What Today’s Most Trusted Advisor Needs to Know

Column: Behind the Scenes

From the October 2011 Issue

Over the last several months, I’ve had the opportunity to get out on the road and attend several tradeshows and conferences for the tax and accounting profession. This has allowed me to talk to a lot of practitioners, and I’ve been hearing the same thing from many of you: The role of tax and accounting professionals is changing. And as with most things in this life, as the landscape changes you must be ready to adapt to the changes if you want to survive and thrive.

In addition to managing the changes in your own firm, you will find that your clients, who are also facing new challenges, will be asking for more advice (if they aren’t already). And that is enough to make anyone’s head spin.

If you as a practitioner are to remain a business’ most trusted advisor, you must be ready to help answer your clients’ questions on a wide range of topics. The tricky part is making sure you are armed with the information you need to address your clients’ inquiries, particularly when they ask about something for which you may not be the most knowledgeable. CPA Practice Advisor understands that you cannot be the expert in all areas, which is why we are dedicated to providing you with the information, resources and insight to help you meet the expectations of your clients.

CPA Practice Advisor’s editorial staff is made up of editors, columnists and contributors with different areas of expertise. Executive Editor Darren Root, CPA.CITP is an expert on practice management. In addition to his role with the magazine, Darren is the principal of his own CPA firm and runs his own consulting practice, RootWorks. Technical Editor Brian Tankersley, CPA.CITP helps accountants understand the practical application of technology for their firms and their clients’ businesses. Brian is like the kid we all knew growing up who got all the really cool new toys and couldn’t wait to tell us what he thought about them. Regular columnist Randy Johnston provides unmatched insight into strategic technology planning, system and network infrastructure, software selection, and much more. It only took one conversation with Randy for me to realize that he is serious about helping firms better leverage technology to manage and protect the sensitive data with which they work. Jason Blumer, CPA.CITP may be the new guy on the block, but he has already established himself as a visionary. He has a radical view of what a tax and accounting firm can look like today, and his unique and quirky style shines a light on what firms need to change. This is just a small sampling of CPA Practice Advisor’s highly respected and thought-leading editorial talent, and it leaves us uniquely positioned to provide business intelligence you won’t find anywhere else.

Much of the content CPA Practice Advisor creates every month revolves around the technology and services available to tax and accounting professionals. And over the past several years, we have seen monumental advancement and growth in technology. This accelerated rate of change with technology has made it more and more difficult for firms to stay on top of all the new offerings, options and solutions… not to mention the development of best practices and strategies for adopting and implementing them. There are endless articles about the Cloud, SaaS, mobile tools and applications, portals, practice management, and … the list goes on. Our mission at CPA Practice Advisor is to provide you with the information you need to help manage and grow your practice, and we know that your peers are the best source for that information.

Why should you move your practice to the Cloud? When does value pricing make sense? What should your firm’s website look like? Answers to questions like these are much more valuable when they come from people who are in the trenches with you … people who have been where you are … people who live and breathe the same profession you do.

When you’re ready to move ahead with implementing a new product or service, such as offering portals to your clients, you could spend months looking for the right solution. Having a trusted advisor help you evaluate the best fit for your firm can save you valuable time and ensure that you are following a strategy that makes the most sense for your firm. In September, CPA Practice Advisor reviewed 28 products: 21 payroll products and seven client write-up offerings. And each one of these reviews provided an overview of the product’s strengths and potential limitations. CPA Practice Advisor has already reviewed 144 products so far this year! And that’s just our product reviews. We’ve written about numerous other products and how they can best be utilized in a tax and accounting firm or small business. And we profile firms in every issue — your peers — who are doing great things, providing you with insight into their unique business models.

Change is here, all around us, and practitioners who understand how to best utilize the tools and technology available are going to have an advantage. CPA Practice Advisor offers you that competitive advantage. So hold on to your back issues and bookmark our website (CPAPracticeAdvisor.com) … and you’ll have quick and easy access to the information that will help you manage change in your own firm as well as in your clients’ businesses.