Practice news

Practice Management

Corporate Directors Increasingly Paying Their Own Penalties

The days when company directors could emerge from scandal both unpunished and rich may be over.If several major legal settlements of the last few weeks are any indication, the Washington Post suggested, company directors more often will be held personally accountable for the financial misdeeds of the companies they are supposed to be overseeing.
Practice Management

WorldCom Class-Action Suit Against Andersen to Proceed

In the last few weeks there has been good news and bad news for defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP as it strives to repair its reputation.Last month the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of the company's June 2002 obstruction of justice conviction. That's the good news. This week, a federal judge in New York ruled against a motion to dismiss a class action suit brought against Andersen by WorldCom Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported.
Practice Management

Mid-Sized Firm Competes for Clients Through 'Staff Olympics'

A friendly competition at a mid-sized Philadelphia-area accounting firm may translate into new clients and positive exposure for the company.At least that's the hope of managing member Scott Isdaner and marketing manager Jill Lock, who created an “Olympic Games” competition among employees at Isdaner & Co. LLC, based in Bala Cynwyd, Penn., the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.They separated the employees into seven teams that piled up points for activities that involve nothing more athletic than cracking a book. In fact, employees are rewarded for sitting around reading.
Practice Management

Business Process Management Can Solve Compliance Issues and Reduce Costs

BearingPoint, Inc. last week issued a white paper, "Business Process Management in the Capital Markets," which details the way financial services organizations can improve profit margins and reduce cost by digitizing content.The paper covers a fundamental issue: while some firms report improving revenues, profit margins are still under pressure as companies struggle with supply chain issues for their "plain vanilla" or commoditized products as they try to comply with new regulations. Companies are therefore choosing business process management (BPM) to reduce costs and improve controls.
Community News

A new look at succession planning

By Phyllis Weiss Haserot All rights reserved. - Why are most organizations so lax about succession planning - one of the most critical concerns for business continuity? Think about it: even if there is never a terrorism episode or threat, even if there is no large technology glitch or crisis, there will always be a need to pass the baton of the firm or practice or client relationship leadership.
Tax

An Open Letter to My Tax Preparer

By, Michael Platt, AccountingWEB Founder
Practice Management

Business Groups Begin Quiet Campaign to Oust SEC's Donaldson

The Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors played a critical role in reelecting President Bush. Now the groups are part of a quiet effort to convince the President that it's time for a new Securities and Exchange Commission chair, the Wall Street Journal reported.Believing the post-Enron reforms have led to a strangled business environment, in part because of the greater authority given to the SEC by the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation.
Technology

Infatuation with E-mail Dies as Companies Demand In-Person Contact

Some companies are quickly losing their love of e-mail and its promise of speedy communication, opting instead for old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation.An onslaught of spam combined with the frustrations of not-so-quick responses to e-mail requests is prompting some companies to limit how much time their employees spend on e-mail, USA Today reported.Chicago-based U.S. Cellular, for example, has banned e-mail on Friday for at least the rest of the year. Veritas Software's marketing department also implemented a Friday e-mail ban among on-site employees at the Mountain View, Calif.
Community News

Local, Regional Firms Report Revenue and Practice Growth

Local and regional firms across the U.S. reported revenue growth, salary increases and expansion of core service offerings in 2004 and feel optimistic heading into 2005, according to this year’s PCPS/Texas Society of CPAs (TSPCA) National Management of Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey. Thirty-two percent of the 2,373 local and regional firms surveyed this year experienced an increase in revenue of at least 10%, while 14% indicated an increase of greater than 20% in their most recent fiscal year.
A&A

Pre-Tax Season Media Tip for Tax Practitioners

Before tax season snows you under, get the attention of your local media. They can keep you visible even when you're not.Do you have aggressive partners who want brand equity? Create a spreadsheet of these partners, their areas of service expertise and industry concentrations to send to key reporters. If you have media savvy partners who are willing to promptly return calls from a reporter on deadline, you might include the partner's cell phone number on the spreadsheet. If a partner is unable to return calls promptly, do not include that partner with your media relations efforts.
Practice Management

