Why Your Firm’s Core Values Matter

Two partners celebrating business success outsideYou have to know your culture to know whether potential hires will fit.

By Jody Grunden
Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud

A company’s core values are the cornerstone of its culture, and people are the biggest asset a company can have.

MORE: When Value Billing Eliminates Guesswork | Make Tech Your Ally in Protecting Clients | Not All Employees Want the Same Perks | What Running a Virtual CPA Firm Really Costs | Give Your Leadership Team Time to Lead | Hate Billing? Use a Different Method
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Defining your core values and hiring the right people is essential for the success of your business.
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When Value Billing Eliminates Guesswork

Businessmen standing on dollar billPlus three other ways to bill clients.

By Jody Grunden
Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud

When I attend CPA conferences across the United States, I often hear from CPAs: “I don’t want to bill for my time.”

So, how do you bill your clients?

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Client billing can include hourly billing, but it can also include flat-fee, retainer-based and/or value-based billing. Most people use one of these four methods. Some use all of them or even a hybrid.

Let’s take a closer look at each of them:
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Make Tech Your Ally in Protecting Clients

Technology Security with Internet Digital Signature as ArtThree ways to keep files safe from security threats.

By Jody Grunden
Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud

Have you ever been contacted by the IRS with the FBI involved? I can tell you from firsthand experience that it’s a bit alarming when that happens.

MORE: Be More Efficient with Tech Stacks | Put Bots to Work for You | Not All Employees Want the Same Perks | Not All Employees Will Work Out | Uncover Potential in 10 Interview Questions | What Running a Virtual CPA Firm Really Costs
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We were once contacted by the IRS because they thought our server had been compromised. When the field officer who came to our office asked to see our server, we explained that we didn’t have a server. She was a little surprised by that information and then asked where we kept our files. We explained that we use cloud storage and programs designed specifically for encryption and security.
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Be More Efficient with Tech Stacks

Screwdriver and wrenchStandardizing also makes you better connected.

By Jody Grunden
Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud

I believe it’s important for accounting firms to standardize their technology “stack.” Having a standardized tech stack of applications helps to automate every corner of your workflow.

MORE: Put Bots to Work for You | Not All Employees Want the Same Perks | What Running a Virtual CPA Firm Really Costs | Give Your Leadership Team Time to Lead | Hate Billing? Use a Different Method | Use Bots to Your Advantage
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The applications you use should be seen as an extension of your business. Your onboarding process will be more effective if your team doesn’t have to learn a new set of tools every time a new client comes on board.
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Put Bots to Work for You

How one firm does it.

By Jody Grunden
Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud

There’s no doubt that advancements in technology are changing the world, and the accounting industry is no exception. Technology is making us more productive, more efficient and more connected.

MORE: Not All Employees Want the Same Perks | Not All Employees Will Work Out | Learning to Love Video Calls | Be More Effective Remotely with DiSC | Protect Client Files from Cyberthreats | Get Ready to Launch Virtual CFO Services | Riches in Niches
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On the flip side, it’s also taking over some of our jobs. This is a reality in the accounting industry that we cannot ignore. Technology is driving major changes for the future of the accounting world. We need to be aware of what’s happening and take strategic steps to advance along with these changes. Otherwise, we are going to be left in the dust.
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Not All Employees Want the Same Perks

Dog sleeping in home office as woman works at computer in backgroundEducation and tech stipends? Why not?

By Jody Grunden

In addition to the more traditional benefits, we also offer a few creative perks that I think our employees really appreciate, including an education stipend and a technology stipend.

MORE: Not All Employees Will Work Out | Uncover Potential in 10 Interview Questions | Try an Accountability Chart Instead | Do You Have the Right People?
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Education Stipend

We believe that continuing education keeps our team members sharp and ahead of the game. One of our core values is “curiosity” because we want our employees to always be thinking about how we can improve our services, become more efficient and do things better. We want people to think outside the box because we’re not a typical accounting firm, nor do we ever want to be one.
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Not All Employees Will Work Out

Illustration of different types of people connected… and that’s OK.

By Jody Grunden
Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud

There’s a common misnomer when it comes to retention and keeping people on the team. Retention doesn’t mean keeping every single person on your team forever.

MORE: Uncover Potential in 10 Interview Questions | What Running a Virtual CPA Firm Really Costs | Give Your Leadership Team Time to Lead | Hate Billing? Use a Different Method | Use Bots to Your Advantage | How to Attract Clients Like a Magnet
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Not only do you want to get the right people on the bus, but you also want to get those people into the right seats. We want Summit CPA to be a great place to work, and we want great people to be working here. However, we realize it may not be the right place for every person.
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Uncover Potential in 10 Interview Questions

Make remote hiring easier.

By Jody Grunden
Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud

Before our firm became a distributed company with a remote workforce, our hiring was naturally limited to a small geographical location – Fort Wayne, Indiana.

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When we really started to grow, we knew we needed to bring in more senior-level accountants to be able to handle the clients we were bringing in at such a rapid pace.

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What Running a Virtual CPA Firm Really Costs

Happy business professionals giving high five hand slapRemote workers still need to get together if possible.

By Jody Grunden
Building the Virtual CFO Firm in the Cloud

With a brick-and-mortar company, there are a number of standard costs that you would expect to have, such as rent or mortgage, utilities, building repairs, furniture, technology, etc. The total amount of these kinds of costs typically falls in the range of 3-4 percent of the company’s annualized revenue. That amount can be pretty significant for a lot of companies.

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Some business owners may think they can save the company all of that money by going remote, but I personally believe that’s a terrible idea. While it’s true that a distributed company doesn’t have the costs that come with having a physical space, the very nature of a remote work environment results in a completely different and unique set of needs that should be considered in the company’s annual budget.
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