By Frank Sands CPA, National President, NCCPAP
Here are a few thoughts from my perspective. We are experiencing challenging times for CPAs, especially for those of us who lead small firms or are sole practitioners.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the new Statements on Standards for Tax Services are just a couple of examples of challenges we face. The current hot topic in the accounting profession is Client Advisory Services (CAS). The talk is that this is new, but I am not so sure. It seems to be an expansion of a very old service called ‘write up’. This service was changed with the advent of Clarified Preparation, Compilation and Review Standards. Now we have Advisory Services which are a combination of helping clients with their bookkeeping and providing analytics and other professional advice. In addition, we need to add the new Written Information Security Plan (WISP) to this mix.
How this will affect the operations of our practices is yet to be determined. I think the impact will be substantial. The additional administrative work required for compliance will require us to rethink our billing practices. Value-added billing will certainly become more prevalent.
I believe there is a silver lining! New revenue streams can be created. The IRA will provide new tax planning opportunities, especially in the area of tax credits. CAS will provide an opportunity for us to become the trusted advisor to our clients—providing ever-increasing opportunities to help the client be successful. Not only can this lead to increased billings, but also increased satisfaction for a job well done. No matter how you choose to deal with these changes, I am sure you’ll agree that it will be challenging. We should be careful not to lose sight of the fact that certain small businesses may be priced out of the market for these services. This would be an unintended consequence as it can be argued these are the businesses that need our assistance the most.
NCCPAP can be a resource to assist the small practitioner to keep the cost of compliance at a minimum by leveraging our relationships to provide guidance by sharing adoptive policies. We, the members of NCCPAP are not in competition with each other but rather have a continued and elevated interest in “practitioners helping practitioners”.
To continue this conversation, we have two important events on the horizon. Our Winter Quarterly Conference will be held on January 4-6 at the Hyatt Place in Boca Raton, Florida and our next NCCPAP NOW event, which will feature our Executive Vice President and New Jersey Chapter President, Norm Fleischer, CPA, will be held on Monday, January 30. Please add these important events to your calendar.
Frank Sands, CPA