Now that working with remote teams is the new normal of business, many of us are learning about the challenges of making sure everyone has the tools they need to work effectively.

One of my Starting Lineup Members, Truly Financial, has got your back (and your clients, too!) when it comes to supporting the banking needs of a remote team. 

Truly Financial offers more freedom, by offering physical and digital Visa cards to any employee, anywhere In the world. This means businesses can now attract, hire and support the best employees, no matter where they live. 

This is a critical advantage, especially for small businesses that aren’t always able to qualify for corporate cards at traditional banks. Truly Financial allows a business of any size to qualify, and doesn’t include an asterisk noting a daily minimum spending number.

Often times, banks will make it hard to see the actions of your entire team in one place. Maybe there is someone across the border or there is a limit on the number of accounts you can open. Truly Financial has a dashboard where you can see all of the transactions that all your employees have made in one convenient location.

Pretty cool, right? Well, it gets even better because Truly Financial also allows you to forget the frustration of waiting for money to be exchanged into different currencies or a large payment to go through to clear with the bank before work can begin on a project. 

Another reason why Truly is an amazing partner? They work hard to earn trust with their partners and clients. All you need is your recipient’s bank account details and you can send one-day payments to over 40 countries. Or, if your supplier is in a country not on Truly Financial’s Express Network, if they are also using Truly Financial, they receive your payment in one day as well!

Now that I understand just how significantly banking needs to change for all of us, especially with remote work and globalization in the here and now, I am even more passionate about telling my peers and my clients about making a change to a bank that can help you leverage these trends to your advantage. Truly Financial is the change we need and our clients do, too. 

Take a tour of Truly Financial here.

I know, I know, we are in the final stretch of tax season and you may be thinking, Why the heck is Brolin blogging about events now? Doesn’t she know that the tax deadline is just days away? I can’t even…

 

I hear you! Yes, this is a beyond busy time for many of us, believe me, I know my tax prep work queue is my priority right now!  However, I also just finished booking my room for Accounting Web Live Summit, which is coming up in only a few weeks. I am pumped to attend, not only because I am participating in some amazing fireside chats, panels, and other parts of the program, but because together with my Starting Lineup team members and partners, we are hosting the Home Run Happy Hour in the exhibit hall on Tuesday, May 10 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will be food, beverages, music, prizes, and a lot of opportunities to tune up your tech stack…plus we have some cool surprises so be sure to stay tuned! 

 

You can sign up here to get the Team Brolin Starting Lineup Homerun Happy Hour event details right to your inbox and we’ll also be giving you the option for text updates soon.

 

Of course, Accounting Web Live Summit in San Diego is the first of quite a few events to consider attending this spring and summer. From the AICPA’s Engage conference, to Scaling New Heights, through to any number of the virtual events such as Insightful Accountant’s Future Forward Conference there are many venues available for accounting, tax and bookkeeping professionals to network with peers and solution providers; to learn best practices and new strategies for optimizing workflows, profits, and productivity; earn some CPE; and of course, just have some fun away from the office!

 

Coming out from under the cloud of Covid-19, I have found that connecting in-person with colleagues and partners has been really refreshing and rewarding, even if sometimes it feels like I don’t have time to do so before I go. After the fact, I am always glad that I did because the insights and ideas that I come away with are worth their weight in gold. Not to mention, it can be extremely reassuring and stress-relieving to feel the support of a larger community of accounting professionals. I think it is important to really have that face time with each other so we feel less alone, expand our networks, and learn from each other. 

 

The support I receive from peers like you is simply priceless! I think most of us would agree that making the time and effort to attend accounting profession events is well worth it. So take a breather between now and April 18 to register for at least one virtual and one in-person event happening this summer, it will give you something to look forward to and once you are there, I have no doubt you’ll benefit from being reinvigorated and inspired, which is exactly the type of motivation we need to make the remainder of 2022 a home run personally and professionally.

I hope we can connect soon at an event. Check out some of the Team Brolin opportunities, too, to start your post-tax season event and networking plans!

Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE, The Designated Motivator for Accounting Professionals

We’re coming up on almost six months since the last Scaling New Heights conference, but I still vividly remember the moment at that event when my entire view of how to secure my own firm and handle data security requirements changed for good, and for the better. It was during a keynote given by Swizznet’s Chief Technology Officer Wes Stillman when the a-ha moment happened.

Wes talked about the need for accounting firm owners to not just put everything in the cloud, but to proactively address threats and risks such as these:

  1. Malware – Over 90% of all cyberattacks start with a phishing email. Once you download malware the attacker can steal passwords, track keystrokes, or gain access to sensitive client data in your computer systems.
  2. Viruses A type of malware that inserts itself in legitimate programs and self-replicates into other programs on the host system. That means if you click on an email or download and it has Malware, without the appropriate protection on your computer you are going to have some real challenges on your hands!
  3. Ransomware – Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts data files by preventing access to them. The data is encrypted with a cryptography key that prevents you from having access to the data. In most cases, a hacker threatens to delete your data if you do not pay the ransom within a specific time period, thus preventing you from attempting to repair the files.
  4. Phishing A type of cyber attack where an attacker masquerades as a legitimate organization or individual to trick victims into opening a link or attachment that contains ransomware. Think about the number of emails your staff open on a daily basis…and that you do, too, if it looks legit it can be hard to remember that the threat is right there in front of you before it’s too late.

These are just a few of the many ways that your firm (and your clients could be affected). This list doesn’t even include texts, unsecured emails, your staff, and all of your clients and the risks their behavior can create. This is why working with a partner to implement safeguards to defend your firm should be non-negotiable.

Bottom line: All accounting professionals need to develop and implement a comprehensive security plan for their firm.

How’s Your Firm’s Swing Through on Cybersecurity?

When Wes said this, I realized that as locked down as I thought my firm was, I was in fact, a long way away from where I needed to be. Essentially, to put it in the context of my Team Brolin Starting Lineup tech stack softball analogy, I had no swing through in my cybersecurity strategy. I was, in fact, hitting a pop fly when it came to being proactive.

To be fair, I wasn’t oblivious to the fact that the threats to my firm and every other business on the planet are growing exponentially every single day. I had also been preaching about the benefits of working in the cloud and the need to do so from a business continuity perspective, but something was missing. I wasn’t doing enough to protect my firm from the threat sources that Wes outlined. Because in reality, as accounting and tax professionals, unless we are putting the necessary safeguards in place, we are, in fact, sitting ducks when it comes to cybercrimes targeting taxpayers and loads of other sensitive information. 

Another point that Wes raised when he spoke that really hit home for me? The need for accounting professionals to think beyond simply having cyber insurance and to actually implement the IRS data security plan that is required

We may have cybersecurity insurance, and that’s all well and good, but if you look carefully at your policy, you’re likely to see many caveats about what you need to be doing to protect your firm and be able to actually make a claim. A key part of many policies is a data security plan. And, speaking of ethics and eliminating as many risks as possible, as an accounting professional if you have a PTIN or are a CPA it is a non-negotiable. In addition, you have to implement it. 

Tune in for “Going from A-ha to Action: My Journey to Ultimate Security and Compliance” 

Are you feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to do that cybersecurity swing through to address what I have shared above? I have to admit, when I left Wes’s presentation I was feeling that way, but then I started talking to the Swizznet team and I tell you, they really hit a home run for me when they shared all of the ways they work with accounting firms to secure their entire ecosystem and keep it that way. Plus, they know all of the technology that my firm uses inside and out because they specialize in accounting firm technology. Heck, their support team members are all QuickBooks ProAdvisors! Amazing!

I am going to be sharing my journey so far in taking care of all of the potential vulnerabilities that Swizznet’s Obsessive Support® Team identified for me in a webinar on April 26. I really hope you will register and tune in because this is just too important.to let slide. The future of your firm’s business continuity, brand, and of course, your client’s security are all tied to not only how alert we are to the threats, but how well we put our cybersecurity plan into action. 

