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Practice

INSIDE Public Accounting names the nation's best managed accounting firms

INSIDE Public Accounting's Best of the Best recognition honors 25 firms annually for their wise management and superior operational performance in fiscal and management metrics based on 50 criteria. Another 25 firms are recognized with designations as Best of the Best Honorable Mentions. This is the 14th year INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) has named the best-managed accounting firms. Two hundred fifty firms participated in this year's IPA Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms. Each of the firms is eligible for the IPA Best of Best honor, regardless of size.
Practice

Boomers and millennials: Can we achieve mutual admiration?

By Phyllis Weiss HaserotThis is the second in a new series of regular columns by generational expert and internationally known consultant, coach, writer, and speaker Phyllis Weiss Haserot on intergenerational relations and navigating the challenges of the multi-generational workplace for better productivity, retention, succession planning, and business development results.All the generations want more respect from the others. Below are things I think are under-appreciated. Recognizing them can help to build bridges.
Practice Management

A Conversation With Betsy Nolen: The busy accountant’s best friend

Betsy Nolen is not an accountant, but at the CPA firm of Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith in Birmingham, Alabama, she's a VIP. Ask anyone who works there and they'll tell you that this young woman is well-loved. What does she do? For the last two years, she has filled the role of personal valet to every member of the BMSS staff, from partners to the receptionist. It all started when founding partner, John Shank read about another firm that employed a valet to help busy CPAs get through the hectic tax season with a little more peace of mind. Shank admits... he stole the idea...
Practice Management

A bad boss can send you to an early grave

By Dr. Travis BradberryIt seems there's always a steady supply of sympathy available for anyone stuck working under a bad boss. Most everyone I know has been there at one time or another, working under a tyrant who somehow manages to survive in this world without people skills. If you haven't had a boss like this, you should consider buying a lottery ticket--and I mean soon. You are that lucky.
A&A

Exceptional service is an exception to the rule

So, you don't communicate so good! How do you think people perceive you? Is it professional or is it just OK?As a business owner or a manager, you must remember that the people who work for you represent you as well. In fact they are you!Example: You have a bad meal or bad service in a restaurant and then what do you tell people - "Don't go there!" You blame the whole place for one person. You do not simply say, "Don't have Bob as your waiter," or, "Carol was a lousy hostess." You blame the entire establishment. One person is the business.
Practice

I'm not a salesperson . . . or am I?

By Lenann GardnerAs a thoracic (chest) surgeon, Aaron was used to working on hearts and lungs.He's a gifted surgeon, with a wonderful bedside manner, impeccable skills, and true caring for his patients' lives and families. But the truth was, his case volume was down, and so too was his income. What to do?Aaron was surprised to realize that he had a sales problem.
A&A

Can we talk? Surveying your prospects and clients

By Angi FisherToday more and more companies around the world understand the importance of really knowing how their customers and prospects view their organizations. They also realize that customer viewpoints can change quickly. So how do you keep informed of your customers' opinions? How do you know they're continually satisfied? That they value your company? That they feel appreciated?
A&A

Individuals and home businesses: A survival plan for important documents

When storms ravage the country, we often concentrate on how lucky we are if we're not in the path of the storm, but fail to consider the possibility that the next storm might just be a direct hit. Before you find yourself bailing out the basement, try re-examining your own readiness to react, should catastrophe strike your home.Most of us know what to grab should we need to evacuate on short notice and many of us have these items in an easily accessible location, ready to be loaded into the car in five minutes’ time.
Practice

From Boomers to Gen X and Y: How and what to communicate

By Phyllis Weiss HaserotThis is the start of a new series of regular columns by generational expert and internationally known consultant, coach, writer, and speaker Phyllis Weiss Haserot on intergenerational relations and navigating the challenges of the multi-generational workplace for better productivity, retention, succession planning, and business development results. Communication is a key sticking point, so we start with very specific tips to increase rapport and understanding.
Practice Management

Seven ways to make sure your workforce investment is paying big dividends

Now that the economy is dragging and business is tight, it's more important than ever to get maximum return from your employees. Change management expert Morrie Shechtman tells you how.It's no secret that the economy is barely limping along. And whether or not your company is feeling the pinch, the downturn is making you scrutinize your employees with a skeptical eye. Is Anthony really working or is he goofing off? Why does Stacey hole up in her office and never speak to anyone? And as for Edward, he seems even more hostile than usual these days.
Education & Careers

For young accountants, communication is key to developing successful client relationships

For many new accountants, landing a first job or getting to know the culture of a firm can be a major accomplishment. But in today's tight economic times, it is a new accountant's client development skills that will help him or her stand out from the pack and get on the fast track at a firm.Of course, there are the tried-and-true methods. Network with fellow accountants, join professional organizations, and dress the part if you want to be taken seriously as an up-and-comer.
Practice Management

Is golf just “A good walk spoiled” or a premier business tool?

To some, golf is just a boring waste of time. To others, it's an expensive hobby masquerading as a sport. Mark Twain called it "a good walk spoiled." But whatever your attitude towards golf, this is one endeavor that may have the power to multiply your business success. Not only is golf an excellent place to network and to build relationships with clients and prospects, some fans view a round of golf as a window into the soul of a fellow player, both in business and in life.
Practice

Real world education: Tips for workplace training

Formal education is a finite exercise, it ends with graduation or certification, although there is no limit on the number of degrees and diplomas a person can earn. Learning, however, never ends. In fact, long-term success in business demands that individuals continue learning, but not always through continued formal education.
A&A

Staying top of mind (without being a pain in the neck)

By John Doerr"And if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with,love the one you're with, love the one you're with, love the one you're with...."- Stephen StillsWhy does it seem that our clients (and prospects) too often take the advice of seventies rock stars when selecting their professional services providers? Perhaps the following story will shed some light.I Just Awarded that Assignment…
Practice

Top 10 lead generation mistakes made by professional services

By John DoerrWilliamson: [handing Roma lead cards] I'm giving you three leads... Ricky Roma: Three? No, I count two. Williamson: There's three leads there...Ricky Roma: I'm waiting for the new leads. - Glengarry Glenn Ross, David Mamet 1992Leads, leads, leads. It seems it is all about leads once the referrals and the circle of family and friends aren't enough to keep our firms growing.
Technology

What do MySpace and Facebook users have in common with Paris Hilton?

Our sister site, AccountingWEB.co.uk reports that MySpace and Facebook users are being targeted with variants of a new worm that is being propagated via bogus comments that direct them to infected websites, according to security specialist Kapersky Lab.Unsuspecting networkers who follow the links could end up downloading the Koobface worm which can co-opt their computers into an e-mail zombie botnet.
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?

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