Those who regularly read the Revenue Enhancers department in Practical Accountant are familiar with the Outside the Box section written by Jeff Stimpson. For those who aren’t, here’s a flavor.

“The Spa Alternative” is where an accounting firm's forensic accounting and litigation services group hosted "A Day at the Spa" at a Philadelphia-area spa, inviting a group of prominent women attorneys and executives as guests for lunch and to receive their choice of beauty treatments. It allowed women to interact outside the formal business environment, get to know each other, and discuss business issues in a more casual manner.

 “A Cam-Do Attitude” provided the following advice, ”if you have clients who operate daycare centers or otherwise care for children, they may welcome advice that could ease the minds of their biggest clients: parents. Consider researching and helping them install a Webcam for parents who want to monitor the care of their children.”

I particularly like “Feed a CPA.” where a Baltimore-area law firm hired a caterer to make lunches for local CPA firms during tax season.

Finally, there is “High-Gloss Marketing,” showcasing paintyourapartment.com, suggested by Jill, Jeff’s wife, and that contained a trove of positive ideas for firms’ and clients’ Web sites.

And how do we get our ideas. We don’t even have to look for them. They come to us automatically. We simply had formulated news alerts from search engines like Yahoo. A couple of key words and we end up with ideas for more copy than we can publish. All the news items on the Internet about anything we consider relevant.

Here’s a good example from a recent item from Brudirect.com News:
“’Our initiative is to expose TAP to the general public and also get them to think more about the subject of retirement,’ said Irwandy Hj Louis, Manager of the Corporate Communications, TAP.
“The mechanics of the Worker's Trust Fund, better known to Bruneians as TAP, sees two contributions made into the fund every month. It has become a requirement in Brunei that both employee and the employer provide a five percent contribution of the total wage into the TAP fund, which is accessible by the employee after they reach the mandatory retirement age of 55.”

Mandatory employer and employee contributions and retirement at 55? Intriguing!

So if you want to automate your ‘’outside-the-box thinking”, why not follow our lead. And if you want to read more on our above outside the box items, simply conduct a “my exact phrase” keywords search on WebCPA.com or practicalaccountant.com, using the title.


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