« December 2012 | Main | February 2013 »

13 posts from January 2013

Social Media Time-Savers for Busy Season

Time-to-save-time

The work is piling up and you may be thinking, “There is NO time for this social media stuff, right?!” Wrong. There are a few simple ways to streamline the process and keep your social accounts active when busy season really gets ramped up.

Copycat: Let social do the work for you

Sure, it can take some time to scour the internet for useful information, articles and links to share with your social networks. How about letting your social networks do the heavy lifting for you? Follow and connect with your favorite thought leaders, associations and publications, and then share what they are sharing. This allows you to be a curator, passing along interesting and valuable information from the sources you trust. Check out these AICPA social properties and see if any of the content would be useful or interesting for your network.

 

Continue reading "Social Media Time-Savers for Busy Season" »

New Reporting Framework Will Eliminate “Noise” for Bankers, Other Financial Statement Users

No-noiseIn my almost 20 years in the banking industry, I’ve come across dozens of owners and managers of small private companies who cringe when it comes time to prepare financial statements. That’s because for many of them, the process is complicated, time consuming and costly. Moreover, a number of rules they are required to follow do not deliver financial information relevant to their businesses. These small- and medium-sized entities have been in need of a financial reporting option that is tailored to their circumstances and produces financial statements and information that their bankers can use and rely upon. Now, finally, that financial reporting framework is being made a reality.

One of my most rewarding professional experiences has been serving on the task force that is developing the new Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-Sized Entities. What’s a SME? No standard definition exists, but the acronym is self explanatory – small and medium size entities, which happen to make up about 20 million for-profit companies in the United States.

Continue reading "New Reporting Framework Will Eliminate “Noise” for Bankers, Other Financial Statement Users" »

AICPA Scholarships Provide More than $350,000 to Top Accounting Students

The fine folks at U.S. News and World Report have recently released their Top 100 Jobs for 2013 report and ‘accountant’ came in as the third best business job and number 36 of all jobs.

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but with the profession’s modest 4.2% unemployment rate, and a median salary of more than $62,000, there is a lot to like about a career in accounting.

Rebecca Mahler, manager of career research at the AICPA, stressed to U.S. News and World Report how important it is for aspiring accountants to become certified. "It's really the gold star on the resume," she said. "It's an invaluable credential, and you get a 10 to 15 percent higher salary."

Continue reading "AICPA Scholarships Provide More than $350,000 to Top Accounting Students" »

CPAs Say Reducing Nation’s Deficits Is Job No. 1

Money-bandaidWhen a CPA alerts an individual or an organization to a problem, it’s usually wise to heed the financial advice. CPAs figure out the meaning of numbers every day and are accustomed to giving guidance on complex financial situations.

Once again, CPAs are informing America that the federal budget numbers tell an alarming story. In an online survey conducted by the AICPA in December, three-quarters of CPAs said immediate action is needed to quell spiraling federal budget deficits. More than half identified deficit reduction as the top economic priority for the United States, ahead of creating jobs (23 percent), tax reform (18 percent) and ensuring the long-term stability of Social Security and Medicare (5 percent).

Continue reading "CPAs Say Reducing Nation’s Deficits Is Job No. 1" »

America Counts on CPAs [INFOGRAPHIC]

Developed by the AICPA, this infographic highlights the role CPAs play in business and financial decisions. From Main Street to Wall Street, CPAs are the most trusted and objective financial experts.

America Counts on CPAs Infographic

Download a high or low resolution image and share this infographic.

Name that Angst

Fiscal cliff name badgeAfter a nice holiday break relaxing with friends and family, it’s now time to get back to the real world. Re-entry is always a drag, but coming back this year to the crescendo of anxiety surrounding the fiscal cliff made it that much more difficult.

I’ve spent the last two days meeting some of our AICPA course instructors and asking them about their practices and their clients, and one message came through loud and clear. Clients are concerned. And they’re turning to their CPAs for guidance.

Continue reading "Name that Angst" »

Use Social Media, Don’t Let It Use You

Social-mediaThe AICPA’s Forensic and Valuation Service Conference, held Nov. 11 through 13, involved several sessions that were taught the “un-conference way.” These sessions were unconventional in their approach and involved peer-to-peer interactive learning. One un-conference session I attended was Tom Hood’s “Getting an ROI from Social Media via ROA (Return on Attention).” Tom is the CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs and is considered a top thought leader in accounting.

From the moment we entered the room, we were thrown headfirst into the world of social media, as Tom encouraged us to sign into the gosoapbox event. Tom kicked off the session with a survey of attendees’ social media habits. In our group, 11% did not use social media at all and 71% viewed social media as a time sink, a valid concern for professionals who already have very demanding schedules. 

