The Intuit® Tax Pro Center is going glamping

The Intuit® Tax Pro Center is going glamping

INTUIT® ACCOUNTANTS NEWS

Glamping

Happy summer to you and yours. The Intuit® Tax Pro Center decided to have some fun with its authors, asking them to send in a fun summer photo and/or recipe to share with others. Here’s what we received.

Elcorese Brown – Charis Business Solutions, LLC

At a resort in Las Vegas!

Elcorese Brown

Christiane Hile, JD, author of “Focus on fraud: Romance and remarriage in later years

DipAddictive Sundowner Avocado Dip

  • 2-3 x ripe avocados
  • 1x Small log goat cheese
  • Capers
  • Olive oil (high quality)
  • Salt to taste (optional)

1. Peel, cut, and using a fork, smush ripe avocados on a medium sized flat plate that has a lip around the edges.

2. Crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle capers all over the avocado base.

3. Liberally drizzle olive oil all over; do not skimp on the oil!

4. Add a light touch of salt to taste if you like (not necessary though).

Eat like a dip with pita chips or crunchy fresh bread.

Chile Bike

 

Carrie Kahn – Complete Business Group:

Chilin’ on the patio – a perfect summer.

Carrie Kahn Firepit 2

Bhairavi ParikhBhairavi Parikh, CPA – Analytix Solutions:

Our family favorite campfire dessert is a Marshmallow Sandwich. I love this one, mainly because it is very simple quick and just requires four easy steps … and guess what? Four out of five steps are “mommy free:”

  • Step 1. Spread Nutella or chocolate spread on one side of two slices of bread.
  • Step 2. Sprinkle some mini chocolate chips on one slice.
  • Step 3. Add Marshmallows on top of chocolate chips and cover with the second slice of bread.
  • Step 4. Give it to the mommy to grill it – the only step mom has to do.
  • Step 5. The grilled sandwich goes to dad who has a big tub of ice cream. He tops the sandwich with a scoop of ice cream and boom! Dessert is ready to serve.

 

Andrea M. Parness, CPA, CTC – A. Parness Company CPA:

My daughter Emily graduated from her residency program; here is her program director showing her his comments.

Parness 2

Heather Satterley, CPA – Satterley Training and Consulting:

Heather recently learned how to ride a horse!

Heather Satterley Horse 2

Social media: The merry-go-round that gets you and your business where you want to go!

Social media: The merry-go-round that gets you and your business where you want to go!

 


Hey, hey, you super marketing entrepreneur! Yep, you guessed it … I am speaking to you! Today’s topic: the dreaded social media! It still scares me, too!

Time and again, it’s been said that in order to grow your business, you have to use various forms of marketing to get clients. As an accountant who serves a particular niche (law firms), I found this process especially challenging. I’m a little reserved, and while I don’t often enjoy bringing attention to myself, I am a small business owner who wants to grow my firm. So, I had to bite the bullet and jump into the deep end of the pool!

In the hopes of helping someone else, I’ll share the journey I embarked on to grow my firm using social media. As one of the continually largest growing marketing platforms, social media can cost you next to nothing to get started and maintain engagement.

Pull your manifesto together

When you’re considering using social media for marketing and bringing awareness to your business, brand, or identity, it’s important to plan your intentions. You wouldn’t take a new journey without a map or GPS, so you want to clearly state your intentions, offer, or images in a relatable way that the client can understand where you’re headed with your communication.

The process of planning what you’re going to state will make you look like a star, or better yet, a subject matter expert. Give yourself some time to pull your ideas together. Some of us can undoubtedly bring something together off the cuff, but that’s stressful to me, especially with deadlines like holidays or events. I’m sweating now just thinking about it!

Who are you talking to?

Ask yourself who the best fit is for your product or service. Who is the type of client you desire to work with? One of the most important factors to gaining clients via social media is to identify your ideal client. Your service may not be for everyone, so no need to waste your efforts and someone else’s time. However, that someone else may know a colleague or business owner truly in need of your talents and expertise. Are you going to solicit everyone from every type of business – a shot in the dark, if you will? I would say that’s not the best choice because I’ve seen this approach turn south very quickly. It’s okay to service more than one type of client or niche because that gives you a chance to become a true expert in the industries that you serve. Or, you can choose just one.

Engagement with those you want to serve gives potential clients an opportunity to experience you, your personality, your knowledge, and like what they are learning or connecting with through your presence. 

Where does your ideal client hang out?

If you go where your prospects go, you’ll definitely be present when they need you. Create accounts on platforms that fit your product or service, and your potential client uses, or where they can learn about you and your business, and easily connect with you.

A key to your success is consistently sharing your content on the right platforms.

For example, if your ideal client uses Twitter for news and information, you should be engaging there. Particular associations, groups, and networking opportunities can be found for your ideal client. If you’re not sure, a bit of research never hurts, and you’ll be empowered with the information you need to proceed.

You can also share educational videos to show your audience that you know your stuff! This can be done in many ways and added to the platforms you choose. You can even create a YouTube account and regularly post video content to bring awareness and grow your audience. This gives your audience a chance to know, like, and trust you.

Lifestyle posts let your audience know you’re a real person with a real business. It’s totally okay if you like skiing or wrangling kittens. Sharing your personality with your potential client will give them an opportunity to see if you’re a good match for interacting with each other. And, please be yourself. Your potential client detects falsehood, even online.

Offers or promotions

By creating an offer or promotion, you’ll have a great opportunity to gain clients that are interested in what you offer, allowing them to see a sample of your work, learn something from the tool you may have shared, or just save money.

For example, maybe you could offer a discount on a service, such as a certain percentage off of a bookkeeping cleanup with an annual commitment. You can offer a free tool to help get them organized, or create a better system for what they currently use. Be creative!

