Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021

New Survey About Remote Work

“Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.” – Brian Kristofek

Here are some interesting findings from a recent survey by flexjobs. The last segment about the importance of company culture should be something CPA firms should consider.

44% Know at Least One Person Who Has Quit or Plans to Quit Because of Employers Revoking Remote Work

New FlexJobs survey highlights the high-value employees place on remote work, mental health support, and company culture

Boulder, CO, September 13, 2021 – According to FlexJobs’ survey of over 4,600 respondents, 44 percent know at least one person that has quit or is planning to quit because their employers are requiring them to return to the office. 29 percent are actively looking for a new job because they want to work remotely, while 17 percent have quit a job because it did not offer remote work options.

“It’s a job seeker’s market right now, and workers are more empowered than ever to leave job situations that aren’t ideal, or leave companies that aren’t allowing them to work the way they want to,” said Sara Sutton, Founder and CEO of FlexJobs. “As our latest survey highlights, workers are placing an extremely high value on the option to work remotely, and they’re committed to finding companies that are embracing remote work as a long-term workplace model and have a healthy company culture to support it,” Sutton concluded.

Remote Work Matters:

  • 44% know at least one person that has quit or is planning to quit because their employers are requiring them to return to the office
  • 29% are currently looking for a new job because they want to work remotely
  • 17% have quit a job because it did not have remote work options
  • 21% would give up some vacation time, and nearly a quarter (24%) would take a 10-20% cut in pay in order to work remotely as much as they want
  • Post-pandemic, 58% prefer a fully remote job, and 39% want a hybrid arrangement that combines both office and remote work; only 3% report wanting to return to the office full-time
  • However, 42% report that post-pandemic, their employers will require them to be in the physical office; 27% will have hybrid work arrangements; 17% will be fully remote; the remaining 14% were unsure of their company’s plans

Other key insights from the survey:

Mental Health Matters:

  • 70% say a permanent remote job would have a huge improvement or positive impact on their mental health 
  • 81% of respondents said having better work-life balance is the #1 factor for wanting a job with a flexible work option
    • Other reasons for wanting a flexible job include commute stress (50%), family (47%), and exposure to illnesses (43%)
  • Lack of healthy work-life boundaries would cause 57% to not apply, not accept, or to quit a job
  • Nearly one in five (18%) said not offering mental health support was a big mistake their company made during the pandemic

Company Culture Matters:

  • Toxic culture would cause 73% of respondents to not apply, not accept, or to quit a job. Other reasons include:
    • Micromanaging boss (58%), lack of healthy work-life boundaries (57%), and not allowing remote work (55%) or flexible options (50%); the top reason was a low salary (79%)
  • Poor communication from leadership was the biggest mistake made by employers during the pandemic (30%). Other top-reported mistakes included: 
    • Not fully understanding the stress of work-life conflicts during the quarantine (25%)
    • Unrealistic expectations about productivity during quarantine (22%)
    • Poor management of workers overall (22%)
    • Being too rigid with schedules (17%) 

Read more here.

  • We have a culture where we are incredibly self critical, we don't get comfortable with our success
  • Mark Parker, CEO, Nike

Monday, September 13th, 2021

Leadership Development

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

Once again it is time to remind you of the leadership development programs offered by Convergence Coaching. Too many firms have ignored the need for structured leadership development programs and thus limit their choices when considering firm succession.

Convergence’s flagship program:

Transformational Leadership Program™ (TLP) – Kicking off with a remote web seminar on November 1, participants pay $6,500 for the year. This one-year “finishing school” for high-potential managers, senior managers, directors, new partners and key administrators includes a combination of one-on-one coaching, two 2-day workshops (in-person or can pivot to remote if needed), 2-hour web-based roundtables, online self-study and a special in-firm project. Participants join a cohort of up to 26 other leaders from firms around the country, learning both from facilitators and each other in this year-long program.

There are also other programs for up-and-comers in your firm:

  • Leadership Development Program for Seniors and Supervisors (Kicking off October 25)
  • Client Advisor Program (Will soon be scheduling 2022 dates)
  • Rainmaker Development Program (Will be scheduling 2022 dates)

Here’s a graphical view of the programs available:

  • A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.
  • Rosalynn Carter

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

Subscription Pricing

“You’re going to have to define the kind of customers you want, which is much easier if you’re niched.” – Ron Baker

Ron Baker has been talking about value pricing since 1994. You have read his books and heard him speak many times.

