Guest articles news

Forensic Accounting: A Basic Guide to The Profession

By, Alan Zysman, B.Comm, CA·IFA, CFE - Forensic accounting has existed for many years. With the growing complexities of the business environment and the growing number of business related investigations, forensic accounting professionals are increasingly asked to assist in the investigation of financial and business related issues.What is Forensic Accounting? The integration of accounting, auditing and investigative skills yields the specialty known as forensic accounting.
Practice Management

Lessons From Lawyers: How Not to Manage Staff

After placing last in American Lawyer's ranking of law firms based on a survey of attorneys who had not yet made partner, Clifford Chance asked its staff the reasons for their discontent. Almost all the reasons could easily apply to accounting as well as law firms. The key gripes:A 2,420 billable hour requirement. Associates felt they had to bill at least 2,420 hours a year in order to receive a bonus.
Practice

Improving The Workplace: People Problems Perplex Management

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. - Research shows that supervisors do a much better job of handling job-related problems than they do handling people-related problems. One of two employees believes that their immediate supervisor does a poor job of solving problems such as motivational, emotional, and personal issues.Here are some reasons why: Supervisors Become Supervisors Due to Their Job-Related SkillsEmployees are typically promoted to the supervisory level because of their technical or problem solving skills, not their people-management skills.
Community News

Tips to Strengthen Your Reputation as an Accountant

By Robert G. Epstein - In a profession suddenly surrounded by bad press, work on safeguarding your own professional image.In recent months, accountants across the country have felt the repercussions of Big 5 accounting firm Andersen's struggle with the collapse of energy company Enron. The accounting industry is focusing on rebuilding its reputation with the public, but it's also crucial that every professional do the same. Here, we offer five tips that can help.Talk to Your Clients. It doesn't matter if your clients are large or small.
A&A

The Pros & Cons of Starting Your Own Business/Practice

By abcsmallbiz.comSome of the reasons people start or buy their own businesses are to:- be their own boss or create their own job - seek an alternative to their current career - make better use of their skills and knowledge- introduce a new product or service, or - take advantage of a business opportunity. These are all valid reasons to want your own business, but the success or failure of a person's business venture is as unique as their fingerprint.
Practice Management

Common Characteristics of Peak Performers

By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. - Are you a peak performer? It seems as though every pro thinks they are the best. Nobody else can sell like them, or close like them. But yet, when I press them on exactly what it is that makes up a peak producer, they usually say, a strong positive mental attitude, goals and aspirations. It's shocking to see what little knowledge most salespeople have of what it takes to be a top producer. The Xerox Corporation recently conducted a study to learn what makes a top performer.

Help Your Clients Take Control of Their Retirement Assets

By Jim Wagner, President & CEO, Trust Administration Services - Do you have clients that are frustrated with their retirement plans because of limited investment options or poor investment performance? Today many accountants are finding the answer to this question is a resounding YES.It is easy to understand why. It is estimated that investors lost in excess of $7 trillion in the equity markets from 2000 to 2002.
Technology

Security Fundamentals For your Firm

By Matthew Wilson, MCSE As technology consultants to CPA firms, we at Boomer Consulting are often asked for “the” solution to a given technology issue, question, or problem. Easy answers to the question of security do not exist. This article gives the non-technical reader a glimpse into the world of computer security. Hopefully, you will understand the threats, preventative measures, and countermeasures that comprise the cat-and-mouse game of security.
Community News

Sure-Fire Selling Approaches For Professionals To Win More Business

By Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFE, and Michael CummingsWould you like to close more sales - faster -easier? Work with a better quality of client? Never be concerned about where the next client is coming from?Mistake #1 Selling On The Customer's TurfProblem: Professionals try to qualify and close at a prospect's office -- because it is more convenient for customers and makes it easier to get meetings.Solution: NEVER conduct the initial sales interview on the client's turf.If you do, two problems occur.
Community News

What's Your Marketing Attitude?

By, C.J. Hayden, MCC - Entrepreneurs pay a lot of attention to the mechanics of marketing. They take workshops, read books, and hire consultants to find out how to do the best job they possibly can. With my own clients, I often discover that their knowledge of marketing techniques is quite good already. What they might lack is the right kind of marketing attitude. Do any of the attitudes described below sound familiar? If so, you may be sabotaging your own marketing efforts.
Practice Management

Organizational Effectiveness: What Can You Influence?

