Articles Library

Thank you for your interest in a SAS article. All articles are developed by tax and accounting thought leaders and content experts.

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Article Abstracts

Take a look-see at the abstracts below and select one or more articles for use in your publication. Articles are organized within categories.

Once you’ve submitted the request form, a SAS representative will email you the full article within 24-48 hours. Are we great or what?!

NEW! ARTICLES OF THE MONTH

Rockin’ It Old School—Face-to-Face Networking has a Magic Online Forums Can’t Match
by Kristy Short, Ed.D

“I’m all a’Twitter”; ”It’s a Tweet life”; “Incurable Tweaker” (i.e., someone so addicted that they sneak tweets)…by now you’ve heard all the cool play on words surrounding this social media phenomena. In fact, it seems like everyone is writing about social media in general these days—offering advice on appropriate implementation or reporting on success stories. It’s there at every turn of the page.

This is certainly not a criticism. Social media, applied purposefully, is a smart addition to any marketing communications program. Without question, the value of social media cannot be understated; however, neither can the value of networking live and in person. What it comes down to is finding the right balance between the two.

Why is Search Engine Optimization Important?
by Hugh Duffy, CMO, Build Your Firm

If you are interested in acquiring new business, then you need to understand what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how it can deliver qualified prospects to your doorstep. In other words, SEO is how your website is found on the Internet. A website that has been effectively optimized for search engines can deliver motivated prospects to your firm. On the other hand, a website that is not search engine optimized is essentially lost in Internet space, which renders it worthless from a marketing perspective…

DATA SECURITY/REGULATORY

NEW! Protecting Client Data and Maintaining Compliance in an Emerging SaaS World— Eight Critical Questions to Consider with SaaS Vendors
by Steven Ladd, CEO, Copanion

As the tax and accounting profession continues its transition to SaaS, client data continues its move outside the walls of firms and into the “cloud.” All firms should be concerned about data security and compliance regarding their client’s data. Even though the power, convenience, and cost-effectiveness of SaaS applications is widely accepted, professional standards call for healthy skepticism when it comes to safeguarding client data…

Technology Required: Making 7216 Easily Manageable
by Barry J. Friedman, CPA, BizActions

Future-thinking firms are taking advantage of the latest and greatest technologies to elevate efficiency at all levels of operation. From automating tax document preparation to delivery of financial statements via portals, technology is at the heart of a well-run and profitable practice…Technology certainly has a place in relation to compliance—for example with Internal Revenue Code Section 7216. Disclosure and Use mandates set forth in 7216 are complex and demand significant time investment…

(NEW! We also offer an extended version of this article, complete with detailed legal explanations of 7216. The extended version was co-authored by attorney, Christopher A. Davis. TO REQUEST THE EXTENDED ARTICLE, please indicate in the “Title of Article(s) Requested” field.)

MARKETING/SALES & PUBLIC RELATIONS

NEW! Death to the Time Clock! Hail to the New Value-Driven Work Mentality!
by Kristy Short, Ed.D

It’s a new era…and the profession’s next generation of leaders put life-work balance at the top of the priority list.

I was sitting in the waiting area of my local pharmacy when an older gentleman (probably in his mid-70’s) sat down next to me. I happened to be clad in all black…from headband to my super cool Crocs. He turned to me and asked, “Why all the black, young lady?”…to which I quickly replied, “I’m in mourning for my lost childhood.”

I was joking of course, but it didn’t quite land. The man stared at me with a look of vapid concern. Then it hit me…I wasn’t speaking his language. Not by a long shot. In fact, there are few people (outside of my best friend and family) that would have made the connection to the obscure (and hysterical) quote from one of my favorite flicks, “What About Bob?”

The point? Had I surveyed my audience appropriately, I would have edited my response to make a solid connection. My communication was off, and as a result my message was not received and any hope of a connection instantly lost.

The rule is the same for the accounting profession. The way firms communicate with their various audiences: clients, existing staff, and new recruits, has to make a connection in order to continually strengthen relationships and elevate business upward and onward..