Do you still have clients using cash or checks to make purchases? Or maybe you do? If so, you know there has to be a better way! Your clients (and your firm) should be using a corporate card. 

In fact, I have saved you the legwork of looking for the perfect alternative with my Starting Lineup partner Truly Financial. With my Truly Financial corporate card, I am able to grow my business without accumulating debt and my clients can do the same!

What makes Truly Financial different is that they don’t limit the number of options offered to small businesses for corporate credit cards. Most small businesses don’t even qualify for a corporate card because they don’t reach the minimum average daily spending. This severely limits businesses to using debit cards or accumulating debt with credit cards. Or even worse, using their personal credit card for business expenses. 

As you and I know, co-mingling personal and business expenses is bad news, even though racking up those rewards points seems like a great idea at first. Truly Financial offers corporate Visa cards to all small businesses. And when I say all, I mean it! And don’t worry about those minimum daily expenditures, Truly wants to make sure you and your clients are able to grow your business at your own pace. There’s no need to rack up those unwanted charges just to meet a minimum.

The Truly Financial corporate card also pays up to 2.5% cash back rewards for every purchase you make (plus they have an amazing partner program for businesses, too).

Do you or your clients have employees overseas? Truly has you covered with unlimited virtual Visa cards for all U.S. and international employees. Empowering my team has never been easier. Assign spending limits to each employee, get notified whenever the card is used and block or unblock cards at any time. 

There’s no need to worry, either, if the cards are lost or stolen. Cards can be managed all from an app, making business easy on the go! Truly Financial works hard for me because I work hard for my firm and my clients, and they will work hard for you too. Don’t let traditional banks hold you or your clients back from growing into your potential!

Visit Truly Financial today to learn more!

Multiple banks, multiple accounts, and so many credit cards! For many of us (and our clients) it’s difficult to keep track of corporate and personal accounts. That’s why I am so thrilled to have Truly Financial on my team, because they are simplifying banking while totally transforming it at the same time! 

I have included Truly Financial as a Team Brolin Starting Lineup member because it makes the banking process so much simpler for accountants and their clients. Seriously! Truly Financial allows you to have an all-in-one bank account that handles everything from your everyday banking to corporate cards and also enables you to send and receive payments in the United States and anywhere else in the world you choose!

Next up? The Digital Banking Revolution, Led by Truly Financial!

There are so many businesses nowadays that are growing, not just domestically, but internationally as well. There was a need for companies to send and receive payments from anywhere in the world, hassle free and Truly Financial found a solution! You can pay anywhere in the world in your vendor’s currency or in yours as well as get paid easily. 

Truly Financial offers a bank account that pays you cash back for everyday purchases, gives you insight and control over your team’s spending, allows you to send payments without worrying about bank fees, makes international payments feel as easy as domestic ones, and allows you to hold and exchange foreign currencies in your account.

You can choose from several account types that will help you feel like a local business, even when you are operating your business globally. Through their U.S. checking account, companies can receive Automated Clearing House (ACH) and Fedwire payments. You can also send payments to anyone in the U.S. or abroad. The second type of account are Euro and GBP accounts. These can receive and hold funds via SEPA and local clearing. The final kind of account is the Multi-currency account. This account allows users to receive or send wires in 32 different currencies.

Truly Financial Makes the World of International Banking More Friendly While Moving Faster

International transactions can take a long time to process, up to two weeks. In the meantime, there is no transparency on what is happening, goods are being held up, and there is a lot of back and forth to feel comfortable. Truly Financial makes sure you know where you are, every step of the way during a transaction. 

It’s no secret that international transactions can be complicated and expensive. You can sometimes lose as much as 5% of the transaction in currency exchange and processing fees. Currency exchange is forced at the time of transaction, not when it is convenient for you. With Truly Financial, you can send one-day payments to any of the 40+ countries in their Express network, send wire transfers to almost any country in USD or 32 supported currencies. If your supplier also uses Truly Financial, they can receive your payment instantly!

Purchasing Power is in Your Hands with Truly Financial, Too!

