Practice news August 2007

Practice Management

Why you should hire a training professional

Boomer Consulting is dedicated to providing visionary leadership and consulting services to accounting firms that are seeking to make more money, grow their business, and attract quality people. This article, written by Scott Morrill of Boomer Consulting, describes the author's position on how accounting firms can benefit from having a full-time training professional on staff.I recently had to ask my 8-year-old son for the correct answer to a question about dinosaurs.
Practice

Women at work: AICPA guide addresses off-ramping issues

Over the past few years, it has become clear that organizations in the financial services, accounting, and consulting industries need to focus their energies on the attraction and retention of women professionals. The talent of these individuals is essential to the success of any professional services firm, and as the below statistics will reveal, this talent pool is experiencing tremendous change.
Tax

Is your data safe? Survey reveals scandal of snooping IT staff

Results of a recent study reveal the hidden scandal of IT staff snooping at the confidential information of other employees.
Practice Management

Customer service takes a turn back to low-tech solutions

Businesses can save money with automated phone systems and online help centers, but what is the cost in terms of customer aggravation?Business owners may want to rethink their machines, with their endless lists of options, when they consider the case of online movie rental company Netflix, along with the "get human" consumer movement.Netflix has decided that offering real customer service - with real people at the end of the phone line - is a viable business option.
Technology

Intuit announces new CEO

Intuit Inc. has announced that Steve Bennett, current president and chief executive officer, will step down at the end of December 2007. Intuit's board of directors has appointed Brad Smith, current senior vice president and general manager of Intuit's Small Business Division, to succeed Bennett effective January 1."Steve Bennett has been an outstanding leader for Intuit over the last eight seasons," said Bill Campbell, chairman of Intuit's board of directors.
Practice Management

It takes two: Making mentoring work

Do you have mentoring experiences of your own, either as mentor or mentee? Please share your experiences with our readers by clicking on the Comment option below this story.They say two heads are better than one, which is why mentoring can help unlock the potential within staff looking to develop within the company. But it's not all one sided.
Practice Management

The best kept secret: How to market your firm in one easy step

What they teach you in marketing school is that marketing is a sum of the coordinated efforts of many tools. And essentially, that's true. Rarely, in marketing a practice, does only one thing work to carry the full weight of marketing. But what if you've got a small practice, and time or money to do only one thing?What if you could use only one of the many marketing tools. Which tool would be your best choice? Easy. Writing articles. And it doesn't matter whether you're a one-person office, or a partner in a major international firm. No one tool can do more for you on its own.
Practice Management

We have to stop meeting like this

With managers experiencing meeting overload, Bert van der Zwan of WebEx gives a web-conferencer’s view of why having fewer face-to-face encounters can benefit both companies and their staff. How many meetings do you attend every month? For some of us it may only be one or two, but for others a meeting every or every other day would not be an unusual state of affairs. Recent research on the subject found that on average, each working person in the UK attends almost eight meetings every month, and over 90 every year.
Practice Management

Institutional fraud is on the rise

Oversight Systems, the leading provider of automated continuous monitoring solutions, has released the results of its annual report on corporate fraud. Although the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act took effect five years ago, three out of four survey respondents feel institutional fraud is more prevalent today than it was in 2002. In addition, an eye-opening 56 percent of respondents said they have personally observed financial misconduct in the past year.
Practice

Corporate world welcomes wikis

Almost everyone who owns a computer knows about Wikipedia, the huge, do-it-yourself online encyclopedia. The software that makes Wikipedia possible is becoming increasingly easy to use, and corporate America is starting to embrace wikis as a tool for simple and swift collaboration.In fact, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told Newsweek that the wikis are becoming mainstream, not just for "tech geeks." And in corporate settings, wikis break down barriers.
Practice Management

Twelve ways small business owners can ensure their best employees never want to leave

Every entrepreneur knows the hectic lifestyle that comes along with starting and running a company. (Heck, most of us live for the craziness!) But have you ever considered how this work schedule affects your employees? You can bet the fate of your business on the fact that they don't enjoy the long hours or the days (and nights) they must unexpectedly come into the office to handle the latest emergency. If too many such days come and go without any acknowledgement from you, you can bet they'll be handing out their resumes all over town.
Practice Management

Vision Stamina: Does your firm have what it takes to achieve its goals?

The truth is most accounting firms do not have vision stamina. And just so you don't think negatively about the profession, the vast majority of organizations do not have it either. So what is vision stamina? It is the dogged determination to overcome any obstacle and handle any distraction that might get in the way of realizing your goals.Here are four suggestions for building and maintaining vision stamina.