New client platforms, audit defenses, storytelling guides and more software, hardware, books and services for accountants.
If you must deal with clients — and unfortunately, you must — doesn’t it make sense to make it as painless for yourself as possible? The new Liscio client experience platform, from Darren Root and his team at Rootworks, may be aimed at using the cloud to make onboarding, signature capture, messaging and information exchange as frictionless as possible for your clients, but it’s also going to make all those things much less painful for you, and isn’t that what matters here? You can use the platform to interact much more efficiently (read: less) with your clients, and to keep track of where things stand with them much more easily. It also includes a custom-branded firm app for mobile connectivity, and it works for everyone, from the smallest firm to the largest.
GETTING YOUR BACK
Audit Defense Pro update
You stand behind your work, naturally, but wouldn’t it be nice if someone else did, too? TaxAudit.com’s Audit Defense Pro program will represent your clients in the event of a federal or state tax audit.
For a single fee, you can make sure that all your clients are covered by Audit Defense Pro’s team of experts, using their secure online platform for sharing and storing client information. The service now also lets you track client cases on a real-time basis, even as you focus on other work.
THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE
“Pocket Guide to IFRS Standards: The Global Financial Reporting Language,” 2017 Ed.
IFRS Foundation; free for download
Most foreigners have the courtesy to learn English, so that when we visit they aren’t embarrassed by their inability to communicate. For those rare instances where they haven’t picked it up yet, this guidebook will be handy when you go abroad, as everyone knows that financial reporting standards are the real universal language. It lets you know how IFRS is applied in the 126 jurisdictions around the world where it’s required, so you’ll never get wrong-footed by the local dialect. It also connects to a regularly updated set of jurisdictional profiles.
MORE THAN JUST EATING
Business Developer Bootcamp
Association for Accounting Marketing
In the old model of business development, all you really needed to do was to be able to eat and drink, and to do those two things in company with other human beings, at banker breakfasts, lawyer lunches, and the like. More-strenuous competition and greater client sophistication have put an end to those delightful days, and turned the process of building up new business into a specialty skill that few have.
With all that in mind, AAM has partnered with biz dev experts The Rainmaker Companies to offer a two-day bootcamp for business developers that will teach them critical skills like facilitating pursuit teams, coaching others, and providing general leadership and support to a firm’s sales efforts.
NOT IN BINDERS
Find A Pro Directory
Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance
Women make up half or more of the people in accounting and finance, and yet they can sometimes seem invisible, as they don’t hold the highest-profile positions. Helping remedy that, and generally making it easier to find women in the field, is the AFWA’s new online directory of female CPAs, CFPs and other professionals. Helping spur the creation of the directory was the number of inquiries the alliance received from business owners who were looking specifically for female financial professionals. The directory currently holds more than 200 people; the AFWA expects that number to increase significantly over the next several months.
“Lead Right for Your Company’s Type: How to Connect Your Culture with Your Customer Promise”
Amacom Books; $27.95
We hear a lot about culture these days, but it turns out there’s a whole other level of culture that we haven’t been talking about, a sort of meta-culture where companies fit into one of four types — “Predictable and dependable,” “Enrichment,” “Best-in-Class,” and “Customized” — and which type you fit in determines all sorts of things about, say, your interactions with your customers, how your staff work together, what approaches to business growth will and won’t work for you, and much more. In an era when you and your clients are bombarded by business “best practices” on a fairly regular basis, it’s particularly useful as a framework for judging which will work for you and them. Drawn from the author’s background in “living systems,” the book lays out the characteristics of each of its four types, and elaborates on what will and won’t work in each.
FORGET HARD KNOCKS
Running an accounting firm is often a trial-and-error sort of thing, with firm leaders making mistakes and (hopefully) learning from them to do better later. And while the tuition at the School of Hard Knocks is less expensive up front, we can’t help feeling that something like the new Karbon Academy might be more cost-effective, since it aims to give accountants an education on things like practice strategy, management, efficiency and growth before they go and make costly educational mistakes in those areas. There are four tracks, each with six one-hour live lectures and six one-hour live discussion sessions, as well as a course workbook, structured exercises and more. Our only question is, shouldn’t it be the Akademy?
LET ME TELL YOU A STORY
“Let the Story Do the Work: The Art of Storytelling for Business Success”
Amacom Books; $24.95
As soft skills go, storytelling may not strike many in the profession as a must-have, but this book makes a compelling case (or tells a compelling story) about how building up you skills in this area can help make leaders more effective, and offers plenty of practical exercises and guidelines for creating and telling your own stories in ways that will boost your business success. And in case you’re worried that it will take you too far afield from accounting, the author has an entire chapter about how to incorporate data into your stories.
BUY THIS SECOND
Cybersecurity Insurance Review
Network Alliance Inc.
At a time when cyber-thieves are targeting accountants and their clients more than ever, threatening their hoards of extremely valuable and vulnerable data, the Network Alliance’s Cybersecurity Insurance Review is a great idea. The company will come in and evaluate an organization’s cybersecurity insurance to make sure it covers the areas they’re most at risk for. Many policies, for instance, don’t cover breaches caused by social engineering, or brought on by whaling or phishing attacks, which is both insane and a good reason to have an expert evaluate your cybersecurity insurance policy. “Wait,” you say, “what policy?” The one you’re going to go out and buy right now, before you decide whether you should get Network Alliance to review it.
New and improved!
Bloomberg BNA has released “Section 1411 — Net Investment Income Tax,” a new portfolio analyzing the Affordable Care Act-created tax, and how it affects individuals, estates and trusts. ... BQE Software launched BQE Core, a cloud-based project management and billing solution that offers multiple customizable dashboards, mobile apps for iOS and Android phones, integration with QuickBooks Online and MYOB Account Right, and more. ... The Institute of Internal Auditors’ Internal Audit Foundation has published an updated edition of its “Quality Assessment Manual for the Internal Audit Activity,” which includes guidance, step-by-step modules, a process map and more to help organizations establish a quality assurance and improvement program. ... Confirmation.com has launched a Japanese version of its application and Web site to support the market in the local language.
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