Practice news

Technology

The Present (and Future) of Business Communications

Many firms recognize that failing to properly retain business related e-mail can lead to lawsuits, fines, bad publicity and even criminal charges. Only a few, however, understand the same things can happen with instant messaging (IM) and peer-to-peer (P2P) communications. Is your firm one of them?The “2004 Workplace E-mail and Instant Messaging Survey” found that only 11 percent of responding companies use gateway/management software to monitor and control IM use and risks.
Practice

Experts Advise a Go-Slow Approach to Outsourcing

Many companies burdened by the costs and complexity of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements are turning to India for help.Call it one of the unintended consequences of the corporate reform legislation. While the 2002 law was seen as a cure for sloppy financial reporting and the frauds it can cover up, it has also resulted in more work being sent overseas, the Wall Street Journal reported.Some Indian outsourcing companies told the newspaper that their Sarbanes-Oxley-related business is rising at more than 50 percent a year.
Practice Management

Pursuit of the Paperless Office

Using the effective power of the Internet and current technology in your office can help you work using fewer resources. You can also serve more clients while increasing the quality of your work you do for those clients. Its an ideal situation but reachable with planning.The cost of developing and warehousing electronic documents is much less than their paper equals. Access is faster to the benefit of you or your customers. The cost savings on consumables such as paper, printing, toner and ink can add up. The reduction in postage or faxing can be seen over time.
Practice

Self-Employment Declines Sharply for Second Consecutive Month

Labor Department data reported in USA TODAY, shows the number of self-employed fell 3.1 percent, or 303,000, in June. It was the second consecutive month of big declines.One possible reason is that companies are hiring again. “More people are finally being reabsorbed into full-time jobs,” Maria Minniti, associate economics professor at Babson College told USA TODAY.But entrepreneurs are struggling with rising costs as well, especially the cost of health care.
Practice Management

Pricing: Another Side to the Profit Equation

There’s been a lot of talk about cost-cutting over the past few years as companies of all sizes strive to increase profits. When it comes to increasing profits, however, reducing costs is only part of the story.“Companies will do everything in their power to cut costs, from outsourcing IT departments to limiting employee travel. But there’s another side to the profitability equation that often goes unexplored – pricing,” says Greg Peters, CEO of Zilliant.
Practice

Facsimile Signatures as Good as the Real Thing to IRS

Tired of signing all those employment tax forms? New rules issued on July 12, 2005 by the Internal Revenue Service allow corporate officers or duly authorized agents to sign employment tax forms using alternative signature methods including mechanical devices and computer software.“The IRS is committed to reducing the burden on taxpayers whenever we can,” IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson states.
Practice Management

House Passes OSHA Reform Package

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed four much-discussed bills designed to help businesses have more flexible dealings with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The bills were introduced by Rep. Charlie Norwood (R-GA). National home builder groups commended the passage of bills while Democrats argue that the passage of these bills will undermine OSHA’s ability to protect workers and enforce violations effectively. The passage of these bills came mainly as a result of Republican support.
Practice Management

Franchising As A Growth Option for Your CPA Firm

Gaining new clients and increasing business is very challenging and difficult for many small CPA firms. There are a number of ways in which CPAs market. Many of these methods are not very effective for providing for any significant, real long-term growth. Traditionally, “referral marketing” has been the number one way for small CPA firms to gain new business. However, referrals can only take you so far, and will only yield a limited amount of growth in your practice.One non-traditional growth method that CPAs may consider is franchising. What is a franchise?
Practice

Time Out: 5 Tips to Make the Most of Retreats

Corporate and management retreats have earned a bad reputation in recent years thanks to the overzealous spending of executives who later found themselves on trial for fraud. Done properly, however, retreats can be memorable, enjoyable and productive events for you and your entire team. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your next retreat.Beware of Information OverloadEveryone wants to make the most of the retreat experience. So, it is tempting to try to pack as much as possible into a few days or hours. Unfortunately this can lead to information overload.
Practice Management

