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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

4 Tips for Managing Your CPA Firm's Seasonal Business

As the economy continues to improve, CPA firms will be able to focus on growth strategies, such as diversifying service portfolios by expanding into higher-margin services offerings. While expanded service offerings can mean bringing more business for your firm, it will also divert resources previously reserved for your core services. Because of this, you will need to have effective strategies in place for managing your seasonal business.

Here are four operational and workflow tips designed to help you balance the work load you already have, while onboarding the business you want to bring in.

Explore seasonal staffing options

For many CPA firms, staff size fluctuates with the ebb and flow of seasonal business. This requires organizations to have flexibility with staffing.

One strategy is to hire seasonal interns to work at your firm on a temporary contract. You will not only receive much needed help at little-to-no cost, you will also find that intern interactions can help you identify up-and-coming talent that you may wish to hire on a permanent basis. Moreover, the temporary relief interns can provide will allow your team to focus on more revenue-generating objectives.


To read full article, click here.

Source: Kevin Stockton (www.linkedin.com)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bouncing Back, Economy Grew 4% for Quarter

The United States economy rebounded strongly in the second quarter of the year, shaking off the negative effects of an unusually harsh winter and stirring hopes that it might finally be establishing a solid enough footing to put the lingering effects of the recession squarely in the past.

The Commerce Department, in its initial estimate for April, May and June, reported on Wednesday that the economy grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4 percent, surpassing expectations.

During the first quarter, output shrank at a rate of 2.1 percent, less than had been reported. The department had earlier said that first-quarter output fell 2.9 percent.


To read full article, click here.

Source: Dionne Searcey (www.nytimes.com)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

U.S. Economy Bounces Back Sharply

What a relief. The deep economic contraction earlier this year was temporary after all. New data released Wednesday show the U.S. economy bounced back in the spring, growing at a 4% annual pace in the second quarter. That was even better than the forecast of 3% growth, according to a consensus of economists surveyed by CNNMoney.
Consumer spending, which alone accounts for about two thirds of U.S. economic activity, strengthened, as did exports to foreign countries and business investments. American consumers spent more money on long-lasting goods like autos, appliances and furniture, while businesses invested more in technology and industrial equipment. Both can be seen as good signs that households and companies are more optimistic and investing in the future.
To read full article, click here.
Source:  Annalyn Kurtz

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Steady U.S. Job Growth Stretches Into Sixth Consecutive Month

The U.S. economy added new jobs in July, and the unemployment rate increased slightly to 6.2 percent (from 6.1 percent). Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting about 230,000 new jobs. But the positive numbers for July make it six consecutive months of job gains above 200,000, the longest stretch since 1997. Job growth so far this year has averaged 229,000 a month, faster than last year’s pace of 194,000 and far ahead of the 2010 pace of just 88,000 per month.

Revisions added an extra 15,000 jobs to the prior two months, including 10,000 to June’s already sizable 288,000 gain. It’s the first time since February that the unemployment rate has risen, but the change is well within the margin of error. The report showed that more people are starting to enter the labor force and look for work—a good sign, although one that ends up pushing up the unemployment rate.


To read full article, click here.

Source: Matthew Philips (www.businessweek.com)

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Go Public Without a Stock Exchange

When the last general store serving 10,000-resident Port Townsend, Wash., folded in the Great Recession, the community 40 miles northwest of Seattle faced a dilemma. “You couldn’t even buy socks and underwear in our town,” recalls serial entrepreneur Martin Gay.

So in 2011, Gay and a handful of others turned to a little-used alternative: a direct public offering (DPO). By selling shares in the store to more than 1,000 individual investors from as far away as Spokane, they raised $700,000 and opened the Quimper Mercantile Company in October 2012. The store took a loss in 2013 but is projected to be profitable this year, says Gay.

Direct public offerings allow local consumers of a product or service to own a piece of the company behind it. The idea is similar to equity-based crowdfunding, which is still on hold while the Securities and Exchange Commission writes the rules. DPOs are governed by widely varying state securities laws, and investors must come from within the state where the offering is taking place.


To read full article, click here.

Source: Karen Klein (www.businessweek.com)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Accountants' Confidence in the Economy Splits

After rebounding sharply in June from months of decline, the Accountants Confidence Index split into two directions this month, with the short-term and mid-term readings heading apart, though both remain positive.
The ACI, published by Accounting Today in partnership with ADP, is a monthly economic indicator that leverages the insights of accountants into the strength and prospects of businesses in the U.S. The 3-Month ACI rose above the 50 mark that separates expectations of growth from contraction, coming in at 50.93, down a little from 51.39 last month, while the 6-Month ACI hit 53.44, up slightly from 53.39.

To read full article, click here.
Source: Daniel Hood (www.accountingtoday.com)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

10 Best Practices for Accounting Firm Online Content

BKR International hosted a panel of some of the best accounting marketers in the country in conjunction with the Association for Accounting Marketing Annual Summit in Austin, Texas. Putting their smart brains together, they agreed on 10 best practices for building the reputation and visibility of accounting firms in a high technology, but still high touch industry.

1. Responsive Design
Responsive design is an approach that crafts websites and other content for an optimal viewing experience on any device. It provides easy reading and navigation with minimal resizing, panning or scrolling. “Any new content should be oriented toward responsive design, not just accessibility on a mobile device,” noted Wendy Nemitz, BKR panelist and principal of Ingenuity Marketing Group, St. Paul.

To read full article and view the slideshow, click here.

Source: Accounting Today (www.accountingtoday.com)