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Practice

Corporate America Must Take Leadership in the New Economy

Guest Article, submitted by Werner ReisacherThere are as many opinions about the reasons behind the present economic crisis as there are personal interest groups. However, the factors leading up to the present economic situation go beyond opinions and personal interests. They are by far more complex and can be traced back to the 1990’s. During those years, cost reduction exercises were routine. The legacy software systems in place could not support these activities and provide the integrated solutions needed to improve productivity.
Practice Management

Ten Personal Board of Directors Insights

Reprinted with Permission from "The Goals Guy". A personal board provides both wisdom and support for the attainment of a specific purpose. Their objective is to help you cross the chasm from the known to the unknown. Consider the roles each person on your board will play. Consider having an entrepreneur along with a clarifier who asks clear questions, a connector who leads you to other people, a challenger who helps you act boldly, and a wise elder or sage.
Technology

AccountingWEB Find: Employment Screening Resource

Employment Screening Resource, is like having your own in-house screening specialists. ESR specializes in background screenings and is a Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) and Human Resources consulting firm providing pre-employment screening reports to Employers, Human Resources and Security departments. ESR combines human resources, public records and legal expertise in providing your company with fast, accurate and cost-effective employment pre-screening. Employers have become painfully aware of the tremendous consequences of bad hiring decisions.
Practice Management

Changing Attitudes on Firm Flexibility

By Phyllis Weiss Haserot and Holly EnglishDespite the desire by many professionals at some time in their careers to have more flexibility in their working arrangements, particularly now that technology makes it so much easier, decision makers and even the candidates for flexibility themselves resist such arrangements.The deterrents to faster progress are perceived fears and uncalculated costs and benefits.
Practice Management

Five Ways Small Businesses Can Avoid Ethics Problems

Loren G. Carlson, founder and chairman of CEO Roundtable, LLC suggests five techniques CEOs of small businesses can use to avoid ethics problems.The five ways:Recognize there is no difference between "business ethics" and "personal ethics." There is no way to justify doing something in business that you would not do in personal life.Establish a corporate culture that rewards ethical decisions and practices.
Practice

Life as a CPA: Business Development

By, Melinda Guillemette, Marketing ConsultantAfter 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.
Practice Management

AICPA Task Force Issues Report Containing 14 Recommendations

The task force appointed in February to study the role and responsibilities of the governing Council of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has sent its report, containing 14 recommendations, directly to Council, the AICPA announced this week. "The Institute authorized us to undertake whatever actions and inquiries we thought appropriate to fulfill our assignment," said Timothy O’Brien of Colorado, who headed the seven-member task force. "Our mission was to evaluate how representatives are elected to Council and how Council conducts its activities.
A&A

Resource: Free Management and Operations Reports

Now it's easy to get the free special reports that have been used by over 100,000 managers all across the United States to improve their operations and stay on the right side of employment law. Below are just a few free downloadable reports you may access from Alexander Hamilton Institute, Inc. (AHI).
Practice Management

Don't Look Now, But Your Client's Problem is You

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupTHE PROBLEMSenior management in most organizations have no idea what their clients are really thinking. They are insulated from the problems clients experience at the front lines of their company. Making matters worse is that in the interest of cost efficiency, organizations are establishing systems which mechanize rather humanize the customer/client experience.
Community News

H&R Block to Set up Shop at a Wal-Mart Near You

The company that promises "Always low prices. Always," will soon be able to offer it's customers low cost tax preparation services while they shop.H&R Block Chairman Mark Ernst announced the latest developments on a distribution arrangement with Wal-Mart at Block's annual shareholder meeting this week.According to a company spokesperson, H&R Block will operate modular office units in over 850 Wal-Mart stores around the United States. The kiosks will accommodate up to three tax preparers at any one time.H&R Block also offers tax season preparation services at Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Practice

Introducing a New Service: Putting the Cart Before The Horse?

If you work for a firm that is contemplating offering a new service, consider using the expertise of your marketing director from the beginning. While a new service may seem like a good idea, you may not have the market for it. It’s also a good idea to have a clear strategy as to how to get the market it once the new service is in place, and this is where your marketing director’s knowledge will become invaluable.Don’t surprise your marketing director with the news of, "We’re introducing this new service.
Practice Management

FASB Addresses, Delays Stock Option Rule Setting

The Financial Accounting Standards Board met yesterday to address a myriad of complicated issues surrounding the expensing of stock options. The definitive decision reached at the end of the meeting: delay the issuance of rules by 6-9 months.FASB has been under pressure from a number of groups, including Congress, to define how companies should expense stock options granted to employees. The sticky point, everyone agrees, is honing in on an appropriate valuation method. The widely used Black-Scholes method has often been criticized as an imperfect tool to value options.
Practice Management

Deal Puts WorldCom on Path to Solvency

The nation’s largest bankruptcy filing could be on its way to resolution after WorldCom agreed to pay $385 million more to address some of the biggest roadblocks it had faced in reemerging from bankruptcy. Under the terns of the agreement reached this week, two groups that had been set to receive nothing under an earlier deal, will now receive some compensation for their losses. Trade creditors will now receive 52 cents on the dollar, as opposed to the original offering of 36 cents on the dollar.
Practice Management

Be a Coach Who Inspires

It happens to everyone as they move up the ranks in management. Suddenly you find yourself in a position of managing people. Perhaps you have proved yourself to be a great team player as well as a strong individual technically. But did anyone take the time to train you in the world of management? It’s important to make sure you train your staff to help communication remain clear and avoid the possibility of lawsuits due to poor management.When you coach your staff about behavior or management style, be sure to keep compensation out of it.
Practice Management

Board Members go Back to College

Additional training for members of boards of directors seems like an obvious move in this Sarbanes-Oxley environment.
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.

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