Practice news

Practice Management

Lean & not mean: Simple management most effective

By Matt HenkesThinking lean when it comes to running a company can bring significant advantages.Lean thinking is all about maximizing performance efficiency and end product or service value through the elimination of waste. The philosophy was originally developed for the automotive manufacturing industry, but experts claim that its applications are far wider.
A&A

Daily habits for developing the art of leadership

Many people are born leaders, yet the ability to lead is actually an art and an amazing collection of skills which can be learned and sharpened. The following top ten daily habits will help you and/or your clients grow as a leader personally, professionally, and spiritually.
Practice Management

How much are you leaving on the table because of mediocre pricing?

By Ronald J. BakerOne of the most frustrating aspects of teaching Value Pricing to professionals is their tendency to believe that customers have to be part of the change process. This is demonstrably false. Customers may have to be convinced of a firm's value in order to accept it's price, but customers should not be expected to be participants in changing a profession's (or industry's) pricing strategies, any more than they should be expected to innovate new products and services.
Practice

Old computers, unwanted mail: Get rid of them without harming the environment

Everyone knows that reduce, reuse, recycle are the watchwords for the green movement, but transferring those goals into a busy office environment may seem daunting.It doesn't have to be that way. One big problem for many CPA firms is getting rid of old computers. They're an environmental hazard because of the lead and mercury inside, and the data on the hard drives represents a security risk. What to do?Here are a few options, as suggested by Network World. Companies can get a small tax write-off by donating old computers to a nonprofit organization, such as the United Way.
Technology

10-minute checklist for reviewing your firm's Web site

For many firms, the Web site is your client's first introduction to you. Is it possible that information on your Web site is out of date or that the material has not been changed for months? Does your Web site have the look of a static site that is just a placeholder online, a location where users can find your address and phone number and little more?
Practice Management

TSCPA and AICPA's PCPS join forces again for National Map Survey

PCPS (AICPA Private Companies Practice Section) and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) are pleased to introduce the new and improved PCPS/TSCPA National MAP Survey for 2008. The Survey's rich history makes it the leading benchmarking survey for the CPA profession.
Practice

10 ideas for getting your board involved

The board of any organization can make an enormous contribution to planned giving, and it can do so in a variety of ways. According to Philip M. Purcell, vice president for planned giving and endowment stewardship at the Ball State University Foundation, involving board members in planned giving is an ongoing challenge but one that is necessary.
Practice

How to handle difficult people

A bully at your work is difficult for you to face. He is demanding you do part of his job without pay or credit. How do you handle it?Your neighbors are constantly fighting. They wake you up in the middle of the night with their screams and curses. What do you say to them?Your father is unhappy about your career choice. He constantly criticizes your work and points out what he thinks you should do. How do you deal with him?
Practice Management

Work/life balance - the impossible dream?

By Steve McIntyre-SmithI don't know how many readers might have fallen into some of the traps I used to when I was in public accounting, but here are a few scenarios to which I fell prey. Let's see how many of them might be familiar to you:It's 5:15 p.m. on a Wednesday. You promised you'd be home in time to have dinner with the family before going to your youngest child's piano recital.
Practice Management

The real reasons employees leave, and how to keep the best

by Jim WelchWhy do people leave teams and organizations? The number one reason people leave jobs is because they fail to connect with their bosses as leaders and as people. People are rarely honest about why they leave a company. Too many associates that depart follow Jimmy Conway's advice (played by Robert DeNiro) in the 1990 hit movie "Goodfellas," who told Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta), "Never rat on your friends and keep your mouth shut." There is no upside incentive for the employee to be open and honest. Think about it!
Practice Management

Staffing costs on the rise for U.S. private businesses

Among private businesses in the United States, 48 percent are paying significantly more in staff costs than a year ago, according to the Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR). While this number is noteworthy, it is lower when compared to private companies across the globe, 63 percent of which are paying significantly more for staffing costs as compared to a year ago. In India, for example, 85 percent of employers report seeing a rise in labor costs. With a number of U.S.
A&A

Surviving the final push to April 15

Attention CPAs in Chicago, New York and Houston: Your cities rank No. 1, 2 and 3, respectively, on the list of Top 10 Tax Procrastinating Cities in America.And if last year is any indication, next week should be brutal. Intuit, which makes TurboTax products, based its list on the number of federal tax returns electronically filed last year between April 14 and April 17. First, there are the clients. You know the type.
A&A

Is your language blocking your success?

By Dr. Pam Brill - "I'm burned out," "I've lost my drive," "I'm not interested," - these are words and images that sales pros have used to describe their falling motivation that accompanied their failing numbers. A sales pro in financial services, Chris had lost the passion and the spark that fueled him for making chilly cold calls and energy for the heated sprint to close the deal. With numbers down and still falling, Chris blamed the competition, the internal competitors, including the other sales pros in his division and the new kids on the block.
A&A

Seven ways to avoid becoming a bad boss

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President, Discovery Surveys, Inc.Most employees experience a bad boss at least once in their career. Many feel they have never really had a good boss. Insensitivity, failure to communicate, and a lack of fairness are the hallmarks of poor supervision.Why is it that good supervisors are hard to find?Supervising is Not Easy Handling the complex issues of motivating employees and solving job and people-related problems is very difficult. Few are capable of handling these responsibilities well.
Practice

Managing the sales negotiation process

By, Michael SchatzkiHow many times have you heard:
Practice Management

Giving your business clients things they need

By Brian Hamilton, CEO, ProfitCentsWhen you go out to dinner, you are usually hungry. When you buy water, you are thirsty. When you buy a winter jacket, you want to stay warm. In these individual cases, the value exchange between buyer and seller is clear and there is a definite need and solution set. In accounting, it’s less certain that we are giving clients what they need. Sometimes, we don’t know what they need, which is born of the fact that we either don’t ask them or they don’t tell us.
Practice

CPAs can make sure nonprofit leaders are leading

Many CPAs are active in their communities. Many of those happen to volunteer their precious time to nonprofit organizations. You may be a CPA in a top position, or you may be a loyal foot soldier for a cause. Either way, evaluating the not-for-profit organization's leaders - or adopting key leadership traits - could be critical to the success of the organization in which you believe and invest so much time.The leadership capacity of a nonprofit or exempt organization is extremely important.
Practice Management

Keeping a lid on compliance costs

by Bob Mahan CFO, of Ajilon Finance The positive aspects of the raft of new accounting and financial reporting regulations are numerous. In a recent Deloitte survey, companies report they have a far better understanding of their chief risks and associated control mechanisms than just a few years ago. In addition, companies say internal controls are now far stronger, with the likelihood of material misstatements moving forward greatly reduced.
Practice Management

Mandatory partner retirement and succession planning is a hot issue

Source: INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) As firms struggle with the balance of retaining quality employees, tapping into the talent of the partner group, and ensuring that opportunities are available for younger staff to move up in the ranks, the question of partner retirement - when, how and whether it should be mandatory - becomes increasingly important. The concept of mandatory partner retirement can be a touchy subject throughout the profession.
Practice

Growing the ranks of female leaders

Source: INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) Women are rushing into public accounting, but too few are making it to the top levels of leadership. While more than half of the college graduates in accounting and new employees in CPA positions are female, the proportion of women partners and senior executives is between 11% and 19%, according to the AICPA's Work/Life and Women's Initiatives Executive Committee.Retaining experienced talent is a given for all firms these days, so a strong business case can be made for firms to develop more women leaders.

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