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  • 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…
  • 4 Strategies to keep up with tech changes

    As technology continues to evolve, it is difficult for every team member to keep up. Employers can help by implementing strategies to ensure that employees are proficient in and knowledgeable of new industry tech. The below strategies will guide a firm’s development of well-informed, proficient employees.  1. Where do your…
  • Infographic: Is your firm future ready?

    With 90 percent of accounting firms acknowledging that the digital future is rapidly approaching, it is crucial that firms prepare themselves for the collision of trends that will drive the future of the industry. A fast future of new competitive advantages that will drive productivity and progress in the industry…
  • 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…
  • Small U.S. accounting firms and their consultative future

    While the Big 4 firms often receive the majority of coverage and attention in the accounting industry, they are far from representative of the average firm in the U.S. In fact, 90% of all accounting firms have 10 or fewer collective partners or owners (AFOT). By 2024, sector growth of…
  • How to run quarterly roundups and use balance business scorecards at your firm

    By Rich Greene, CEO - Director, Clarus Advisors The great Yankee catcher Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there.”  I am confident that your clients have strategic plans, business plans and budgets. I am also confident they are keenly aware of…
  • 4 Ways to earn CPE credits in North Carolina

      All CPAs are required to complete Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits in order to maintain their professional competence and provide quality accounting services. Considering that tax laws and regulations are constantly changing, earning CPE credits and continuing to gain expertise is a must. This article addresses current CPE rules…
  • How to improve the weakest points of your client relationships

    The critical factors clients seek in today’s firm are expertise, communication and the proactive supply of business enhancing advice. The performance on these three categories will set individual advising firms apart from their competition.  As data becomes a more integral part of analysis in today’s technologically savvy world, it becomes…
  • The most useful (and rarely used) types of data analytics

    By Jackie McLaughlin, CPA Data analytics are gaining momentum as they are increasingly being used during the audit process. As auditors know, data analytics are required during both the beginning and the end of an audit. However, analytics can also be employed efficiently and effectively as substantive procedures. Data analytics…
  • 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.  …
  • Whitepaper: How to improve financial presentations to clients

    The following is an excerpt from the Sageworks whitepaper "How to Improve Financial Presentations to Clients". Numbers are the starting point for most business decisions, whether it be seeking a bank loan to start or expand a business, obtaining board approval for a new project or clearing a new hire…
  • A strong year (financially) for U.S. accounting professionals

    As professionals who specialize in finance, preparing financial statements, and assisting business owners with their financial performance, one would suspect that accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll service companies would tend to have a firm grip on their own financial performance. And looking at statements filed over the past year,…
  • 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…
  • 10 Twitter accounts every accountant should follow

    Information overload seems to be an occupational hazard for anyone spending time on the internet these days, particularly on social media channels.  Coupled with the fact that new social media platforms pop up on what seems like a daily basis, it can be tough for financial professionals to sift through…
  • The ABCs of becoming your client's most trusted advisor

    By Adam Blitz, Principal and Consultant at GetBlitzed Solutions When I was in college, working on obtaining my degree in business economics at UC Santa Barbara, I can recall that I was required to take ONE communications course. Only one 4-hour communication course of a single semester during my entire…
  • 3 simple ways to differentiate a valuation practice in 2016

    Let's assume, for the purpose of this article, that you are operating a successful valuation or accounting firm. Or, perhaps you're an M&A professional or business broker, but no matter the nature of your work, you have a cash flow positive, successful organization. Yet your work valuing businesses and advising…
  • Be a profit center: Add value to your consulting engagements

    By Adam Blitz, Principal and Consultant at GetBlitzed Solutions CPA’s can be invaluable. However, CPA’s often dive into accounting work that only meets the compliance requirements. It’s common knowledge that clients need tax returns or financial statements completed and submitted in a timely manner. It’s also well known that the…
  • 12 Questions to ask in consultative client meetings

