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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Big Changes on the Way for Nonprofit Accounting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board is getting ready to unveil a set of proposals that could have a major impact on the way nonprofit organizations present their financial statements.

The board voted earlier this month to issue a proposed accounting standards update that would include improvements to the current net asset classification scheme and the required information about an organization’s liquidity, financial performance and cash flows (see FASB Proposes Accounting Standards Change for Nonprofits). FASB plans to issue the proposals in mid-April and ask for public comments.
FASB’s announcement provided few details and instead directed interested parties to the project page on the FASB Web site. Lee Klumpp, National Assurance Technical Director in BDO’s Nonprofit & Education practice, has been closely involved with the project as both a FASB fellow and at BDO, and he filled in Accounting Today on what to expect. He was the project manager for the first year and a half of the project at FASB...

To read full article, click here.
Source: Michael Cohn (

Monday, March 30, 2015

Consider These 3 Tax-Time Tips and Tricks to Grow Your Accounting Practice

Tax season is upon us and it’s a safe bet that many of you are busy crunching numbers and wading through pay stubs and W-2s. But in the middle of the frenzy, remember that it’s not just about getting the job done. It’s also the best time to think strategically about how to grow your accounting practice as a whole and build revenue for the coming year. At the end of the day, an accounting practice is a business – your business.
Armed with the right knowledge, you can save yourself valuable time and resources, laying the groundwork for an even better tax season the following year. So take a break from your piles of work and consider these three tax-time tips and tricks to grow your practice.
1. Push for online accounting. Shoebox clients – those who keep their receipts and invoices in a box until tax time – can be some of the most challenging clients to work with. However, if you show them that online accounting does away with much of the paperwork and demonstrate the ease of pulling reports from the cloud for filing, then you can both be relieved of last-minute rushes. On your end, the use of online accounting will free up significant time spent processing just one client’s books and enable you to move on to the next...

To read full article, click here.
Source: Amy Vetter (

Monday, March 23, 2015

Top 10 Tax and Accounting Mistakes Cost Companies Billions

With tax season officially underway, many corporate tax and accounting departments are busily preparing for the looming March deadline. Each year, however, tax and accounting mistakes end up costing U.S. businesses billions. In 2013 alone, U.S. businesses accumulated nearly $7 billion in IRS civil penalties stemming incorrectly reporting business income and employment values.

Despite a growing reliance on internal tools and technology, the potential for human error and its costly consequences remain. To uncover the most common mistakes plaguing corporate tax and accounting departments today, and find out how those mistakes vary across company size and industries, Bloomberg BNA conducted a survey of 200 in-house tax and accounting professionals, over half of which represent firms with revenues above $1 billion. From technological pitfalls to regulatory confusion, here’s a look at the top ten end-user and tax-and-accounting rule-based mistakes that may be costing your organization

1. Manually inputting incorrect data into an enterprise system.
With the amount of data entry that occurs in most accounting departments, it’s probably not much of a surprise that manually inputting incorrect data is the most common mistake. While the occasionally erroneous spreadsheet cell is inevitable, when left uncaught it can lead to an audit and penalties...

