It was only for the grace of you
That I got this attitude
I’ll show you my gratitude
When I make it through
I see the light at the end of the tunnel now
Someone please tell me it’s not a train!
I remember closing the office on Thursday, March 12, 2020 after news that the coronavirus was spreading throughout the U.S. Although not officially cancelled, it was quite clear to me that our previously scheduled and anticipated live training events for the year were in serious jeopardy. I went home, poured myself a stiff gin and tonic (my drink of choice during quarantine…I think the gin wards off the ‘Rona), went out on my deck, lit a Marlboro (a worldwide pandemic does that to a man) and thought to myself, “Holy crap! There is no way we survive this and, if we do, I’ll be the CEO of the year!”
Well, fast forward 10 months, and we made it through 2020. And not only that, but we also actually turned a profit! However, I didn’t self-anoint myself the CEO of the year. Why? Because I didn’t do anything! Our success this year was primarily driven by two factors.
First and foremost, we survived and thrived during 2020 because of our amazing team. Times got tough and the team got going. No in-person training. No problem. Our CPAs became experts at facilitating live webinars to rave reviews, upping their home internet speeds and figuring out lighting so they didn’t look like shadows. And our DMLS crew continued to produce beautiful eLearning courses, building up our eLearning catalog and helping a Big 4 firm convert live webinars into CPE-compliant self-study courses. They even had time to rollout a U.S. GAAP eLearning library subscription and get NASBA approval for our newest learning solutions – microlearning. Our team rocks!
Second, our clients stuck with us, especially our larger clients. They trusted us to help them transform their previously scheduled live events into virtual training. We now count three of the Big 4 global accounting networks as clients. And thank goodness we did! Honestly, we would not have made it through without them. Our large corporate clients were there for us too. Whether implementing a multi-day virtual training solution for a large bank or breathing life into static accounting policies through eLearning, we helped them navigate the virtual training landscape during these unprecedented times. Thank you!
Outlook for 2021
This will be our 20th year of operations. Amazing! However, I fear it’s going to be a tough year.
Honestly, we don’t see live, classroom training returning in 2021. Maybe in the fourth quarter, but we’d have to get a lot of shots in arms for that to happen. So, we’ll just keep on keeping on with respect to virtual training. That said, a few of our larger clients have indicated that they might not have the same level of work for us this year as compared to last year.
“Hang on, baby Jesus, this is gonna get bumpy!” – Ricky Bobby
While six- and sometimes seven-figure gigs are nice, we realize that we shouldn’t rely on them to “keep the lights on.” We must diversify our client base, adding more regional accounting firms, member firms of global accounting networks, and companies to our client list. In fact, we have a goal this year of doubling the number of our clients. How in the world are we going to do that? Frankly, we have to do a better job of marketing and selling ourselves to these types of clients, demonstrating our value and why outsourcing their accounting and auditing training to us makes sense.
Offer Free Webinars
One of the best ways that we market ourselves is to let prospective clients see us in action! That’s why this year we are offering free, CPE-eligible webinars for accounting firms. We’re planning six webinars, totaling 8 hours of CPE. Actually, we’ve already hosted our first webinar, Key Accounting and Audit Reminders for Busy Season, last week to rave reviews. If you weren’t able to attend, here’s a link to the “simulated live” version. From time to time, we also offer other free webinars, either on our own or in partnership with companies like Parker + Lynch Consulting. Want to always be “in the know” regarding free CPE opportunities? Sign up for our blog, GAAPology. Membership has its privileges!
