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  • 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 --…
  • Will a talent shortage drive business valuation demand?

    The tightening labor market could be good news for deal activity and for the business valuation professionals who assist buyers and sellers. It also highlights for business advisors a timely topic to discuss with business owners: the importance of intangible assets like talent for the value of the business. A…
  • 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…
  • Ask tax clients questions to identify advisory service opportunities

    Accountants preparing for the upcoming season may be tackling the annual checklists related to hiring, training, technology updates and scheduling. However, you can also use this time of year to do some casual research that will help identify advisory services that deepen relationships (and engagements) with clients throughout the year.…
  • 3 Myths about providing advisory services to accounting clients

    With the latest tax deadline behind them and the individual tax season ahead, accountants this time of year often realize that they are on a treadmill of never-ending deadlines with only brief periods of relief. They may be enjoying the break they have now, but they know that the treadmill…
  • 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…
  • Infographic: How will your firm grow?

    Most partners or valuation professionals are constantly asking themselves this question: How will our firm grow?  According to an April 2017 Sageworks webinar poll, 41 percent of attendees selected the top challenge for valuation practices is attracting new clients signifying the biggest challenge for the 275 valuation professionals. With the average, unexpected…
  • 3 Ways you may be ruining your financial presentations

    For accountants, valuation professionals and other business advisory professionals, financial presentations are a fact of life. Even if you are among the many people who fear public speaking more than they fear death, chances are that you will be required to present financials to clients or managers at some point…
  • Print copy of “Next-Level Accountants” now available

    Despite a decade of eReaders and eBooks, many people still prefer printed books, according to Deloitte and other researchers. "I just like to feel the paper” or “I understand more when I see it on paper” are some common reasons people give for choosing hard-copy books over eReaders. In fact,…
  • 3 Accounting clients who need a ProfitCents report

    A lot of new ProfitCents customers understandably want to get the most out of the solution without devoting a ton of time in order to ramp up. One of the first steps in making sure you generate an acceptable return on your investment is to identify quickly a small number…
  • Business, marital disputes fuel valuation demand

    By Brad Spence, Director of Valuation Solutions, Sageworks Accountants considering adding or expanding valuation services in their practice may wonder about the demand for valuation services and what kind of clients can benefit from a valuation or calculation engagement. According to valuation and forensic specialists queried in the 2014 AICPA…
  • What is your accounting firm’s plan post-tax season?

    With spring comes the promise of warmer temperatures, irises and snapdragons, along with March Madness college basketball rivalries and the start of baseball season. While tax accountants may not be able to see the light at the end of the busy season tunnel yet, the spring is sure to come.…
  • What's ahead in 2015? 9 Trends accounting firms should look for in the New Year

    No matter your goals, the New Year is an opportunity for a fresh start both personally and professionally. To set yourself up for success professionally, you must be willing to understand the importance of and deliver on new trends, needs and expectations. It is no different for accounting firms. In…
  • How to cross-sell additional accounting services with ProfitCents

    Clients of accounting services hold their accountants as one of their most trusted business advisors. This high level of confidence positions you, as a CPA, in a role where you can offer services beyond commodities such as bookkeeping and tax preparation. In a recent case study, Sageworks’ customer Mueller Prost…
  • 4 Ways to market your firm's niche

    If your accounting firm doesn't have a formal marketing plan in place, you're not alone. Six out of seven accounting firms represented at a recent webinar hosted by Sageworks said their firms lack such a plan to guide their efforts to attract new business and bolster their reputation or brand.…
  • 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…
  • The 8 questions to picking an accounting niche

    Consumers understand that certain retailers specialize in particular items. If you're looking to plant tomatoes in your garden, your first step is unlikely to visit the local Best Buy store. Sometimes a specialty retailer is necessary to meet your needs. Such can also be the case with accountants. A one-size-fits…
  • 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…
  • Poll: How much is thought leadership and content marketing used at your firm?