To read full article, click here.
Source: Dean Sonderegger (

Monday, March 16, 2015

Three Tips to Cross-Selling More Services to Your Tax Clients

It goes without saying that tax season is an incredibly busy and stressful time for accountants—the lowlights of which may include working on Saturdays and dreaming about Form 1040s. (Follow the trending #busyseasonproblems on Twitter to commiserate and have a laugh). But, in all seriousness, even when you're at your busiest, tax season is prime time to strengthen client relationships and set yourself and your firm up for success during the rest of the year...
...The ability to cross-sell services to your clients is a sustainable way to increase your profits without taking on more clients. With as many as two-thirds of clients unaware of the range of services their accountant offers outside of tax prep and bookkeeping, simply opening the lines of communication with your client can have a big impact. The season provides an excellent opportunity to show your clients that you can help them make sense of their financial information and can help them use it to make better business decisions.
There are three easy ways to offer additional value to your clients either during your tax season meeting, or immediately following, when you have time to discuss tax strategies for the future.
  1. “The KISS principle—Keep it simple, stupid.” The U.S Navy is correct: simple is often the best. While you may enjoy crunching numbers, your client likely doesn’t want to focus on any more than basic math. Think of it as data overload. If a client leaves your office with a lot of figures but no context, they may have a hard time coming up with a plan of action to improve their business performance. But the solution to this issue is easy—keep the data simple and focused. Offering narrative summaries, graphs, and tables will help to ensure that your client sees a connection between the numerical information and the assertion or insight you’re providing to them...

To read full article, click here.

Source: Natasha Closs (

Friday, March 13, 2015

Top do’s and don’ts when opening a new CPA office

Late last year, I entered my 34th year in practice and completed my fourth CPA office opening, in Park City, Utah. Our firm now has nine offices in three states. Opening an office more than 700 miles from the one I had been working at in Long Beach, Calif., presented a number of unique issues, including adapting to a true four-season climate (where I am accumulating summer and winter tires at an alarming rate), learning about a new regional business environment, identifying other local professional service providers to partner with, and getting the firm and myself registered with the state of Utah.

Is your firm considering opening a new office in the near future? If so, here are a few of the lessons I’ve learned while making my many relocations:  
  1. Do your research. If you are venturing into a new geographic region, there are many things you should research before you make the move, including your competition, typical billing rates in the area, the employment market, the types of salaries your potential clients will make, and the candidate pool for new hires.
  2. Relocate or hire key staffers. Evaluate whether any of your current employees might be open to relocating. When we opened a satellite office for a Big Four firm in the Los Angeles market, the managing partner allowed us to hand-pick our staff and seniors to ensure that the transition was smooth and the probability of success was higher. But if such transfers aren’t practical for your firm, your priority should be to hire a key employee (generally a manager) who has many connections in your new community and can assist with recruiting, practice development, and community involvement. Consider using a headhunter to help you find the right person.

To read full article, click here.

Source: Blake Christian, CPA (

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Temporary Jobs To Grow Over Next Five Years

Do you have job commitment phobia? Are you reluctant to sign on to a full-time staff position? Or are you in between jobs and need a temporary job in the meantime? Well then CareerBuilder has some good news for you. Temporary employment is on the rise.

When the recession ended and companies looked to slowly rebuild their workforce, temporary help services were among the first industries to add jobs. Temp work rose 15 percent from 2009 to 2010 and 57 percent from 2009 to 2014. According to a CareerBuilder study, temporary jobs are expected to grow 13 percent over the next five years, which equals more than 350,000 jobs. In addition to that, a separate CareerBuilder and Harris Poll study reported that 46 percent of employers plan to hire temporary or contract workers in 2015. Approximately 3 million people are employed in temporary jobs today...

To read full article, click here.
Source: Kristen Felicetti (

Monday, March 9, 2015

The 5 Key Tips to Resolve Your Love/Hate Affair with QuickBooks

As an Advanced QuickBooks Expert I often talk to accountants who have very strong opinions about QuickBooks. They either love it or hate it. What I have found is that many times, accountants love and hate QuickBooks for the same reasons. I thought I’d share the top five reasons why accountants love/hate QuickBooks and some tips to help you love QuickBooks just a little more.
Tip No. 1: It’s easy to change transactions in QuickBooks
This is the No. 1 reason why accountants have a love/hate relationship with QuickBooks: it's so easy to change transactions. You love QuickBooks because you can make changes easily without making lots of journal entries. You hate QuickBooks because clients can make changes so easily.
To keep clients from making changes in QuickBooks, I recommend setting up Date Warnings in QuickBooks and also password protecting closed periods...

To read full article, click here.
Source: Veronica Wasek (