Professional Coaching Expert Ken Potalivo pens One of the Most Relevant Business Development Books Around

By Stacie Clifford Kittsmindshare

Several years ago I wrote a post entitled An Accountants Search For The Bat Cave – A Story About Networking: and it went something like this:

As a young staff, I questioned how the firm partners were heading out into the world and bringing back stacks of new clients for me to work on.

I was mystified and oh so innocent…..It seemed like some sort of *magic*.

What else could it be, except maybe an underground society known as “networkers”, who ventured out into the world, performed some secret handshake, and produced clients from thin air?????

Amazing!

But, where was this secret society? Did they have a secret location?… like – The Bat Cave – a giant underground warehouse where they plucked potential clients off the shelf and checked them out at the front of the store?

Was that it?

I longed for someone to tell me…..I had to know the answer to this secret networking magic.

Luckily, the mystery was solved by my good friend and my business coach Ken Potalivo, who I credit with helping me grow from staff to the managing partner of my own firm Katherman Kitts.

Am I worried that I’m giving away the secret to my success? Nope!

We are all unique professionals with our own special super and yes *magical* powers just waiting to be offered to the world. Learning how to recognize and develop those super powers will help you “get the referrals you want by making your competition irrelevant.”

Ken Potalivo’s Book, Secrets of MindShare: Get the Referrals You Want by Making Your Competition Irrelevant offers a clearly defined and targeted path on how to create and maintain referral relationships, how to distinguish yourself so that you stand out from your competition, and explains how to identify those relationships that will provide the most benefit from your time investment. This book is a must for any professional who recognizes that survival in today’s competitive environment is in the hands of those who can attract clients and maintain relationships.

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Are Your Tax Records “Company Clean”?

By Stacie Clifford KittsMom

My mom had a philosophy about housekeeping. I think this stemmed from her preference to spend her free time on other activities like mastering a still life in watercolor, or watching a classic old movie. In any case, her philosophy usually resulted in our house being in one of two stages. She lightheartedly referred to these as “lived-in clean”, or “company clean”. I can still recall the first time I noticed mom running around the house painting over dirty little finger prints, or using Old English scratch remover (love that stuff by the way) on the furniture. This was when she explained that “company clean” meant paying attention to the details while “lived-in clean”, maybe not so much.

We sometimes see Taxpayers that have this same philosophy. They never quite seem to pay attention to the detail, that is, until they have company knocking at the door. Sometimes that company is a taxing agency. But, more often than not, everyday life events have resulted in the need for “company clean” records. Those include:

1) Accurate tax planning
2) Retirement planning
3) Applying for a home or business loan
4) Divorce or marriage considerations
5) Estate and succession planning

Taxpayers are often shocked at how costly it is to have someone “clean-up” after the fact. But consider the cost of hiring someone to clean or repair your house after a long period of neglect. Imagine the damage that can occur to your property when not taken care of properly. If you cannot, might I suggest an episode of Horders as an arguably extreme example of the damage caused by a lack of proper housekeeping.

“Company clean” records do not need to steal from your free time thought. Here are a few tips.

1) Do not wait until the end of the year to accumulate your records or do your accounting. You should be accumulating this information and doing an accounting (if necessary) at lease monthly.
2) Know what records you should be keeping. Ask your accountant or check out the IRS Website
3) Hire a qualified bookkeeper. This is someone who has a basic knowledge of accounting rules, not just someone who knows how to use Quickbooks.
4) Have your CPA look at your accounting records before the end of the year to make accounting suggestions and to help with tax forecasting.
5) Budget for the costs of hiring qualified tax and accounting professionals. Usually, the quality of your tax and accounting information is a reflection of what you pay for them.

The IRS LOVES Social Media

The IRS apparently likes social media. Here are all the ways you can connect.

1. IRS2Go 2.0 IRS’s smartphone application allows you to check your refund status, get tax updates and follow the IRS via Twitter. IRS2Go 2.0 is available in the Apple App store for iPhone or iPod touch devices and in the GooglePlay store for Android devices.

2. YouTube IRSvideos YouTube Channel offers short, informative clips on various tax-related topics. The videos are available in English, American Sign Language and Spanish.

3. Twitter IRS tweets include tax-related announcements, news for tax professionals and updates for job seekers. Follow us @IRSnews.

4. Facebook IRS has Facebook pages that post tax information for individuals, tax professionals, and for those needing help resolving long-standing tax issues with the IRS.

5. Audio files for Podcasts These short audio recordings provide information on tax-related topics — one per podcast. The audio files (along with transcripts) are available on iTunes or through the Multimedia Center on IRS.gov.

6. Widgets These tools, which can be placed on websites, blogs or social media networks, direct people to visit IRS.gov for information. The widgets feature the latest tax initiatives and programs and can be found on Marketing Express, the marketing site that allows IRS partners and tax preparers to customize their IRS communications products.

As a reminder, the IRS uses these tools to share information with you. Do not post any personal information on social media sites, especially your Social Security number or other confidential information. The IRS will not be able to answer personal tax or account questions on any of these platforms.

For more about IRS’s social media tools, visit IRS.gov and click on “Social Media.”

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