    When accountants go to client meetings they run the risk of either going in without a plan or failing to innovate their usual tactics for understanding their client. Since most business owners view accountants as a commodity, prioritizing the ways you communicate with your client during your annual or quarterly…
  • Before and after tax season checklist: How to increase revenue and add value

    Hectic schedules and an immense workload often prevent accountants from fulfilling their role as a trusted advisor during tax season. Time crunches mean that some strategic planning that accountants wish they could implement for their clients goes out the window during these months. Though strategic planning for clients must be…
  • Preparing to execute well this tax season

    A significant amount of planning is typically involved before most major events. For example, D-day, the most comprehensive invasion to ever take place, was planned and scheduled with extreme detail months before its execution on June 6, 1944. Likewise, accountants each year experience a tax season that requires detailed planning…
  • 3 Ways to capitalize on your tax season engagements

    Every year, accountants brace themselves for the inevitable tax season. For many accountants, unfortunately, tax season means that lucrative consulting work that can diversify revenue and bolster firm growth throughout the year gets put on hold in order to handle the mountains of personal and business tax returns. However, tax…
  • Attracting and retaining female staff

    It will come as no surprise that one of the largest concerns facing accounting firms today is staffing. For some firms, the way to solve this is by ensuring there is a greater gender balance among the staff. Although women are entering the profession in higher numbers than ever before,…
  • The power of Twitter for recruitment

    Twitter may not be the first site that comes to mind for job hunters, but the numbers don’t lie – in 2012 eight million applicants found jobs using the social media application. Using the platform for recruiting purposes is also increasingly common. A marketing firm in Dallas uses the site…
  • Attracting and retaining millennial talent

    With the inevitable retirement of baby boomers, it is critical to have plans in place for developing the future leaders of your firm. This process begins by hiring potential partners who have the potential to grow into your firm’s cash cow. How does your firm begin to identify and draw…
  • The benefits of audit technology

    Current technology has enabled auditors to analyze extensive amounts of financial data, allowing accounting professionals to more easily identify areas of risk. These technologies have also helped streamline time per audit and produced higher quality assurance. Is your firm taking advantage of these current technologies? What might the future of…
  • Guiding your succession planning

    For many years leaders in the accounting profession have preached the need for firm succession planning. And there is no time like the present. The retirement of baby boomers combined with high turnover and the slow growth of new entrants to the profession all point to the inevitable passing of…
  • Succession planning: Defining and finding an ideal candidate

    Succession planning, whether you are a sole proprietor or a top 200 firm, is a delicate topic. With such a transition there are not only financial components to consider but also the relational changes that could occur. These changes will not only affect dynamics within the company but also the…
  • Growing your firm’s advisory services: Financial management

    One of the growing interests for accountants is expanding their firm’s services to include financial advisory. The transition from compliance to consulting makes sense: tax season is just that, a “season,” and nearly 60 percent of respondents to a Sageworks survey indicated they saw an increase in total revenue by…
  • Technology overload: Which option is the best for me?

    Industry, especially the financial industry, has become packed with insightful and time saving technologies. In a recent Sageworks webinar, 60 percent of attendees said that one of their main road blocks to adopting new technology at their firm was their unfamiliarity with potential solutions. In today’s blog I will map…
  • Engage your market by leveraging technology

    The message of accounting firms has remained relatively the same over the past decade. Offers of insight and ways to generate business growth and increase effectiveness have flooded the market. Though the message has stayed constant, technological improvements have opened the door for firms to reach beyond the borders of…
  • June and July: The months of accounting conferences

    June and July have notoriously been the months that most firms use to attend accounting industry conferences. Though June is coming to a close, it is not too late to think through how your firm may be able to benefit from this time out of the office and away from…
  • Summer goals: Improve your audit planning

    Memorial Day unofficially kicked off summer, a time of year that often prompts auditors to begin reflection on what type of accounting firm they want to be. Whether you went on vacation with friends or family for the long holiday or continued to work away in the office, your mind…
  • Yelp for accountants: What your online reputation can mean for new business

    With more than 142 million users per month and 77 million local reviews, you’ve likely used Yelp’s website or mobile app to source a great Italian restaurant or locate the nearest bakery when you’re craving something sweet. But the review-based community extends far beyond ravioli and cannoli. Just about any…
  • What can your firm learn from busy season?

