Practice Management news

Practice Management

US Firms Reveal Best Practices for Audit Efficiency

The AICPA's Journal of Accountancy has a feature in its September issue in which firms cited for their excellent quality controls share practice tips on how to improve audits while saving time and enhancing profits. There is probably something for most practicing accountants here, and many well-organized firms will find much familiar ground.The first step towards audit efficiency is to manage and train clients. Auditors work best when clients provide them with the data they need.
Practice Management

Small Business Solution: Hire a Debt Arbitrator

Small businesses like CPA firms and other companies are famous for being negligent in collecting on past due accounts. Some past due receipts often go 30, 60 or even 90 days.One solution for clients and companies alike is to hire a debt arbitrator - a person who can negotiate settlements based on experience and pay incentives.
Practice Management

Counting Beans In The New Economy

As technology advances and market demand shifts, accounting firms of all shapes and sizes are readjusting the services they provide to best meet the needs of their clients and of their businesses.A number of Internet-based outsourcing businesses are growing in popularity, and may well be the catalysts that push today's CPA up the "value chain" to be able to satisfy their client's needs while freeing up the time to provide higher value services to the company.One such business is CountTheBeans.com. The brainchild of
Practice Management

Collections Tip: Discounts Sometimes Work

CPA firms who chase after collections know that it is sometimes a losing game. Each firm tries to collect any outstanding balances due for obvious reasons, but doing so may be very difficult.One suggestion is to provide a 'discount' if the client were to pay within a specified time period.
Practice

Direct Mail that Grabs the Reader

The name junk mail is just that for a reason; because it’s junk. A company may have many wonderful things to inform you about but unless they grab you and give you a reason to read, you will find yourself dumping it without giving it a second glance. Don’t let this happen to your letter.Start by making sure you know your audience. Sometimes hitting the masses and hoping that your target it nestled somewhere within is not as effective as shaving down your list knowing full-well that these recipients are people who will be interested.
Practice Management

Best Methods to Recruit New Hires

With low unemployment, finding new hires for financial and technical positions has become an unusually difficult task. How do you determine the best use of time and resources?Newspaper or other media advertising is the traditional route for finding new employees. A downside of this method is that it can result in too many unacceptable applicants ... many of whom are over- or under-qualified.Online resources and job-posting boards are gaining in popularity, particularly for those trying to fill high-tech jobs.
Technology

Employers Who Read Employees’ E-Mail Face Risks

Employees have a right to e-mail privacy, as long as “there is a subjective expectation of privacy and that expectation is objectively reasonable,” or if the employee commits “an unreasonable intrusion upon the seclusion of another,” according to Dr. Steven Abraham, J.D., Ph.D., university professor, and legal advisor.
Practice

Do You Really Know Your Clients?

If you’re looking to position yourself as a leader in your industry you’ve probably found yourself focusing on the intricacies of the accounting industry itself. While this is a mandatory aspect of what you do as an accounting professional, a way to differentiate yourself from the competition is to be an expert in your client’s industry.Make it a point to subscribe to publications focusing on the industry you find your practice wanting to grow the most, or the ones your practice has developed a strong client base in.
Practice Management

Are Digital Business Cards Worth the Effort?

The latest craze in electronic gadgetry is sure to be the electronic business card, a hand-held, smaller-size CD-ROM that can serve as a gateway to lots of different kinds of information about your firm or business.But are these cards worth producing, and are the benefits going to truly help?Like any marketing tactic, the answer sometimes is vague, but CPAs and accounting professionals will want to quantify this effort first by looking at the card's cost.
Practice Management

Is Accounting the 'World's Oldest Profession'?

The following is an editorial by Paul Dunn, co-founder of Results Accountants' Systems.Come on — time to own up! Is the Profession actually the oldest Profession in the world?In every gathering of Accountants I'm asked to address, I always ask the question: "how many of us have clients we wish we didn't have?
Practice Management

10 Steps to Developing Effective Client Service Strategy

Stephanie Leon of Results Accountants' Systems presented a free, interactive workshop on AccountingWEB in which she explained several useful measures that you can take to ensure that your clients are well-served and content.Among her suggestions are:Step 1: Commit yourself to the projectStep 2: Assess where the business is at in terms of the present service levelStep 3: Determine your customers' needsStep 4: Set performance standardsStep 5: Identify the moments
Practice Management

Seminars: Let’s Get the Word Out

Seminars are a great way for accounting firms to introduce a new service, educate on a current service or inform clients on an issue that may be very pertinent to their financial situation. However, often times the message misses its mark due to an unsure approach to the audience and lack of follow-up. The following are a few ways to update your checklist for ensuring greater success with your own seminar.Make sure your audience is appropriate for the topic. Not everyone on your client list is meant for every subject or service your firm hosts seminars on.
Practice Management

Ready, Set, Market!

So you’ve decided it is time to add a marketing director to your staff. Before you bring your new marketing director on board there are a few things to take into consideration. Currently, the shelf life for an accounting firm marketing director is about 13 months. The following might help you keep your marketing director beyond the current attrition rate.Make sure that the consensus among your partner group is one of a positive nature when it comes to bringing this individual into your firm. While not everyone will agree, it’s important that the majority do.
Practice Management

Expand Your Accounting Practice with Virgos

Today's horoscope, as reprinted in the Washington Post, indicates that Virgos are in need of reviewing their accounting methods. Check the birthdates of your clients -- you may find that some of them are expecting your call!
Practice Management

Break with Tradition – Pay for Performance!

Rex Gatto, Ph.D., psychologist, business lecturer, and counselor, provided us with insights into the world of Pay for Performance.
Practice

Military Leaders Lend Insight into Good Character

What is it about those people who seem to be born leaders? They always seem to have the right answers and make decisions based on what’s best for the company as well as the individuals working for them. This quality is called character and according to former leaders of the military we all possess it and are capable of using it.While many of us think that character consists of a good work ethic and an intelligent head on our shoulders, there seems to be more to the term. According to General Charles Krulak, former U.S.
Practice Management

Purchasing Fraud: Detection & Prevention Checklist

Reprinted with permission by the Financial Management Network.by Leonard W. Vona, CFE, CPA Director of Internal Audit for the Research Foundation, State University of New YorkThe potential for fraud during any phase of the purchasing cycle is enormous. To detect fraud warning signs and save your organization untold dollars, add these steps to your next procurement audit: Focus your sample on the 3-5 year history of a particular purchase. What trends do you see and - more importantly - don't see?
Practice Management

Improve Efficency in your Workplace with Systematization

Trent Kaeslin, Practice Development Coordinator for Results Accountants' Systems was our guest Tuesday in the workshop room here at AccountingWEB.
Practice Management

Dot.coms Paving Way for New Type of Executive

Corporate America has always welcomed the experienced decision-maker who can take a new task, assess the situation quickly, find the problems and weaknesses, and make lemonade out of what appears to be a lemon.Today's climate of Internet and technology start-up companies is providing a ripe field for the savvy executive to harvest. New companies spring up every day, able to "open the doors" of business by simply creating a web presence.
Practice

What A/P Managers Need To Know About Digital Signatures

Reprinted with permission from Financial Management Network. What Every A/P Manager Needs to Know About Digital Signatures and Encryptionor Julius Caesar’s Impact on Accounts Payable Mary Ludwig SchaefferOne of the biggest fears your boss has about the Internet is the lack of security. The solution to the security problem lies in encryption and digital signatures. A/P professionals need to understand that these new technologies are coming to accounts payable — quickly.

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