In a recent article, he makes the case for subscription pricing. We are keenly aware of subscription pricing. Many things from Netflix to shaving supplies can be bought via subscription.

Baker says, “It’s what I’m calling Value Pricing 2.0 – the subscription business model.”

Read Baker’s article via Thomson Reuters, titled: “Subscription pricing for tax and accounting services? I know this is a great idea because it scares the hell out of people.

Baker thoroughly explains the pricing model. He also covers how it is better for an accounting firm than traditional pricing models.

As with most things from Baker, I think you will find this very interesting.

  • It always amazes me that some firms have $100,000 clients and yet they have a bunch of $500 clients — that’s insane.
  • Ron Baker

Thursday, August 26th, 2021

“THE” Exam

“Students are struggling to afford that fifth year of school.” – Daniel Hood 

There are a lot of discussions recently about the difficulty of passing the CPA Exam and requiring five years of education (the 150-hour rule) to become a CPA. These are the reasons college accounting majors are giving for not going into public accounting.

Accounting Today editor-in-chief, Dan Hood puts this dilemma in question form to all of you out there. He asks, “Is it too hard to become a CPA?” He notes that CPA profession leaders/consultants say that the number of students in accounting dropped from 2% in 1990 to 1% in 2000. The 90s is when the 150-hour rule became prominent in many states. The Exam itself is widely known to be very grueling. What could be the answer?

Read the article and give him your personal feedback.

In my personal opinion (and please note, I am not a CPA but have worked with them for over 40 years), the extra year of education is a waste of money and effort. I have never been able to see how that extra year made incoming recruits any better prepared than those that came before them. The CPA Exam should be on the “grueling” side. Clients rely on CPAs for their amazing expertise and advice. If they want to remain “the most trusted advisor” they not only have to prove their current knowledge, they have to commit to LIFE LONG learning to add to that knowledge.

  • The CPA profession is facing serious staffing challenges and long-term threats around its ability to attract future professionals.
  • Daniel Hood

Monday, August 23rd, 2021

Firms Are Adapting

“We look forward to this next chapter on our journey to be the Firm of the Future.” – Matt Snow, CEO DHG

There has been a lot of talk about how firms will adjust their workforce model going into the future.

Back in July, I shared some news about one large firm’s new office and how it is designed to serve future needs.

Recently, CPA Practice Advisor shared some news about DHG’s new hybrid workforce model. DHG, in September, will be unveiling something they call “DHG Anywhere”. The workforce model will create flexibility within reasonable boundaries and is being called “Freedom Within a Framework.”

Their plan makes a lot of sense to me and I expect many other firms to make similar adjustments in the coming months and years.

Be sure to read the article to get the full details.

  • The future depends on what you do today.
  • Mahatma Gandhi

Thursday, August 5th, 2021

Interesting Development

“Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success.” – Scott Adams

I read a press release yesterday that I thought would be of interest to you.

Rootworks (Darren Root) has acquired CPA Practice Advisor. As you probably know, Rootworks was acquired by Right Networks a while back. Rootworks is now “a company of Right Networks.”

Here’s a link to the press release via Yahoo.

  • All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own.
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, June 10th, 2021

Elevating & Embracing Your Role – Firm Administrators & Practice Managers

“Attitude is a choice. What you think you can do, whether positive or negative, confident or scared, will most likely happen.” – Pat Summitt

The newly formed Missouri Chapter of CPAFMA, supported by the Missouri Society of CPAs, has invited me to speak to their roundtable group virtually on Wednesday, June 16 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Central time). If you are outside of Missouri you are invited to attend. Contact Liz Schaetzel at the Missouri Society to register – lschaetzel@mocpa.org.

CPAFMA is so fortunate to have the support of so many state societies such as MOCPA. I know first-hand how much the Ohio and Indiana Societies help and support the Ohio and Indiana Chapters of CPAFMA.

This session (Elevating & Embracing Your Role) is especially helpful if you are new to the role and new to the CPA profession. It also works to motivate and inspire firm administrators even if you have been one for twenty years! I hope you will join me next Wednesday.

