I started my practice over twenty-five years ago, I chose QuickBooks. Today it’s still the backbone of my accounting system, throughout the years (decades!) Intuit has kept innovating based on the insights of their users and the needs of the clients that we as practitioners serve.

One of the most pivotal strategic moves that Intuit made in the QB ecosystem was the decision to keep their API open, that means, allowing other apps the capability to build products that integrate directly with QuickBooks. This allowed what we know today as the QuickBooks marketplace to not only exist, but to empower us as practitioners to keep pace with our clients’ needs to drive maximum efficiency within our own practice.

I credit David Leary, co-host of the Cloud Accounting Podcast and QuickBooks technologist, with helping Intuit see the future of the accounting profession and the need to allow accountants to have the freedom and flexibility to add other applications to their accounting software. I vividly recall The Intuit Hackathons, 

 is where the QuickBooks open API really started. 

As we know, businesses don’t grow in a box, and if your accounting management software is inflexible, you’ll never be able to scale or serve larger clients because you will be completely limited in the tools you have available. Not to mention, your practice will be a patchwork of unproductive apps that don’t play together…that is a revenue killer right there. The integrated technology ecosystem that I have built using QuickBooks’ open API and third-party apps is the lifeblood of my firm’s efficiency, productivity and increased profitability. 

The QuickBooks Open API levels the playing field for practices of every size

Depending on your sweet spot and growth plans, the QuickBooks an open API allows you to serve mid-market clients (10 to 99 employees).Though my practice is relatively small in terms of number of employees, I am confident in competing for business with larger firms because I know that with QuickBooks and Intuit as my tax system, I can meet the needs of any small or big client because my tool box is almost limitless. 

Intuit has leveled the playing field for all firms with their open API system.  If you look at the QuickBooks marketplace, you will find literally thousands of apps that you can integrate with to create a highly functional and financially viable tech ecosystem. In my Team Brolin Playing Field, QuickBooks and Lacerte are the hubs of my workflow. They are the powerhouses around which I have built a highly efficient and completely integrated system. For example, I utilize the following apps which integrate seamlessly with QuickBooks:

Bookkeep This is an amazing automated e-commerce reconciliation direct to QuickBooks. It really could not be simpler, and the automation actually does what it says it does, so I trust it completely to sync all e-commerce transactions with my clients’ QuickBooks!

FinancialCents -for practice management Financial Cents has accounting practices covered, and it also integrates with QBO so you can sync contacts, service items, invoices and payments — all in one place. 

Corpay OneI use Corpay One for payments and the integration for QuickBooks Online makes the whole process seamless. Corpay One automatically syncs document data to QuickBooks Online, including vendor invoices and payments. This is a massive  timesaver!

JiravProvides the tools for financial planning and analysis, working seamlessly with QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop. It pulls in your chart of accounts and account balances to drive your dashboard, reports and forecasts automatically. Jirav’s automatic and ongoing synchronization with QuickBooks allows you to build your forecast in the same way a business operates. 

LiscioThis is my go-to app for client communications, but you can also create and send QBO invoices right from Liscio. Once paid, the QBO receivable is satisfied and QBO records can also sync with Liscio so your contacts are always up to date.

Smartvault is my secure document management go-to with seamless integration with QuickBooks to attach source files to entries in QuickBooks or QuickBooks Online. 

Together, these two applications allow you to go paperless and stay audit ready because you can attach source files to entries in QuickBooks Online, including: bills, invoices, vendors, customer records – even transactions and list items! Once stored in SmartVault, files are available from QuickBooks or right from your browser or mobile device.

QuickBooks’ open API: Build the tech stack and the firm that works for YOU.

I can truly say my practice would not be where it is today without QuickBooks and Intuit. From the first day I came home with the iconic green box of QuickBooks and triumphantly declared to my husband I was going to hit a grand slam with my bookkeeping business to now serving clients across the country and beyond, the QuickBooks ecosystem has both empowered and enabled me to achieve so much in my business while still creating exponential efficiencies which means I have a  life, too!

If you aren’t already in the cloud and leveraging QuickBooks open API, let’s change that. Check out the QuickBooks marketplace and consider the problem or pain point you want to eliminate based on the apps you are already using. I bet there are many that can integrate with QuickBooks to help you gain more efficiency, productivity and allow you to make more money by eliminating manual or inefficient processes as well as by freeing you up to serve your clients with comprehensive, advisory-focused services. 

This is a paid partnership with Intuit.

