Practice news

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.
Practice Management

Donations Good for Business and Goodwill

CPAs and accounting professionals try to teach their clients and employers each year the value of charitable donations and the tax breaks associated with regular giving programs. But what about applying some of this philosophy to their own businesses-as well as some of the intangible benefits, like reputation management?Each year, millions of businesses donate to charities and find themselves in a better position, not only from a tax standpoint, but in self-promotions as well.
Practice Management

Meeting Madness

I’ve spent almost a quarter of my waking business life in meetings. If you are doing business in corporate America, I’d bet that you are being “meetinged to death,” too. Meetings aren’t bad, though. They are somewhat necessary. However, bad meetings aren’t necessary at all. Ever been to a meeting where the facilitator didn’t know what he/she wanted to accomplish? “Yes!” I understand.
Practice

Listen Carefully

Active listening takes more than perking up your ears. Follow these tips to ensure you are putting your best ear forward!Be here and now.Resist distractions. Try to focus on the person talking to the exclusion of noises and interruptions.Do one thing – listen. Don’t do five things at once. The person with whom you are talking deserves your undivided attention.Let them “see” you listening. Communicate that you are listening by leaning forward slightly, focusing on your speaker’s face, and not glancing away too often.Put yourself in your speaker’s shoes.
Practice Management

Going Online to Recruit Employees

Most CPA firms and businesses who hire CPAs and accountants know that finding good employees to fill positions takes time and patience. Placing newspaper want ads is one way to go, but in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, going online to find employees makes sense for many reasons.Over the last two years, according to the American Management Association, just over half to 70 percent of all companies across the United States advertised jobs and recruited employees over the Internet. Why? Cost and convenience.
Practice Management

Turnkey IT Solutions Available Through Outsourced Options

Doing more with less seems to be the norm in today's small business. As unemployment statistics continue to be the lowest America has seen in a long time, outsourcing by small and medium-size businesses continues to be a viable option, especially in the IT arena.Two new California-based companies called Everdream Corp. and CenterBeam Inc. are examples of outsource options that can handle any matter related to technology, for a monthly fee.
Technology

Playing Big Brother

Time is money. Accounting firm owners know this as well as anyone. But what happens when Internet access gobbles up your firm’s precious time? Employers looking to play Big Brother and keep a check on Internet activity in their companies have several options. One solution is to completely limit access to the Internet. The problem with this idea is that it also limits your employees’ resources. Some employers are setting up Internet stations where employees can log on for specific projects. These stations are usually set up side by side and offer the employee little privacy.
Practice Management

The "Fun" Factor in Today's Workplace

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. What wrong with having fun … nothing, not even if you're at work!The workplace at the end of the Century is anything but dull. Gone are the dramatics associated with corporate politics, white button-down shirts or blouses, and the staunch quiet, labor-intensive drudgery associated with the '80s.
Practice Management

Sick Days Made Healthy: It Takes More Than Chicken Soup

It's Monday morning and one of your auditors just called in sick … again. For years, human resource professionals have reported in the business marketplace that employee wellness is a chief concern, and that compounded sick days only add negatively to a company's bottom line.For example, more than half of all employees in America's workforce have blood cholesterol levels of 200 mg or higher, while a quarter of all workers are sedentary during their leisure or off-work time.
Practice Management

Financial Advisory Specialists - Take Note

An innovative two-day conference hosted by the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors (AMAA) and organized at the request of CPAs and other financial advisors and consultants who want to better serve the corporate financial advisory needs of private business owners will be held in Chicago November 4-5, 1999.The National Conference on Corporate Financial Advisory Services for CPAs is sponsored By:National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA)and The Quantum Alliance Companies:-
Practice Management

Never Make a Cold Call Again

Does this sound like a goal that’s too good to be true? It’s not, and you can make it part of your selling strategy. By learning the components of effective networking you can never make a cold call again. You also decrease the time it takes to close deals. The research on networking says that each person is connected through family, business or hobbies to a network of 250 people. Building your network should be your first priority, and here’s how to work the net.Where do I go? Networking opportunities abound. Begin with your neighbors and friends.
A&A

Insurance is a Back Burner Issue for Home Businesses

Home businesses are here to stay, and the accounting profession is one of a number of service industries capitalizing on operating a business at home.CPAs and accounting professionals who operate from their homes, as well as those in a position to advise their clients on financial matters, should have enough insurance coverage to survive a natural or man-made disaster.Standard homeowners policies may not be adequate because they do not include provisions for business liabilities or business interruptions.
Practice Management

Program To Certify Bookkeepers Now Available

Bookkeepers who want to beef up their resume with certification can stop searching for the vehicle to do it. Sylvan Prometric, the global leader in computer-based testing, has teamed with The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) to offer the first test that offers certification for bookkeepers.The test, dubbed the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) Examination, tests accounting, tax and payroll skills.
Practice Management

Ernst & Young Report Reveals CRM Money is Being Spent Without Understanding Client Needs

Is your firm spending money on customer relationship management (CRM) without understanding client needs or profitability? According to the findings of Ernst & Young's Eighth Annual Special Report on Technology in Financial Services, many financial services firms are doing exactly that.Survey results revealed that CRM spending increased 31 percent in 1999 even as technology spending slowed. Yet 63 percent of the respondents weren't sure if their CRM strategies were increasing or decreasing profitability.

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