Here’s the invitation from the Missouri Society of CPAs:

During this roundtable, we will hear from Rita Keller, an award-winning and widely respected voice to CPA firm management, who will present Elevating and Embracing Your Role. She will discuss: who in your firm supports and encourages the managing partner? Who is the conscience of your firm, the person who always places the firm above their own personal agenda? Is there someone in the firm who enables the partners and staff to be better and more successful CPAs? Join Rita Keller and your peers to explore what a professional, well-trained firm administrator/practice manager can do. It’s time to elevate and embrace your important role.

Click here to register. We’d love to “see” you. Missouri members, as a reminder, you are invited to stay connected with your fellow firm administrators through MOCPA’s firm administrator online Connect Community and virtual roundtables. Click here for more details.

  • None of us can change our yesterdays, but all of us can change our tomorrows.
  • Colin Powell

Monday, March 8th, 2021

Another Long Tax Season

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” – Albert Einstein

Here’s a press release from the AICPA from last week.

AICPA Calls for Postponement of Filing and Payment Deadline for the 2020 Tax Year

Washington, D.C. (March 4, 2021) – In a letter sent today to the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) called for the extension of the filing and payment deadline for the 2020 tax year until June 15, 2021.

Last year, the IRS acknowledged the challenges created by the ongoing pandemic during the 2019 tax year by announcing a payment and filing deadline extension. Those challenges and more still exist in the system, and taxpayers are struggling to resolve issues related to 2019 tax returns due to the IRS inventory backlog.

The AICPA believes that more should be done for taxpayers during this filing season stating in the letter, “…in the current environment, it is simply not possible for many taxpayers and their tax advisers to meet their filing and payment obligations that are due on April 15.”

The letter also recognizes the difficulties a postponement of the filing and payment deadlines could create; however, COVID-19 and other circumstances necessitate action to ensure that the millions of affected taxpayers have sufficient time to meet their tax obligations.

“The effect of numerous legislative changes overloading tax busy season compels us to speak up now,” said AICPA Vice President of Taxation, Edward Karl, CPA, CGMA. “We understand that there are some challenges associated with extending the payment and filing deadlines. However, time is a critical factor. Taxpayers and tax professionals need this postponement, and they need to have certainty about the filing date now.”

  • The American people are not undertaxed, the government in Washington is overfed.
  • Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Interesting Development From the AICPA

Many of you know Tom Hood. Here’s a press release from the AICPA:

Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA to Join Association of International Certified Professional Accountants as Executive Vice President, Business Growth and Engagement

The Association also announced that it will acquire the Business Learning Institute, strengthening its commitment to continuing education and delivering value to businesses and CPA firms.

NEW YORK, February 1, 2021 – The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) announced today that Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA, former executive director and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA), has joined the organization as executive vice president, business growth and engagement. He will report to Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, the Association’s CEO.

In addition to Hood’s appointment, the Association has acquired the Business Learning Institute (BLI) from MACPA. The acquisition of BLI’s many learning programs will enhance the Association’s offerings to corporate employers in upskilling and reskilling their employees so they continue to meet ever-changing marketplace demands. Together, the Association and BLI will accelerate the introduction of new, innovative content for accounting and finance professionals globally. Founded in 1999 by MACPA, BLI is a highly respected source for human intelligence skill development and a strategic learning partner and talent management consultancy for businesses and CPA firms worldwide. Hood will continue to provide leadership in supporting BLI’s clients, products and services throughout BLI’s integration with the Association.

“Tom’s vision and mission to help finance and accounting professionals grow in a changing business environment is well aligned with the Association’s goals of powering trust, opportunity and prosperity for members, students, the profession and those they serve. He brings energy, insight, enthusiasm and a unique ability to facilitate connections,” Melancon said. “Tom will add value to our engagement with businesses and the accounting and finance professions, increasing our understanding of the challenges they face and how to best meet their needs.”

Melancon added, “We are proud of our reputation as a key source for accounting and finance professionals’ learning needs. BLI’s content complements and enriches our current learning tools, further deepens our global offerings and helps expand our value proposition. This development is an important step in the Association’s commitment to creating a strong and vibrant future for the profession and those it serves.”

Hood will use his extensive connections, influence, experience and passion for the accounting and finance profession to engage with businesses, their leaders and their global networks. Hood will convert those insights into actions that support the profession and work across the Association to grow its understanding of their challenges and opportunities.

