Today's Features

New COVID-19 Crisis Toolkit Provides Practice Aids and Client Communications Templates
Click to learn more | Save $50 with code CPATRENDLINES20

Guidance, templates, client letters and emails, phone scripts, conversation starters, best practices for your firm – available through CPA Trendlines.

CPA Trendlines is partnering with Inovautus Consulting, a nationally recognized leader in marketing and business development programs for accounting firms, to offer a new client COVID-19 client communications and practice management toolkit that will be updated continuously for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis.

Save $50 today with discount code CPATRENDLINES20
Click here to learn more

The "FFCRA+ Toolkit" was launched with coverage for the Families First Coronavirus Response and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Acts, and will include coverage of all future crisis-related legislative, regulatory, and business impacts.


10 Things You Can Start Doing Immediately

Telberg Photo Barcelona blur 183-20160206Okay, so we're not invincible.

By August Aquila

The pandemic has hit us fast and furious. The current crisis is forcing us to change the way to live and work. If you are reading this, you're probably in an accounting firm. But these suggestions apply to many other sections of the economy.

The Coronavirus Crisis: Three Ways to Step Up in Uncertain Times | Accountants Battle Coronavirus Chaos | Smartphone Thermometers Predict Coronavirus Hot Spots | Go Remote with This App You Already Own [#WFH] | The Top Portable Monitors for Working from Home | Why Process Is Key to Remote Work | In These Turbulent Times, Leaders Must Lead! | The Tax Effects of Coronavirus [Live 1-Hour Webinar] | How to Think Straight through the Coronavirus Crisis | Coronavirus Culture-Shift Hits Accounting Firms | How to Sanitize Electronics Against COVID-19 with UV Light

More: CPA Trendlines is providing free access to our latest crisis update. Start here for a guide to all our coverage.

Here is a list of 10 items that you can start doing immediately:


SURVEY: Confronting Coronavirus Chaos

Preparing for the new paradigm of economic and medical realities.

Today's commentators (clockwise from top left): Martin, Zacarias, Finning, Simms, Bowers, Collins
Today's commentators (clockwise from top left): Martin, Zacarias, Finning, Simms, Bowers, Collins CPA Trendlines Research

CPAs are hunkering down for a quadruple-whammy as the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic slams society and the economy. Information is tenuous and changing.

See All CPA Trendlines Special Coronavirus Coverage

More: Tax Season Turns Ugly under Coronavirus | Lessons from the Trenches of Tax Season | Coronavirus Rattles Tax Season | More Firms Falling Behind | Accountants Cautiously Bullish on the Economy
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

No one knows for sure what’s going to happen, but in the tax & accounting industry, four things are pretty certain:


Go Remote with This App You Already Own [#WFH]

John Higgins explains how to leverage Microsoft Teams for work-from-home staffers.

Today, when tax and accounting firms are going remote, whether we want it or not, whether we've planned for it or not, it's good to know that most of us already have a tool that's ready to go.


In These Turbulent Times, Leaders Must Lead!

cpatrendlines.comSix things you needed to start doing yesterday.

By Allan Koltin

In the face of this unprecedented global pandemic, Leaders must Lead! We need to fill our days with talking to our people, clients, and our families and engaging them in the reality of the situation while at the same time stressing the positive things going on.

RELATED: All CPA Trendlines Special Coronavirus Coverage

I was on a call this morning with a client and I was sharing how wonderful it was to have all three kids back home (they would have been studying abroad, at college, or going to high school) and how nice it was to have family dinners together again. I was also sharing the positives with the kids that their grandparents were healthy, safe, and getting calls from so many family members and how important this was to them. As I was walking the dogs this morning it occurred to me that I heard birds chirping and that I had been “so busy being busy” for the past four decades that beautiful sounds like this or the smell of the morning air were never on my mind. At a deeper level, and to equate it to a sporting event, I feel like the proverbial “scoreboard” has malfunctioned and there is now a new way to keep score, and it is becoming the new normal.


