Sunday, June 27, 2010

Auditing Your Auditor: Marketing Implications

“Auditing Your Auditor” is the cover story of the April 2010 issue of CFO, highlighting examples of fee negotiations and audit fee benchmarking opportunities for CFOs. Pressured to reduce costs CFOs are examining all budget items, including audit fees. However, CFOs should not be seeking the lowball fee for fear of being underaudited.

What are the marketing implications from “Auditing Your Auditor?”

Client loyalty isn’t what it used to be. As sited in the CFO article OSG switched to PwC in 2009 after 40 years with Ernst & Young, and its $2 million audit fee dropped by a third. Ensure client satisfaction with a formal client satisfaction program, which the majority of CPA firms are not doing.

Help your clients to operate more efficiently. This will enable you to offer a more competitive fee since you will be doing less work.

Be sure that your clients receive attention from partners and managers. Make your clients feel important. Be proactive with information and advice.

Provide your team with adequate training in order to run the audit at optimum efficiency, and reduce risk.

Consider negotiating additional services within the audit fee. The client will feel like they are getting more bang for their buck.

Analyze your firm’s new and lost clients, lost proposals, and the current client fee negotiations from the past two years. Who were the prior auditors of your new clients? Which firms did your lost clients and prospects select? What impact has fee negotiations had on your firm’s revenue? This information will enable you to price future engagements more competitively.

The editorial team of CFO provides CFOs a way to benchmark audit fees against what their peers paid, over a three-year period. For more information go to

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bull's-Eye! The Ultimate How-To Marketing & Sales Guide for CPAs

Sponsored by the Association for Accounting Marketing and PCPS
Edited by Tracy Crevar Warren

Whether your firm is getting back into the full swing of marketing and you are looking for some new ideas to jumpstart your sales efforts, or you are getting serious about business development for the first time, this book is designed for you.& Its purpose is to inspire, teach, and provide you with practical insight to help build results-oriented marketing and sales programs in your organization.

Bull’s-Eye is a collaboration of 37 of the industry’s most successful marketing and sales minds. Collectively these gifted professionals have served as pioneering practitioners inside the profession, and as outside advisors and thought leaders for hundreds, even thousands of CPAs and their firms. They give you an insider’s view of what it takes to build marketing initiatives that produce results. Through the principles, best practices and case studies shared in the book, you can see success doesn’t happen by chance, but through careful planning, development, and implementation of well-designed processes, systems, and tools. This compendium of marketing know-how shows you how to build your marketing team, implement marketing techniques that get you noticed, connect the dots between marketing and sales, measure results, and much, much more.

Attention 2010 AAM Summit Attendees: Drawings will be held for you to receive free copies of the book and you can sign up onsite to receive a 20% discount!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Facebook Privacy Settings

The June 2010 issue of Journal of Accountancy includes a very helpful article by J. Carlton Collins, "Fortify Your Facebook Privacy Settings." It provides step-by-step instructions for creating lists of friends, hiding friends from non-friends, blocking third-party Facebook applications, protecting yourself from networks and Facebook advertisers, preventing photo/video tag mistakes, and more.

You may also want to check out Facebook's Privacy Guide for more information.

What I've learned so far is that social media is blurring the lines between our professional and personal lives. Be informed and take action to protect your reputation and personal brand.