Practice news

Practice Management

Business Groups Begin Quiet Campaign to Oust SEC's Donaldson

The Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors played a critical role in reelecting President Bush. Now the groups are part of a quiet effort to convince the President that it's time for a new Securities and Exchange Commission chair, the Wall Street Journal reported.Believing the post-Enron reforms have led to a strangled business environment, in part because of the greater authority given to the SEC by the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation.
Technology

Infatuation with E-mail Dies as Companies Demand In-Person Contact

Some companies are quickly losing their love of e-mail and its promise of speedy communication, opting instead for old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation.An onslaught of spam combined with the frustrations of not-so-quick responses to e-mail requests is prompting some companies to limit how much time their employees spend on e-mail, USA Today reported.Chicago-based U.S. Cellular, for example, has banned e-mail on Friday for at least the rest of the year. Veritas Software's marketing department also implemented a Friday e-mail ban among on-site employees at the Mountain View, Calif.
Community News

Local, Regional Firms Report Revenue and Practice Growth

Local and regional firms across the U.S. reported revenue growth, salary increases and expansion of core service offerings in 2004 and feel optimistic heading into 2005, according to this year’s PCPS/Texas Society of CPAs (TSPCA) National Management of Accounting Practice (MAP) Survey. Thirty-two percent of the 2,373 local and regional firms surveyed this year experienced an increase in revenue of at least 10%, while 14% indicated an increase of greater than 20% in their most recent fiscal year.
A&A

Pre-Tax Season Media Tip for Tax Practitioners

Before tax season snows you under, get the attention of your local media. They can keep you visible even when you're not.Do you have aggressive partners who want brand equity? Create a spreadsheet of these partners, their areas of service expertise and industry concentrations to send to key reporters. If you have media savvy partners who are willing to promptly return calls from a reporter on deadline, you might include the partner's cell phone number on the spreadsheet. If a partner is unable to return calls promptly, do not include that partner with your media relations efforts.
Practice Management

Keeping up With the Jones’s: How Third-Tier CPA Firms can Deliver Technology Services

By Scott H. Cytron, ABC(Accounting Software 411) With the continuous fallout associated with failed audits, scandals and mishaps at the world’s largest accounting firms, it’s now a proven fact that more and more clients are leaving large firms in hopes of finding green pastures elsewhere.USA Today ran a story in late September, “More Firms Flee Big 4 Accountants”, that spoke to this very topic.
Practice

Analysts Warn of Security Issue with Google Desktop Search

Two independent warnings have been issued about Google's new Desktop Search tool, claiming it can pose security risks by caching confidential information, Internetnews.com reported. Google Desktop Search allows users to search documents, spreadsheets, e-mail, instant messages and Web pages that have been visited by that PC. To enable this, it creates cached versions of Web content -- which could include sensitive corporate information stored on servers and accessed via a Web interface, Internetnews.com reported.
Practice Management

Employees Say They Need Their Bosses to be Coaches Not Referees

More than half of US employees said their boss is a referee instead of a coach, according to a recent survey by Development Dimensions International (DDI), a global human resource consulting firm. While a coach proactively helps employees before they are in a position to make a mistake, a referee boss waits for the mistake to call a penalty and tell the employee what they should have done instead.
Practice Management

AICPA Adopts New Ethics Requirements for Members Who Outsource

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has adopted new ethics rules that place new requirements on members who outsource work.Two new rules and one revised rule spell out the responsibilities AICPA members now must meet when outsourcing clients’ work to third-party providers.
Practice Management

Managing the Cost -- and Value -- of Failure

Why Successful Financial Managers Seek to Exploit Failure Rather Than Avoid It, by Bruce PounderIndividuals and organizations experience failure on a continual basis. Most failures are small, a few large, and a certain few catastrophic. Financial managers are quick to perceive the cost of failure, typically in the form of wasted money or lost opportunity. But many financial managers "fail" to recognize the significant value that is also present in nearly every failure.This article is about managing both the cost and value of failure in business today.
Practice Management

How to Develop a Good Management Succession Plan

By the Change Management Group To implement a successful CEO succession plan some critical steps should be followed to ensure a smooth transition to new leadership:Involve the Board of Directors. The board must not abdicate its responsibility or leave the decision to the incumbent CEO.Develop specific criteria for the new CEO. Directors must set criteria that are more than simply conceptual in nature. The criteria must be enough to distinguish one candidate from another.
Practice Management

Legal Expert Connections Launches Litigation Support Marketing for Accountants

A majority of the nation's top 100 accounting firms surveyed view litigation support and its close counterparts, forensic accounting and fraud investigation, as leading areas of growth for their practices, according to March 2004 survey results released by Accounting Today magazine. That's why Margaret Grisdela, president and founder of Boca Raton-based Legal Expert Connections, is carving out an accounting niche within her general expert witness marketing practice to capture the market in its relative infancy. Ms.
Practice

Ten Employer-Employee Rules For Successfully Running a Small Business

Compliments of bizmove.com - You've just been in a serious car accident. You've got massive internal injuries and a broken jaw. You're going to be in the hospital at least a month. Your jaw is wired shut so you can't use the phone. Will your business run easily and well while you recover? Will your customers be served while you are gone? If you've just experienced heart failure over this prospect, the following list is for you. The information below, if put into practice, will reduce your stress, increase your business' productivity, and give you the vacation you so richly deserve.
Technology

CPA Firm's Technology Initiative Benefits Clients, Team Members

“CPA firms have historically been a little slow in embracing technology,” said Jeff Horsley, CPA-Miller & Company.
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.

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