Today's Features

Ethical Issues in Pricing

August Aquila: "If someone is going to be unethical, it will not be a result of the billing method he or she uses."Specifics of Rules 302 and 503.

By August J. Aquila
Price It Right

In the old days you could go into a shoe store and purchase sneakers or gym shoes. Nowadays, there are tennis shoes, running shoes, cross trainers, aerobic shoes, basketball shoes, soccer shoes and the list goes on and on. Perhaps the billable hour paradigm soon will go the way of the gym shoe.

MORE: Applying Cobb’s Value Curve to Your Firm | 13 Questions about Providing Value | How Demand Affects Pricing | How to Shift from Production to Marketing Orientation | How Traditional Fee Methods Hurt Firms | 6 Questions for Planning Your Succession | Underperformers Come in Many Shapes and Sizes | 6 Focuses for Managing Partners
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Accountants need to realize that in pricing their services, one pricing method will no longer do. As with athletic shoes, accounting and consulting services can be priced in many different ways. This post will explore ways for you to move away from the hourly billing paradigm.
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Learning from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

What disaster recovery readiness means for accountants.

By Donny C. Shimamoto

Think back just a short while agp when you first found out that Hurricane Harvey was poised to hit Texas. Or when you first heard Irma was about to hit Florida.

MORE: Focus on Cyber Risk, Not Just Security | Making IT Matter to Accountants | IT Nerds Need Budget Help | 8 Ways to Wrestle Software Subscriptions Into Submission | IT Hardware Gets Even More Complex (Great!) | How Accounting Geeks and Techie Nerds Can Play Nicely Together
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If a hurricane or other natural disaster were coming to your town would you know what to do to ensure that the damage and impact to your IT environment was prevented or minimized?
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Who Wants to Be a Comptometrist?

Dinosaur talking on a rotary phoneHint: You shouldn't. Here's why.

By Hitendra Patil
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant

(With sincere respect to the erstwhile comptometrists.)

Only 16 out of over 500 million users of LinkedIn have “comptometrist” as the “past” title. And they held those positions from anywhere between 25 to 55 years ago!

MORE ON ENTREPRE-NEURIAL STRATEGY: Blockchain: Questions Are the Answer | The 7 Experiences Millennials Want from Your Firm | 22 Ways Blockchain Will Impact the Accounting Profession | Forget CPE, You Need an FPE | ‘Uberizing’ Means More Than Technology
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There are exactly zero comptometrists on LinkedIn today – and likely, in the world.
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The W-4 Time-Bomb and What To Do About It

You don't want clients to blame you for any unhappy surprises.

By Barry J. Friedman, CPA
IndustryNewsletters

With so many recent tax changes, two-income families and people who work multiple jobs should check their withholding amount.

More Hot-Button Topics for Clients: Supreme Court's Wayfair Ruling on Sales Tax Sows More Confusion  |  Making Passwords Hack-Proof |

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The IRS is urging two-income families and folks who work multiple jobs to complete a paycheck checkup to verify that they're withholding the right amount of tax from their paychecks.

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Cyber-Security: Finally, Something Better Than Passwords

Learn More

Tired of one-time codes? This could be your answer.

By Rick Richardson

Google might have just made itself the most significant example of how security keys can work better than other forms of multi-factor authentication.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: Researchers Tap A.I. for More Efficient Road Maintenance | In Cybersecurity, Why Tokenization Beats Encryption | Smart Cities Rely on Public Cloud and Edge Computing | Amazon Offers New Delivery Service for Buildings | EY’s ‘Day One Ready’ Creates Needed Competencies of the Future | Your Next Bank Card Might Have a Fingerprint Scanner Built In
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Security keys like the one made by Yubikey give you a way to log into a website by merely plugging it in and pressing a button. You don't even need to type in your password anymore, much less generate a one-time code. READ MORE →

Guilt vs. Duty

Businessmen miserable over errorWhy? Because guilt is one of the most damaging emotional obstacles you throw in
front of yourself.

By Bill Reeb, CPA

When I talk about guilt and duty, the examples I share can sound similar. However, the distinction to me is that duty is what you feel before you make a decision or take an action, and guilt is what you feel afterward.

MORE: Duty: A Tough Hurdle to Overcome | Fear Stifles You in Every Way | Change the Way You Think | Let Go to Get Unstuck | Investing in Loss | You Might Be Your Biggest Obstacle | What to Stop May Be More Important Than What to Do | Stop Wishing Your Life Away | Don’t Let Inertia Determine Your Direction
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For example, I feel a sense of duty to protect my daughter, and I would feel guilty if she were hurt badly because I would imagine everything I should have done to better protect her (even if what I imagined would be unreasonable to expect).
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Don’t Blame Technology

Source: Sage

Accountant and client expectations are driving today's changes. Technology is only the enabler.

Warawa

By Jennifer Warawa
Executive Vice President - Partners, Accountants & Alliances at Sage

The world is changing -- that’s no surprise, especially to accountants. Conventional wisdom will tell you it’s new tech adoption that’s changing our field, increasing competition and altering the way we do our jobs. But is that what’s really happening? Not necessarily.

Accountants today are feeling more pressure than ever to stay competitive. At the same time -- accountants are expanding far past their traditional roles -- becoming more holistic business advisors to their clients and strategic partners with an ever-increasing list of demands on their time.

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Supreme Court Wayfair Ruling Sows Confusion – And Opportunity

The cost of compliance could be enormous.

By Barry J. Friedman, CPA
IndustryNewsletters

The Supreme Court has ruled that a company does not need to have a physical presence in a state to be subject to its sales tax.

It has long been the rule that a state cannot collect sales tax from a vendor that is selling products in that state, unless that vendor has a physical presence, called a nexus. However, on June 21, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court swept away the nexus rule in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., saying states could collect sales tax even if there is no physical presence.

The brick-and-mortar stores are happy with the ruling, because it levels the sales tax playing field. The states are ecstatic because they can collect more sales tax. But there are complexities, and no one is entirely sure how it will play out in the long run.

Who is affected?

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It’s Not Always about the Money

The true value in a prenuptial encounter.

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

Prenuptial agreements are essential in many situations, but it is always awkward for one of the blissfully in love parties to bring it up. Prenups consider the possible failure of the happiest thing in the two people’s lives.

MORE: Perception Becomes Reality | Call Me Before You Do Anything | Learning to Delegate: Slow is Faster
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A client once asked me to accompany his son to a meeting where the terms of a prenuptial agreement were to be worked out to make sure the son’s small ownership of the business could never pass outside of his blood line … or the father’s control while he was alive.
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Partner Agreement Issues Affecting Women

Two businesswomen sitting at table and talking in office courtyardThe biggest issue? How part-time partners are treated.

By Marc Rosenberg

Yes. Yes.  I understand that the title of this post may be offensive to both men (why do we need special rules for women?) and women (why do we need to be singled out – isn’t it a given in the 21st century that women and men should be treated equally?).

MORE: Mandatory Retirement: Pros and Cons (And Is It Legal?) | Partner Duties, Prohibitions and Grounds for Expulsion | Principals Who Aren’t CPAs | Why Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Covenants Matter | Handling Pay During the Disability of a Partner | Why Voting Isn’t Such a Big Deal
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The good news is that I don’t see many partner agreements that blatantly discriminate against women.
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Get Found Online: Four Mobile SEO Tips

Man sitting on mountain and searching for mobile signalDo this BEFORE desktop SEO. Yes, there's a difference.

By Becky Livingston
SEO for CPAs: The Accountant’s Handbook

In late 2017, mobile search overtook desktop search for the first time.

MORE: 12 SEO Myths | Quick Tip: Accelerated Mobile PagesWhy You Need an SSL Certificate NOW | Why Tracking URLs Are So Important | What Goes Into a Buyer Persona? | What Is SEO and Why Is It Important?
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What does that mean for you as far as SEO? If your site isn’t mobile-ready now, you must make it a priority if you want to continue to get website traffic. READ MORE →