Welcome to the Future of Accounting

Happy #TSheetsTuesday!

We are SO excited to announce that the Future of Accounting podcast is now live!

In today's launch, you will immediately have access to seven- yes SEVEN- interviews.

Future of Accounting with Danetha Doe

In the intro episode, I share how I went from NFL cheerleader to accountant to building a million dollar business from my laptop.

Jennifer Cantero, head of marketing at the fastest growing firm in Silicon Valley, shares her tips on how to become a partner at your firm.

Greg LaFollette, one of the industry's top 100 influential people, and Mark Brooks, the Senior Manager of innovation at the AICPA, talk about the AICPA's new accelerator program. This is PERFECT for you if you have an entrepreneurial idea that could help the industry grow!

Jen Hetherington, the Senior VP of Marketing & Global at TSheets, shares how to balance being a busy executive and a devoted mom.

Amy Vetter, Chief Relationship Officer at Xero, discusses work-life harmony and how to avoid burnout as you climb the ladder at your accounting firm.

Barry Melancon, CEO of the AICPA, discusses the future of profession and how the AICPA is committed to supporting high schools students who want to become accountants.

And Arthur Garcia, the Director of US Sales for Xero, shares why serving the Latino community should be a focus for accountants.

Head on over to iTunes to check out these amazing interviews, that are guaranteed to give you the insight you need in order to thrive as a young professional within the accounting industry. 

 

Do these 3 things to become a virtual CFO

Hi friends! Happy  #TSheetsTuesday.

As I shared last week, I am now answering your burning questions about how to be successful in the accounting industry. To have a chance to have your question featured, click here to join the fun.

This week's question comes from Jeff in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. 

He writes:

Hi Danetha! I started my bookkeeping practice almost a year ago. It’s going well, I have twenty-two clients. But, I’m working a lot and not earning as much as I’d like. In order to take on more clients, I’ll have to hire help, BUT my business is not generating enough revenue to pay someone well. Do you have any advice on how I can improve my business?
— Overworked Bookkeeper

This is a fantastic question, Jeff! First of all, congratulations on launching and building a great book of business.

As you are seeing, you have created a earning ceiling within your practice. In order to increase your revenues, you will either need to hire someone or expand your services to your existing clients.

Copy of BFA image.png

Hiring someone comes with additional costs, and it sounds like your margins are not to the point (yet!) where you can justify those expenses.

The route I would suggest is to begin offering CFO/Business Advisory services to your existing clients.

Have a conversation with 7-10 of the clients that you most enjoy working with and you feel could really benefit from additional support.

When you chat with them, be very transparent and say that you are testing a new offering. As a virtual CFO, you will help them gain a deeper insight into their financials so they can make more informed business decisions. Just like you did when you realized that hiring another team member may not be the best decision at this point in your practice!

The virtual CFO service will include one clarity session per quarter, and a monthly session to review benchmarks. No additional overhead and it will not require that much more of your time!

Expect about half of them to say yes. And when they do, do these three things to get the ball rolling on your new offer.

  1. Schedule a clarity session with each client. This is meant to jumpstart the new service. The goal of this 45-minute session is for both of you to get clear on their 90-day and one-year business objectives.
  2.  Schedule a monthly session. This is to review their financials and go over any recommendations you have their business.
  3. Become an industry expert. Start familiarizing yourself with each of the client's industries. Read trade publications, attend local events and start following thought leaders within the space. This will help you tremendously during your monthly sessions because you can share insights with them about trends that they may not be aware of.

Hope that helps, Jeff! Time to take action and reach out to those clients.

And now, I'd love to hear from you. Have you experienced an earning ceiling in your practice? How did you go about fixing it?

Leave a comment below!

For more insider tips from myself and other accounting thought leaders, click the link to join our weekly newsletter. P.S. My Future of Accounting podcast drops next week. Yay! Join the newsletter to be the first to know about it.

About Danetha: Danetha Doe is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

 

 

 

3 Steps To Reinvent Yourself as an Accountant

Hi friends! Happy  #TSheetsTuesday.

I'm starting a new thing with my blog where I answer your questions directly. To have a chance to have your question featured, click here to join the fun

Today's question comes from Rachel in New Jersey. Rachel asks:

I’m an audit associate at a large accounting firm. I really love the people I work with, but I don’t feel inspired in my role. But, I don’t know how to do anything else. How do I approach my boss about transitioning to another position when I don’t have any experience?
— Anxious Auditor

How many of us can relate to Rachel? I know I can! I remember when I was totally uninspired by my bookkeeping work, but had no clue what else to do with my business?

