Practice Management news

Practice Management

The Product We Sell

If someone asked you what you sell, what would you say? Oil, chemicals, whatever product you sell, right? We really sell something so much bigger than the products and services our customers pay us for. In small dollar sales the customer is less conscious of value. With larger sales, the product and the resulting relationship with the buyer are harder to separate…so you are selling yourself.What makes up a relationship that adds value to your products? Our credibility, reliability, and anticipation of customer needs are the keys to a successful relationship.
Practice Management

Is "Business Coaching" Part of Your Service Mix?

The thought of hiring a business coach to help us reach our professional objectives may seem ridiculous - at first. But as an increasing number of entrepreneurs turn to professional coaches to help them successfully grow their businesses, the idea seems more reasonable.And that spells "opportunity" for CPA business advisors.Professional business coaches can help small business owners find answers to business and personal issues ranging from personnel situations to complex business obstacles.
Practice Management

Banner Ads are Five Years Old: Are They Already Dead?

Believe it or not, the banner ad you see on many popular Web sites is five years old ... but have the candles all blown out on this advertising medium, once touted as the newest way to reach mass audiences?Experts at the eretailing '99, a conference sponsored by shop.org, believe there are better ways to reach consumers and steer traffic to the Web.
Practice

Customer Service is a Core Value, not a Core Chore

Take Marketing 101 and the textbook will tell you that good customer service is one of the primary components of any operation, but what about customer service within CPA firms or CPA-owned businesses?It shouldn't be any different.
Practice Management

Growth and Considerations for Office Space

Your business is growing and bursting at the seams: you've got employees stacked literally on top of each other and can't figure out what to do … ever thought about moving offices?The first step is to determine, of course, how much you can afford and how much space your really need. For example, you have to think beyond current boundaries and figure out how many offices, workstations, conference rooms and storerooms you'll need in a new arrangement.The bottom line, or cost, is probably the largest concern - as it should be.
Practice

CPA Firm/Company Retreats are Productive Ways to Regroup

Remember the firm or company retreat of days gone by where everyone felt as if they had to participate or face a pink slip? Gone are the days of this mindset as companies across the globe have discovered the inherent benefits to the company retreat - a journey that mixes practical activities with long-term success.The retreat can be held anywhere and can be kept inexpensive. From posh Caribbean resorts to something as simple as the club room at a local restaurant, the trick is to keep it manageable.
Practice Management

Is It OK To Spy On Your Employees?

According to a survey by the American Management Association International, two-thirds of businesses eavesdrop on their employees in some fashion -- whether through email tracking, Internet usage, by videotape or over the phone. And in just about every situation, they have a right to do so.Employers have the fiduciary responsibility to protect the business they are working in, and part of that responsibility is to ensure that employees are not abusing the rules and regulations of the business.Technology has allowed the ability to monitor employee activity very easily.
Practice Management

CPA Firm Marketing Done Through E-mail Newsletters

Sometimes, the most inexpensive marketing techniques make the most impact, like the e-mail newsletter. Sure, all of us get some form of news bulletins via e-mail, so how do you make your newsletter different … and really stand out from the crowd?The trick is customizing your content and truly making the newsletter seem personal rather than spam mail.
Technology

Download This Computer Usage Policy

Does your firm have a policy for staff use of computers or the Internet? If not, you need to implement one sooner rather than later. Info Tech Partners North America, a leading technology consulting organization working with CPA firms, authored a sample policy that was used in the MAP handbook and has weathered the test of time. Please send your comments (or thanks) to Roman Kepczyk for making this sample policy available to the profession.
Practice Management

Sucessful Companies Do

Whether you are planning to grow your firm for the 21st century or you are providing business planning for your clients, a lesson from top-performing companies can help.According to AnswerThink, a consulting group, top performing companies integrate strategic planning with tactical and financial planning processes. More than two-thirds of companies worldwide currently rely only on financial planning to realize business goals.Successful companies also don’t keep strategy a secret. They share it with all levels of the organization.
Practice

