MNCPA PERSPECTIVES

Small business, big return

Jul. 25, 2018  |  Stephanie Schmidt

I was reminded recently of the rainbow loom bracelet fad. Anyone who has children, nieces or nephews probably remembers this trend from a few years back. Every child had to have one (a rainbow loom) and every parent had to learn how to make them (the bracelets).

The looms came with step-by-step directions for making a basic bracelet. When my daughter looked to me for help, the directions quickly found their way to the garbage. Next, we turned to YouTube to see how it was done, resulting in me being able to make what resembled a bracelet. But it wasn’t until I sat down with someone who knew what they were doing that I truly grasped how to make them.

Lesson learned? There are some things best learned through hands-on experience.

That’s true when it comes to certain professional skills as well. CPAs learn endless accounting practices in school and prepping for the CPA exam. However, things like advisory skills are hardly learned from a textbook. Hands-on training is the most effective way to develop this critical skill.

So why am I talking about this? Four words: Small Business Advisory Day.

Small Business Advisory Day provides an opportunity for small-business owners to sign up for a free 30-minute session with a CPA to discuss questions or concerns relating to their small business or start-up.

Discussion topic examples:

  • How can I lower my small-business taxes, especially in light of tax reform?
  • What strategies should I consider to grow my business?
  • How can I plan for retirement?
  • Is my QuickBooks optimal for my business?

One of the benefits of the program is that less-experienced CPAs can be matched with established CPAs to learn hands-on how to advise clients. They can witness and apply the little nuances to effective advising that they can’t learn from a book.

They’ll be able to see firsthand:

  • How CPAs build rapport with a potential client.
  • What questions CPAs ask to learn more about their client.
  • How CPAs communicate with clients about what they feel to be the best course of action.
  • The strategy behind the CPA’s advice.

We continue to hear how the profession is changing, and how CPAs will be looked upon more than ever for their advisory skills. This is one way to help prepare the profession for that shift. If you have a staff person who would benefit from hands-on learning and you’d like to give back to the small-business community, consider volunteering.

Small Business Advisory Day

Wednesday, Aug. 29
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Volunteer to help small-business owners


Topics: MNCPA programs and activities

Stephanie Schmidt

Stephanie Schmidt is the MNCPA’s director of membership and marketing. For more than 10 years, she has expertly managed numerous member programs and events. Her skillset comes in handy when also planning sleepovers and birthday parties for her family. Stephanie has also earned the MNCPA’s unofficial title of office fashionista. Step into her office and you’ll see her knack for fashion, design and décor. She’s also a hugger, which you’ll appreciate if you’re ever trapped in a scary escape room with her. Stephanie can be reached at 952-885-5523 or sschmidt@mncpa.org.

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