What you need to know¹

What you need to know
  • Communications & Technology
    Back in the 70's, Captain Kirk flipping his portable communicator while declaring "Beam me up Scottie" was a Star Trek sci-fi depiction of the future. Well the future is now. Spend a few hours browsing an electronics store, and you soon realize that the world has moved far beyond the vision of Alexander Graham Bell's communications network.
  • Sales and Marketing
    The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates employment in the accounting industry to climb anywhere from 16 percent to 28 percent through the year 2014. With this kind of spike in growth, competition throughout the field will only increase.
  • Customer Service
    In today�s global economy, businesses seem to focus more on the bottom line than they do customer service. However, when it comes time to crunch the numbers, the way a business treats its clients and patrons greatly affects its profit margin.
  • Staffing & Employment
    According to the latest census from the U.S. Department of Labor, roughly one out of every four wage and salary accountants worked for firms specializing in tax preparation, bookkeeping, payroll and accounting services. Moreover, one out of 10 accountants or auditors was self employed. As far as job outlook is concerned, government insiders predict the industry will swell with newcomers over the next several years. With many Baby Boomers nearing retirement age, the industry in all likelihood will see a number of new openings.
  • Billing and Accounts Receivable
    Talk about irony. In an industry that rides on proper management of finances, accounting professionals - especially those with smaller, independent businesses - don't always know how to keep the billing and receivable cycles steady and fluid. Even worse, research shows that inconsistent invoicing practices can lead to costly collection procedures, and even lawsuits.
  • Vendor Relations
    Accountants make a living handling other people's money. So naturally, these masters of moolah often select their vendors based on who provides the best bang for the buck. With today's accounting services extending well beyond the traditional role of tax preparation, software and equipment suppliers realize the potential profit that exists in this industry.
  • Purchasing
    Taking time to compare vendor services usually pays off later. Most experts will say price should be at the bottom of the priority list when buying equipment that could determine the success of a practice. Still, accountants should keep in mind several factors before pulling out the wallet.
  • Insurance
    Accounting professionals live in a world of taxes, financial figures and business analysis, often providing clients with advice on managing exposure to adverse financial events. Some industry experts suggest that many accounting firms do not practice what they preach.
  • Social Media Best Practices & Applications
    Any businessperson seeking clients should utilize the best tools for marketing and communications at their disposal, and CPAs are no different. Today's tools for establishing and enhancing a professional brand, establishing one's expertise in their field, and increasing visibility to potential clients are social media networks and other social-powered tools on the Web.