3 min read

The Future of Audit is Workflow Automation

By Glen Keenan, CPA on 10/1/20 9:00 AM

A common misconception of the audit community has long been that engagement management software is enough to complete a quality audit within the budgeted time.

Topics: Technology Growth XCM Spotlight Workflow & Productivity Enablement Audit & Assurance Future Forward
5 min read

Think Progress, Not Perfection: Strategies to Increase Your Capacity

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 9/28/20 9:00 AM

At some point, we have all been told to “strive for perfection.” There’s no better grade in school than 100%, and no better ranking on your annual performance evaluation than first amongst your peers. This emphasis on perfection inherent in our culture has historically driven amazing inventions and discoveries. It has also led to truly devastating failures. Perfectionism has its place – it encourages attention to detail, accountability, and quality control. However, left unchecked, the pursuit of perfection can destroy deadlines, derail projects, squash employee morale, unhinge productivity, and completely destroy capacity.

Topics: The Process Workflow & Productivity Enablement Productivity Enablement increasing capacity
6 min read

Impact of Workflow on the New Normal

By Randy Johnston, Executive Vice President, K2 Enterprises on 9/24/20 9:00 AM

Topics: Technology Workflow & Productivity Enablement
4 min read

Fall is Here: Resources to Help You Succeed in the Current Normal

By Kristin Lopes, SHRM-SCP, PHR on 9/21/20 9:00 AM

As seasons begin to change, and summer starts to give way to fall, many of us are finding areas of our lives are still in flux. The ripple effects of COVID-19 have spread further, and longer, than many of us anticipated, bringing change and uncertainty into many parts of our lives:

Topics: Your People Employee Engagement
3 min read

How to Achieve a Smarter, More Efficient CAS-to-Tax Pipeline

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 9/17/20 9:00 AM

When properly executed, Client Accounting Services (CAS) can lay the groundwork for smooth, seamless tax preparation. However, if CAS and Tax teams are not able to collaborate and align on projects, efficiency and profitability suffer — and so does the client experience.

Topics: Client Accounting Advisory Services Workflow & Productivity Enablement Tax Public Accounting
2 min read

Coaching During COVID-19: Back to School Edition

By Jackie Flesher, CPA, CGMA on 9/14/20 9:00 AM

Note from the author: This post is directed at those who coach or mentor their colleagues.

Here it is, September already, and the ripple effects of COVID-19 are continuing to spread. On the east coast, our first day of school was last Tuesday, and same as every year, social media feeds flooded with “first day of school” photos. Unlike previous years, however, these photos tended to feature students learning in a virtual setting, as many school districts have started the new school year with remote learning.

Topics: Your People Remote Staff Career Coach Mentorship Employee Engagement COVID-19 Coaching for Success
5 min read

2019 Tax Season in Data: 09/01/2020

By Mark McAndrew on 9/10/20 9:00 AM

Welcome to the eighth installment of the tax season in data, for the period ending 09/01/2020. Though the filing deadline has come and gone, we’re still seeing demand for national – and comparable firm size – data from both Analytics as a Service customers and our readers. So, welcome to the post-season update!

Topics: Technology Industry Tax Analytics Tax Season in Data Tax Season 2019
3 min read

On the Brink of Burning Out? Why You and Your Team Need to Recharge.

By Melissa Miro, CPA on 9/3/20 9:00 AM

It goes without saying that, during the pandemic, finding ways to decompress has been challenging. For many of us, there is no end to the workday, creating an inability to step away, disconnect, and recharge. Our workday almost seems to blend into personal time, and days merge into one another with little room for daily personal tasks we once took for granted. This lack of balance between work and personal life is not healthy – it leaves staff burned out and unable to do their best work.

Topics: Your People Employee Engagement
3 min read

Finding the Next Normal: 3 Ways to Forge the Path Forward

By Mike Sabbatis on 8/31/20 9:00 AM

Three-quarters of the way through the year, most of us are probably confident in saying that we will look back on 2020 as the embodiment of the leadership term VUCA - volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. We have watched industry stalwarts stumble, and have seen remarkable examples of organizations flexing their agility muscle as they collaborated with unexpected partners, tapping into their entrepreneurial spirit.

