Guest articles news

Practice Management

Corporate Minutes: More Than a Unit of Time

One requirement of a corporate entity is to maintain proper corporate minutes. You, your CPA and attorney may need well-documented minutes to assist your corporate entity in navigating through such things as Internal Revenue Service audits, bankruptcy or court action. Properly maintained minutes may also assist in other challenges that might come from minority shareholders, fellow directors, employees or other government agencies.
Technology

A Real-World Password Policy For Your Firm

By, John D.

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

An Investigator's Checklist of Vital Information Sources

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.com.The bedrock of any effective fraud investigation is a search pattern that covers the essential steps for information gathering...documentation of the fraud and calculation of the loss—to both the client and to a court of law.
Practice Management

Timeliness of Remitting Employee Contributions to Retirement Plans

By Dixon OdomThe Employee Benefits Security Administration, formerly the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, a division of the Department of Labor (DOL), has clarified and emphasized its position regarding the timeliness of remittances of participant contributions to employee retirement plans.
Tax

Fear of Filing - Guest Article

by Julian BlockThe law empowers and encourages the Internal Revenue Service to make life decidedly disagreeable for persons who intentionally fail to file their returns at tax time. The key federal statute is the Internal Revenue Code, which authorizes the imposition of severe sanctions, both criminal and civil, on those who fail to comply with our "voluntary" system.First, consider the provisions for criminal offenses.
Practice Management

Ten Tips For Better Technology Management in Your Firm

Simply knowing the rules will not turn you into a technology guru, but it will enable you to participate in the development of a technology strategy for your firm. Below are ten tips provided by Gary Boomer of Boomer Consulting. Technology is a Strategic Asset: Many people, including accountants, often try to manage technology as though it were overhead. This approach ensures frustration because expectations are always greater than the resources committed.
Community News

Build Better Business Partnerships and Alliances

There can be disastrous results when care is not taken to build a solid foundation under which a new Business Partnership or Alliance can safely develop strength and stability.
Practice Management

Niche-Building in Professional Services Firms

Many professional service firms are creating specialty areas within their practices and in some cases whole new “offspring” companies to respond to the changing demands of clients and to create growth opportunities for associates and younger staff.Among the three types of professional service firms, CPA firms are for once being viewed as exciting because they continue to experience the most change, which for junior staff in the midsize and smaller-sized firms is being translated into new opportunities.
Practice Management

Treat Employees Fairly But Not Equally

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupPart 1 - THE PROBLEM:Our research shows that 6 of 10 employees believe that their company is doing a poor job of applying personnel policies and procedures fairly. When employees feel they are not administered fairly they lose respect for management, build up resentment toward their fellow co-workers, and lose motivation for their work.
Technology

Consultants For Your Clients...Common Interest Allies? Competitive Enemies?

By Leonard Leff, President of the CDS Companies, based in Lynbrook, New York. Many times an accountant’s clients from the small business sector are under a great deal of pressure. These diminutive enterprises are struggling to make sales, bring in revenue and devise ways to expand their operations, while keeping up with all of the required payments: everything from taxes, fees, monthly obligations, payroll and more. As promising as the outlook for said business may appear to look, real problems and issues often driven by a need for regular cash flow remain constant.
Practice Management

What Do Your Clients Really Want?

It's really no secret what your clients and prospects want, they want solutions and leadership. Solutions and leadership demonstrate value to a client. These come from a thorough knowledge of the client's objectives, strategies, existing circumstances, competitive position, and personnel.
Practice

Knowledge Management For CPA Firms

By Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA The influence of technology is being felt in every business today, especially in light of discussions stating that a company’s ability to adapt to new technologies and to maximize the "intellectual capital" within the organization, may be the last (and only sustainable) competitive business advantage. This is especially true within service organizations such as CPA Firms, where the higher value capabilities of tax, audit, and business consulting usually reside in the minds of personnel.
Community News

Seven Things To Do To Communicate Your Companies Vision For Your Team

By, Christopher M. Knight How well does your staff understand your firm's vision? If you stopped your top 3 employees, would they know or be able to recite your companies vision? When is the last time you sent your company what the top 3 goals of your firm is? Go do that today. Have you clearly defined the top 12 guiding principles by which your company will be run?
Tax

Seven State Sales & Use Tax Exemptions You Should Know About

by Babs VerbrickBusinesses across the United States save several billion dollars annually thanks to individual state enacted sales and use tax exemptions. The majority of states offer various sales and use tax exemptions centered around the manufacturing and agriculture industries as well as for non-profit organizations. But, there are many other little-known exemptions that could mean big savings for your business or your clients.
Education & Careers

Making Ethical Decisions - Part Two: The Six Pillars of Character...

Reprinted from Ethics in Action with permission of the Josephson Institute of Ethics. © 2002 Josephson Institute of Ethics(View Making Ethical Decisions - Part One: Making Sense of Ethics)The Six Pillars of Character...Trustworthiness. Respect. Responsibility. Fairness. Caring. Citizenship. The Six Pillars of Character are ethical values to guide our choices.
Community News

The Importance of Succession Planning

Compliments of The Change Management Group"Having succession planning and a management development process is the training of people, giving them assignments so they can build new strengths, and having very candid discussions about their performance. When you have that, you are building the most effective leaders possible." - Bruce Bunch, General ElectricLess than 15 percent of companies address the need for a top leadership succession plan.
Education & Careers

The Significance of New Employee Orientation Programs

We are all aware of the implications of poor hiring decisions. They can cost the company time and money, and they can result in low employee morale. One basic step to ensuring that new hires get off to a positive start is to conduct an effective employee orientation program. Employees who are properly trained and introduced to the company early feel better about their choice of employer and usually fit in more quickly.
Community News

Making The Most of Client Meetings

Like a good business letter or report, a client sales meeting has three basic parts: introduction, body, and closing. In addition, it provides an opportunity for questions and answers.It's important to recognize that prospective and current clients usually want to address current and future issues, not the past ones. Be cautious about expressing opinions about current problems unless you know the politics of the organization and the individuals in the meeting well.
A&A

Successful Financial Crime Prevention

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.com.While the ingenuity and complexity of today's huge corporate frauds make interesting reading, there are countless other varieties of financial wrongdoing plaguing companies that don't receive mass media attention.LOW PROFILE, HIGH COSTUnfortunately, these "lesser" frauds usually have devastating results on a company's bottom line and reputation—just as the mega-frauds do on the Enrons, Worldcoms and Tycos that the mas

Pages