    Get ready to breathe a sigh of relief… you’ve almost made it to the end of busy season. If your Twitter feed has consistently seen nothing but #busyseasonproblems for the last few months, it’s nearly time to make them a distant memory (but admit that you’ll miss the comic relief).…
  • Marketing tips to boost your valuation business

    Unlike many traditional accounting services, such as tax preparation and auditing, valuation work is often a one-and-done kind of engagement. Recurring projects with the same client aren’t very common, unless it’s an annual assessment of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) or something similar.  As a result, bringing in new…
  • The madness of March: Busy season edition

    Someecard created by Whitney2327585 If you’re an accountant, a CPA or an auditor, March may very well be the most grueling month of the year. You’re probably up to your ears in #busyseasonproblems like being overloaded on caffeine, working on little sleep, and jealousy for missing out on the college…
  • 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…
  • Valuation vs. calculation engagements: What’s the difference?

    By Brad Spence, Director of Valuation Solutions, Sageworks Accountants, other professionals and their clients encounter many circumstances that may generate the need for an appraisal of a business or part of a business: • Divorce • Tax planning • Buy-side due diligence on a merger or acquisition or sell-side advice…
  • 4 Traits of quality industry data for valuing a business

    By Erik Lively, Regional Valuation Consultant, Sageworks Accountants and other financial professionals know that the quality of industry data can make a substantial difference in business valuation services, whether it’s for a valuation engagement or for a calculated value to help develop a business improvement plan. Good industry data can…
  • Do you have 99 #busyseasonproblems?

    Tax and audit season got you down? For all in the accounting industry, it’s the time of year that means longer days, pots of coffee, and staring at spreadsheets and W-2 forms ad nauseam. You may be teetering dangerously close to the point of sleeping under your desk at night.…
  • Business valuations as performance dashboards for accounting clients

      By Brad Spence, Director of Enterprise & Valuation Teams, Sageworks Many accountants are exploring opportunities to add business valuations to their menu of client services, especially as valuation demand increases and as these professionals understand valuations can generate higher profits than traditional accounting services. Offering advisory services like valuation…
  • 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.…
  • Business valuation methods matter

    By Brad Spence, Director of Enterprise & Valuation Teams, Sageworks Think performing quality business valuations is important? Consider this statistic: Roughly one in every three business-sale engagements for brokers over the last 12 months ended without a transaction, and unrealistic asking prices were a major factor in the failed deals,…
  • Professional standards and business valuations

    By Brad Spence, Director of Enterprise & Valuation Teams, Sageworks Standards – whether they relate to academics, safety or business practices – help people identify acceptable levels of quality, and standards are used in nearly all aspects of our lives. Without standards, for example, it’d be harder to tell whether…
  • Stop creating “Frankenstein” business valuation reports

    By Mike McCaffery, Regional Consultant – Valuation Solutions, Sageworks Business valuation professionals know that writing the report is a major component of performing valuations.  For one thing, valuation analysts spend a lot of time on each report. In fact, writing the report is the most time-consuming part of the process…
  • How to reduce professional liability risk when performing valuations

    By Brad Spence, Director of Valuation Solutions, Sageworks   Remember the old saying, “Make hay while the sun shines”? It’s a good reminder that one should take advantage of opportunities while they’re available. Valuation services represent one good opportunity for growth that many accountants recognize and are taking steps to…
  • Three ways to keep your best employees from leaving your firm

    A few decades ago, it was fairly common for a person to secure a job immediately following graduation from school and remain with the company until retirement. Those days are gone, and now, hanging on to top talent is a significant concern for most employers. In October, PayScale, the online…
  • How to get referrals and grow your firm

    By Natasha Closs, Director of ProfitCents Consulting & Advisory Services An ongoing challenge for accountants and other financial services professionals is attracting new clients. In fact, bringing in new clients is at or near the top of the list of challenges facing accounting firms of all sizes, and it’s a…
  • 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 is your accounting firm leveraging social media to reach prospective clients?

