Practice news

Practice Management

How to Use Referrals

Reprinted with Permission from By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. It's Carl's sixteenth cold call. He's had fifteen rejections in a row. "There must be a better way," he says to himself. "I might as well be calling right out of the telephone book." As he dials, his secret hope is that he'll get either a busy signal or no answer. He wonders if there's a job that doesn't create so much emotional distress. There has to be a better way!If you're still making cold calls to get business, you undoubtedly don't enjoy it. There is a better way. Learn how to use referrals.
Practice Management

Coping With Problem People

Reprinted with Permisson. By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. John was about to give up. He had had it with his manager's explosions. It wasn't bad enough that he felt like a child, but when his manager raised his voice and demoralized him, it went too far. When his boss carried on with one of his tirades, John usually was left shaking in his boots. Not only was the guy intensely intimidating but he made most people either angry or fearful, often at the same time. Beth was tired of the backbiting.
Tax

Debit Cards Facilitate Use of Flexible-Spending Accounts

Flexible spending plans offered by some corporations just got a whole lot easier to use with new rules allowing debit cards to track the use of pretax dollars employees put away to pay for medical expenses not covered by health plans. The IRS recently permitted the use of debit cards to cut down on the paperwork usually involved in taking advantage of these flexible-spending plans offered by many employers. These plans allow employees to put a portion of their pretax salary away for anticipated medical expenses during the year.
Practice

Reasons Clients Complain

Below are a few complaints we've heard over the years of why clients are unhappy with the service provided to them by their accountant. Employees lack a "Can-do" attitudeIf many of your employees lack a "can-do" attitude, it may be a symptom of a greater disease. Poor recruiting, training, pay or difficult working conditions can contribute to employees’ attitudes. Once you get beneath the surface of the issue, it can help you to focus on attracting the kind of people who will deliver the "can-do" spirit. Customer service training can be tremendously helpful.
Practice Management

Sexually Explicit E-mail Spam is More Than Just a Nuisance

Settlements in two separate lawsuits this month again raise an issue of concern to many employers. With the growing number sexually graphic e-mails in workers' in-boxes becoming harder to control in today's work environment, the question must be addressed: is an employer liable for a hostile work environment caused by a never-ending barrage of sexually explicit e-mails?It's a delicate question, and one that courts are addressing around the country.
Practice Management

Common Mistakes in Auditing Non-Public Companies

An analysis of malpractice claims for 22,000 CPA firms reveals the most common mistakes in audits of non-public companies. The data comes from claims filed with Continental Casualty Co. (CNA), the underwriters of the AICPA professional liability insurance program.The main causes of claims and their relative frequency are:Technical standards violations - 63%. Almost half these claims involved improper inventory valuation.
Practice Management

Two New Intuit Programs Can Enhance Customer Service

Addressing the age old accounting challenge of how to make financial information more useful to decision-makers to better serve customers, Intuit will soon introduce two new products designed to do just that. QuickBooks® Client Manager and QuickBooks Customer Manager, scheduled for September release, provide a single screen dashboard with one click access to critical client/customer detail.
Practice

Corporate Governance Recommendations Filed For MCI

In response to the greatest accounting scandal in United States history, significant attention has been focused on how to prevent another MCI/Worldcom disaster in the future. Richard C.
Practice

CPA Firms Are Backing Away From Offering Auditing Services

A report this week by The Washington Post reveals that many accounting firms are reducing the number of audits performed for public companies, and, in some cases, firms are giving up providing public company audit services altogether.
Practice Management

Corporate Directors: More Responsibility Brings More Compensation

With all of the additional scrutiny being placed on corporate Boards of Directors, and the additional responsibility imposed on them by Sarbanes-Oxley, compensation rates for directors is reaching an all time high.For example, shareholders of Computer Associates are scheduled to vote this week on whether or not to give corporate directors a 60% pay increase - to $150,000 each - to fulfill their fiduciary role for the company.On average, director's pay rose about 10% last year, and Robin Ferracone, a worldwide partner with Mercer Human Resource Consulting, predicts another 15% raise this
Practice