Keeping up With the Jones’s: How Third-Tier CPA Firms can Deliver Technology Services

By Scott H. Cytron, ABC(Accounting Software 411) With the continuous fallout associated with failed audits, scandals and mishaps at the world’s largest accounting firms, it’s now a proven fact that more and more clients are leaving large firms in hopes of finding green pastures elsewhere.USA Today ran a story in late September, “More Firms Flee Big 4 Accountants”, that spoke to this very topic.
Practice

Analysts Warn of Security Issue with Google Desktop Search

Two independent warnings have been issued about Google's new Desktop Search tool, claiming it can pose security risks by caching confidential information, Internetnews.com reported. Google Desktop Search allows users to search documents, spreadsheets, e-mail, instant messages and Web pages that have been visited by that PC. To enable this, it creates cached versions of Web content -- which could include sensitive corporate information stored on servers and accessed via a Web interface, Internetnews.com reported.
Practice Management

Employees Say They Need Their Bosses to be Coaches Not Referees

More than half of US employees said their boss is a referee instead of a coach, according to a recent survey by Development Dimensions International (DDI), a global human resource consulting firm. While a coach proactively helps employees before they are in a position to make a mistake, a referee boss waits for the mistake to call a penalty and tell the employee what they should have done instead.
Practice Management

AICPA Adopts New Ethics Requirements for Members Who Outsource

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has adopted new ethics rules that place new requirements on members who outsource work.Two new rules and one revised rule spell out the responsibilities AICPA members now must meet when outsourcing clients’ work to third-party providers.
Practice Management

Managing the Cost -- and Value -- of Failure

Why Successful Financial Managers Seek to Exploit Failure Rather Than Avoid It, by Bruce PounderIndividuals and organizations experience failure on a continual basis. Most failures are small, a few large, and a certain few catastrophic. Financial managers are quick to perceive the cost of failure, typically in the form of wasted money or lost opportunity. But many financial managers "fail" to recognize the significant value that is also present in nearly every failure.This article is about managing both the cost and value of failure in business today.
Practice Management

How to Develop a Good Management Succession Plan

By the Change Management Group To implement a successful CEO succession plan some critical steps should be followed to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership:Involve the Board of Directors. The board must not abdicate its responsibility or leave the decision to the incumbent CEO.Develop specific criteria for the new CEO. Directors must set criteria that are more than simply conceptual in nature. The criteria must be enough to distinguish one candidate from another.
Practice Management

Legal Expert Connections Launches Litigation Support Marketing for Accountants

A majority of the nation's top 100 accounting firms surveyed view litigation support and its close counterparts, forensic accounting and fraud investigation, as leading areas of growth for their practices, according to March 2004 survey results released by Accounting Today magazine. That's why Margaret Grisdela, president and founder of Boca Raton-based Legal Expert Connections, is carving out an accounting niche within her general expert witness marketing practice to capture the market in its relative infancy. Ms.
Practice

Ten Employer-Employee Rules For Successfully Running a Small Business

Compliments of bizmove.com - You've just been in a serious car accident. You've got massive internal injuries and a broken jaw. You're going to be in the hospital at least a month. Your jaw is wired shut so you can't use the phone. Will your business run easily and well while you recover? Will your customers be served while you are gone? If you've just experienced heart failure over this prospect, the following list is for you. The information below, if put into practice, will reduce your stress, increase your business' productivity, and give you the vacation you so richly deserve.
Technology

CPA Firm's Technology Initiative Benefits Clients, Team Members

“CPA firms have historically been a little slow in embracing technology,” said Jeff Horsley, CPA-Miller & Company.
Practice Management

Lessons From Lawyers: How Not to Manage Staff

After placing last in American Lawyer's ranking of law firms based on a survey of attorneys who had not yet made partner, Clifford Chance asked its staff the reasons for their discontent. Almost all the reasons could easily apply to accounting as well as law firms. The key gripes:A 2,420 billable hour requirement. Associates felt they had to bill at least 2,420 hours a year in order to receive a bonus.

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