Monthly Archives: October 2015
8 Step Program for Accounting Firms
While it’s hard to believe, accountants struggle to get paid promptly. That’s right, most accounting firms are downright terrible at implementing a payment processing system to get paid quickly and minimize their uncollectible write offs. Even worse, they dread calling slow paying clients for fear that it will end the engagement, which perpetuates the problem.
If this describes your practice, then here is a process for reducing your write offs by 99% and dramatically improving your cash flow.
1. Invoice clients electronically. If you are still mailing out physical invoices to your customers, you are delaying the payment process. Instead, you need to email out invoices and encourage electronic payment processing to speed up payments. In fact, many customers prefer to pay electronically.
2. Send out invoices right away. Rather than wait until the end of the month, invoice clients immediately upon completing their work. While this tip seems blatantly obvious, most accountants kick the can down the road and bill at the end of the month. Billing at the end of the month for work completed the first couple of weeks within a month makes no sense. Instead, operate like most businesses and present a bill when the work is completed.
3. Integrated electronic payment system. Rather than wait for bills to arrive in the mail, savvy accountants are using an online payment system which accepts electronic payments by eCheck (ACH), credit cards and bank wires. Three forms of electronic payment integrated into one system for maximum convenience. BizPayO was designed to accept multiple forms of electronic payments so waiting for checks to arrive in the mail ceased.
4. Distribute hyperlinks everywhere. To make it easier for your clients to pay you electronically at all times, BizPayO provides a secure hyperlink program so you can integrate electronic payment processing into your website, imbed hyperlinks into your invoices, and even in your email signature thus eliminating the check is in the mail routine.
5. Accept mobile payments. You electronic payment processing system needs to be mobile friendly these days. And, you should consider accepting mobile payments on your cell phone. It’s so easy today to become “mobile friendly.”
6. Integrate online payment processing into your new client process. Going forward, all new business clients for your accounting practice need to sign a client engagement letter AND authorization to debit their account (e.g., ACH or credit card) for payment. Whether the client’s bill changes each month or is the same fixed fee, you need authorization to capture payment. This provides you with the ability to control getting paid immediately after your work is completed. The reality is that the general public trusts accountants so asking them to sign a document stating that they authorize you to pay yourself is no big deal to most small businesses.
7. Existing clients that fall behind. If one of your existing business clients falls 60 days behind, then it’s time to contact them directly, provide a reasonable installment payment, and demand that they sign your authorization to debit their account to prevent this from happening in the future. If they don’t have the cash, then credit card payment is the fallback alternative.
8. Coax clients to pay by ACH (eCheck) over credit cards. As the trusted advisor for your clients, you should advocate that clients pay by ACH. The BizPayO electronic payment processing system reinforces this message by providing you with an Uncharge feature on credit card payments, thus encouraging clients to pay by ACH.
This 8 Step Program will reduce your uncollectible write offs by 99%. The biggest challenge is your own aversion to change. That’s right, your own fear is the biggest obstacle.
Here are some quotes from accountants who have used this process to take control over getting paid.
Mark Orlando, CPA in San Diego CA
“BizPayO’s convenient link creation tool speeds up payment and provides us with control over getting paid. Our goal is to get 90% of our clients onto this system to improve our cash flow even further. The days of waiting for checks to arrive in the mail are thankfully over.”
Larry O’Dell, CPA in Winston-Salem NC
“I have integrated BizPayO into my billing system to provide one holistic solution, rather than two merchants. Using one merchant for credit cards and another for ACH was inefficient. BizPayO’s hyperlink tool enables clients to pay rapidly without me taking a phone call for payment.”
Luke Gheen, CPA in Colorado Springs, CO
“All new business clients must sign our engagement letter plus the authorization for ACH processing to become a client of ours. That provides us with the control to get paid a few days after invoices are generated. As a result, our Accounts Receivable is $0 and we never have write offs for bad debt any more. It’s how we operate a modern, tech savvy accounting practice and have total control over getting paid rapidly.”
