Effective Communications in the Age of COVID

Misunderstandings and shortcuts in the workplace can create a hostile and stressful environment.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

With more people using mobile devices for communication shortcuts, are we facing troublesome challenges in speaking in a recognizable language in the U.S.?

MORE: Why Proper Communication Is Critical | Syncing Up for the COVID Era | The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared? | How to Create Effective Internal Communications | Profit Is Not a Mission | Confronting Leadership: Not Such a Bad Thing | New Opportunities for a ‘New Normal’ | Is Trust Elusive?
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While it may be convenient for some, for others it leaves them scratching their heads. I am not seeking to be a public scold. However, if you want your communication to be effective, then understand your audience, situation, and topic.

This is especially relevant with teams working virtually, and at a distance, in the Age of COVID.

3 Rules for Asking Great Tax-Return Questions

Preserve your sanity, amaze your clients.Question marks

By Frank Stitely

Asking clients great questions is central to Ruthlessly Efficient Workflow Management (R.E.W.).

More: There Are No Easy Answers  |  The 3 Biggest Tech Failures of Accounting Firms  |  Debunking the Demise of the CPA Firm  | How to Thrive as a 21st-Century Firm   |  7 Steps to Effective Project Management  | How Many Tax Preparers Do You Need?   |  WIP-ing Clients Into Shape

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Great client questions can save hundreds of hours of time during tax season and prevent projects from falling behind schedule. Here’s an example of questions done badly.


Banish the Idea that Selling Is Difficult

Two businessmen shaking handsDon’t take rejection personally.

By Martin Bissett
Business Development on a Budget

If winning new clients is simply a matter of being yourself, why is selling so difficult for accountants? Well, it’s a combination of several factors, but there are two main reasons.

MORE ON BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: How to Win Your First Client | 5 Ways to Make Selling Easier to Swallow | You’re Selling All the Time

First, accountants have not traditionally been required to sell. Maybe your practice has grown by referral – business has come to you and you haven’t had to do much to win that business. Unfortunately, however, business doesn’t always walk through the door; you don’t know how often it will, or what caliber it will be when it does.

25 Things Customers Love

The best strategies from the best companies.

By Arnold Sanow

Arnold Sanow

In today’s fast-changing and competitive environment, excellent customer service is not only nice but essential for success.

In fact, the only way to differentiate yourself and to become less of a commodity in the marketplace is through outstanding customer service.

After studying more than 500 companies and organizations – as diverse as Lexus/Toyota, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Lockheed Martin, Homeland Security, Forever Broadcasting, The Medical College of Georgia, Aspen Institute, Marin County Realtors Association, and Choice Hotels – a few strategies emerge again and again.

Here are 25 of the best practices used by some of the world’s best companies to get new customers, keep them, and turn them in enthusiastic fans and referral sources: READ MORE →

Check Yourself: How to Reality-Test Client Satisfaction Levels

Arnold Sanow

To keep both your staffers and clients happy, tax and accounting firms need to gain a thorough understanding of their perceptions and perspectives — and to make they align.

Customer service guru Arnold Sanow suggests 15 questions to ask yourself, your staff, and, above all, your customers. serviceThe biggest opportunities will surface when you compare and contrast their responses.

Be prepared for an eye-opening, sometimes gut-wrenching, exercise in hard truth: READ MORE →

Enhancing Client Financial Health through Collaborative Services

Clients benefit when CPAs and investment advisors work together.

By Martin E. Levine, ChFC, CPA, MBA
4Thought Financial Group, Inc.        

Martin Levine 4Thought

Even if the client isn’t always right, helping clients understand and make the best financial decisions is always the right course of action. 

CPAs understand the implications of financial decisions and strive to advise clients in ways that improve their financial well-being.  However, clients frequently have multiple – sometimes conflicting – financial goals, and use other financial professionals, including financial advisors, attorneys and business consultants, to achieve them.  READ MORE →