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By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
Seems like I am always reading someones top something… tax/accounting/business list and it always makes me wonder – just how does someone get on this list anyway?????
Like for example take Accounting Today/Tomorrow/WebCPA. This group publishes a top 100 most influential people in the accounting industry list. Every year I read it over and wonder – how do they decide who is “most influential” anyway? I mean really, is this a scientific thing? Are there compliance criteria – like a PPC guide “How to Determine the Most Influential People in Accounting” – we are talking about accountants here – I assume there’s a checklist?
I do hope its more scientific than just a bunch of journalists sitting around a conference table, sipping coffee and munching on donuts while someone writes names on a white board. Just picture it, a bunch of bored staff writers some twisting slightly in their chairs, some lounging about, others lazily calling out names. Then someone says, “hey cross off Sally Johnson, she was rude to me at blah blah conference. she doesn’t make it this year.” Yowser,I hope it doesn’t work like that!!!
Recently, I’ve been contacted by a “.com site” or two. These sites were letting me know that I could be listed on a top something list….so –be sure to mention it at Stacie’s More Tax Tips- wont you?
While I get how this whole quid pro quo thingy works, I have declined 100% of the “link to us, we’ll link to you” offers. I’ve even turned down click for payment offers because I didn’t think the link topics where appropriate for my my site.
But you know what, I’ve decided that gosh darn my blog is interesting.. And yes siree, I deserve to be on a top anything list.. And, it has absolutely nothing to do with quid pro quo. Nope, they of course see the genius that is my blog and feel compelled to share. So thanks to bschool.com for naming Stacie’s More Tax Tips in the 50 best Blogs to Get You Through Tax Season.
Oh by the way, the picture is of me and the grandbaby enjoying Christmas day with the family!
- Ping Your Way To a Successful Social Marketing Strategy – It’s A Whole Lot Better Than Being an A-Hole (staciesmoretaxtips.wordpress.com)
- 2010 in Review – The Health of Stacie’s More Tax Tips – I Feel Like Doing The Snoopy Dance! (staciesmoretaxtips.wordpress.com)
- Snubbed Again! And a Sincere Apology (staciesmoretaxtips.wordpress.com)
- Are You All a Twitter About Tax News? Now You Can Follow The IRS @IRSnews (staciesmoretaxtips.wordpress.com)
- IRS Presents:Ten Things Tax-Exempt Organizations Need to Know About the Oct. 15 Due Date (This is a how to on keeping your exempt status) (staciesmoretaxtips.wordpress.com)
- Accounting blogs for the kids (dontmesswithtaxes.typepad.com)
- Picking Apart the IRS’ Top 10 Tax Time Tips (staciesmoretaxtips.wordpress.com)
Jason Blumer CPA, the managing shareholder of Blumer & Associates is a funny guy. No really. It’s true. There is proof.
I also really like his website:
We believe your numbers are simply telling stories about the relationships, processes and knowledge running deeply through your business and life. The production of numbers is not the end goal of our firm. We are here to bring clarity to the reasons why your numbers are what they are. We are a next-generation firm, and we are doing this all over the dang world!
That’s some nice copy – wish I had written it! AND according to Accounting Tomorrow – Jason is the second place winner in the Atom’s Got Talent Video. Congratulations Jason!
I don’t get it. I didn’t make Accounting Today’s top 100 most influential people a-g-a-i-n. I mean, they don’t appear to think that my stay home tax practice or my quirky blog posts are influential enough to name. But I guess I should have been tipped off when I wasn’t contacted to supply a cute pic or provide a snappy bio.
*Heavy sigh* I guess there is always next year….
This year’s list includes many predictable faces. It also includes some fun new ones. Some of which I include in my list of Facebook friends.
Michelle Golden of Golden Practices makes this year’s list. Yeah Michelle. Michelle is the lady you want to know if you are looking for some social networking techniques that will benefit your CPA firm.
Geni Greer Whitehouse also makes the list – Geni is an expert in accounting technology and shares this with her accounting clients through her consulting services.
Other influential women listed are:
- Teresa Mackintosh, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Workflow & Service solutions, Americas – Professional, Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. (Good job, but might I suggest that you think about shortening up that title – what a mouthful!)
