Sageworks is now Abrigo.
Sageworks, Banker's Toolbox, and MainStreet Technologies are now Abrigo - giving you a single resource for your enterprise risk management needs. As a customer of Sageworks, you will continue to get the support you've always had, as well as access to new capabilities and expertise.
Menu
  • 4 Olympic sports accountants can learn from

    It’s already the last week of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and it feels like it just started. Fans and athletes wait four years for this short stretch of time that seems to vanish in an instant. Watching the Olympics, people often wonder: how did someone think this event up, and…
  • Why tech adoption should matter to your firm

    Technology is everywhere and it’s being adopted at rapid rates. Most likely, your clients are using the latest technology. Being informed and “in-the-know” could be important to retaining and acquiring clients, whether they’ve said so or not. According to a chart from “Our World Data” it took 100 years for…
  • What Super Bowl tickets can teach accountants about pricing

    When the New England Patriots faced the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, average ticket prices right before the big game topped $5,600, according to published reports. You can bet those prices were largely driven by demand – i.e., how desperately fans wanted to see the game --…
  • Top accounting blog posts of 2017

    Public accountants and business advisors will face many of the same trends and issues in 2018 that captured their attention in 2017. Balancing the challenges of tax season and the need to keep up with various technologies, such as blockchain and advances in automation, will continue to test accounting professionals.…
  • The evolution of bookkeepers

    If you’re a bookkeeper, it’s time to embrace evolution. So says Ingrid Edstrom, who has built an award-winning bookkeeping and advisory firm, Polymath LLC, and has been recognized as one of the accounting profession’s Top 40 Under 40 and Most Powerful Women in Accounting. Edstrom…
  • Understanding SSARS 21 can pave the way to more advisory services

    Firms of all sizes are making advisory services an important revenue stream, based on the latest National Management of an Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey from the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) and CPA.com. To better position themselves as providers of higher-level advisory services to their clients, accountants should develop expertise…
  • Grow your accounting firm by planning for the 2018 busy season

    Seasonality/workload compression is perennially among the most pressing issues for accounting firms, especially for smaller practices. Indeed, this was a top issue among firms with fewer than 10 professionals in the latest AICPA Private Companies Practice Section (PCPS) CPA Firm Top Issues Survey. With the final deadline of the 2016 tax…
  • Which credential is best for performing business valuations?

    Demand for valuations of U.S. businesses remains solid, so some accountants and other advisors might be weighing whether to pursue valuation credentials with one or more of the professional organizations in order to expand their services. Do you need a credential in order to provide business valuations? “In the broad, global…
  • What are analytical procedures and their benefits?

    By Jackie McLaughlin, CPA Analytical procedures are beginning to become more prevalent in the audit world. They provide auditors with many benefits. But are those benefits known? According to the AICPA, analytical procedures consist of reviewing financial information by studying plausible relationships between data and evaluating it for consistency. Analytics…
  • The two biggest challenges public accountants face

    By Jackie McLaughlin, CPA Two of the biggest challenges that partners face when undertaking an audit engagement is risk mitigation and efficiency. Without proper risk mitigation a firm may issue an incorrect audit opinion and without audit efficiency, a firm may not be able to achieve healthy profit margins.  …
  • The future of accounting: Key trends to know

    A friend on Facebook recently posted the following exchange with her adolescent son, and it’s an excellent reminder of the constant change we face in life and in our careers: Son: You know what I just realized?Mom: What’s that?Son: You must have been really smart when you went through school...you…
  • Does your firm suffer from these 3 false claims?

    Let's face the facts. Public accounting firms tend to have the same challenges when they try to create value for clients. Creating value often means launching or enhancing an Advisory practice. In fact, in 2015, 32 percent of small-to-mid-sized North American accounting firms saw growth in Advisory and consulting services…
  • How does your accounting firm stack up against others?

    Like most marketplaces, accounting firms look to the most successful firms to identify ways that they can grow. Another reason accountants look to more developed firms is to discover, “Are we heading in the right direction? Are we putting resources where they need to be put?” Observing the practices and…
  • Stuck in compliance: The Grim Reaper of accounting firms

    Progressive accounting firms seek consulting opportunities so their firms can take advantage of more lucrative advisory service offerings. Recent discussions with industry thought leaders and CPAs that are providing advisory services have highlighted a key benefit to this move. Often the amount of time taken to complete certain advisory services…
  • Business valuation solutions: To build or to buy?