AICPA Ethics Ruling Addresses Tax Outsourcing

It was easy to overlook on the eve of a long holiday weekend, but new ethics rulings on outsourcing went into effect on July 1, 2005. The rulings adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Professional Ethics Executive Committee address a member’s responsibilities when outsourcing services to third-party service providers.According to the Wall Street Journal, the ruling requires the clients be informed before their confidential financial information is shared that their tax returns are being outsourced. For accountants, however, it is that simple.
Practice Management

The CPA’s Road Map to e-Enlightenment

Computer and Internet technology continue to transform business. From familiar computer networks enabling organizations to share data, software and hardware, to the emerging web-based software packages allowing internal operations to be performed electronically anytime, from anywhere - technology drives business practices. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get confused about technology and where it is going. When evaluating how a firm should plan ahead, a big-picture overview of options and future trends is most helpful.
Practice Management

Survey Shows Management Accountants Earn Top Dollar

Public accountants are no longer at the top of the salary heap, according to a new survey by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).The IMA, in its 16th annual salary survey, announced that management accountants and finance professionals are in first and second place, respectively, in average salary and total compensation in 2004.
Practice Management

Office Costs Increasing

If you rent office space, you probably already know that office rent rates rose in 2004.
Practice Management

Upcoming IMA Conference Attracts Leading Executives

Are you among the more than 1,000 foremost authorities in management accounting and financial management heading to Boston next week?
Practice Management

Accounting Magazine Names Top Software Resellers

Accounting Technology magazine has named 12 companies “Killer VARs,” recognizing the nation's top-performing software value-added resellers (VARs).One of those companies is Software Link, Georgia's leading Best Software partner and reseller of accounting and business management products, including MAS 90, MAS 500 and Abra HRMS.“Being named as one of the top-performing firms in our industry by the leading accounting technology publication is quite an achievement and something that we welcome with open arms,” Stanley Kania, president and owner of Software Link, said in a press rele
A&A

Employee Benefits: Keeping Employees…Happy

Rising healthcare costs have turned employer-sponsored health coverage into a premium perk for many employees. Those same costs have put employer-sponsored health coverage out of reach for many small businesses. Fortunately, though health insurance may be the most desired benefit of employees, it is not the only one they value.MyrtleBeachOnline.com reports that survey of 1,092 adults commissioned by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. found more than half (58 percent) of adult workers said participation in a health plan was the best choice among possible employee benefits.
A&A

Time to Prepare for Disasters is Before the Unexpected Happens

When disaster hits - be it a hurricane, earthquake or terrorist attack - will your family and your business be able to bounce back?Financial planners are advising their clients to do more than gather gallons of water, batteries and flashlights, but to also consider the financial implications of a disaster.A new report shows that most business owners are unprepared to continue operations if the unexpected happens.
Practice Management

Performance Reviews: Not Just For Big Businesses

After the busy season, performance reviews probably inspire the greatest level of anxiety among employers and staff members. They can be emotionally charged. They can also be legal minefields. When done appropriately, however, they can deliver substantial benefits.The Accounting Office Management and Administration Report identifies four benefits of performance reviews in their May 2005 issue. The benefits are:Communicating shortcomings. During performance appraisals firms have the opportunity to document and inform staff of performance issues needing correction.
Practice

AICPA Business Solutions Expands to Include 401(k)

Paychex 401(k) Recordkeeping services have been added to the Paychex Partner Program from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Business Solutions. “The addition of 401(k) to the CPAs’ tool chest offers another great way to professionally serve their clients,” said Tony Tortorella, vice president of Human Resource Services – Sales for Paychex.
Practice Management

Companies Urge Employees to Escape Cubicles and Get Active

Companies around the country are marking National Employee Health & Fitness Day today with new wellness programs, discounts or simple encouragment for workers to get moving.CEOs are leading their employees on walks through downtowns, others are making accommodations for bicycle commuting, and some are offering discounts on gym memberships to keep their employees healthy and active.

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