Practice news

Practice Management

Can Farmers Really Be Great Clients?

The following is an editorial by Paul Dunn, co-founder of Results Accountants' Systems.As we look around the world at great accounting practices (what we’ve called "the Practices of the New Millennium") one constant theme is the selection of clients.It’s critical, we’re often told, to select clients who you like, clients who are profitable, clients who are open to suggestions, clients who are willing to listen and so on. And farmers feature infrequently in that list for many practices.
Practice

When is a Merger the Right Answer?

August Aquila, Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions for American Express Tax and Business Services, presented an interactive workshop at AccountingWEB on Tuesday, September 5, from 4 to 5 p.m.
Practice

Get Started with Online Accounting

Service is what will set the successful ASPs aside from the unsuccessful ones. "I think service is the single most important aspect." according to Jack Fox, M.B.A., author of, among other titles, Building a Profitable Online Accounting Practice. Mr. Fox presented the AccountingWEB workshop on August 31, "Online Accounting…Frontline to Bottom Line." Mr. Fox addressed aspects of online accounting, describing how accountants can pave the way for the new economy.
Practice Management

Have You Considered Value Pricing?

Talk to Ron Baker about how to bill clients and you won't hear any talk of timesheets. Instead, you will enter the world of value pricing, where a job costs what it is worth, not a fee based on how much time it took to complete. Ron Baker is the author of the best-selling book, The Professional’s Guide to Value Pricing, and has also authored several courses for the California CPA Education Foundation.
Practice

Managing Voice Mail For Improved Results

No one likes voice mail, but if you make an effort to use voice mail more efficiently, you will see improved results in a matter of days.Take advantage of the greeting to promote a new offer or new service of some kind. And, be sure to update your email message daily so you send a clear signal that you are on top of your agenda at all times.There are other tips as well.
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.

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