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Practice Management

Nine No-Fail Tips For Becoming an Undisputed Value Leader

Looking to become the superior value provider in your industry? You are if you want to keep your customers from going elsewhere, says R. Eric Reidenbach, Ph.D., principal and founding partner of VALTec Group, Inc. and co-author (along with colleagues Reginald W. Goeke, Ed.D. and Gordon W. McClung, Ph.D.) of Dominating Markets with Value: Advances in Customer Value Management.
Practice Management

Ten Steps to Branding Your Firm

by Terri M. Sommella, Sommella Market StrategiesStudies show that 75% of firms are either in the process of a branding campaign or are considering one. Why? Succinctly put, branding creates differentiation and client loyalty. It is the purposeful development of a personal relationship between the client and the product or service. A brand is not all consuming but rather, represents a piece of the whole, one aspect of the firm.
Practice Management

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.

The Warning Signs of Career Disaster

By, Deborah Walker, CCMC Many of us experience recurring dreams. Mine is that I’m driving down the freeway and I can’t read the road signs until I’m right up close. By then it’s too late: I’ve missed an important exit. Fortunately, it’s just a dream. I wake up and all is fine. Unfortunately, many people have trouble reading signs—not road signs, but career warning signs.A career warning sign is any change that indicates possible career disaster that could result in finding ones place in the unemployment line.
Practice Management

When Management Ignores Employee Suggestions - What Can Your Firm Do?

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupOur research shows that 7 out of 10 employees believe that management does not act on employee suggestions. Here's why this is a problem.Good Suggestions Slip Through the CracksOne of the major lessons of the quality improvement movement has been that employees who actually perform the work usually have very good suggestions for improving the work. Ignoring their ideas is a sure prescription for inefficiency and reduced profitability.Employees Lose Trust in Managemen
Technology

How Do You INTERACT With Your Clients?

Working online should mean working closer.Online application services represent the best way to work more closely with your clients while decreasing your overall costs of maintaining technology. But using online application services introduce new and sometimes challenging issues, such as getting source documents from clients, and establishing a workflow process that meets the needs of both the client and the practice.
A&A

Tell The Truth, Unless it Hurts - Stock Option Accounting

The following is a guest editorial by, Raymond L. Dever, CPA (Retired)Tell the Truth, Unless it Hurts - Stock Option Accounting. Or, unless it is politically dangerous. "We can't stand by and let accountants wearing green eyeshades decide who is going to get the American dream," says Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) before a Silicon Valley lobbying organization.

DOL Releases Long Awaited Plan to Update The FLSA

by Stuart R. Buttrick, Baker & DanielsGenerally, the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") establishes minimum wage and overtime standards for employees that are not exempt from its provisions. Among the most common exemptions under the FLSA are for "executive," "administrative," and "professional" workers -- also known as the FLSA's "white collar" exemptions.

Overcome Your Fear of Job Interviews

By, Acsys, Inc.Let's face it - job interviews can be intimidating! Answering an array of questions can make you feel like you're under a microscope. Everyone wants to impress potential employers, and knowing that this interview may be your only chance to do so, can make the experience stressful. So, how can you overcome this awkwardness and let your true potential shine through? Our advice is to just "BE!"Be Positive: The first thing you need to do is to think positively!
Practice

Ex-Con Tells How Auditors Fail to Help Clients Guard Against Fraud

Mark Morze is in the news pretty often. Reason: He has the dubious distinction of having perpetrated one of the biggest and most brazen financial frauds in American history. While the 1980s may seem like ancient history to many, it was the decade in which the ZZZZ Best carpet-cleaning company soared and crashed, leaving a twisted trail of criminal devastation that took prosecutors, regulators and judges years to sort out.
Practice Management

The Laser Approach - Increase Your Networking Techniques

Always begin with the phrase "You know how" followed by a couple of common problems your clients normally experience. Then follow up by saying, "What I do is" and continue with several key points, benefits or value propositions as to how your product or service solves these problems. For example, if you are a consultant, you can say, "You know how some businesses experience poor staff performance and productivity which can wind up costing the company time and money?" Allow the person to respond, demonstrating you have their attention and they are interested in what you have to say.
Community News

