Practice news

Practice Management

Morgan Stanley Pays $50 Million To Settle SEC Action

The Securities and Exchange Commission this week announced the institution and simultaneous settlement of an enforcement action against Morgan Stanley DW Inc. for failing to provide customers important information relating to their purchases of mutual fund shares.
Education & Careers

CEOs Concerned About Threats to Their Corporate Reputation

In a new national study of nearly 200 American chief executive officers, 81% expressed concern over threats to their corporate reputations, citing customer service problems, financial irregularity, negative press coverage and employee misconduct as among the issues that have the greatest potential to damage their corporate reputation."The clear message today is that CEOs live in a fishbowl," noted Christopher Komisarjevsky, president and chief executive officer, Burson-Marsteller worldwide.
Practice

Winning and Keeping Clients

By Richard Murphy, Strategy and Finance ConsultantNo business goes anywhere without work to do. This is as true of an accountant's practice as anything else. The successful firm will recognize it. This means they need a positive approach to winning and keeping clients. Client cash is the lifeblood of the business.Many practices think the art of keeping and winning clients is concerned solely with brochures or websites. It isn't. It is a whole firm activity encompassing everything it does, and everything it wants to be.
Practice Management

Strong Manager-Employee Relationship Key to Worker Satisfaction, Survey Finds

Getting along with the boss is more important than pay or benefits when it comes to happiness at work, a new survey suggests.
Community News

Small Businesses Most Vulnerable to Payroll Fraud, Five Tips to Avoid Costly Fraud Schemes

Small businesses are often the most vulnerable and easiest targets for occupational fraud and abuse, and particularly payroll fraud, according to Fiducial, an international provider of professional business outsourcing for tax, financial and business services to small businesses.
Practice Management

Key to Foiling Financial Fraud: Protect Honest Employees

Re-published with permission from White-Collar Crime Fighter, www.wccfighter.comAs the "Enron pattern" shows no signs of abating, it is clearer than ever that corporate book-cooking will remain a stubborn blemish on America's corporate image for, well, a very long time. For corporate, regulatory and law enforcement fraud-fighters, the question therefore is, "How can we at least reduce the number of Enron-type cases?"One obvious, yet often unpalatable answer is, let employees tell the truth...
Community News

KPMG Separates Legal Services, Discussing Formation of New Legal Group

KPMG announced this week that it will stop providing full-scope legal services, and that its associated legal network – KLegal International – is to be discontinued.Member firms of the KLegal International network are now discussing the formation of a new legal grouping that will be completely independent of KPMG, and which will work with KPMG member firms - where appropriate - on a non-exclusive basis. The announcement reflects changed market conditions, including the U.S.
Practice Management

IRS Expands Locations For Convention Expense Deductions

According to CCH, the IRS has updated the list of countries and locations included in the "North American area" for the purposes of the Code Sec. 274(h) convention expense deduction. Expenditures related to meetings and conventions in these locations generally can be deducted just as if they were held in the U.S. Comment. In today's global business environment, conventions and meetings are frequently held outside of the U.S. The IRS traditionally has taken a hard line toward deducting foreign convention expenses. Code Sec.
Practice Management

Survey Finds Little Effect From SOX on Not-for-Profits

A recent national survey of not-for-profit business leaders and executives conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, finds that Sarbanes-Oxley has had little effect on not-for-profit organizations throughout the United States."It is now more than a year since Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted and still most not-for-profit organizations, including larger ones, have not made any changes to their board governance policies," says Bob Leavy, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner for the Not-for-Profit Industry Practice.
Practice Management

Federal Court Blocks Tax Avoidance Scheme

A federal court has temporarily stopped a Colorado couple from promoting their "expatriation/repatriation" tax avoidance scheme.Chief Judge Lewis T. Babcock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado issued a preliminary injunction barring the couple from selling advice that encouraged individuals to renounce their “United States citizenship” for “American citizenship” and stop paying federal income taxes. The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday estimated that Austin Gary Cooper and his wife, Martha E. Cooper, charged as many as 2,000 people for their advice.
Practice Management