    By Brad Spence, Director of Sageworks Valuation Solution It’s a classic conundrum – to build versus to buy. Make dinner at home versus take-out. While there are certainly people constructing their own coffee table – measuring, cutting, sanding and staining – most will drop a bill or two on a…
  • How to embrace technology and grow your accounting firm

    Forty-five percent of accounting clients prefer an accountant who is adaptive to changes in technology. While technology has its fair share of shortcomings, from added costs to potential learning curves, it also has its upsides. Embracing and leveraging technology can help accountants discover new avenues for improving lead generation, increasing…
  • How accountants can identify opportunities to offer valuation services

    With an estimated 75 million baby boomers in the U.S. and 7 million of them owning privately held businesses, the number of companies to hit the market in the next 10 years is likely to provide a large amount of opportunities for the valuation industry. This checklist provides 10 scenarios…
  • Caution! 3 Blood-curdling ways to stop your accounting firm’s growth dead in its tracks

    1. Be eerily similar to your competitors Many accountants will come to the spooky realization that firms who compete in the same market will likely have the same basic offerings, mostly because accounting services are pretty standard across the board. And while your firm’s qualifications and experience may be fantastic, the…
  • How one accounting firm used ProfitCents to show clients the importance of value-added services

    Nearly every firm has business clients who are interested in more services from their accountant. Almost two-thirds of clients are unaware of all services their accounting firm has to offer. Cross-selling value-added services will not only help you retain your current clients but also grow your business’s revenue. In a…
  • 3 Steps to becoming the Steve Jobs of accounting

    Steve Jobs. Sergey Brin. Mark Zuckerberg. Each of these individuals, and their companies, are celebrated as changing the face of the technology. They all followed a similar path to success: excelling at one thing and developing that specialty. Jobs knew gadgets, which led to the Mac, the iPod, and the…
  • Staffing crash course: What are the best indicators of an accountant’s career potential?

    Fall is nearly here, and in addition to the pumpkin lattes, football and foliage, it also signals a time when many accounting firms take a beat to consider their staffing needs. As the weather cools down, consider it a good opportunity to examine a practice’s recruitment plan for the remainder…
  • What are the best cities for accounting pros?

    Are you considering expanding your firm to a new location, or perhaps looking at recruiting outside of your immediate geographic location? Maybe an accountant looking to change jobs? Accounting Today recently highlighted 10 cities that are growing for CPAs and accountants, according to a list from Accounting Principals, a nationwide…
  • 6 Steps accounting firms can take to win new clients through specialization

    Lack of industry knowledge is the #1 concern for buyers of accounting services according to a Hinge Marketing survey. Developing an industry niche and establishing yourself as an industry expert allows you to differentiate your services and can help you win new clients. This checklist outlines 6 steps on how…
  • Take your relationship with your accountant to the next level

    By Diana Mackie, Chief Content Officer at Funding Gates How well do you and your company’s accountant know one another? Do you hand him or her a pile of papers come tax time and go about your day, or do you appreciate and make use of the wide range of…
  • Establish a strategy for cross-selling your accounting firm's services

    The AICPA estimates that winning a new client costs 11 times more than retaining a current client. One way for accountants to increase firm revenue and deepen client relationships is to offer value-added services to existing clients. Don’t know where to start? Download this checklist to learn how to develop…
  • How to retain “A” clients

    In an economic climate where so many decisions come down to dollars and cents – particularly for small businesses – it is important for accountants to illustrate your worth. Perhaps surprisingly, then, more often than not, a client’s decision to leave their current CPA or accounting firm comes not from…
  • Hot summer reads for accountants: Books and popular blog posts

    The awesome thing about technology is that your vacation reading list can be packed in your smartphone or tablet. Now more than ever, it’s easy to find something good to read when you’re relaxing in the mountains, chilling at the beach or (heaven forbid) waiting at the airport during a…
  • 5 steps to uncover mid-year accounting client opportunities

    Summer is a great time for accounting firms to look for fresh opportunities to grow the business. Here are five ways accounting firms can “fertilize” existing efforts in order to jump-start business and grow deeper, stronger roots with clients. 1. TRAIN YOUR TEAM - Do firm members truly understand the…
  • Free CPE webinar: "Building a firm of the future"