Reinventing yourself at any stage in your career is challenging. I spoke with a woman who has been in public accounting for over twenty years, and feels the same way you do, Rachel. She wants to start her own practice, and feels lost about how to reposition herself when she is out and about at networking events.

And although you may not be clear on what you want to do, knowing what you do not want to do is a great initial step. 

Whether you are looking for a career change or leaping into starting your own practice, here are three steps to help you build the career path of your dreams.

  1. Take inventory. Write down all the things about your current role that you love and all the things that you could do without. Gaining clarity about what truly inspires you is so key in making good decisions.
  2. Talk to someone who has a career or business that you admire. In your case, Rachel, ask yourself if you are fond of one of your senior manager's approach to work? Perhaps it is someone in HR or marketing. Ask to have a lunch chat with them to learn more about their day to day experience at the firm.
  3. Be upfront with your boss. Let them know how you are feeling and ask for feedback on where they feel your skills and personality would be a great match for the firm.
  4. [BONUS] Attend accounting conferences where you can connect with other like-minded financial professionals who own their practice, or work for other practices. Getting a perspective outside of your firm's four walls can open up a world of possibilities that you never knew existed!

If you are in the San Francisco area on August 31st, check out Xero's breakfast event for accountants at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Be sure to ask for Joel Lacayo or Justin Hobbs and let him know Danetha sent ya! Click here to RSVP.

Have a fabulous week!

For more insider tips from myself and other accounting thought leaders, click the link to join our weekly newsletter.

About Danetha: Danetha Doe is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

 

 

My journey of discovery: how core values keep you on the right path

This post is by Jennifer Hetherington, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Global for TSheets.

 

Have you ever stopped to consider what you’d like to be doing a year from now? Or envision what your life will look like in five years? Even better, think ten years into the future—what great things will you have accomplished?

This was the challenge given to me by my success coach. The assignment was simple: take a hike and think about the future.

A few days later, I strapped on my hydration pack and headed for the foothills. No technology. No distractions. As instructed, it was just me, surrounded by Idaho’s mountainous landscape.

As I embarked on the 11-mile trail, I felt excited about the idea of knowing where my life was headed. In just over four hours, I would have what everyone seeks: clarity.

For the first two miles, my thoughts were everywhere. I found myself ruminating about the past, contemplating the things I had left undone at home and prioritizing all the to-dos waiting for me at the office. I battled to let everything go so that I could anticipate the future.

What do I want to do? Who do I want to be? What great things do I want to accomplish? I asked myself these questions over and over. 

It wasn’t until I was three or four miles into the hike that my state of mind began to shift. I found myself fully present in the moment—contemplating my future. Yet every thought was met by a great big wall of self-doubt. I felt unworthy of my heart’s desires.

I want to empower women to step up and lead. You’ve made too many mistakes to be taken seriously.

I’d love to write a book. Wow, with what credentials? It’s not like you’re Brené Brown.

I’d really like to encourage other women to be courageous. What about all the times you’ve failed at being brave?

Four miles in, I burst into tears. Why was this so hard? Why was I scared? Why didn’t I believe in myself? Did I even know what I believed in?

It was at that very moment I knew what I had to do. Before I could define what my life would look like in the future, I first needed to define what was truly important, the principles by which I wanted to live. And that is exactly what I did for the remaining seven miles.

When I got home that evening, I quickly jotted down my ahas from the day. I was mentally recharged. Awakened.

I was also emotionally exhausted. I slept for 14 hours that night. When I woke the next morning, I laid in bed staring at the ceiling for hours. As I reflected on the previous day’s hike, a smile forced itself across my face.

I didn’t have clarity about the future. I had something better: I could clearly articulate my convictions, the principles that would serve as the foundation of my future.

The following weekend, my husband and I went for a long drive. Long drives, much like long hikes, are good for the soul. Both my husband and I appreciate the opportunity to be still, lost in our own thoughts as we explore Idaho’s less traveled roads.

Pulling out my notebook, I reviewed my journal entries from the weekend before. The words I’d written defined my very existence; they represented what was most important to me. As I considered the words in front of me, it became clear: much like core values for a company, these values would dictate how I would make decisions going forward.