“I am excited to join Barry and his team at the Association to continue making accounting and finance professionals around the world even more future ready and able to thrive in a global volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. The BLI team is looking forward to coming together as part of the Association to leverage our combined strengths, reach and scale,” Hood said. Jackie Brown will succeed Hood as MACPA’s CEO. Brown, who has spent 40 years as part of the MACPA team and has served as its chief operating officer for the past 23 years, provides the MACPA with a much-needed sense of familiarity and stability as Hood departs.

Avonette Blanding, CPA, chair of MACPA’s Board of Directors, added, “Tom is also a great teacher, mentor and leader. I’m thrilled by his decision to join the Association and expand his reach within the profession.” (Watch this MACPA video and read this MACPA article for more information.)

Another focus of Hood’s role will be partnering with Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA, the Association’s chief executive of management accounting, to further professionalize management accounting and support professionals in obtaining their Chartered Global Management Credential (CGMA) credential in the Americas. This includes the digital-first Finance Leadership Program, an online learning program that teaches candidates the finance, business, people and leadership skills needed to succeed in finance teams of the future.

Hood is well known across the accounting profession and in 2020 was named the Second Most Influential Person in Accounting for the eighth year by Accounting Today. He has been a longtime thought leader and driver of change among state CPA societies, both as a volunteer chair and, since 1997, as CEO of MACPA. He received the AICPA Special Recognition Award for his contributions to the profession leading the CPA Vision Project in 2003. In addition to his CPA license, Hood has obtained

the CGMA credential and the AICPA Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) certification. He is a graduate of Loyola College (B.A. in Accounting) and has a Master’s in Finance (Real Estate) from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life - all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity.
  • Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

News From the AICPA

“Action is the antidote to despair.” – Joan Baez

AICPA Encourages Firms to Aggressively Advance PPP Applications

SBA Expected to Reopen for All Lenders by Friday, Jan. 15

NEW YORK (Jan. 13, 2021) –The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) expects the federal government to open up the application process for all lenders participating in the latest round of the Paycheck Protection Program by Friday, and encourages CPA firms to advance the application process for small business clients seeking relief.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting  new applications on a limited basis this week through community financial institutions. But confusion about the timing for other lenders has led to anxiety among small businesses and their advisors. 

“We believe the full program needs to go live as soon as possible and we fully support the Treasury Department and SBA reopening the program for all lenders by Friday,” said AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA. “What we’ve been telling CPA firms is be prepared and get to work. All indications, based on input from the Treasury and SBA, is there will be enough funding to meet all of the ‘first draw’ and ‘second draw’ PPP applications, so firms can help alleviate concerns their clients may have.”

The AICPA has been advising firms to collect key information from their clients such as average monthly payroll amounts, quarterly revenue comparisons for second draw borrowers and other required documentation to speed the process. Compared to the initial launch of the program in April 2020, firms now have substantial experience in business relief, more guidance and better tools.

The AICPA, CPA.com and fintech leader Biz2Credit in September launched a financing platform for CPA firms, the CPA Business Funding Portal, to help practitioners as they assist small businesses through PPP loan forgiveness. The portal, which has been used by thousands of firms, has been updated to accept so-called PPP2 applications and over three thousand applications have already been prepopulated.

“Small businesses should expect more scrutiny in this round of PPP applications,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “The SBA is doing more vetting for potential fraud and in some instances is asking for more validation. It’s important that businesses and their advisors get it right, so that applications don’t get held up and pushed back in the queue. That’s why we think it’s vital that firms use the more robust set of tools that are available now.”

The CPA Business Funding Portal offers a free basic service, plus tiered subscription plans for firms that want a direct path to fund loans through an SBA-approved lender to ensure they receive agent fees.

“It is critical that business owners work closely with their trusted business advisors, especially their CPA, to ensure they qualify for the maximum loan amount and provide the right supporting documentation,” said Rohit Arora, CEO and Co-Founder of Biz2Credit. “Being prepared now is the best way for businesses to ensure they get the money they need.”

AICPA executives will discuss the latest PPP developments and their implications for CPAs and their small business clients at this week’s AICPA Town Hall at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday. For more information about the AICPA’s resources for firms on PPP, please visit aicpa.org/sba.  More details about the CPA Business Funding Portal can be found at cpa.com/business-funding.

  • Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
  • Dale Carnegie