Practice news

Practice Management

What Is Environmental Accounting?

Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) is a cover title used to describe different aspects of this burgeoning field of accounting. The focus of EMA is as a management accounting tool used to make internal business decisions, especially for proactive environmental management activities.EMA was developed to recognize some limitations of conventional management accounting approaches to environmental costs, consequences, and impacts. For example, overhead accounts were the destination of many environmental costs in the past.
Practice Management

Seven Easy Steps to Your CPA Practice Marketing Plan for 2006

In my CPA consulting experience, most of you out there are great “doers”, not “planners.”You either don’t do any planning at all or you “analyze” your marketing efforts to “death” and nothing ever gets done, marketing effort wise.I’ve encountered a lot of CPA firm practitioners who get into trouble “doing” the wrong marketing activities the right way, or “doing” the right marketing activities the wrong way.If you want to start doing the right marketing activities the right way, you’ve got to start with a marketing useable plan that you can create in one d
Practice Management

Accountants’ Confidence Slides in December

Accounting and finance workers confidence fell nearly five points in December, according to the Hudson Employment Index. Despite reporting the lowest figure of the year for job satisfaction, at 68 percent, and declining confidence in hiring expectations and job security, they still remained more positive than other workers.
Practice Management

Burn-Out: Symptoms & Prevention

Good quality employees should be appreciated for their contributions to your business. Ultimately, they are motivated, accept challenges easily most of the time, are pleasant in stressful situations, and their work ethics encourage others to reach their level of contribution and participation. The downside is that the opportunity for burn out exists in every organization, no matter the industry, or size of the business, according to Entrepreneur.com. A single burnt-out employee can affect the productivity of your business.
A&A

Accountants Beware: Tax Services Ranks as Highest Generator of Malpractice Claims

Here’s a word of caution to accountants as tax preparation season cranks up: allegations of errors in tax services account for more than half of the insurance claims filed with one of the nation’s largest providers of malpractice insurance for accounting professionals, Camico Mutual Insurance Co.In its most recent study of claims experience, from its more than 7,000 accounting professional clients in 44 states, the Redwood City, Calif.-based insurer has found tax work accounts for the most claims filed and the highest total dollar volume of damages sought.
Practice Management

For The Right Price…

The “right” price is elusive at best, and it’s critical to what we do. The pricing of our products and services can either attract customers and potentially generate referrals, or drive customers to competitors. Higher prices may attract few and lower prices may impact our bottom lines negatively, even with customers coming in the door. We know that the “right” price is a good thing and there are several ways to determine it, according to the Northwest Indiana Times. We can follow “industry norms”, or we can base our prices on direct or local competitors.
Practice Management

Effective Referral Sources & Revenue Building in Today’s Environment?

Getting new business from a referral network of professionals in your community has always been one of the best ways to grow a professional practice. Far too many practitioners rely on luck, timing, chance meetings, personal compatibility, or other random factors when it comes to choosing, building and mining their referral network.
Practice

Results from the NSA’s 12th Income & Fee Survey

“This document, similar to all the latest information and services NSA provides, is critical in giving our members the competitive edge,” Wanda Samek, EA, ABA, ATA, ATP, ECS, NAS President for 2005-2006, and principal in Custom Business Service, Inc. of Denton, Texas, said in a prepared statement.The 2005-2006 Income and Fees Survey of Accountants in Public Practice, conducted this fall by the National Society of Accountants (NSA), contains detailed information on fees charged for various services, broken down by state, geographic region and practice size.
Practice Management

Top Resolutions for Business in 2006

A Small Business Television (SBTV.com) poll, of 600 owners of small businesses, reported that 70 percent would make marketing and sales their top business resolution, followed by technology at 26 percent, according to a Principal Financial Group. Only 2 percent of the respondents would make business finance-related resolutions, with the same number resolving to focus on workforce issues. Internet marketing is at the top of the “Six for ‘06” list of business resolutions developed by AllBusiness.com, a leading online resource.
Practice Management

