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What’s The Plan, Stan?

Column: Up Front

From the Sept. 2007 Issue

In today’s hectic and rushed business environment, many of us find ourselves jumping from one urgent task to another just trying to get it all done. Who has time to actually think and plan? Right?

The important reminder reiterated in many of the pages in this issue is this: Fail to plan, Plan to fail. (Period. It really is just that simple. So take the time and make the time to start the process today, and help your individual and business clients do the same with many of the tips and suggestions you now hold in your hands.)

1. Tax Planning — It is a win/win situation for you and your clients. The time to start is now, and the technology tools available are impressive (check out the reviews by Isaac here).

2. Mid-Range Accounting Systems — Find the right product for your own firm or help your business clients with selection or advice as they begin the evaluation process (see page 54 for valuable tips from Randy on having a plan for choosing the right system, and see the product reviews by Mary that begin here). Remember, no one likes change (except a wet baby), but planning in advance can prepare everyone for the big picture and what will be gained.

3. Incidence Response — Roman explains the four levels your firm should discuss on an annual basis to make sure everyone on the staff is prepared (Click here to jumpstart your firm’s plan today).

4. Business Alerts — Lisa takes a look at the valuable Business Intelligence Tools available (many exist in programs you and your clients already own). Are you using them to help manage and plan your business processes? (Click here to get an idea of what these tools look like in applied form with mini case studies, and see how you can tap into the advantages and possibilities these resources provide.)

5. e-Security in your firm — John takes a look at the valiant effort and planning that must be constantly on the forefront for every accounting firm. Don’t get caught off guard; be alert and have an internal plan and policy that is clearly communicated to your entire staff (Click here for John’s latest tips).

6. Successful Leaders = Good Planners (Click here for the special section that recognizes our “40 Under 40” — those thought leaders who are helping to shape the future of the accounting profession). Find out where these people see the changes coming as they look ahead and plan for tomorrow!

Speaking of planning, make plans now to attend the following webcast events (register today and get it on your calendar by visiting You can sign up for these new programs and view our complete archived selection. These events provide valuable education and offer insight into technology’s rapidly changing impact on numerous parts of an accounting practice and the services they offer.

  • Technology’s Impact on Client Communications – Sept. 18
  • Practice Management/Time & Billing — Have you really looked at these products lately? – Oct. 4
  • Revenue Opportunities for Tax Preparers with Tax Planning – Nov. 1

So what’s the plan? Start evaluating the areas in your practice mentioned above; then, help your clients do the same. “Ready, Aim, Fire!” always works better than “Ready, Fire, Aim!”