PPP Traps: 1 in 5 Accountants Report Shady Dealings

Fake employees, fake businesses, and lavish spending mar the COVID relief program.

Have you walked away from any PPP engagements?
PPP Practice Management Do’s and Don’ts:
Join the Survey. Get the Results.

By Sandi Leyva

With fast money comes fast fraud, and the arrests and jail terms are only just beginning for individuals who applied for PPP money under false pretenses and have already been caught. You’ve seen the headlines, where people from every walk of life including reality TV stars, rappers, a Wal-Mart manager, and even an NFL player have been arrested on charges of PPP loan fraud.

Bradley Burnett: Bracing for more audits.
Join the Next Webinar: PPP Loan Forgiveness – Choosing the Right Covered Period and Filling Out the Form: Cases, and Examples, with Bradley Burnett. Friday, Oct. 2, 2 pm ET / 11 am PT. 3 hours, 3 CPE.
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PPP fraud has likely already impacted your firm. The extent of the fraud is the real story.

One thing is fairly predictable: “Audits will pick up,” says Bradley Burnett, tax attorney and instructor of the PPP Forgiveness webinars being conducted by Accountant’s Accelerator and CPA Trendlines.

According to respondents of an ongoing survey being conducted by CPA Trendlines and Accountant’s Accelerator, preliminary results show that just over 1 out of every five accounting professionals offering PPP services (22 percent) has had to walk away from at least one PPP engagement.  And one firm has had to walk away from more than five PPP engagements.

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Add These Money-Making Rituals to Your Work Day

You know the drill: Work ON the business.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

There’s something special about the word ritual. It sounds sacred, like you wouldn’t dare break it. It sounds a little mysterious, as if there’s a component you can’t quite control. And it sounds colorful, like something full of character that you would never get bored of.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn | 5 ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Ways to Raise Your Revenues Right Now | How to Think Straight through the Coronavirus Crisis | Tech Tools for Working through the Coronavirus | 7 Tips to Boost Your Firm’s Performance in 2020 | Major Search Algorithm Change Could Affect Your Rankings | Making Content Marketing Part of Your Growth Strategy | Change Overload: 5 Simple Coping Strategies | Share Data 5 Easy Ways
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These days, rituals can bring much-needed certainty to our lives. We don’t think about rituals much when it comes to business, but I think we should. What rituals could you create in your business that will rev up your revenues and reduce the uncertainty that is swirling around us? Here are two ideas to get your engines started.
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3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn

Train tracks going both ahead and off to leftYou can succeed no matter what the economy is doing.

By Sandi Leyva

All roads point to a significant downturn in the overall economy for the next few years. If you’re interested in simply opting out of all that mess and creating your own economic success for you and your clients, then keep reading. I truly believe many of you have the power and ability to make a difference as to whether your clients sink or swim in 2020.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: 5 ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Ways to Raise Your Revenues Right Now | Stuck at Home Right Now? Here’re 100 Good Ideas to Relieve the Stress | How to Lead in a Crisis | 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 | 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking New Clients | Survey Quantifies Link Between Online Reviews, Revenue
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Here are three ways to make a difference for your own firm and for your clients.
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5 ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Ways to Raise Your Revenues Right Now

A little thought goes a long way.

By Sandi Leyva
Getting New Clients

If August is a slow business month for you, it’s not just your business.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Stuck at Home Right Now? Here Are 100 Good Ideas to Relieve the Stress | How to Lead in a Crisis | How to Think Straight through the Coronavirus Crisis | Tech Tools for Working through the Coronavirus | Survey Quantifies Link Between Online Reviews, Revenue | Major Search Algorithm Change Could Affect Your Rankings
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With people making the most of a disappearing summer, it’s all most of us can do to stay on our routines.

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Stuck at Home Right Now? Here’s 100 Good Ideas to Relieve the Stress

Young woman recording video via camcorder and tripodMany of them are free.

How’s COVID-19 impacting your Busy Season?
Join the survey. Sound off. Get answers.

By Sandi Leyva, Annie Tao, Marjory Rase, and Cutter Slagle

I wanted to help my staff blow off some steam this week, so I asked them to come up with some tasks that we can all do while we’re sheltering in place and doing our thing to flatten the curve.

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

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If your kids (or you) are already asking, “Are we there yet?” here are some ways to distract them. READ MORE →

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

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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:

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How to Think Straight through the Coronavirus Crisis

Setting priorities in uncertain times.

By Sandi Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

With the Coronavirus crisis coming on top of tax season, the next few weeks may be the most challenging we’ve ever faced.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Tech Tools for Working through the Coronavirus | 7 Tips to Keep the Clients You Have | 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking New Clients | Is Your Client Newsletter Stuck in the 1990s? | Do You Know Your CAC Number? | Change Overload: 5 Simple Coping Strategie
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Under these conditions, it’s hard for many to figure out what to work on next because there is so much work to be done. It’s easy to lose focus and end up working on unprofitable, yet urgent tasks. That’s not to say we put profit before people. But without profit, we can’t take care of our people.
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16 Tech Tools for Working through the Coronavirus

The apps and platforms we use, and why.

By Sandi Leyva

Maybe you were thinking about taking your practice virtual sometime in the future. But with the novel coronavirus, the future is now. We’re lucky we’re in a profession where we can deliver our services virtually.

More Tech for the Coronavirus Crisis:  Three Tech Solutions for Protecting Client Data |  Top Tech Choices for the Virtual Firm  |  5 Questions to Evaluate New Tech Tools  |   Innovate for the Right Reasons  |  How to Leverage App Technology for Streamlined Services   |  Cyber Security at a Virtual CPA Firm |  How Core Values Affect Remote Work Culture |  The Hidden Costs of Running a Virtual CPA Firm

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Our office became fully virtual in July 2019. Meanwhile, here are the main 16 tools we use, sorted into 11 categories:

  1. Appointment-setting
  2. Conferencing
  3. Data collection
  4. Client portal
  5. Shopping cart
  6. Client emails
  7. Customer support
  8. Task management
  9. Employee messaging
  10. Phone calls
  11. Cloud storage

Note, some vendors are offering free services for the pandemic. Now I’ll tell you exactly what we’re using and why…

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7 Tips to Keep the Clients You Have

Where do you think the best referrals come from?

By Sandi Leyva
The Accountant’s Accelerator

It’s far less expensive to keep your existing clients happy than it is to find new clients, especially because the trust factor between people continues to decline year after year. You might want to think about redirecting a portion of your marketing attention on your existing client base instead of networking for new clients. (And by the way, sending clients an organizer is NOT marketing!)

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Do You Know Your Opportunity Number? | 7 Tips to Boost Your Firm’s Performance in 2020 | 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Seeking New Clients | Survey Quantifies Link Between Online Reviews, Revenue | Major Search Algorithm Change Could Affect Your Rankings | Is Your Client Newsletter Stuck in the 1990s? | Outsource or In-House? How Does Your Marketing Get Done? | Making Content Marketing Part of Your Growth Strategy
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Here are some tips to mine the pot of gold that lies right before you: your current clients who already trust you and are eager to hear about new solutions that will ease their pain and problems.
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