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5 Markers of Emotional Intelligence

healthy-work-environAccording to author and entrepreneur Travis Bradberry, “people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time.”  He goes on to explain that the difference lies in a key characteristic: “90% of top performers have high emotional intelligence.”

While emotional intelligence is somewhat difficult to define, there are certain markers, of which Bradberry shares 18 in his Entrepreneur.com article entitled “Are You Emotionally Intelligent?  Here’s How to Know for Sure.”  Here we detail six of Bradberry’s most noteable markers:

  1. You Embrace Change. We can’t experience growth without change, so it’s important to embrace it.  Resisting change ensures things won’t get better than they are this moment, and the truth is, even in the best of financial markets, only those business owners who are adaptable will succeed.  Your flexibility will enable you smile through any uncertainty.
  2. You Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses.  Recognizing both is a sign of emotional intelligence.  Also, once you know your strengths you can capitalize on them.  Once you know your weaknesses you can either work to overcome them, or, at the very least, keep them in check.
  3. You Know How to Say No (to Yourself and Others). Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful and very successful people is that the very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”  When you selectively agree to take on additional responsibility, you maintain control of your schedule.  While it may be difficult to turn down requests, in the long run it can save you time and energy.
  4. You Let Go of Mistakes.  It’s important that you keep moving forward, regardless of your mistakes.  Those lacking emotional intelligence become so paralyzed by their fear of making mistakes that they don’t do anything, which eventually results in failure.  While it’s important to contemplate a plan of action and ensure good timing, it’s not good to let fear drive your choices. Consider this Conrad Hilton quote: “Success seems to be connected with action.  Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
  5. You Stop Negative Self-Talk in its Tracks.  As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or can’t – you are right.”  You are often your own worst enemy, and negative self-talk may be your greatest obstacle to true succes.  Listen to what you tell yourself throughout the day.  Do you see yourself as a competent, accomplished individual, or are you constantly chastising yourself for what you perceive as mistakes and missteps?
  6. You Won’t Let Anyone Limit Your Joy.  As Bradberry explains, “When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from the opinions of other people, you are no longer the master of your own happiness.  When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they’ve done, they won’ let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take that away from them.  …That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.”

If you found this article helpful, consider taking advantage of our other free resources; join our free accounting and tax forumsfollow us on Twitter and like us on FaceBook.  You’ll be surprised at how Universal’s virtual community will enable you to stay in-the-know.

Resource

Bradberry, Travis.  “Are You Emotionally Intelligent?  Here’s How to Know for Sure.”  17 February 2015  Entrepreneur.com

Sharpening the Saw

sawIn Stephen Covey’s well-known and oft-quoted book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the last and final habit is known as “sharpening the saw.”  Covey explains that this habit “means having a balanced program for self-renewal in the four areas of your life: physical, social/emotional, mental, and spiritual.”  If you’re like many professionals, the idea of taking a time-out to rejuvenate yourself may seem a little self-indulgent.  Aren’t you too busy sawing, for heaven’s sake?  Unfortunately, too much sawing and not enough sharpening makes your work less effective and eventually, inadequate.  Consider creating your own program for self-renewal using the following suggestions:

Physical. Neglecting your health will come back to haunt your business at some point or another, either in sick time, lack of focus, or compromised workflow.  And while we’re not suggesting you train for a triathlon, we are saying that taking better care of yourself will only benefit your business in the long run.  Getting plenty of sleep, water, and exercise, while enjoying a healthy diet, will provide the perfect foundation for a balanced life.

Social/Emotional. What’s life about if not making meaningful connections with the people around you?  Whether it be friends, family, or neighbors, take the time to associate with those you care for.  In fact, to demonstrate your commitment to balancing all aspects of your life, use the same calendar for both personal and business activities.

Spiritual. Covey suggests that honoring the spiritual element of your life might require “spending time in nature, expanding spiritual self through meditation, music, art, prayer or service.”  In addition, Walter Bagehot claims, “No great work has ever been produced except after a long interval of still and musing meditation.”  To many, meditation is a mystical, new-age activity for which they have no time, and those who practice it claim to be more adept at concentrating, critical thinking and problem solving—all of which are important skills for the business owner.

