‘Uberizing’ Means More Than Technology

Portrait of man in his car looking at cameraGo beyond what your clients might expect.

By Hitendra Patil

When did you last buy new software for accounting, tax preparation, practice management, sales tax calculation or payroll processing?

MORE ON ENTREPRENEURIAL STRATEGY: You Don’t Think Technology Helps Get New Clients? | Do You Want a Practice … or a Business? | The 5 Most Common Marketing Blunders Accountants Make | LinkedIn Adds Messaging. Finally! | What CPA Firms Could Learn from Google’s Alphabet | What if Accounting Firms were ‘Apps?’ | Top 10 Entrepreneurial Traits of Successful Accountants

Think for a moment: How did you arrive at the decision to buy the new software? What did you think before buying?
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You Don’t Think Technology Helps Get New Clients?

"Good vs. evil in technology" illustration using laptopsTurn “necessary evil” into “welcome angel.”

By Hitendra Patil

“New clients do not come to me because I have an accounting software and/or a tax software. They hire me because I am a CPA.” A small firm owner from Los Angeles recently expressed this, on the condition of anonymity.

Does that summarize how accountants view technology spending? The new Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey gives us a surprising insight into how PRIMARY technology purchasing decision-makers view technology spending.

MORE ON ENTREPRENEURIAL STRATEGY: Do You Want a Practice … or a Business? | Tax Season Management: Multi-Tasking Is a Myth | Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business | Top 10 Entrepreneurial Traits of Successful Accountants | Six Steps for a Better Tax Season | 8 Seconds into the Future: Meet Generation Z | Get More Done, Make More Money: Stop Doing These 17 Things

Key findings from this survey indicate:
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Do You Want a Practice … or a Business?

Hand putting coins into blue piggy bank7 decisions accountants may someday regret.

By Hitendra Patil

You might end up losing a million dollars or more. Surprised? Here are ways you could be frittering money away without even realizing it.

MORE ON ENTREPRENEURIAL STRATEGY: NEW SURVEY RESULTS: ‘Decisiveness’ Rated Top Trait for Success in Accounting Business | The 5 Most Common Marketing Blunders Accountants Make | 10 Things That Accountants Didn’t Worry About 10 Years Ago | What if Accounting Firms were ‘Apps?’ | Six Steps for a Better Tax Season

1. Doing Instead of Getting Things Done

Accounting is not a service industry. Hotels and package delivery are service professions. They thrive on efficiency, technology, standardization of processes and so on. READ MORE →

NEW SURVEY RESULTS: ‘Decisiveness’ Rated Top Trait for Success in Accounting Business

keys to success surveyFirst insights from “How to Succeed in the Accounting Business?” survey.

Join the survey; get more answers.

By Hitendra Patil

Although seven personality traits seem closely related to success as an entrepreneur in the tax and accounting business, the vast majority of accountants believe that one stands above all the rest in importance: Decisiveness.

Preliminary new findings from a CPA Trendlines survey of more than 300 accountants, more than 80 percent of them owners or CEOs of their firms, shows that the biggest success factors are not just knowledge, not just experience, not just problem-solving ability, and not just vision.

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Tax Season Management: Multi-Tasking Is a Myth

woman multitasking Dollarphotoclub_58357039

Here's how to apply neuroscience insights to tax season.  NEXT QUESTION: What are the best time-management tips and strategies for busy season? Join the survey. Get the answers.

By Hitendra Patil

It’s October 14th. You are preparing a complex tax return. The cell phone rings. You look at the phone. It’s your wife calling. You answer the call. While on the call, you look at the third screen of your computer. There is an email from your largest client, with subject line “Emergency; please help.” In walks your receptionist, frantically gesturing that there is an irritated client at the front desk.

MORE on THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ACCOUNTANT: 3 Apps to Automate Business Networking  | The 5 Most Common Marketing Blunders Accountants Make |  LinkedIn Adds Messaging. Finally!  |   Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business  |  How the “1099 Economy” Will Transform Accounting  |  What CPA Firms Could Learn from Google’s Alphabet  |  Summer Reading List: Five Great Books for the Five Lives of a Busy Accountant  |  Four Signs the Uberization of Accounting Has Already Begun  |  Management Guru Chester Elton on Success  |  Savvy CPAS Focus on the Constants  |  More

Yes. You may recognize the multiple demands on your time and your brain. But multi-tasking is just a myth. The science is in: No one performs as well multi-tasking as they do when focused on a single task at a time.

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3 Apps to Automate Business Networking

High quality 3D render of a robot hand touching a human hand, representing the relationship between human and artificial intelligence. Dramatic orange overcast sky.

New technologies harvest social media data, suggest how to write the perfect follow-up email, and schedule appointments.

By Hitendra Patil

Have you found yourself attending a networking meeting and spending most of the time with just one or two persons you already know? You are not alone! It’s challenging to get the communication started and going. It is an even more daunting task to make killer impressions and walk out with connections that will help you and your business.

