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Time Out: 5 Tips to Make the Most of Retreats

Corporate and management retreats have earned a bad reputation in recent years thanks to the overzealous spending of executives who later found themselves on trial for fraud. Done properly, however, retreats can be memorable, enjoyable and productive events for you and your entire team. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your next retreat.Beware of Information OverloadEveryone wants to make the most of the retreat experience. So, it is tempting to try to pack as much as possible into a few days or hours. Unfortunately this can lead to information overload.
Practice Management

AICPA Ethics Ruling Addresses Tax Outsourcing

It was easy to overlook on the eve of a long holiday weekend, but new ethics rulings on outsourcing went into effect on July 1, 2005. The rulings adopted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Professional Ethics Executive Committee address a member’s responsibilities when outsourcing services to third-party service providers.According to the Wall Street Journal, the ruling requires the clients be informed before their confidential financial information is shared that their tax returns are being outsourced. For accountants, however, it is that simple.
Practice Management

The CPA’s Road Map to e-Enlightenment

Computer and Internet technology continue to transform business. From familiar computer networks enabling organizations to share data, software and hardware, to the emerging web-based software packages allowing internal operations to be performed electronically anytime, from anywhere - technology drives business practices. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get confused about technology and where it is going. When evaluating how a firm should plan ahead, a big-picture overview of options and future trends is most helpful.
Practice Management

Survey Shows Management Accountants Earn Top Dollar

Public accountants are no longer at the top of the salary heap, according to a new survey by the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA).The IMA, in its 16th annual salary survey, announced that management accountants and finance professionals are in first and second place, respectively, in average salary and total compensation in 2004.
Practice Management

Office Costs Increasing

If you rent office space, you probably already know that office rent rates rose in 2004.
Practice Management

Upcoming IMA Conference Attracts Leading Executives

Are you among the more than 1,000 foremost authorities in management accounting and financial management heading to Boston next week?
Practice Management

Accounting Magazine Names Top Software Resellers

Accounting Technology magazine has named 12 companies “Killer VARs,” recognizing the nation's top-performing software value-added resellers (VARs).One of those companies is Software Link, Georgia's leading Best Software partner and reseller of accounting and business management products, including MAS 90, MAS 500 and Abra HRMS.“Being named as one of the top-performing firms in our industry by the leading accounting technology publication is quite an achievement and something that we welcome with open arms,” Stanley Kania, president and owner of Software Link, said in a press rele

Employee Benefits: Keeping Employees…Happy

Rising healthcare costs have turned employer-sponsored health coverage into a premium perk for many employees. Those same costs have put employer-sponsored health coverage out of reach for many small businesses. Fortunately, though health insurance may be the most desired benefit of employees, it is not the only one they reports that survey of 1,092 adults commissioned by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. found more than half (58 percent) of adult workers said participation in a health plan was the best choice among possible employee benefits.

Time to Prepare for Disasters is Before the Unexpected Happens

When disaster hits - be it a hurricane, earthquake or terrorist attack - will your family and your business be able to bounce back?Financial planners are advising their clients to do more than gather gallons of water, batteries and flashlights, but to also consider the financial implications of a disaster.A new report shows that most business owners are unprepared to continue operations if the unexpected happens.
Practice Management

Performance Reviews: Not Just For Big Businesses

After the busy season, performance reviews probably inspire the greatest level of anxiety among employers and staff members. They can be emotionally charged. They can also be legal minefields. When done appropriately, however, they can deliver substantial benefits.The Accounting Office Management and Administration Report identifies four benefits of performance reviews in their May 2005 issue. The benefits are:Communicating shortcomings. During performance appraisals firms have the opportunity to document and inform staff of performance issues needing correction.

AICPA Business Solutions Expands to Include 401(k)

Paychex 401(k) Recordkeeping services have been added to the Paychex Partner Program from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Business Solutions. “The addition of 401(k) to the CPAs’ tool chest offers another great way to professionally serve their clients,” said Tony Tortorella, vice president of Human Resource Services – Sales for Paychex.
Practice Management

Companies Urge Employees to Escape Cubicles and Get Active

Companies around the country are marking National Employee Health & Fitness Day today with new wellness programs, discounts or simple encouragment for workers to get moving.CEOs are leading their employees on walks through downtowns, others are making accommodations for bicycle commuting, and some are offering discounts on gym memberships to keep their employees healthy and active.
Practice Management

Demand For Certified Bookkeepers Outpacing Supply

In the seven years since bookkeeper certification was introduced, 10,000 bookkeepers have registered for certification. Another 15,000 have requested information on the certification process.
Education & Careers

Employee Background Checks on the Increase

A new online employment screening company is offering a quick way for employers to check the educational and work histories of potential employees.Employers can turn to to conduct background checks, education verification and pre-employment screening to weed out applicants who list on their resumes fake diplomas or degrees from online diploma mills.“Our employment screening process will put the diploma mills out of business,” said CEO Samuel Anderson in a press release.
Community News

CCH Inc. Receives Customer Service Award

Customer Relationship Management magazine has named CCH Inc. one of 2005’s CRM Service Elite.
Practice Management

Survey Asks Finance Departments to Identify Challenges

Automation is key. That is the finding of a study done by Ventana Research, co-sponsored by Cognos, which asked 200 companies in various industries to identify the challenges faced by finance departments.The study found that finance departments could benefit from major changes to key financial management processes to be more effective in executing their accounting cycles and to more readily deliver the information needed to improve performance.Companies surveyed worry about their ability to sustain their Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance efforts.
Practice Management

Grant Thornton: Five Steps to Choice and Competition

Ninety-seven percent of public companies having sales between $250 million and $5 billion, are audited by the Big Four accounting firms, according to the General Accountability Office (GAO). Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. division of global accounting, business advisory and tax organization, Grant Thornton International would like to change that.

New Accounting Graduates Paid More

The average starting salary of graduates with degrees in accounting have risen 3.9 percent since the same period last year, according to the spring salary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.Accounting graduates can expect offers averaging of $43,809. Economics and finance graduates can expect to see offers of $42,802, which is an increase of 5.1 percent over the previous year. This increase is in part due to financial and treasury analysis offers averaging.
Community News

Firm Alliance Creates Memphis' Largest CPA Resource

Two of the largest accounting firms in the city are taking aim at the Big 4 accounting firms by forming an alliance that will create the largest single resource for CPAs in Memphis.Thompson Dunavant PLC, Memphis’ largest locally owned CPA firms, has signed a three-year contract to share resources with BDO Seidman LLP, a national professional services firm providing accounting services to publicly traded businesses. Thompson Dunavant has a professional staff of 58 including 40 CPAs while BDO has a professional staff of 34 including 25 CPAs.
Practice Management

Donaldson Champions Controversial SEC Best Price Rule

In a hotly contested decision that's seen as a big win for the New York Stock Exchange, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman William Donaldson has pushed through a new rule that would require investor orders to buy or sell stock be filled at the best price, as long as the order can be executed immediately, the Wall Street Journal reported.Known as the order-protection rule, it will apply to all marketplaces, including the Nasdaq Stock Market and will require markets to get investors the best price, even if that means going to a competing market to fill the order, the Journal reported


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