Practice news

Practice Management

Values Statements Seen as 'Window Dressing' According to a New Survey

Wf360, this week announced results of its "Global Corporate Values Barometer." The survey offers perceptions about the role of corporate values in the marketplace and addresses personal aspirations for achieving the "Good Life" and was conducted by NOP World, a top-ten market research and consulting firm.Mixed Grades on Corporate Values While fifty-six percent of respondents agree that the corporate values of their organization are part of the attraction to their job, the same number indicate that the "values statements of most companies are window dressing and do not drive the m
Practice Management

How To Improve Your Self Management Skills

You are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Learn to accept total responsibility for yourself. If you do not manage yourself, then you are letting others have control of your life. These tips will help "you" manage "you." 
A&A

BBB Ranks Top Business Inquiries and Complaints During 2003

The nation's Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) this week reported that services provided to consumers and businesses in 2003 surged to 52.9 million, up 27 percent from the 41.5 million instances of service provided in 2002. Pre-purchase Information: Pre-buying inquiries in the United States increased to 48.8 million in 2003, up nearly 28 percent from 38.2 million in 2002. These requests included 30.8 million BBB reliability reports on businesses located in the U.S.
Practice

Rising Wages, High Turnover in India Create Scramble for Workers

India may become a victim of its own success as a center for outsourcing.As U.S. companies continue to rush business offshore, the competition for labor is getting fierce — so fierce that a typical business-processing center can expect to lose 15 to 20 percent of their workforce every year, the New York Times reported.
Practice Management

Survey Indicates Vacations Improve Staff Productivity

Feeling guilty about spending time away from the office this summer? You may be doing your company a favor. More than half (51 percent) of executives surveyed recently said employees are more productive after a vacation than before one. The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals.
Practice

BDO Seidman Launches New Service Offering; Anti-Fraud Program

FIRSTGlobal InvestigationsSM, a division of BDO Seidman LLP, today announced the rollout of the Critical Anti-fraud Procedures (CAP) Programs. This new service offering is responsive to the heightened awareness in corporate America, and specifically at the board level, of the need to take a pro-active approach to preventing corporate fraud.
Practice Management

‘Controlled’ Companies Taking Advantage of Loophole

By calling themselves "controlled" corporations, dozens of companies are dodging rules created to make corporate boards more isolated from management, the Wall Street Journal reported.Companies that have filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission saying that a majority of their board members will not be independent include Cox Communications, EchoStar Communications Corp. and Weight Watchers International Inc., the Journal reported. Another avenue around the new rules involves companies that are not forming independent compensation committees to oversee executive pay.
Practice Management

Document Your Processes - It Pays!

By James K. Boomer, MCPThere are a number of tasks we do on a frequent basis that become so routine that we take for granted that “everyone in our organization knows how to do that!” This assumption is most likely untrue. More likely, a number of employees are sitting at their desks right this moment stumped about where to begin with this new project they have been assigned. Documented processes provide a perfect starting point for new projects.The first step in documenting a process is identifying a repeatable process that is frequently used within the organization.
Practice Management

U.S. Workers Give Performance Management Programs a Failing Grade

Only three out of ten U.S. workers agree that their company’s performance management program actually does what it’s intended to do: improve performance. And only two out of ten workers say their company helps poorly performing workers improve, according to a recent survey by Watson Wyatt, a leading human capital consulting firm. “The survey results clearly indicate that corporate America’s performance management systems need fixing,” said Scott Cohen, Ph.D., national director for talent management at Watson Wyatt and an expert in performance management.
Practice

Delta Shareholders OK Plan to Limit Executive Pension Accounts

Shareholders of Delta Air Lines have approved a proposal to limit bankruptcy-proof executive pension accounts, which sparked outrage at the carrier last year.The proposal was approved Friday at Delta’s shareholder meeting by holders of about 53 percent of shares, overcoming opposition by the board, according to the Wall Street Journal.In a statement, the board said the measure would limit Delta’s ability to attract and retain top management talent, but the board will follow the shareholders’ wishes, said Delta’s Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein.Under the plan, which has the su
Practice