Fannie Mae Issues $1.2 Billion Revision to 3rd Quarter Statement

Fannie Mae, the company that guarantees most of America’s mortgages, revealed a $1.2 billion mistake on its third-quarter earnings statement, which it revised on Wednesday.The revision took total accumulated other comprehensive income to minus $15.228 billion from its original statement of minus $16.364 billion and total assets shifted from $1.018 trillion to $1.019 trillion. Reuters reported that the revisions will only impact balance sheet items and would not affect the income statement.
Practice Management

Accounting Scandal Will Cost Ahold $117.2 Million

Dutch food giant Ahold will spend more than $117.2 million on the billion-dollar accounting scandal that has engulfed the world’s third largest retailer.Ahold on Tuesday announced what it expected to pay in fees to lawyers, accountants and external consultants for 2003, along with unaudited third-quarter sales of $15.2 billion, which is down 7 percent from 2002.The company predicted its earnings in 2003 would be hurt not only by the millions in professional costs, but by pressure on its margins, particularly at subsidiary US Foodservice.
Practice Management

Ten Goals Worth Pursuing

Reprinted with Permission from "The Goals Guy". Personal Development The single best investment any of us can ever make is in our own personal growth and development. The accumulation of knowledge means everything to your future. Excellent Physical Health Your body impacts everything you do. Take good care of it through proper nourishment, exercise and rest. Rest, Relaxation and Renewal We must take good care of ourselves without feeling guilty. Building a Loving Family Family is the emotional core of our lives.
Community News

BDO Seidman Management Shakeup

Amid a barrage of scrutiny by the IRS regarding its tax practices and product line, top 10 CPA firm BDO Seidman is shuffling its management and looking fresh at strategic directions for its future.The firm announced last week that CEO Denis Field - who rose through the ranks as a champion of BDO's tax consulting practice - is taking an "indefinite" leave of absence.Additionally, five of twelve members of the board of directors are being replaced, resulting in equal representation between the audit and tax disciplines at the firm.Vice Chairman Jack Weisbaum will come out of retirement
Community News

KPMG Sells Dispute Advisory Services, Focuses on Forensic Practice

KPMG LLP, announced this week that it has entered a definitive agreement to sell its Dispute Advisory Services (DAS) unit to FTI Consulting, Inc., a multi-disciplined consulting organization, for approximately $89.1 million.
Community News

Client Retention Secrets

The typical business may lose up to 25% of their clients each and every year. Overhead associated with these clients decreases when the cost of marketing to repeat customers declines.It costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. Creating higher revenue at the same expense directly adds to the bottom line as higher profit. Reducing turnover by 5% could add 100% to your bottom line.Should you forget about cultivating new customers? Of course not, but it is important to understand the extra values in retaining customers.
Practice

Organizations Must Innovate or Fade Away

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupAccording to Benjamin Franklin, "Insanity is doing things over and over again and expecting different results." Many organizations offer the same types of products and services to the same types of customers in the same way year after year. And, then they wonder why: The competition can offer the same products and services at a lower price; Their once high value products and services are now viewed by customers as commodities;  
Practice Management

Why Have a Mentoring Plan?

Most accounting firms are suffering from the same things these days: how do you keep your staff around? With jobs so easy to find, especially in the accounting industry, employers need to find new ways to encourage employees to develop career commitments.Development of a mentoring program can go a long way in helping staff see that you are serious about helping develop their careers.
Practice

How To Get Better Client-Centered Referrals

To get the best referrals, you need more than naturally occurring word-of-mouth. You need to have a program to actively elicit referrals from a number of services.You may think that clients will just give you referrals because they like you or your service. However, it doesn’t always happen this way. To have a top practice, you must do more than produce good work and wait for referrals to follow. Some clients are more likely to give referrals than are others. When you identify someone who is liberal with their referrals, cultivate them.
Practice Management

Creating a Professional Referral Team

Barry LaValley As you look at your business plan for the coming year, how are you going to build referral relationships in your community?

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