    ProfitCents by Sageworks recently hosted a webinar, Content Marketing Strategies, which discussed how to effectively implement and use thought leadership in your accounting firm. Rob Nance, director of content marketing & consulting services at Inovautus Consulting, explained ways to overcome the most common challenges in creating thought leadership. During the…
  • Business valuations: Opportunities for accountants

    Have you ever had a business client who was terrific to work with but who stopped being a client because he or she retired?  If you’ve been an accountant for long, chances are you’ve seen a business client or two drop off of your list because the owner retired and…
  • 1 Easy way to go from tax accountant to trusted advisor

      If you could plant a seed this busy season that would help you grow your business the rest of the year, would you do it? Many accountants have found that they can quickly show clients they are more than tax preparers by providing something nearly all business owners want…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • An accountant's checklist for client meetings

    Building relationships with your accounting clients requires trust, rapport and an atmosphere for open dialogue. Many accounting firms use a checklist to prepare for client meetings and to facilitate information exchange. Here are some questions that many accountants who are clients of Sageworks have found helpful when interacting with their…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • Industry niches in accounting: 5 Questions to consider

    By Lauren Prosser, Director of ProfitCents Consulting Services, Sageworks In a previous post, we began to explore the three critical questions any firm must answer when crafting an industry niche-driven growth strategy. We first looked at a 7-step approach for identifying key industry trends and changes defining the industry environment…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • CPAs are top compliance resources

    As regulations have increased, businesses are less confident in their ability to manage compliance, a top executive with ADP’s small business services unit said recently. For CPAs, that can mean an opportunity to deepen client relationships and provide additional services related to tracking and meeting various regulations.  Certified Public Accountants…
  • 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…
  • Advising small business clients on personal guarantee negotiations

    In a recent post, AccountingWEB discusses how to advise your business owner clients about personal guarantees and what choices they have. A personal guarantee is almost impossible to get around when signing a commercial loan, but there are a few things your clients can do before signing.  Advising Small Business…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • How sticky notes can increase your accounting firm’s bottom line: 2 approaches for marketing advisory services

    Note: This article is the third installment in our series on offering CPA Business Advisory Services. View Part II Last time we discussed the importance of picking the right clients when you offer business advisory services. Once you have completed the selection process it’s important to alert your clients to…
  • Pick the 'right' client: Learn to stand out among CPAs

    Note: This article is the second installment in our series on offering CPA Business Advisory Services. See Part I 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 doubtless spent…
  • Business advisory services: 3 Reasons why your firm should offer them

    Your car’s fuel gauge reads empty and you need to find a gas station. Despite BP’s new ad campaign or the magazine article you recently read about ExxonMobil’s efforts to “go green” you still stop at the station with the cheapest gas prices. This scenario illustrates how customers evaluate pure…
  • Become a trusted business advisor – 3 ways

    When a business owner is searching for an accountant, his or her choice is not so simplified. Financial services—despite what some of your tax-only clients may believe—is far from a commodity. And in many cases, location and even price are immaterial. What, then, is the best way to acquire clients…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • Three ways to grow your accounting practice

    Most accountants this time of year are swamped meeting tax-filing deadlines, but once business slows down, do you know how to rev things up? Gale Crosley, founder and principal of Atlanta-based consultant Crosley+Company, offers these tips for growing your practice. She highlights ways that ProfitCents, Sageworks’ web-based financial analysis software…
  • 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…
  • Fumbling financials (continued)-Avoiding the pitfalls of presenting numbers

    Part IV. Five tips for a financial presentation Last week, we continued the topic of how to present financial information to various audiences by addressing the importance of providing perspective and drawing connections between the numbers you provide.  In earlier posts, we reviewed keeping your data simple and focused, and…
  • Fumbling financials: How to avoid the pitfalls of presenting numbers

    Part I: Numb from numbers Plato said, “A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.”  But the reality of business is that numbers are the starting point for most decisions.  Financial information is typically the central building block for seeking a bank loan to start or expand…
  • Companies’ sights on controlling costs

    Private companies in the U.S. have kept a tight rein on overhead expenses, even as sales have risen, an analysis of companies’ financial statements by Sageworks shows.  Meanwhile, recent layoff announcements and a jump in jobless claims for the first week of January suggest companies are continuing efforts to control…
  • Duke's Global Entrepreneurship Program--Featuring Sageworks' Brian Hamilton

    Interviewed by Howie Rhee. Full article can be found here.  You went to Sacred Heart University for your undergraduate degree. What did you study and were you involved in anything entrepreneurial while you were there?When I was at Sacred Heart, I studied management and finance. My entrepreneurial experience started significantly…
  • Ten Ways to Make the Most of Your Time with Your Accountant

    If you are running a business, you probably understand the operations behind it. A bakery owner knows how to craft a decent cupcake, and a plumber knows the cause and cure for a leaky faucet. For most business owners, financial management of their company is less intuitive and seemingly less urgent…