    By the end of this decade, most accounting firms will face a change of seismic proportion – the transfer of leadership to the next generation. Firms that develop and execute strategies around their people, market insights and agility are the most likely to survive, while those that don’t will probably…
  • Top priorities for you to focus on in your accounting firm

      By Lauren Prosser, Director of ProfitCents Professional Services If your CPA firm is like most, its biggest assets are the staff and clients. Knowing more about these assets and gaining greater and more timely insights into the roles they play in the firm's success will enable you to better…
  • 2 Approaches for marketing advisory services in your accounting firm

    Choosing the right clients is incredibly important when marketing business advisory services. Once you have completed the selection process it’s important to alert your clients to your new services in a way that’s informative without being pushy. When offering advice to prospective clients, we suggest you take one of these…
  • How to pick the ‘right’ client and stand out among other accounting firms

    Remember dating in high school? You know that guy or girl who you liked but were pretty sure didn't feel the same way back? It is likely that you spent countless hours trying to wow him or her, but to no avail. In the end, although you were unlikely to…
  • How to build a valuation practice within your accounting firm

    Many public accounting firms are developing business valuation practices as a way to meet the needs of existing clients while distinguishing the firm with specialized services. A best-in-class business valuation practice will ensure compliance with accounting standards and incorporate quality controls that ensure a superior analysis, superior report product and…
  • Becoming a trusted advisor to your clients

    Accountants perform the role of providing financial data very well. However, simply presenting clients with this data is not enough to become indispensable. It is now necessary to translate and interpret the data for your client. ProfitCents by Sageworks does this by compiling the data into an easy-to-understand narrative report…
  • No-nonsense networking for accountants

    Are there people in your network who have previously referred clients, have been good clients themselves, or who know the types of people or firms that might need your services? For accountants, sometimes the issue with networking effectively is less about identifying connections than it is about finding ways to…
  • 7 Ways to rev up your accounting firm after busy season

    By Nancy Fox, founder & President of The Business Fox Another busy season is just about under your belt. Whew. If you’re like many (even most) accountants, you’ve been lulled into “busy- season-itis” – that debilitating syndrome of keeping your head down (working on taxes and client matters only) between…
  • New ProfitCents help center has how-to’s, tips and assistance

    At Sageworks, we know that without our customers, our company is nothing. That’s why the major enhancements we recently introduced to our flagship ProfitCents platform are aimed at making the user experience more streamlined and more customizable so that ProfitCents customers can better meet their clients’ needs and win new…
  • What is your current networking ROI?

    In this brief video, founder and president of The Business Fox, Nancy Fox, discusses how to calculate your networking return on investment (ROI). Fox highlights that you should be taking into account membership dues/fees, conferences, lunches, and travel expenses. She points out that on average, professionals spend $2,500 per year…
  • Accountants: Make the most of your tax-time meetings with business clients

    Accountants who meet with business clients to deliver tax returns during busy season are understandably pressed for time and attention. These brief meetings, however, are an important part of developing and cementing your role as a trusted advisor, and they can pave the way for cross-selling additional services to existing…
  • Biggest networking mistakes for accountants

    In this brief video, founder and president of The Business Fox, Nancy Fox, discusses mistakes accountants make when networking. Fox highlights that the number one networking mistake for accountants is networking in the wrong groups and attending the wrong venues. In addition, Fox states that accountants most often network laterally,…
  • Infographic: Cross-sell accounting services during busy season

    Cross-selling accounting services to your existing client base is a more economically efficient way to increase revenue, as opposed to acquiring new customers. The AICPA estimates that it costs 11 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. The infographic identifies four steps to win…
  • 3 Tips for busy season marketing and business development

    Guest Post By Elizabeth Fiore, CPAmerica International With busy season in full swing, it is easy to let the marketing and business development activities slip (you know, the ones which made you busy in the first place). It’s crucial for your pipelines that you continue your marketing and business development activities…
  • How to break down financial statements for clients

    In this brief video, Peter Brown, a Sageworks senior consultant, discusses how to put financial statements in simple terms for your clients. He notes that an income statement is a measure of performance over a defined time. Brown also provides definitions for the balance sheet, cash flow, and financial statements…
  • Poll: Do you currently have a specialty niche?