Mental. Regardless of your profession, it’s important that you continually challenge yourself mentally.  Learning new things and keeping up on industry advancements enables you to keep the saw sharp while improving your practice.  To do that, we suggest regularly honing your skills by investing in training that will improve your financial expertise.

Expand and Refine Your Financial Skills

Most of your competitors don’t offer specialized small-business accounting services.  But after completing the Professional Bookkeeper (PB) program, you can!  Consider a training program that is catered to your needs and busy schedule—one that will enable you to earn a professional designation after just 60 hours of your valuable time.

When you enroll in the Professional Bookkeeper Program you receive to the following:

  • Flexible training you complete on your own schedule
  • Rich and engaging training DVDs you can view again and again
  • Hands-on instruction and practice sets through which you gain much-needed experience
  • Training in building and marketing your new practice
  • 6 months of valuable follow-up support
  • The opportunity to earn professional certification
  • Our iron-clad risk-free guarantee

Expand your service offerings by enrolling in UAC’s valuable Professional Bookkeeper Program.  Call 1-877-833-7908 to enroll today!

Resource

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw.” StephenCovey.com

The Be-Do-Have Mentality

productiveWe’re a couple months into the New Year.  How are you doing with those resolutions?

Some of us struggle with resolutions.  And unless they represent life-long changes, often resolutions can be useless.  The problem with resolutions is that we focus more on doing or having certain things instead of just being.  What?  I know; it sounds confusing.  Let me explain.

We believe that in order to achieve a certain state of being—say, happiness or contentment or fulfillment, we must do or have.

  • If I exercise more, I will be healthy.
  • If I have more money, I will be successful.
  • If I read more books, I will be wise.

The truth is, we have it all backwards.  We must be before we can do and then have.

The Be-Do-Have Mentality

It’s all very Law-of-Attraction.  In order to live the life we truly want, we must act as if it is already ours.  That means that if we want to be accomplished, we must do those things we would expect to do as an accomplished individual.  How does that work?  Well, take a minute to imagine how you might feel if you were already accomplished.  What would it be like to wake up every day knowing that you’re facing it as a successful person?  What would you think about?  What would you enjoy more?  How would you spend your time and how big would you smile?

Once you get the feel for how your behavior would change, start playing the part.  Fake it ‘til you make it is a good motto for putting this mentality into practice.  Once you start being accomplished, you begin doing those things an accomplished individual would do, and finally, you start having those things an accomplished individual would have.

While New Year’s was months ago, you can still change the course of your future. Now’s the time to consider what you want to be this year.  The following list of words may help you describe what that means for you:

  • Abundance
  • Wealth
  • Effortlessness
  • Generosity
  • Acceptance
  • Courage
  • Freedom
  • Change
  • Mastery
  • Discipline
  • Power

Once you’ve considered exactly what you’d like to be, take the time to revel in how that might feel.  Allow it to change the way you think, the way you talk, the things you do.  Then take action.  You may be surprised at how quickly you have everything you’ve ever wanted.

Successful Freelance Accountants DO Enroll in UAC’s Training Programs

If you were the truly successful financial professional you want to be, consider what you would think about valuable training that enables you to acquire and use your new skills more quickly than any other training program available.

Small Business Accounting

Small business accounting is a valuable niche market.  In fact, over 90% of accounting opportunities can be found in the small business arena.  Universal Accounting Center (UAC) has been training professionals like you in small business accounting for 30 years because they recognize what many do not; most universities and trade programs are teaching students corporate accounting which isn’t preparing them for the typical, real-world accounting experiences they will encounter.

Becoming a small-business accountant doesn’t require years of your valuable time.  UAC’s Professional Bookkeeper (PB) Program is not only reputable, but it’s self-paced, enabling a busy professional like you to take your time or complete the program quickly, in less than 60 hours.