My values would help shape who I would be in the world—one year from now, five years from now, even ten years into the future.

I then shifted my energy to finding one word that characterized each of my values, making them easy to remember and share.

Forty-five minutes later, I looked at the seven words in front of me that represented my core values. I thought, "What if the first letter of each value spells a word? That would be the sign of all signs!” Smiling, I started to reiterate on my values, transforming phrases into single words.

Taking the first letter of each word, I stared at the jumbled letters in front of me. Within seconds of playing my own private game of Scrabble, I saw it—a single word representing what Jennifer Hetherington is all about!

CAREFUL

Stunned, I sucked every bit of oxygen out of the car. And when I did, it scared the living daylights out of my husband. He actually started to veer off the road!

Within seconds of depleting our Jeep of all oxygen, panic came over me.

Jennifer Hetherington is NOT careful. NO! This can’t be. I’m a risk taker. I’m brave. I can’t have anyone thinking I’m CAREFUL.

Looking down at my journal, I searched my initial brainstorm. The words “Remember to laugh and have fun while kicking ass” jumped off the paper. I smiled ear to ear and quickly added an additional “L” to my core values: Laughter. Have fun while kicking ass.

 

FULL of CARE. Yep, that’s me. Kicking ass, taking names—all while being full of care and remembering to have fun.

Now, 4 months later, I get a 5:30 a.m. daily calendar reminder to be full of care. My personal values are also written on my bathroom mirror. They are at the core of how I make decisions and how I prioritize the million things in life that compete for my attention.

I desire to stay true to my convictions—to know them inside and out and live by them daily. My convictions, the principles by which I am not willing to compromise, keep me grounded and help me be intentional in how I live my life.

Looking back on all the times I’ve wrestled with what to do, I now see why I struggled. It was because I didn’t have clarity around my values. Keeping my convictions at the forefront of all decisions makes it so much easier to do what is right and choose the path that is representative of who I am inside. When I am angry, torn or upset, it is often because the circumstance I am facing conflicts with my own personal code of conduct.

I am a better leader, mother, wife, daughter and friend today, a driving force wrapped in care and full of care.

With my personal core values as a foundation, I’ve worked closely with my success coach to create magnificent one, five and ten year visions. I could not be more excited about the future.

What principles do you live by? How do they shape the decisions you make?

This article is dedicated to my dad. On July 13th, I lost my dad suddenly due to unexpected complications following open heart surgery. My dad lived every day by his own personal convictions and values. His values served as the foundation by which he treated people. He never missed an opportunity to make someone feel valued, loved and appreciated.

For more heart-warming shares from accounting thought leaders, join our weekly newsletter.

The #1 Marketing Skill You Need That No One Can Teach You

One of the biggest questions I get asked from accountants, is  "how do I get good at marketing?" 

It's usually followed up with, which social media account should I use? How do I become more strategic? How do I grow my following? What should I write or talk about?

All of this I cover in my VIP Strategy Days. And it's all very important pieces of marketing.

But, the biggest skill you need is something that no one can teach you.
 

EMPATHY.

The definition of empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 

The key to marketing is putting yourself in the other person's shoes. People need to see themselves in your words, images, and message. At the end of the day, we all yearn to feel seen, heard and appreciated.

So...

How do you develop empathy?

There are three key steps:

  1. Focus on asking questions. Most people spend a lot of time talking about themselves or worrying about saying the right thing. By asking questions, you allow the other person to shine and you take the pressure off of yourself to be "perfect".
  2. Attend events that you know nothing about. As accountants, it is easy to fall into the trap of attending functions where we know everyone or, at the very least, know everything about the topic being discussed. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you will start to develop your ability to ask meaningful questions. You can click here to check out my recent post about stepping out of your comfort zone!
  3. Practice acts of self-love. As the saying goes, you can't give what you don't have. If you are hard on yourself or do not take the time to understand your values, then it will be impossible for you to understand others.

When it comes to getting clarity on your values, check out this lovely post from Jennifer Hetherington- the Senior Vice President of Marketing & Global for TSheets. Her heart and soul truly comes through in her writing and her message is something that we all need to hear. 

Now I want to hear from you! How do you go about developing your ability to empathize with others?

Leave a comment below!

About Danetha: Danetha Doe is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

For more insider tips from accounting thought leaders, join our weekly newsletter.

 

Stepping Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Today, I want to talk about stepping out of your comfort zone.

