Today's Features

Steven Sacks: COVID Crisis Management

Five ways accounting firms will need to change.

Steven Sacks, the author of The New Fundamentals, analyzes the impact of COVID on CPA firms and sees opportunities for those willing and able to step up.

Five Key Take-Aways:

  1. CPAs, being the trusted advisor, will find opportunities in business recovery services.
  2. Clients want to know: “How are you going to help me to get back on my feet?”
  3. In delivering key performance indexes, building digital dashboards for clients, making projections, and doing more complex data analytics, the CPA is going to have to be in closer contact with the clients.
  4. The whole mindset is going to shift away from mere compliance aspect.
  5. Value-added services are no longer going to be a luxury that only certain firms will afford. It’s going to be something that is needed on-demand.


The Three New Business Models Delivering Significant Profits for Accounting Firms

Businessman sitting on stacks of paper currencyHow to upgrade your practice with successful, wealthy clients.

By Anthony Glomski and Russ Alan Prince
Your $5 Million High-Net-Worth Practice

Competition for high-quality accounting clients is intense, and the current environment is making it harder for many accounting firms to excel.

See also: The 5 Meetings of the (True) Wealth Management Process | Collaborative Wealth Management: Defining the Framework | Protect Your Clients’ Assets | Even Entrepreneurs Must Diversify | When Clients Cash Out: Four Smart Financial Moves |

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If you’re ready to serve successful business owners and wealthy individuals, then there are three practice models you should consider. Each of the three models shares specific characteristics that make them especially attractive, including:

  • High demand from accomplished prospects
  • High fee structures which these clients pay
  • High margins
  • High realization rates
  • High probability of needing the expertise of various accountants at the firm

Because all three practice models are relationship-based, many accountants are already well-positioned to provide new, high-caliber advisory services these highly coveted clients. READ MORE →

4 Reasons Not to Let Staff Go After Tax Season

Midsection of businessman moving out with cardboard box from officeWhat will you need to pick up when they’re gone?

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: I am planning on letting go of some staff after tax season and will hire replacements at a higher level. Any suggestions?

MORE: Good Preparer Procedures Will Reduce Review Time | 10 Things NOT to Say During Tax Season | Top 12 Tax Return Errors | Why ‘Tick and Tie’ Needs to Die | Use Tax Return Prep for Training and Growth
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ANSWER: 1) Your implication is that you will hire replacements at a higher level.

Firms Recall Half of Furloughed Staffers

Total tax and accounting employees, in thousands, over the last 18 months. (CPA Trendlines Research)

Just in time to finish tax season.

By Beth Bellor

Got whiplash? Job sectors that saw figures plummet in last month’s report are seeing them climbing back, albeit not as quickly.

MORE: The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | Pro Tax Prep Stalls to a Crawl amid Covid-Extended Season | Planning for the Coronavirus Recession | The Tax Season 2020 Dumpster Fire | |  Covid Kills 67,600 Jobs in Tax and Accounting  | Pre-COVID-19, Accounting Profession Hits New Highs

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The tax and accounting industry has quickly added back about half of the jobs lost in the COVID-19 shutdown – just in time to finish the hyper-extended tax season, according to the latest CPA Trendlines Jobs Report. But what happens next is anybody’s guess.

In this report, CPA Trendlines analyzes:

  • 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


COVID-19, Adversity and Innovation

Young businesswoman using smartphone and tablet at outdoor cafe3 things firms have learned so far.

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

Our country has a long way to go before we fully adapt to a COVID-19 world and navigate compounding national issues. But CPA firms are resilient and have made major strides in adapting to a new and challenging environment.

MORE: How COVID-19 Impacts Partner Retirements |  Three Tough Questions in Partner Buyouts | Is Mandatory Retirement a Best Practice? | COVID-19: How Your Firm Can Respond | Reward Partners for Performing Like Partners
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I took some time to jot down a few high-impact observations. If you don’t see any mention of people working remotely and communicating via videoconferencing, the reason is obvious – everyone’s doing it.

Why Proper Communication Is Critical

Businessman smiling and talking on phoneConsider the impression you deliver.

By Steven E. Sacks

Often, we are so concerned about getting out a message that we don’t stop to think whether the delivery mechanism matches the nature of the content.

MORE: Syncing Up for the COVID Era | The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared? | Does Your Firm’s Board Know Its Role? | Are Executive Performance Reviews Dangerous? | There Is No Leadership Without Integrity | Influence, Don’t Manipulate
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In a face-to-face conversation, the reaction you get is immediate because you may have employed the wrong tone, selected the wrong words or chosen an inappropriate time to engage. Younger professionals who are observant, especially when admonished – either overtly or subtly – will learn from the experience. The signs are not as clear when it involves email communication or phone calls.

What Are IRS FAQs Worth?

Not enough, says National Tax Advocate.

By CPA Trendlines Research

The COVID-19 crisis hit the Internal Revenue Service pretty hard.

  • Employees were sent home to quarantine.
  • Entire operations were shut down.
  • Most taxpayer-to-agent communication was impossible.
  • Taxpayer Assistance Centers were shuttered.

MORE: The Top Six IRS #FAILS this Tax Season (So Far)
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Complicating matters, Congress passed a number of initiatives that the IRS had to execute even as it was stripped down to the skeleton crew:

Why Your To-Do List Isn’t Getting Done

Businessman in dark gray suit raise his hand in action of stop and word "stop" on his red palmWhat to stop doing may be more important than what to do.

By Bill Reeb

Much of your focus is naturally on “What can I do today to move me one step closer to whatever I am trying to achieve?”

MORE: Learn to Embrace Failure | What a Pro Knows | Appreciate the Joy That Comes From Work | What Would Make You Happy? | Don’t Let Opportunities Become Detours | Covid Crisis Requires New Mindsets | Do You Have a Goal or Just a Speed? | What Are You Giving Priority? | 3 Early Warning Signals for Overachievers | Learn More By Letting Go | Don’t Let Others Block Your Path | How Overachievers Can Get ‘Unstuck’
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While “doing the work” really seems to be about actions you should take, often it is just as much – if not more – about what actions to stop.