Be a Bookkeep BOSS: Get Certified, Get Your Partner Pin at Scaling New Heights 

Conference season is here once again and with it comes so many opportunities for learning, including getting certified in technology solutions you may be using in your practice. One of the new certifications I am getting before I head to Scaling New Heights in St. Louis in a few weeks is for one of my favorite apps ever, Bookkeep.

I have been using Bookkeep for years to automatically reconcile revenue for my e-commerce clients. It really is smarter accounting automation. It’s also a complete game-changer for your practice in terms of wiping out time wasted reconciling transactions from e-commerce payment gateways, electronic payments, and POS applications.

I am doing my Bookkeep certification before Scaling New Heights because I want to get my  “Certified Bookkeep Partner” enamel pin straight from the amazing Bookkeep team while I am at the conference. You can get certified through Woodard or through the Bookkeep app. 

Here are the cool perks that we’ll get for being Certified Bookkeeper Partners:

Are you in? Let’s get certified with Bookkeep now!

Even if you currently have just a few e-commerce clients, it is very likely that you will have more in the future because most businesses are utilizing online payments in some form.  

Knowing that your revenue reconciliation books are being handled correctly allows you to free up hours of billable time. Choosing, implementing, and training your team to utilize the right automated bookkeeping solution is essential. This is what you can expect when you use Bookkeep to easily automate your daily sales reconciliations with seamless integrations from one to multi-channel platforms, all while bringing sales data into QuickBooks Online.

Once you get certified with Bookkeep, you will be expertlyly equipped to optimize your e-commerce bookkeeping efficiency. Learn how by reading  the post where I recently detailed 6 ways to leverage automated revenue reconciliation for exponential profitability gains.

Bookkeep seamlessly integrates with Clover, GrubHub, Shopify, Square,Toast, Woocommerce and more as well as with QuickBooks and other accounting systems. It also helps us advise clients to better manage their e-commerce and other business transactions with the help of financial analytics.

Become certified in Bookkeep for free to have a solid foundation in revenue automation bookkeeping as well as the Bookkeep software so you can help your clients by covering these concepts: 

Enroll in Bookkeep’s free certification course here to maximize your profit potential with smarter automation and pick up your pin while you are at Scaling New Heights in St. Louis, Missouri, or if you aren’t heading there (We’ll miss you!), get certified online and your pin and badges will be sent to you.

Now that tax season is officially over (any extensions you have to file aside), now is the perfect time to shift into tax planning mode for your SMB (small-to-medium business) clients. Why tax planning? To me, it’s the ultimate, easy way to engage clients into a deeper advisory relationship. Plus, it’s a fundamental strategy to support the future viability of your firm and your clients!

However, I like to keep things simple and streamlined, and in my mind having a process that I can follow with each of my Schedule C and S-Corp clients makes everything easier and less taxing (pun intended)! That’s where the following simplified SMB tax planning checklist comes in. I use it with my own clients at Powerful Accounting, and I am sharing it here so you can use it, too.

1. Identify your Schedule C clients who based on estimated tax payments should consider moving to an S-Corp. These are the clients where you can have a conversation about changing entity type to save them payroll taxes.

2. Entity selection planning comes next. This refers to choosing the appropriate entity type for your clients’ business based on their ownership structure, performance, and goals. If you are not doing this already, you are missing out on  a lucrative new revenue stream as well as immediate value that you can add. This also starts a natural conversation about the overall health of your clients’  business which is a great segue into other areas of assistance you can provide including reasonable compensation.

3. Once you have the entity planning conversation, you can leverage reasonable compensation analysis as an entry point to create enhanced revenue opportunities while keeping your clients in full tax compliance as well. I love RCReports for this purpose.

Special note here: You do not want to use spreadsheets to calculate reasonable compensation or skip this! If you have not been doing reasonable compensation analysis, then you definitely need to check out RCReports because it’s the law and you and your client could be the subject of an investigation by the IRS if it isn’t done or done improperly.

4. Next, you can start looking at the tax return for some additional opportunities to help your clients. This could be with estimated taxes for business owners as well as payroll tax planning for S-corps and self-employment tax strategies for Schedule-C clients. When you have a truly accurate reasonable compensation number (see previous point) you will then have real numbers to work with!

5. Once you have the fundamentals above completed, you can use a tax planning tool to look more closely at your client’s return. This could open up opportunities for more advanced tax strategies depending on your clients sophistication and the complexity of their situation.

6. Retirement tax planning is also important to consider for SMBs and something to look at with every client. Not only will it set the stage for reducing their current tax bill, but it can also lead to other advisory service conversations if you also offer investments, insurance or retirement benefits (or partner with someone else who does).

