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7 posts from September 2020

Unlock 4 hidden benefits of succession planning

GettyImages-673115987If you’ve been putting off starting or updating your succession planning, I’d like to share a stark reminder I experienced a couple of years ago: It’s important to act now. My 10-person, Windham, N.H., firm was considering buying a CPA firm from a sole practitioner who had an interesting practice in a good location. We had several positive meetings. But just as we were formalizing a deal, we heard the sole practitioner had unexpectedly passed away. Although the next of kin wanted to continue with the sale of the practice, we had to decline since we knew that many of the firm’s clients would have already moved on by the time we took over. The CPA’s failure to plan for transition made the firm less valuable to us.

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Your firm’s most underrated tool

Shutterstock_520811992Your firm already has a logo and a website. Your branding job is done, right? Not exactly. Gone are the days where simply having an online presence and an eye-catching logo were enough to attract new clients and set you apart from your competition. Today, clients want an experience and meaningful interactions. So, how do you give them that? Branding.

How a company is identified and distinguished, also known as branding, is essential for any business no matter the size, industry, clientele or years in operation. It leaves an impression on your customers, lets them know what they are getting and builds their trust. How you brand your firm can greatly influence your success. Businesses that show consistent branding increase revenue up to 23%.

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Hispanic Heritage Month Spotlight: Tony Torres

Shutterstock_796571017It’s no secret. The accounting profession is in dire need of more ethnic diversity.

While numbers have increased over the last decade, only 15% of enrollees in accounting bachelor’s and master’s programs are Hispanic. Despite the knowledge that diversity within an organization breeds success, even fewer —10% — go on to get hired into accounting and finance roles in U.S. CPA firms.

Tony Torres, whose father immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba in 1961 and whose mother immigrated from Bolivia in 1963, is the Chief Inclusion Officer of Audit & Assurance at Deloitte & Touche, LLP and a member of the AICPA’s National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. I spoke to Torres to learn how he has successfully navigated the accounting ecosystem.

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The learning journey and speed of change

Shutterstock_1368244235The COVID-19 crisis accelerated us into a new era of digital engagement — an era characterized by greater personalization and omnichannel access.

At the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, we have a responsibility to the accounting and finance profession and to our members, and 42% of you have told us that you are unsure that you’ve adapted well to challenges resulting from COVID-19. We want to help, and in collaboration with our partner EY Seren, we present Human Signals: New patterns of behavior and the accounting profession. In this blog, we look at the second pillar of the report — the need for flexibility as we adapt and learn.

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How to strengthen client relationships during a pandemic

Shutterstock_776701864How can you expand services to existing clients and attract new clients in the current environment? Here are tips from experts.   

Choose the software that works best for you.

In searching for new ways to maintain ties to clients, Christine DeAngelis, CPA, tax master at 20-person High Rock Accounting has found that video conferencing makes the contact more personal, even when an email would also work.

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Employee payroll tax deferral — Is it workable?

Shutterstock_535688566“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

— Helen Keller

These perilous economic times are nothing short of a daring adventure. The reason the AICPA created the Coronavirus (COVID-19) resource center and SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) resources for CPAs is to help our members — in your critical trusted adviser role — as you nurse the small business world back to economic recovery.

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4 tax and financial planning tips to share with clients

GettyImages-578161073Uncertainty is a common theme these days. People worry about the future and face many personal finance questions. The AICPA Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Trends survey found that 80% of CPA financial planners said their clients had a higher stress level about their financial plan than normal. The CPAs surveyed reported that they spoke with their clients early in the COVID-19 pandemic and often. As a CPA financial planner, you play a key role in reassuring clients and easing their concerns. In this blog post, CPA financial planners and CPAs with the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS™) credential detail the top tips they are implementing with their clients now.    

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