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We've got an exciting resource or two to share with you all. Firstly, a new report:Karbon’s Practice Excellence Assessment is a tool used to help accounting firms better-understand how they're performing specifically in relation to their business abilities, including how they stack up against other firms.Every two years, we analyze the data, identifying the key areas separating leading firms from the rest, with an in-depth analysis of the most impactful findings.To date, over 1,000 accounting firms from across the globe have participated. And the 2022 Practice Excellence Report is an analysis of this data.You can download it here. Secondly, a supporting webinar:To further-explain the report's key findings and help you compare your own firm, Ian Vacin will be hosting a webinar. He'll deep-dive into the data along with Stef Gomes-Ng, Karbon’s Marketing Operations & Data Analyst, and Omer Khan, Karbon’s Head of Customer Success, APAC.Register for the webinar here. Thirdly...Now, if yo
There are many stats and opinions floating around about the future of work and how the pandemic has affected business. But the accounting industry doesn’t fit easily in a box—it needs its own focus.So, we're conducting our own research to find out how COVID-19 has changed how accounting professionals work.And we need your help!Complete this 5-min survey to share your experiences and expectations for work in a post-pandemic world.We’ll compile and share the results, highlighting changing work habits, trends and expectations, plus everything you need to know to attract and retain the best staff.For every response received by February 4, 2022, $5 will be donated to UNICEF’s Children’s Emergency Appeal. You will also be entered into a draw to win 1 of 5 $200 Amazon or Visa gift vouchers.If you have any questions about the survey, please let me know in the comments below (or you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org).I look forward to delving into your valuable insights
We have a new and exciting playbook, just in time for some holiday reading.The Process Playbook is your blueprint for standardizing, optimizing and documenting your accounting firm’s critical processes.You’ll discover the 8 best practice steps for tackling this project, including stories from accounting firms that have standardized and documented their processes, plus templates and worksheets to help you on your own journey.Thank you to those Community members who contributed to this playbook—your insights were invaluable.You can download The Process Playbook here. Let me know what you think—would love to hear from you.Enjoy your holiday reading.
[End of year panel webinar] The 2021 Retrospective: The best tactics, insights & trends for every accountant
At the end of each year, we bring together a panel of global experts to recap on the year that was. We talk everything from industry trends and the biggest challenges of the last 12 months, to what to look out for in 2022.This year, I’ll be joined by a fantastic group of people with diverse skillsets and passions, and I can’t wait:Joyce Ong from Tax Nuggets Academy Zac McClure from TokenTax Shonette Sullivan, MBA from The Shekinah Group, LLC Steven Byler from GrowthLab Finance-as-a-ServiceIt’s a not-to-be-missed session, and promises to be jam-packed with the best advice, insights and takeaways to give you an edge leading into 2022.It’s our most popular webinar each year, but spaces are limited. Register now to avoid missing out: https://karbonhq.com/resources/2021-retrospective-webinar/
We’ve recently published an article on Karbon Magazine, asking the question: Client relationships can be automated, but should they?This can be quite a difficult question to answer, with many ‘ifs and buts’, so we thought we would invite Karbon Community members to share their experiences.Beyond Client Tasks in Karbon, how are you driving greater efficiencies through client collaboration and automation, and how are you you ensuring you’re not neglecting the human element?In the article, we share how, at Karbon, we use a combination of automation and human interaction to make sure we’re striking the right balance for everyone involved.Looking forward to reading your take on the topic.
We recently published an article in Karbon Magazine exploring the essential questions to ask when building your accounting firm’s ideal tech stack.The accounting app ecosystem is huge and ever-growing and evolving. It’s near-impossible to keep up with absolutely everything. So we thought we’d invite Karbon Community members to share the app stack that is driving their workflow and efficiency. What are the apps and tools that you can’t live without?
Thanks for taking time to review the webinar on Unleashing the Power of Your Karbon Data. If you missed it, you can watch it below: In the webinar, we covered 5 aspects of Karbon’s reporting, data and future journey:Reporting available within Karbon including Insights, Work (kanban), Time and To-dos; In-app exports to enable your own bespoke reporting; Comprehensive exports for data review and bulk updates; New, request-able reports for Billing, Capacity Planning, and Profitability Analyses; Future of reporting with the Industry Cloud.Questions for everyone and your thoughts:What business questions would you like Karbon data to answer? What report would you like to have available to you? (e.g. Time & Billing, Capacity Planning, Profitability, Other?)
