The Very Best

The presentation I’ve posted online ended up being 1 hour and 34 minutes long, but it’s well worth your time as it includes critical issues of which you should not ignore.   Within the accounting, tax preparation industry, it’s far too easy to lose yourself in the Fulfillment aspect of your work and yet that is only part of the equation which is operating a business.

Thus, the information I’m passing along has nothing to do with Teaching you how to complete forms or tax regulations, but rather it discusses the business side of the industry which is every bit as important.

Included are discussions about:

Hardware

Choosing the right computer hardware will greatly improve your productivity.   High Speed Internet is essential to a smooth running business, you not only want as much speed as possible, but you want reliability.

Digital workflow provides capabilities of which you could only dream of just a brief time ago and a Fast, High Productivity Document Scanner is an indispensable tool.

You’ve heard the adage; two heads are better than one…?   Well that is certainly true when it comes to computer monitors.   Two monitors are better than one and three monitors are better than two.   And remember that bigger is also better, working with large high definition monitors is a universe apart from the traditional screen.

Software

Cloud vs Desktop, which is better…?   I love the speed and smooth operation of Desktop software, but all software is eventually going to become cloud based, it’s just a matter of time.   And when you wish to work at two or more locations the concept of cloud based software not only makes sense, but it’s the most security method currently available.

CCH System fx is an outstanding cloud application although it’s very pricy.

QuickBooks Pro Connect is relatively newer but showing great promise thanks to its ability to connection to QuickBooks Online (QBO).

And Drake Software has a setup that warrants some serious consideration and they have some of the best customer support in the industry.

Practice Management

This is serious business which needs serious tools and although most Pro Tax Software includes Practice Management Software, these applications often fall short of what is really needed.

Office 365 Business is a software suite which can be customized to serve a wide variety of Practice Management Needs.   With options to collaborate, exchange and share information, and create schedules and planners, Office 365 Business has no equal.

Upgrade your communication to RingCentral and enter into the vast possibilities offered by VoIP (Voice over Internet) Phone Service.   Receive calls on your computer, phone, and mobile devices seamlessly.

Collaborate, Share Screens, and enjoy Video Conferencing directly with customers and coworkers via Ring Meetings.

Applications

With modern technology and techniques, the old rules no longer apply and it’s important to change with the times to seize the moment and use the tools we have to increase your productivity and reduce your work load.

With cPaperless SafeSend you can offer your customers a safe, reliable method of sending you documents via the internet.   And Tic Tie Calculate will help you to breeze through your digital work flow well keeping an ongoing record of everything you do.

Tax Resolution is a Mega Industry and the Canopy Tax service is just want the doctor ordered.   In minutes, this application can size up your customer to see what options they may have to settle with the IRS.

QuickBooks Online or QBO is what your customers should be using, and you should be supporting their bookkeeping, not doing their bookkeeping.   Receipt Bank is a fantastic addition to QBO which helps automated recorded keeping.

Security

The price of failure is so high and if you really knew how threatened you are, you’d be serious about your security.

You need to be encrypting all your data, backups included.   Your phone should be encrypted as well as all your computers and your local and cloud backups.

Keep your Operating System up-to-date and use a paid Antiviruses Software with a Firewall such as Avast Premium.

In additional to this, you also want to start using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) such as Avast SecureLine VPN.   Your Internet Connection is public and accessible by all.   The VPN hides your IP Address (Internet Phone Number) so outsiders cannot hack into your network.

Protect yourself from malware and ransomware through MalwareBytes.   Don’t allow hackers to view, copy, or hold your data hostage.

Passwords

Anything less than a strong password is negligence on your part.   In this world of information, total control over one’s privacy is an illusion.   One of the few aspects of Security that we can control is the complexity of our passwords.

Don’t use any common terms or numbers.   Use at least one number, one capital letter, one lowercase letter, and one special symbol in every password.   And longer passwords are stronger passwords.

Change your password at least twice annually, don’t share your passwords, and never ever use the same password twice.   Everyone in your office should use separate passwords.

You have fantasies, random thoughts, and childhood memories that only you know or remember.   Develop a list of words, phrases, and numbers which you can easily remember but of which have NO relevance to you, your family, or your business.  

Then construct a group of 4-5 characters to represent each of those words, phrases, or numbers.   By grouping several of these sets of characters together you will create a totally unique, complex, easy to remember password.

Backups

We often treat backups like electricity, we don’t even acknowledge them until their gone.   You don’t need backups until you need them, but when you need them it’s catastrophic if they’re not there.

Have at least one local backup which runs automatically every day…

Have at least one Cloud Backup which runs automatically every day…

And have at least one backup of your entire Primary Hard Drive (C Drive)…

Consider keeping a weekly backup copy as well as a daily backup copy.   And when you’re busy, keeping a continuous backup can be a valuable tool.

Marketing

It’s all too easy to be so busy working “IN” your business that you fail to realize that working “ON” your business is what keeps the dollars flowing into your bank account.   Marketing isn’t optional, and it isn’t some menial task, marketing is your bottom line.

Marketing is the vehicle which allows you to educate and create trust with your customers.   Marketing is what converts a prospect into a paying customer.   Marketing is your business, you may think customers pay you because of your hard work, but in reality, that customer was created through marketing.

You’re doing Marketing in your business right now whether you know it or not.   The issue isn’t “IF” your marketing, the issue is, are you preforming good marketing or bad.

No matter the customer, marketing is what sells