- Krista McMasters, CEO Clifton, Gunderson
- Gale Crosley, Present of Crosley &+Co.
- Cindy Fornelli, Executive director, Center for Audit Quality
- Rita Keller, President Keller Advisors
- Judy O’Dell, Chair FASB Private Companies Financial Reporting Committee
- Nina Olson, National Taxpayer Advocate IRS
- Rebecca Ryan, Founder Next Generation Consulting
- Mary Schapiro, Chair SEC
- Sue Swenson, President, and CEO Sage North America
- Jennifer Warawa, Senior director of partner programs Sage North America
- Sandra Wiley, Partner, senior consultant and COO, Boomer Consulting
- Jennifer Wilson Co-founder and owner, Convergence Coaching
My personal congratulations to all the professionals who made this year’s list.
On another note – Dear Geni – I screwed up.
Geni Greer Whitehouse provided me a copy of her fabulous book How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting so I could post an interview on my blog. To date I haven’t sent her any questions – this does not speak well for my follow through skills. Which really are good – I swear – or I wouldn’t have the client base that I have?
Regardless, I owe Geni an apology so let’s make it public –
I want to send you my sincere apologies for failing to send you the list of questions for the interview. You may notice that I have ordered another copy of your book. This is because the initial copy that you so gracefully sent was “barrowed” by a client. It was apparently so helpful that I never saw it again. I will get those questions over to you. I found your book to be quite helpful. It played a key role in helping me to win a best speaker ribbon.
So there it is my lame excuse. If there was any good to come from my failure, it was what I learned 1) never lend out a book before I’m done with it, 2) don’t forgot – branding is important but consider the time investment and follow through necessary to pull off your strategy.
1) Hire the right accountant. Accountants have niches just like other professionals such as attorneys and doctors – if you were getting a divorce [god forbid], you would hire a family law attorney, not a tax attorney. Well, the same rule applies with your accountant. Your accountant should have experience working with clients in your particular industry -this will make sure that he or she understands and applies the correct tax laws.
2) Do some tax planning. No matter the size of your income, it never hurts to have your accountant look at your tax picture -BEFORE- yearend, estimate your income tax liability, and then suggest ways to mitigate the taxes. Once your tax liability is known, you can plan for how you will meet your obligation.
3) Always consult with your accountant before making large cash purchases. Sometimes life brings us a fabulous financial windfall… we sign a new contract, we get an unexpected bonus, we get $12 million for starring in a movie, or we win the “Showcase Showdown” on the Price is Right. Regardless of the windfall, before you spend all the money, you should check with your accountant to make sure that your windfall doesn’t include with it some income tax consequences.
4) Live within a budget. If you haven’t already, you should sit down with your accountant and figure out how much is available to spend. It’s just that simple. Don’t spend what you don’t have. Moreover, don’t spend what you “expect” to have before you have it.
5) Always, and I mean always, have money set aside for emergencies. How much to set aside is really relative to your income and your annual expenses. Generally, you should set aside enough money to pay at least 6 to 12 months of living expenses. Now – keep in mind – setting aside doesn’t mean investing it in some crazy volatile investment where you might lose it all. That would defeat the purpose of the emergency fund. No – put it somewhere safe like in a certificate of deposit. This will make sure that you have the cash available in the unlikely event that you do receive an unexpected tax bill or need to be represented before the IRS in the case of an audit.
6) Have a plan B. Planning for the possibility of a life-changing event is never fun. Nevertheless, people need to face that these things happen. Things such as the death of a spouse, the loss of a career, or a disabling illness will affect your ability to meet your financial obligations. Therefore, you should sit down with your accountant and your attorney to discuss your “what if” plans. A plan “B” can be as simple as having a life insurance policy or indicating who will raise your children in the event of your death.
7) Be involved. Okay so a celebrity [like Nick Cage] might not have the time to be completely “in the know” about every financial dealing. But frankly, that’s too bad. Ultimately, the taxpayer is responsible for what is reported on his or her tax return. Consider this, you are signing your return under penalty of perjury. Therefore, handing off all of your financial information – for someone else to deal with without any personal oversight is a risky endeavor that just might cost you 6.2 million dollars and a tax lien on your house. Ouch!