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Remote Employees: Plan Ahead for the Inevitable

*We are introducing a new series on having remote employees.  See the bottom of this post for all aspects of this series.

Funny enough, when you look up the definition for the word remote, you get two definitions; both are what what you would expect, but given this topic of remote employees at accounting firms, I find it intriguing when thought about in conjunction.

re·mote /rəˈmōt/

(of a place) situated far from the main centers of population; distant.
(of a chance or possibility) unlikely to occur.

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Streamline Your Accounts Payable Process

Remarkably, one of the most archaic processes identified in today’s CPA firms is the accounts payable process, which in many cases is a digital attempt to emulate long outmoded, manual processes designed to deter fraud and jump through multiple approval layers that are not necessary for every invoice. A large percentage of firms still utilize highly manual processes to move and approve invoices, write physical checks, and still maintain individual vendor file folders to store the invoices in case there is a question, even though paperless solutions have been around for more than a decade.

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Focus-Blog-Series

Age of Distracted Work(ers): Give someone FOCUS for the holidays

“Give someone an inch and they will take a mile.”

That describes us with all our fancy gadgets these days. We have a mental fidget, and then 8 minutes later, we come up for air from our phones and discover we just wasted our time learning about something that is un-actionable, like reading news-de-jour or details of the Spanish conquest via a wikipedia deep dive.

Here are a few tools to stay focused and fight against the distractions that surround us.

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todays-laptop-considerations

Today’s Laptop Considerations

Laptops continue to be a key tool for accountants whether they are in the office, at a client’s business, or working from home after their kid’s basketball game.  While laptops cost more and have a shorter functional life than traditional desktop computers, there is a positive return in increased productivity for personnel that work out of the office, particularly when you consider the broad range of functionality and features found in the latest generation of laptops and mobile productivity devices.  In this article we discuss key considerations for your firm to take into account when looking to purchase your next laptop.

Making the Laptop Decision

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2016-holiday-gift-gadget-clash

Holiday Gift Gadget Clash

Whether giving or receiving, you’re going to need to prep your list for this giving season.  In this season of giving (not to mention elections), it’s time to bridge the gap regardless of which side you or your beneficiary is on.  Which way will you lean?  Regardless, we’ve got gadget gifts to suit the desires of your family, friends, or fellow colleagues.  I’ll give you the options, but it’s up to you to cast your vote.

Home Assistance

First up, which company do you want to use to self-bug yourself?  Growing in popularity, a stationary assistance is the next interaction/input method poised to connect us with our devices.  While iOS and Android have offered to help us via vocal input for some time, a stationary mic provides more useful interaction while otherwise engaged.  Ideal use cases include starting timers or adding groceries to a list while cooking.  If both hands are busy or wet, that need or idea that pops into your head doesn’t have to be lost.

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Xcurated-series-header

Xcurated: Artificial Intelligence, Low-hanging Fruit, Body Language & Wall Art

What is behind lawyers’ anxiety around artificial intelligence (AI)?

I think the accounting profession will mirror the legal profession in regards to AI and how it applies in professional service firms. Thus, I suggest following a few thought leaders in these areas and looking at how law firms are beginning to implement AI.

The myth of low-hanging fruit

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dedicated-internet-for-reliable-cloud-access

Dedicated Internet for Reliable Cloud Access

For firms looking to utilize the power of cloud technology, the right internet connection is imperative. A powerful cloud without the right type of internet connection is inefficient and can prevent a firm from realizing the complete benefit of a hosted cloud solution. So what type of primary internet connection is considered best practice for firms in the cloud? There are two major variables to consider when selecting the right connection for your firm: bandwidth and type. This article focuses on how to find the right type of internet connection for your firm.

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should-you-try-a-standing-desk

Should You Try a Standing Desk?

Studies over the past few years have identified the negative long term health effects of “prolonged sedentary time,” which is a nice way of pointing out most of us in CPA firms spend too much time sitting.  While after work exercise and stretch breaks help energize us, researchers are finding that they do not fully counter the effect on our bodies of sitting all day, which is especially compounded during the extended hours of busy season. The recommendation to “sit less” sounds great but that list of to do’s on the screen are not going to get done unless you are at your computer cranking them out.  The solution touted by many is to move to a standing or exercise desk.  With that in mind (and prompted by a minor back injury), I transitioned to a standing desk earlier this year and found that it did help boost productivity, particularly in the afternoons when my energy level faded and when the work I was doing was more collaborative with others.  I found that standing when editing documents, participating in

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4-decisions-you-can-make-to-improve-retention-in-2017

4 Decisions You Can Make to Improve Retention in 2017

Guest Author: Jeff Phillips, CEO at Accountingfly and GoingConcern

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a managing partner of a top 20 U.S. CPA firm, and I asked him about his firm’s biggest threats and opportunities.

“The problem,” he told me, “is that our good people are leaving, and there aren’t many good candidates to replace them with.”

Ouch. So what about you? Is attracting and keeping staff a concern at your firm?

Professional staff turnover is at its highest within the past decade (around 17%), and at the same time, CPA firm employment is expected to grow faster than average compared to all other industries. I imagine that you’re feeling the same pain as the managing partner I spoke with. So what is driving these retention issues?

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