CPA.com Blog

The HIRE Act and How It Impacts Your Firm and Your Clients

In the spring, President Obama signed into law the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act, more commonly known as the federal “jobs bill.” The cornerstone of the HIRE Act is a federal program that provides employers with incentives to hire and retain certain previously unemployed workers (“qualified employees”), including:

  • Payroll Tax Exemption
    Employers will be exempt from their portion of Social Security taxes (6.2 percent) for the remaining year—through December 31, 2010—for new hires who had been unemployed for at least 60 days, or who had worked no more than 40 hours total.
  • New Hire Retention Credit
    Employers can claim a business tax credit of up to $1,000 for each qualified employee who stays on payroll for at least 52 consecutive weeks. 

Would you like additional information? View a recent Infocast on this topic.
You can view the recent AICPA Infocast on “The 2010 HIRE Act Understanding the Employer Incentives” to help you understand and take decisive action on the newly required components of HIRE Act and what it means to your firm and your clients.

The Infocast was developed to help you ensure your clients stay in compliance with this new legislation and help you better recognize how your clients can benefit from the key provisions, such as increased tax credits and reduced payroll taxes.  

Also visit www.paychex.com/hireact for more information and to calculate the possible savings for your client’s business.

New enhancements to Intacct will help your firm expand and target new clients

Are you looking for new revenue-generating services without the need for a large IT investment?

Want to offer your clients additional value and grow your firm’s client accounting services practice?

If you answered “yes” to either question above, then web- or cloud-based accounting and financial solutions should be at the top of your list. Why?

For starters,cloud financials can enable higher-margin areas of service for your firm and increase client loyalty by boosting productivity, visibility and collaboration with clients. Which is why we are especially excited about ground-breaking new enhancements recently announced by our strategic business solutions partner, Intacct, a leading innovator in cloud-based financial solutions for CPAs.

Intacct’s new capabilities bring world-class financial management and reporting capabilities to CPA firms that will expand your services into new markets and target a broader range of small to medium-size business clients that would otherwise find these capabilities cost prohibitive or unattainable.

Intacct’s enhanced capabilities include:

Expanded Multi-Dimensional General Ledger and Detailed GAAP Reporting

Intacct’s new enhanced multi-dimensional general ledger allows CPA firms, like yours, to do more robust and granular financial and operational reporting, analysis, and real-time planning for clients. So now you can deliver better reports tailored to the unique needs of individual clients in all industries and markets. With more visibility into your clients’ financials, and an enhanced ability to interpret client data, your firm can provide higher-margin business and financial advisory services to your clients, thus increasing revenue and profits.

Enter or expand into specialized lucrative vertical markets such as not-for-profit, franchise, and property management. You can rename and repurpose dimensions to meet your client’s specific industry or business needs. This enables better planning, reporting, and analysis with the ability to drill down and pivot with deeper detail than ever before. Combine your vertical expertise with a financial management platform that lets you differentiate and highlight your firm’s strengths.

Here’s what Abraham Mathew, a senior consultant at LarsonAllen (an Intacct CPA partner) had to say about Intacct’s new enhanced multi-dimensional reporting capabilities:

"LarsonAllen services clients in a wide range of vertical industries and Intacct's enhanced multidimensional general ledger enables us to better service our clients by providing reports and deep operational analysis that were extremely hard to provide in the past. The added general ledger dimensions are critical for our clients in industries like not-for-profit or healthcare that have very complex and specialized reporting needs. In the past, we would have had to export the data into Excel spreadsheets and rework the information to create these types of advanced reports, which introduces extra layers of complexity and work. Now we can complete the operational reporting and analysis from directly within Intacct."

Web-Based Financial Processes & Employee Participation

Make it easier for any employee, anywhere, at anytime to actively participate in financial workflows. Enable clients to get away from manual process, poor controls, and the lack of data accessibility and visibility. Intacct’s cloud delivery model with enhanced workflows makes it easy for your clients’ employees to actively and collaboratively participate in financial processes, like purchasing and T&E expense reimbursements, while still ensuring proper financial controls and compliance.

With enhancements like the above, Intacct will enable you to better service your clients’ needs, increasing retention and satisfaction, boosting referrals, and expanding into new higher-margin markets. The best part? You can leverage this enhanced new functionality at a fraction of the cost and risk of traditional on-premises systems.

To learn more about the Intacct Accountants Program from CPA2Biz, click here.

