In Search for Balance & Purpose, Part II

So your books are balanced.  In fact, you have supported the major balances in your balance sheet and have traced the activity in your statement of revenues and expenses.  The reports are ready to be published.  Now what?  What is the purpose of these historical reports?

In my first article, I presented my opinion on balance and argued that it is simply a part of a larger process that leads to well-presented reports and financial statements.  In this article, I discuss the purpose and objective of these financial statements.

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Bill.com- More Pros & Cons of Part 2 – Specifics

Bill.com is a cloud-based accounting application our firm has been using for several years. In Part 1, I covered some general pros and cons of bill.com. This blog post will delve into some of the specifics, especially with regards to the accounts payable (AP) and accounts receivable (AR) functionality of Bill.com. Like the first, keep an eye out for the insider notes! 

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Bill.com Pros & Cons – Part 1 – General Overview

What is Bill.com? – Bill.com is a cloud-based financial solution that helps manage your payables (APs) and receivables (ARs). Our firm has been using it for the past few years and has consistently found it to be an asset to our clients. Read on for an insider’s list of pros and cons (with a few tips scattered along the way)! We’ve split this article into two parts—the first is regarding Bill.com in general while the second will delve into more specifics, especially regarding the APs and ARs.

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The Journey From College Student to Becoming a Full-Time Professional

For millennials, the transition from college to full-time work is fraught with barriers and roadblocks. The underemployment rate for recent college graduates stands at 46%, so when I received my job offer from Lumix to become its first digital media and administrative assistant, I was grateful (and relieved) to have the privilege of finally calling myself a full-time professional.

Interestingly, this commenced my transition, or more appropriate, my journey, to becoming a consummate professional—a goal I chase and have yet to achieve. Luckily, my supervisors at this firm have taken the time to help me focus on a few professional skills that I needed to develop.  These primary skills, which I fostered when I interned at several outlets in college, were necessary to succeed at a digital CPA firm.

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Help Wanted

This blog was originally published on the AICPA’s subsidiary, CPA.com,website. Maribel is a member of the Advisory Board for CPA.com and the AICPA Digital CPA Conference. As an advisory board member, Maribel helps empower CPAs and businesses for the digital age.


It’s no secret that staffing a CPA firm with truly qualified candidates has been a challenge for quite some time.   As I describe our recruiting troubles to others, they inevitably comment, “It should be no problem with the unemployment rates we have been experiencing.”  Not so.  The common concerns within our industry circles have always been the same: candidates need to possess accounting skills as well as common sense, organizational skills, attention to details, ability to close the loop, and a commitment to quality service.   Quite a package!  And for digital CPA firms, it is getting more complicated.

The digital CPA firm requires an additional skill set to the standard package.  Our next recruitment ad will say to candidates, “We want you if you have the following:”

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Becoming a Digital CPA Firm – Challenges to Clients

This blog was originally published on the AICPA’s subsidiary, CPA.com website. Maribel is a member of the Advisory Board for CPA.com and the AICPA Digital CPA Conference. As an advisory board member, Maribel helps empower CPAs and businesses for the digital age.


 Becoming a digital CPA firm is an immediate benefit to clients; that’s a no-brainer.  Clients’ systems become more secure and efficient with fewer touch points.  Clients will have real-time access to their data and remote access to data from most digital devices.  In addition, they get to see their financials in a dashboard format that is easy to understand.  You would think that there would be few if any challenges, right?

Clients enjoy predictability from their service providers.  Predictability is a crucial ingredient to the trust equation.  Attempting to change the processes and the way they must now think about the information brings instability, even if the client understands the benefits.  A usual question is, “Why change a system that is working well at this time?”  Timing can be an issue since we usually try to make these changes to coincide with the client’s fiscal year end, but it may not be the most convenient time for the client if they have an important event or vacation planned.

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Becoming a Digital CPA Firm – Challenges to Staff

This blog was originally published on the AICPA’s subsidiary, CPA.com website. Maribel is a member of the Advisory Board for CPA.com and the AICPA Digital CPA Conference. As an advisory board member, Maribel helps empower CPAs and businesses for the digital age.


Attending the CPA.com and AICPA’s first Digital CPA Conference at the end of 2012 was a huge “Aha!” moment for me.   For years I knew that technology was advancing rapidly and that the processes we were using to service our clients could be replaced with much more efficient workflows.  During our internal team meetings we discussed increasing the efficiency of our processing of transactions to allow us to focus on being our clients’ advisors.  The Digital CPA Conference provided the context and platforms I thought existed but did not know how to bring together.  We jumped in the digital bandwagon and started the process of becoming a digital CPA firm.  This was over 18 months ago and even though we’ve come a long way, we have encountered several expected and unexpected challenges along the way.

Our first mistake was not being clear and specific about how these changes would affect each staff member. 

Making the decision was never a challenge since I hold the highest level of decision-making in the firm.  However, I needed to quickly get the buy-in from other leaders in the firm – I need a champion to echo my excitement and sense of urgency.  We were off to a good start after attending a two-day workshop that gave us sufficient compelling reasons to move in this direction.  It was on the way back from this workshop that we discussed how this new blueprint for servicing our clients would affect staff members and company culture.  We recognized this was going to be one of our immediate expected challenges.  The unexpected challenge was the blank expressions we faced during our quarterly firm meeting after showing a very detailed power point presentation of the changes we had in mind for the firm.

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