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TechTimes CPAConnections News From Your Association Leaders

Introducing CPAConnect’s 2017 Advisory Committee Chair Craig Franklin of Craig Franklin, CPA, P.C., leads the 2017 advisory committee Craig Franklin, the 2017 CPAConnect advisory committee chair, has a long history in giving back. From tutoring accounting in college, to helping out members on the CPAConnect discussion list, to supporting a variety of causes and charities in the San Antonio area, Franklin, president of CPA, P.C., located in San Antonio, Texas (and CPAConnect member since 2007), believes in Craig Franklin lending a hand.

Robinson. Charles Harkins was chair, Michael Noonan was past chair and Ramin Karimi was vice chair. I appreciated it very much that they selected me to be on the committee. Franklin had a smooth transition when he joined the committee. He said, “I had great people to follow – Charles Harkins, Michael Noonan, Ramin Karimi, Horace Gordon and Richard Kasperski ... Adam Robinson has always been a good person to work with, too. It was an easy transition because of ... the great CPAConnect staff.”

Volume 2, 2017

accounting tutor in college and chairman of the accounting careers committee for the state society of CPAs, and he also helped the AICPA develop the program, “Accounting is the Language of Business,” which is presented at high schools and junior colleges to help encourage students to learn about the accounting profession.

CPAC: I noticed that your firm supports a variety of local organizations. CF: Yes. I served on the Providence Catholic School for Girls for about seven years. I did that because a friend of mine ... asked me to join the committee to CPAC: Tell us about your transition to the We asked Franklin about how he became help get the school’s finances in order chair. He said, “As I participated on the and once we did this, I was able to conAdvisory Committee Chair fidently leave after seven years, knowCF: Sure. After a few years of participation discussion list and learned more about ing that the school was in good hands on the [CPAConnect Discussion List] and being on the committee and helping and its finances were in great shape. I attending two CPAConnect Roundtables, with the roundtables, I waited my turn I was humbled and honored to be selected and continued to learn from the existing am currently chairman of the board for chairs. It was easy to learn and emulate H.I.S. Bridge Builders. It is an organizawhen [Ernie Moyer, former director of the previous committee chairs.” tion where we work (specifically on the CPAConnect] emailed me ... to serve as a east side of San Antonio) with kids at an new member of the advisory committee Franklin loves to teach; he was an after-school program (approximately 70 along with Richard Kasperski and Adam Read Franklin, continued on page 2

Tech Corner with Randy Johnston

Social Media - An Engagement and Marketing Strategy Social media should be one of the many channels you use to engage current and potential clients. We suggest that you use your website, email campaigns, mailing, and other branding activities in conjunction with the primary social media tools. But before you invest time and effort, consider your vision or why you care about social media. In this article, we’ll spend time crafting a strategy, provide an overview of the major media including: blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. We’ll also discuss metrics, tools needed, and some useful reference materials. Ultimately, clients don’t really want

you, they want your services to solve business problems. Some of your new competitors know this. The problem is that Millennial clients are looking for solutions to accounting problems. Where are they going to find their accountant? Will it be in Yellow Pages, phone books or on the radio? I doubt it! The majority of younger clients use social media or referral from friends/other clients of the firm to find you. You must be where clients look for them to find you! Those places may include Social Media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) as well as traditional referral partners (banks, attorneys) or from your web/ online presence. Keyword-optimized original content and linked social media is a great way to raise your rankings in the

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) engines so your web site and message is found. If you have written original content, it can be repurposed into a monthly/quarterly newsletter inexpensively. Your website must be mobile-friendly and tabletfriendly. If you’re not mobile, you don’t exist. Creating a Strategy Be thoughtful about your goals and Tech Corner, continued on page 3