You will gain the confidence and skill necessary to start and manage nearly every client’s books, and when you have a question, our follow-up program enables you to call and ask one of our seasoned professionals.

If you are interested in being a successful freelance accountant, training is one thing you should definitely do.  Call 1-877-833-7908

5 Simple Tips to End Procrastination

procrastinateWe’ve all procrastinated at one time or another.  And while for some, procrastination may represent a brief lapse in productivity, others are plagued with chronic procrastination that threatens their livelihood and business.  Wherever you may be on the spectrum, it’s important to recognize your tendency to procrastinate and respond promptly, especially now that tax season is upon us.

The following five steps will help anyone, regardless of the severity of their procrastination problem:

1. Determine the holdup. Whether you’re addicted to the adrenaline that comes from waiting until the last minute, you believe you work better under pressure, or you’re lacking the experience and expertise to complete a particular task, you’ll be unable to resolve your procrastination issues until you know what’s causing them.  And don’t fool yourself.  There may be one reason you’re procrastinating Task #1 and a completely different reason you’re procrastinating Task #2.  Take the time to determine exactly what’s holding your back.

2. Fake it ‘til you make it. Sometimes there’s no way around a tiresome task than to get busy and do it, even when every part of you is resisting.  Often, the only way to gain the momentum necessary to tackle these unpleasant tasks is by putting one foot in front of the other until it’s completed.

3. Tackle the most formidable tasks first. The tasks you procrastinate are generally the most unpleasant.  You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor if you tackle those tasks first.  You know what they say: swallow a toad in the morning and you will encounter nothing more disgusting the rest of the day.   When you complete these tasks first thing, you’ll find yourself recharged and ready to tackle the remainder of your day with ease.

4. Break bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. Those overwhelming projects are best handled bit by bit.  Break those large projects into smaller tasks that can be handled on a daily basis.  Schedule these smaller tasks into your day so that you are able to better inch towards project completion.

5. When feasible, delegate or outsource. You don’t have to do everything yourself, especially when it makes more sense to delegate the task to an employee or outsource it to someone who’s more qualified for the job.  Whether it be remodeling your office or doing payroll, it’s important that you evaluate how much it will cost you (in time) to complete yourself versus having someone else do it for you.

Luckily, procrastination is curable.  With a little self reflection and a few action steps you can move forward into greater productivity and profitability.  These 5 steps should get you started.

Build a Better Practice with BizBench

BizBench is an online business assessment tool that you can use to advance your financial practice.  For example you can use BizBench to accomplish the following:

Attract More New Clients. Give potential clients the incentive to become paying clients.  Offer them a report that benchmarks their business against similar businesses and charts and graphs their strengths and weaknesses and opportunities for growth.  Let them know you’re more than just an historian; but you can help shape their future.

Retain Existing Clients. Imagine the power that a complete and comprehensive benchmarking and profitability report will give you to shape the future of your existing clients.  They will see you as a valued and trusted adviser as you quantify monthly improvements against this benchmark in dollars and cents to further increase the value of your services each month.

Save Time. It only takes a few minutes to submit your client’s key income statement and balance sheet data online, and in just a few seconds, you have a comprehensive benchmarking and profitability report to present them.  BizBench does all the heavy lifting for you, and you take all the credit with this report branded for your business.

Stop procrastinating your business’ success! Become a Profit and Growth Expert using BizBench Software!  Call Universal today at 888-265-5341.

 

Good Management Skills

teamwork-skillsYour ability (or inability) to motivate your staff will be reflected in the quality of their work, morale, and cooperation.  By just focusing on just a few things, you can change the temperament of your workplace and ensure a happy and motivated staff.

1. Be positive. Lead by example.  This can be done by demonstrating a good attitude that naturally accompanies a positive outlook.  If you don’t have that, chances are your employees are simply reflecting what they see in you.

2. Permit others to do their jobs. Because you’re invested in your business’s success, it’s tempting to look over shoulders and micromanage your employees.  However, as a manager, you can best promote success by enabling your team to succeed.  This means that rather than telling them how to do their job (which you might occasionally have to do), you ensure they have access to all the necessary tools and training to excel.