Topics: Growth Future Forward
3 min read

Productivity Trends and COVID-19: Lessons Learned and a Roadmap for the Next Normal

By Mike Sabbatis on 8/24/20 9:00 AM

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives, businesses, and the global economy. Many organizations had to switch to a remote, distributed workforce practically overnight, and business leaders had to quickly re-examine workflow processes, try to maintain department productivity, manage new staff scheduling needs, and assess new ways to service customers. At the same time, employees have faced the new realities of staying home, working in a remote environment, adjusting to new deadlines, and new relief legislation.

Topics: Technology Growth XCM Spotlight The Process Workflow & Productivity Enablement Productivity Enablement Future Forward featured
3 min read

How to Ensure Effective Communication with Different Personalities

By Michelle Walsh on 8/17/20 9:00 AM

Communication is critical to our relationships, whether personal – with friends, spouses, and children – or professional – with peers and team members. It isn’t enough to just communicate, however. I’ve worked in customer-facing positions for over 25 years – starting as a cashier at the local grocery store in high school and summers as a waitress at the local country club – and have learned that effective communication with a customer is 10% the message being delivered and 90% how the message is delivered.

Topics: Your People featured Client Services Customer Service
4 min read

5 Ways to Prepare for Storms When You Work From Home

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 8/10/20 9:00 AM

In the wake of Isaias, you’ve likely thought about how to maintain productivity when the power goes out after a storm, as over 2.2 million homes and businesses experienced last week. What about if a snowstorm or wildfire sweeps through and you lose your internet connection? If you are new to working remotely, this may be the first time you’ve thought about what is needed to keep you productive during and after severe weather.

Topics: Your People Lifehack
2 min read

Every Successful Business Needs Workflow and Productivity Enablement

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 8/3/20 9:00 AM

Every day, the speed of change increases. More and more, organizations are rapidly reaching the point where there are too many competing priorities to effectively track using outdated business processes. Many of these organizations are investing in workflow technologies and productivity enablement solutions, capitalizing on the efficiencies that come from automation and optimization. The risk of not investing (RONI) is huge. Those organizations choosing not to invest place themselves in a position of competitive disadvantage, for no other reason than falling behind their industry’s technology curve.

Topics: Technology Growth The Process Workflow & Productivity Enablement Productivity Enablement Cloud Technology Future Forward
4 min read

2019 Tax Season in Data: 07/15/2020

By Mark McAndrew on 7/30/20 9:00 AM

“Measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you have to overcome to reach your goals.” – Booker T. Washington

Topics: Technology Industry Tax featured Public Accounting COVID-19 Tax Season in Data Tax Season 2019
4 min read

Customer Service Best Practices in a Turbulent Time

By Michelle Walsh on 7/27/20 9:00 AM

Customer service is a key component of any successful organization, especially in times of turbulence and uncertainty. Whether you have a dedicated team or everyone is customer-facing, how you treat a customer is critical to your business development and growth. At XCM, we focus on four fundamentals as part of our conscious commitment to exceptional customer service.

Topics: Your People featured COVID-19 Client Services Customer Service
2 min read

Workflow Customization Matters: Here's Why

By Jairam Padmanabhan on 7/20/20 9:00 AM

When discussing the benefits of workflow, a great deal of focus is placed on standardization, optimization, and automation, with good reason. These are the building blocks of business process improvement (BPI) and workflow and productivity enablement solutions.

Topics: XCM Spotlight Workflow & Productivity Enablement Productivity Enablement Future Forward featured
3 min read

Nurturing Your Top Asset

By Mike Sabbatis on 7/16/20 9:00 AM

Cheers! Normally we raise this glass on April 16, but 2020 has been an extraordinary year and celebrating this milestone, though in July, is more important than ever. Taking a moment to celebrate our accomplishments is uplifting and motivating, something that benefits us all.

