Practice news

Practice Management

Are Your Documentation Ducks In A Row?

This free report lays out the do's and don'ts of creating, maintaining, and retaining the forms you work with every day, from both a legal and practical perspective.Every company is responsible for filing and recording hundreds of documents required by federal and state laws.
Tax

Financial Planning Too Often Hung Out to Dry

Oil changes, vacations take priority over portfolio planning, says Schwab survey.Taking the car in for service ranks higher on the "to-do" list of American investors as they prepare for 2004 than meeting with their financial advisor, according to a new survey released this week by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc."This survey is interesting because it confirms that most investors still need to take their finances much more seriously," said Rande Spiegelman, vice president of financial planning, Schwab Center for Investment Research.
Practice Management

Ten Things to Know About Bringing Home the Bacon in Your Firm

After all the business development buzzwords and tactics (web sites, brochures, seminars, articles, speeches, coaching, motivating, compensating and on and on) have dulled to a whisper, a few simple things remain. It boils down to a few fundamentals to understand about life as a public accountant, and a few outcomes that will result. Here are ten everyday realities about being a professional in a CPA firm:Know that being a good accountant means a lot more than understanding the technicalities.
A&A

America's New Breed of Millionaire: How to Find and Sell to Them

By Kerry L. Johnson, MBA, PH.D. He probably wears a $50 watch. You won't see him on a yacht. But you would find him in his office commonly until 7:00 p.m. (even on Saturdays). He is more interested in his local rotary club than the polo matches.She uses her bank more for making investments than for borrowing. She would have been Robin Leach's last choice for a spot on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." She is more interested in her family and coupon clipping than in champagne and caviar dreams. Sound pretty average, right?
Practice Management

NYSE Names New Chief Executive, Anticipates 'Embarrassing' Report

On the same day that the New York Stock Exchange announced its next chief executive, its interim chairman discussed a pending report on the Big Board's governance structure, complete with facts he called "embarrassing."John A. Thain, president of Goldman Sachs, will become the NYSE's chief executive on Jan. 15. Thain will become the Big Board's future as it struggles to put behind it an executive compensation scandal that forced the resignation of Richard Grasso in September.Thain, who has held the No.
Practice Management

Report Addresses Executive Compensation

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) last week released a guide to address out-of-control executive compensation issues, recommending that consultants could be the answer to some of the challenges facing corporate compensation committees.This 2003 Report of the NACD Blue Ribbon Commission provides a specific set of principles and practices to guide boards and compensation committees in their deliberations over executive pay.
Practice Management

CEO Pay Increases, Outside Director Pay Also on The Rise

Median total compensation for outside (non-employee) directors of U.S. boards in 2003 is up from last year in all three major industry sectors covered in The Conference Board's annual study of outside director pay. The study is based on a survey of director compensation and board practices in 606 companies.The increased scrutiny of corporate governance practices in the wake of the recent scandals has put increasing pressure on members of boards of directors. Audit and compensation committees are especially under pressure to observe rigorous standards.
Practice Management

IRS Auditing Corporate Executive Compensation Packages

Some of America’s largest companies are being advised to ramp up their internal auditing efforts in anticipation of an Internal Revenue Service audit of executive compensation packages.Two dozen companies are already under the microscope with IRS auditors pouring over records covering corporate perks such as stock options, corporate jets, luxury apartments and other benefits, the Associated Press reported Friday. The IRS is not ruling out the auditing of executives’ personal returns as well."Executive pay packages have become much more complex.
Education & Careers

Strategic Vision - All Firms Need It

This article provided by Gary Boomer, CPA, of Boomer Consulting. Vision is important if your firm plans to grow and prosper. The large firms spend considerable resources on visioning and strategic planning. Building consensus and gaining input from staff, managers, and owners is important. Perhaps your firm is smaller and doesn’t feel it can spend the resources on strategic planning. Based upon what the well-managed firms do, at a minimum, your firm should have a one-page strategic plan with measurable goals.
Practice Management