As accountants, it can be challenging for us to step out of our comfort zone. That could mean investing in marketing training, putting yourself out there on social media, or switching from billing by the hour to value-based pricing.

I totally get it!

Last year, I was invited to speak to the Grant Thornton partner team about the millennial mindset and my tips on how their firm could accommodate this cultural shift.

When I got the call, I was so honored. And scared as s***! Excuse my french, but I was! Who was I to talk to these very accomplished, experienced professionals about how they should run their business.

After some reflection and talking through my fears with my beloved, I decided to go for it.  

  • Was it scary?- Yes!
  • Did I barely sleep the week before?- Yes!
  • Was it worth it? - Triple yes!

Not only did it go really well, but the experience has opened up so many more opportunities for me. 

I was asked to speak to their team because I was writing thought leadership articles on my personal blog. Someone from their Australian team came across the posts and forwarded it to their California team. 

My guest blog posts are now shared in places like Accounting Today. And as of last month, the Branding for Accountants website is now featured on the homepage of the Ohio Society of CPAs career resource center.

As an accountant, it can be scary to share your ideas on social media. Maybe the idea of having a blog seems daunting.

But, it's in the moment that you decide to do something different- is when your life will shift for the best!

Take action: Do one thing today that scares you! Then hit reply to this email and let me know how it went.

P.S. Do you have a goal of becoming senior manager or partner at your firm? Or are you a sole practitioner building your business? And feel lost when it comes to this whole marketing and social media thing? 

I've got you covered. I created a VIP day just for you! Once the day is complete, you will leave with a brand new headshot and a step-by-step 90-day marketing plan. You can click here to learn more!

About Danetha: Danetha Doe is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

For more insider tips from accounting thought leaders, join our weekly newsletter.

The real reason why accounting firms can't attract millennial talent

Dan Hood, editor-in-chief of Accounting Today, sat down with Jeff Phillips, CEO of Accountingfly, to discuss one of the biggest issues facing firms today- how to attract new, quality staff members.

Accountingfly is an accounting specific job board and network. It allows job seekers to upload their resume and gives firms the opportunity to streamline their recruiting process. 

As the baby boomer generation begins to retire, many firms are having a difficult time finding qualified talent to fill new roles and are in a staff crunch. 

While it may seem like there are "no good hires", Jeff pointed out key areas that firms may be overlooking during their recruiting process in this video interview

  1. Accountants who are relocating to a new city.
  2. Accountants moving from private to public practices.
  3. International candidates.

The key, Jeff mentions, is to leverage technology to create a strategic way to tap into these three groups. Jeff also mentions that your online presence is crucial in today's market. It needs to demonstrate your practice's culture and values, a requirement of recent college graduates (i.e. millennials).

According to FactTank, Pew Research Center’s real-time platform, Millennials are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. Currently at 53 million strong, by 2020 Millennials in the workforce is expected to reach 86 million. This increase will also be affected by the number of new immigrants to the United States who usually fall within this age range. 

And Millennials are notoriously very vocal about their need to work for a company that represents their values and culture. In Forbes' article, What Millennials Want in the Workplace (And Why You Should Give It To Them), 74% of Millennials want flexible work schedules, 88% want a collaborative not competitive environment, and 88% want work-life integration as opposed to work-life balance.

Gone are the days when you can hire a new employee solely based on salary, benefits and random perks.

“Your practice needs to live and breathe like a human being, and connect to your prospective employee on a soulful, heart-centered level.
— Danetha

And while your practice may be a fun, joyful place to work, does it actually demonstrate this in your online presence?

Millennials use social media and websites as a way to gauge if companies truly represent their values, not only for making purchasing decisions but professional decisions as well.

Does your website and social media presence cohesively communicate your commitment to building a culture that will allow your employees to thrive?

If your practice is in the midst of shaking up its culture to better reflect the requests of this new generation, how are you going about making that change? 

Take action now: Send an email to each one of your staff members and ask them to choose three adjectives that best describe the culture of the practice, as they see it. Once you get everyone to respond, schedule a meeting to go over the responses. Is there a general consensus or no? Does your online presence truly reflect the culture of your practice?

 

About Danetha: Danetha Doe is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

For more insider tips from accounting thought leaders, join our weekly newsletter.

 

 

 

Do you need PR for your firm?

Is it worth shelling out thousands of dollars to get your name printed in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or whatever? And if it is, how do you go about getting your name and company mentioned in flashy publications?

