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Ohio CPA Society Teams with CPA Trendlines to Improve CPE ROI

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In a ground-breaking effort to uncover the top trends and best practices in professional development in the tax and accounting industry, The Ohio Society of CPAs (OSCPA) is teaming with CPA Trendlines Research and Michael Ramos + Associates to conduct an extensive study of CPAs’ learning plans, attitudes, and behaviors.

MORE: Top CPE Trends: How Accountants Are Re-Tooling for 2017  |   CPE Survey: Why Some CPAs Are Focusing on Accounting & Financial Reporting This Year

The study, already underway and in the preliminary reporting stages, is examining the links between the relative success of CPA firms and their approach to professional development.


How to Fire a Client

Big businessman foot on spring kicking three businesspeopleBONUS: A sample disengagement letter.

By Sandi Leyva and Michelle Long
The Ultimate Accounting Virtual Conference

How many clients have you fired?

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: What to Do When a Client Doesn’t Pay | The Dreaded ‘Quick Question’ | How to Handle Referrals – And How Not To | Why Clients Need Dashboards | 3 Ways to Raise Your Prices | Your Existing Clients Are Your Best Leads | Need More Business? Focus on Referrals

Let’s talk about firing a client because sometimes you do need to fire your client. Maybe they’re difficult to work with or a guy is belligerent and loud and yells and you don’t want to work for him. Maybe there are ethical issues.

Content Categories and How to Leverage Them

Chart of social media content categoriesMatch leads to streams.

By Becky Livingston
The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook

To start in social media, you’ll only need four or five categories – start small, or you’ll get overwhelmed.

MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: DIY Design for Social Media | Tailor Content to Social Media Platform | How to Track Who’s Clicking Your Links | Which Social Media Should You Use? | How Social Media Works with Accountants’ Top 5 Marketing Goals

In this example, I have stripped down some client specifications to the bare minimum, just to show the categories of content they decided to use.

Four-Part Plan to Re-ignite Revenue Growth

Sprout growing on money pile of glass jar bankNew times call for new expansion strategies.

By Gale Crosley

It’s been a long slog, but we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel known as the Great Recession. Both job creation and the gross domestic product are robust. Interest rates remain low, and the stock market is showing solid gains.

MORE by GALE CROSLEY: Not All Fish Need Audits  |  The 4 New Growth Engines in Today’s Marketplace  |  Change Catches Up with Auditors  |  The 6 Elements to Sustainable Growth for CPA Firms  | Jody Padar’s New Vision for the ‘New Accounting’  |  Reality Check: Achieving World-Class Growth Requires Real-World Intelligence  |  Crosley: The New Growth Evolution  |  Expand Your Vision and Expand Your Business  |  Leveraging Leadership: A New Way of Looking at Growth  |  Are You Creating a Sustainable Firm?  |  Don’t Confuse Marketing with a True Growth Strategy  |  Overcoming Four Imaginary Barriers that Limit CPA Firm Growth  |  How Firms Unleash the Power of Diamonds, Cash Cows and Fat Cats  |  How Smart Firms Use Market Research  |  Got Leads? Get Real. Learn How to Qualify Big Opportunities  |  It’s a New Generation in Lead Generation  |  At the Best Firms, Growth is No Accident  |  Four Keys to Success at Seiler CPAs  |  How Accounting Firms Are Re-Building Their Sales Pipelines  |  How to Get Started on IFRS in One Easy Step  |  [PRO Member Exclusive. Log in required.]

VIDEO: The Three Elements of Growth Strategy  |  Defining the New Business Model  |  The 3 Hallmarks of the ‘New Accounting’ Business

While these bright spots are welcome, I urge firm leaders not to be lured into believing that it’s back to business as usual. The light at the end of the tunnel may look like, well, light. But the market conditions illuminated by that light are substantially different from those of the pre-recession environment.

What’s changed? Nearly everything, from an upsurge in globalization to stiffer competition, increased standards and regulations, more specialization and a growing reliance on technology. Today, clients can engage CPA firms around the corner or around the globe. Just because you’re in the neighborhood doesn’t mean you’re in the running. READ MORE →

Workflow Systems Make Tax Season Less Tedious

Man holding a document in each handThere are options for with and without document management systems.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

The most important aspect of transitioning the firm’s tax process to a digital environment is managing electronic files that are no longer physically viewable in assorted stacks around the office.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Don’t Just Store Documents, Manage Them | Which Wireless Depends on Location | Stay on Top of Software Updates | Update Your Backup | Right to the Root, or Why Scanners Rule

This requires a digital tax workflow system that lets everyone know the status of every return and easily connects that person to digital copies of the return and the source documents.

4 Ways to Help Women Seek Power

Business team including young womanAnd why some women resist using networks.

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

Women tend to have a limited appreciation of how their networks can help them get ahead professionally. Developing strong business networks is critical for career advancement. Because a leader operates through others, her value and effectiveness are largely tied to the power of her network.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: 3 Ways Women Benefit When Seen as Leaders | 4 Firm Benefits of Sponsoring Women as Leaders

Yet women are reluctant to cultivate potential sponsors through their networks, while men willingly use patronage and networks to open doors and provide opportunities that cannot be accessed through normal channels. Men attribute their promotions to personal connections as a matter of pride, not embarrassment, because it means that influential people see them as leaders and reward them accordingly. As a result, men benefit from the political processes that go on all around them while women lose out.

