Finding Value (and Referrals) With Find-A-CPA

by Margaret Herriges, MSCPA Communications Director

Herriges Margaret 2014Did you know MSCPA helps the public find CPAs? Our Find-A-CPA feature on our website is all about helping potential clients, and even other CPAs, find a person with the right expertise. And as a member of MSCPA you can post your profile for free.

Helena member Marca Gibson has had some success through Find-A-CPA, “I love Find-A-CPA as a member benefit. It provides an easy-to-use resource for potential clients, as well as for use by colleagues. I refer to it when I’ve met someone new at a local chapter meeting or CPE event, or if I don’t provide specific services that a prospective client needs.”

So what makes a good CPA profile?

  1. ADD YOUR PICTURE! Think of it like Ebay or Craigslist; would you buy anything from either of those sites that didn’t have a picture? So add a nice, professional, friendly picture to your Find-A-CPA profile. Great example: Marca Gibson (Helena)
  2. AREAS OF EXPERTISE. Pick four or five areas in which you are an industry expert. One of the best parts of Find-A-CPA is that people can search by area of expertise. BTW–we’ve had requests for folks who are ACA experts to show this in their profiles. People are looking for you! Great example: Conor Newman (Missoula)
  3. TELL YOUR STORY. This isn’t the place for your resume. You are trying to make people like you enough to contact you.  Make it interesting and friendly. Would you hire yourself after reading your Find-A-CPA profile? Great example: Kim Foard (Billings)
  4. HAVE SOME NARRATIVE. This ties in strongly with #2 and #3 in this list but the point is don’t JUST list your areas of expertise—make them your story!  You are a business expert! This is a really good place to tell people. Great example: Dave Gilmer (Missoula)

While it’s easy to see the value of Find-A-CPA for public practice members, it’s actually a very good resource for our BING (business, industry, NFP and gov’t) members, too.  For example, if you are a CFO for a manufacturer in Billings and you run up against an issue about inventory that you don’t know how to solve, you could go to Find-A-CPA and run a search for a peer with an expertise in this area. This members only feature has value for all.

Does the public really use Find-A-CPA?  It received more than 12,000 views last year! And what’s really critical is how long people are staying on this webpage. On average they stay almost a minute, reading profiles to find the accounting professional they need. In web-speak, a minute is a pretty long time. From this we can pretty safely say that yes, folks are using Find-A-CPA which makes it more imperative than ever for you to be listed with a GOOD profile.

It’s important to note that MSCPA members are not automatically added to Find-A-CPA. This is a profile that YOU must build. It is an important member benefit but it takes initiative from you to make it shine. It’s also critical to know that if you already have a profile you can edit it at any time. Simply log-in and click the Members Tab. From there you click on Find-A-CPA from your Member Dashboard. And as with all MSCPA benefits and services, we are here to help you. If you have questions regarding Find-A-CPA please don’t hesitate to contact me, 800.272.0307 or Margaret@mscpa.org.

Covenants, Clauses and Contracts – Oh, My!

MSCPA 101st Annual Meeting to offer special panel about Non-Compete Agreements
Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.

This year’s hot topic panel about non-compete agreements (NCA) promises to be anything but boring! In developing the structure of this panel, our focus is to keep the panel relevant to CPAs in public practice and industry alike AND to avoid a dry PRO/CON format. We are digging deeper and reaching farther, so you won’t want to miss it! Our three esteemed panelists will offer insights to the strengths, challenges, best practices and emerging alternatives for managing risks associated with proprietary information and relationships in today’s competitive business world. Joining the panel will be:

  • Tom Singer, lead attorney of Axilon Law Group, PLLC, of Billings;
  • Amy Christensen, partner of Hughes, Kellner, Sullivan & Alke, PLLP, law firm of Helena; and
  • Jeff Welch, entrepreneur and CEO of MercuryCSC, one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 rising star companies in 2012 and Outside Magazine’s Top 100 Places to Work of 2013, ranked Number 3.

These panelists offer extensive real world experience and will be sharing tips and ideas to help you successfully plan and navigate this field of employment law. I’m excited to serve as moderator and look forward to seeing you in Helena, June 19 at 3:30 p.m. Register for 101st Annual Meeting

Marca Gibson, CPA

Marca Gibson, CPA