5 Marketing Tips for Small Accounting Firms—Making Time for Marketing during Busy Season

by Hugh Duffy, CMO, Build Your Firm

When it comes to marketing during busy season, the common issue with smaller firms is having little to no time. During crunch time, it is a challenge to serve the needs of clients while also managing overall firm operations. As a result, marketing initiatives become just additional items on the endless to-do list. The reality is that if firms are to continue to generate quality leads, this way of thinking will not work. For practitioners that want to continuously improve the quality of their clientele and improve their practice, marketing must become a habitual activity…

Why CPAs Should Acquire a Systematic Approach to Selling—Improving Your New Client Acquisition Process
by Hugh Duffy, CMO, Build Your Firm

When firms adopt a systematic approach to marketing and selling, the results are far more effective than if using a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-approach. The logic is simple: A systematic approach is far more predictable and consistent in delivering the results desired…

The Great PR Opportunity—Tips and Truths about Public Relations for the Tax &
Accounting Profession

by Kristy Short, Ed.D., SAS Communications 360

One undeniable truth is that public relations and CPA firms make a good team. Unfortunately, PR doesn’t always get the credit it deserves and can largely go ignored by tax and accounting professionals. The general perception is that PR doesn’t benefit firms—at least in a measurable way (i.e., ROI). As such, it’s labeled as a “Nice to have” rather than a “Need to have.” In reality, a sound public relations program has the power to significantly boost client referrals, and that translates to higher revenue…

PROCESS/WORKFLOW/EFFICIENCY

Achieving Ultimate Efficiency with a Paperless Tax Workflow—Six Best Practices that Get
You There

by Steven Ladd, CEO, Copanion

Streamlining workflow is a constantly neglected to-do item for many CPA firms, especially as client demands increase and new regulations continue to come down the pike…in the tax and accounting industry time is money, which is why accountants are always searching for ways to improve efficiency in their firms. These Six Best Practices are the key steps that will ease the transition to a paperless tax workflow…

Going Green—Good for the Environment, Good for Everyone
by Steven Ladd, CEO, Copanion

The Green Movement is gaining momentum in the tax and accounting profession. For firms that are going green, eco-friendly initiatives are taking place at the process level. With a focus on reducing the use of paper, accounting professionals are implementing technology innnovations like scanning and client portals to “digitize” workflows that traditionally relied on volumes of paper. And of course reducing the use of paper is not only good for the environment, but it significantly reduces costs associated with paper and manual tasks…

SOCIAL NETWORKING/COMMUNITIES

NEW! Taking a Targeted Approach to Social Networking—Niche Sites Provide the Accounting Profession with Far More Bang for the Buck
by Scott Cytron, Big4.com Staff Writer

On a personal level, social media offers an easy-to-use platform to share information and connect with friends. In business, we are just now beginning to understand and grasp the value associated with using various networking sites, especially in the accounting profession and business marketplace.

Most of the time, accountants want to know what kind of ROI they can expect; any time spent on non-billable functions must relate back to growth. Still in its infancy, social media offers a practical means to build business and turn prospects into clients or customers, while building knowledge and holding discussions that directly relate back to our work…

When Great Minds Come Together…
The Exceptional Value of Onsite CPA Communities

by M. Darren Root, CPA.CITP, RootWorks

Over the past few years, social media has gained momentum in the tax and accounting profession. Sites like Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube enable professionals to exchange information in real-time, while accounting-specific blogs keep CPAs apprised of the latest technology trends and efficiency-elevating innovations. There is no denying that the Internet provides exceptional convenience; however, the power of face-to-face network communities cannot be overstated…

WEB/SAAS/VIRTUAL OFFICE

NEW! What is Search Engine Optimization?
by Hugh Duffy, CMO, Build Your Firm

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic a website receives through search engines. While search engine optimization sounds simple and easy to do, it takes considerable planning, knowledge, and time to deliver results. As more businesses employ search engine optimization into their Internet marketing strategy, the more advantage they will have over their competitors…

Entering the Virtualization Era
by Allan Ratafia, CPA, MS in Taxation, Build Your Firm

Over the past few years, most accounting firms have invested in technology to improve workflow efficiencies—from integrated software suites to document management systems. Though a positive progression, many have yet to evolve to the next phase on the technology continuum—the Virtualization Era…

The 7 Most Important Things About Your Website—Why Most Accounting Firm
Websites Fail

by Hugh Duffy, CMO, Build Your Firm

According to The CPA Technology Advisor’s 2008 poll, 57% of accounting firms have a website.  Or said another way, 43% of accounting firms do not have a website.  Scary in today’s day and age that 43% of accounting firms do not have a website…I decided to visit over two hundred accounting firm websites to identify the most common mistakes…