Topics: Your People Public Accounting Tax Season 2019
1 min read

Tax Day Approaches

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 7/13/20 9:00 AM

It’s almost tax day, and for many of you that means heads down, full focus on completing those returns that were submitted last minute. No real surprise there, since 20-25% of Americans wait until the last two weeks to file, myself included (apparently being a CPA doesn’t make you any less prone to procrastinate on your taxes).

Topics: Industry Tax Tax Season 2019
6 min read

2019 Tax Season in Data: 06/30/2020

By Mark McAndrew on 7/9/20 9:00 AM

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb

Topics: Tax featured Public Accounting COVID-19 Tax Season in Data Tax Season 2019
2 min read

5 Tips for a Successful First Day of Coaching

By Jackie Flesher, CPA, CGMA on 7/6/20 9:00 AM

For the person being coached: If you’ve read my previous blog posts on how to identify and choose a career coach (or mentor), you’re probably wondering how a coaching relationship works in the real world. Here are my top five tips for how to prepare, and what to expect, at your first meeting:   

Topics: Your People Career Coach Mentorship Employee Engagement Coaching for Success
4 min read

How To Create a Better Business Process

By Mike Sabbatis on 6/29/20 9:00 AM

Welcome to part two of this three-part series on Business Process Improvement (or BPI). In part one I referenced Seth Godin’s quote, “We’re so busy doing our jobs, we can’t get any work done,” and it’s true. The combination of workload compression and dysfunctional processes is creating an environment where we know that there is a better way but continue to SALY (Same as Last Year) the process.

Topics: Technology Growth Workflow & Productivity Enablement Lean Six Productivity Enablement featured
6 min read

2019 Tax Season in Data: 06/15/2020

By Mark McAndrew on 6/22/20 9:00 AM

Looking for the most recent installment? Click here.

Being the fan of cliché’s and motivation quotes that I am, I’ve provided you a few throughout this blog series. In that spirit, here is a turn of phrase we’ve all used at some point, I’m sure, and coincidentally one that inspired Ben Franklin to come up with the quote I offered in my last blog. “There is no time like the present; a thousand unforeseen circumstances may interrupt you at a future time.”

Topics: Industry Tax COVID-19 Analytics Tax Season in Data Tax Season 2019
4 min read

4 Practical Questions to Kick-Start Remote Work Success Now

By Bob Amey on 6/18/20 9:00 AM

As an industry, remote work adoption has been slow until it was thrust upon us as a way to mitigate COVID-19-related shutdowns. As states start to enter phases two and three, the natural discussion of how to allow staff to work remotely in the long-term emerges.

Topics: Technology Your People Remote Staff COVID-19
4 min read

Leadership Strategies for Adapting to Market Disruption

By Mike Sabbatis on 6/15/20 9:00 AM

Over the last few months, we have all been adapting. Adapting to new work environments, new social normals, new schedules, new anxieties, and functioning in a continual state of uncertainty. Our leadership skills have been put to the test as we pivot to address our new challenges while defining our strategies and new visions for future success. In the words of Daniel Burrus, futurist author, “post-pandemic success will be based on what we do right now, not what we do post-pandemic.”

Topics: Your People Growth Remote Staff Future Forward COVID-19 Productivity Roadmap
3 min read

Kill the Meetings: 5 Strategies to Increase Your Capacity

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 6/8/20 9:00 AM

What would you do with an hour back each day? What about 30 minutes? Would you take the opportunity to work on that planning initiative that's been sitting in your inbox for more than a month, spend a little time planning for next quarter, or maybe even leave the office and get home in time to read the kids a book before bedtime?

Topics: Your People Growth Productivity Enablement Lifehack increasing capacity
2 min read

6 Tips on Coaching During COVID-19

By Jackie Flesher, CPA, CGMA on 6/1/20 9:00 AM


Note from the editor: This post is directed at those who coach or mentor their colleagues.