3. Provide vision and support. Good managers inspire success with clear vision.  It’s your job to look to the future and envision positive changes within your practice.  Once you’ve shared this vision, you need to provide your team with the necessary support to move forward.

4. Practice good communication. Without good communication skills, you’ll find it difficult to lead your team anywhere, because without clear direction they won’t know where to go. You must clearly communicate your vision, your objectives, and your expectations.  But if you’re doing all the talking, your team will quickly tune out.  Communication runs both ways; you must listen and engage in productive discussions as well.

5. Give positive reinforcement and feedback. Nothing is more discouraging to an employee than lack of feedback.  In order to better direct their efforts, they need to know whether or not they’re satisfying your expectations.  Be sure you always provide positive feedback first.  Then give constructive criticism by sharing how they can improve their efforts.  Be specific.  Vague and ambiguous feedback is almost worse than no feedback at all.

6. Be an advocate. As your employees interact with clients, it’s important that you be their advocate.  Sometimes clients may complain about their exchanges with your employees, and quite honestly, there may come a time when an employee must be reprimanded for poor work and/or behavior.  However, most of the time you should not only support but endorse your employees, making it clear that as long as they’re performing to the best of their ability, you’ve got their back.

7.   Provide group training. Like a retreat, group training can motivate and inspire your employees while teaching them valuable skills.  Imagine teaching each employee how he or she can become your business’s profit expertUniversal Accounting Center has developed a proven program to help non-accounting employees understand their function and importance in the business model. With Universal’s proprietary training, each employee will understand how critical their position is to the business. They will improve their skills in performing important responsibilities that will greatly benefit the company’s profitability.  Call 1-877-833-07908 today for more information on how Universal can immediately help your company today.

Good management is often more motivational than even the cheesiest quotes or promotional plaques.  As you show a genuine interest in your employees’ work experience at your practice, you’ll find their loyalty, commitment and performance improves.

The National Taxpayer Advocate Submits Year-End Report to Congress

tax-updateEvery year the National Taxpayer Advocate submits a report to Congress identifying the most significant issues encountered by taxpayers.  On January 14th, 2015, National Taxpayer Advocate Nina E. Olson released the 2015 annual report which expresses concern that taxpayers will experience the worst service since 2001 when the IRS implemented its current performance measures.  In the report’s preface she detailed the following four points:

  • “First, the budget environment of the last five years has brought about a devastating erosion of taxpayer service, harming taxpayers individually and collectively;
  • “Second, the lack of effective administrative and congressional oversight, in conjunction with the failure to pass taxpayer rights legislation, has eroded taxpayer protections enacted 16 or more years ago;
  • “Third, the combined effect of these trends is reshaping U.S. tax administration in ways that are not positive for future tax compliance or for public trust in the fairness of the tax system; and
  • “Fourth, this downward slide can be addressed if Congress makes an investment in the IRS and holds it accountable for how it applies that investment.”

She goes on to explain, “Taxpayers who need help are not getting it, and tax compliance is likely to suffer over the longer term if these problems are not quickly and decisively addressed.”

Olsen attributes the decline in taxpayer service to the following factors:

Scope of Taxpayer Service Needs.  About 200 million taxpayers interact with the IRS yearly; that’s triple the amount of individuals interacting with any other federal agency.  And because of the complexity of the tax code, many of these individuals are looking for assistance in completing their returns.  The press release states, “The IRS typically receives more than 100 million phone calls, 10,000 million letters, and 5 million visits.”

Decline in Taxpayer Service Levels.  In 2004 87% of taxpayer phone calls were answered, with an average hold time of 2.5 minutes.  Expectations for 2015 include a 43% answer rate, with an average hold time of 30 minutes.

