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4 ways to get your firm beach-ready this summer

GettyImages-694005116The coming of summer means longer, lazier days filled with outdoor fun. But once we’ve packed away the thick wool and sleek leather jackets that defined our winter existence, we’re often faced with an unpleasant truth: months of indoor living have left us feeling unprepared for outdoor activities like beach volleyball and surfing. And many times, a long winter may have left your firm a little out of shape, too.

Whether the barely managed chaos of tax season forced you to put off the exercises that would have helped keep your firm… well, firm, or the rapid approach of October has you procrastinating in getting to your firm’s self-care, summer is a perfect chance to get everything in shape and ready to show off.

Here are four ways to get your firm beach ready this summer.

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1. Get some inspiration by seeing how good your peers look

Ever wonder how you measure up to other firms? Are you billing enough for your area? What about compensation: are you paying enough to attract and retain top talent? The AICPA National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey allows firms of all sizes to see how they’re doing on a wide range of measurements compared with their peers, or even with firms of larger or smaller sizes.

The AICPA National MAP survey offers dozens of ways to see how your firm stacks up to others in your town, state or across the country. Curious how it could help you strengthen your bottom line? This short podcast explains some ways firms can use the survey’s results to grow, or just look and feel better.

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2. Offer an alternative framework

You probably have clients whose small- or medium-sized businesses are privately held. If they are not required to provided GAAP-based financial statements, an alternative financial reporting framework may be best to keep their organizations in shape.  That’s where the Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-Sized Entities (FRF for SMEs) may come in handy.

By understanding the framework and adding FRF for SMEs reporting to your firm’s repertoire, you’ll be stretching and providing an additional cost-effective and simplified reporting option that creates a comprehensive, yet concise financial picture to qualified clients. It’s a great way to give your efficiency some tone and definition.

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3. Add some muscle

Technology is creating new opportunities for clients and adding a new level of complexity to their financial lives. As a result, their expectations are higher than ever. According to a recent AICPA survey, a majority of clients want a single place to go to manage or coordinate the many pieces of their financial lives.

If you already offer financial planning services, then you’re well on your way. Make sure you’re identifying yourself to your clients as a CPA financial planner. If you aren’t offering these services, it’s time to beef up.

Developing a business that offers tax and financial planning services is a high-impact way to build strength in your core. This roadmap will help you make it a reality. If you aren’t sure where to start with your clients, this checklist will help you find financial planning opportunities from the information in their 1040.

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4. Be ready to chase off the bully

The amount of personal and financial data that flows through an accounting practice is staggering. And thieves know it. Operating a firm of any size requires vigilance. Want to avoid getting sand kicked in your face? You can put on an impressive display that will have the bad guys running for the hills.

A CPA’s Introduction to Cybersecurity will teach you the moves you need to help keep your firm and your clients safe. Learn what practices and policies you should have in place, what cybersecurity insurance considerations you need to take under advisement and why your firm can even help others defend themselves.

Before you know it, the leaves will be turning and you’ll be pulling those warm sweaters back out of moth balls (does anyone use moth balls anymore?). Take the opportunity to get your firm feeling strong, so you can slide into fall with confidence.

If you make it through these exercises and still find yourself addicted to wellness, here are even more great resources to help your firm get fit.

Enjoy your summer!

Adam Junkroski, Lead Manager - Communications, Tax & PFP, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

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