Financial Services Advertising Spending Increasing

The top ad-spending category may not be financial services now, but its third ranking may only be temporary this year. USAToday reports that the financial services category is up $3.8 billion for the first half of 2005, according to ad tracker TNS Media Intelligence. Financial services broke the top five in 2002, with a 2 percent increase in spending to reach a $5.9 billion total. USAToday reports that spending in this category topped $6.7 billion, with a 12 percent jump in spending in 2003 and jumped further in 2004, to 16 percent, to reach $7.8 billion in spending.
Practice Management

Deloitte Head Predicts Single Global Partnership Structure for Big 4

William Parrett, chief executive of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, the firm’s global umbrella organization, said that he expected “both from a business standpoint and a regulatory standpoint, [that the] larger firms will evolve to a global partnership over the next decade,” The Australian reports. The existing structures consist of networks of member partnerships established in the countries in which they operate. Mr. Parrett said that although it would constitute a huge change, regulators were likely to push accounting firms to become single global partnerships.
Practice Management

Small Businesses Looking for a Bundle of Telecommunications

When it comes to communications, a majority of small businesses (64 percent) prefer purchasing bundled services from a single provider, according to a new survey from AMI-Partners. The 2005-2006 U.S. SMB Telecommunications Market Overview and Assessment indicates the most popular bundle consists of local, long-distance and high-speed Internet access services. Interest is also being shown in bundles that include wireless voice services, possibly because 38 percent of small businesses have “mobile” employees who travel frequently and 13 percent have telecommuting employees.
Practice Management

CCH Accountants’ Suite Arrives in Canada

Last week, CCH Canadian Limited launched the most complete and integrated toolkit of its kind, the CCH Accountants’ Suite, for Canadian accounting professionals.“With the launch of CCH Accountants’ Suite, we are bringing to the Canadian market the first genuinely integrated solution of its kind,” Ian Rhind, President and CEO of CCH Canadian, said in a statement announcing the launch.
Practice Management

Mark Your Calendar: AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Update

If you or your firm specializes in employee benefits, the Employee Benefit Plans Accounting, Auditing and Regulatory Update Conference scheduled for December 12-13 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., is a conference you won’t want to miss.
A&A

Microsoft Yields: Will Adopt Open Document Formats

In an apparent effort to respond to Massachusetts’ Governor Mitt Romney’s plan to adopt a so-called OpenDocument format for storing state documents by 2007, a move that could eventually cause the state to remove Microsoft’s Office software from its computers, Microsoft announced in November that it would submit its Office Open XML (XML) to the standards body Ecma International, at their December meeting, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
Tax

CCH Learning Center Adds 2 New Specialized Libraries

Two new specialty libraries, the Accounting and Audit Specialty Library and the Sales and Use Tax Specialty Library have been added to the CCH Learning Center just in time for those working to complete their continuing professional education (CPE) requirements for 2005 or year-end financial reports.
Practice Management

Why Every Business Needs a Cafeteria…Plan, That Is

They’ve been called one of the most under-used employee benefits for small businesses. Not only do they allow employees to set aside a portion of their pre-tax salary for qualifying insurance premiums, medical expenses and even child-care expenses, they also reduce employer payroll tax liability by eliminating matching FICA taxes of 7.65 percent and, depending on the state the business is operating in, possibly also workers compensation. What are they?
A&A

High Deductible Health Care Plans Off to Slow Start with Small Businesses

Health care plans with high deductibles that can offer Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) grew only 2 percent among small businesses this year, according to a survey by Mercer Health and Benefits consultants reported on by USA Today. The high deductible plans are more popular among employers of more than 20,000, 22 percent of whom will offer some form of the plan this year.
Practice Management

QuickBooks: New Solutions for Small & Mid-Market Firms

QuickBooks 2006, which hit the shelves last week, is being called the most significant update to the nation’s leading small business management software so far. Along with a new, easier to use interface, a redesigned QuickBooks Solutions Marketplace and other features, QuickBooks 2006 users will find the support experience to be easier and more efficient.
Practice Management

Governance & Accounting Still Concern Investors

Things have improved but there is still cause for concern. That is the message investors and creditors seem to be sending in a special report published Monday by Standard and Poor’s.“Governance and accounting remain heightened areas of concern for investors and creditors, and it remains critically important for them to assess the often qualitative, intangible, and principle-based dimensions of governance and accounting,” said George Dallas, managing director and global practice leader, corporate governance, Standard and Poor’s in a prepared statement.

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