Purchasing has never been easier with Truly Financial’s corporate Visa cards with inbuilt spend controls. It is easy to assign spending limits for each employee and be notified whenever the card is used. Expense cards are safe and secure because they can be blocked or unblocked at any time, there is no need to worry if they get lost or stolen. Separate virtual Visa cards can be used for each vendor or subscription payments so you never have to deal with unexpected charges again.

The Truly Financial corporate Visa card give your business cash back on every single purchase, thus reducing your cost of purchases and helping you put money back into the business.

To sum it up? Truly Financial is perfect for any small business, and any accounting firm. Plus their partner program is second to none! Truly Financial was developed to give small businesses access to banking services that have traditionally been available only to larger enterprises. To learn more about Truly Financial, visit them on the web at trulyfinancial.com, or get started as a partner right away by signing up here.

Veem Make Every Day National Privacy Day for Online Payments

January 24, 2022

Did you know? This Friday, January 28, is National Privacy Day! Seeing as this international celebration is dedicated to the education and promotion of privacy and data protection best practices, I figured we could celebrate by looking at one of the safest platforms in the payments industry. 

When it comes to online transactions (even international ones), Veem makes them safer, more affordable, and faster than sending traditional banking transactions. It’s all backed by Veem’s six layers of security, check these out if you are looking for the best security possible for online payments for you and your clients (and we all are, right?):

Veem uses Two-Factor-Authentication (2FA)

2FA adds an extra layer of protection to your account by making you authorize your login from an email or another device. This adds assurance that no one is able to hack into accounts, and if they try, you or your client are notified of an attempted login.

Veem is SOC 2 Certified

Now you might be thinking, what the heck is SOC 2? It stands for Service Organization Control 2, which is an internal controls report, capturing how a company will safeguard data and the status on how well those controls are operating. SOC 2 requires Veem to establish and follow strict information security policies and procedures, encompassing the security, availability, processing, integrity, and confidentiality of customer data.

Veem has a Secure Website

Veem is DigiCert certified. This means that Veem’s website offers the strongest encryption and highest authentication available. All information that is stored, shared, or uploaded on the platform will be encrypted with the highest, most advanced tools available.

Transactions are Monitored

All transactions on the platform are monitored for suspicious behavior. If our DigiCert, 2FA and SOC 2 certifications aren’t enough to make you feel comfortable running transactions, this will. Veem is fully compliant with The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. This provides the highest level of Anti Money Laundering assurance in the industry.

Veem is Globally Regulated

Whether you are sending a payment across town or across the world, they will make sure it makes it safely. Registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the US Department of Treasury, Veem is a certified Money Transmitter regulated to send payments in every country it serves.

Identity Verification

Veem has strict identity verification measures for customers. So when you are using any type of card, Veem minimizes risks and ensures that payments are secure and authorized.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate National Security Day than to share how my Starting Lineup partner, Veem, is keeping online payments secure…no matter where you or your clients do business. Be sure to check out Veem for yourself and talk to their team about how you can better serve your clients by using their streamlined, secure payment solution.

Have a very happy National Privacy Day everyone!

Does your practice have a niche in accounting or tax preparation for e-commerce businesses? Maybe you’re a bookkeeper with clients who are moving toward an e-commerce model. No matter how your e-commerce clients find you, the best way to meet the opportunity to serve them is by providing an integrated, automated, comprehensive solution, including all of the technology and apps they need to succeed.

A key component of an e-commerce client tech stack is, of course, a robust and seamless payment platform. My recommendation for that is Veem, which I recently added to my Starting Lineup. In addition to the fact that Veem has seamless, real-time syncing and two-way integrations with QuickBooks Online, Xero and Netsuite, it also makes recurring billing and invoicing a breeze. And, did I mention, there’s no subscription fee? ? Even international transactions with Veem are much cheaper and fairly priced than the banks.  

