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Is your data safe? Survey reveals scandal of snooping IT staff

Results of a recent study reveal the hidden scandal of IT staff snooping at the confidential information of other employees.
Practice Management

Customer service takes a turn back to low-tech solutions

Businesses can save money with automated phone systems and online help centers, but what is the cost in terms of customer aggravation?Business owners may want to rethink their machines, with their endless lists of options, when they consider the case of online movie rental company Netflix, along with the "get human" consumer movement.Netflix has decided that offering real customer service - with real people at the end of the phone line - is a viable business option.

Intuit announces new CEO

Intuit Inc. has announced that Steve Bennett, current president and chief executive officer, will step down at the end of December 2007. Intuit's board of directors has appointed Brad Smith, current senior vice president and general manager of Intuit's Small Business Division, to succeed Bennett effective January 1."Steve Bennett has been an outstanding leader for Intuit over the last eight seasons," said Bill Campbell, chairman of Intuit's board of directors.
Practice Management

It takes two: Making mentoring work

Do you have mentoring experiences of your own, either as mentor or mentee? Please share your experiences with our readers by clicking on the Comment option below this story.They say two heads are better than one, which is why mentoring can help unlock the potential within staff looking to develop within the company. But it's not all one sided.
Practice Management

The best kept secret: How to market your firm in one easy step

What they teach you in marketing school is that marketing is a sum of the coordinated efforts of many tools. And essentially, that's true. Rarely, in marketing a practice, does only one thing work to carry the full weight of marketing. But what if you've got a small practice, and time or money to do only one thing?What if you could use only one of the many marketing tools. Which tool would be your best choice? Easy. Writing articles. And it doesn't matter whether you're a one-person office, or a partner in a major international firm. No one tool can do more for you on its own.
Practice Management

We have to stop meeting like this

With managers experiencing meeting overload, Bert van der Zwan of WebEx gives a web-conferencer’s view of why having fewer face-to-face encounters can benefit both companies and their staff. How many meetings do you attend every month? For some of us it may only be one or two, but for others a meeting every or every other day would not be an unusual state of affairs. Recent research on the subject found that on average, each working person in the UK attends almost eight meetings every month, and over 90 every year.
Practice Management

Institutional fraud is on the rise

Oversight Systems, the leading provider of automated continuous monitoring solutions, has released the results of its annual report on corporate fraud. Although the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act took effect five years ago, three out of four survey respondents feel institutional fraud is more prevalent today than it was in 2002. In addition, an eye-opening 56 percent of respondents said they have personally observed financial misconduct in the past year.

Corporate world welcomes wikis

Almost everyone who owns a computer knows about Wikipedia, the huge, do-it-yourself online encyclopedia. The software that makes Wikipedia possible is becoming increasingly easy to use, and corporate America is starting to embrace wikis as a tool for simple and swift collaboration.In fact, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told Newsweek that the wikis are becoming mainstream, not just for "tech geeks." And in corporate settings, wikis break down barriers.
Practice Management

Financial leaders address challenges facing accounting, finance and audit professions

The future of the accounting, finance and audit professions will be largely determined by their response to escalating talent shortages and other challenges of the post-regulatory-reform era, says a distinguished group of leaders in these fields. The Robert Half International Financial Leadership Council, which includes many of the top financial minds in the United States and Canada, has recommended a number of strategies for addressing these issues.
Practice Management

'The new breed' - accountants embrace the entrepreneurial spirit

Business and practice software developer Sage claims to have discovered a "new breed" of accountant willing to embrace technology and an entrepreneurial approach to running their practice.In a survey of 267 practitioners entitled A new breed of accountant, Sage asked them to define themselves according to their growth ambitions and business aspirations in the following categories:Sole practitioner - offering traditional services to estab

How to protect data - a quick reference

The latest technologies and gadgets make it incredibly easy for your data to be stolen from right under your nose, unless you take steps to protect it.
Practice Management

Knowledge Management is all about people

Knowledge Management is all about people We don't like the unexpected. Storms, accidents, or even unexpected outcomes within our organizations. We like to be in control, we like order, and we like to predict events. The reality, however, is that organizations are nonlinear systems with behavior, like the weather, that is hard to predict.There is a confluence of events, equal to an organizational version of a perfect storm, that is brewing, and it will have consequences that are difficult to pinpoint.

Optimizing today's time and billing

Most partners would argue that, outside of the firm's tax and audit production applications, time and billing is the most mission critical program within today's tax and accounting firm. These tools have come a long way in recent years to incorporate enhanced features and processes of which many firms are not even aware. Roman Kepczyk, CPA, CITP discusses 10 time and billing best practices that should be incorporated into every firm. 

Shifting your firm’s culture: Wet Noodle or Deliberate Destiny?

We've all heard the expression, "Making changes in a firm is like trying to push a wet noodle across the table." This is especially true for firms that are busier than ever; the motivation to change just isn't there. If your firm is humming along with no need for change, congratulations, at least for now. If your firm has any of the symptoms listed below you may want to consider some of the best practices applied by firms who have made the transition from pushing the wet noodle across the table to having their staff and clients pull them in a new direction.
Practice Management

Checklist for the sale or acquisition of a closely-held company

All sales and acquisitions of closely-held companies share a general sequence of activity from inception to consummation. Phases of the process will invariably differ from transaction to transaction, but there is usually a substantial commonality of approach. Although each aspect warrants comprehensive discussion, the following is a checklist and general summary of the most material aspects warranting attention.1.
Practice Management

Using conflict as a strategic asset

Wouldn't life be easier if we could just make decisions in a vacuum and not worry about what others thought?Yes it would, but the business environment in which we operate is focused more and more on fostering teamwork. Teams increase the complexity of decision-making because they are composed of members with diverse backgrounds.Naturally, when you get a group of diverse people together to make a decision there will be conflict. However, conflict is not necessarily 100% bad.
Practice Management

Free podcasts: 7 ways to improve your practice

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business and a leading tax and accounting information group, has launched a series of free podcasts for accounting practices. The series, entitled "7 Ways to Improve Your Practice," is aimed at accountants and will help them to improve business productivity and efficiency.

Excel 2007 tip #1: Make your data visible to other Excel users by saving in Excel 97-2003 format

Files produced by Excel 2007 are in the new .xlsx format. No other version of Excel can read them unless a special compatibility pack has been installed. If you plan to share your Excel 2007 files with other Excel users, you can set Excel 2007 to save your files automatically in Excel 97-2003 format. This will allow other Excel users who have not upgraded to Excel 2007 to read your files.How to set Excel 2007 to automatically save files in Excel 97-2003 format: Start up Excel 2007. Open an empty worksheet.
Practice Management

Running a motivational session: 10 steps to success

At some stage most managers need to conduct a motivational training session with their team members. Bob Selden, who has been a manager and trainer for many years, sets out 10 helpful points to help them reach that goal. So, you're a manager. So, you know you have to run a training session or a team meeting for your team (for the first time) that needs to be motivational, and you're not a professional trainer. So what! With a good plan and a well structured session, training can be enjoyable and most of all rewarding for both you and your team. Here's how....1.
Practice Management

J.H. Cohn Appoints CIO

J.H. Cohn LLP has appointed Robert Grosberg to the position of chief information officer. As CIO of J.H. Cohn, Robert leads the Firm’s efforts to implement business solutions through reliable and efficient technology. “Robert’s appointment solidifies our commitment to leveraging technology to the fullest so we can best serve our clients, and build upon our solid technology infrastructure to support our professionals and staff,” said Kenneth J. Kanter, partner and chair of J.H. Cohn’s Technology and Operations Steering Committee.


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