Learn more about BizPayO online electronic payment processing to lower your write offs and get control today.
In today’s world, we are accessing the internet on wrist watches, mobile phones, tablets, talking to Siri, large screen TVs and traditional desktop computers. Given the variety of devices, Google Bing and Yahoo are advocating that we all jump on board with responsive designed websites. Here’s why you need to scrap your traditionally designed website and switch to responsive web design now.
One Website, Many Devices
Although Google is usually very guarded about their POV, they are now giving preferential treatment to websites that were developed using responsive layouts and actively recommending to webmasters that all new websites should use the industry best practice of responsive web design.
Essentially, Google prefers responsive web design because your website content resides on one URL rather than duplicate URLs (e.g., one for traditional monitors, another for mobile). This makes their job of indexing content much easier.
If you want to remain towards the top of search engine results pages, you need to obtain a responsive website now. Otherwise, your website will slowly drop further down the list and be visited less frequently.
The future of web design is responsive web design. If you want more leads, then upgrade to responsive. The sooner you jump on board, the better off you will be.
Build Your Firm has been designing responsive websites since 2014. Order yours today.
All tax, accounting and CPA firms, regardless of size, must comply with The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (aka – GLBA). The legislation was designed to protect personal financial information and applies to CPAs, Enrolled Agents and tax preparers.
Accounting firms and tax preparers must comply with all three:
1. Ensure the security and confidentiality of their client’s information
2. Protect against any anticipated threats or hazards.
3. Protect against unauthorized access to or use of such information.
Penalties for Non-Compliance
• Civil and criminal penalties.
• Fines up to $100,000 per violation.
How Build Your Firm can help you:
• Secure File Sharing tool is part of your website – 256 bit encryption (bank grade, higher than most portal services which tend to be 128 bit)
• Our proprietary tool is easier to use than traditional portals
• No “I forgot my password” phone calls
If you or your staff sends out a unprotected (unencrypted) tax return, K1, or QuickBooks file, that violates GLBA provisions.
Build Your Firm’s secure file sharing tool encrypts inbound and outbound electronic documents.
The relationship between the accountant and client is built on trust, respect and timeliness. Yet, why do so many CPAs and accountants have a seemingly difficult time asking for, and receiving, payment for their own services?
Do they push off back-office and operations-related matters so they can concentrate on more billable activities? Are they afraid they’ll fracture the provider-client relationship and the client will go elsewhere once he or she is asked for payment?
Every firm is different, and while there’s certainly not a definitive answer to these questions, the problem isn’t necessarily why the accountant has a hard time coming to terms with payment; it’s more about the process the firm uses to actually collect its money.
In most professional service business such as legal and consulting firms, the client pays a significant portion of the estimated fee upfront as a retainer. It’s not unusual that 50% of the projected cost will be paid when a project begins, yet accountants typically don’t request payment until after the service has been rendered.
Within the accounting industry, the relationship is more perpetual than the typical consulting or law firm engagement so the payment process is not typically done with a large retainer. According to a study published by Accounting Today, 30% of invoices are paid 31-90 days after the service has been provided and another 5% take over 90 days to receive payment. Essentially, 35% of invoices that go out will become aged.
What % of Your Invoices Are Paid
Within These Periods?
Within 30 days 65%
45 days 15%
60 days 10%
90 days 5%
Over 90 days 5%
Source – Accounting Today Executive Research Council, July 2013
In today’s electronic age, this is absurd. Can you imagine ordering a book from Amazon and paying for it 35 to 60 days later? If that’s the case, then why should accounting firms wait to get paid? In other words, why does the accountant get paid only after a business owner covers payroll, overhead expenses, and miscellaneous expenses? Is it because they often know their accountant won’t complain as loud and won’t ding their credit scores?
In discussing this issue with many accounting firms around the country, here are three fundamental ways to obtain more control and speed up your payment processing system.