What can a coach do during a global pandemic? Plenty! Now is the time for coaches to step up their efforts and keep coaching relationships strong during this crisis.

Topics: Your People Remote Staff Career Coach Mentorship featured COVID-19
3 min read

5 Ways to Maintain Momentum During an Extended Busy Season

By David Harris on 5/28/20 9:00 AM

If this were a typical tax season, right now we’d be talking about how to maintain momentum post-busy season. My tips would include advising managers to focus their junior staff on studying for and passing their CPA and ethics exams, encouraging training and CPE acquisition, and recommending that everyone start planning vacations, even if it’s just a long weekend.

Topics: Your People Tax Public Accounting COVID-19 Tax Season 2019 Productivity Roadmap
7 min read

2019 Tax Season in Data: 05/20/2020

By Mark McAndrew on 5/25/20 9:00 AM

Looking for the most recent Tax Season in Data update? Click here.

"Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today."

Benjamin Franklin is responsible for that piece of advice, and it's as accurate now as it was when he first said it in the eighteenth century. Rarely is postponi

Topics: Technology Industry Tax Public Accounting COVID-19 Analytics Tax Season in Data Tax Season 2019
3 min read

Building a Roadmap for the Future: Preparing to Face a Post-Pandemic Landscape

By Mike Sabbatis on 5/21/20 9:00 AM

We want to make the right decisions and not waste more time and resources. It may seem safer to take a wait and see approach, but is that really a less risky strategy? 

Topics: Technology Growth Cloud Technology Future Forward COVID-19
5 min read

Tax Outsourcing Update: Lessons Learned During a Unique Season

By Ray Barlow on 5/18/20 9:00 AM

In reaction to the rapid spread of COVID-19, on March 24th, the Indian government passed mandated stay-at-home legislation for private businesses. For many tax outsourcing organizations, this meant temporarily pausing operations. A few outsourcing partners, like Xpitax, were able to implement business continuity plans and maintain security while operating in a reduced, work-from-home capacity.

Topics: Industry Outsourcing Tax featured COVID-19 Tax Season 2019
3 min read

Positioning Your Organization for a Stronger Future

By Mike Sabbatis on 5/11/20 9:00 AM

Topics: Growth Future Forward featured COVID-19 Productivity Roadmap
7 min read

2019 Tax Season in Data: 05/04/2020

By Mark McAndrew on 5/7/20 9:00 AM

Looking for the most recent Tax Season in Data update? Click here.

Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” It’s a funny quip, one of those sayings that, on the one hand, doesn’t make much sense but, on the other, makes all the sense in the world. If you don’t know in advance where you want to be, how will you get to where you want to go? It seems like a reasonable concept, but when the course you plot changes, how will you react?

Topics: Technology Industry Tax COVID-19 Analytics Tax Season in Data Tax Season 2019
2 min read

Coaching During COVID-19 - What Employees Need Right Now

By Jackie Flesher, CPA, CGMA on 5/4/20 9:00 AM

“Good leadership isn’t about advancing yourself. It’s about advancing your team.” This comment, attributed to John Maxwell, resonates with me right now.

Topics: Your People Career Coach Mentorship Employee Engagement COVID-19
5 min read

Insights on Work At Home

By Randy Johnston, Executive Vice President, K2 Enterprises on 4/27/20 9:00 AM

Technology now plays a significant role in virtually every type of business. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies had to work at home, including professional accounting firms. During a post-tax season debriefing, it was interesting to learn what worked and what didn’t work during this time. Remote meetings became common. Collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and workflow became critical, too. Firms that used outsourcing wound up with work at home advantages. Companies that provided cloud services like Microsoft and Amazon stepped up their game to handle the extraordinary volume reported to be as high as a 770% increase. What worked and what didn’t work for you?

Topics: Technology Your People Remote Staff COVID-19
6 min read

2019 Tax Season in Data: 04/20/2020

By Mark McAndrew on 4/23/20 9:00 AM

Looking for the most recent Tax Season in Data update? Click here.