I'm no expert, but I have seen success in securing a spots on Huffington Post Live, Sports Illustrated and other local and major news outlets.

To be clear, PR is not a sustainable user acquisition strategy. While you may see a spike in sales or website visitors, a mention in a publication or TV spot will not carry your business for the long haul.

PR is to be used to enhance your marketing and sales efforts. It is a way to establish credibility as an expert, leverage for speaking engagements, establish relationships with journalists and for vanity.

Yes, vanity is a metric that should be included in your business analytics. Because what else will keep you going in this crazy, unforgiving world of being an entrepreneur.

According to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA):

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Can you measure impressions with Public Relations? According to Forbes contributor, Robert Wayne, in Public Relations, Explained, "PR is not advertising. We don't buy impressions. We don't guarantee placement. Public Relations consist of the following:

Persuasion

Information

 ADVERTISING 

Communication

Third-party validation

Public opinion

Public policy

Note: that this article serves as PR piece. Wayne is a publicist and used Forbes to establish credibility and convince readers of his stance on PR. Clever. 

So do you need PR as a financial professional?

Yes. But, only if you want to establish yourself as a thought leader. If you don't care about that, or only want to drive sales, then PR is not for you.

Marketing, branding and PR are becoming more important as the need to stand out amongst the crowd in the financial industry increases. Xero did this successfully when moving into the States to compete with Quickbooks. Virgin did this to compete with the big wigs like Delta and US Airways. Apple did this to convince others that they were more than another computer company.

So, how do you get started? How do you get press as a financial professional to establish credibility, your brand and position within the market?

  1. The first step is to get clear on your brand and what makes you press worthy. Click here for the three steps to establish your brand as an accountant. 
  2. Get to know your journalists. Go for quality not quantity. Create a curated list of journalists that cover your industry. If you focus on the cannabis industry, get to know organizations like She Grows and the journalists that cover these stories. Make a list of ten journalists.
  3. Remain in regular contact with these journalists. Do NOT pitch them off the bat, unless you have an amazing angle to share with them. Follow them on Twitter, share their stories, READ their stories and ask how you can support them..

And now I'd like to hear from you! Have you been featured? How did you go about getting PR for your practice or firm? Let me know in the comments below.


About Danetha: Danetha Doe is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

For more insider tips from accounting thought leaders, join our weekly newsletter.

How to create dazzling content to attract your ideal clients

Are you having a tough time finding your ideal clients? If you're a financial professional, it may be easy for you to find clients (let's face it, everyone needs help with taxes!), but you may not be finding the clients that light you up inside.

The ones that have interesting businesses and want to work closely with you on the fun side of accounting. Like helping them grow their business, analyzing their revenue streams, developing budgets. The ones that are eager to work with you as their outsourced CFO. Not just the tax person that they see once per year.

Not only do these business owners make your work fun and interesting, but they also respect your expertise and are willing to pay top dollar for it. Ooo, doesn't that sound nice.

A client that inspires you AND pays you good money? That sounds too good to be true.

But, it is true. Financial professionals all over the world are experiencing a shift in their business. Clients are now interested in working with their accountant more closely throughout the year, on business tasks outside of tax compliance and regulation. They now want you to be their outsourced CFO, business strategist, trusted and connected advisor to help them take their business to the next level.

If you are having a tough time finding these clients, there is a simple step you can take today to get your face in front of them.

Content creation. 

Very simple. In fact you are looking at one right now. It can be a blog post, a YouTube video, a podcast episode, an Instagram graphic. Whatever you feel most comfortable doing and what resonates most with your target audience.

 This post literally took thirty minutes of my time. I post it once per week and generate hundreds of traffic to my site and LinkedIn profile. The key to generating content that will result in potential leads is to create material that is helpful. What is your ideal client struggling with? How can you provide them with free support with your content and introduce to them to your services?

