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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.
Practice

Maximizing Referral Systems in Practice

Ask any practitioner where the vast majority of new clients come from and they say “Word of Mouth” or “Referrals.”We all know that referrals cost you next to nothing to get and usually (if a good existing client has referred them) the new client is of relative good quality. The $64,000 question is “what systems do you have in place to make sure the referral happens?”Before we look at the systems let’s look at the importance of referrals to your practice. To quantify how you can grow your practice through referrals, consider your existing client base.
Practice

Internet Based Malpractice Insurance Now Available

Accountants, bookkeepers and tax preparers now have an alternative for malpractice insurance, available for the first time through the Internet through a new web site unveiled this week by one year old ePolicy.com, Inc. of Torrance, California.Shopping for insurance can be handled entirely through the Web, and coverage from major carriers is available within minutes.The malpractice insurance available through e-Policy is primarily for firms with 10 or fewer accountants or bookkeepers.
A&A

Survey Shows Trade Secrets Are At Risk

More than half of US corporations are ill-equipped to protect their trade secrets, and do not have an established protocol to ensure their protection, according to a just-released survey of 200 top trial lawyers by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the American Bar Association.Survey respondents estimated that 40-70% of company records are kept in electronic form, but the security and accessability to that information is questionable.
Practice Management

Critical Factors in Receivables Handling

Written by James Herst, Performance Source, Inc., reprinted with permission by The Financial Management Network.Sellers can avoid bad debt losses through better handling of their receivables. Here’s some suggestions. Customer Records a KeyCreate and maintain accurate customer records, including full name of customer’s bank. Know names of those who approve payment, signs check and the superior of each at customer location. Call a new customer and tell your credit terms. Ask: Can you live with that?
Practice

The Learning Game

Does this sound familiar? You’ve tried it all – classroom training, internal training, books, videos – and still your staff are fumbling with their new software. They KNOW there are easier ways to complete their tasks, yet they say they’re so busy there’s no time to learn how to do things more efficiently. Why is this happening? It’s not because you’ve been unwilling to provide training, it’s not because your staff doesn’t want to learn.As a consultant, I have the opportunity to observe computer users at many different organizations.
Practice Management

Three Uses of the Web for CPAs

Everyone these days is on the Internet, but how much can you use the Internet to deal with clients? Here are three fundamental uses of the Web.1. Answer Basic Questions: many firms use their Internet site to provide solutions for customers and clients. This is especially evident with systems like Ernst & Young's Ernie, which provides online assistance at a rate of $3,000 for 10 questions.
Practice Management

Accounting Firm Profitability

This is the fourth in a series of editorials by Results Accountants' Systems.MAKING YOUR PRACTICE MORE PROFITABLEAccounting businesses are mature industry. There is intense competition for clients which is typical when the principal services offered in the industry have a very generic look and feel about them. Clients are able to drive prices down because switching costs are relatively low.Accounting firms have very similar cost structures to their intra-industry competitors.

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