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Practice Management

Creative Strategies for Delivering 5-Star Customer Service

by Bea Fields Customer satisfaction is valuable, but customer loyalty is priceless. In today's competitive world of business, it is becoming more and more important to deliver customer service that is unbeatable. These ten creative strategies can support you in turning your customers into walking billboards for your business.
Practice Management

Ideas to Improve The Quality of Your Firm

By Nancy BlodgettHere are some helpful ways to improve the quality of your firm. Adjust Your Attitude Be open to new ideas! Make time for quality improvement. Don’t manage by fear. Help people feel secure in their jobs.Don’t let the statement: "we’ve always done it this way," keep the firm from trying new approaches to problem-solving. Change the "Us vs. Them" culture of management and staff by adopting quality principles and methods.
Technology

Five Ways to Coordinate Your Staff's Time Off Using MS Office

Coordinating your staff's busy schedules can be a challenge, especially when the people you manage have different meeting schedules, vacation plans, and requirements for time away.
Technology

Tips for Effective Internal Investigations

by Stuart R. Buttrick, Baker & DanielsEmployers are forced to defend themselves against large numbers of EEOC charges and lawsuits, many of which could be avoided by prompt and effective internal investigations. A primary goal of any human resource or EEO officer should be to have an effective mechanism for allowing work-related complaints to be resolved internally.
A&A

Providing Year Round Tax Services for Small Businesses

by Darren Oliver April 15 may be long gone, but many independent accountants and tax preparers or small firms will find themselves without that nice, additional tax season generated revenue. Although you may be used to experiencing this and plan for it accordingly, a trend within the industry towards providing year round federal tax review and recovery services for small businesses is emerging, that could redefine the time frame by which we define tax season.Meanwhile, small businesses are demanding that accountants advise and/or consult on a larger scale.
Practice Management

Effective Employee Incentive Programs: Bring Out the Best in Your Firm

By Lisa A. Rozycki, Marketing Director, Reinsel & Company LLPIn a firm-wide marketing survey, employees were asked what would motivate them to market the firm’s services. Not surprisingly, the top two answers were "incentive compensation" and "recognition" for their efforts.Like many CPA firms across the country, we’ve had the standard commission structure on new business and cross-selling services to existing clients for a number of years. Three years ago, the paper forms that needed to be filled out for compensation almost never left the shelf.
Practice Management

Top Ten Strategies for Boosting Small Biz Profits

by Bea Fields No matter what stage your small business is in, one thing is for sure: money matters! If you are in a slump, the fastest way to jump-start your sales is to reach out and touch as many people as possible using your unique talents and gifts. These ten tips will guide you to maximizing profits from your small business while becoming a biz expert one day at a time. Choose your words with care.Each time you speak, you have the chance to make or break your business.
Community News

Top Mistakes Companies Make in Computer Crime Prevention

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.com. I've been working with large companies on information security and internal computer crime for more than five years and have been in law enforcement for more than 15 years as a detective investigator as well as a detective commander.To this day I am amazed that top managers of Fortune 1,000 companies are still in the same boat when it comes to computer crime: No one thinks their employees would ever abuse their company's computers to steal
Practice Management

Building a 'Ferrari' Referral Network: Fasten Your Seatbelts!

By Gale Crosley, CPAEver wish you could turbo-charge your referral efforts? The need for speed has never been greater for CPAs. If your referral program is plodding along when it should be setting the pace, there's good news: a network-building strategy that is innovative, focused and proven. Caution! This is not your father's Oldsmobile! No Free LunchCPAs have traditionally sought business through bankers and lawyers, what I call the "free lunch" program.
Practice Management

Do Your Retreats Advance Your Firm?

By, Bruce Marcus, The Marcus Newsletter We're in the middle of the retreat season. Lawyers, accountants and consultants will assemble, tie less, at fine resorts throughout the nation, to explore the futures of their firms and what can be done to sustain the present or alter the future. Good food, great weather, good golf and good sightseeing for the wives, with a couple of hours of serious business built in. Recharging the batteries, and maybe, the minds.
Practice Management

A New Era in Competing For Clients

By Bruce Marcus, The Marcus NewsletterThe conversations with Professor Philip Kotler, and Larry Smith’s findings and their interpretations in his book Inside/Outside, focus on what may be an unheralded change in professional services marketing.From the time of the Bates Decision (Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 1977), which laid the groundwork for a new era of marketing for professional services, until now, professional services marketing has concentrated on the traditional tools of marketing – the press release, the newsletter, the seminar, the brochure, etc..
Technology

Five Quick and Easy Excel Tips

Complimenets of ExcelTip.comTip 1: Searching all Sheets in a WorkbookTo search for text, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F or choose Edit, Find. To search and replace text, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H or choose Edit, Replace. Searching and replacing all sheets in the Workbook From sheet tab short cut menu choose Select all sheets.
A&A

The Road to Success: Growing Your Network

By Alvah Parker, Career and Business Coach"How do I grow my business through referrals?" "I was just downsized and need another job, what are your suggestions?" " I want to work in the US but I need to find a company to work for that will sponsor me. How do I find that company?" These are the questions people ask me. While each question has an array of answers, one answer that comes up for all these questions is to network. Whether you are a business owner, work in business or are starting a new career, having a network of people to support you is imperative.
Technology

Adding a Wrap Text Shortcut in Microsoft Excel

Wrap text is a useful technique that you will use frequently when working in Excel. You add the shortcut by adding a style in the Style box.

Tooting Your Own Horn

By, C.J. Hayden, MCC "If he who has a thing to sell goes and whispers in a well, he won't be so apt to make the dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers!" -- Anonymous Every day in your business, something happens that others should know. You give exceptional service to a client; you reach out to a new type of customer; you demonstrate your expertise on an important topic. Yet most of the time, the only people aware of these significant events are the individual with whom you are speaking and you.
Technology

Finding the Best CRM System for Your Firm

By Eric Hunt, Boomer Consulting, Inc. Customer Relationship Management, CRM, is one of the most important tools a company can use to remain viable. CRM is exactly what it stands for, a system that manages customers. It is a tool that should be used to track everything you do that relates to your customers. With that definition, how does a firm go about implementing a new CRM system that will maximize the information it has on its customers? This is the big question that my company had to answer over the last year.
Practice Management

Seven Steps to the Litigation-Free Zone

While CPAs and finance professionals can’t control the malpractice insurance market, there is still plenty they can do to limit their liability and risk, and to protect their practices. Some cautious steps might even help to keep higher premiums at bay.Here are some pointers from the pros:Prepare—and use—a solid engagement letter - "It’s the ‘Rules of War’ drawn up during peacetime," says Aon’s Dave Sukert. A good engagement letter clearly defines the scope of the work, as well as the responsibilities of both accountant and client.
Practice

Hold Your Managing Partner Accountable

By L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CITP, CEO
A&A

How to Manage a Rapidly Growing Business

By Alvah Parker While some new business owners face the issue of not enough customers, others face the issue of too many customers/clients. Both are serious issues and must be dealt with carefully. There are many lists on how to find new customers/clients. Here is a list of 10 ways to deal with a rapid influx of new customers.

Ten Things Small Firms Can Do to Compete

By Bruce MarcusGreat turbulence in the accounting profession, as well as in the business world itself, makes these difficult and unusual times. Public outcry against the misdeeds of a few accounting firms, corporations, investment bankers and others in government and the business community is tarring the innocent as well as the guilty. In the meantime, the loss of Arthur Andersen and the consolidation of the now Big Five can alter the competitive landscape for firms of any size.

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