The Tax Effects of Coronavirus [Live Webinar]


Congress and the IRS Open the Floodgates and Little Droplets Have Hit the Fan.

With Bradley Burnett

As Coronavirus wreaks economic havoc, Congress and IRS have acted swiftly through the tax law in response. These relief efforts cut much deeper and wider than first meet the eye. For example, the House relief bill alone has 90 pages of technical corrections. Let us cut your learning curve.

This ad-free, no-fluff one-hour session brings information you can use immediately, with checklists and generous examples covering complications and contingencies not covered by others with Bradley Burnett's unique blend of wit, wisdom, and street smarts.

Wednesday, April 1
9 a.m. PT, 10 a.m. MT, 11 a.m. CT, 12 Noon ET
2 hours, 2 CPE

Register Here | Learn More

Early-Bird Discount $59 until March 30, then $79


Planning for the Coronavirus Recession

If past recessions are any guide, the profession could lose up to 100,000 jobs.

Busy Season Barometer:
Bracing for the Coronavirus recession

Join the survey. Get the facts.

By Beth Bellor

The tax and accounting profession was adding new jobs at a rate of 2.3 percent per year before the Coronavirus outbreak, according to CPA Trendlines Research.

See: All CPA Trendlines Special Coronavirus Crisis Coverage

More Staffing and Hiring Trends: Automation and the Future of Accounting  |  Getting and Keeping the Best: The Struggle Continues |  Headcounts Dip by 3,500 in Tax & Accounting |  Creative Perks for Remote Employees |  What Staffing Shortage? |  Hiring Trends Flash Warning Signs of Slowdown in Tax & Accounting |  Salary Survey: Top Skills Getting Top Pay

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

But with a new recession looming, CPA Trendlines estimates the profession could lose up to 100,000 jobs and take up to seven years to recover.

The latest data available show more than a million employees in the profession, and growing at about 2,800 new jobs per month. At the same time, wages are hitting record highs.

But with the Coronavirus crisis threatening a new recession, CPA Trendlines conducted a long-term, 30-year analysis, focused on the job losses caused by the dot-com crash of 2001 and the financial meltdown of 2007. From the analysis, CPA Trendlines calculates the profession could shed up to 10 percent of its current workforce, and not fully recover for two to seven years.

All employees, thousands, accounting and bookkeeping services, seasonally adjusted
^ Showing dips after the dot-com bubble in 2001 and financial crash in 2008: All tax, accounting, and bookkeeping services, all employees, in thousands, seasonally adjusted. (CPA Trendlines Research)

In this report, CPA Trendlines highlights:

  • Current and long-term hiring trends in each of the bookkeeping, payroll, tax and CPA segments of the industry (all data seasonally adjusted)
  • Average hourly wages for key segments
  • Typical hours worked per week
  • Trends concerning women in the accounting workforce


FBI Recommends Passphrases Over Password Complexity

examples of passwords vs. passphrasesHarder to crack, easier to remember.

By Rick Richardson

For more than a decade, security experts have had discussions about what's the best way of choosing passwords for online accounts.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: How to Sanitize Electronics Against COVID-19 with UV Light | Apple’s New Credit Card Carries Fraud-Fighting Feature | Smart Devices Need 3 Features to Be Secure | Replace All Your Wi-Fi Hardware with a Tiny 5G Router | Make Your Gadgets Much Harder to Find and Steal
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

There's one camp that argues for password complexity by adding numbers, uppercase letters and special characters, and then there's the other camp, arguing for password length by making passwords longer.

Take a Deep Dive into the New CARES Act

 [Live 2-hour Webinar] Immediate Choices & Long Term Consequences: Thursday, April 9, at 9 Noon ETA: / 9 a.m. PT.

With Bradley Burnett

The rapid-fire explosion of new tax incentives, loan incentives and other cash cow infusions into America’s COVID-19 infested economy are hitting like a Texas tornado. Now you can gain an immediate sense of cashflow survival and related tax consequences, cut loose by the all-new CARES Act., April 9
9 a.m. PT / 10 a.m. MT / 11 a.m. CT / Noon ET
2 hours, 2 CPE

(Can't make the date? Register anyway, and get the instant replay with all the materials: the video, audio, and handouts. Sorry, no CPE for the replay.)


Help Clients by Pivoting to Projections's crisis needs analysts more than historians.

By Gale Crosley

Major upheavals in economic conditions present an opportunity for significant growth. For firms prepared to embrace this concept, it’s Go Time for new service innovations that clients and prospects want, need and are willing to pay for.

SEE: All CPA Trendlines Special Crisis Coverage

MORE: Home Alone. But Not Really. | Dicey Disruptions | Be a Consultant or Be Left Behind | Sustainable Innovation: How to Pull It Off
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

With so many of us sequestered at home, it may be some time since you’ve actually been in your car. But you’ve probably not forgotten the difference between the view from your rearview mirror and what you see out the windshield. Applying the metaphor to accounting highlights the contrast between where we’ve been and where we need to go as a profession in the current environment.

Getting Bonuses from Clients

Man putting dollars into suit pocketALSO: Value pricing vs. value billing.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

I’ve written about being independent and not selling financial services or products to clients. Quite a few people called me to ask about “value billing” and how that fits in. Here are some comments.

MORE: Yes, Christopher Columbus Had an Accountant | My ‘Brand’ Is the Exciting History of Accounting | Social Security Is an Asset Class | How to Waste Lunch Hour | What’s Your Negotiating Style? | How to Make Your Own Opportunities | How I Became a Published Author
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

To start, value pricing is a pretty straightforward issue for those who truly value price and a misunderstood issue for most who do not. I cannot treat it completely in a short article and refer my readers to Ron Baker’s book, “Implementing Value Pricing.” However, today I will address the focus of my caller’s questions about value “bonuses” from clients.

Tax Pros Trail by 908,000 Returns

Data chart
Week ending March 20

E-filing pace lags 2.2% from year-ago, but professionals hang on to market share.

By Beth Bellor

Coronavirus has changed much of society as we know it, but taxes remain a certainty.

MORE: Tax Pro IRS Filings Lag by 532,000 | Tax Pro E-Filings Lag by 512,000 Returns | Tax Pros Kick into High Gear | Slow Start for Tax Pro E-filing | Data Points Down as Tax Season Opens | The Fight for New Tax Clients
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Total returns, e-filings and average refunds are up, although tax pros are e-filing slower than last year.

Tax Season Funnies: Gabriel and Saint Peter Confer

Portrait of a young laughing businessman with tablet computer in officePlus an alligator in a bar.
As collected by Robert E. Mckenzie

I just filled out my income tax forms. Who says you cannot get killed by a blank?

Taxation is based on supply and demand. We supply when the government demands.

MORE: A Tax Lawyer at the Pearly Gates | Gargoyles in the IRS? | Tax Season Funnies: The ‘Service’ in IRS
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

When Congress writes the tax laws, they often leave it to the IRS to “fill in the details” with specific instructions. That’s like asking a hungry lion to protect the sheep from the wolves.


How to Lead in a Crisis

9 steps to pull you through the coronavirus pandemic even stronger.

By Sandi Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

As accounting professionals, we’re on the front lines helping our small business clients and our employees through this crisis in multiple ways. It’s a chance for us to display extraordinary leadership as a profession.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: How to Think Straight through the Coronavirus Crisis | Tech Tools for Working through the Coronavirus | 7 Tips to Keep the Clients You Have | Do You Know Your Opportunity Number? | 7 Tips to Boost Your Firm’s Performance in 2020

See All CPA Trendlines Special Coronavirus Crisis Coverage

GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

Here’s a tweet I just love that exemplifies the times:

screenshot of tweet

Here are some reminders for all of us as we step up to lead our firms and help our clients in these times:


Keep These Tax Clients While You Have the Chance

Portrait of an angry man yelling on the phone21 reasons they switch firms.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide

Clients have many choices, including the choice of a tax preparer. Every new client an accountant gets is because that client left – fired – their previous accountant.

