There’s still a lot of activity going on in the accounting world. Some items you may already know. Some will be interesting for you. And some should get you jumping up and down with excitement. Here is my summary of some of the interesting news that caught my attention, yesterday and today.

Marketing and Practice Development

Domain Names

Recently, a large number of new domain name extensions have been launched. It’s no longer the only and best option for a professional firm to choose a .com or as an extension to the chosen name of the firm. Nowadays there are many new options. For example, for accountants, you can have a .accountants or .tax or .finance or .financial domain name.

I’ve recently put together a directory of the latest domain names – take a look and then go back to your marketing plan and choose the right road to success. Email me for a free directory.

Grow your practice using an entrepreneurial mindset

cloud based accountingAccountancy Age Insight alerted me to this: it’s a free short guide from Xero outlining how a highly ambitious, innovative, adaptable mindset can drive your accountancy business forward. It should be something that you are interested in.  Cloud-based accounting solutions are allowing more and more people to set up their own accountancy practice. Online accounting platforms make it easier than ever to set up a business and to start working with a broad range of clients – making the most of the mobile, instant-access benefits of advising and collaborating with small and medium-sized businesses.

But whether you are about to start your own practice, or revamp your tired old-fashioned existing firm, one thing is for sure: adopting a more entrepreneurial mindset is really going to help make your business successful. The concept of adapting to change is central to the entrepreneurial mindset. Details are available here.

7 Tips for Nurture Marketing

Have you heard about Nurture Marketing? More to the point, are you taking advantage of it?

In today’s multichannel, multi-device world, many businesses are struggling to interact with their customers and prospects. Information is a key stroke away 24/7 and buying cycles have shifted. Silverpop (an IBM company) is more than simple email and marketing automation. It’s how marketers form meaningful customer relationships. Something every accountant should be doing – come on, you must agree with that.

Download the free guide from Silverpop to learn how you can fill communication gaps by creating sophisticated nurture programs that build brand preference and loyalty before a sale and in between multiple purchase transactions.

A guide to taking on a new employee

Now the recession is history, many of the businesses you act for are growing and it’s time for them to take on new employees. But how do they find the right person for their business?  Offering quick and digestible checklists, the free Sage One guide will help them find the right person, for the right role, saving them a lot of time and effort.  Tell your clients about it and you’ll be their hero. They may even pay you for the advice!

job_interviewThe Sage One guide shows the best ways to:

  • Find the right employee
  • Write a good job advert
  • Learn what you need to do next

Download the guide from here.

Best-Practices for Selecting Content Marketing Software

Ayaz Nanji, from the US writes that at least 110 vendors are currently selling content marketing software—not including dedicated solutions for things such as email, marketing automation, content management, digital asset management, and social media management—according to a recent analysis by Altimeter Group. Their report outlines software-selection best-practices based on data from a survey of marketers and vendors.

The author, who is a digital strategy and content consultant asks: Considering the plethora of choices, how can marketers find the right tools that fulfill their needs and also meet enterprise, process, and platform requirements?  She then provides details of a three-step process for finding the right solutions.

If you are interested, read the full article here.

10+ Useful System Tools Hidden in Windows

You don’t have to be a geek to find this useful… The article at How-to-Geek says that whether you’re using Windows 7, Windows 8, or an older version of Windows, Windows contains a variety of system utilities that are well-hidden. Some are buried deep in the Start menu, while others can only be accessed via a command.

Most of these tools can be easily launched if you know their names — just open your Start menu or Start screen, search for the name of the program, and press Enter. On Windows 8, you may have to select the Settings category on the search screen first. Try it, the link is here.

Gathering Social Intelligence to Crush the Competition

Is that what you’re doing to crush your competition? Get.SimplyMeasured say that with social networks becoming a marketing necessity, businesses are going to great lengths to get ahead of the competition – hiring 3rd party solutions, paying for proprietary databases, or obtaining insider information. But not every type of espionage needs to be unethical while helping you craft your competitive strategy. The name for this white hat social espionage is “social intelligence.”social data

There’s a free guide for the complete rundown on social intelligence, just waiting for you. It includes:

  • How to use social data to crush the competition
  • The end-to-end process of conducting a competitive analysis
  • Ways to prevent your competition from analyzing you

Technical Stuff

Changes Proposed in Ethics for Non-assurance Services

Michael Cohn, Editor-In-Chief, Accountingtoday.Com, in the US, says that the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants has released for public comment an exposure draft on proposed changes to certain provisions of the ethics code related to non-assurance services for audit clients.

The proposed changes from IESBA, which operates under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants, aim to enhance the independence provisions in the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants by providing additional guidance and clarification regarding what constitutes management responsibility, including enhanced guidance regarding how the auditor can better satisfy itself that client management will make all judgments and decisions that are the responsibility of management, when the auditor provides non-assurance services to an audit client.

You can read what Michael Cohn says here.

Congress Introduces Bill to Restrict Corporate Tax Inversions

Have you come across “corporate tax inversions” before?

Michael Cohn, Editor-In-Chief, Accountingtoday.Com, in the US, says that Democrats in the House and Senate introduced legislation Tuesday to tighten the restrictions on corporate tax inversions, limiting the ability of U.S.-based companies to avoid U.S. taxes by combining with a smaller foreign business and moving their tax domicile overseas.

Michael Cohn writes that there have been more than 40 corporate inversions in the last decade, costing the U.S. tax base billions of dollars, according to the bill’s proponents. The Treasury Department estimates that the President’s FY 2015 budget proposal on inversions would raise $17 billion in revenue over the next decade. Under current law, a corporate inversion is not respected for U.S. tax purposes if 80 percent or more of the new combined corporation incorporated offshore is owned by historic shareholders of the U.S. corporation. The proposed legislation would make it harder for U.S. companies to invert by reducing this threshold from 80 percent or more to more than 50 percent.

Read the story here. Be prepared for similar activity in the UK – we’ve already heard about how much (or how little) Amazon, Starbucks et al have been paying. Expect HMRC to be as tough as our US cousins.

The UK is falling behind – is that what you are finding?UK

The UK is not keeping up with its competitors as a place to do business, according to rankings released yesterday by the Economist Intelligence Unit. They say that in the next four years, the UK will be the world’s 22nd best business environment, falling from 19th during the last 4 years. We’ve been overtaken by Malaysia, Israel, Qatar and Ireland for their easier business environments. Read more about it here.

SEC is to say more on IFRS in the ‘relatively near future’

Deloitte reported this: Mary Jo White, Chair of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has discussed the possible implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the United States.  In a speech at the annual United States Financial Accounting Foundation Trustees dinner, she acknowledged calls for more information about when the SEC will provide more information on the incorporation of IFRS into US domestic capital markets, noting that she hopes to “be able to say more in the relatively near future”.

FATCA Has Not Been Delayed

This sounds a bit like Mark Twain’s famous remark: “Rumours of my death have been exaggerated”.

Mike Godfrey of, Washington says that Compliance Systems (Convey) and Baker & McKenzie (B&M) report the May 2 Notice (2014-33) from the United States Treasury Department should be regarded as facilitating implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) over a transition period, and not as a delay to its effective dates.

FATCA, enacted by the US Congress in 2010, is intended to ensure that the US obtains information on accounts held at FFIs by US persons. Failure by an FFI to disclose information on their US clients will result in a requirement to withhold 30 percent tax on payments of US-sourced income.

Read what Mike Godfrey says, here.

Martin Pollins
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