More Work, Reduced Resources.  A couple weeks ago we learned that Congress cut the IRS budget by 1.5 billion.  In addition they are required to comply with a mandated federal employee pay raise of one-percent.  This leaves the IRS with fewer resources, including a reduction in its workforce by 12,000 employees.  Olson explains, “The only way the IRS can assist the tens of millions of taxpayers seeking to speak with an IRS employee is to have enough employees to answer their calls.  The only way the IRS can timely process millions of taxpayer letters is to have enough employees to read the letters and act on them.  And the only way the IRS can meet the needs of the millions of taxpayers who visit its walk-in sites is to have enough employees to staff them.”

Other Issues Addressed

In addition to Taxpayer Bill of Rights, the following issues were also addressed:

  • Lack of clear rationale for taxpayer service resource allocation decisions.
  • Lack of a functional IRS presence in many areas.
  • Potential Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) burdens.
  • Offshore Voluntary Disclosure (OVD) Program inequities.
  • New TAX research studies.

The National Taxpayer Advocate submits two annual reports to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance.  The first report is due every year at the end of June and must detail the TAS’s objectives for the upcoming fiscal year.  The second report is due on December 31st, and, in addition to other requirements, must identify 20 of the most serious problems encountered by taxpayers.

A Lucrative Investment

Acquiring tax preparation skills not only affords you the opportunity to earn upwards of $100 per hour, but it exposes you to a limitless potential client base.  The fact that nearly every adult and business in the nation must report their tax liability on a yearly bases means that your tax preparation skills will be very appealing to a significant population.  And as your practice grows, so will your income.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to enroll in the Professional Tax Preparer Program today!

Resource

–.  “National Taxpayer Advocate Delivers Annual Report to Congress: Focuses on Taxpayer Service and Taxpayer Bill of Rights.”  14 January 2015 IRS.gov

Tax Season Opens

irs-news2Due to the renewal of “extender” provisions to the tax law that expired in 2013, the IRS announced that tax season will open as scheduled, and they will begin accepting the electronic submission of returns on January 20th.

The legislation extended tax breaks for individuals and businesses as well as a savings program for the disabled.  Business deductions that will now be allowed through 2014 include some of the following:

  • Bonus depreciation, allowing an additional first-year deduction of 50% of equipment costs
  • Section 179 rules which allow for $500,000 on acquired property for business use
  • Exclusion from capital gains tax of 100% of small business stock sold by an individual
  • The Word Opportunity Tax Credit for hiring military veterans and other qualified individuals
  • The Research Tax Credit
  • New Markets Tax Credit

A number of other deductions are included in the extension, which are detailed in an article by Michael Cohn entitled “Passage of Tax Extenders Contains Key Tax Breaks” on the website AccountingToday.

Before the extension of this legislation, the IRS was concerned that the elimination of those tax breaks would make it difficult for them to effectively update their systems in time for tax season.  However, at the beginning of December, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said, “We have reviewed the late tax law changes and determined that there was nothing preventing us from continuing our updating and testing of our systems.  Our employees will continue an aggressive schedule of testing and preparation of our systems during the next month to complete the final stages needed for the 2015 tax season.”

In addition to proceeding with tax season as planned, the IRS reminds taxpayers that electronic filing is the most effective way to submit a return and ensure a timely refund.  Visit the official IRS website for more information.

Universal Accounting’s Tax Training

UA’s Professional Tax Preparer program will help you establish yourself as a trained and trustworthy tax professional.  You can earn the Professional Tax Preparer Designation while receiving up to 60 CPE credits, depending on the number of modules you complete.

UAC’s Professional Tax Preparer (PTP) program will not only give you hands-on training in completing full individual (1040) and business returns (1065, 1120, 1120S), but it will also provide you with the following:

  • 20 hours of valuable video instruction
  • 2 instructional manuals
  • Step-by-step instruction in becoming a sole practitioner
  • One year of follow-up support from expert tax preparers
  • The opportunity to earn valuable professional certification
  • Our iron-clad, risk-free guarantee

Call 1-877-833-7909 to enroll today, and improve your competitive advantage while securing your professional standing in the tax industry.