MORE: What’s NOT to Like about Tax Season? | Can Your Reviewers Answer These 10 Questions? | 5 Small Leaks That Can Sink a Tax Season | One Can’t-Skip Touch for Tax Season | 3 Steps to Tax Season Happiness
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

So why do clients leave? Here are 21 good reasons why they should: READ MORE →

How to Profit with Workflow Apps

Pixelated blue text "workflow" on binary code backgroundStop reinventing the wheel.

By Jody Grunden

As a business grows, it becomes necessary to systemize the processes in order to increase the team’s efficiency and deliver a consistent experience for clients.

MORE: Why Process Is Key to Remote Work | When the IRS and FBI Come Knocking | 5 Questions to Evaluate New Tech Tools | Traditional Benefits for Remote Employees | The Hidden Cost of Running a Distributed Company | How to Develop Your Leadership Team | 4 Ways to Bill Clients
GoProCPA.comExclusively for PRO Members. Log in here or upgrade to PRO today.

One of the challenges that comes with creating systems can be getting every team member on board with the process you want to put in place. For example, Joe may have one way of doing things, while Karen does them another way and Susie yet another.

Creating a system will likely require all of them to make some changes in their own day-to-day workflows.

Now Is the Time to Activate Your Referral Network

People standing, holding food and talkingPLUS: 19 sources, how to stage a referral event, and what networking isn't.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

The biggest source of new business is a firm’s existing client base, both in the form of expanded services and referrals to others. It’s estimated that 60 percent of a firm’s revenue growth comes from this area.

MORE: Does Your Firm Recognize All Its Skills? | Protect and Grow Existing Clients | The 4 Marketing Disciplines | 15 Powerful Niche Marketing Practices | 19 Takeaways from the History of CPA Firm Practice Development | Why You Have to Kill the Old Paradigms | Are You Ready for the Great Disruption?

CPA Trendlines is providing free access to our latest crisis updates. Start here for a guide to all our coverage.

GoProCPA.comMore for PRO Members: Coronavirus Resources for Remote-Working (#WFH)

This is no time to lose touch with your referral sources. And, even though in-person meetings may be difficult, everyone, it seems, is becoming more comfortable with online events like video conference calls and webinars.


Home Alone. But Not Really.
More free coronavirus resources here

Seven tips for teams and leaders dealing with coronavirus lockdowns.

By Gale Crosley

As I stood in the shower one morning earlier this week the words, “This feels like war” came to mind. Not that I’ve been in one. But I’m experienced enough to recognize the panic, uncertainty and vulnerability. Moments later, with coffee in hand in front of the TV, I listened as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated, “This is a war. We have to treat it like a war.”

The Coronavirus Crisis: How to Leverage Referral Opportunities in a Crisis  |  10 Things You Can Start Doing Immediately  |  Three Ways to Step Up in Uncertain Times | Accountants Battle Coronavirus Chaos | Smartphone Thermometers Predict Coronavirus Hot Spots | Go Remote with This App You Already Own [#WFH] | The Top Portable Monitors for Working from Home | Why Process Is Key to Remote Work | In These Turbulent Times, Leaders Must Lead! | The Tax Effects of Coronavirus [Live 1-Hour Webinar] | How to Think Straight through the Coronavirus Crisis | Coronavirus Culture-Shift Hits Accounting Firms | How to Sanitize Electronics Against COVID-19 with UV Light

More: CPA Trendlines is providing free access to our latest crisis updates. Start here for a guide to all our coverage.

For PRO Members: Coronavirus Resources for Remote-Working (#WFH)

War, according to military wisdom, requires an approach that is both tactical and strategic. We need to focus on tactics—preparing yourself and marshaling your troops for success on a new kind of battlefield. One with toys underfoot and a dog howling in the background.