Practice news

Practice Management

General Recommendations on Corporate Security

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America, many corporations have been seeking guidance on appropriate security measures. One such company that offers this guidance is Kroll, a risk management company. According to Kroll, each company's circumstances, needs and risk profiles are different, and the response must be tailored accordingly. However, the following general points may be helpful: Review the risk profile of destinations carefully and plan travel accordingly.
Practice Management

SEC Seeks More Power to Punish Corporate Wrongdoers

Speaking to the Glasser LegalWorks 20th Annual Federal Securities Institute, Stephen Cutler, director of the Division of Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the SEC is asking Congress for more power to punish corporate wrongdoers.A push for more powerThe SEC is asking for added authority to impose penalties on officers and directors through administrative cases that do not require federal court proceedings. Specifically, it wants to able to bar executives found to have committed wrongdoing from future service at any public company.
Practice Management

Come Together Cooperatively to Serve Your Clients

Co-opetition: Compete and Cooperate MarketingWhen you combine the words cooperation and competition, a new word emerges: Coopetition. Coopetition works when competing organizations come together cooperatively to serve a client.
Practice Management

Three Ways to Grow Your Practice in 2002

By Rich Walker, CPA, Director of IntuitAdvisorA new year means new opportunities for accountants to grow their practice. Here are some words of wisdom that will help you succeed in 2002.1. Focus on Great ServiceIt might sound simplistic, but superior customer service is the number one way to retain customers. Some suggestions for maintaining a great customer relationship are:Be responsive. Let your clients know they're important.
A&A

Reminder: Retirement Plan Amendments Due By February 28

The IRS has issued a reminder to employers and retirement plan administrators that they must amend their employees' retirement plans to comply with the changes made by the "GUST" laws by the February 28, 2002, deadline. The deadline affects qualified retirement plans, including Code Sec. 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, profit-sharing plans, ESOPs and Keogh plans.An exception to the February 28, 2002, deadline exists for plans with a fiscal year other than a calendar year. The deadline for those plans is the last day of the fiscal year that began in 2001.
Practice Management

SEC's 'What-if' Numbers Offer Hope To Battle-Weary Companies

Have you heard the one about the man who woke up from a coma and asked, “What’s an auditor?” He got the traditional reply: “Someone who arrives after the battle and bayonets all the wounded.” If Robert Herdman gets his way, that joke won’t be so funny any more. Mr. Herdman is the chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and he has a new solution that will help companies avoid the battles altogether. The Perils of Too Much PrecisionMr.
Practice Management

Investors See Record Gaps in Pro Forma vs. GAAP Earnings

Preliminary statistical data show the difference between operating (pro forma) earnings and net income under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) reached an all-time high in 2001. These statistics cover the largest U.S. public companies, collectively known as the Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P-500). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and accounting firms have been cautioning companies about the risks of disclosing pro forma earnings and the need to reconcile these earnings to net income under GAAP.
Practice Management

Accountants Unite To Better Measure Business Risks

The accounting profession has united under the aegis of the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) in an organized effort to develop comprehensive guidance on risks, including the kinds of business risks that toppled Enron.COSO is comprised of five member organizations: The American Institute of CPAs, the American Accounting Association (AAA), Financial Executives International, the Institute of Internal Auditors and the Institute of Management
Practice Management

Survey Shows 'Immense Support for Auditing Reform'

A survey of Canadian business executives shows immense support for auditing reforms.
Practice

Top Ten Steps To Effective Delegation

Executives and managers are often left feeling frustrated when their staff doesn't perform a task the way they expected. This can be eliminated by sharpening your communication and filling in the gaps that are often left open for interpretation. Here are some guidelines.Step 1. Know what the task is.Step 2. Have the end result/desired outcome you want to produce in mind.Step 3. Find the person you need to delegate to and give them the task.Step 4. Share with them the results you desire.Step 5. Ask and inform them why it's important.
Practice Management

SEC Releases MD&A Guidance for 2001 Reports

Responding to a petition by the Big Five accounting firms, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement entitled Commission Statement about Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.The SEC's statement contains suggested steps that public companies should take when preparing disclosures.
Practice Management

Deloitte Reveals Best Boardroom Strategies for CFOs

An informal survey by Financial Executives International Research Foundation indicates chief financial officers (CFOs) expect tough boardroom sessions this year. Senior audit partners for Deloitte & Touche (D&T) offered practical advice during a teleconference co-sponsored by the Foundation on January 17, 2002.
Technology

New Options For Electronic Delivery of Sensitive Documents

Email has made it so much easier to communicate with clients and employees, but with the increase in the use of e-mail comes the concern of sending sensitive documents.Whether you are a CPA sending tax information back and forth to your clients, or a company trying to pass invoices to your customers, secure, private delivery of these documents is paramount to your relationship.A new service called Vault Inbox was introduced this week as one possible commercial solution to the problem faced by e-
Practice Management

Homestore.com Trips on Barter Accounting; Who's Next?

U.S. retail and property service Homestore.com joins the list of companies investigating possible accounting irregularities. In a recently-filed Form 8-K, the company said that it expects to restate its nine-month financial results and reduce the revenue figure by as much as $95 million to better reflect the nature of on-line advertising transactions that should have been accounted for as barter transactions.
Practice Management

Improve Profitability Through Efficient Scheduling

This article written by Steven T. Erickson CPA, CVA Consultant-Advisor to Professional Service Firms.In these days of personnel shortages, high labor costs and the resulting price-cost squeeze, you might want to take some of your own good advice to maximize the profitability of your firm.Gross revenue measures (realization percentage, billed rate per hour, etc.) are not the most useful tools to manage your practice when rapidly escalating personnel costs can’t be passed on to the client.
Practice Management

Generation X Study Offers New Answers to Old Questions

Big Five firm Ernst & Young and General Electric teamed up to sponsor a study of the thoughts and ideals of Generation X professionals in the workplace.
Practice Management

Estate Planning Services on The Rise

The September 11 terrorist attacks, which cut down thousands of people in their prime, have caused many Americans to examine what would happen to their families if they were to die unexpectedly.
Practice Management

Rate Your Prospects

By Troy Waugh, Waugh & CO, Inc.With a powerful and focused marketing and sales program that generates many leads, the partners find themselves meeting with prospects regularly. The partners’ focus at the initial meetings with a prospect is to understand the prospect’s business and the issues of the company. For example, if the business is not related to a niche in which the firm has expertise, a red flag goes up. If the business is calendar year or price driven, the partners begin to question their capacity to handle the client.
Practice Management

E&Y Bursts Outsourcing Bubble

The trend of outsourcing key functions in the financial services sector has a long-term negative impact on shareholder value, Ernst & Young has found.Senior executives from 26 leading financial service companies said that since they have outsourced major parts of their operations they appreciated the short-term cost saving, but admitted that it could mean a loss of control in their relationship with the customer.Companies are increasingly outsourcing activities that have traditionally been regarded as core, such as check processing, loan administration, and fund management, the study sai
Practice Management

Warning Signs of an Impending Liability Claim

The Ohio CPA Journal has published an in-depth article explaining the likelihood of CPAs being faced with liability claims and how risk can be mitigated.The article suggests that working with a risk advisor can increase the odds of: avoiding a claimcontrolling the situationkeeping a lid on damages, orprevailing when litigation occurs.The article explains the expectations of insurance companies, and offers six warning signs of an impending claim:Clients who won't payUncooperative clientsFraud/embezzlement defalcation

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