    “Let’s connect on LinkedIn…” This phrase has become almost as common as exchanging business cards when at an industry event or conference. Perhaps you’ve even used the phrase at the grocery store or the gym. The question is no longer if you’re on the social networking site, but whether you…
  • 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 transition your accounting firm from compliance mode to consultant mode

    An accountant's workload is much more than just tax preparation and number crunching. According to a 2014 IBISWorld report, financially-cognizant companies are increasingly turning to their accounting firms for advice on how to reduce inefficiencies in daily operations and eliminate unnecessary costs. Because accountants are among the most trusted business…
  • Accountants: Are you really listening to your clients?

    The holiday season and the close of a year tend to bring out a more pensive person in many of us. The last few weeks on the calendar become a time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re going. Professionally, this is a valuable time to evaluate the…
  • 5 Questions accountants can ask to deepen client relationships during tax season

    At the height of tax season one problem accountants often face is maximizing their client meetings. When an entire firm – and entire industry, for that matter – is racing against the clock and aims to pack as much into each day as possible, it is natural for even the…
  • Don’t worry, be happy: Firm-wide benefits of an accounting mentorship program

    Do you recall your first few years post-grad? You may yearn for fewer responsibilities (and wrinkles) and more “free” time of ages 22 through your mid to late 20s, or you may remember it less fondly in a small apartment with many roommates and less in the bank. No matter…
  • What to get for the accountant who has everything

    The “most wonderful time of the year” is officially in hyper drive. The hand-print turkeys are now a distant memory and you’ve fought your way out of the Thanksgiving food coma. Before you know it, you’ll be ringing in 2015 and busy season will have you funneling coffee instead of…
  • Branding your accounting firm online

    Many of the world’s biggest brands have interesting back stories to their famous names and slogans. It’s been part of the folklore with coffee maker Maxwell House that President Theodore Roosevelt coined its “good to the last drop” slogan sometime around 1907. The story will likely never be deemed as…
  • Use technology to retain accounting clients

    Let’s face it: business owners need accountants for more than taxes alone.  Many people who start and run businesses lack the financial perspective to be able to look at their financial statements and see potential pitfalls or opportunities for improving performance. And they desire guidance on how to plan for…
  • Opportunities in advisory services, accounting industry leader says

    Core tax and accounting services will remain integral to the accounting profession, but accountants may also find opportunities in specialty services, an AICPA leader said this week. Carl Peterson, vice president of the AICPA’s small firm interests groups, told Accounting Today’s Growth & Profitability Summit this week that accountants are…
  • 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.…
  • Guest blog post: Protecting yourself online

    The majority of professionals love technology. It makes not only your personal life easier, but running your small business or CPA firm, too. But when is too much technology just too much? Sageworks asked Don West, a member of the AICPA's Information Management and Technology Assurance Section's CITP Credential Committee…
  • Accountants win more clients doing these 3 things

    Have you ever wondered why your accounting firm lost out on a recent engagement? Do you get frustrated when clients show little interest in utilizing the firm’s additional services that are offered? A lot of accountants may assume that they lost a potential client because another firm presented a lower…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • An accounting firm's checklist for attracting and keeping talented team members

    Finding and retaining qualified staff is a top concern among accounting firms, according to the AICPA. Establishing a plan to recruit and develop staff in your firm will help you attract and keep top-notch employees. This checklist provides 4 steps you can take to win and retain talented team members.…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 7 Questions successful accountants ask during client meetings

    It's important for accountants to have a list of key questions to use during client meetings to deepen relationships. This checklist can provide a wealth of benefits including better understanding of client challenges and highlighting opportunities to cross-sell accounting services. Download this checklist to learn questions you can ask that will…
  • How to master small talk and help your accounting practice