Seven Tips to Keep Your Businesses PC Costs Down

By, Christopher M. KnightStandardize on one model & one name brand ONLY. It may not seem like much, but as your business grows, you will find it will be cheaper to even pay more to keep buying the model you standardized on, in order to keep productivity UPTIME high, and problems low.Standardize on your software installation. Every desktop should look and feel the same, to keep internal PC Support costs low.Have a strong tape backup strategy, and make sure you take your backups OFF premises, in case of fire.
A&A

Working With Family Businesses - A Lender's Perspective For Trusted Advisors

By Walter Einhorn, President & CEO Sunrock CapitalMost trusted advisors and consultants understand that many family businesses have long and complex histories and structures. When working with family owned or operated business an in-depth knowledge of the players and operations becomes essential. For some lenders and trusted professionals information about a client company can be acquired over long periods of time by working closely with principals.
Practice Management

Tips on Managing People From David Maister

By David MaisterThe right way to give a critique.The worst thing you can do if you want to get somebody to listen to you is to criticize him or her. As human beings we hate being criticized. When attacked we attack back. And we attack even when we are in the wrong. Right or wrong has nothing to do with it. Many of us fall into the trap of thinking 'I know I am right, so I'm going to tell the others how silly they are!' It's tempting, but doesn't work. If you have the self-control and the presence of mind to put aside your own ego-needs, and say, 'I've got a problem.
Education & Careers

Career Fairs—Your Shortcut to Job Interviews

By, Deborah Walker, CCMC In many cities and local communities, spring is career fair season. While these events often prove disappointing, job-seekers who understand how “work” career fairs use these events as powerful networking sessions leading to interviews with future employers. If you are considering attending a job fair soon, you’ll get more out of the event by following these three rules.Rule #1: Plan ahead.Know ahead of time which companies will attend the event. Decide which employers you are interested in contacting.
A&A

Seven Money Skills of Extremely Prosperous People

Why do some people earn 10 times more money in their lifetime than the rest of us? Do they work 10 times harder? "People who are wealthy do not necessarily work harder to earn their money. They work smarter with the money they have," says Mark Victor Hansen, coauthor of "The One Minute Millionaire".
Practice Management

Five Steps Employers Can Take to Minimize Employment Liability

by Stuart R. Buttrick, Baker & DanielsThe number of discrimination lawsuits increases every year. They’re taking more time to resolve through the judicial process and becoming more costly to defend, and juries (especially in the post-Enron era) are awarding bigger awards to employees.
Practice Management

Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? (Part 3)

Continued from "Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? Part 2"WHEN DO PEOPLE EMBEZZLE OR ABUSE THE COMPANY? Generally, three things have to be present before someone commits fraud or embezzles: need, opportunity, and rationalization. This is known as the "triangle of fraud." (See Figure 1.)Need takes two forms—direct and indirect. Direct need is stealing to fund cash needs and is often driven by an addiction—drugs, alcohol, gambling, or an extramarital affair.
Community News

Nonprofits Without Audit Committees Risk Financial Disaster

By, John R. Owen, III, Esq., Polito & Smock, P.C.In the wake of Enron and other business scandals, the audit committee of a company’s board of directors has resurfaced as a key tool for preventing fraud and ensuring sound financial management. But in the nonprofit world, the boards of many organizations operate without audit committees in the mistaken belief that charities do not need them.Financial improprieties are not limited to for-profit enterprises.
Community News

Ten Tax Season Media Opportunities

By: Terri M. Sommella, President, Sommella Market StrategiesAccounting firms have a great opportunity to leverage the media exposure the profession is afforded during Busy Season. Here are 10 events which afford an opportunity to send press releases and a few tips on making the releases more newsworthy: Speaking Engagements - Speaking engagements warrant press releases especially if an engagement is open to the public as in a Chamber of Commerce presentation.

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