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Strategic Advisor Blog

Content, tips and best practice for accountants, CPAs and bookkeepers who offer
Strategic Advising Services to small business clients.

Why Process Matters to the Success of Your Accounting Firm

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Feb 27, 2018 / by Laura Redmond posted in Growth & Productivity

Anyone who has been providing client services for a while has processes that they follow. But there is a difference between haphazard processes that have grown organically, and processes that are intentional, well-considered, and documented. The difference between the former and the latter is the difference between having a firm that is merely surviving, and one that is thriving.

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The Secret to Boosting Your Appointment Bookings Via Social Media

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Feb 14, 2018 / by Anati Zubia posted in Growth & Productivity

There’s no doubt social media sites are marching forward in their quest to take over the rest of the internet. Once a repository for news feeds, career advice, and silly cat memes, social sites are now going toe-to-toe with more traditional channels for their share of the advertising and ecommerce spoils.

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Forecasting Versus Budgeting: What’s the Difference?

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Jan 31, 2018 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Financial Modeling & Forecasting

It’s the question I get asked the most by accountants who are thinking about branching into Strategic Advising services: “I do budgeting already. What’s the difference between a budget and a financial forecast?"

The answer is both simple and complex, and has a lot to do with the real value of advisory services, which is aiding small business growth.

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12 Successful, Happy Entrepreneurs Share Their Daily Habits

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jan 18, 2018 / by Briana Morgaine posted in Growth & Productivity

A few months ago, I finally bit the bullet and bought a Fitbit.

I’m a runner and general exerciser; I figured I was “active enough,” so I never really saw the appeal. However, one of my recent goals has been to integrate walks into my daily routine, and I assumed (correctly) that some fun wearable tech would make it easier to build this habit.

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Monetizing Client Advisory Services: 3 Easy Wins

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Dec 19, 2017 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Growth & Productivity

Client advisory services, like any other offering in an accounting practice, must be profitable to be worthwhile for your business. At the same time, Strategic Advising, or client advisory services, have the distinction of being the most open-ended type of work you can do in the spectrum of public accounting.

This might seem like a really great opportunity, but it can also be your biggest potential risk if you don’t plan for the work correctly.

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The LivePlan Method for Advisory Services and Workflow Software—Working Together

[fa icon="calendar'] Tue, Nov 14, 2017 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Growth & Productivity , Strategic Advisor Method

The best way to grow and scale an accounting firm—and this is true of any type of service firm—is to implement standardized and structured business processes for all work. Categorize the work by service type and implement a manageable process—one that will ensure solid client deliverables, and also profitability for your firm.

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Strategic Advising Services: A Step-by-Step Method for Growth

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Oct 30, 2017 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Strategic Advisor Method

The accounting industry is changing rapidly, and your clients are turning to you for advice on their business growth challenges and opportunities.

Your firm needs to be able to offer Strategic Advising services confidently and profitably.

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Advisory Support for Your Small Business Clients: Bplans.com

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Oct 18, 2017 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Growth & Productivity

Palo Alto Software does more than build LivePlan, the world's best business planning software. We also run Bplans, a website dedicated to original and curated business planning and business management content.

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The LivePlan Method at Accountex: How to Catch a Curveball

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Sep 28, 2017 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Growth & Productivity

LivePlan was happy to attend Accountex 2017. The show’s national sales manager, Patrice Hampson, really listened to us about what we hoped to get out of attending, which was to share and teach people about our scalable business process for Strategic Advising services, The LivePlan Method.

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What You Really Need to Know About Cash Flow

[fa icon="calendar'] Fri, Sep 15, 2017 / by Tim Berry posted in Financial Modeling & Forecasting

Cash is king. You’ve heard it forever, but do you know what it really means?

Cash in this context isn’t bills or coins, it’s money in the bank that you can spend today. It’s the single most important resource in any business, and also one that is way too frequently misunderstood.

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Balancing Strategic Advising and Business Plan Writing

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Aug 30, 2017 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Growth & Productivity , Strategic Advisor Method

I am often asked during LivePlan training sessions: “When should I do a full business plan for my client, and how do I charge for it?” It’s a great question because it gets to the heart of advisory services.

Advisory services, done right, do not involve writing a traditional business plan.

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How to Use Industry Benchmarks to Make Budgeting and Forecasting Easier

[fa icon="calendar'] Wed, Aug 16, 2017 / by Noah Parsons posted in Financial Modeling & Forecasting

If you want to know how your business compares to the competition, you can find your answer in industry benchmarks. Benchmarks are industry standards, or guidelines, for key financial metrics. Basically, they represent the average of key numbers collected from many different businesses and then sorted by industry.

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The Power of the Cloud in Strategic Advising Services: 4 Things You Should Do Now

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jul 27, 2017 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Growth & Productivity

Remember the computing world just 10 years ago? Efficiency meant waiting for the next software upgrade and worrying that everyone we needed to work with had the right software version, so files could be shared. Remember compatibility lists, and the whole hassle over Mac files versus PC files? Good grief!

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How Do You Know If You Have a Good Idea for a Business?

[fa icon="calendar'] Mon, Jul 10, 2017 / by Noah Parsons posted in Growth & Productivity

One of my biggest challenges at Palo Alto Software is figuring out which ideas to pursue and which ideas to put on the back burner. I have the luxury of working with a bunch of really smart people, so new ideas for things that we could do come up all the time.

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How a Bookkeeper Increased Strategic Advising Skills and Confidence

[fa icon="calendar'] Thu, Jun 29, 2017 / by Kathy Gregory posted in Strategic Advisor Method , Growth & Productivity

I distinctly remember the moment I met Ingrid Edstrom, bookkeeper and founder of Polymath LLC. It was at the Scaling New Heights conference for accounting professionals in 2016, in the Bahamas. Everything was big: the resort, the ocean, the show itself.

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