Franklin, continued from front page

kids attend) ... [Our firm] does all the accounting and the tax returns for the organization pro bono ... That’s how we are going to improve society – by starting with the younger generations and helping them grow and learn. I was blessed to have Debbie Smith come work for me. She worked remotely for three years because her husband is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. I have won a few awards from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR); the Patriot Award and the Pro Patria Award. I was up there with several Craig Franklin, Debbie Smith, and her husband, Fortune 500 comCol. Thomas K. Smith Jr. with the Patriot Award panies receiving the same awards that they did. It’s always great to give back to the armed forces who protect us and allow us to do what we do with the freedoms that we have in this wonderful country. CPAC: What do you like most about your membership with CPAConnect? CF: The discussion list and how we receive help with various client situations and firm issues and being able to give back by helping other firms on the discussion list. Also, Thomas Mangold, who’s now on the advisory committee, and I have worked on several continuing client projects. So the camaraderie of working and having the resources CPAConnect gives our firm the confidence to serve our clients knowing that we have the resources of a top 100 CPA firm without the bureaucracy. CF: Horace Gordon and Jeff Rozovics, both CPAConnect members, have become good friends ... so having the capability to work with other CPAConnect members (especially if you don’t have the staff) if you want to double-check something gives me confidence knowing that I have resources that I feel are as good as any firm’s nationwide. We don’t do auditing, but when you are serving small businesses, having CPAConnect, with members nationwide with different specialties, it gives us confidence knowing that we can get help if it’s needed. In his spare time, when Franklin isn’t busy with the demands of work, told us that he loves “to snow ski, hike, and dove hunt with my family and friends ... Jeff Rozovics stayed with me for the CPAConnect Roundtable in San Antonio last year and we literally had a blast dove hunting for two days and he plans on coming back this year for another dove hunt. I love being in the outdoors because we are inside so much [during work].” CPAC: What has been your biggest challenge in business? CF: Finding quality [clients] to expand our practice, even though we don’t want to grow into a much larger firm. We’ve 2

been blessed with a wonderful client base and we’ve been successful by closing our practice from time to time so that our staffing infrastructure can catch up with our potential to grow without negatively affecting our employees’ work/life balance. We’ve had clients wait up to two years to get in. Franklin has been busy lately. His firm’s new office building is under construction and it should be complete just in time before the upcoming tax season. The firm is also moving their PFX document foundation to CCH Access document in the cloud this fall and they hope to add more staff. Franklin said, “we are working on the design of our succession plan, but my intent is offering ownership to Debbie Smith and Erika Gutierrez, our current two tax managers. We’ll continue to grow based on staff capacity and by only accepting quality clients that appreciate high quality tax and business consulting services.” “We don’t do any advertising other than by giving back to the community. I have a firm policy that we always give back one to two percent of collections to the community. By taking the time to doing what is right, it’s amazing how well you grow organically and almost controlled.” CPAC: Tell us about the upcoming CPAConnect Roundtable. CF: I love the camaraderie and I’ve developed several longterm [professional relationships at the conference]. I’m going to Denver and I’ll definitely be going to New Orleans next year. Every year I look forward to seeing all my friends. Basically, they’re family now.

Come to the 2017 CPAConnect Roundtable To be held this year in Denver, Colorado (a.k.a. The Mile-High City) on November 1-3 at the sophisticated Four Seasons Hotel Denver.

CPAConnect members can call the hotel at (303) 389-3300 and reference “CPAConnect” to receive the group rate, or enter the promo code CPA1016 when making a reservation on the Four Season’s website: www.fourseasons.com/denver/ This annual conference focuses on Practice Growth and Management So come to Denver, earn CPEs, listen to great speakers, and reconnect with your peers!


Helping chart the course of the association: The CPAConnect Advisory Committee The CPAConnect Advisory Committee convened in early May via conference call with the purpose of getting feedback from committee members in order to best direct the path that CPAConnect intends to follow this year and beyond. After going through introductory formalities, the committee began discussions on some of the main topics concerning the association: the upcoming CPAConnect Roundtable, 2018 CPAConnect Roundtable planning, sharing call topics, and the pending CPAConnect website upgrade. 2017 CPAConnect Roundtable Registration numbers for this year’s meeting, being held this year at the Four Seasons Hotel in Denver, Colo., on Nov. 1-3, are keeping pace with what was expected for this period. 2018 CPAConnect Roundtable planning Planning continued for the 2018

CPAConnect Roundtable, destined for New Orleans, La., at the luxurious Omni Royal Orleans. The association was able to secure an excellent discounted price for rooms and a discussion about the details for the meeting’s social event were examined. Sharing Calls recommendations CPAConnect sharing calls are important in facilitating business communications. They save time and money in business expenses because geographical considerations are not

factors in the process. The committee discussed hot topics in the accounting industry (such as cyber and general practice liability coverage) for future sharing calls. Website upgrade Most excitingly, the committee were asked to serve as beta testers for the new CPAConnect.com website, scheduled to launch for all members towards the end of July. Their recommendations will help to pave the way to a streamlined website.

