Today's Features

When Cyber-Crime Hits Close to Home

Financial services are a prime target.

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With Steven Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals: Thriving in Disruption

With cyber-crime growing by leaps and bounds, accountants are caught in the cross-hairs, cyber-security professional Jill Cagliostro tells Steven Sacks for CPA Trendlines.

MORE: Effective Networking is an Art | Business Development Activities Shouldn’t Be a Chore | CPA’s Best Role: Leveraging Knowledge, Not Just Process | Avoid Last-Minute Deal Making | Five Common Negotiating Mistakes | The Myths of Performance Management | Business Is About Relationships | Reaching for Authenticity in Client Service |

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Cagliostro, senior product manager with Splunk, a data management and security company, says “cybercriminals are getting more advanced. They’re finding new avenues and new ways to get in every single day.”

“And beyond that,” she says, “they’re also communicating with each other. So they’re able to share these new tactics and techniques amongst each other to become more proficient together.”

Key Takeaways


7 Signs Your Accounting Firm Agreement Falls Short

Will it work and does it make sense?

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Earlier I discussed that engaging in what is considered conflict avoidance can undo the progress a firm has made. This can be because of complacency, frustration, intimidation or a host of other issues.

MORE: Effective Networking is an Art | Avoid Last-Minute Deal Making | Business Is About Relationships | Can a CPA Firm Be Different in a Changing Market? | A Rapidly Changing Business Environment Requires Flexibility | Another Meeting?!?! … Sigh | Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up | How Can Change Management Really Produce Change? | Trust: One Building Block of Success
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Some things are intuitively understood, but it’s those occasional sticky matters that tend to make situations unravel. Establishing and keeping agreements helps to avoid confrontation; the one typically arising from someone promising to do something in a timely and complete manner and within a specified budget. Even if the firm’s board casually agreed on a matter, something can go awry and threaten the direction of the firm.

How to Decide on Your Firm’s CAS Pricing

Businessman and tablet with the word "pricing" above.Make sure your midlevel offering is as profitable as possible.

By Hitendra Patil
The Definitive Success Guide to Client Accounting Services

When your prospects shop for client accounting services, what they find out about pricing methods and trends defines their expectations. If you follow very different approaches to price your CAS offering, it will take significant effort on your part to educate the prospects (and existing clients) about why you are pricing CAS the way you are.

MORE: CAS Pricing and The Accounting Profession | How CAS Communications Are Different | Your Firm’s Processes Can Set You Apart | Technology and Your CAS Clients | Top Five CAS Killers and How to Overcome Them | 21 Ways to Adjust Your Practice in 2021
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As they say, it’s easier to ride the horse in the direction it’s going. It is good to first conform to the perceptions of prospects when it comes to your CAS pricing. Once you ride the horse, you can direct it to the destination you want to take it to. Once you conform to the pricing method (not the dollar value) expectations of the prospect, their anxiety and perception of risk (what value will they receive in the price they are willing to pay) reduce. After that, they are more open to evaluating the choices you present to them.

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.

Tax Pros Hold Their Ground

In shorter season, professional e-filings are down only 5.6%.

By Beth Bellor

Year-to-year tax filing statistics stabilized ever so slightly this week, as average refunds slipped out of the red and IRS visits backed off a bit in pace.

MORE: Pros Tackle 49% of E-filed Returns | Survey: Tax Season Swings into the Red | Another Tax Season from Hell? | Pros Process 44% of Tax E-filings | Tax Professionals Report Tough Slogging | Busy Season 2021 Gets Off to Weak Start
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The Internal Revenue Service had received 93.2 million individual income tax returns as of April 2, down 4.3 percent from the same period in 2020. In releasing the latest available data, the agency noted that the filing season began 18 days later this year, skewing comparisons.

Avalara CRUSH 2021: The New Rules for Tax Tech


CEO McFarlane: “Navigate the new rules that are defining global commerce as we know it.”

Avalara, a leading provider of tax compliance automation for businesses of all sizes, today announced details of its keynotes and featured speakers for Avalara CRUSH Virtual, its fifth annual tax conference, and industry gathering.

“This year, Avalara CRUSH is designed to help attendees navigate the new rules that are defining global commerce as we know it,” said Scott McFarlane, co-founder, and CEO of Avalara. “We’ve assembled thought leaders and experts on the forefront of tax compliance to share their insights, views, and strategies for success. I’m confident that attendees will walk away with the knowledge and insights needed to tackle tax compliance and help ensure tax never stands in the way of opportunity.”


173% Increase in IRS Correspondence Backlog

Who knew?

By CPA Trendlines

We all know how the IRS works. They send a letter to a possibly delinquent taxpayer who, in quivering fear, returns a response that is slipped through the mail slot in the IRS door, where it falls into a shredder that feeds into a massive onsite incinerator. The letter’s ashen remains are then loaded onto a rocket and shot toward Alpha Centauri, never to be seen again.

MORE: Hunker Down: The IRS Backlog Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon | The IRS Studebaker Bomb | Imagine IRS ‘Concierge’ Service. Just Imagine. | IRS Has Recruiting Problems, Too
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Actually, that’s not entirely true. In 2019, IRS Compliance Services Collection Operations managed to respond to 25 percent of its “inventory” of Taxpayer Delinquent Account correspondence. The other 75 percent was considered “over-aged” after not being dealt with within 45 days of receipt.

The 9 Biggest Merger Pitfalls

Number 9 created by gaps between many small green plastic 9'sPlus 10 common criteria. How do they compare to your list?

By Marc Rosenberg
The Rosenberg Practice Management Library

In all industries, it’s always more difficult to find sellers than buyers. This is certainly true with accounting firms.

MORE: The Managing Partner’s Role in Mergers | How a Great Managing Partner Impacts Firm Growth | Compensation Is No Way to Manage Partners | Clarify Partner Expectations | Exceptional Managing Partners Offer Their Advice
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CPA firm merger consultants and brokers can do a great job finding buyers, but they are limited in their ability to dig up sellers. This is because the vast majority of all mergers and sales take place when buyers and sellers know each other and get together on their own without the help of a consultant.