Now that you have these six simple and easy-to-follow steps for SMB tax planning, it’s time to think back to all of your tax season clients and identify which Schedule C clients and S-corp clients you can serve, starting with the critical entity selection and reasonable compensation calculations. By starting with a solid foundation like this, you’ll have the confidence and clarity that will ensure you have all your bases covered from a compliance standpoint which is the cornerstone for effective tax planning for your clients.

Want to learn more about RC Reports? Check out the recent podcast we did together!

Do you have clients using electronic payment, e-commerce gateways, and point-of-sale applications? Maximize your profit potential with smarter automation. When it comes to bookkeeping, you want to know your books are being handled correctly, while eliminating as much data entry as possible, to free up your billable time. Choosing, implementing, and training your team to utilize the right automated bookkeeping solution is essential.

Bookkeep seamlessly integrates with Clover, GrubHub, Shopify, Square,Toast, Woocommerce and more as well as with QuickBooks and other accounting systems. One other thing I really love are the financial analytics which help us advise clients on how to better manage their ecommerce and other business transactions.

These are the top six benefits of Bookkeep that I am leveraging in my practice to eliminate manual entry using automated ecommerce reconciliations that actually work!

  1. Daily sales reconciliation and daily revenue reporting is emailed in summary format right to me., so I always know the real-time numbers.
  2. Reposting and refreshing of financial data to QuickBooks Online, on demand, if accounts are re-mapped.
  3. Comprehensive multi-currency support and global currency conversions makes it easy to serve global clients and grow your practice.
  4. Bank deposit breakdown provides a summary of deposits tied out to the sales day involved for Square and Shopify and over 50 other front end revenue applications.
  5. A direct link to accounting entries so I can jump to the journal entry or bank transaction in QuickBooks (or another accounting platform).
  6. Unlimited users, so I can add staff, clients or other stakeholders at no additional cost plus 5 star support with chat, email, and video options.

The truth is, automation is only useful if an app actually does what it is supposed to do and Bookkeep really means business! For my practice, it’s a best of breed solution for automated accounting and reconciliation with real bottom line benefits, Bookkeep literally eliminates hours of manual entry.

Tax Representation Network (TRN) and Team Brolin are excited to announce they are presenting The Practitioner’s Advisory Summit Virtual Conference on June 14, 2023. The conference is co-hosted by Eric Green, attorney and founder of Tax Rep Network and Dawn Brolin, CPA, CFE, CEO of Powerful Accounting, LLC. The conference is exclusively sponsored by Intuit with an agenda that provides a practical roadmap for accountants, tax professionals, and bookkeepers to establish and create a successful advisory practice. 

“Advisory services is a buzzword in the accounting profession, but for many practitioner’s being able to implement these types of services remains an elusive goal,” said Eric Green. “Attendees of the Summit will learn how to define and design advisory services that align with their goals and how to add these services to an existing practice or use them to launch an entirely new practice.”

The free Summit agenda features key thought leaders discussing all aspects of advisory services including reviewing the current state of advisory services, discussing how practitioners can create a concrete plan to add advisory services to their practices, increasing fees, boosting revenue and improving quality of life while providing clients with in-demand business insights. 

The Practitioner’s Advisory Summit Virtual Conference, June 14, 2023

The Summit’s agenda is as follows and will run on Eastern Standard Time: 

10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.    Registration and Sign In


11:00 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.      Welcome Remarks 


11:05 a.m. – 12:15 a.m.      What are “Tax Advisory” and “Business Advisory” services?

Moderator:  Eric L. Green, Esq., Tax Rep Network

Panelists: Diana Crawford,  Al-Nesha Jones, CPA, MBA, ASE Group

Dawn W. Brolin, CPA, CFE, MST, Powerful Accounting LLC


12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.     Worst Tax Season EVER: Maintaining Your Mental Health

Panelists: Dawn W. Brolin, CPA, CFE, MST, Powerful Accounting LLC

Randy Crabtree, CPA, Tri-Merit


12:45 p.m.  – 1:30 p.m.   Leveraging Technology: The Tech Tools to Use

Panelists: Dawn W. Brolin, CPA, CFE, MST, Powerful Accounting LLC

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.        Lunch Break 


2:00 p.m.  – 2:45 p.m.        Action Steps: Where to Begin

Panelists: Eric L. Green, Esq., Tax Rep Network

Dawn W. Brolin, CPA, CFE, MST, Powerful Accounting LLC


2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.         Break


3:00 p.m.  – 3:45  p.m.       Pricing: How to go from hourly/product billing to “relationship pricing”                                           

Moderator:  Dawn W. Brolin, CPA, CFE, MST, Powerful Accounting LLC

Panelists:     Diana Crawford, Al-Nesha Jones, CPA, MBA, ASE Group


3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.  Converting Existing Clients and Attracting New Clients

Panelists:     Eric L. Green, Esq., Tax Rep Network

Gaynor Meilke, MS, CBC, CTRC, Charisma Ink

More information and registration for The Practitioner’s Advisory Summit Virtual Conference  can be found on the Tax Rep Network website and at DawnBrolin.com. Tax Rep Network and the Summit presenters thank Intuit for sponsoring the conference and supporting the advancement of advisory education in the accounting profession.