The simple definition of momentum is “mass in motion.” All objects have mass, so if an object is moving, then it has momentum - it has its mass in motion. The amount of momentum that an object (“it”) has is dependent upon two variables: how much and how fast “it” is moving.

Topics: Technology Industry Tax COVID-19 Analytics Tax Season in Data Tax Season 2019
5 min read

Budget and Plan With Data You Already Had

By Mark McAndrew on 4/20/20 9:00 AM

Let’s be honest; no-one (well, almost no-one) likes the budgeting and planning process. The median organization takes 32 days to go from establishing budgeting objectives to delivering a ready-to-use budget.

Topics: Technology XCM Spotlight Workflow & Productivity Enablement Productivity Enablement featured
3 min read

Workflow 101: What is Workflow, Exactly?

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 4/13/20 9:00 AM

Workflow is an essential part of making sure that an organization functions at peak productivity while maintaining clear lines of communication. Without workflow, business processes can easily become complicated. Without the correct tools and technology solutions to uphold optimized business process, those complications multiply, breeding inefficiencies.

Topics: Technology Workflow & Productivity Enablement Productivity Enablement
4 min read

2019 Tax Season in Data: 04/01/2020

By Mark McAndrew on 4/6/20 9:00 AM

Looking for the most recent Tax Season in Data update? Click here.

It is an interesting time to be an accountant, especially for those of you who prepare, review, or file tax returns. Much like the adage, “may you live in interesting times,” we certainly do, and with it brings new challenges.

Topics: Technology Industry Tax COVID-19 Analytics Tax Season in Data Tax Season 2019
2 min read

Communication is Critical in the COVID-19 Landscape

By Mike Sabbatis on 3/30/20 9:00 AM

We are living in interesting times right now. With shelter-in-place and other responses to COVID-19, businesses are finding themselves in untested waters. We are (possibly unexpectedly) managing distributed or remote workforces, running businesses during mandated social and physical distancing, and trying to understand what constitutes an “essential service”  today.

Topics: Your People Industry Employee Engagement featured COVID-19
3 min read

Managing a Remote Workforce: XCM Productivity Tips

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 3/23/20 9:00 AM

COVID-19 has pushed remote work into the spotlight.

Topics: Remote Staff Workflow & Productivity Enablement Lifehack COVID-19 Productivity Roadmap
5 min read

How to Get Firm-Wide Buy-in for CAS

By Michelle Voyer, CPA, MBA on 3/16/20 9:00 AM

Have there been discussions in the firm about adding Client Accounting Services (CAS) to its offerings, with only lukewarm interest from senior management and partners? Is your existing CAS group running into a lack of support?

Topics: Growth XCM Spotlight Client Accounting Advisory Services Remote Staff Public Accounting
4 min read

Get In Control: Strategies to Increase Capacity

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 3/9/20 9:00 AM

Some projects almost complete themselves. It's as though you thought about what you wanted to have done, and it sprang, fully formed, from your head a la Athena.

Topics: Your People Employee Engagement Productivity Enablement increasing capacity
2 min read

Coach vs. Supervisor - What's the Difference?

By Jackie Flesher, CPA, CGMA on 3/2/20 9:00 AM

Author’s Note: The opinions and advice in this blog post are mine and do not necessarily reflect official CLA policy around our Career Coaching program.

A coach or mentor should play a role very different from an employee’s daily supervisor. And while in some cases the direct supervisor can also be a good choice as an employee’s coach, I don’t recommend it – here’s why.

Topics: Your People Career Coach Employee Engagement
2 min read

When is Good Enough not Good Enough

By Jairam Padmanabhan on 2/24/20 9:00 AM

If you’ve torn or damaged your ACL, who would you prefer to consult for advice about how to treat the injury? While your GP is excellent for annual checkups, allergy medicine, and the occasional cold, are they as knowledgeable and properly equipped as an orthopedic doctor to get you back to full mobility?

If you, like most people, would prefer the specialist to the generalist, then I ask you, why are you using an all-in-one technology solution, rather than building out a best-in-breed technology stack?