Here are three steps to create dazzling content that will attract your ideal clients: 

  1. Identify your ideal clients and find out what they are struggling with in their business. When I had a bookkeeping business for beauty & fashion professionals, I realized that one of their biggest challenges was hiring. For example, a hair stylist that owned a salon wanted to focus more on growing the business instead of being behind the chair doing hair. Many salon owners want to hire a full-time stylist manager, but do not know if they can afford it. So, I wrote a blog post "How to know if you are financially ready to hire a full-time manager for your salon", and broke down the difference between employees, independent contractors and creating a hiring budget. Ask your ideal client what keeps them up at night in their business and create free content to help them.
  2. Keep the content specific, short and digestable. Business owners are busy. Therefore, you need to keep the content easy to understand and something that they can quickly read. Lists are a great way to do this. For example, I'm publishing this post a few days before the 10/15 tax deadline in the States and accountants are crazy busy right now. While this is a longish post, you can quickly skim the headline and the following three tips to get what you need. Try to do the same thing with your content.
  3. Eliminate the accounting jargon. No one likes accounting talk besides accountants. Use simplified terms to describe financial information to business owners. If you don't, you will either confuse them or bore them to sleep. Instead of saying you can "manipulate data", say I can help you make better sense of your financial reports. Instead of using "cloud accounting" say you can "do your payroll and bookkeeping on your phone." Of course, if these terms resonate with your target audience, by all means use them. The key is to get to know your audience and speak in their language.

Don't have time to write and produce your own content? Check out this video with myself and Karen Reyburn from The Profitable Firm, a marketing practice for accountants. They create content for firms just like yours!

About Danetha: Danetha Doe is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

For more insider tips from accounting thought leaders, join our weekly newsletter.

Digital Currency And Its Impact On The Accounting Profession

Last night, I hosted an event about digital currency for my organization- The Future of Accounting. We have over 350 members and our mission is to connect accountants with technology providers that will help them improve their practice and lifestyle. 

Sponsored by AccountingSuite and CalCPA, which has over 40,000 members, we had a great turn out in spite of the busy tax season. 

With Kurt Kunselman, co-founder of AccountingSuite. We love Libra and their tax product (LibraTax). The best comprehensive tool to calculate capital gains/losses for digital currency.

With Kurt Kunselman, co-founder of AccountingSuite. We love Libra and their tax product (LibraTax). The best comprehensive tool to calculate capital gains/losses for digital currency.

Digital currency. Tax season. It was the perfect time to have a discussion about how tax professionals should handle digital currency. Jake Benson, CEO and founder of Libra, led a very informative discussion/presentation about why CPAs and tax professionals need to start learning about digital currency and how to advise their clients.

Jake Benson, CEO and founder of Libra. His company has been featured in Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

Jake Benson, CEO and founder of Libra. His company has been featured in Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

But, wait. Do people even use digital currency? What is digital currency? As a tax professional is it even worth your time to learn about it or is it just for the anti-government, anti-bank crazies that mindlessly roam the earth?

As it turns out, yes. Tax professionals do need to learn about digital currency because there are plenty of people that are using it. An estimated 6 million individuals use it and 80,000 merchants have Bitcoin on the balance sheet. And with the IRS guidance issued in March 2014 that digital currency is a "property", there are plenty of accounting and tax challenges that go along with it.

The group asked a lot of questions and walked away with answers...and more questions. Bitcoin is still a new concept and the IRS is still grappling with how to best handle it. If you are an accountant, one question you need to ask all of your clients during this season is "have you transacted digital currency during this past year?". 

Packed house of financial professionals eager to learn about digital currency and its tax implications.

Packed house of financial professionals eager to learn about digital currency and its tax implications.

William Perez, EA and writer for About.com compiled a list of the 10 things he learned from the presentation. For more resources, check out Libra's website and the Digital Currency Council- a professional body for those in the financial industry.

William Perez, EA. Writer for About.com.

William Perez, EA. Writer for About.com.

Adriana Lewis, CPA and Senior Tax Manager at BDO, LLP. Meredith Johnson, CPA and CFP, manager at Burr Pilgir Mayer and Chairperson at CalCPA.

Adriana Lewis, CPA and Senior Tax Manager at BDO, LLP. Meredith Johnson, CPA and CFP, manager at Burr Pilgir Mayer and Chairperson at CalCPA.

And a BIG thank you to everyone who came out including Justin Hobbs (Xero), Vik Agrawal (ExpensePath), John Gillingham, CPA, Sandy Kwon (FundingCircle), Kiet Luong (AccountingSuite), Randi Ward (CalCPA).

About Danetha Doe: Danetha is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

Oprah's Branding Advice for Accountants

Were you at QB Connect this past week? Wasn't it a blast?! I love any excuse to drink, dance, chat with fabulous people...

Oh, and hear Oprah speak. Because that's no big deal. 