The Accounting Cornerstone Foundation (ACF) is thrilled to announce the launch of their scholarship application, which provides aspiring accountants and bookkeepers with the opportunity to attend their first professional accounting conference and have life-changing experiences in the accounting and bookkeeping community.

The ACF is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with in-person education to provide personal growth and opportunities in the accounting and bookkeeping industry. The foundation’s mission is to empower individuals who are accounting and bookkeeping professionals to achieve their professional dreams and reach their full potential.

The scholarship application is open to anyone in the accounting and bookkeeping profession who have not been able to attend an in-person conference. The application process is straightforward and easy to navigate, with detailed instructions provided on the Accounting Cornerstone Foundation’s website.

The scholarship will cover the ticket cost of attendance to an industry conference, airfare, and hotel.  Chosen recipients will have the opportunity to learn from industry experts, network with peers, and gain valuable insights into the world of accounting and bookkeeping.

“There is nothing else like these in-person learning opportunities at conferences. The creation of lifelong personal bonds is amazing,” said Dawn Brolin, President of the Accounting Cornerstone Foundation. “Our hope is that this scholarship will provide recipients with a life-changing experience that will inspire them to continue pursuing their dreams and making a positive impact in the accounting and bookkeeping community.”

The Accounting Cornerstone Foundation is now collecting applications for the 2023 conference season. Donations to support the foundation are also accepted on their website.  Donations will support the mission of the organization to provide assistance for the scholarship recipients.

For more information on the Accounting Cornerstone Foundation, apply for the scholarship, or to make a donation, please visit https://accountingcornerstone.org/.

About the Accounting Cornerstone Foundation Inc.

Founded in 2023 after a ‘what if’ sticky note at an industry leader retreat known as “Appy Camp” in September of 2022, the Accounting Cornerstone Foundation, is a recognized non-profit 501(c)(3) organization was established with only one goal in mind: to share the opportunity to attend continuing education conferences and support the growth of accounting and bookkeeping professionals around the globe. Recipients of the scholarship will be provided a conference ticket, airfare, and hotel accommodations for the chosen conference.

I am super pumped to announce the official opening of Dawn’s Dugout where I am going to be hosting live Q & A sessions on the first Monday of the month. Join me for the inaugural event on May 1 from 2 to 3 p.m. or from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

From technology suggestions to talk about avoiding burnout and playing as a team, let’s get into what’s on your mind!

Register here and submit any questions you have, so we can discuss them.

Yes! We are in the thick of tax season…how are YOU feeling?

I partnered with ADP to bring you these helpful hints that will not only help you maximize your time but will also show you a clear path to make your busiest days your most productive ones, while still taking time for your most important client: you!

Check out the full video series on YouTube: ADP Accountant Connect 

How to Calm Your Calendar Chaos to Make Productivity Intentional


Turn Tax Time Analysis into Advisory Opportunities


Take the Tax Preparation Path to Advisory Services

Dawn Brolin is here to chat about paying attention to the 2023 tax law changes and how we can have communications and conversations with our clients as we work through this tax season and how that can change the structure of your firm. As we know, the tax law changes every year, some are very significant and Dawn wants to encourage you to embrace even a handful and start the conversations with your clients about the potential impact that they will have on their tax bills. Having these conversations and being aware of the tax changes can really help you move toward subscription pricing, or as Dawn calls it, relationship pricing.

*this is a paid partnership

Here we are again! Another tax season is upon us. I invite you to take control of what I call “productive season” (not busy season!) by joining me February 13, 2023 for a webinar with Heather Sperduto, Vice President of Sales Operations, Accountant Channel at ADP. We will show you how to make this tax season different than any other.

Take away practical tips to help you improve your processes, including documenting pain points, changing the way you look at a tax return, and key technology considerations. Our learning objectives include:

Let’s look at this tax season as a time ripe with possibilities! I will show you how I am taking a new approach to tax season as a launching point for advisory, too, including relationship pricing. Join me at this webinar and make 2023 your most productive tax season ever! Register now.

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