Here are CPAmerica’s top ten blog posts of 2012. In case you missed any of these widely read posts, now is your chance to catch up.
Have a happy and safe New Year from the CPAmerica team!
When preparing your staff for a company networking event, make sure to fill them in on who will be attending. It will be easier for them to anticipate the types of conversations they will have with clients or potential clients if they have some background information.
Knowing who will be attending also allows you to make sure every client or prospect receives attention during the event.
Prepare them with talking points
Depending on the audience, there may be specific beneficial information that your staff should be sharing with the attendees. Prepare them with some ideas.
Make sure to mention any current, topic-appropriate accomplishments of the firm. This is a way to market your firm… make the most of it!
Also keep conversation light. You shouldn’t discuss business the entire time—make the conversation fun, entertaining and memorable. You also don’t want to monopolize one person’s time, so keep an exit strategy in mind. Exchange contact information, shake hands and find another prospective client.
Discuss appropriate attire with your staff
As discussed in a previous post on hosting an event , depending on the location of your event, attire may differ.
Make sure that your staff knows what you expect in terms of dress. This will benefit the firm, because everyone will look great, but it also affects the staff member. If they are comfortable and dressed appropriately, they are more likely to feel more comfortable in conversation as well.
Discuss eating and drinking etiquette
Proper etiquette is essential when mingling with clients or potential clients. Make sure that your staff knows to use a napkin at all times, take small bites and chew quickly so that you can talk.
Though these seem like things your staff should be aware of, you’d be surprised how quickly we forget things in social settings! Make sure your staff knows how much you expect (or don’t expect) them to drink in this type of setting ahead of time.
Bring networking materials
If you’re hosting an event for potential clients, don’t let your staff forget important items like business cards. These are essential for making connections that will last long after the event is over.
Preparing your staff for this type of event will make the networking more successful. By addressing some of these key points you’ll also be able to avoid many party mistakes—such as bad conversation or bad manners. Here’s to a successful event for your firm!
Are you planning your own networking events or retreat?
Heidi Dublin, Events Manager for CPAmerica International. As a part of the Events department, Heidi plans and organizes all of CPAmerica’s conferences, including the Marketing Roundtable, A&A Conference, Technology Roundtable, Leading Partner’s Retreat, Firm Administration Roundtable and Tax Conference.
We revealed a new logo, moved to a new office and received all new phone numbers. Change can be revitalizing and nerve wracking, but throughout our changes, we want to make sure our members always come first.
We want to remind you that we are always available via email or phone to assist any of you. Feel free to email us or contact us, as always, with any questions, concerns or just to say hello!
New address: 104 N. Main St., 5th FL, Gainesville, FL 32601
New phone: (352) 727-4070
The CPAmerica Team
Writing a proposal is not easy, and it can easily end up being a nightmare. Nearly always, you are working under a tight deadline that involves pulling staff from revenue-producing projects to patch something together.
But it doesn’t have to be that hard with a little planning up front.
Developing a proposal center, with well-organized and formatted boilerplate language is a great start. It will keep you from having to reinvent the wheel each time you want to submit a bid on a new engagement.
If you haven’t already, you might want to set aside an office, a computer, and a large board on which you can develop an outline for all contributors to see.
It also helps to have one staff member act as a proposal manager – your firm’s marketing director or someone with excellent writing and organizational skills.
The boilerplate materials you will want to have on hand include:
You’ll also want to have high-quality paper and notebooks or other professional-looking binding materials ready and waiting. All of these materials should carry some sort of firm branding element throughout, whether a simple colored line or firm logo or contact information at the bottom of each page. Some firms are shifting to printing on-demand branded documents to avoid printing excess materials and can easily update. Read the rest of this entry »
They are demanding, aren’t they? Those pesky readers, viewers or other members of your target audience.
Bore them, confuse them or forget about their needs for a nanosecond, and they’re gone faster than you can say demographic.
Communicating information that you really want your audience to understand and possibly act on is a very delicate business.
The problem is, you know your topic so darned well. You’ve been living it, breathing it, nurturing it for weeks, maybe months or even years. And it’s easy to forget that your audience may not know the first thing about it.
So you may not really think it through and end up writing your message like you’re talking to the CPA across the hall or your co-worker on the project.
Whether it’s a letter, a webpage, a PowerPoint presentation or a direct mail piece, every thought, every word, every phrase of your message has to be presented with the reader’s viewpoint in mind. That reader is likely a client or prospect, so the stakes are high.
Put yourself in the position of the reader who knows the absolute least about what you’re talking about – and then figure out a way to impart information to that person while still keeping everyone else interested. Read the rest of this entry »
For generations past, accounting professionals probably believed that theirs was “the best of times” to practice.
But WOW! For CPAs here in the United States, I can’t imagine a more exciting time than this to be a practicing certified public accountant.
More than ever, our clients, communities, and financial and business professionals are turning to CPAs for financial leadership and advice. And I believe we are responding in a manner that is making a difference.
In preparation for the one-day workshop, we searched for an expert to lead the group and ultimately found Matt Hames, a digital media coach, through a member recommendation.
Matt is the Manager of Media Communications at Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, and has experience developing campaigns, creating digital strategies and maintaining a successful blog.
The workshop showed partners and marketing directors how to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for business, how to incorporate them into their marketing plans, what results to expect and how to be safe while using social media.
Here are a few things we learned in Chicago: Read the rest of this entry »