Today's Features

Tom Achor: At the Intersection of Cannabis Accounting and Technology

Portrait of Tom Achor
Achor

Better information through automation is his goal.

By Liz Gold

Tom Achor, CPA, CITP, isn’t your typical CPA. While he still keeps up his license in Oregon, he spends his time consulting at the intersection of accounting and technology.

MORE ON CANNABIZ: Jessica Velazquez on Cannabis Accounting and Activism | PODCAST: Rich Wortmann Pioneers in Pennsylvania | PODCAST: Drew Dearlove Talks about the Cannabis Business | Five Secrets to Launching Your Own Cannabis Accounting Firm | Corporate to Cannabis: Laura Durham of Kind Accounting | Ben Condon on Launching a Cannabis CPA Firm: ‘The Opportunity Presented Itself’
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And while he doesn’t market his firm, Revolution Accounting and Advisory, as a cannabis-specific CPA firm per se, he does work with larger cannabis clients – helping them find and optimize the best technology for their needs.
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Embrace Difference and Diversity

Woman working on tablet in officeWhy didn't I speak up? Because I wanted to be a team player.

By Liz Gold

Difference comes in many forms. Race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age, ability, learning style, personality – these characteristics are just a few of the many that make us who we are, yet isn’t it amazing that many of us only bring a fraction of ourselves to work?

MORE ON RADICALISM: Goals, Goals, Goals | Accodex Sets Up a Platform for Practice Management | Product Management: Start with These 6 Steps | Product Management Meets Strategy | Transitioning to Radical: How Carl Famiglietti Did It | How to Develop Productized Services
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Diversity is a loaded word. August de los Reyes is the head of design and research at Pinterest. In a TechCrunch video, he talks about the connotative baggage that comes along with the term “diversity,” preferring to take the term in the literal sense.
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Paying for Life in 2040

$100 bills following through a wormhole lined with binary codeCash and credit cards may become extinct.

By Rick Richardson

Put your augmented reality goggles on and dial up 2040. Here’s one possible view of where the world will move in the next 22 years.

MORE TECH THIS WEEK: New Technology Purifies Water Using Sunlight | Your Next Bank Card Might Have a Fingerprint Scanner Built In | How Blockchain Is Changing Our World | Amazon Plans 6 More Cashierless Go Stores in 2018 | Microsoft CEO Sees Need for Education Revolution | FCC OKs First Wireless Distant Charger | Bitcoin Mining Uses More Electricity per Year Than Ireland
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You've just taken an autonomous electric taxi from the gym to work, picked up a coffee and – in the elevator to your office – watched a short advertisement on the heads-up display projected by your wearable digital assistant, clipped to your collar.
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How to Research Keywords

Group of figures stands on target symbol while other groups stand elsewhereThe pros' preferred method and a "cheater" way you may prefer.

By Becky Livingston
The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook

Without the right keywords on your site, searchers, clients and leads will have a hard time finding you.

MORE: What Goes Into a Buyer Persona? | 3 Big SEO Changes | How Long Does It Take to Rank? | What Is SEO and Why Is It Important?
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Without research, how are you certain you’re using the right keyword phrases to get on your target market’s radar?
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Microsoft Office 201x vs. Office 365

Businesswoman using a tabletProceed cautiously for productivity applications.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

To be effective in business today, every member of your firm must optimally utilize the Microsoft Office suite at an intermediate to advanced level for Outlook, Excel and Word.

MORE: Profession Transitions from Windows 7 to 10 | Offsite Backup Is Critical | How the Cloud Plays into Scheduled Server Replacement | Some Firms Dumping Desktop Computers | Scanners Capture Documents at the Source | Monitor Real Estate: More IS Better | Roman Kepczyk: Inside The Quantum of Paperless | Two Tech Trends to Watch
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The CPAFMA 2018 IT Survey found that 45 percent of responding firms had standardized on Office 2016 (including Office 365 users), 31 percent had standardized on Office 2013 and 23 percent on Office 2010. Firms have traditionally been behind the adoption curve because of the lag time of accounting vendors supporting the latest version, particularly for audit engagement binders.
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What Goes Into a Buyer Persona?

"Target market" illustration with arrow and bull's eyeSpending some time up front will save you both time and money.

By Becky Livingston
The Accountant’s Social Media Handbook

Before conducting any research, it’s important to know who your target market is.

MORE: 3 Big SEO Changes | How Long Does It Take to Rank? | What Is SEO and Why Is It Important?
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When I teach workshops and I ask attendees who their target market is, I often get in return, “Everyone!”

That’s impossible. If you have a product that applies to every person in the world, at any age, it must be pretty important … like breathing.
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The Giving Identity Crisis

Group of businesspeople hiding their faces behind question mark signs at officeEven the feelings about philanthropy shift by demographic.

By Randy Fox
Ez Charitable

While it may seem obvious when looking for planned gifts, who you’re talking to is really important. That is, the client’s age and their gender should help you craft your conversation for a number of reasons.

MORE: Life Change As Opportunity | Opportunity Under Your Nose | Opportunities in Collectibles | TRPIF Is One of the Best Kept Secrets in Planning | 1031 and Done: What CPAs Need to Know about the New 1031 Changes
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Women are different than men in their giving and younger people are different than older people in how they approach their giving. It is important to create a different message depending on who you’re talking to about giving. Much has been written about how millennials are reshaping giving and, as advisors, we should be paying close attention to our approach to different populations.
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The Great Debate, Part 2: The Case for Value-Pricing

18  Reasons to Trash the Timesheet. Next, read The Case for Timesheets.

Value-Pricing or Hourly-Billing: Which works better and why?
Sound Off: Join the survey, get the answers.

By Ed Mendlowitz

If you've read the "The Case for Timesheets," you might think I couldn't live without timesheets.  But I know many firms use their timesheets differently than I do.

But first:  The business model of not using timesheets recognizes there is a new way accounting services are being delivered to clients and so we need a new way of managing the accounting firm.  This new model is explained and charted excellently in a logically understandable book that I highly recommend which is From Success to Significance: The Radical CPA Guide by Jody Padar.

Based on the partners and firms I know, most use timesheets only for billing and determining staff “bonuses,” which are substantially based on “excess” hours, rather than exceptional performance and client service.

Working long hours on a client does not equate to effective value transference.  Because of this, I believe these partners are short-sighted and actually do not understand how to fully run their business.  I have used timesheet information as a valuable tool to great success.

However, today I want to trash the timesheet and present my reasons for value-pricing.

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The Great Debate, Part 1: The Case for Timesheets

The Essential Management Tool. Next, read The Case for Value-Pricing.

Value-Pricing or Hourly-Billing: Which works better and why?
Sound Off: Join the survey, get the answers.

 

By Ed Mendlowitz

There is a strong growing movement to do away with timesheets in favor of value pricing.  Needless to say, I have been following both methods – long before Ron Baker and his adherents formalized the no timesheet protocol.  Because of my experience and along with discussions I have had and continue to have with hundreds of accountants a year I have heard many arguments on both sides of the issue.  The ones in favor of no timesheets are more passionate but that doesn’t lessen the opinions of those that don’t agree with this.  I will be referring to Ron Baker a lot so I want to mention one of his books that should be read by everyone interested in this debate: Implementing Value Pricing.  Regardless of how you feel, it would be irresponsible for a firm leader to be unfamiliar with what he suggests.

I have opinions on both sides of these issues, and at various times express them depending on the circumstances.  That prompted these two columns: "The Case for Timesheets" and "The Case for Value-Pricing."

Here I will present the case, the way I see it, for timesheets. In "The Case for Value-Pricing," I argue for discarding timesheets and using the value-pricing model, or some form of fixed prices, exclusively.  I hope you enjoy them and this format. We welcome your comments.

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