Resources

–.  “Tax Season Opens as Planned Following Extenders Legislation.” 29 December 2014  IRS.gov

Cohn, Michael.  “Passage of Tax Extenders Contains Key Tax Breaks.”  17 December 2014  AccountingToday.com

Potential IRS Shutdown

Treasury tax check with cash.Following recent budget cuts, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen announced that a shutdown is currently being considered as one possible way to save the agency money.  He explained, “People call it furloughs; I view it as: Are we going to have to shut the place down? And at this point, that will be the last thing we do…  But there is no way we can say right now that that won’t happen.”

In recent budget revisions, Congress cut the IRS budget to $10.9 billion, $1.5 billion less than the agency requested. The IRS was one of few agencies to experience budget cuts this year, regardless of the impending tax season that will require the implementation of Obamacare credits and the exaction of penalties for the new tax evasion law.

In addition, the agency also faces a mandated federal employee pay raise of one-percent.  Koskinen says, “It’s not just the $350 million cut in the budget; it’s the fact that we have $250 million in new expenses for a government-wide pay raise.  …So we really have a $600 million hole this year.”

The potential shutdown could save the IRS an estimated $29 million a day.  At a press conference held on December 16th, Koskinen explained that while it’s a last resort, the IRS could close anywhere from one to a number of days in order to offset the difference.  This news followed an email warning IRS employees of suspended overtime and a hiring freeze.

QuickBooks Made Profitable

The IRS isn’t the only organization experiencing budget problems.  Have you set a New Year’s resolution to better budget your money this year?  Learning how to better track funds could help you and your clients become more lucrative.  In addition to budgeting, QuickBooks Made Profitable will teach you just how to use QuickBooks accounting software to attract and retain more clients.

Nearly 80% of small businesses use Intuit’s QuickBooks software.  While other programs may be useful, QuickBooks has definitely captured the small business market.  Mastering QuickBooks will not only enable you to better manage your budget and keep more efficient records, but it will also help you teach your clients how to use the software so that you can get the information you need which, making your job much easier.  This program will teach you how to leverage your time while saving clients money in taxes and helping them increase their profits.  What client wouldn’t be interested in that?  We’ll teach you how to use this valuable software package to generate more income!

Don’t wait to grow your business and experience the success your budget will certainly help you achieve.  There are countless potential clients out there in need of these specific services.  You can be the one to provide them.  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908 to order QuickBooks Made Profitable today!

Resource

Bade, Rachael.  “IRS Warns of Possible Shutdown.”  18 December 2014  Politico.com

Deadline for New IRS Program

1099December 31st of this year is the last day tax preparers can complete the continuing education (CE) requirements for a new voluntary IRS program intended to help taxpayers determine 2015 return preparer qualifications.

According to the press release, “The AFSP Record of Completion allows uncredentialed return preparers who complete required CE to be included in a new Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications scheduled to launch on the IRS website in early 2015.”

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen explains, “This will be part of a wider effort at the IRS to help taxpayers understand the options available if they need help with their taxes during the upcoming filing season.”

For the 2015 tax year the AFSP usually requires tax return preparers to complete 11 hours of continuing education (CE) credit, including a six-hour Annual Federal Tax Refresher course,  three-hours of federal tax law topics, and a two-hour ethics course, all of which much be earned from an IRS-approved CE provider (Universal is an IRS-approved continuing education provider).  Specific requirements are detailed on the official IRS website.

Return preparers who have earned credentials as attorneys, certified public accountants and enrolled agents do not need to meet these particular requirements as they have higher levels of qualification and practice rights, including unlimited representation rights before the IRS for clients on any tax matter.

In order to acquire their AFSP record of completion, a return preparer must consent to the duties and restrictions relating to practice before the IRS as noted in subpart B and section 10.51 of Treasury Department Circular No. 230.  They must also renew their preparer tax identification number (PTIN), complete their CE credits and receive notice from the IRS that they are eligible to log into their online PTIN account.  Only then will they be allowed to print their AFSP record of completion.

