How to Add Visuals to a Message in MS Teams

Punch up your communications.

By John Higgins
CPA Crossings

In this segment we’re going to review how to add a visual to a chat/post message. In this day and age of visual messaging, emoticons, giphys and so forth, they’ve added that capability to the Teams app, so let’s take a look at how it’s actually designed to work.


The No. 1 Reason Accountants Fail To Build Advisory Practices

Shift your mindset for COVID-era client services. Stop thinking about selling and start thinking about helping.

By Ty Hendrickson

What is the number one reason that accountants get stuck providing transactional services?


Now, I’m not one of those gurus that preaches mindset and how if you want something in your life, all you have to do is visualize it. That’s not the mindset I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the mentality that accountants “feel bad” for charging someone for their expertise and advice.

MORE: The REAL Problems Created in a Remote Workforce |  Can You Really Grow Without Adding Clients? | 4 Reasons to Welcome Rejection |

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While this is not a new problem, it has bubbled to the surface amidst the Covid-19 crisis. In the vast majority of my conversations with firm owners recently, I hear the same line over and over again, “I’ve spent so much time talking to my clients about loans and explaining their options that I’ve hardly gotten any tax work completed. Now, I have to charge them $1,000 for those conversations, and I just don’t feel like I can do that because I know the financial situation they are in right now. I feel bad.”



The Forecast: Partly Gloomy, Chance of Doom

Almost three in four accountants now foresee a deeper downturn for the U.S. economy.

It gets worse: Almost 25 percent of accountants forecast a “much worse” outlook for the nation’s economy over the next 12 to 18 months. And another 48 percent predict “somewhat worse.” (CPA Trendlines Research)

How accountants are battling the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By CPA Trendlines Research

New CPA Trendlines 2020 Busy Season Barometer results bear bad tidings for CPA firms, their clients, and their families. The forecast is not good. Accountants know numbers, and the numbers they are seeing do not bode well.

MORE BUSY SEASON 2020: Busy Season Benchmarks in Free FallFIinal RS eFiling Stats: The End of Tax Season? | Say Hello to the New 24-Month Busy Season | 9 Big Ways the IRS Could Help Accountants | The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | Tax Pro E-Filings Down 20 Percent | IRS Web Traffic Doubles over Year-Ago | COVID Drowns IRS in New Filings |   Percent | IRS Web Traffic Doubles over Year-Ago | COVID Drowns IRS in New Filings | 2020 Tax Season Comes to a Screeching Halt | The Tax Season 2020 Dumpster Fire | Tax Pros Fall Behind 6.2% in Returns Filed
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As the U.S. braces for a summer surge in coronavirus infections, the economy is crashing – with GDP down at an annual rate of 33 percent last quarter, and a 10 percent drop from the first quarter – the worst declines in more than 70 years of record-keeping. And new jobless claims in the latest week rose by 867,000 to 17 million.


Build Your Advisory Services Business [Last Call]

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CPA Trendlines Special Offer: 20% off for Sales Seed’s New Prospects and Lead Nurture Bootcamp.
Tax and accounting firms seeking to develop their advisory services can take advantage of a new program offered by The Sales Seed and led by CPA Trendlines expert contributor Ty Hendrickson. Registration closes Sunday, Aug. 2, so you’ll need to hurry. CPA Trendlines readers are getting a special discount of $100.

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Down by 400,000 Returns – The End of Tax Prep?

Red Alert: Tax professional e-filings drop by 0.5% year-to-year, first year-to-year decline ever.

Final IRS stats for Busy Season 2020 shows professionals filed 0.5% fewer returns than last year and lost market share to DIY’ers.

How accountants are battling the Coronavirus recession
Join the survey. Get the answers.

By Beth Bellor
CPA Trendlines Research

In what may be an alarming turning point for the profession, tax practitioners finished an already chaotic and bruising Tax Season 2020 after preparing a total of 73.8 million e-filed returns – a decline of 400,00, or 0.5 percent, from Tax Season 2019 – the first such reversal on record. Ever.

Jon Baron

MORE on TAX SEASON 2020: Say Hello to the New 24-Month Busy Season | When COVID ‘Got Real’ | Tax Pros Hold eFiling Market Share as Tax Seasons Winds Down | The Top Six IRS #FAILS this Tax Season (So Far) | How COVID Has Pulverized IRS Operations | The Mystery of 10 Million Missing Tax Returns | COVID Cuts Accounting Profits | Why Busy Season May Never Be the Same Again | COVID Tests Accountants’ Entrepreneurial Talents | Pro Tax Prep Stalls to a Crawl amid Covid-Extended Season | Clients, Revenues, Profits – Trending Down, Down, Down |

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“If you are in public accounting and relying on personal return revenue, the results this year are troubling as it is the first time that professionally prepared returns actually fell from the prior year,” says Jon Baron, the longtime CEO of Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting, and now a venture capitalist with more than a couple startups in stealth mode.


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.