What’s the big deal about recurring billing, you might ask? Well, for e-commerce clients, it truly is a game-changer in terms of the way they offer services, manage cash flow and increase revenue. When you consider how the economy as a whole has shifted to predominantly online transactions for many businesses—and has spawned a whole new sector of e-commerce companies, it’s a trend that you are likely to see more of in the coming months and years. So it’s time to be prepared to help your clients with a solution such as Veem that can address key issues including:

  1. The inability to scale the recurring billing and payment process. With Veem this is simple!
  2. Failed payments affecting revenue and cash flow. Not with Veem’s powerful platform.
  3. Feeling overwhelmed by the process of setting payments, billing, and recurring invoicing up in the first place! The Veem team makes it turnkey, plus there are tons of resources available to you and your clients. 
  4. Lack of reporting capabilities and insights. With Veem’s sync with key  software, and other apps this is a non-issue. 
  5. Integration issues with other key platforms your clients  are using such as accounting and tax. As noted above, Veem is an integration machine, ready to go!
  6. The inability to expand globally. Veem is borderless and opens up the world to small businesses with no hassles related to foreign transactions. 

If you have small business e-commerce clients offering subscriptions or who would like to do so, Veem can help implement the recurring billing and recurring payments effortlessly. One of the most amazing things about Veem is that no matter where your clients do business, they can utilize one centralized payment solution which saves time and stress. 

Talking about reducing stress, Veem also provides peace of mind because it is an encrypted platform with the highest level of payment security possible.

 My e-commerce clients (and myself!) are much more relaxed about the potential of cyber security breaches knowing that all of their customer’s data is safely stored and encrypted in the cloud.

When it comes to alleviating the challenges small e-commerce businesses face setting up a subscription model with recurring billing and invoicing , the best practice for productivity and profitability is to offer an end-to-end solution stack as well as your professional insights to position your firm as a true partner. For me, when it comes to payments and recurring billing for my e-commerce clients, Veem checks all of the boxes, including addressing all of the common issues I touched on above.

For me, having Veem playing on my tech team is invaluable. It also plays amazingly well with my bookkeeping, accounting, and tax software, which makes providing that trusted advice and insights to my clients that much easier. 

Take a look at Veem for yourself and talk to their amazing team about supporting your ecommerce clients and becoming part of your firm’s seamless, streamlined and secure payment solution.

Hello!

What a wild ride the past few years have been for the accounting profession. We’ve been called on like never before to be a trusted advisor to our business clients, a reliable resource for individuals who need our expertise when dealing with the financial fallout of the pandemic, and of course, being the conduit between the government and the rest of society when it comes to communicating and interpreting the tax code.

I think for many of us, this feeling of being overwhelmed and out to sea has become our new normal, and to me, that’s not the way anyone should live because life is too short! I wrote The Designated Motivator for Accounting Professionals as a lifeline for those of you who are struggling, and for those of you who want to find an easier path to achieving the success in your practice and your personal life that you so richly  deserve.

Over the next several months, I’ll be sharing The Designated Motivator for Accounting Professionals philosophy and practical strategies from my Team Brolin All-Star Playbook at events and in partnership with many of my Starting Lineup solution providers. I invite you to attend a webinar, listen to my podcast The DM Disruption, and read the book. My goal is to make it easier for you to succeed with a proven path to a more profitable and productive practice.

I’d love to hear from you about the struggles and the successes you are having, so please drop me a line and we can connect via email.

Join Dawn on November 10 at 2 p.m. for the premiere of The Designated Motivator for Accounting Professionals: Reassess Your Success to Maximize Tax Season Profits webinar.

Based on the new book, The Designated Motivator for Accounting Professionals, Dawn leads this strategy-focused session to help you implement key changes for more productivity and profitability this tax season. Register now!

During the webinar you will go through a reassessment process to help you determine the path for your firm moving forward, post-COVID, and in the face of ongoing changes for regulations and filings. We need to be sure we are prepared for whatever may come next. This will be an interactive session where you will use the time to lay out your firm’s business strategy and integrated technology ecosystem to become more profitable, more efficient, and most importantly, happier with your professional life this tax season and beyond.