    Nancy Fox recently hosted a webinar, Targeted Networking for Bigger and Better Lead Generation, which discussed how accountants can generate leads through in-person networking. Fox, Founder and President of The Business Fox, provides strategies for how to generate new leads. During the presentation, finance professionals were polled on if they have a…
  • Enhance client relationships -- even during busy season

    Accountants, especially during busy season, have significant demands on their time, so it's critical to understand how to balance a desire to develop deeper client relationships and work-related time constraints. The first step is to recognize that overhauling every client relationship at once is unrealistic and that not all clients are…
  • How to say “no” to an accounting client this busy season

    Busy season is a time when accountants may find themselves regretting having taken on a particular client, especially when completing the work takes time that could have otherwise been spent on a more pleasant, profitable or valued client. While many accountants would love to have more business to generate more…
  • The truth behind CPA firm client satisfaction

      By Jean Marie Caragher, President of Capstone Marketing The improving economy may cause CPAs to be overconfident about their ability to retain clients. In the 2011 PCPS CPA Firm Top Issues Survey, retention of current clients showed up on every segment's top-five list, while it only made two groups'…
  • CPA: How I became a “broker of services”

    Many accountants desire to reduce reliance on providing often-commoditized services such as tax preparation and financial statements, but how do you get your practice moving in another direction? One option is to take on the role of “broker of services” – someone who advises clients and occasionally puts them in…
  • Rethinking accounting marketing

    In this brief video, president of bbr marketing Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, discusses how marketing for accounting firms has changed over the years. Ruszczyk highlights that accounting marketing has shifted from an outbound marketing approach, such as telemarketing and print and radio ads, to an inbound approach including search engine optimization…
  • How to ensure your accounting firm’s best busy season ever

    The work schedule is set and everyone at your accounting practice is organized and pumped up to dominate the workload this busy season. Nevertheless, it’s not too late to take some steps that will make this your best busy season ever:  1. Track cross-selling opportunities. Many clients meeting with you…
  • What is the best way for accountants to approach a prospective client?

    In this brief video, Peter Brown, Sageworks senior consultant, discusses how accountants should approach a prospective client. Brown outlines the importance of developing relationships. This clip is from a Sageworks’ webinar entitled “How will you win your next new client?” In this webinar, Brown points out that social media and emails…
  • What is the appropriate working capital for your clients' industry?

    In this brief video, Peter Brown, Sageworks senior consultant, discusses positive versus negative working capital. He notes that manufacturers, wholesalers, and most retailers typically have positive working capital, or a current ratio in excess of 1:1. On the other hand, restaurants, hotel, airlines, and many utilities have negative working capital,…
  • Is your accounting firm actively engaged on Linkedin?

    Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, president of bbr marketing, recently hosted a webinar for Sageworks, How to Generate Leads through the Web. In this webinar, Bonnie provided key strategies for improving your firm's presence on social media, as well as other content marketing strategies. During the presentation, finance professionals were polled on if…
  • Who is in charge of value at your accounting firm?

    By Ron Baker, Author of "Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms" I have had the privilege of posing this question—Who’s in charge of value in your accounting firm?—to thousands of professionals around the world. I’m usually met with a momentary staring ovation, and then someone will…
  • Is your accounting firm on pace to succeed in the future? Part 2

    In Part 1, we discussed how firms that are considered pioneers in technology, by the CCH report, have the highest revenue growth and ranked significantly higher on many work environment scales. Today, we’ll talk about why they scored better based on staffing strategies and technology strengths. Here’s a brief recap…
  • Valuations: 4 things that make private companies different

    While Wall Street firms get a lot of publicity (especially when it comes to mergers and acquisitions), most of the 27 million U.S. businesses are privately held. For accountants and others in financial services, that means a multitude of opportunities can arise to use valuations in planning for succession, evaluating…
  • What is the average number of services per client for top CPA firms?

    In this brief video, Lauren Prosser of ProfitCents points out that 25-40 percent of new business that CPA firms generate, come from additional work with existing clients. Prosser provides insight on the cost-effectiveness of introducing new services to an existing client, as opposed to winning a new client.  This clip…
  • The discovery process for accountants

    In this brief video, Lauren Prosser of ProfitCents describes the objectives of "The Discovery Process" for CPAs and accountants. Prosser provides insight on how to identify opportunities to sell more accounting services to existing clients. She also discusses shifting your focus from the problem to the solution, developing client-centric definitions,…
  • What is the biggest source of traffic for accounting firms?

    Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, president of bbr marketing, recently hosted a webinar for Sageworks, How to Generate Leads through the Web. In this webinar, Bonnie provided key strategies for improving your firm's presence on social media, as well as other content marketing strategies. During the presentation, finance professionals were polled on what…
  • 7 Sources of content marketing ideas for accountants

    Content marketing is one way an accounting firm can shift its marketing strategy from an outbound, push-oriented approach to an inbound approach that pulls clients and potential clients in for the firm and helps generate leads. Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, named for the second year in a row by Accounting Today…
  • What is the #1 reason why businesses fail?

    ProfitCents by Sageworks recently hosted a webinar, How to Help Business Clients Win Loans, which discussed key strategies on how to assist clients with winning loans more effectively. Peter Brown, senior consultant at Sageworks, mentioned that by helping your clients work through their needs for capital, you will deepen the…
  • Are your clients aware of the services you offer?

    In this brief video, Director of ProfitCents Professional Services Lauren Prosser points out that two-thirds of clients are not aware of all of the services that accounting firms offer. Prosser provides insight on how to identify opportunities to sell more accounting services to existing clients.  This clip is from a…
  • Is your accounting firm on pace to succeed in the future? Part 1

    A new report released by CCH suggests that pioneers and early adopters to new technology are best suited to succeed in the current accounting landscape. As a brief preface, let’s talk about the four main categories of adopters. First there are the pioneers; they are risk takers and first movers.…
  • Why do business owners choose a competitor?

    In this brief video, Sageworks’ senior consultant Peter Brown discusses why clients select a certain accounting firm. Brown highlights that 23 percent of business owners choose a competitor due to lack of industry knowledge. He also points out that there is a misconception among accountants that clients choose a competitor…
  • Poll: Does your firm track cross-selling opportunities identified vs. closed?

    ProfitCents by Sageworks recently hosted a webinar, Cross-sell accounting services: How to identify opportunities to sell more accounting services to existing clients, which discussed how to lay a foundation for your accounting firm's sustainable growth by cross-selling services to your existing client base. Lauren Prosser, Director of ProfitCents Professional Services, outlines…
  • How do clients want to be approached about additional service offerings?

    In this brief video, Sageworks senior consultant Peter Brown discusses how clients would like to be approached about your firm’s additional services. Brown highlights that 50% of clients would prefer a phone call or visit over an email or message via social media. He suggests to use times of the…
  • Poll: Does your firm have a formal client service plan?

    ProfitCents by Sageworks recently hosted a webinar, Cross-sell accounting services: How to identify opportunities to sell more accounting services to existing clients, which discussed how to lay a foundation for your accounting firm's sustainable growth by cross-selling services to your existing client base. Lauren Prosser, Director of ProfitCents Professional Services, outlines…
  • How CPAs can find niche markets with industry data

    There’s been a lot of media coverage the past few years about identifying niche markets and how CPAs should invest resources into targeting/creating them. Given demands already placed on you and your practice, it is important to know why niche markets are worth finding.  For one, the niche industries you’ll…
  • Infographic: Top 5 ways accountants can use industry data

    While industry data can be a valuable resource for accountants, it’s not always easy to identify the best ways to use it. In this infographic, learn the top 5 ways accountants can use industry data to create value for their clients and their firm.      Sageworks provides private company…
  • Winning new clients: Why do firms win business in the final bidding stage?

    In this brief video, Sageworks senior consultant Peter Brown discusses how to win new clients for your firm. Brown provides insight on how to keep your firm on top by looking into the future and identifying key factors that will help you win new clients. This clip is from a…
  • 5 Resources for accountants helping clients with health-care questions

    Are you getting calls from self-employed clients and small business owners who are trying to investigate the options for health care plans on healthcare.gov? It wouldn’t be surprising, considering CPAs have historically been among the top resources for human resource compliance issues. You and your clients may have run into…
  • Client service plans: Pairing client opportunities with accounting firm services

    In a recent video, Lauren Prosser, director of ProfitCents Professional Services, explains the first objective to prepare a meaningful client service plan.   In this brief video, Lauren explores the second key objective to a meaningful client service plan and how to pair the opportunities you identified and qualified in step one with…
  • CPAs, don’t be “Just the tax guy/gal”

    Some accounting industry watchers warn business owners against relying on their CPAs for business advice, but many owners are apparently ignoring the advice. Most top U.S. accounting firms report that common sources of firm revenue growth include niche services such as business valuations, litigation support, strategic planning and business advisory…
  • Auditor switching tied more to relationship woes than to pricing

    Why do clients change audit firms? For years, accounting firms have lamented that audits have become commoditized, with clients leaving multi-year relationships because they were able to get a lower price. Indeed, some studies have found that a major reason clients switch is that they decide audit fees are too…
  • 3 Tips for better meetings with your accounting firm's clients

    Client meetings are an integral part of being a great accountant. The most important of these meetings is often when you’re tasked with presenting the client with your financial analysis. Making the most of this meeting can do wonders for establishing client trust and retention. Some points to consider when…
  • How can accounting firms provide value to clients?