Thanks for taking time to review the webinar on Karbon usage benchmarks: How does your firm compare. If you missed it, you can watch it below: In the webinar, we covered 4 different options to evaluate your firm, your usage of Karbon, and how that compares with similar sized firms across the globe. Specifically, the webinar discussed:Practice excellence: How does your firm compare across strategy, efficiency, management and growth. Health score: How well is you and your team using Karbon today. Scorecard: What features are you using and how confident are you in using them. Usage statistics: On key areas within Karbon, how does your firm compare and how is each person in the firm leveraging and using those features.Questions for everyone and your thoughts:What features in Karbon do you think you should start using? What has been the barrier to adopt? What features are you now confident in using within Karbon? What additional Karbon usage metrics would you like to get access to?
The accounting profession is filled with complicated, interconnected, multi-person processes. That’s why you need to document and standardize those processes. I know, It’s not the most exciting task to complete, but if you take the time to document your processes, you enable your firm to scale more effectively, increase your team’s productivity, and ensure everything your firm does is consistent.Think of it this way, standardized processes are the backbone of your firm’s performance. It gives you a baseline to track and measure performance against, telling you whether you’re utilizing all available resources, and allowing you to maximize revenue.While I think standardized processes are important in every area of your company, I personally find it most helpful for training new hires. Just think of how quickly a new employee can get up to speed if they have a resource they can go to for each process. So, when it’s time for me to review my process documentation I always begin with onboard
We’ve run several surveys over the years at Karbon to determine the biggest barriers and challenges firm owners and managers are faced with. Every single time, something around finding great staff comes out on top. In fact, the #1 most-read article in Karbon Magazine several years has been this one:30 interview questions to help you identify the best candidateThere are many steps to finding your next great staff member, but few are as critical as the interview. It’s your best opportunity to learn and analyze a candidate for a role in your firm. You not only want to know if they can do the job in question, but you want to make sure that they will be a great fit with your team culture. Each role requires different skills and the interview questions should be tailored to each specific position. And of course there is the popular STAR method to ask situational interview questions and understand how a candidate is likely to behave and resolve challenges they are face with.Seeing as this is
You can be the best accounting professional in the world, but if you don’t provide quality client service, your firm won’t be successful. The tricky answer to discover is: are you providing a high-level client experience at your firm?That’s why you need client feedback.I have found that many companies, in and out of the accounting industry, only request feedback at the end. But it’s also important to request feedback at several points in the journey to get the complete picture. This allows you to improve upon your services while you are providing them and show the client what your top priority is helping them.When asking for feedback throughout, you do have to be careful that you are not spamming your clients by asking them for feedback too much. It’s a delicate line to balance, but I have found that as long as you limit how many times you question a single client, you will be okay.I would love to hear what questions others have used to get feedback throughout the client relationship.
We have all had bad clients. But something that gets debated a lot is what you should do about them. Should you ever fire a bad client? And if so, what’s the tipping point when you decide enough is enough? Of course, this problem can be avoided completely if you can identify a potential bad client and say no to them from the very beginning. You need to set your own rules and know when a prospect may not be a good fit for your firm due to things like: A lack of skills on your team to provide the help they need A lack of time and resource The prospect shows too many problems The prospect shows signs of communicating poorly, slowly, or not treating your staff appropriately And then sometimes you realize that a client isn’t a great match for your firm, after they are a client. So, how do you transition out a bad client? Here are five possible ways to do that: Focus your team so they only focus on clients in a specific niche Refer them to another accounting practice Re-shape t
Overcoming the challenges of remote work Some people have always loved remote work. Others grew to love it when they were forced into it during the pandemic. And of course there are some people who view remote work as a means to an end and can’t wait for the permanent return to offices No matter what your opinions are of working from home, you need to acknowledge the negatives that, left unaddressed, can be pretty problematic. Negatives like: Isolation The temptation to be ‘always on’, never truly disconnecting from work and your devices Dealing with distractions Staying physically and mentally healthy Knowing that remote work is here to stay at least in some capacity, and in many areas of the world will continue to be the only safe way to work for some time, I am taking the steps to make remote work as successful as possible. So, what am I doing? I am prioritizing moving every day. When I first started working remotely, I had a routine that included a daily walk out workout
When accountants are busy, they are really busy. I’m sure you know the feeling of being overworked, overwhelmed and nearing burnout during tax season or other busy periods. If you’re like most customers that I speak to, you love what you do, are passionate about helping your clients, and want to help grow their businesses. But, wouldn’t it be easier to serve your clients if you weren’t constantly running on exhaust fumes? One of the simplest ways to stay on top of your own wellbeing during your busiest periods is to practice what I like to call, micro self-care—small activities you can weave into your daily routine that help to break up the day. And if you’re lucky enough to be in a slightly more manageable period of work, now is the perfect time to develop a plan and start practicing this micro self-care.Because we all know that additional stressors will pop up at the worst times. And creating a plan now will allow you to have something you can control. So what kind of self-care do I
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