New Opportunities Are Available For CMA Certification

The Institute of Management Accountants, the national organization devoted to promotion and education in the field of management accounting, has announced the launch of new preparation materials for the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) examination.The CMA Learning System, a review course for the CMA exam, will be available in the spring of 2004.
Practice Management

FCC’s New Fax Rules Cause Furor, Implementation is Delayed

First it was the telemarketers whose wings were clipped, now in a surprise ruling, the Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on the sending of unsolicited facsimiles. The FCC has said it made the ruling to stop millions of unwanted faxes, that come at times even after the recipient has been asked to be removed from a fax list. The FCC issued the law on July 3 as an amendment to 1991’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The FCC’s rule will require the marketing and business-to-business communications that many companies rely on to build their clientele.
Practice Management

Corporate Executives Get Help With Security and Privacy Strategy

A joint paper released by Canadian Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian and Deloitte & Touche LLP, provides corporate executives with suggestions for developing strategies for information security and privacy protection.The Security-Privacy Paradox: Issues, Misconceptions and Strategies examines the complex and often misunderstood relationship between the disciplines of information security and privacy protection."The evolution of the computer from a pass
Practice Management

ABA Gives Corporate Attorneys Whistleblower Permission

Recent corporate scandals have now affected the law profession with the American Bar Association voting this week to compel corporate attorneys to report suspicions of fraud — a major change in attorney/client confidentiality rules. With attorneys under growing fire for the role they played — or didn’t play — in looking the other way in cases such as Enron and WorldCom, the ABA took the dramatic step at its annual meeting to adopt standards that are similar to Securities and Exchange Commission rules now in effect.
Practice

Winning Significant Opportunities in Today’s Environment

By Gale Crosley, CPA and ConsultantRecent events in the profession will continue to result in more and larger clients evaluating a potential change in their CPA firm over the next couple of years. Firms which invest in the expertise necessary to win significant opportunities have a once-in-a-lifetime ability to grow their revenue substantially. In evaluating this ability to win, I find that the chasm between business development best practices of corporate America and those of professional CPA firms is shockingly wide.
Practice Management

When Management is Caught in The Middle

By, Kaye Vivian, Marketing Communications ConsultantThere are moments when anyone in middle management of a firm can feel trapped between an order given by a partner and the staff likely to feel the negative impact of that order. When given such an order, who deserves support more--the boss who controls the manager's destiny with the firm or the staff who rely on and trust him/her to protect their interests? It's a difficult call. To refuse a partner's directive will create trouble with the partner. To carry it out, however, there's sure to be trouble from the staff below.
Practice Management

Survey: The Keys to Happiness at Work? Flexibility

Giving employees something to smile about at the office may be as simple as offering them more control over their time, a recent survey suggests. One-third (33 percent) of workers polled said greater schedule flexibility would result in increased job satisfaction.The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in highly skilled administrative professionals.
Practice Management

'Subcertification' Becomes Widespread Practice

One year after the Sarbanes-Oxley Act required CFOs and CEOs to certify their company's financial statements, a new survey by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) reveals that public companies are asking other corporate financial professionals to vouch for reported information as well.
Practice

Networking Made Simple - Develop New Business Opportunities

Networking is an important way to develop new business opportunities, yet for many professionals it's their least favorite marketing activity. These pointers can help you network better and get results. Listen, don't talk. Don't drink. This is business. Choose your opportunities. Hunt where the ducks are. Don't be generic. Rehearse a 30 second pat statement that reveals some details about who you are as a person, what you do for a living, and what your firm specializes in. Target only one person at each event and get to know them well.
Practice Management

Niche SuperConference Takes 'Synergy' to New Heights

Webster's Dictionary defines "Synergy" as "a mutually advantageous conjunction or compatibility of distinct business participants or elements." For years, accounting associations and professional networks focusing on industry-specific or service-specific activity have leveraged the concept of synergy to bring added value to like-minded business professionals.

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