    Everyone is pressed for time, and accountants are especially so, particularly at certain times of the year. But every time you contact or meet someone, you have an opportunity to cultivate new business, whether it’s with the person with whom you’re speaking or with someone they know.  That’s why it’s…
  • 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…
  • Why accountants choose ProfitCents

    Accounting professionals go the distance for their clients and arm themselves with the information and tools they need to be successful at their jobs. That’s why accountants looking to win new clients and increase engagements use ProfitCents. ProfitCents was developed by Sageworks, the leader in the financial analysis of privately…
  • The truth about valuations in 2014

    Low interest rates. Ample bank financing. Record capital committed to private equity funds. The highest value of private-equity backed buyout deals since 2007. These factors and others are contributing to intensifying deal competition, which means private equity firms on both sides of transactions must increasingly find an edge to win without…
  • Are your accounting firm's clients cheating on you?

    Roughly 1 in 3 clients uses multiple accounting firms to meet all of their needs, according to a recent survey by consulting firm L. Harris Partners. If you believe that percentage is smaller for your firm, you might be right, or you might be naïve. Another survey by the firm…
  • 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…
  • Grow your accounting firm by shrinking your focus

      Did you know you can expand your accounting firm’s business by narrowing its focus? Many accountants worry they must be “all things to all clients,” offering specific services to clients from various industries, of various sizes and of various value to the firm. As a result, firms are often…
  • Most common challenges facing business valuation professionals

    The process of valuing a business combines both art and science and can be arduous. Generally speaking, a detailed, comprehensive analysis and the ability to develop accurate projections and assumptions are necessities. Business valuation also requires the application of finance theory in the appropriate places and using professional judgment. With…
  • Understanding a business valuation

    It has come to our attention that many accountants are interested in expanding their firm by adding a business valuation practice, however there isn’t much existing easy-to-understand literature on what exactly a business valuation is as well as its components. A business valuation is a set of processes and procedures…
  • 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…
  • Do clients want accountants to give proactive advice? You betcha!

    Here’s both a tip to accountants looking for new business clients and a warning to accountants about existing clients:  A recent survey by technology provider The Sleeter Group found that the top reason small- and medium-sized businesses left their accountant was because the accountant did not give proactive advice, only…
  • 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…
  • Why should accountants specialize?

    Many accounting firms believe that in order to generate as much business as possible, they must be generalists. They may prefer to focus on a handful of industries or offer a narrower range of services, but they worry that doing so could cost them revenue and financial security. As a…
  • 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…
  • How accountants get new clients by using ProfitCents

    "On what page can I find the fee?"Accountants often get this question as they meet with prospects to present a service proposal, and unfortunately, sometimes they get it soon after handing the prospect the proposal. The fierce competition in accounting these days has pressured some accounting firms to compete on…
  • 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…
  • Accountants: Help clients with these 3 pain points

      While some clients may view their accountants as tax preparers or compliance resources, accountants are in a unique position to provide additional services that address business clients’ major pain points. Your training, experience and insight can help business owners gain perspective on the financial performance of their business and…
  • 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…
  • Want to discourage price-shopping by your accounting clients? Here’s how

    Do clients ever tell you they’ve priced-shopped your services? Do they ever leave with no explanation, maybe because they were price focused? Or are you worried you’ll have to lower your prices or continue to forego increases in order to retain good customers? An effective way to insulate your accounting…
  • 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…
  • Relax and reflect once busy season ends

    Congratulations! With April 15 behind us, the end to what’s considered the busiest season for tax accountants has come (even though many will undoubtedly have plenty of work left to tackle). Granted, those of you in auditing are still gutting it out to the finish line, but at least the…
  • 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…
  • How to develop an industry niche

    In this brief video, founder and president of The Business Fox, Nancy Fox, discusses how to develop a “rich” niche market. Fox highlights that there are three pathways to developing a niche market: industries, common factors, and motivations. In addition, Fox suggests thinking outside of the box when developing your…
  • 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…
  • What accountants say during busy season

