In this episode, Scott and John talk about
You can use Google Sheets to create tax return workpapers for your accounting firm. In fact, we use Google to run our entire firm. The workpapers published here are our latest copy template for individuals. Together, Google Sheets plus a PDF workbook make up the documentation we use to substantiate our signed returns.
Go ahead and check the Google Sheet workpaers out for yourself: Tax Workpapers (Individual)
Asana is Why Blu's task management platform. We use it to create, track, assign, discuss and complete every task. Asana is flexible and feature rich which makes it intimidating at first. There's no definite way to use Asana correctly. To get full value requires upfront effort and a willingness to agree on conventions to standardize it's use.
We wrote this guide to explain how we use Asana and designed it as a reference for our team. We have published it for other firms that may find it useful. We integrate Asana with Slack, HourStack, and Google.
Warning: This hack results in more work done and less stress.
Scott Hoppe is the Founder of Why Blu, a 100% distributed accounting firm that files tax returns for businesses in the US. He left the traditional “up or out” accounting world to start a company that valued happiness as well as profit. In this interview, he gives us his tips on finding your purpose, hiring people with the right mindset, and the tools his company uses to do great things.
His tips on working remotely:
How do you stay true to yourself day to day? Have you ever felt, in your heart, something is off balance? Did that have anything to do with choices you made? The F5 is my framework to make decisions. Decisions with intention. It guides me to maintain balance in my life. The F5 represents Faith, Family, Fitness, Friends, and Finance. I introduce it in that order because that is my order (and everyone’s may differ).
One can judge a man by the company he keeps.
We will spend hours researching a new car before purchasing. Comparing models, features, fuel economy, colors, and price. Honda or Toyota? Mazda or Ford? Minivan or Crossover? How will I look in it? Will it fit my car seat? Is a coupe even a good idea with a baby?!? Despite the time spent on the car, we may not dedicate that same intentional thought to what is arguably one of the most important decisions we can make: the people we choose to share our time with.
This article will give you the tools to analyze and decide if you are spending the time with the right people. All of it is powered by the F5 framework, which helps me keep a balanced life.
There is a challenge that at some point all goal-oriented people will face, and that is living with intention. Stephen Covey is an early proponent in 7 Habits while, more recently, Daniel Harkavay hits the point home in his book Living Forward. Powered by the F5 framework, which helps me keep a balanced life, I developed my ideal F5 ordering to help me live more intentionally. Then I reflected on how I was living to create my actual F5 order. I was out of whack! And how to do you begin to realign yourself?
How I Made My Ideal and Actual F5 Lists
I was inspired to reflect on this and found myself in the perfect situation to do so: 1) I was on a long flight back from Japan and 2) Charlotte was with me. The flight gave me ample time to reflect and Charlotte, my wife, is the best person I could have with me for the exercise.
This month CalCPA wrote about exploring what makes entrepreneurial CPAs tick. I've been an entrepreneur at my core for as long as I can remember. Even then it was hard to finally take the plunge to full fledge business owner. My strategy is "you figure out if what you actually need to do is just get out of your own way of achieving what it is you actually want". Check out what other's had to say too.
Mission accomplished. Nine months of training, 13 hours of swimming, biking, and running and I finished with a big smile. With any long endurance sports, there are moments you want to quit. But you get past those times and get to hear the announcer say "Scott Hoppe you are an Ironman".
This is our security policy for running the firm. We love transparency with inside and outside the firm. That is why we post this publicly. For those starting their own firm or moving to a distributed company, I hope you may find these guidelines as helpful framework.
Security Is Good Sense
Creating security protocols and algorithms is the computer equivalent of rocket science, but taking advantage of them is not. These days, security for your devices is just simple good sense, like putting on your seat belt. Take the time to learn the basics of our tools and best practices.
Creating security protocols and algorithms is the computer equivalent of rocket science, but taking advantage of them is not. These days, security for your devices is just simple good sense, like putting on your seat belt. We are sharing an infographic of the tools we use to run our firm 100% from the cloud, no offices, and with high security.
Get Scott's take on what he is doing to create today’s virtual office. My take on virtual offices, the tools, policies, cost, clients, areas to focus on for success and pitfalls to consider.
Scott's take on virtual offices
CalCPA featured Scott and his take on building a distributed firm (i.e., running a virtual office) in their May 2017 issue that goes out to it's 40,000+ members.
From CalCPA "The accounting profession, like many others, is being transformed by tech. One way that’s being seen is in the growth of virtual CPA firms. We spoke with some of these cutting-edge CPAs to get a sense of what works, what doesn’t and lessons learned."
Read it HERE.