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11 posts from October 2019

Is the spookiest item on your calendar a networking party?

Shutterstock_589482413You hear unfamiliar voices in the distance as you walk down a strange corridor to an uncertain fate. Are you entering a haunted house? No, it’s just a networking event!

Halloween is today, but for many people, there are spookier things than ghosts and goblins. If your pulse races when you think about networking, there are several ways to more successfully make important connections.

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ICYMI: Five things you need to know about cybersecurity

3It's startling that a cyberattack happens every 39 seconds (source: University of Maryland) and one out of every three businesses will experience a cybersecurity breach within the next two years. The average cost of that breach in the U.S.? $8.19M! As protectors of valuable financial and personal data, CPA firms are prime targets for cyberattacks. Considering the major financial risk that organizations face by failing to set up sound cybersecurity measures, we chatted with two of the Association’s experts on the topic. Joel White, CPA, CGMA, Director of Internal Audit, Risk & Compliance and Jay Overcash, Director of IT Security Strategy, answered your top cybersecurity questions.

Here’s what we learned:

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The 5 flames that motivate your people

Shutterstock_791792272What motivates your people? And how can you key into their motivators to drive strong performance?

Abraham Maslow, a psychologist who developed a pyramid-shaped hierarchy of needs, was a pioneer in the study of motivation. His pyramid begins with basic needs, such as food and shelter, followed by social needs, creative needs and, ultimately, self-actualization. Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, takes that idea one step further. Writing on how businesses can match people’s motivations, he argues that as humans we are driven by three key motivators:

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5 tips for implementing the leases accounting standard

Shutterstock_1031148421Does your company or client lease assets such as real estate, airplanes or manufacturing equipment? If so, then you may want to keep reading...

In 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new financial accounting and reporting standard that requires companies that lease assets (lessees) under operating lease arrangements to recognize those arrangements on their balance sheets. 

You may be wondering “Why a change?” Given the prevalence of leasing in the marketplace, it’s important for users of financial statements to have a complete and understandable portrayal of a company’s commitments to leasing activities.

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What I learned from my clients' tax returns

Shutterstock_747539488If you’re a CPA who has considered a move to financial planning, there are a few strong reasons why you as a tax practitioner are already best positioned to offer Personal Financial Planning (PFP) services. A little over a year ago, I achieved a lifelong dream when I opened my financial planning practice after 28 years as a CPA. Setting off on your own can be daunting, but I knew I was ready, in part because of my extensive tax background. Here’s how I knew:

Tax expertise is the foundation of personal financial planning.

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What were the challenges of the 2019 tax season?

Shutterstock_767539465Do you hear the big sigh of relief? It’s Oct. 18, just three days after we filed the last big group of extended returns for individuals and businesses.

When I started working for a local public accounting firm over 40 years ago, taxpayers had a two-month automatic extension to June 15 for individual returns. We could request an additional two-month extension to Aug. 15. At that point, we could request an additional two-month extension to Oct. 15 if there was a good reason. Can you imagine all that paperwork? With those interim deadlines, we encouraged clients to pull their information together during the summer, and returns were finalized earlier. Although there were always stragglers, today’s compressed workload for Sept. 15 and Oct. 15 was less intense for practitioners.

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3 ways data can evolve your business

Shutterstock_218740615If you’re not on the data science wagon yet, you should probably consider jumping on in the near future. With 2020 right around the corner, data will continue to remain at the forefront of decision-making – and we’re bound to witness ever more ways it can evolve the marketplace.  

Still convincing yourself that data can help a business thrive? Here are three benefits that might make you think it can.

It can improve efficiency.

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Get your brain in shape!

Shutterstock_1461408071The busy season is on the horizon, and many practitioners are preparing their firms to meet the demands. But are you getting yourself mentally ready for the fast-paced days ahead? Let’s look at some mental tune-up steps to take before the season begins.

Challenge yourself.

Sharpen your mind with quizzes and brain teasers. You can test your knowledge at many websites. For example, the site for the TV game show “Jeopardy!” challenges you with 12 clues every day that weren’t used on the show. In addition, many daily trivia apps focus on general knowledge or specific areas, such as sports or movies.

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Embrace an attitude of gratitude for well-being in your career

Shutterstock_1296335452 “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues, but the parent of all of the others.” — Cicero

If someone bumps into you and knocks your full cup of coffee onto your shirt, who’s to blame for the mess? You are. Why? Because you had coffee in your cup.

This story from Thich Nhat Hanh shows that while it may be easy to blame external circumstances for our experiences, it is what we hold in ourselves that we spill out into the world. We all face circumstances that make it easy to hold negative emotions in our cups.

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3 perks of working for yourself

Shutterstock_487666249In today’s ever-evolving job market, there are plenty of new opportunities to work for yourself. Whether it’s freelancing, entrepreneurship or gigs — the list goes on. Actually, seven in 10 the young adult job-seekers the AICPA recently surveyed claim that being their own boss is more valuable than the job security of working for someone else. If you’re thinking of branching out on your own, you’re not alone. 

Not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge? Consider these three perks of working for yourself.

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How a kid’s allowance can teach money management skills

Shutterstock_190423622Teaching children about money management is a big job for parents, and there are many ways to go about it. Money talk often starts by paying an allowance. According to new research from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), two-thirds of parents (66%) give their child an allowance at an average of $30 a week. An allowance is just part of a larger conversation about effective financial management. Parents must make sure the lessons sink in. The good news is that nearly half of parents (49%) say they take time to teach their child about money at least once a week. However, nearly a third (32%) say they only teach their children about money no more than once a month, including the 7% who admit they never teach their kids about money.

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