The CPA Consultants’ Alliance Announces Roman Kepczyk as New Member

Last month, The CPA Consultants’ Alliance (CPACA) released an announcement of their newest members, including our own Director of Consulting, Roman Kepczyk.

“We’re really excited to bring these two professionals into the CPACA, and are excited about the knowledge and experience they bring to the group,” said Tamara Loerzel, President of The CPACA.

The CPACA was created in 2012 to unveil issues impacting the accounting profession in order to develop and share solutions for the benefit of practitioners. The CPACA members are leading consultants within the CPA profession. Learn more about the alliance on their website.

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Roman thought leaders

Roman Kepczyk at the 2014 Thought Leader Symposium

Our Director of Consulting, Roman Kepczyk, recently attended the 4th annual Thought Leader Symposium in Tampa, FL.  Roman has been honored as one of CPA Practice Advisor’s thought leaders all four years.  Every year, the Thought Leader Symposium brings in the top thought leaders in the accounting profession to discuss the nuances in technology, practice methods and firm management.  The attendees participate in round table discussions with CPA vendors to figure out what development is needed to enhance the future of the accounting profession.

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The 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards Results Are Here!

The CPA Practice Advisor’s 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards results are here. Xcentric made it on the list once again. In the past, we have been named #1 Outsourced Technology Services provider, and we were hoping to also win the title of #1 ASP/Hosted Solutions Provider this year. Well, the voters have spoken, and we are #1 in both (see page 18)!


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The Xcentric Cloud Headed Into Tax Season: A Message from the CEO

As tax season is now upon us, I wanted to introduce you to a few major developments:

We’ve just finished a complete overhaul of our storage environment.  The new enterprise class EMC systems give us even better reliability and performance with some added benefits in the areas of scalability that were not possible within our prior platform.
Our tape backup systems have been replaced with platforms from EMC, which eliminate tape media while providing the ability to synchronize a mirror copy of every backup offsite to a secondary datacenter.  This improvement greatly reduces the time required to respond to restore requests and provides us with far greater disaster recovery capabilities.
We have fully upgraded the Exchange and anti-SPAM platform, giving us more robust web mail features, better performance and greater capacity for your mailboxes, while eliminating the known issues with the prior system. Yay!

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Saved by The Cloud

Jan 30 by

Saved by The Cloud

If you haven’t already heard, the metro Atlanta area was hit pretty hard with snow this week. Of course this is nothing compared to what our Bozeman counterparts experience every winter, but for us Southerners, it was intense. There were car wrecks and traffic jams everywhere on Tuesday. It literally took me two hours to get home from the grocery store that is only four miles away – and I had it pretty good compared to others.

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2014 CPA Management and Technology Trends

One of the core responsibilities of CPA Managing Partners is to monitor and evaluate trends within our profession, looking for opportunities to enhance the future of the firm.  This past week, we were fortunate to attend the Future Trends Panel session at the Winning is Everything Conference in Las Vegas, where Andy Armanino, Tom Hood, Gail Perry, and Katie Tolin shared their views on key future trends as moderated by Gary Shamis, Senior Managing Director of SS&G.  Below is our take on their key insights of technology, mobility and learning, along with our additions on information technology trends.

Andy Armanino: Managing Partner, Armanino

Andy stated that the future will be bright for the middle market consultancy practices that learn to rise above the traditional compliance work and are focused on higher level advisory services, such as strategic planning and profit enhancement.  He believed that this was the key focus that will lead to more profitable firms in the future.  One of his firm’s changes was to re-tool their website towards a “client needs perspective” based on where that client

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Inc. Article: Why Your Business Might Be a Perfect Target for Hackers

I came across this article on the other day and thought it was extremely relevant to most of our clients.  The writer discusses how over the past two years, the number of cyberattacks targeted at small businesses have drastically increased.  This is due to the fact that many small businesses do not have as high of security as large ones.

This article points out several important factors for small business to consider in regards to security.  It mentions that many small businesses are susceptible to being hacked if they are in the cloud with a provider that doesn’t have strong encryption technology (Xcentric does – you can read our Security Fact Sheet for more information on security at Xcentric here)

No matter who your provider is, your firm should set certain expectations and procedures for how and where your employees save confidential data.  Click on our suggested reading links at the end of this post for recommendations on protecting your firm’s data.

 Here’s an insert from the article:

“Smaller companies are attractive because they tend to have weaker online security. They’re

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New Cloud Updates: V1.7 Release Notes

Here are the release notes on Version 1.7 of the Xcentric Cloud (January 15, 2014):

Added the ability to submit additional request types via the “Submit a ticket” menu item.  You can now specify other requests, such as Client Service Manger inquiries, data space increases and application updates/installs. Upon submission, the appropriate team will be notified.
Added the ability to change ticket priority on an open ticket, should the issue become more or less urgent.  For example, if a ticket was originally created with a normal priority, it can now be elevated to high priority.
Added a beta online chat support function.  We have limited openings for the chat beta testing program.  Please contact your CSM if your firm is interested.
Updated the Cloud Status Indicator dot and message to refresh on a regular basis, rather than require a manual page refresh.
Updated the site to be compatible with the latest version of Internet Explorer (11).
Added the ability for Xcentric to post Cloud-wide messages on the sign in page.
Fixed an issue where the last opened application would launch in certain situations after reopening your last browser session.
Updated the page footer to include Cloud version notes.
Decommissioned the prior Cloud portal (
Reconfigured the

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Rethinking Credit Card Merchant Fees

Today, we see the majority of firms reluctantly accepting credit cards from some clients to pay for their accounting services.  A relatively small number of firms advertise this option and most only bring it up either when a client specifically asks to use their card or when the firm is trying to collect on a long outstanding, questionable receivable.  

Since credit card merchant fees are usually in the 3% to 7% range, many firms have set artificial limits of $2,000 to $2,500, which targets credit card usage towards smaller invoices, such as 1040-only clients.   Most firms discourage accepting credit cards above their artificial limit as fees can be substantial.  For example, a traditionally good client that has an annual $30,000 audit fee that they normally would pay by check, would cause the firm to give up approximately $1,200 in merchant fees.  Some firms look at this as a cost of doing business and include this in their administrative rates, but most are in a quandary of how they should handle this, which interestingly has changed.  

At the end

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