless hours at the office, between satisfying, high-profit work and low-paying busy work.

The Services That CAS Clients Need

Portrait of a cheerful businessman smiling at the camera15 that fall under the umbrella … how many do you already offer?

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

Client accounting services generally constitutes three key service segments:

  • after-the-fact financial statement preparation, i.e., “write-up”
  • business transaction processing
  • outsourced CFO and controller services

MORE: The 8-Step Method for Launching Client Accounting Services | Six Reasons CAS Is King | Who’s Afraid of Client Accounting Services? | What CAS Is … and Is Not | How to Develop the CAS Mindset | The Right Mindset for Client Accounting Services | Client Accounting Services: The Definitive Guide
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Tax planning/tax strategy services may also become part of your CAS offering if you have interest/expertise in that segment.

19 Ways to Make Reviewers Happier

Bonus: They improve the firm for everyone else, too.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: How much time should a reviewer spend on a return in relation to the preparer time? Our reviewers spend .75 hour for each hour of preparer time.

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ANSWER: You are high and most firms I speak with are also high with an average time of about 24 minutes, or .4, hour.

Why Digital Communications Matter

Voicemail word cloud… but don’t forget security.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless: Technology Guide & Checklist

We’ve said that firms should strive to capture all data in a digital format at its “root” source. This goes for services such as the firm’s fax and voice mail systems as well.

MORE: The Case for Wireless Broadband Access | Internet Bandwidth: How Much Is Enough? | The Right Tech Tools for COVID Work-from-Home | Maximize Your Office 365 ROI | Why You Need Windows 10 with Automatic Updates | It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Backups Are? | How the Cloud Impacts Server Replacement | Laptops vs. Desktops | The Best Scanners to Buy Today | Capturing Documents at the Source | The More Monitors, the Better
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Traditional inbound faxes are usually printed from a fax machine and then hand-delivered to the recipient’s desk. In some cases, this fax image is actually rescanned and emailed to the recipient. While this is a step toward digital delivery, today’s digital fax systems deliver a digital image to the recipient via email, so they can access them within their email.

The Myth of Multitasking

More activity doesn’t mean better productivity.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

How many people believe they thrive on doing at least two things at a time and believe that they are achieving optimal results? When you are on the phone, do you ever hear the clack, clack, clack of the keyboard in the background of the other party? Or if you are in the middle of a conversation do you sense that the other party has to put you on hold because there was someone who may have entered his or her office? Or, finally, you use a hands-free device for your conference call, do you put it on mute and then conduct in-person conversations in your office, or go through your email?

MORE: Building Teamwork under COVID Pressure | How Can Change Management Really Produce Change? | Trust: One Building Block of Success | Make Your Presentations Memorable | Exchanging Knowledge Has No Downside | Political Correctness or Just Common Courtesy?
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What happens? You lose the essence of the conference call; you may have been given an assignment you missed or you did not respond to questions that were directed toward you. What does this tell the host of the call or the other participants? Not only are you rude, but you may be the person who will throw a wrench into the spokes of an initiative that everyone is invested in.

30 Best Marketing Practices

Illustration of marketing strategy
marketing concept with financial graph and chart

Don’t let the 80% derail the 20%.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

These best marketing practices are listed in a general order of effectiveness. However, every firm is unique. What works best for one firm may not work as well for others.

MORE: Entitled Rainmakers and Other Practice Development Errors | 13 Ways to Make the Most of Your Website | How Incentives for Business Development Should Work | Marketing Plans and Why You Need One | Working Business Development into Your Day
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  1. Have a vision for growth because it dictates the scope of your marketing activities. A marketing plan calling for 10 percent growth will need to be much more intense and aggressive than a plan for a firm content with 3 percent growth.


Top Challenges? Staffing, Staffing, Staffing

PLUS: More trends and insights from annual operations and technology survey.

Top challenges facing firms, via the Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey
Top challenges facing firms, via the Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey


By Randy Johnston and Brian Tankersley
The Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

Recruiting and retention have consistently been the top concern for the last two years, 33.6% of firms citing it this year, up from 28.8% of firms in 2019, according to the new Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey. Second place: Raising profitability at 23.4%. Third: Cybersecurity and data privacy at 22.4%.

Referrals – new clients who are referred to a firm by someone they trust – remain the top channel or source of new clients for firms. A higher percentage of firms report that they are receiving referrals from other sources, such as other professionals and firm website and search engine optimization, over each of the last three years.