    Knowing how your accounting firm can provide value is critical to being able to market, price and execute on value-added service offerings, such as financial forecasting, industry specialization, strategic planning or succession planning. More than a third of firms recently describing their top niche services cited these services as growth…
  • How my accounting firm created an industry niche

    Michael Bohinc CPA is a baseball nut and the son of a plumber, so he combined both parts of his background as he developed an industry niche focused on plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractors.  Why and how did he do this? The owner of Keeping Score…
  • Top 5 ways accountants can use industry data

    Many accounting firms tout their “excellent customer service” as what sets them apart from competitors, but if everyone is bragging about the same thing, are they truly unique? To stand out, your firm needs a clear differentiator. Industry data can provide insight and services that can distinguish your practice.  Here are the…
  • What is the importance of industry analysis?

    Industry analysis is critical for any business professional looking to stay competitive. Whether we’re using it to gauge the competition or track our own progress, we regularly monitor our own performance. But are we really getting the most out of the information provided to us? When you ask someone what…
  • How to win your next new accounting client

    Your firm may be successful today, but everyone knows that success can be fleeting unless you’re continuously thinking ahead to identify and win the next client. The key to developing a strategy for winning new clients is to answer these key questions: Why? Who? What? How? Here, Peter Brown, senior…
  • Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services (NAICS 541219) industry trends

    The accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services industry includes offices of certified public accountants as well as firms that provide tax preparation and payroll services. Certified Public Accounts (CPAs) audit financial statements, design accounting systems, prepare financial statements, develop budgets and provide advice on accounting related matters. CPA firms…
  • Stop competing on price alone: Why accounting firms are transitioning to Type 2 services

    Competition in the accounting industry is fierce, which can pressure some CPAs to compete for business using pricing alone. But many accountants realize this is a losing proposition: Competing on price means they have to have more clients in order to cover expenses, leaving CPAs less time per client to…
  • Client service plans: Opportunity identification

    In a recent video, Lauren Prosser, director of ProfitCents Professional Services, explains four tips to prepare a meaningful client services plan.   In this brief video, Lauren explores the first key objective to a meaningful client service plan and how to better identify opportunities and client needs. From the Video The…
  • Poll: Why business clients choose a competitor

    ProfitCents by Sageworks recently hosted a webinar, How Will You Win Your Next New Client, which discussed key strategies on how to position your firm to take on new clients and expand service offerings to your existing client base. Peter Brown, senior consultant at Sageworks, mentioned that the central focus…
  • Pricing your services? Ask these 10 questions

    Whether your accounting firm has adopted value pricing or follows traditional time-based billing practices, the question of how much to charge clients remains a top practice-management topic. If your firm is entering a new market, considering adding staff or other operating costs, or simply reviewing pricing relative to competitors, you’re…
  • Four tips to prepare a meaningful client service plan

    In a recent survey conducted by ProfitCents Professional Services, 37 percent of public accounting firms polled indicated that they do not have a formal client service plan in place.   In this brief video, Lauren Prosser, director of ProfitCents Professional Services, explores the 4 key objectives of meaningful client service…
  • Why audit planning is critical

    In this brief video, Lauren Prosser, director of Profitcents Professional Services, explores how changes and clarifications to audit standards in recent years have placed an increased importance on audit planning and have underscored the critical role it plays in the engagement.   Summary Professional guidelines governing financial statement audits and…
  • Increased regulations cause heavy workload for many CPAs

    Increasing regulatory requirements, and the many requirements already put in place, are often seen as a daily complication for CPAs and accounting firms. They are not only costly and burdensome, but very complex, leaving many CPAs spending the majority of their workday on regulatory policies. With staffing shortages and technological…
  • Top priorities for CPA firms: Improve your marketing, business development