I recently participated in Accounting today’s webinar panel for The Technology Foundations of a CAS Practice. It was an awesome opportunity to connect with so many of my fellow practitioners. Not surprisingly, we ran out of time to answer all of the questions during the webinar, so I am following up here with some responses to the key questions that we still need to address.

If you were on the webinar live (you can listen to the recorded version here), thank you for attending!

If you want to join the Team Brolin list, please do! We’d love to keep you in the loop since we have a lot of exciting things coming up so stay tuned!

Here we go with our FAQs:

Q: Can these applications mentioned be integrated into the accounting application that the client carries without affecting their cybersecurity.

A: Yes.  The open API allows various apps to connect securely.  Local anti-virus is critical. This is why I host all of my apps so that I don’t have an issue with my local security.

Q: Where can I get training for these applications?

A: Typically you will refer to the application developers/support for training.  It is typically free and something you definitely should look into.

Q: What is the best app for scheduling work such as returns like 1120, 1120s, 1065, etc?

A: I use Karbon for all of my scheduling and tracking of tax returns.

Q: What is a good tool for tracking expenses?

A: Concur is a great tool for expenses.

Q: What is a simple time management/billing system app for a small firm?

A: QB Time & QuickBooks® Online. I simply use QuickBooks Time and QBO for my time management and billing. It is so easy to create invoices from QB Time.

Q: Norton 360 has a password manager. Why is LastPass better than Norton?

A: Lastpass is not necessarily better, it is just my preferred way to store passwords.

Q: Are there benefits of using Last Pass as opposed to managing passwords with Google?

A: Are there drawbacks to using the internet browser for managing passwords?    I would never use Google as it is not meant to be a secure site for passwords

Q: Are there form you do NOT charge for?

A: My 1040 rate covers schedule 1& Schedule 2, 3. I do not charge for the simple Schedule 1, 2 or 3 because technically those are primarily flow through schedules that are created from things like a Schedule C, Schedule E or Schedule E page 2, etc.

Q: Do you like Bill.com for AP/AR.   

A: Yes

Q: What is Qbox?   

A: Qbox is a way to have your client have a local QB desktop file that can sync to a servicer where you can access it locally.  You can view the data if the client is working in it but then when they close out of QB you can work in it.  Hosting is always the best solution but this does work for those who don’t want to host.

Comment: Ramp is the coolest new app/service. It’s 1000x better than AmEx.

DB: Ramp is a fully-integrated credit card solution with it’s own coding interface, integrates with the major accounting systems like IntAcct.

Comment: My fav app is the DEXT accounting app it links receipts to QBO.

DB: Yes, Dext is a great solution. Another favorite app is TOGGL (for time tracking on projects)

Q: What was your hosting recommendation?

A: I recommended Recur 360.

Q: What is the name of the IRS transcript app?

A: IRS Transcript app is Canopy

DB Comment: PaySimple ADP it is how I get paid from my clients.

Q: What are your thoughts on Practice Ignition? 

A: I just found practice ignition klunky and not easy to jump in and get started easily.

Q: What was the spelling of Call NQ?

A: It is EnQ.

Q: Can you use Karbon as a scheduling software?

A: No, I wouldn’t use Karbon for that purpose.

Q: Do you know of a scheduling app?        

A: Calendly of course.  I just use Outlook.

Q: Does Karbon integrate with tax software?   

A: Lacerte for sure

Q: How does Quotient compare to Practice Ignition?       

A: I like it because it is affordable and super easy to use.

Q: What is the difference between SmartVault and Liscio ?       

A: SmartVault is meant to store documents and Liscio is meant to assist in client communications.

Q: Don’t Liscio and Karbon overlap?

A: In my view, apps solve a problem, and they may solve other problems that you didn’t intend them to in your specific case. I use Karbon for project management, and Liscio for client communication. I always tell people to let the app to what it was intended to do.  Liscio was meant for client communications and Karbon was developed as a project management tracking system.

Thanks again everyone for participating. If you have other questions, feel free to send them to me using this form.

Follow Dawn:
Copyright © 2021-2025 | Team Brolin
Follow The Designated Motivator:
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram