26 Need-to-Know Strategies for Surviving and Thriving in Today’s Economy

Barry Schimel, CPA and BizActions co-founder, has been there, done that. Now he has some insight for the rest of us.

by Rick Telberg

In these turbulent times, it’s more important than ever for accountants and finance managers to go beyond traditional compliance services and think instead about forward-looking strategies for helping their companies and stakeholders become more effective and profitable.

Barry Schimel, CPA and a co-founder of the BizActions e-mail marketing system for accounting firms, has seen lots of ups and downs in his career, starting as the managing partner of a regional accounting firm a couple recessions ago. Back in the 1980s, when Schimel was managing partner of his own accounting firm, more than a few of his business clients were desperate. So he steered his whole firm into crisis control.

“We would work with clients until midnight, coaching them on what they could do to sustain themselves and help them grow,” Schimel told me.  Today, he tells accountants to focus on what can you do for the company tomorrow, instead of on what happened last year. “The opportunities are greater for a business if you can reverse the usual ways a CPA has been trained and think about the future instead of the past.”

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Now on his fifth book, “100 Ways to Profit in a Volatile Economy,” Schimel talked to me about what he has learned about how accountants and accounting firms can help companies through the recession. Co-authored with BizActions colleague Gary Kravitz, the book offers a slew of proven and tested strategies that have been successfully implemented in numerous organizations, as well as new tactics based on provisions in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.