The Focus of Firm Management

By L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CITP, CEO While there are seminars and on-the-job training for managing partners, there is no book or school on how to manage an accounting firm. Too often managing partners get strapped with administrative duties and fail to lead the firm toward strategic objectives. It is often lonely in the managing partner’s role, as they have to enforce discipline, manage partner disputes, deal with financial issues and in many firms simultaneously manage a book of business in order to retain security and status.
Community News

Five Ways to Build Your Business

by: Troy Waugh Is this going to be your year for turning the power of marketing and sales on in your business? If your answer is yes, here are five keys to success: Focus on client's profits, not your own. There is a limited demand for tax return preparation services and audits, but there is unlimited demand for accountants and consultants who can help clients improve net profits! If youare still focusing on increasing your billable hours, billing rates or net fees, it's time to reorient your thinking. 
Practice Management

Administrative Professionals Are Vital Communication Liaisons, Professional Secretaries' Week is April 18-24

Administrative professionals play a vital role in facilitating the flow of information and communication intoday's office. They also serve as key front-line public relations ambassadors for their managers and their organizations.The field of more than four million administrative professionals in the United States and Canada includes executive assistants, secretaries, office managers and other administrative support staff.As communication liaisons, administrative professionals maintain and support relationships with other managers, employees, customers, vendors and the public.
Tax

Tax Business Accused of Bilking 100,000 Customers

The Justice Department wants a federal judge to shut down a business that is accused of costing the government and 100,000 customers at least $500 million.The New York Times reported that the business, the National Audit Defense Network, has cheated the government out of $324 million or more in taxes in the last three years, according to a civil suit filed in Las Vegas Thursday.The company markets itself as a network of more than 1,000 former Internal Revenue Service agents and others who can win audits and stop collection of past due taxes.
Tax

IRS, States Going after Tax Shelter Client Lists

Wealthy investors who bought questionable tax shelters to lower their tax bills are finding that they can’t hide from state and federal regulators.The Internal Revenue Service and California tax regulators are going to court to obtain client lists from accounting firms or insurers to identify investors who bought the shelters. The strategy appears to be working.A federal judge on Monday upheld efforts of the IRS to obtain the names of two tax shelter clients of accounting firm KPMG, according to the New York Times.
Practice Management

Bowman's Accounting Report Re-Named 'INSIDE Public Accounting'

“Bowman’s Accounting Report” has a new name: It’s now called INSIDE Public Accounting. “The change was made to better reflect our mission as the most authoritative and indispensable source of news and best practices at accounting firms and within the profession,” said Martha H. Sawyer, publisher of INSIDE Public Accounting. Added Editor Julie Lindy: “In addition, the new name reflects the editorial direction we’re taking with the newsletter, with greater coverage of local and regional firms, as well as emphasis on best practices for profitability and growth.
A&A

SOS from Financial Institutions: Stop Excessive Spending on Risk and Compliance!

BearingPoint, Inc., a business consulting and systems integration firm, announced the findings of a survey of leading financial institutions, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), that found wasteful spending and duplication of efforts around risk management and financial transparency, due to the absence of data standards.
Community News

Client Centered Referrals

By Troy WaughAs I discuss in my book, whenever you have a client in common with another service provider, it’s logical to get acquainted with that person so you can coordinate in serving the client. Get to know your best clients’ other professional service providers. We find lawyers, bankers, bonding agents, and insurance brokers among the best. They are open to you and will readily meet with you because of your joint client.
Practice Management

KPMG, BearingPoint Pay $34 Million to Settle Travel Suit

KPMG and its former consulting unit BearingPoint, Inc., agreed to pay $17 million each for their part in a class-action lawsuit stemming from the practice of overbilling clients for travel expenses.In December, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP agreed to pay $54.5 million to settle its part in the class-action lawsuit. Also named in the suit are Ernst & Young LLP, and the U.S. branch of Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, a French consulting practice that purchased Ernst & Young's consulting business in 2000, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Community News

KPMG Creates 404 Institute to Facilitate Financial Reporting Dialogue

KPMG has announced the establishment of the 404 Institute, an open forum designed to inspire the exchange of ideas and the development of research, leading practices, and a range of activities related to meeting the requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

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