Universal Accounting Helps Tax Preparers Succeed

At Universal, we also believe it’s important to prepare for the future, and we’re interested in seeing your future success as a tax preparer.  Our Professional Tax Preparer Program is IRS-approved and designed to help professionals like you master tax preparation, becoming efficient in the completion of individual and business returns.  If you would like to learn more, visit Universal for a free video today!

Resource

–.  “Deadline Nears for Return Preparers to Qualify for New IRS Program.” 9 December 2014  IRS.gov

6 Days of Business

holidayWhat You Should Focus on in December

December often comes before we realize it,and when caught unaware we can miss key opportunities to acquire new clients, secure more business, and create more loyalty with employees.  This season, take command of the holidays and make key preparations that will enable you to take advantage of this crucial time.  The following are “six days of business” that will help your practice become stronger during the holidays:

1.   Wish your clients a Happy Holiday. Everyone likes a little gift for the holidays, regardless of what they may be celebrating.  Consider offering discounted services or a promotional offer that will appeal to clients.  Regardless of what you choose to do, it’s important that you acknowledge your customers during the holiday season.

2.   Send holiday cards. This is a great way to promote your services while spreading a little holiday cheer.  Use this as an opportunity to share your mission and goals with current and prospective clients.  This is a great excuse to use direct-mail advertising in order to get the word out about your business.  Also, including a promotional offer will often get your business the attention you desire.

3.   Plan company celebrations early. Most businesses plan a dinner party or other such holiday celebration.  If you had planned on holding an office party, you need to begin preparations early in order to secure the necessary reservations, catering or room scheduling.  The sooner you begin the better.

4.   Get in the spirit. Don’t be a Grinch!  Decorate your office for the holidays.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to spread holiday cheer to walk-ins and employees alike.  Because the month promises to be busy, take care of this at the beginning of the month so you don’t have to worry about it later.

5.   Bring your website into the festivities. Use your website to offer season’s greetings and promotional offers that may generate more traffic for your business.  If anything, your ability to maintain a clean, up-to-date website will impress all visitors.

6.   Practice seasonal marketing. Target prospective clients at the beginning of the month with seasonal marketing.  Take some time to brainstorm your holiday promotions and then delegate the final project to a trustworthy staff or family member so you can focus on billable hours.

Most importantly, take time to enjoy the holidays.  They do come but once a year, and it would be a shame if you didn’t revel in the season for a bit.

Building Your Business is a Great Strategy for the New Year

And Universal Accounting Center can help!  Here’s a holiday package intended to enhance any bookkeeping service or individual ready to start one.  You’ll attain the three things all business owners need to achieve true success: professional certification, marketing know-how, and enhanced service offerings.

Professional Certification

Small-business accounting is a specialized service that will appeal to a large target market that you already work with!  Most accountants are trained in big business accounting, which doesn’t address the unique needs of small business owners.  When you enroll in the Professional Bookkeeper program, you receive specialized training in the day-to-day accounting tasks required by small businesses.  Not only that, but upon completing the course, you will have the opportunity to earn professional certification, demonstrating to clients your newfound expertise.

Marketing Know-How

Regardless of how good your services are, you won’t secure quality clients without employing effective marketing techniques. And without clients, your business won’t go too far.  The Universal Practice Builder program will train you in 12 marketing strategies designed to help you secure 15 to 25 qualified leads per month!  Additionally, you will be guaranteed a $30,000 increase in annualized billings in just one year.  That is 10 times the cost of this special holiday package!  Talk about a low-risk investment with high returns.

Enhanced Service Offerings

In addition to offering small-business accounting, you will also be able to provide QuickBooks services.  Our QuickBooks Made Profitable program will teach you how to use your QuickBooks skills to attract even more clients!  You’ll learn how to leverage your time, meet more prospective clients and offer services that will enable them to reduce taxes, increase profits and put more money in the bank.

Get a jump start on the new business year by enrolling in these three programs, today!  You’ll be giving lots of gifts this season.  How about giving yourself a gift that continues to give, in profitable returns, year after year?  Call Universal at 1-877-833-7908.

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