Oprah began her speech by talking about what it means to have a "brand". With a net worth well over $1 billion, a reputation as being a media mogul and journalists constantly analyzing the "Oprah effect"  and "Oprah's golden touch", Oprah has arguably the strongest, most well-known brand in the world.

However, she revealed during her speech, that she resisted being called a brand for a long time. "I'm just a human and I'm just being me", was her quip response to people that were eager to hear her secret, scientific methodology for building a brand. 

It wasn't until I met a woman who said that my show inspired her to not hit her children, Oprah said during her speech at QB Connect, that I accepted the fact that I had a brand. And what is a brand to Oprah?

According to Oprah, a brand means consistency. And it is is developed over time when others learn that they can trust you and your perspective.

Combining this with her previous statements, we now all have the secret, super scientific methodology for building our brand. It's to be yourself, consistently. What a concept. May the heavens open and the angels sing. We all now have permission to BE OURSELVES.

The simplicity behind this concept is literally breathtaking.You can exhale and just be you, love.

And yes, that means you too. The accountant, financial professional, tax guru, that feels that you have to it all together and know all of the answers. Guess what, you can chill out.

If you hate doing taxes for clients, then do not do them. There's a million other things you can do and hundreds of tax professionals that you can outsource the work to.

If you like to wear pink ties to your shareholders' meeting, go right on ahead. 

If you hate details as much as your clients do (hand-raised and shout-out to Greg Kyte for sharing this about himself on the Thriveal podcast) that's cool too. In fact, it's endearing. Now, hire someone that does like the details or become a comedian for CPAs.

If you find accounting boring, but you love cloud technology and how it is shaping the profession- great! Shout it from the rooftops. Team up with a firm that provides accounting services and focus your practice on integrations. Or start a blog. Plan and host a conference. Because that works too.

If you would rather have a TV show and teach accounting, then actually having clients (God bless their needy souls)- FABULOUS. Change your website to state "not accepting clients at this time" and go become a star.

When it comes to marketing yourself as a financial professional, the one task that you need to do is figure out who you are.

No one is going to do it for you. And if you want to thrive, financially and as a human being, you will have to take this step. Otherwise, you will be stuck doing something that you hate and bringing toxic energy to everyone around you.

Now, I want to hear from you. Who are you? Leave a comment below.

P.S. This is kind of a deep question. Here are some additional resources to help you peel back those layers to reveal your beautiful soul.

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About Danetha Doe: Danetha is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

The Riches are In The Niches

Last week, I attended the Sleeter Conference in Vegas with other fabulous accountants and learned so many great ways to improve my business, that I wanted to pass along to you. One of the best sessions I attended was led by Thomas Gawne, CPA and Director of Professional Services at CPA.com. His talk covered "How to Select and Implement a Vertical in Your Practice." 

Now before you start freaking out about what the heck a vertical is, don't worry! All it means is "niche market". Vertical markets are very specific target groups usually used by those in the service industry. 

Susan Solovic, The Small Business expert and one of the keynote speakers at #Solutions14, said it best when she stated, "The Riches are in the Niches."  The sooner you can figure out your specific target group, the easier it will be to market to them and eventually sell them on your amazing products and services. 

Need help finding your specific niche? Check out these 7 tips from Thomas Gawne, CPA.

Me with Susan Solovic after her keynote at #Solutions14. We chatted about our Tieks and Shoedazzle shoes and how completely fabulous she looked in her dress. Yay!

Me with Susan Solovic after her keynote at #Solutions14. We chatted about our Tieks and Shoedazzle shoes and how completely fabulous she looked in her dress. Yay!

