By now, you’ve heard the term “outsource” hundreds of times. We all know that outsource strategies could play a significant role in giving you the time and ability to bring more value to your clients, a true component of a “firm of the future.” But at the end of the day you’re left with one question, “How the heck do I start?!” The scariest idea when it comes to outsourcing is change. It’s tough to change and it doesn’t happen overnight, so take it one step at a time. It’s not as scary as it seems…
Do you ever wonder what tax season would be like without billable hours? What if there was no minimum number of hours you had to work? It seems like a fairytale that couldn’t possibly come true.
Here’s a little secret, it’s not a fairytale. Accounting firms all over the world are doing it, and you can too.
Recently we shared some time management strategies to implement during busy season, and it should be noted that having good time management skills can be a great way to help curtail your stress when the workload picks up, but we thought it was important to have some other stress coping mechanisms under your belt for tax season. Often people get so bogged down in the job at this time of year, that they forget to pay attention to their own needs, so we thought a reminder was in order of just a few small ways you can help manage your stress in order to survive this busy season.
The good ol’ CPA newsletter…Love it or Hate it? Either way, here’s some thoughts on increasing it’s ROI. Let’s start with some interesting stats from Sidekick on email open rates based on the subject line:
Stat #1: There is an 18.7% decrease in open rates when the word “newsletter” is used in subject lines.
Stat #2: Using “Daily” or ‘Weekly” in subject lines boosts open rates whereas “Monthly” hurts them.
As things are starting to get busier around the office, many CPAs find themselves struggling with their own time management. As we get deeper into busy season, things inevitably get more stressful, so how do you keep yourself productive and maintain your sanity through it all? We’ve put together some tips and strategies to help you keep your edge during the stress of the season and stay on track with your clients.
Last week I was reading an article published by the New York Times interviewing Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) on Holocracy, a radical self-management theory where traditional corporate hierarchy gets thrown out the window. The idea seems far-fetched for most traditional business models, but leave it to Zappos to lead the charge. Can you imagine a CPA firm without titles such as senior, manager, or partner? While I was interested in the topic of the article, what I actually got stuck on was the following quote from Hsieh:
Yesterday Jody Padar shared a great post on LinkedIn titled "Stop Playing the Time Game" (originally published in Accounting Today, Oct. 1, 2013). The article focused on the pros of ditching the billable hour and focusing on pricing your services based on the actual value you are providing, instead of the time it takes you to complete the project.
I took the liberty of using the comment box to voice my frustrations about what comes to mind when I hear the phrase “The Time Game”.
Four Companies Selected by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and CPA.com
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Four entrepreneurial companies have been chosen as the initial class of a startup accelerator sponsored by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) and CPA.com.
The startup accelerator was launched this past June to help jumpstart innovation in the accounting profession and provide insight into disruptive technologies and automation trends for CPAs and Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMAs). The finalists get a modest amount of seed money and gain access to senior leaders of the Association and CPA.com, as well as to an advisory panel of leading practitioners and thought leaders who collectively will provide expertise about global trends and marketplace needs within the accounting profession.
“We were impressed with both the quality and breadth of applicants for the accelerator,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com, the technology subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs. “The Association and CPA.com are committed to keeping the accounting profession in the forefront of technology, and we look forward to working closely with these promising startups over the next year.”
The four finalists are:
- TrueUp – The Los Angeles startup uses gamification to help companies assess the technical skills of job candidates and improve those of current employees
- RegroupTAX – A La Mesa, Calif., firm that built a cloud-based program and app that creates a trial balance and workpapers for business tax preparation
- Pluma – A San Francisco company that offers a professional development platform pairing working professionals with experienced executive coaches through in-app messaging and video sessions, accessible by computer or mobile device
- North Capital – A Salt Lake City marketplace solutions and advisory firm whose technology platform allows broker-dealers, funding platforms, and issuers to conduct online private securities offerings
Each finalist will be given the opportunity to present information about their company next summer at AICPA ENGAGE, one of the leading events devoted to public accounting in the United States.
“At the start of this process, we identified two key areas of focus for applicants: 1) technology and financial information and 2) professional competency innovation,” said Lawson Carmichael, the Association’s executive vice president for strategy, people and innovation. “Our finalists nicely balance those priorities.”
The finalists were announced at the Digital CPA Conference, one of the leading U.S. events on technology adoption and practice management improvement for CPA firms.
CPA.com offers a growing list of products and services for practice management, client advisory services and professional development. The company has established itself as a thought leader on cloud technology and has been a driving force around the reemergence of virtual CFO/controller services by firms. In addition, CPA.com – in partnership with Confirmation.com – has developed the RIVIO Clearinghouse, an online financial document clearinghouse that enables private businesses to exchange key financial information with lenders and investors. The company is a subsidiary of the American Institute of CPAs, the world’s largest member body representing the CPA profession.
About the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) is the most influential body of professional accountants, combining the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to power opportunity, trust and prosperity for people, businesses and economies worldwide. It represents 650,000 members and students in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMAs and accounting and finance professionals globally.
REGROUPTAX LAUNCHES TAX WORKPAPER APP
RegroupTAX’s workpaper app streamlines the process of tax preparation for accounting firms
San Diego, CA; September 27, 2016: RegroupTAX announced the release of a trial balance/workpaper app designed to assist tax preparers in the preparation and review of business tax returns (1065, 1120S, 1120). The app is designed to be accounting and tax software neutral, providing a paperless workpaper file that is consistent from return to return. The app provides tax professionals a way to group book accounts, post book and tax adjusting entries, and review tax-basis reports that follow the exact order of the tax return.
“I love reviewing RegroupTAX’s reports. It takes me half the time to review the return because all of the book accounts are grouped in the order of the tax return” – Andi Keesling, CPA – Tax Manager at Gatto, Pope & Walwick, LLP
“RegroupTAX helps me to save time on my business returns by summarizing lengthy financials. The workpapers are easy to review and tie directly to the tax return, which allows me to focus on high-level tax issues.” – Melody Thornton, CPA – Owner at MSThornton CPA
The purpose of RegroupTAX’s workpaper app is to provide a cost-effective solution for tax professionals that don’t require the robust features of engagement software.
- Group book accounts based on the tax return: Eliminate manual summations in pdf or excel files
- Post book and tax journal entries: Customize the Journal Entry report within the app to send to the bookkeeper/business owner
- Review paperless tax-basis reports: Reorganize any format of book financials to follow the exact order of the tax return
- Eliminate data entry (accounting + tax software neutral): The app provides an import feature from various accounting software and an export feature to create trial balances ready for import into various tax software
- Cost-effective solution focused on tax: Utilize a workpaper solution built with the tax preparer in mind, without costly investment
RegroupTAX is a SaaS-based company focused on streamlining the tax preparation process by providing an innovative and cost-effective trial balance/workpaper solution. The company strives to create an ecosystem where bookkeepers, tax preparers and business owners can easily work together. RegroupTAX began servicing accounting firms in San Diego, but now proudly services firms nationwide. Learn more at www.regrouptax.com.
It’s been 3.5 years since we took the leap and became entrepreneurs. Has it been everything I imagined it would be? Yes and no, and so much more. It’s been amazing to build something from the ground up with two awesome business partners, but we have big dreams and we’re still climbing…sometimes a bit slower than we would like. But no matter what happens in a day’s time, at the end of it, when I close my eyes at night, I am so very thankful to be on this journey and for the people that I’m sharing it with.