Design your own plan

To reiterate, social media can really grow your business. However, like any garden that produces a good return, it must be cultivated and cared for in order to see a yield of the fruits of your labor. Whatever you do, make it your own. Find best practice examples from others you admire, but customize any social media to make it your own.

Finally, have fun! Pull out that alter ego that helped you jump into your first adventure – you won’t regret it!

7 unique ways to get more done in less time

7 unique ways to get more done in less time

7 unique ways to get more done in less time

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Measuring efficiency

How are you going to get more done during busy season? If you can’t spend your off hours socializing as much as you used to, of course you can do more work, right?! Before you try to do more than you should, let’s examine our processes and see if we can carve out a little more time in our schedules.

#1: Examine time and motion to get things started

It’s an oxymoron to take time to save time; however, I have found that this is exactly what it does. If you’re not prepared, you will waste time. I’d like to call this an investment in order to see a return on investment in time. Officially, a time-motion study is a systematic observation, analysis, and measurement of the separate steps in the performance of a specific job for the purpose of establishing a standard time for each performance, improving procedures, and increasing productivity. Here’s a YouTube visual you can check out from the creator of a time-motion study.

#2: Establish SMART goals

Creating a divided set of daily goals can help you get clear on purpose and prioritize the tasks you need to get done. Make these goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based. The traditional to-do list will suffice. You can also use apps to create, monitor, and complete these goals, but beware of the time you’re taking to learn and operate some of these apps. A good example of an app that is easy to learn and use is Clockify. You can track your time, create projects, and get reports to see how you measure up in productivity against your goals.

#3: Remember that everything isn’t urgent

When listing your priorities, consider what is most important to a project or deadline. Some tasks are “want-to” and some are “need-to.” For example, you may want to create a certain format that is visually pleasing to the client; something fancy, if you will. That’s a want-to. Your need-to is an item or task that, if you don’t complete it, may be detrimental to your service or reputation. Focus on the most important ones.

#4: Spend 90-minutes to better productivity

A practice I implemented and found ideal for my energy level is the 90-minute work cycle, where you begin a set of tasks you want to complete, put uninterrupted focus on them, and determine how long they took to complete. Then, take a break for whatever timeframe you want. I like 15 minutes. This strategy helps your creativity and inspiration by rebooting your energy, and taking a brief break resets your motivation. You can stretch, check on the children, take a walk, or even peruse your social media, with caution to be strong enough to walk away when your break is over. It may be helpful to set a timer to ensure you don’t get lost in fun time or chasing rabbits.

#5: Watch out for the procrastinator!

We all do it, but the most productive of people have a strategy for locking this part of their personality away. Procrastination is a naughty little issue mostly caused by fear – fear of failure, criticism, and perfectionism. Fear is also about success – anxiety about how others will react to our victory. Instead, we perform in a way that sabotages our success, hence proving the procrastinator right.

#6: Give a due date for completion

Setting yourself up for success will include a due date or deadline. Giving an evenly spaced, hard due date to complete your work will give you a sense of accomplishment and a little zap to help you keep going. Go to airplane mode. This undisturbed time can aid in doing deep work. Prepare for this by informing family and coworkers that you won’t be available during certain hours in order to prevent neglecting other life priorities. Set aside a few hours to engage your brain to focus on one task at a time to make big breakthroughs on something critical.

Due dates, in and of themselves, gives us anxiety, but how are we contributing to the problem? The dreaded cellphone. It’s our lifeline, but also our nemesis when we attempt to get more done in less time. I won’t even state the number of hours I have spent on my phone, because it is too embarrassing to share, so we’ll just round it up to “too much!” Turning off notifications and even putting our phones away may give some of us withdrawals. However, we must realize that it can, and will, have an impact on our productivity. We can regain hours of focus time by simply putting it away. It may sting a little, but it’s for the best.

#7: Monotask instead of multitask

I remember when I was interviewing for different work positions, well-meaning advisors would tell me to put multitasking on my resume to show I’m smart and productive. However, I have found the opposite to be true, at least for me. Multitasking gave me the opportunity to perform poorly at everything I wanted to accomplish. Can you imagine? Nothing actually gets completed, and by the end of the day, I’m exhausted. It’s not a good look. Instead, give yourself the gift of “monotasking” this season.

Monotasking, also known as single tasking, is the practice of dedicating oneself to a given task, and minimizing potential interruptions until the task is complete or a significant period of time has elapsed. Monotasking contrasts with multitasking, which is the ability to divide your focus among multiple tasks. Look at your lists and assign yourself a focus for each timeframe in order to focus on a specific task or upcoming deadline.

What is your takeaway?

Everyone has their own way of doing things, so set a schedule that works the way you work. Find and use the time when you have your most energy. Being more productive takes planning and practice. If at first you don’t succeed, try again!

Welcome to Charis Business Solutions

I am Elcorese Brown, BSM,MSAC,MBA, President of Charis Business Solutions. I am so excited to launch my company into the world. This has been a dream of mine for many, many years.  I have advanced degrees in Business, Accounting and Project Management, as well as more than 20 years of experience in financial services. 

I am here to help make my client’s life easier and less stressful by taking over their financial record-keeping and financial reports. I have the education, the experience, and, maybe most importantly of all, the desire to do a great job for all of my clients.

I provide all the accounting, bookkeeping, and financial reporting services small business owners  need. I know small business owners have their hands full  with all of the hats they wear these days, and having someone keeping an eye on their books can really help them manage the ups and downs of cash flow.

Contact us today and let us see how we can help.

Go, Be Great !… We’ll Take Care of the Books.