  • Is it a culture fit? Do you actually enjoy learning about this industry and do you find a connection with the people within it? For me, I chose the beauty/fashion industry because I love reading Cosmopolitan and attending fashion shows. My personality also happens to be a good fit for the space. As opposed to a more traditional industry like the legal or other "professional" field.
  • Develop a base knowledge. In order to best serve your clients, you have to get to know the idiosyncrasies that are unique to their line of work. Does their industry have drastic seasonal fluctuations? Is amazing PR and fabulous photos essential to their success? Do they have a high turnover rate? Do they need to track the efficiency of dealing with consumers like the restaurant industry and table turn rates? Get to know their industry inside and out, so you can position yourself as an invaluable expert. 
  • Get to know the industry leaders. This should go without saying, but it is absolutely vital to know who is at the top of their game within the industry you are serving. Working with musicians? You should know about artists like Beyoncé and Taylor Swift and have a sense of how their business operates. 
  • Offer advisory services unique to the industry. Your business is only as good as you are able to scale your operations and increase your revenues.
  • Conduct a market assessment. Similar to tip #2, you have to get to know your target market inside and out. If you want to offer high end services and products, you have to find consumers that will pay you for it. They are out there, but it takes some research. 
  • Upgrade your tools. Once you've got a clear sense of who you are targeting and how to best service them, you need to put a system in place that allows your business to run without you micromanaging it. Some easy ways to do this, is to use a cloud bookkeeping program like Xero. If you own a brick and mortar boutique, consider using a payroll system like Zen Payroll that makes paying your employees a breeze and CommerceSync that seamlessly integrates your sales information into your bookkeeping program
  • Define it and Win it NOW. Whatever niche or industry you decided to choose, just own it! Stake your claim and let the world know that it's yours.

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About Danetha Doe: Danetha is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.

Clarity Comes From Taking Action: Jennifer Warawa's Eight Tips To Accountants

I had such a blast this past week. If you follow me on Twitter, I was blowing up your feed with updates from the Sleeter Conference in Vegas, #Solutions14. This was my second accounting conference and it was so awesome to meet some of the people that I look up to within the industry.

One of those people is Jennifer Warawa, VP of Sage North America. She is one of the most powerful women in Accounting and hasn't even turned 40 yet. Incredible! And she's super nice and let me take a picture with her. So cool.

I've been following Jennifer ever since she appeared on Doug Sleeter's show, Mr. Sleeter's Neighborhood, back in June.  Although she's super down to earth, within a few short minutes you can immediately sense how sharp and savvy she is when it comes to business development, accounting and technology.

Me with Jennifer Warawa, Executive Vice President- Partners, Accountants, Alliances at Sage

Me with Jennifer Warawa, Executive Vice President- Partners, Accountants, Alliances at Sage

Read below for her 8 tips to entrepreneurs.

  1. Determine your why. If you need help with this, check out Simon Sinek's Ted Talk. I've watched this video a million times and I always hear something new. He helped me dig deeper to realize that my why isn't to just make accounting fun, but to also help women become financially independent and to live life on their own terms.
  2. Evaluate tools. Technology is meant to help us. Upgrade your bookkeeping program to a cloud based tool like Sage or Xero*  so you can invoice on the go and manage your books from anywhere. (Full disclosure, at the time of this writing I am compensated by Xero.) Some of my other fave business tools are Basecamp for Project Management and TimeTrade for scheduling appointments with my clients. 
  3. Evaluate things that haven't changed. If you are still singing the same ol' hum drum woe is me song from last year, something has to give. Figure out if you need to revamp your website, shake up your service offerings, hire a business strategist or go to more networking events to give your business a boost. 
  4. Don't leave with notes. I am a note fanatic. I will take notes until I am blue in the face and during Jennifer's speech, she gently reminded us that taking notes won't do anything. You have to use those notes to create an action plan and then execute. Whether you've attended a conference or listened to a webinar, implement what you've learned immediately.
  5. Ask clients for feedback. If you want to improve your business, you have to be open to feedback. Your clients are a great place to start so you can improve your business. But, also think about people within your industry. Matt Rissell, CEO of T-Sheets and someone I truly admire, graciously offered feedback to me about how I can improve my presence within the accounting industry. Reach out to your clients, or someone within your industry that you look up to, and ask for their input. 
  6. Determine your first steps. One of the hardest things about taking action is trying to figure out what to do first. Take a moment to think about your goals and the logical steps that need to take place in order for them to manifest.
  7. Find an accountability partner. I don't know where I would be without my girl and health coach extraordinaire, Val Bisharat. We meet weekly via phone to discuss our wins from the week before and things we need to accomplish during the coming week. Find an entrepreneur who you can meet with regularly to help hold you accountable to your action plan.
  8. Be BOLD. I love this! No one gets anywhere without taking risks. Do something everyday in your business, and life, that scares or challenges you. I did this when I auditioned to be a NFL Cheerleader with no dance experience and ended up making the squad. Whatever it is, I promise you will be happy with the results.

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About Danetha Doe: Danetha is a millennial thought leader in the accounting industry. Named a "next-generation accountant" and one of the top 40 under 40 accounting professionals, she is an international speaker and leads business development trainings for accounting firms.