By, Phyllis Weiss Haserot - People at all levels have some power to influence factors in their work lives based on their personal strengths, their ability to interact with others, and the knowledge that they hold or share. Those in leadership positions are poised to exert more influence than followers, but they have to be willing to take a stand, give consistent support, and be ever vigilant to maintain trust among their colleagues and "followers." Unless the leader is truly a dictator, direct influence is limited.
Community News

Five Sure-Fire Ways to Alienate Your Employees

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President, Discovery Surveys, Inc. - During the past decade, top management has done an excellent job of alienating employees. Their concern for people has taken a backseat to cost reduction, outsourcing of jobs, and a focus on short-term profits. And forget about training programs, promotions, or pay increases.As a result, many employees have said that once the economy turns around, they will be leaving for greener pastures.HOW TO ALIENATE YOUR EMPLOYEES
Tax

Helping Whistleblowers Help Organizations Fight Fraud

By White-Collar Crime Fighter - The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires audit committees of public companies to establish procedures to confidentially address all employee complaints regarding questionable accounting practices.While that requirement doesn't specifically guarantee protection to whistleblowers who want to report other internal frauds, the spirit of the new law does strongly encourage companies to set up systems and procedures for encouraging employees to come forward when they observe or suspect internal fraud.Key: With the new emphasis on corporate ethics i
A&A

Unique Staffing Strategies For Your Firm

by L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CITP, CEO - According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Baby Boomers comprise 60% of the prime-workforce today. A year ago it appeared accounting might follow a shortage in IT talent around the year 2005 or 2006. Today it looks like the shortage will occur in the accounting industry first and has already started in selective parts of the country. This is particularly true with auditing and accounting skills. California firms are reporting shortages of experienced accountants and auditors.
Practice

How to Effectively Delegate Work and Responsibilities

Effective delegation will not only give you more time to work on your area of expertise, but you will also give others in your firm the opportunity to learn new skills and achieve their goals. Delegation helps people grow underneath you in an organization and thus pushes you even higher in management. It provides you with more time, and you will be able to take on higher priority projects. Delegate whole pieces or entire job pieces rather than simply tasks and activities.
Community News

Articulating The Values of Your Professional Service Firm

By Nancy Blodgett - To come to consensus about what its stands for and where it's headed, one South Carolina-based professional service firm recently took the time required to produce an organizational mission statement.Taking a key idea out of Stephen Covey's best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Turner, Padget, Graham & Laney, decided it was important to draft a mission statement for the law firm.
Community News

How Smart Leaders Reach Out

by Cheri L. Swales, Monster.comDedication to your company is not the only thing you need to consider when developing your career. Volunteering can be an important part of your leadership skills repertoire. Networking is the best way to enhance your career status, and volunteering is one of the best networking opportunities. Why Do People Volunteer?People volunteer in the community for a variety of reasons.

Employees Need Soft Skills - Good Manners Matter

Today's business is plagued with stories of lost sales, eroded relationships, and missed opportunities that may have been caused by a lack of "soft skills." The phrase, soft skills, in this context, is synonymous with good manners, such as how to introduce your colleagues, how to butter your bread in a restaurant, and even how to carry your golf bag. A lack of proper manners and good etiquette can cost you business in today's competitive environment.
Technology

Save Customized Microsoft Excel Chart Styles

If you create charts in Excel, chances are good that you adjust the formatting of the standard chart style each time you create a new chart. You may change the size of the font, perhaps you add some background color, you might include your company logo on the chart, you may prefer the currency format for your numbers, or you may prefer a line graph to the default column style.
Practice Management

How Your Firm can Fully Utilize the Talent of Your Employees

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. Close to 35 percent of employees feel that their job does not make good use of their skills. When employees aren't fully using their abilities, they are:- Unhappy; - Less productive; and - More likely to quit.When employees are underutilized, organizations suffer because they are not maximizing the results they can obtain from them. Management often contributes to the problem by:

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