    We all know that busy season is the time of year when accountants are spending countless hours in the office. So, we figured there had to be lots of phrases accountants use and questions they are asked prior to April 15th and wanted to share what we found. When we…
  • 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…
  • 5 funny accounting types to follow on Twitter

    Let’s face it, during busy season, many accountants don’t have time to watch “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” or to catch re-runs of “The Office.” But you can still get a few laughs throughout the day by following some of these amusing accounting types on Twitter. Some have given special…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 4 Stress-busting ideas for accountants during busy season

    Let’s all agree that drinking at the office during busy season isn’t a good idea – for you or your clients. So what are some other ways accountants can battle the effects of continuous stress and long hours in the coming months? Here are four stress-busting ideas: 1. Take your…
  • How to implement content marketing in your accounting firm

    By Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk, president and CEO, bbr marketing Everyone’s talking about it and most accounting firm owners have a sense they should be doing it, but what exactly is content marketing? In a nutshell, it’s a marketing paradigm that opts for providing something of value as a method of…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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 small businesses can avoid a tax audit

    By Bailey McCann, Funding Gates Bailey McCann First the bad news – small businesses are often the go-to target for the IRS if they are looking at who to audit.  Small businesses take a number of deductions that can be hard to justify without rock solid paperwork and receipts (like…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • Accounting jobs tough to fill, survey says

    Accounting and finance jobs are some of the hardest to fill, according to a recent survey by ManpowerGroup.  The workforce solutions company surveyed more than 1,000 employers and found that 39 percent of U.S. employers are having a tough time finding the right staff with the right skills. The top…
  • What are your firm’s priorities?

    Accounting professionals were recently surveyed by Sageworks to identify management issues that firms consider a top priority. In this post, Lauren Prosser, director of ProfitCents Professional Services, discusses 5 different categories most important to firms.  By Lauren Prosser If your CPA firm is like most, its biggest assets are the…
  • 5 Ways to uncover mid-year client opportunities

    Guest column by Lauren Prosser, Director of ProfitCents Professional Services, Sageworks Inc. Spring is a time of optimism, so it's a great time for accounting firms to look for fresh opportunities to grow the business. In this post, Lauren Prosser, director of ProfitCents Professional Services, offers five ways accounting firms…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • How client sharing can grow your accounting firm

    In a recent post featured by Accounting Today, Sarah Johnson, Chief Growth Strategist with Inovautus Consulting, discusses the benefits of sharing clients to secure you firms future success. Should your firm take on this process? Why sharing clients is caring...and can help you grow By Sarah Johnson, Inovautus Consulting Transitioning…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • CPA firms: What are your competitors focusing on?

    By: Craig Weeks of CPA Profit Plus and Sageworks, Inc. Scenario:  You are an accountant with management responsibility in a small to medium size firm.  You understand the idiosyncrasies related to your practice and the surrounding locale, but when it comes to longer term management strategies it often feels like…
  • 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…
  • 5 ways to make the most of 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. But for most business owners, financial management of their company is less intuitive and seemingly…
  • 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…
  • 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…
  • CFO Corner: Sensitivity analyses for working capital

    Bob Pinkerton, CFO of contact center solutions provider Alpine Access of Denver, discusses streamlining the deal-review process and running sensitivities around working capital for cash flow forecasts. What was the biggest challenge your company faced over the last 12 months and how were you able to overcome it with financial…
  • CFO Corner: Expansions; Weighing new opportunities and the budget

    Sheila Buska, CFO for the Monarch School, a public K-12 school in downtown San Diego that is exclusively for homeless students, discusses challenges during an expansion and weighing budgets and cash-flow forecasts against unexpected opportunities that arise.  What was the biggest challenge your company faced over the last 12 months…
  • CFO Corner: Challenging cash-flow forecasts

    Paula Griffo, CFO of VoIP Supply, an Amherst, N.Y., provider of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions, discusses reducing operating expenses and the challenge of developing accurate cash-flow forecasts. What was the biggest challenge your company faced over the last 12 months and how were you able to overcome it…