MORE on THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ACCOUNTANT:  The 5 Most Common Marketing Blunders Accountants Make |  LinkedIn Adds Messaging. Finally!  |   Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business  |  How the “1099 Economy” Will Transform Accounting  |  What CPA Firms Could Learn from Google’s Alphabet  |  Summer Reading List: Five Great Books for the Five Lives of a Busy Accountant  |  Four Signs the Uberization of Accounting Has Already Begun  |  Management Guru Chester Elton on Success  |  Savvy CPAS Focus on the Constants  |  More

But that’s where new technology comes into the picture. You don’t have to the best-dressed person in the room, nor the smoothest talking or most knowledgeable. You just need to have the best APPetite! Let me explain, rather, reveal, some powerful information that can totally transform how you network. From thousands of apps and websites that I have personally tested, here are three that could make you a networking hero.

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The 5 Most Common Marketing Blunders Accountants Make

How many are you making?

By Hitendra Patil

Proactive marketing is as rare as a marketing plan or a marketing budget at many firms. Getting new clients is one of the top 5 challenges for firms of all sizes. Accountants seem to be not doing enough of the right things.

MORE on THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ACCOUNTANT:  LinkedIn Adds Messaging. Finally!  |   Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business  |  How the “1099 Economy” Will Transform Accounting  |  What CPA Firms Could Learn from Google’s Alphabet  |  Summer Reading List: Five Great Books for the Five Lives of a Busy Accountant  |  Four Signs the Uberization of Accounting Has Already Begun  |  Management Guru Chester Elton on Success  |  Savvy CPAS Focus on the Constants  |  More

1. Not Doing Enough to Get Found by Prospects

It is estimated there are about 660,000 CPAs in the U.S., 80% of which are believed to be in the corporate world. That leaves 132,000 CPAs in practice. And there about 53,000 LinkedIn profiles that include the word “CPA” in the profile headline. In other words, 1 out of 2 CPAs is either not on LinkedIn or don’t use the profile headline to reflect that they are CPAs.

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LinkedIn Adds Messaging. Finally!

Picture11New chat app accelerates business networking, client communications.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

LinkedIn, undoubtedly the “go-to” social media platform for prospects to check out CPAs, is rolling out a messaging feature to allow real-time chat conversations. And it's about time.

Until now, LinkedIn supported only email-like communication. But with messaging, you can actually have a conversation.

But now, with “messaging,” LinkedIn makes it possible for CPAs to have “conversations” with their connections. Everyone knows how “chats” and “text messages” help in short-form, need-based conversations build relationships. With LinkedIn as the real business-connections platform, messaging on LinkedIn will now help CPAs have conversations that build stronger relationships with their connections.

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Re-Learning the Lingo of the Accounting Business

PatilNew tech solutions require new thinking.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

It's tough enough to keep up with the new technical developments in taxes and accounting, but practitioners are also grappling with a whole new vocabulary in technology.

If you're not speaking the new lingo, you risk losing the millennials you work with and mystifying some of your clients and prospects.

For instance: In the distant past, you "bought" a “software license," “received” a CD and then “installed” the software on your “desktop.” But now, you go to the “cloud” to “activate” your “subscriptions” to the “software as a service."

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How the “1099 Economy” Will Transform Accounting

'Uberization' disrupts the CPA business model.

What's the success formula for an entrepreneurial accountant?
Join the survey. Get the answers

Hitendra Patil
Patil

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

In “Four Signs the Uberization of Accounting Has Already Begun,” we analyzed the opportunities and threats for CPA firms’ operations. After some more research into the “1099 economy” or the “contingent workforce,” the evidence all seems to point in one direction: Transformation in the business model of accounting firms. The US Dept. of Labor notes that employers are seeking new ways to make employment more flexible with contingent work arrangement, and the DoL recommends that the definition of employee and that of employer should be standardized and grounded in changed economic realities:

  • 53 million workers in the US are now “freelance workers.”
  • 2 million workers are “contingent workers” and this number is estimated to double by the year 2020.
  • More millennials freelance than any other age group.

These and many other findings indicate key impacts on how accounting firms will do business in future. Here are some of our thoughts:

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What CPA Firms Could Learn from Google’s Alphabet

Illustration of gears turning in brain13 lessons in strategy and innovation from Google's founders.

Next question: The Essential Traits for Success as an Entrepreneurial Accountant.
Join the survey; get the results.

By Hitendra Patil
Pransform Inc.

Google’s creation of a new spin-off called Alphabet, a new umbrella company that includes Google itself, should raise some thought-provoking questions for CPA firms.

MORE for PRO Members on THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ACCOUNTANT:  Summer Reading List: Five Great Books for the Five Lives of a Busy Accountant   |   Four Signs the Uberization of Accounting Has Already Begun  |   The One Word that Can Make Accountants Rich  |  Management Guru Chester Elton on Success  |  Savvy CPAS Focus on the Constants  |  10 Things That Accountants Didn’t Need to Worry about 10 Years Ago  |  Three Amazing CPAs Who Want to Do Tax Returns for Free  |  Can Accounting Firms Lead With Work-Life Vision?  |  Why Accountants Could Be the Happiest People on Earth  | More

Founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page remind everyone in the Alphabet announcement (at the iconic URL http://abc.xyz) what they said 11 years ago, “Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one.”

Let's start there. READ MORE →