Practice news

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.
Practice

Improving The Workplace: People Problems Perplex Management

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. - Research shows that supervisors do a much better job of handling job-related problems than they do handling people-related problems. One of two employees believes that their immediate supervisor does a poor job of solving problems such as motivational, emotional, and personal issues.Here are some reasons why: Supervisors Become Supervisors Due to Their Job-Related SkillsEmployees are typically promoted to the supervisory level because of their technical or problem solving skills, not their people-management skills.
A&A

Release of Fannie Mae Executive Pay Information Causes Flap

Fannie Mae critic Rep. Richard H. Baker (R-La.) released executive pay information last week at a hearing that has the mortgage finance company defending bonuses and perks.
Practice Management

Common Characteristics of Peak Performers

By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. - Are you a peak performer? It seems as though every pro thinks they are the best. Nobody else can sell like them, or close like them. But yet, when I press them on exactly what it is that makes up a peak producer, they usually say, a strong positive mental attitude, goals and aspirations. It's shocking to see what little knowledge most salespeople have of what it takes to be a top producer. The Xerox Corporation recently conducted a study to learn what makes a top performer.
Community News

E&Y Review Finds 'Potential' Independence Problems

Ernst & Young LLP has identified potential conflicts that may get in the way of the accounting firm's independence, a company spokesman said.
Practice Management

Number of Executives Who Want to Become CEO Reaches All-Time Low

The number of executives who don't want to be CEO has doubled since 2001 (60 percent today versus 27 percent in 2001), according to new research by global communications consultancy Burson-Marsteller. Only about one-third (35 percent) say they want to be CEO (versus 47 percent in 2001). The study was conducted among Fortune 1000 executives by WirthlinWorldwide.“Due to shortened CEO tenure and intense media scrutiny, executives are more wary of the corner office," said Patrick Ford, chair of Burson-Marsteller's Corporate/Financial Practice.
Tax

Firms Nationwide Struggle with Liability Insurance Costs

Accounting firms struggling with rising liability insurance premiums have two words to say: thanks Enron.Since the accounting debacle at the former energy giant drove venerable accounting firm Arthur Andersen out of business, accounting firms across the country have been grappling with soaring insurance rates, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported."Insurance companies only care about limiting the risk of claims payout and, with the trend of increased claims against accounting companies, they see a need to increase those costs," Isdaner & Co.
Community News

Sure-Fire Selling Approaches For Professionals To Win More Business

By Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFE, and Michael CummingsWould you like to close more sales - faster -easier? Work with a better quality of client? Never be concerned about where the next client is coming from?Mistake #1 Selling On The Customer's TurfProblem: Professionals try to qualify and close at a prospect's office -- because it is more convenient for customers and makes it easier to get meetings.Solution: NEVER conduct the initial sales interview on the client's turf.If you do, two problems occur.
Community News

Global Center for Leadership, Business Ethics Announces Board of Directors

The Global Center for Leadership & Business Ethics, an independent body established to recognize those individuals and organizations that exhibit extraordinary business ethics and leadership qualities, today announced the organization of its board of directors, according to William W. George, chairman.The new board appointees are Walter Isaacson, president and CEO, The Aspen Institute; Dr.
Practice Management

COSO Unveils Risk-Management Framework

The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) has released the Enterprise Risk Management - Integrated Framework that describes the essential components, principles and concepts of
Practice Management

Organizational Effectiveness: What Can You Influence?

By, Phyllis Weiss Haserot - People at all levels have some power to influence factors in their work lives based on their personal strengths, their ability to interact with others, and the knowledge that they hold or share. Those in leadership positions are poised to exert more influence than followers, but they have to be willing to take a stand, give consistent support, and be ever vigilant to maintain trust among their colleagues and "followers." Unless the leader is truly a dictator, direct influence is limited.
A&A

Management Shakeup May Lie Ahead for Fannie Mae

Days after Fannie Mae's federal regulator released a highly critical report on the mortgage giant's accounting practices, observers say top management may not survive the fallout.Fannie Mae's regulator, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), conducted an eight-month investigation and found such pervasive problems that OFHEO suggested a management change.“These findings cannot be explained as mere differences in interpretation of accounting principles, but clear instances in which management sought to misapply and ignore accounting principles," OFHEO Director Armand
Practice Management

Ernst & Young Disciplined by California Accountancy Board

The California Board of Accountancy has taken disciplinary action against Big Four firm Ernst & Young LLP because of independence questions that arose from the firm's dealings with PeopleSoft Inc.In the late 1990s, Ernst & Young served as the software giant's audit at the same time as its consulting arm was involved in a joint venture with the firm. The Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned Ernst & Young in April citing independence issues, Dow Jones Newswires reported.
Practice Management

'Tech-Etiquette' Blunders More Common in Workplace: What to Avoid

If you're checking e-mail in meetings, taking cell phone calls during business lunches or allowing similar distractions, executives are on to you. In a recent survey, 67 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) polled said breaches in technology etiquette are more common today than three years ago. The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.
Practice

How to Effectively Delegate Work and Responsibilities

Effective delegation will not only give you more time to work on your area of expertise, but you will also give others in your firm the opportunity to learn new skills and achieve their goals. Delegation helps people grow underneath you in an organization and thus pushes you even higher in management. It provides you with more time, and you will be able to take on higher priority projects. Delegate whole pieces or entire job pieces rather than simply tasks and activities.
Practice Management

Survey Highlights Traits Employees Want Most in Managers

To be a good communicator, a manager's actions should speak louder than words, suggests a new survey. Twenty-eight percent of workers polled said their bosses could be more effective by standing up for their staff when needed. Putting a lid on office politics was cited by 24 percent of respondents as a way for employers to improve communication.The poll was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals.
Practice

Companies Choose Consumer-Driven Health Plans to Curb Costs

Nearly one in five companies (19 percent) of 314 firms surveyed offer a consumer-driven health plan, up from 11 percent in 2003, according to Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Practice Management

Top Mistakes Today's Executives Make in Leading Their Organizations

In today's uncertain economy, many organizations have been making some drastic changes to stay competitive and productive. This means that CEOs and other executives must hone their leadership skills to make the most of what they have and inspire their teams to new heights of achievement. But not all executives have leadership down to a science, according to the experts at leading career services company Lee Hecht Harrison.
Practice Management

How Your Firm can Fully Utilize the Talent of Your Employees

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. Close to 35 percent of employees feel that their job does not make good use of their skills. When employees aren't fully using their abilities, they are:- Unhappy; - Less productive; and - More likely to quit.When employees are underutilized, organizations suffer because they are not maximizing the results they can obtain from them. Management often contributes to the problem by:
Community News

Definition of ‘Good’ Management Must Be Redefined Says Deloitte’s Tinkler

Harold Tinkler, chief ethics and compliance officer for Deloitte & Touche LLP, told an audience of professors and MBA students that corporate decisions should not be based solely on stock price and that this practice is harmful to sound, sustainable corporate stewardship.In a speech titled “Ethics in Business: The Heart of the Matter,” given to the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration “First Year – First Week” MBA program at the University of Virginia, Tinkler said, “In my experience with public companies, the overemphasis – in fact, it is more like a fixation –

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