It Pays to Shop Around Before Making That Wire Transfer

Before you make your next domestic or international wire transfer, industry analysts recommend that you shop the rates and delivery schedules offered by banks and private systems. The difference in price and service could really affect your bottom line.While most private systems like Western Union offer same-day service and most banks require one or two business days to complete a domestic transfer, the price variance between the two is significant.
Practice

Focus on Retirement Programs for Baby Boomers

The way people retire is going to change dramatically in the new millennium. As 80 million baby boomers prepare to retire in the next 10 years, financial service professionals are setting their sites on helping this generation find the best ways to spend their nest egg. It is believed that many retirees will take the non-traditional retirement route and pursue second careers, explore educational options or take vacations that are tied to the ability to generate income.
Practice

The Biggest Myth In Sales

Did you hear the one about great salespeople being great talkers? They have the gift of gab and they dazzle their customers into buying anything. Some salespeople even believe it. It’s the biggest myth in sales. Here’s how it got started and why it is a myth.News travels fast. The poor salesman seems to leave a more lasting impression on the customer than the great salesperson, who makes selling look easy. Poor salespeople get remembered for their excessive talking and the word gets around.
Practice

PR Strategies

A strong public relations program can help your firm in many ways. It helps extend your advertising efforts, it lends credibility, and it helps brand your firm’s image in the marketplace. PR also can inspire your employees and reassure clients they are working with a world-class firm.Here are a few strategies to boost your PR program.Press ReleasesSet a goal of writing one press release a month. You can write about product changes and improvements; new employees, service awards, board of director nominations; and more.
Practice Management

Financial Advice Must be Geared to All Income Levels

As a provider of financial advice and counsel, do you want to exclude a potential client because of his or her ability to afford your services?Many CPAs and accounting professionals dispense financial advice, and many also hold the CFP or Certified Financial Planner designation offered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
Practice Management

You Can Recruit and Retain Good Employees Without Going Broke

Recruiting and keeping good employees always has been more difficult for small business owners who must compete with large companies that offer a variety of perks and benefits. And now, with the jobless rate sitting below 5 percent for the past two years, the struggle to find reliable, long-term personnel has never been more difficult.The days when flex-time and telecommuting were considered attractive employment incentives are over.
Practice

Beyond Resumes, E-Recruiting Focuses On Relationships

In an electronic age, where people receive more email in a day than they ever got in a week, face to face communication seems a bit strained. In the recruiting arena, employers are relying more on online resumes and electronic job posting. Doesn’t exactly set the environment for relationships, does it?Enter Austin, Texas based Hire.com’s e-Recruiter service. e-Recruiter is helping companies put relationships back into the recruiting process.
Practice Management

Small Business Looks to MBAs for Ideas

Today's students are tomorrow's leaders, right? How about today-here and now!More and more small businesses are tapping the resources available to them through local graduate school programs, especially the red-hot MBA marketplace. Recruiting an MBA provides a fresh perspective to your business and, at the same time, helps the student receive invaluable experience.Businesses who must watch the bottom line are finding they can accomplish the same end result by relying on the graduate student to provide consulting services relative to his or her discipline.
Practice

Ez401k.com is a Fast, Inexpensive Alternative to Setting up Plans

CPAs who provide consulting services in retirement planning take note: employers can now set up a 401(K) retirement plan on the Internet at ez401k.com.Ez401k.com markets itself as an efficient and inexpensive alternative to traditional 401(k) planning. With the cost to set up a company retirement plan at $401, ez401k.com gives businesses a savings in fees of $1,500 or more. A watch on the ez401k.com home page lets an employer see exactly how long it takes them to design a plan and print out announcements for employees.
Practice Management

CPAs Can Brush Up on Tax Strategies for Small Business Owners

In today's accounting marketplace, more and more CPAs and other professionals are getting further and further away from taxation and advise strategies for the small business owner.Some end-of-year tax planning will indeed help any situation, be it that of the CPA or a client. For example, by gathering together last year's tax statement, along with a projection of 1999, you can adequately take a look at where you may or may not be headed regarding the 1999 tax bill.Some strategies for small business boil down to the calendar itself, such as sending out invoices after Jan.

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