Why Your Google Ranking Is About to Tank

New algorithm could penalize older, slower sites.

By Sandi Leyva, CPA

I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to go through tax season without any interruptions, especially about marketing. But Google doesn’t see it that way, and we have a significant search algorithm update hitting us in May 2021. If firms aren’t ready, they could see their search rankings, and correspondingly, prospects and future clients from website traffic, go way down.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Seven Tips to Keep the Clients You Have12 Ways to Stress Less This Busy Season | Six Ways to Make Your Own History During Women’s History Month | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn | How to Lead in a Crisis
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While Google updates its search ranking algorithm on a daily basis, it generally announces big changes ahead of time. Google’s May 2021 update will focus on “page experience,” which includes three metrics called Core Vitals as well as four additional page experience signals.

No one knows the exact algorithm that Google uses to rank web pages in search results. Experts say there are over 200 ranking factors to consider. The latest update is all about providing a better mobile experience for the user.

Here’s what all that means in detail. READ MORE →

Seven Tips to Keep the Clients You Have

Woman wearing orange shirt texting on a smartphone walking in the street in a sunny day“Just about every time I called or emailed a client, they would think of more work for me.”

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

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: 12 Ways to Stress Less This Busy Season | Six Ways to Make Your Own History During Women’s History Month | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn | How to Lead in a Crisis
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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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12 Ways to Stress Less This Busy Season

Calm balanced businessman sitting outdoors on bench in Yoga lotus pose meditating, with office building and blue sky in backgroundTips that are quick and low-cost.

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

I don’t want to stress you out, but we really do need to do something about our stress levels, especially during tax season. An American Psychological Association survey showed that our kids are getting headaches, having difficulty sleeping, and eating too little or too much because of pressure from school and household finances. The worst part is that the study showed that most parents were not aware of the severity of their children’s stress.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Six Ways to Make Your Own History During Women’s History Month | Clubhouse: Hottest New Social Platform or Just More Noise? | Who’s Offering Your Clients PPP Services? | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | Survey: Who’s Not Billing for PPP Services? | Add These Money-Making Rituals to Your Work Day | 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn
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Many adults reported not knowing what to do to change their lifestyle so they could reduce their stress, so it just makes sense to talk about this a little.
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Six Ways to Make Your Own History During Women’s History Month

Most of them are easier than you might think.

Add your voice to Comments: What’s working for women in the profession? And what needs more attention (especially this year when issues like this get pushed to the lowest priority)?

By Sandi Leyva

Did International Women’s Day come and go again in your firm without much fanfare? That’s OK because you have the entire month of March to not only celebrate Women’s History Month but also to make some history of your own.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Clubhouse: Hottest New Social Platform or Just More Noise? | Who’s Offering Your Clients PPP Services? | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | Survey: Who’s Not Billing for PPP Services? | Add These Money-Making Rituals to Your Work Day | 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn | 5 ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Ways to Raise Your Revenues Right Now | How to Lead in a Crisis
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Here are several ideas you can implement immediately that will each take one small step toward advancing women.
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Clubhouse: Hottest New Social Platform or Just More Noise?

Clubhouse screen shots showing interests users can follow and explore.

Who it’s for and tips for use.

By Sandi Leyva

Have you ever said to yourself, “I’d love to be a fly on the wall in *that* room?”

Or, “I’d love to be in the same room with so-and-so celebrity?”

So far, in the last few weeks, I’ve been in the same room with Andrew Sorkin and Bill Gates discussing Bill’s new book on climate change, 10 billionaires holding their own mastermind group, Katie Couric, Guy Kawasaki, Tory Burch, and a gazillion VCs who seem to be in every room all day long. And I never left my recliner.

How? Clubhouse. The newest, hottest social app.

MORE ON SMALL-FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Who’s Offering Your Clients PPP Services? | PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | Survey: Who’s Not Billing for PPP Services? | Add These Money-Making Rituals to Your Work Day
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In a nutshell, Clubhouse is an audio-only platform where you can start a room based on a topic and others can join the room and conversation. You can bring people up to the “stage” who have raised their hands. The platform supports multiple languages, and at any one time, you can see rooms in Russian, Spanish, Mandarin, German, and several I don’t recognize. I’ve been in a room with a person from Mongolia. Who can say they’ve met someone from Mongolia?
READ MORE →

Who’s Offering Your Clients PPP Services?

https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1671049&cl=23704&c=cart&ejc=2&aff=29672084% of your colleagues are.

By Sandi Leyva

Clients have inundated accountants all year with questions and issues about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and no end is in sight.

MORE: PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much? | Survey: Who’s Not Billing for PPP Services?
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Earlier this year, it was all about loan acquisition. Now, borrowers are gearing up for loan forgiveness and asking their CPAs for assistance.
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PPP Client Fraud: How Much Risk Is Too Much?

bar chartWhere do you fall on the risk-tolerance scale?

PPP: Are the Risks Worth It?
Practice Management Do’s and Don’ts
Join the Survey. Get the Results.

By Sandi Leyva

How aggressive should you be when advising clients on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness?

MORE: Survey: Who’s Not Billing for PPP Services? | PPP Traps: 1 in 5 Accountants Report Shady DealingsAdd These Money-Making Rituals to Your Work Day | 3 Ways to Opt Out of Any Downturn

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While any risk stance should always be the decision of the clients, we asked this question in a recent joint Accountant’s Accelerator / CPA Trendlines PPP Survey: On average, across all of your clients, how aggressive of a stance are you taking with PPP forgiveness?

We asked 600+ survey respondents to choose a number between zero and 100 where zero is conservative or extremely risk-avoidant and 100 is aggressive or extremely risk-tolerant. The mean was 42, or slightly more conservative than aggressive.
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Survey: Who’s Not Billing for PPP Services?

Some serving the greater good. Others are just confused.

By Sandi Leyva

Some 22 percent of respondents are not charging their clients for PPP services, and the overwhelming majority are doing it to increase client retention, build goodwill, and do their part to help their clients and the economy, according to the new survey sent out by CPA Trendlines and Accountant’s Accelerator

MORE: PPP Traps: 1 in 5 Accountants Report Shady Dealings | Replay: How to Dazzle Clients in the COVID Age | Don’t Get Burned by These PPP Pitfalls | Three Ways to Leverage Today’s Uncertainties for Renewed Growth | COVID is Calling

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With over 600 accountants responding, many give away services such as loan acquisition, loan forgiveness, review of Form 3508, tracing assistance, and risk management advice.
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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.

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.

READ MORE →