The implications of hourly billing on cash flow can not be understated. Professional service firms that elect to bill hourly create conflict and uncertainty in their billing practices and this makes it harder to process payments in a timely manner. Think about it, how many times have you received a bill from a professional service firm and cringed at the hours billed and corresponding bill, sat on it, maybe even complained about it, and then took your time to request payment as a silent protest. It’s common practice and is guaranteed to slow down your ability to get paid promptly.
By adopting a value billing (fixed fee) system, your accounting/tax fees become well understood and not part of the stack of bills which do not get scrutinized closely. They are budgeted in advance and paid regularly like the rent payment. In fact, they can be pulled directly from the client’s checkbook (e.g., ACH, eCheck).
Billing Processing is Addressed Upfront
At the onset of each new business engagement, it’s absolutely essential to discuss billing processes as part of any expectation of doing business. While many accountants are apprehensive to do this, this is the best time to agree upon the form of payment and particulars to avoid issues. Often, accountants that use ACH payment processing (eCheck) are surprised at how easy it is to obtain agreement from the business owner if this is addressed along with the engagement agreement. Think about it, small business owners realize that you are not performing this service gratis and are more than willing to provide their checking account information to their trusted accountant if the fee is fixed and known in advance. And, it will be one less bill they have to cut a check for.
Get control by incorporating ACH payment processing into your engagement process for all new clients going forward. It’s easy.
Use Payment Technologies
Just like there are technology applications to increase your efficiency for accounting, tax and payroll tasks, there are also apps to process payments with more control and efficiency. Incorporating these apps into your payment processing will make it easier to receive payment and gain control over getting paid faster. For example, we have been advocating that our accounting clients to offer BizPayO to receive prompt payment by eCheck, credit cards, debit cards and bank wires while stopping the practice of waiting for a paper check to arrive in the mail. That’s right, one app integrates payment right into your business bank account.
BYF has developed a payment processing app that is designed to address this fundamental issue, which is vital to running any successful business. Think about it, all successful businesses have the ability to control getting paid. It’s a basic requirement. Anyway, we have designed a payment processing app that integrates eCheck, credit card, debit card and bank wire payments into one easy to use payment system so you can collect fees faster, and less expensively while lowering accounts receivable. And, it’s secure.
This payment app was designed by Allan Ratafia, tested in his accounting practice, and is ready for accounting firms around the United States. In fact, this payment processing tool is so innovative that Paychex is now selling BizPayO as a standalone app.
With the BizPayO’s Upcharge Technology feature, you can recapture most of your bank processing costs. Net, your total bank processing costs for BizPayO will be lower than all other online bank processing tools.
Get More Control Over Accounts Receivable
These are just three fundamental ways to get more control over accounts receivable and dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to get paid. Personally, waiting 30-60 days to get paid after working your buns off for a client is out of control.
If you hate badgering clients for payment, then integrate BizPayO into your payment processing system today.
If your website is looking dated and in need of a face lift, then here’s an offer that you can’t refuse. There is no risk to you. In fact, we provide a one (1) year money back satisfaction guarantee.
Here are key reasons to order today:
1. 1 Year ROI Money Back Guarantee – We guarantee that you will acquire more new business over 1 year than your total investment with BYF.
2. Responsive Web Design – Our websites are mobile friendly and responsive to work in all devices.
3. SEO – All BYF websites are search engine optimized. We don’t charge extra for this like everyone else.
4. Secure File Exchange (bank grade security) – Our Secure File Exchange tool provides 256k encryption and is easier to use than portals. And, we eliminate those annoying “I forgot my password” phone calls during tax season.
5. Get Paid Faster – Our BizPayO tool provides you with control over getting paid and lowers AR.
6. Email Newsletter – Eight articles per month are provided. Easy to use.
7. No Annual Contracts – We provide you with month-to-month flexibility. If don’t like our work, fire us at any time. No penalty.
Nobody else in the accounting industry provides you with a money back guarantee. Take our risk free offer.