    Marketing and business development are top priorities for CPA firms recently surveyed by Sageworks. In this post, Lauren Prosser, director of ProfitCents Professional Services, explains how to improve these key strategic areas. By Lauren Prosser Previously, I described how a recent survey of CPA firms by Sageworks’ ProfitCents Professional Services…
  • Leverage what you learned during busy season

    Busy season is the perfect time to learn more about your clients and their businesses. Think back to the conversations you had and what they shared with you. Did they mention any changes or concerns with their life or business?  Even if you weren’t able to spend a lot of…
  • Where to find your next new client

    Successful CPA firms know that while business may be great today, there’s no guarantee for tomorrow. That’s why it’s important that you’re constantly thinking ahead – constantly considering where you’ll find your next clients and which industries may be the most fruitful for growing your business. Sageworks recently provided some…
  • Should you offer business advisory services?

    Offering business advisory services to your clients will not only add value to the success of their business, it will also drive revenue to your firm and prevent you from competing on price. AICPA recently posted an infographic that shows 87 percent of business decision makers respect CPAs as valuable assets…
  • Adding more value to the role of Chief Audit Executive

    Chief audit executives (CAEs) face countless challenges with the various regulations they must meet and with ensuring that investors have faith in the company’s numbers. Many CAEs have focused most, if not all, of their time on regulatory compliance. That focus is now shifting over to value-added services intended to…
  • Stand out and above your competitors

    It's important to know who your competition is and how you can stand out from what they offer. AccountingWEB recently posted an article that describes how to better know your competitors and what advantages they may have. These steps will include what to look for when doing your research and…
  • 12 Metrics CPA firms should track

    Lauren Prosser, Director of Professional Services, Sageworks Inc., wrote a recent guest column for AICPA discussing the key metrics firms should measure to operate at its highest efficiency.    The Defining Dozen: 12 Metrics CPA Firms Should Track This time of year, CPA firms are thinking and planning ahead for their…
  • It's a great time to be an internal auditor

    AccountingWEB recently posted a study that discusses salary growth for internal auditors in 2012. Increasing regulatory compliance demands are said to be the main reason for this growth with those specializing in information technology, fraud and forensics seeing the highest salary increases. Internal Auditors See Steady Rise in Pay By Frank…
  • Cross-sell more services this tax season

    Too busy to sit and talk with your clients during tax season? In a recent post, Kreston International discusses how you can prepare for a meaningful conversation with your clients and offer more services without taking up too much of your time. Marketing New Services During Tax Season Does your firm…
  • Qualities clients look for in a CPA

    This guest post by AccountingEDU.org, discusses important qualities that not only sets a CPA apart, but also helps develop a trusting relationship with clients that will last for years.   7 Traits Clients Look for In a CPA Finding a good CPA is a lot like finding a good contractor or a…
  • Professional skepticism in the audit process

    In the Staff Audit Practice Alert Number 10, issued on December 4th, 2012, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) recognized and emphasized the need for all audit firms to apply professional skepticism. They define professional skepticism as “an attitude that includes a questioning mind and a critical assessment of…
  • Accounting firms transition to value pricing

    In a recent blog featured by the AICPA, Jim Boomer, CIO of Boomer Consulting, Inc. explains how and why many accounting firms are transitioning to “Value Pricing” from other billing strategies. What does this involve? And how could it help both the firm and its clients?   Billing: Where's the…
  • 5 Year-end business tax tips to consider now

      Guest column by Lauren Prosser, Director of Professional Services, Sageworks Inc.   A recent Gallup survey found eight in 10 Americans consider it extremely or very important that Congress and President Obama agree on a plan to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff -- automatic budget cuts and the expiration…
  • Tax season preparation

    Featured first in Accounting Today. Chris Frederiksen, chairman and CEO of the 2020 Group and a partner of ProfitCents, recently spoke with Accounting Today and suggested what accountants can do now to prep for a more successful 2013 tax season. Invest in a decent scanner. You can’t rely on someone…
  • Business advisory services: 3 common pitfalls to avoid

    Note: This article is the final installment in our series on offering CPA Business Advisory Services. See Part V Accountants have a wide range of ways they can offer their business advisory services and still follow industry best practices. Whether your firm chooses to offer free coffee and food to…
  • 3 Best Practices for Accountants providing Business Advisory Services

    Note: This article is the fifth installment in our series on offering CPA Business Advisory Services. See Part IV Even if you are providing business advisory services to your current clientele, it's important to use the right approach to make the most of the arrangement. This includes helping your client…
  • Why accountants need to be like doctors: How to have confidence when offering business advisory services

