Today's Features

Why You Need Offsite Backup

Man standing in front of server rackData "snapshots" make restoration much simpler.

By Roman H. Kepczyk
Quantum of Paperless

Your firm’s safety net in the event of ANY disaster is your data backup. It had better be consistently performed and securely stored offsite.

MORE ON TECH SPENDING: Time to Replace a Server? Consider the Cloud | Desktops vs. Laptops | Keep Your Tech Budget Updated | Mandate Training Programs | Turn to Portal Encryption | Deliver Reports Digitally (Even In-House) | Tech Trends for Auditors | Front-End Scanning Hits the Mainstream | Don’t Just Store Documents, Manage Them | Which Wireless Depends on Location
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Typically, firms have a problem when the process they relied on to make the backups didn’t work or was not complete because new servers, drives or directories were added but not updated in the backup program.

Succession: The Questions to Care About

Track and field athletes passing relay baton. Studio shot over white.BONUS CHECKLISTS: 5 rules to govern a succession plan. 8 keys to an effective compensation system.

By Bill Reeb and Dominic Cingoranelli
CPA Trendlines / Succession Institute

We've seen a lot of frequently shared, misdirected advice on commonly discussed succession issues. We would rather stop focusing on symptoms and start focusing on resolving the root cause issues that a good succession plan should address.

MORE ON PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: 7 Succession Questions to Ignore for Now | Hazards of Not Reallocating Equity | Develop Your Employees or Suffer the Consequences | How to Target What Skills to Develop Now | What Having Your Employees’ Backs Means

Our solution: The Robust Succession Framework

First and foremost, good succession management is a function of good business operating practices. Over and over, we find successful firms – including many that have even effectively retired partners in the past – that are overlooking some very important best practices.

11 Clear Client Instructions to Make Your Tax Season Easier

Businessman points to words "KEEP IT SIMPLE"Help them help you.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Tax Season Opportunity Guide

Providing instructions of what a client needs to do must be clear enough so that the client doesn’t call you to find out what to do.

Sometimes taking an extra minute to lay out what the client should do can eliminate that call or indecisive moment a client might feel.

Don’t Be Cheap or Lazy with Client Communications

By Hank Berkowitz
Wealth Management

As the old saying goes, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” By the same token, you only get one chance to leave a lasting impression. At a time when four out of five high-net-worth individuals are considering leaving their advisors at any given time, can you afford to take a chance with your hard-won clients?

MORE: The Most Effective Channels for AdvisorsPersonal Financial PlanningClient Service Opportunities, Growth & Marketing

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SURVEY: Tablet Use Remains Low

Trend Watch: Limited work is done on tablets/iPads.


Q: Please estimate what percentage of your accountants and staff
use tablets/iPads to complete work-related tasks.


Chart of survey results

List of survey answers
Source: Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey


More Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey: Remote Access Use Sliding Down | Cloud Usage Still Spotty | Email Hosting Done Outside Office | Mergers on the Mind | Hidden Risks in Document Retention Practices | Accountants Shaky on Email Archive Policies | How Savvy CPAs Use the AFOT Survey to Make Smarter Business Decisions | Keep Pace First, Change Will Come (Like It or Not) | You’re Not Tech-Savvy If You’re Not Cyber-Safe, Too | Lions and Tigers and Blockchain and Bots, Oh My!
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Dear Midsized Firms: Yes, You Can Change

Why you should strive for utopia.

By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA

In a traditional firm, the partner is the center of everything – from technical knowledge to relationship management to operations.

MORE ON RADICALISM: The Radical Road to (Business) Transformation | Transitioning to a Radical Firm: Bringing a Legacy Customer Along | The Four Factors for Fixed Pricing | Target Content to Consumers, Not Industry | Social + Strategy = Success | Make the Cloud Work for You | 5 Ways to Capitalize on Trends

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And, it's not a pretty sight.


Client Management Checklists for Tax Resolution

Businessman with laptop and papersAnd how to handle clients once their tax issues are resolved.

By Jassen Bowman
Tax Resolution Systems

Your ability to successfully manage a large client volume is directly related to your enforcement of procedural compliance upon your staff.

MORE: Some Office Nuts and Bolts | What to Say on Phone Calls about Fees | Use Checklists to Manage Your Tax Firm | Tax Resolution Staff Roles and Responsibilities | Follow Up with Leads Longer
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You should manage all internal processes systematically, and your staff should handle all client matters systematically as well.

Social Media Basics for Accounting Firms

Social media words on cubesSetting up on the 3 major platforms.

By Sandi Leyva
The Complete Guide to Marketing for Tax & Accounting Firms

Social media can be a great marketing channel, but the big challenge is how to keep it from draining all of your time. The key is having rock-solid systems and procedures AND time limits.

MORE SMALL FIRM GROWTH STRATEGIES: Make Google AdWords Work for You | The 5 C’s of Successful Websites | Speaking: How, Where and Getting Leads from It | 3 More Kinds of Referrals | Turn to the ABCs for Client Feedback | Use Client ‘Touch Plans’ to Stay in Touch
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For small businesses trying out social media for the first time or with strict budgets or time limits, I recommend doing minimum activity or only being active in one of the three accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter). Once you get your procedures solidified for these minimum activities, you’ll be able to expand to more venues and more activities if you want to.

Jim Marty: Building a National CPA Firm for the Cannabis Industry

Plants growing out of ever taller stacks of coins in dirt

Numerous meetings with the IRS deductions on the cost of labor for rolling joints.

By Liz Gold
The Cannabis Boom


As a CPA in Colorado, Jim Marty saw a need for a large, sophisticated accounting firm to handle the booming cannabis industry. As a result, he designed his Longmont, Co.-based firm, Bridge West CPAs – focused solely on cannabis clients – to be acquired. And as it turned out, his plan and the timing were excellent.

MORE CANNABIZ: CPA Kim Walker: ‘We Can’t Be Afraid of Diving into Marijuana’ | Cannabiz CPA: Dani Espinda Chooses Option Number Three | The Two Crippling Compliance Issues for Cannabis Industry | Ready or Not: CPA Firms Find New Opportunity in Booming Cannabis Industry | IRS Section 280E & Marijuana: Tax Limbo or Hell? | The Wild World of Weed: Tax Season Never Ends

MORE JIM MARTY: Jim Marty: The Rise of a Cannabiz CPA [VIDEO]  |  Jim Marty: The Two Crippling Compliance Issues for Cannabis Industry [VIDEO]  |
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But let’s back up a bit: In 2009, Marty, who already had a successful traditional CPA firm with a staff of 10 and nearly 1,000 clients, decided to accept cannabusinesses into his clientele.