A&A news September 2008

A&A

Exceptional service is an exception to the rule

So, you don't communicate so good! How do you think people perceive you? Is it professional or is it just OK?As a business owner or a manager, you must remember that the people who work for you represent you as well. In fact they are you!Example: You have a bad meal or bad service in a restaurant and then what do you tell people - "Don't go there!" You blame the whole place for one person. You do not simply say, "Don't have Bob as your waiter," or, "Carol was a lousy hostess." You blame the entire establishment. One person is the business.
Practice

I'm not a salesperson . . . or am I?

By Lenann GardnerAs a thoracic (chest) surgeon, Aaron was used to working on hearts and lungs.He's a gifted surgeon, with a wonderful bedside manner, impeccable skills, and true caring for his patients' lives and families. But the truth was, his case volume was down, and so too was his income. What to do?Aaron was surprised to realize that he had a sales problem.
A&A

Can we talk? Surveying your prospects and clients

By Angi FisherToday more and more companies around the world understand the importance of really knowing how their customers and prospects view their organizations. They also realize that customer viewpoints can change quickly. So how do you keep informed of your customers' opinions? How do you know they're continually satisfied? That they value your company? That they feel appreciated?
A&A

The many hats of a plant controller

By J. Stephen McNally, CPA What is the role of a plant controller? The answer may seem straightforward enough: the plant controller is responsible for personally coordinating the completion of all plant accounting and financial reporting activities related to his or her location. More specifically, the plant controller is responsible for cost accounting, financial closing and reporting, internal control and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, tax, fixed asset accounting, inventory management, and related activities. But does the plant controller's role stop there? No.
A&A

Do you have the right number of employees?

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D.Part 1 - THE PROBLEM:Organizations continue to downsize, yet our research shows that 6 out of 10 employees say there are not enough qualified employees to do the work in their department. Are they right, or are they lobbying to prevent layoffs? Here are some reasons why they may, indeed, be right:
A&A

Small Business Administration promotes benefits of Health Savings Accounts

President George W. Bush and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Acting Administrator Sandy K. Baruah met in Oklahoma City earlier this month with women small business owners to discuss the benefits of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which can be used to obtain affordable healthcare coverage.An HSA is a tax-preferred account owned by an individual and used to pay for current and future medical expenses, including deductibles, co-payments and other forms of cost-sharing.
A&A

Permission to play: Developing a creative workforce

Somewhere in every business, there's one amazingly simple, yet amazingly smart idea just waiting to be had. The trick is to harness the kind of creativity that allows those ideas to spark and grow. Writing for our sister site, BusinessZone.co.uk, Mocky Khan, from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, explains how.
A&A

10 tips for increasing your sales

In these tough economic times, making sure the cash keeps flowing into your business is crucially important. To help you boost your coffers this guide outlines 10 inexpensive and effective ways to boost your sales.
A&A

Boost customer service without extra staff or technology

Writing for our sister site, accountingweb.co.uk, SME expert Edward Bodiam explains the solution he offered to a client looking to improve customer service without taking on extra employees or investing in new technology.CustomerTelecommunications service and support companyChallengeHow do we improve customer service without recruiting more staff or buying technology?
A&A

Making networking work for you

Have you ever gone along to a networking event and come away with a bunch of business cards but no real contacts to help move your business forward? This scenario happens to many people who have gone to networking events without knowing what they really want to achieve from the event. Enid Pinder, writing for our sister site, BusinessZone.co.uk,/b> discusses ways to make networking work for you.Networking should be seen as integral part of your marketing plan and a way to build your profile.
A&A

Seven key practices to successfully handling complaints

Customer expectations regarding complaint handling have never been higher - and are at odds with the standard they are receiving in many cases. As such, Matthew Hendy of Charter UK, writing for our sister site, MyCustomer.com, outlined the seven key practices that have been adopted by leading companies to successfully handle complaints.By Matthew Hendy, Charter UK
A&A

Individuals and home businesses: A survival plan for important documents

When storms ravage the country, we often concentrate on how lucky we are if we're not in the path of the storm, but fail to consider the possibility that the next storm might just be a direct hit. Before you find yourself bailing out the basement, try re-examining your own readiness to react, should catastrophe strike your home.Most of us know what to grab should we need to evacuate on short notice and many of us have these items in an easily accessible location, ready to be loaded into the car in five minutes’ time.
A&A

Seven critical business valuation terms you should know

As a business owner, you'll likely need to have your company appraised at some point. Appraisals are essential in the event you decide to sell or merge the business, create or update a buy-sell agreement, or devise or refine your estate plan. A good way to preempt the uncertainties of the appraisal process is to learn some basic valuation terminology. Here are seven terms you should know: Fair market value. This is a term you may associate with selling a car, but it applies to businesses (and their respective assets) as well. 
A&A

Deloitte authors pen book for CFOs

When CFOs Debate, a new book released by Deloitte, is designed to help chief financial officers as they think through some of the most pressing issues they face and see all sides of the argument when it comes to critical business decisions. Issues covered in the book include: automating financial systems, providing earnings guidance, offshoring, investing in going "green," adopting International Financial Reporting Standards, and attracting and retaining the best talent.
A&A

SurePayroll offers health insurance to small businesses

Online payroll provider SurePayroll has announced that it is offering small businesses and individuals a simplified way to acquire health insurance and other related benefits. The service supplements SurePayroll's full-service online payroll offering, retirement solutions and workers' compensation plans.
A&A

Lack of sleep leads to job dissatisfaction

A survey from the University of Florida reveals that lack of sleep not only makes people tired and irritable, it also causes them to dislike or even hate their jobs the next morning. The effects were more pronounced among women, who reported suffering more fatigue and hostility and being less attentive and happy than their male counterparts.
A&A

Embracing the Internet as a marketing tool

Every CPA firm has a Web site, but how many of them are using technology to their best advantage in the marketplace?Firm leaders need to ask whether their Web site helps them attract potential clients and keep them, or does it do little more than list services in a boring way that discourages interaction.
Technology

Secure portals increasingly popular to improve client relationships

Accounting firms looking to improve customer service are turning to secure Internet portals to exchange and share information with their clients. The result is broader, clearer communication and increased efficiency.A variety of vendors offer these services to accounting firms, with most charging a monthly fee. The key is to select the services that best match the needs of the firm and the needs of the client in this 24/7 business environment. One option is CPA2Biz, which provides services to AICPA members, but many other private companies offer services as well.
A&A

How to run a business successfully

Expert commentary, rules and regulations, tips, and general information for starting, running, and growing a business. 
A&A

Microsoft searches for nation's top 100 home-based businesses

StartupNation and Microsoft Office Live Small Business have launched the second annual "Home-Based 100" to find the top home-based businesses in the country. Home-based businesses interested in making the list can submit their business profile online, with results to be announced in November.

Pages