Tech Corner, continued from front page objectives. What is your message and timetable? Here are some example message types: • Our (products, people, service, pricing) is/are (better, smarter) (faster, better value) than the competition. • Testimonials: Share praise from clients with others. • We’re different. Come see why and join us. • We’re sorry. Tell us why we blew it and let us make it right. • We have new products and services that will make you want to give us more of your money. • We are smart and want you to know that we are here if you have a problem you can’t solve yourself. • Call, email, or message us if you need an accountant. What are your goals? Take some time and examine what you want to get out of this. Is this to: • Service existing clients? • Communicate with different users than traditional media? • Build expertise and reputation? • Create “buzz” among influencers? • Do you want to engage members of the media? • Would you like to create a perception that you are cool,

smart, well-connected, powerful, fun, or hard-working? • Are you looking to open new geographical markets? • Expand into additional vertical markets? • Cross-sell existing clients? • Build brand-awareness? Social media should be one of the many channels you use to engage current and potential clients. We suggest that you use your website, email campaigns, mailing, and other branding activities in conjunction with the primary social media tools. This is Part 1 of 2 of Randy Johnston's (from NMGI) Tech Corner article on Social Media, to be continued in the next issue of the CPAConnections newsletter

Please send us your firm’s news! If you will send us your firm’s press releases, we can share your good news with your fellow members and include the information in the next issue of CPAConnections. Please email any news about your firm or if you have any questions, suggestions or story ideas to: omolina@cpamerica.org 3


Villela & Shilts, LLC

Jared G. Johnson, CPA, PLLC

910 SW 1st Avenue, Suite 201 Ocala, Florida 34471

3540 Clemmons Road, Suite 1100 Clemmons, North Carolina 27012

Phone: (352) 237-3200 Fax: (352) 237-3208

Phone: (336) 790-5245 Fax: (336) 232-1523

Josh Shilts - Managing Partner Email: josh@villelashilts.com

Jared G. Johnson - Managing Partner Email: jared@jaredgjohnsoncpa. com

Walter Villela Email: walter@villelashilts.com

Website: www.villelashilts.com

North Bay CPA 135 Keller Street, Suite C Petaluma, California 94952 Phone: (707) 559-5380 Fax: (707) 658-1614 Scott Stroud - Partner Email: sstroud@northbaycpa.

com

Website: http://northbaycpa.com Sponsor Firm: DZH Phillips LLP

Sponsor Firm: None

Sponsor Firm: DMJ & Co., PLLC

Martin T. Sullivan, LLC

KAGW, LLP

568 Heatons Mill Drive Langhorne, Pennsylvania 19047

17918 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 200 Artesia, California 90701

Phone: (215) 741-4480 Fax: (215) 434-5877

Phone: (562) 865-2727 Fax: (562) 865-2760

Martin T. Sullivan - Leading Partner Email: msullivan@mtscpa.com

Steven Y.C. Kang - Leading Partner Email: steve@KAGWLLP.com Michael Song - Partner

Website: http://www.mtscpa.com

Bernie CPA

Website: www.JaredGJohnsonCPA.com

Sponsor Firm: Baum, Smith & Clemens, LLP

Website: www.KAGWLLP.com Sponsor Firm: None

10915 Starling Creek Dr. Richmond, Texas 77406 Phone: (713) 369-1999 Bernard Austin, Jr. - Leading Partner Email: bernie@berniecpa.com

Website: www.berniecpa.com Sponsor Firm: Harper & Pearson CPAs

Attendees enjoyed last year’s CPAConnect Roundtable in San Antonio, Texas. Speakers (such as Tim Arter of Brickley DeLong, PC, seen here) led the learning sessions.

104 N. Main St., 5th Floor Gainesville, FL 32601 P: (352) 727-4070 www.cpaconnect.com

consideration for membership in CPAConnect, contact Ellen Donovan at: edonovan@ cpaconnect.com Please feel free to welcome your fellow members to our association with an email or call.

done to reinforce our central tenet of Improving Through Sharing.

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An alliance of:

08 2017 cpaconnections vol2 final  

This is the CPAConnections newsletter. In this issue, we feature an interview with Craig Franklin, Advisory Committee chair, Tech Corner, an...

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