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Practice

Developing Entrepreneurs: Emulating The Right Role Models

Excerpted from: Building Entrepreneurial People by Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFEIntroductionNew business is the lifeblood of every CPA firm. Some firms today are being forced to merge with other firms, are being bought out under less than desirable circumstances, or are slowly going out of business before the partners' eyes because not enough new clients and new work are coming in.

Networking Faux Pas in Today's Competitive Market

Working a room can uncover hidden job opportunities at the executive level, as long as professionals avoid some common networking errors. Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, points out that networking mistakes are easy to make, especially for those who are out of practice."Failing to keep an active network can hinder your employment prospects if you suddenly find yourself in the job market with no contacts or references," McDonald said.

Six Steps to Positive Confrontation at Work

By, Barbara PachterYour boss yells at you in front of your co-workers. Your co-worker is not doing her fair share on the team project. Your employee is chronically late. What can you do about these and countless other annoying, bothersome, or even intolerable situations at work?"The American workplace can seem full of conflict," says business communications trainer Barbara Pachter. "For the employee, this conflict translates into added work stress and dissatisfaction.

Positioning Yourself in The Current Accounting/Finance Marketplace

By, Dom Vacca, Acsys Inc. Unquestionably, the labor market conditions that we find ourselves in are less than optimal. However, history tells us that the pendulum continues to swing and the good times will return. We just don’t know precisely when that will be.Like other aspects of our lives, we have no choice but to respond to the situation with which we are faced. We can moan and groan about the ‘soft’ market -- but that accomplishes nothing. So, in the meantime, how can we best deal with the realities of the marketplace?
Practice Management

Clearing the Lines of Communication

By, Keith Rosen If you can eliminate communication breakdowns between your clients and yourself, the result will be more sales with less headaches. Breakdowns occur because no one took the time to check if what was communicated was understood by the people engaged in the conversation. Here are four easy steps that will assist you in getting clear with your client's wants, needs and expectations. 1. Ask a Question: Assume you have no idea what the client really wants. The only way to uncover their needs is to first ask questions.

Gambling With The Fair Labor Standards Act: A Multi-Million Dollar Wager

By, Kimberli Aboyade, Esq., Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC U-Haul, $7.5 million; Pizza Hut, $10 million; Starbucks, $18 million; Taco Bell, $13 million; Bank of America, $22 million; Rite Aid, $25 million; Pacific Bell, $35 million; Farmers Insurance, a whopping $90 million. Verdicts like these are causing employers across the country to take a close look at a Depression-era federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Community News

Dealing With Difficult Partners

By Kaye Vivian Every moment of misery is different, and every set of circumstances in which partners find themselves confronting their partners is different. This makes it hard to be prepared for these moments when they do occur. Yet these moments of misery are bound to happen, since everyone doesn't perform up to their full potential 100% of the time, and conflicts arise for any number of reasons. Some general guidelines may help a managing partner or a concerned peer turn the miserable moments and conflicts around.
Education & Careers

Become an Explorer - The Power of Questions

By, Keith Rosen The most brilliant thinkers, innovators and explorers of our time emphasized questions more than answers, a characteristic of all highly evolved individuals. Note the root of the word question, Quest; the act of seeking or pursuing something. This desire to search and journey beyond what is already known and seek that which would enhance the quality of our lives or broaden our wisdom is what has enabled humanity to continually evolve over time.

A Little Used Business Secret, Plus Free Book Download

by John HarricharanYou may download for FREE, Mr. Harricharan's Book "When You Can Walk on Water, Take the Boat" at the end of the article...Sometimes, the simplest things are the most profound. Many times, the most obvious things are often ignored. A good percentage of the time the most common sense principles are the ones most disregarded.Perhaps, it's because we are so intent on making a living that we forget about making a life.One of the most forgotten principles for personal success is a word ignored by almost everyone - Goodwill.

Impact Your Top Line Now

By, Allan BoressThe economic slowdown is affecting the top line of many firms across the country as client companies cut back on purchasing noncompliance services and become increasingly concerned about fees. In response, as business slows, firms tend to cut expenses and attempt to become more efficient.

Making The Audit Process Work For You

By, Leading Edge AllianceJust mentioning the word audit to some business owners is enough to cause them to groan. The good news about audits is that at their core, they are designed to help your business run more efficiently.
Technology

The Process Improvement Multiplier

By, Kenneth M. McCall, MBAThe Webster New World Dictionary defines a "process", in part, as "a particular method of doing something, generally involving a number of steps or operations". That sounds pretty straightforward and direct. Would anyone disagree that we have a number of different "processes" at work in a CPA firm? Everything from the cultivation of a prospect into a client to the preparation of financial statements, audit reports or tax returns meets this definition.So if that’s a process, what is "process improvement"?
Technology

Microsoft IT Certifications – Which One is Right For Your Firm?

By Kenneth M. McCall, MBA, MCPOver the past several years, CPA firms of all sizes have been migrating away from their pure Novell NetWare networks to networks which are either completely based in Microsoft Windows NT or Windows 2000, or are a mixture of operating systems. This evolution has created a very real need for network administrators with measurable skills in the Microsoft server platforms.

Business Etiquette You Really Need to Know

by Susan Bryant, Monster Contributing Writer What’s the difference between the rising star whose career is picking up speed and his counterpart who can’t seem to get the engine to turn over? Often, the star has mastered the nuances of business etiquette -- the subtle but critical behaviors that can make or break an important meeting, influence a first impression or impress a potential client. According to Hilka Klinkenberg, director of Etiquette International, a business etiquette firm, the basics of professional etiquette are really quite simple.

Businesses Can Offset Rises in Health Insurance Costs Without Trimming Benefits

Patricia A. Schultz, Esq., Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC Health insurance costs are expected to rise an average 16 percent in 2003.

How To Improve Your Self Management Skills

You are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Learn to accept total responsibility for yourself. If you do not manage yourself, then you are letting others have control of your life. These tips will help "you" manage "you." Look at every new opportunity as an exciting and new-life experience. If you catch yourself worrying about an upcoming task, go ahead and do it now so it no longer is a distraction. Get into the habit of finishing what you start. Give up "waiting time" forever. Have something with you at all times to work on.
Technology

Managing Technology – 10 Cost Saving Tips

By, Gary Boomer, Boomer ConsultingWith uncertain economic times ahead, the first call from many partners is to look for ways to cut overhead. As I have said many times in previous articles, the firms that are winning with technology are those who view technology as a strategic asset rather than as overhead. If you don’t believe this, ask yourself the question, “will technology play an increasing or decreasing role in our firm’s future”?
A&A

Common Faults With Accounting Firms' Web Sites

By Steve McIntyre-Smith Ph.D, President, MarketingForAccountants.com There are many, many reasons why so many Web sites fail to achieve results. Here are some of the top problems found in our work with accounting firms the world over.Beauty and the beast. Having a beautiful looking web site is not why people buy from you. Think for a moment. Why do you go onto the web? For information. We surf to find answers to questions, to find something that will help improve our firm and give us a competitive edge.The best-looking sites are often not the best sites!
Technology

Recession Plus PCs Equal More Fraud

by Camico InsuranceInternal or occupational fraud continues to cause enormous problems for CPAs. While audit engagements historically generate more losses than other engagements, all types of engagements are affected by fraud, from non-attest services to tax return preparation. Nearly one-third of all claims losses over $100,000 received by CAMICO stem from some kind of fraudulent activity.
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.

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