If you are already benefiting from Intacct’s enhanced new capabilities, please share your experience with these new features here. Have you been able to expand into new higher-margin services? What are your thoughts and opinions on these new enhancements, especially the multi-dimensional general ledger? Please share your thoughts and opinions here.

New White Paper shows how your firm can profit from cloud-based accounting services

If you have been looking for practical tips and information on integrating new cloud-based accounting solutions into your practice, you'll want to download our new White Paper "Transforming Your Client Accounting Services - Accounting Firm Best Practices on how to Strategically Price, Package and Position Client Accounting Services within Your Firm."

In this new white paper, you'll learn how progressive firms are transforming their client accounting services area, from basic transactional services like A/P and A/R to more profitable outsourced CFO services. You will also learn how to maintain a competitive edge by leveraging cloud-based technology and innovative marketing strategies to provide higher margin, value-added services to your clients.

The White Paper shows how web-based accounting applications can enhance productivity, increase collaboration, reduce costs and generate a profitable return on investment for your firm and your clients.

These are some of the key areas the White Paper will address:

  • The challenges firms face with traditional low-margin client accounting services, such as write-up, bookkeeping and transactional services such as A/P and A/R
  • Shifting the focus from these low-profit, transaction-oriented services to higher-margin consultative services, such as outsourced controllership and virtual CFO services (financial statement and cash flow analysis, budgeting, business planning, etc.)
  • Profiles and lessons learned from 6 CPA firms who are leading the way in transforming this area of their practice
  • How firms are deepening client relationships by improving their clients' business processes, cash flow, and profitability
  • How to position, package and price cloud-based accounting services successfully
  • Creating non-traditional work environments that take advantage of remote or part-time resources
  • ROI analysis that shows how cloud-based accounting solutions can increase your firm's revenue and profitability

If you would like to learn how you can expand your client accounting services practice with cloud-based services, please download this free white paper now!

Is this the year your firm hopes to go paperless?

One tip: Invest in a quality scanner!

With new cloud-based services, like Bill.com's paperless bill management solution and Copanion's paperless tax workflow system, accounting firms are finally moving closer and closer to a true paperless office. Cloud solutions like Bill.com and Copanion's GruntWorx let you quickly scan and upload client documents as soon as they land on your desk, where you can then process, manage and act on these documents in a timely manner.

One word of advice, especially for this tax season, invest in a quality scanner. In a recent AICPA CPA Insider article entitled, "Don't Skimp on Scanners" author Alexandra DeFelice provides some excellent advice and tips on choosing the right scanner for your firm's needs.

CPA2Biz and Copanion recently ran a live web seminar on "Best Practices for Scanning Tax Documents." If you missed this complimentary web event, you can view it now in its entirety.

Are you using a scanner to upload, organize, store, process and manage client documents, from invoices to W-2s and 1099s and brokerage statements? Are you happy with the scanner you currently have? Finally, do you scan before processing or after the fact for simple archival purposes? What advice or recommendations would you have for CPAs shopping for a scanner? Please share your experiences here.

Cloud Accounting Enables Firm to Continue Operations Despite Devastating Hurricanes in Florida

When you look at the advantages of cloud-based accounting solutions over traditional on-premise software, you might not consider Mother Nature as a key factor in the decision-making process. However, the recent experience of Harrod CPA, an accounting firm that was able to continue operations despite devastating hurricanes in Florida serves as confirmation of the unique benefits of adopting cloud-based solutions in your firm.

Not long ago, "…when there were three major hurricanes that devastated the central Florida area, Harrod's staff had to evacuate the state for several days. Fortunately, since Intacct's cloud accounting applications are accessible over the Internet, the firm could continue to operate and serve its clients without major disruption."

"We definitely had a competitive advantage due to the Intacct system," noted Harrod. "We reassured our clients, some of whom are scattered throughout the state of Florida, that their data was safe and secure at the IBM data center in California used by Intacct. Even though they were without power for days and their businesses sustained damage, we could continue to provide our service and the clients' financial systems never went down. Other clients not on Intacct were not so fortunate. Since then, many of these clients have migrated to Intacct due to these concerns and the need to mitigate future risk associated with hurricanes in the state."

You can read the recent press release and access the case study posted by Intacct on how the Move to Cloud Accounting With Intacct Helped Harrod CPA Improve Service and Increase Client Success.

If you have recently begun using cloud-based solutions, like Intacct or Bill.com, or are considering the move to the cloud, please share your experiences here, including the challenges of using traditional on-premise accounting software and the unique benefits your firm experienced with cloud-based solutions.

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