Accounting Website Design: Getting Found

Guest Post By: By Brian O'Connell At some point, some of us will notice a bothersome little itch that says: time to find an accountant I really like. Your connection to an accountant has a lot to do with chemistry, which will only be clear once you've met. But, there are ways to tell whether an accounting firm is going to be professional and client-centered. The best of these is with CPA websites for accountants. Looking at your potential new accountant's website will tell you a lot … [Read more...]

Midyear Strategies for Gaining Business to Business Referrals

We’ve presented over the last 2 weeks how you can use a secret formula for increasing your referrals and using stories that leave your audience begging for more.  Now, it’s time to wrap things up.  Since we seem to be on a magic formula kick, we’ll wrap this up with one more that you can use to turn midyear reviews into business to business referrals. Start by identifying an "A" client — one who energizes you to work with, one who reminds you why you went into business for yourself in the first … [Read more...]

3-Step Formula on How to Get Referrals

Last week I wrote about a magic three-step system for doubling your referrals. Why? Most tax business owners tell us that referrals are your single most important source of new clients. But, few of you make a point of asking for those referrals — effectively — and fewer still have systems in place for generating those all-important referred prospects. Since they still don’t teach how to get referrals in accountants continuing education, we’ll cover it here. Last week's article struck a … [Read more...]

Leveraging Current Clients For Business Referral

I've done hundreds of new member consultations. One question I always ask is "what's your best source of new clients?" The answer is almost always, "business referral." But lately, I've been pulling a bit of a Columbo and asking "just one more thing." Specifically, I'll ask "what systems do you have in place to generate those all-important referrals?" And then there's an uncomfortable silence on the other end of the phone. After all, they don’t teach this kind of stuff in accountant … [Read more...]

Pros and Cons of Continuing Education In Accounting Options

Accounting, finance, and law are among the most challenging disciplines.  From Enron to Madoff, the climate is getting increasingly more scandalous requiring professionals in these fields to face increasing ongoing education.  Even the new tax preparer’s license will be required to meet continuing education in accounting requirements. Whether or not you believe the new continuing education requirements for accountants will protect employees and investors from losses remains to be seen.  … [Read more...]

Creating a More Efficient and Secure Practice Through Client Portals

Since sending clients their tax returns via email is no longer an option, accountants are searching for alternatives to email communicating and collaborating with clients. Client portals offer a secure alternative with added benefits. Many firms are experiencing significant time savings and increased office efficiency through the use of client portals.  Not only does this help practitioners comply with federal and state regulations requiring encryption of sensitive information (like social … [Read more...]

Using Newsletters for Email Marketing to Build Relationships

Finding a way to stay in touch with clients and prospects is not only a great way for marketing financial planning, but a great way to create loyalty and softly stay in front of potential clients or prospects in your pipeline with email marketing. Providing your clients with an attractive personalized newsletter is one way to accomplish this.  The newsletter can serve as a means of communication – 12 touch points throughout the year.  The last thing you want is for your clients to hear about … [Read more...]

Taking Control of Accounts Receivable Management

Looking to get rid of your Accounts Receivable? Most small business accountants I meet with think this is impossible. Think again! Effective accounts receivable management can get you paid for your hard work in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, tax firms tend to run in SALY (same as last year) fashion. This leads to the old way of doing things, with little change in the industry. If you’re like most accounting professionals, perhaps you bill a 50% retainer or some sort of deposit when a client … [Read more...]

Creating a Truly Paperless Office

If you're like me, you may have thought in the past that creating a paperless office means: 1. Using a traditional paper tax file to complete the tax prep process 2. At the end of the process, scan the tax file to make it "paperless" WRONG. While you may cut down on the document storage by "end scanning" your tax files, you are completely missing the benefits of becoming a truly paperless office.   First, you aren't benefiting from the efficiency paperless document management brings.   … [Read more...]

Designing a Workflow System

Designing a Workflow System A Deep-Fried Workflow Model One of my summertime favorites is an annual trip to the fair. Although the summer fairs generally feature the same attractions and exhibits year after year, the board of directors find new and innovative ways to market a unique experience each July. The introduction of unique, one-of-a-kind new taste sensations such as deep fried girl scout cookies, Baby Ruth filled jalapenos, deep fried jerky, and even deep fried kool-aid satisfy the … [Read more...]