    Note: This article is the fourth installment in our series on offering CPA Business Advisory Services. See Part III Think about a doctor’s job for a moment. When you tell the doctor that you are sick, he or she will likely run tests, show you the test results, and explain…
  • Financial data isn’t enough – 3 Reasons why

    When your vehicle’s gas tank is nearing empty, you generally have a multitude of gas stations to choose from. They all have similar offerings, so your choice is largely dictated by your location at the time and maybe the reward card you have for a certain chain. And while the…
  • 5 Financial metrics every business owner should know

    Is your business successful? How do you know? If you’re like most business owners, your days are filled by efforts to make your company successful. Those tasks might be focused on making a great product, generating sales, or building customer relationships. And you might be great at those things. But…
  • 12 Ways to Get a Mid-Year Boost

    By Lauren Prosser Manager, Sageworks Inc. Advisory Services Group Believe it or not, we’re nearing the halfway point of 2012. If you’re holding a mid-year partner retreat or starting to update your strategic plans, now’s a good time to step back and evaluate the best way to take a step…
  • What should you cover in a financial checkup?

    After working with accountants for years, a best practice that we have seen is for accountants to meet with business clients for an annual, 30-minute checkup. This meeting shouldn't require more than half an hour and isn't meant to be exhaustive. Instead it opens the door for more consistent communication and gives your…
  • Why your clients need a financial checkup once a year

    The best business people I know are always ahead of the financial data they possess. That is, the shrewdest people who run businesses have an inherent understanding that good management decisions are always based upon what is going to happen rather than on what has already happened. I have worked…
  • Avoid cash flow catastrophes: Part V - 7 tips for better forecasts

    Cash flow forecasts, the vital estimates of how much cash your business will have in order to continuing operating, are notoriously tricky because of the many variables involved. Even so, accountants and other financial experts say there are several steps you can take to improve their accuracy. 1. Be conservative.…
  • Avoid cash flow catastrophes: Part IV-10 ways cash flow forecasts go wrong

      Experts say cash flow forecasts can be tripped up by several common items that business owners and financial managers might overlook.  Generally, these can be blamed on two factors: omission or over-optimism. We’ll discuss over-optimism later, but let’s start with common items left out of cash flow forecasts that…
  • CFO Corner: Top-down approach to cash flow forecasting

    L. Heath Sampson, CFO at asset management and recovery company SquareTwo Financial, discusses talent and a top-down approach to cash flow forecasting. What was the biggest challenge your company faced over the last 12 months and how were you able to overcome it with financial leadership? One of the things…
  • 5 Reasons to improve your cash flow forecasting

    At its most basic level, cash flow forecasting helps a business survive. By knowing exactly what cash you have coming in and going out and when those transfers occur, you ensure you have enough cash to continue operating from day to day. But there are other, often related, reasons to…
  • CFO Corner: Helping new owners; common cash-forecasting mistake

    David Douglass, a partner with Atlanta-based professional services firm Tatum, recently shared with Sageworks Inc. how he met the needs of new owners and the importance of “owning” cash flow. What was the biggest challenge your company faced over the last 12 months and how were you able to overcome it…
  • Get your money faster: Four steps to minimize late payments

    Imagine having more than 1 out of every 3 dollars in your business tied up and inaccessible. That’s money you can’t use to advertise, to develop new products and services, or to hire employees. For many business owners, that scenario is a day-to-day reality as they sit with 35 percent…
  • CFO Corner: Tempering assumptions for receivables

      John Kogan, president, CEO and CFO of online community Proformative, discusses raising capital and having realistic assumptions about your receivables collection. What was the biggest challenge your company faced over the last 12 months, and how were you able to overcome it with financial leadership? Our biggest challenge was…
  • Five legal tips for a happy new year

    The IRS audits a higher percentage of businesses with assets below $50 million than businesses above that level, according to data from Syracuse University.  With that in mind, and with 2012 fast approaching, now’s a good time for small businesses to consider an end-of-year legal review to pinpoint and improve areas…
  • What Business Owners Need from their Accountants

     Business owners are in need of the following assistance from their accountants: 1.  Help with compliance regarding tax law. 2.  Assistance in preparing financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement) in a accurate and timely manner. 3.  Need accountants to act as a trusted advisor to help…