Survey Reveals More Organizations Detecting Fraud

Spurred by new government regulations and demands by investors, more companies today are working to uncover fraud, finding it, and taking action against those who commit fraud, according to a new survey by U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP.The survey showed that 75 percent of respondents report they have uncovered fraud in their organizations in the last year, compared with 62 percent of executives responding to a similar survey in 1998. Employee fraud occurred the most frequently, although financial reporting and medical/insurance fraud were much more costly.
Practice

IMA Launches Sarbanes-Oxley Knowledge Network

The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) announced this week the launch of its Sarbanes-Oxley Knowledge Network http://www.imaknowledge.org/sox. (Note: Registration is required.)The Network is a new and first-of-its-kind Web-based collaborative learning tool designed to aid financial professionals in understanding and implementing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (the SOX Act).
Practice Management

PricewaterhouseCoopers' 2003 Revenues Increase by $2 Billion

PricewaterhouseCoopers announced last week that aggregated net revenues for fiscal year 2003 were $14.7 billion (compared to $13.8 billion in fiscal year 2002). With reimbursed client expenses included, aggregated gross revenues totaled $16 billion."Given the sluggish global economy, continued weakness in global capital markets and substantial regulatory changes in 2002-2003, we are pleased that our revenue figures held up so well," said Samuel A. DiPiazza, Jr., CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited.
Practice Management

Keys to Effective Employee Communication

Employee communication is both simple and complex. We communicate with employees each day. Sometimes directly – when we respond to questions or requests, for example. Sometimes indirectly – when we issue new policies or send out a memo. Sometimes inadvertently – when employees observe our actions. Perhaps because communication takes place so naturally, we often fail to consider the process of communication as seriously as we should.
Practice Management

Teams at Work - Tips to Revive Tired Teams

Suzanne Willis Zoglio, author of Teams At Work: 7 Keys to Success, sheds some light on how to help build and foster team spirit and uncovers ways to rejuvenate once productive teams. Encourage innovation from the team. There's a little bit of entrepreneur in each of us, and being given the opportunity to take reasonable risk can renew member interest in the project. Identifying and improving on the work process may be just what a team needs for new energy.
Practice Management

Morgan Stanley Pays $50 Million To Settle SEC Action

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week announced the institution and simultaneous settlement of an enforcement action against Morgan Stanley DW Inc. for failing to provide customers important information relating to their purchases of mutual fund shares.
Education & Careers

CEOs Concerned About Threats to Their Corporate Reputation

In a new national study of nearly 200 American chief executive officers, 81% expressed concern over threats to their corporate reputations, citing customer service problems, financial irregularity, negative press coverage and employee misconduct as among the issues that have the greatest potential to damage their corporate reputation."The clear message today is that CEOs live in a fishbowl," noted Christopher Komisarjevsky, president and chief executive officer, Burson-Marsteller worldwide.
Practice

Winning and Keeping Clients

By Richard Murphy, Strategy and Finance ConsultantNo business goes anywhere without work to do. This is as true of an accountant's practice as anything else. The successful firm will recognize it. This means they need a positive approach to winning and keeping clients. Client cash is the lifeblood of the business.Many practices think the art of keeping and winning clients is concerned solely with brochures or websites. It isn't. It is a whole firm activity encompassing everything it does, and everything it wants to be.
Practice Management

Strong Manager-Employee Relationship Key to Worker Satisfaction, Survey Finds

Getting along with the boss is more important than pay or benefits when it comes to happiness at work, a new survey suggests.
Community News

Small Businesses Most Vulnerable to Payroll Fraud, Five Tips to Avoid Costly Fraud Schemes

Small businesses are often the most vulnerable and easiest targets for occupational fraud and abuse, and particularly payroll fraud, according to Fiducial, an international provider of professional business outsourcing for tax, financial and business services to small businesses.
Practice Management

Key to Foiling Financial Fraud: Protect Honest Employees

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.comAs the "Enron pattern" shows no signs of abating, it is clearer than ever that corporate book-cooking will remain a stubborn blemish on America's corporate image for, well, a very long time. For corporate, regulatory and law enforcement fraud-fighters, the question therefore is, "How can we at least reduce the number of Enron-type cases?"One obvious, yet often unpalatable answer is, let employees tell the truth...

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