Topics: Technology API
8 min read

Turn Annual Engagement into Recurring Revenue

By Michelle Voyer, CPA, MBA on 2/17/20 9:00 AM

What if there was a way to take the clients that cause the most substantial amount of tax season workload compression, and turn that into streamlined, recurring revenue for the firm?

The best part about that strategy is that every firm already has an existing client pool to capitalize on. These are not clients with pristine books. No, these clients send over files at the end of the year with missing data, or drop off boxes of receipts, invoices, and who knows what else, and it becomes the firm's responsibility to sort through the irrelevant, analyze the data, and prepare the return. Then, after receiving their return (and paying the bill), the client disappears – only to repeat the cycle next year.

Topics: Growth Client Accounting Advisory Services Outsourcing Remote Staff Workflow & Productivity Enablement featured
2 min read

We All Need Open APIs to Succeed in the Cloud

By Jairam Padmanabhan on 2/17/20 9:00 AM

How many APIs currently assist you in day-to-day business processes? Can you name one? Would it surprise you to know that they are an integral part of many of your organization’s everyday activities? As software in the cloud continues to grow, and organizations demand best in breed technology, APIs are becoming ever more relevant to daily business functions and pivotal to an organization’s success.

Topics: Technology API Productivity Enablement Cloud Technology Future Forward
4 min read

Justifying the Spend

By Mark McAndrew on 2/17/20 9:00 AM

Time and time again I’ve observed organizations struggle to connect the daily value of an essential productivity or efficiency tool with quantifiable values and statistics. While this should not happen – organizations should always be able to tie tools back to benefits – being unable to quantify the benefits in a manner that resonates with senior managers is especially concerning during the first 1-3 years after implementation, when the tool’s cost-benefit ratio is being questioned, and there is a need to justify continued spend.

Topics: Technology Growth Workflow & Productivity Enablement featured
5 min read

4 Ways to Increase Your Tax Outsourcing Effectiveness

By Ray Barlow on 2/17/20 9:00 AM

Tax outsourcing has come a long way from its nascent beginnings back in the early 2000s. We know that tax outsourcing works - firms that outsource complete anywhere from 8-15% more returns during tax season than those who do not (based on an analysis of firms utilizing XCMWorkflow).

Putting it into perspective, for a firm used to a max capacity of 2,500 returns during tax season, with outsourcing, that firm could process an additional 200-375 returns. How do you think an increase in capacity 

Topics: XCM Spotlight Outsourcing Workflow & Productivity Enablement Tax
5 min read

It’s February. Where are your New Years’ Resolutions?

By Hillarie Diaz, CPA on 2/17/20 9:00 AM

New Year’s resolutions. Everyone has an opinion about them, and out of every 10 people who set them on January 1st, eight of them will have failed by mid-February.

People are not meeting their goals for one basic reason: finite resources.

Topics: Your People Employee Engagement New Years Resolution Lean Six DMADV
2 min read

What is the Cost of Asking, “What’s Up?

By Glen Keenan, CPA on 2/17/20 9:00 AM

How much does it cost you to ask, “What’s up” with the status on your engagements? Have you ever considered what happens when you ask the question; the effects on your bottom line, on client satisfaction, on employee engagement and job satisfaction? Can you really afford to ask it?

Topics: The Process Audit & Assurance Employee Engagement featured
2 min read

How Coaching and Mentorship Programs Benefit Your Organization

By Jackie Flesher, CPA, CGMA on 2/17/20 9:00 AM

We hear a lot about coaches in all walks of life who have impacted those they coach in a positive way, helping them achieve more than they believed possible. Good coaches measure their success by how much those they coach grow, develop their skills, and succeed in their chosen field.

Topics: Your People Career Coach Mentorship Employee Engagement
4 min read

Who Needs a Career Coach?

By Jackie Flesher, CPA, CGMA on 2/17/20 9:00 AM

Do you need a career coach?

Topics: Your People Career Coach Mentorship Employee Engagement Coaching for Success