Always Room for Improvement: 5 Tips for Small Businesses

The 2014 tax season has come to a close, whew! That stressful time of getting everything in order to meet the April 15 deadline has come and gone, and now you can comfortably move on with your typical workday.  While that may be true, it also opens up an opportunity to reflect on last year’s production and see what changes can be implemented to make this next tax season even better. Get a head start on reviewing last year’s data now because 2015 is just around the corner.

AICPA Insights recognizes five areas of improvement each small business can look at to further production, in the article, "5 Things You May Have Missed During Tax Season." Included in each of these suggestions are resources to help you address these main areas of possible concern.

1. Shake up your accounting methods – Ever heard of The Financial Reporting Framework for Small- and Medium-Sized Entities (FRF for SMEs)? This plan is perfect for small and medium-sized companies looking to improve the function of their accounting department. AICPA Insights explains the method simply as … “It blends traditional accounting methods with accrual income tax methods, and uses historical cost as its primary measurement basis rather than the more complicated fair value measurements.”

2. Make sure your company is performing at its best – How can I do that? It’s pretty easy. Take the annual survey, National Management of an Accounting Practice Survey, conducted by the AICPA Private Companies Practice Section and the Texas Society of CPAs, to compare your company with others of the same size and region. Results are compiled and released in September. So if you are interested in participating this year, take the survey soon and learn what opportunities you may be currently missing out on.

3. Be #1 to your clients – Talk. Talk to your clients, tell them what they need to know, what your company can offer them, and reassure them that you have the resources they need from you to succeed. Then, follow up with your clients with updates pertinent to their needs as they come about. Show them that you value their working relationship. Take a look at Addressing Small Business Client Concerns Resources page for more information on how to meet you client’s expectations.

4. Evaluate third-party verification requests – These forms provide a sense of comfort that the client you are working with is in fact financially sound and prepared to make further financial decisions – all in all, it’s fact-checking. There is a lot of legal information to know in order to understand the implications of these forms. AICPA Insights has created the AICPA’s Third-Party Verification Resources webpage to help you understand all you need to know to use these forms to the fullest advantage.

5. Education and training – Education is ongoing, and it never hurts to learn more, as often as possible. Not only does it offer a good boost to your resume, but also your clients will appreciate your motivation to know what’s the best out there.  Research opportunities for lunch and learns, webinars and other training courses pertinent to your industry and the professional growth of your employees.

Take some time to evaluate where your company stands in terms of performance; don’t just keep repeating what you did last year. There is always room for improvement. For more information on the resources you can use to increase your company’s performance, check out the AICPA Insights article, "5 Things You May Have Missed During Tax Season."