Younger Partners See Succession Differently

Young woman driving a carAre you acting like an owner or an employee?

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli
CPA Trendlines / Succession Institute

Several of our younger partner readers have posed a couple of questions to us on the topic of mergers, as well as succession in general.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: More Merger Questions Than You Imagined | Merging for the Wrong Reasons | Why Accountability Falls to MPs | How to Implement Strategy, Step by Step | How to Decide Who Decides Pay | Accountability Includes Partners | Succession Plan Requirements | How Retired Partners Are Robbing their Own Firms | 4 Ways to Create More Capacity | Partner Retirement and the War for Clients | Succession: The Questions to Care About | Hazards of Not Reallocating Equity | CPA Firm Performance Assessments: 15 Core Competencies, 21 Questions | 5 Harmful Management Attitudes (and How to Fix Them)

At the end of the day, remember that just because junior and senior partners may be in different positions, have diverse perspectives and at times, opposite expectations, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t find resolution in the same solutions. So, let's pick up with a question/comment or two.

World Envies Low U.S. Tax Rates on Luxury Real Estate Transfers

Another reason global capital is finding a haven in U.S. assets.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The U.S. is the envy of the world in the low tax rate applied to real estate transactions, according to a new study by UHY, the global network of accounting firms.
“The United States has one of the lowest tax rates in our study," says Dennis Petri of UHY Advisors. "The low level of tax enables homeowners to move more freely from city to city and now, the U.S. is seen as having enviable labor market mobility.”

The study shows taxes on "prime" real estate transfers average 0.6 percent in the U.S., or $6,000, far lower than the global average of 3.3 percent ($33,038) for properties worth $1 million, according to the study.


New Smart Sensor Helps Cut Electric Bills

senseSensing your home electrical usage.

By Rick Richardson
Technology This Week

Sense is both the company name and the product name.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK:  Floor Tiles that Translate Steps into Power  |  Samsung’s $1 Billion Bet on ‘Internet of Things’  |  Google’s Modular Smartphone  |  6 Big Changes Coming to Android Phones  |  New iPhone Case with Built-in Photo Printer  |  Foldable Samsung Concept Phone Doubles as a Tablet  |  More than Just a Phone Case: An Extra Touchscreen  |   App Wants to Be the Uber for Filing Taxes  |  Gadget Turns Your Smartphone into a 3D Printer   |  Tabletop-Sized Touchscreen |  Beware! Public Wi-Fi Is Just Not Secure  |  ZTE Announces New Tablet-Projector Hybrid at Barcelona  |  More Rick Richardson for PRO MEMBERS: Go PRO here

As CEO, Mike Phillips, puts it, “Sense Labs was born from the simple idea that people should know what’s happening in their homes. We track calories, footsteps, miles per gallon, budgets, and rewards points — yet it’s astonishing that we know so little about the place where we spend so much time. Energy efficiency and home automation begin with information. We built the Sense home energy monitor to provide people with information about their homes in the simplest, most useful way possible.”


Managing Partners Should Drop their Book of Business

Ed Mendlowitz CPA The Practice Doctor Q and AYour firm deserves a full-time leader.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: About a year ago I became the managing partner of my 50-person, six-partner firm. We gross about $7 million. I still maintain my book of business, which is about $1 million, and have 1,000 chargeable hours.

MORE PRACTICE DOCTOR Q&A: Do You Want to Keep This Employee? | How to Know Everything | The Six Rules To Get the Most Out of CPE | Everyone Needs Strategic Planning | 19 Ways to Stop Wasting Reviewer Time | No Go On Pro Bono | Why Your Clients Need Annual Minutes – And How You Can Help | How Much Overhead Is Too Much?

Needless to say I have been working very hard, about 2,700 total hours, yet my partners are complaining I do not have enough chargeable time and I tend to agree with them, but do not know how I can increase these hours.

CPE Survey: Why Some CPAs Are Focusing on Accounting & Financial Reporting This Year
How to stay competitive: Join the survey; get the results

Increased monthly billings to augment once-a-year tax work.

How to stay competitive:
Join the survey; get the results

By Rick Telberg
CPA Trendlines

This year’s tax business is done; mostly, anyway. Now it’s time to buckle down and do what CPAs – and only CPAs – are built for: Accounting, financial reporting, compliance, auditing, attestations, and, of course, the host of consulting services that range from business valuation to internal controls.

MORE on TRENDS in PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Top CPE Trends: How Accountants Are Re-Tooling  |  Ohio CPA Society Teams with CPA Trendlines to Improve CPE ROI


Preliminary results from a survey being conducted by CPA Trendlines in conjunction with the Ohio Society of CPAs and consultant Michael Ramos show that about 42 percent of accountants are making accounting and financial reporting a top priority, second only to taxes, and almost twice the rate for two dozen other pursuits.

Julie Lepper at Lepper & Company LLC, which works with a lot of agricultural professionals in greater Pinckney, Mich., says upcoming efforts will be in accounting, reporting, practice management, internal control, and tax matters. “These are areas of particular interest to the direction of our firm,” Lepper says. “We want more monthly accounting clients, so we want to take classes related to that area that might give us some tricks and updates.  We are also want to help clients with process and internal controls.” READ MORE →