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    1. CPAs have opportunities in financial planning and forecasting   WebExclusive

    BY Ken Tysiac
    Many accountants may have opportunities to expand their service offerings to small business clients by providing financial planning and forecasting, according to a new survey.Just one in three accountants offers financial planning or forecast services as part of clients’ business planning process, according to a survey of 150 accountants by business software company Exact.“Small businesses that see the bigger picture are likely to capitalize on an opportunity before their competition does, but too many are focused on the day to day,” Steve Leavitt, general manager of U.S.

    2. All in a dishonest day’s work  

    BY Deborah K. Rood, CPA and Gretchen McCole
    It’s difficult to believe, but sometimes CPA firm employees, and even partners, steal from clients. While a CPA firm’s leaders may believe this would never happen to them, claim experience in the AICPA Professional Liability Insurance Program demonstrates this does occur. Consider these claim scenarios:SCENARIO 1A CPA firm provided bookkeeping and bill-paying services to several clients.

    3. High-functioning firms  

    BY Jennifer Wilson
    High-functioning firms have leadership teams that assess situations, develop strategies, and make and execute decisions with relative ease, speed, and success. Others, however, function with a drag that pulls against their momentum, causing the business of leading, managing, and executing to take longer and produce less-than-stellar results. High-functioning firms seem to share the following eight attributes: Operate with vision.

    4. Time’s up: The benefits and challenges of moving away from the billable hour  

    BY Chris Baysden
    Debbi Warden, CPA, CGMA, still remembers exactly why her bookkeeping firm decided to—as she colorfully puts it—jump off a cliff. “It felt as if every other week we were putting dollar signs in front of our clients,” she said of her firm’s previous billing practices. “We are a relationship business.

    5. A pipeline for diversity  

    BY Frank K. Ross, CPA, Jean T. Wells, CPA, J.D. and and Allyson T. Clarke, CPA
    Despite decades of intensive efforts, the accounting profession has not reached its diversity goals. African-Americans and Hispanics made up 13.1% and 16.9%, respectively, of the U.S. population in 2012, according to U.S. Census data, but secured just 4% and 6% of the new hires in 2011–12 at CPA firms, AICPA data show.Misperception about accounting as a career is one reason for the disparity.

    6. AICPA advises CPA firms to review state registration and compliance   WebExclusive

    BY Ken Tysiac
    CPA firms are being urged by the AICPA State Regulation and Legislation team to review their registration compliance procedures to ensure that they are complying with out-of-state registration requirements when performing attest engagements.The AICPA advisory was issued after recent activity by some state boards of accountancy to ensure that out-of-state firms operating in their states have met their registration obligations.Several state boards have examined recent information on employee benefit plan audits provided by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and the U.S.

    7. Risky business of serving the rich and famous  

    BY Amy Waldron, CPA
    Money. Fame. It’s not just for the entertainers of the world. Accountants can be well-known and famous or, in some cases, infamous. You may have read about pop stars, actors, and professional athletes being “driven to bankruptcy” by their accountants and financial advisers. CPAs providing a menu of services to these high-profile individuals are at risk of being blamed for a decline in the celebrity’s net worth.Family office services provided to the rich and famous, as well as to privately wealthy families, may include traditional accounting services such as a full range of tax, accounting, financial planning,

    8. Effective performance management  

    BY Doug Blizzard
    For a manager, few things are more difficult than delivering honest performance feedback to an employee. And far too many managers don’t give feedback at all. Fortunately, there are ways to address performance review problems. Success lies in the execution of these simple ideas. Define the culture of your organization, i.e., the behaviors that lead to success.

    9. Considerations when working with an aging client base  

    BY Sarah Beckett Ference, CPA
    I provide bill-paying services to my elderly client, and I’m afraid she’s going to run out of money soon. My client’s mental capacities appear to be diminishing. I’m not sure he understands the engagement letter I’ve asked him to sign. My elderly client’s child has a gambling problem and always asks for money.

    10. Do's and don'ts of due diligence   CPEDirect

    BY Joel Sinkin and Terrence Putney, CPA
    This article marks the 12th and final installment in a yearlong look at issues affecting succession for CPA firms. The series started in July with an explanation of why mergers have become a dominant trend in accounting firm succession strategies. The series ends this month with a dive into what should be one of the last stages of an accounting firm merger or sale: the due-diligence period.
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