Increase the Content We Produce
Speaking of our blog, did you know that it receives nearly 30,000 visits per month? It is a tremendous source of leads for us and, as such, we are going to “double down” on content, literally. That’s why in 2021 you can expect us to produce 10 pieces of new content each month:
- Four technical blogs covering various issues related to U.S. GAAP, IFRS, SEC regulations, and PCAOB/U.S. GAAS auditing standards
- Three non-technical blogs covering various training “best practices” and hot topics in learning and development
- Two videos showcasing the company, its people, and our various learning solutions, including answering frequently asked questions from clients
- One piece of new premium content that clients can download for free to hopefully make their lives a bit easier
In addition, last year we added a new resource, Accounting Topic Pages, to help our clients navigate certain complex U.S. GAAP and IFRS topics. To date, we’ve completed pages for income taxes, leases, and business combinations. This year were adding pages for the following topics: Investment management, banking, insurance, revenue, impairment of financial instruments, impairment of long-lived assets and goodwill, derivatives and hedging, fair value measurements, and foreign exchange.
Provide Options for Firms to Receive Virtual Training
GAAP Dynamics has several ways we are helping companies and accounting firms transform their learning and development plans to meet the challenges presented by operating in a global pandemic. In addition, we know accounting firms are looking for affordable, virtual training options for their annual Accounting and Audit (A&A) Update and, luckily, GAAP Dynamics has you covered! We’re offering three different options for firms, so there’s a plan for firms of every size. Our Platinum Plan includes an all-access, year-long subscription to our entire eLearning library available on the Revolution, our online learning platform. It should be noted that this year, your access includes our industry-specific training in banking, investment management, and insurance, as well as IFRS!
Build Up Our eLearning Course Library
While I am proud of our progress since launching the Revolution (over 70 courses and counting), we need to “beef up” our eLearning course catalog so that it becomes an even better resource for accounting professionals.
With respect to U.S. GAAP, we plan on launching the following eLearning courses in 2021:
- Share-based payments (ASC 718) – 2 modules
- Consolidations (ASC 810) – 2 modules
- Classifying instruments as either debt or equity – 2 modules
- Individual modules for each of the five steps within ASC 606 Revenue from Contracts with Customers
- Pensions (ASC 715)
- Equity method of accounting (ASC 323)
We also need to begin building our IFRS eLearning content and plan to launch eLearning courses for the following standards:
- IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements
- IAS 12 Income Taxes
- IAS 19 Employee Benefits
- IAS 36 Impairment of Assets
- IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets
- IFRS 3 Business Combinations
- IFRS 9 Financial Instruments
- IFRS 13 Fair Value Measurement
- IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers
- IFRS 16 Leases
As it relates to industry-specific training, in addition to the banking industry and investment management industry fundamentals collections that we already have available on the Revolution, we’re committed to adding a collection related to the insurance industry!
It’s aggressive, for sure. Will we succeed?
I love this quote by Dr. Suess in the book, Oh the Places You’ll Go! And we will succeed for the same reasons we did in 2020. I have faith in the team and know that we’ll continue to provide value to our clients. They say hindsight is 20/20. Well, nobody wants to go relive that dumpster fire! Here’s to 2021!
About GAAP Dynamics
We’re a DIFFERENT type of accounting training firm. We don’t think of training as a “tick the box” exercise, but rather an opportunity to empower your people to help them make the right decisions at the right time. Whether it’s U.S. GAAP training, IFRS training, or audit training, we’ve helped thousands of professionals since 2001. Our clients include some of the largest accounting firms and companies in the world. As lifelong learners, we believe training is important. As CPAs, we believe great training is vital to doing your job well and maintaining the public trust. We want to help you understand complex accounting matters and we believe you deserve the best training in the world, regardless of whether you work for a large, multinational company or a small, regional accounting firm. We passionately create high-quality training that we would want to take. This means it is accurate, relevant, engaging, visually appealing, and fun. That’s our brand promise. Want to learn more about how GAAP Dynamics can help you? Let’s talk!
This post is published to spread the love of GAAP and provided for informational purposes only. Although we are CPAs and have made every effort to ensure the factual accuracy of the post as of the date it was published, we are not responsible for your ultimate compliance with accounting or auditing standards and you agree not to hold us responsible for such. In addition, we take no responsibility for updating old posts, but may do so from time to time.