Continue reading "Use Social Media, Don’t Let It Use You" »

Tax Season: Our Time to Shine

Tax-seasonIt’s almost tax season once again. Can you think of a better way to kick off 2013 than adopting a fresh approach to this ever important time of year?

Here’s a thought: What if we all agree to tell a new story this tax season? Instead of framing it as a time to work your fingers to the bone, embrace the notion that tax season is your time to shine. Don’t you owe it to yourself, your colleagues and your clients to let the world know that you love tax time? After all, it’s what you have studied for and worked toward throughout your career. Even better, it’s the time when the world looks to the CPA profession for its tax smarts and number savvy, problem solving know-how.

Continue reading "Tax Season: Our Time to Shine" »

CPAs to Federal Government: Reduce the Debt

Money-on-fireMost Americans greeted the news that the “fiscal cliff” had been averted with a mix of relief that a worst case scenario had been averted and frustration with the seemingly endless process. What has been lost on some casual observers is that, as a result of the deal, the U.S. deficit will actually increase an additional $4 trillion dollars in the next decade, according to the Centralized Budget Office.

Earlier this week, the AICPA released the results of a survey* asking members questions regarding the economic sustainability of the United States. The survey found that the vast majority are calling on the federal government to demonstrate more fiscal responsibility. In fact, seven in ten U.S. CPAs are concerned that both individuals and families will be severely affected if policy makers are unable to reduce the federal debt.

Continue reading "CPAs to Federal Government: Reduce the Debt" »

Crossing the Finish Line with Circular 230

Tax Ethics and Horses

OK, raise your hand if you have that Circular 230 legend at the bottom of all your emails.  Great – now keep your hand up if you know why.  Not to worry – most of us are in the same boat.  So why the question now?  Here’s the story . . .

If you do any kind of tax work, I hope you're familiar with the AICPA’s Statements on Standards for Tax Services.  And if that work involves any kind of federal filing or representation, you'll also need to be familiar with Treasury Department Circular No. 230

Horse-raceCircular 230 isn’t new - its roots go back to the Civil War. The post-Civil War Congress enacted legislation that gave citizens the authority to make claims with the Treasury Department for the value of horses and other property lost during the war.  It soon became evident that more claims had been submitted than horses lost.  On July 7, 1884, President Chester Arthur signed what became known as the Horse Act, giving Treasury the authority to regulate the admission of representatives of claimants before them and to take related disciplinary action.  Eventually, the Horse Act led to the system we have today in which licensed CPAs are automatically admitted to represent taxpayers to the IRS with full practice rights.

Continue reading "Crossing the Finish Line with Circular 230" »

The Defining Dozen: 12 Metrics CPA Firms Should Track

Business-metricsThis time of year, CPA firms are thinking and planning ahead for their busiest season. That makes now a good time to consider whether your CPA firm will be operating at peak efficiency. Is your CPA firm making the most of current relationships and doing all it can to expand into new ones? While there are many metrics CPA firms use to evaluate quantitative performance, here are 12 metrics than can provide more qualitative feedback. These metrics can help CPA firms measure their reach with clients and provide insight into how well processes already in place are helping to identify opportunities with clients.

Continue reading "The Defining Dozen: 12 Metrics CPA Firms Should Track" »

Benevolence Is Back

Hands-inBenevolence is a word my grandmother would have used.  But I’m bringing benevolence back. Two years ago, I joined an incredible group of trustees on the AICPA’s Benevolent Fund. This experience has changed me. The Fund’s mission is to help our members. The trustees’ immediate goal is to raise awareness that the Fund exists so members know where to turn when unplanned financial emergencies occur.

The Benevolent Fund is a tangible expression of compassion. It’s a refreshing departure from the normal gruff and impersonal business world. The Fund has been quietly sprinkling generosity and kindness via financial assistance to needy AICPA members for nearly 80 years. Eighty years of benevolence. 

Continue reading "Benevolence Is Back" »

Spreading Financial Well-Being

Financial-well-beingIn my professional travels I meet individuals from all over who know about the AICPA’s financial literacy programs and use our resources in many creative ways.  While some are CPAs, the majority is not, and yet each is equally committed to improving the financial well-being of their loved ones, friends and communities.  If I had a dollar for every time someone sang “Feeeeed the PIG!” to me after seeing our campaign promotional items on a conference display table, I just might have enough money to pay off my student loans.  (I never get tired of this serenade!)

Here are some of the many ways these free resources are being used:

Continue reading "Spreading Financial Well-Being" »

Subscribe

Subscribe in a reader

Enter your Email:
Preview