News

DSL Moves To Smaller Markets

The chance to secure a high-speed connection to the Internet is hard even in large metropolitan markets like Dallas. It all depends on where you are located. Although large carriers are concentrating on saturating the top 50 markets, there’s still plenty of room for small providers to get in on the action.For these companies looking to provide Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) in smaller markets, the coast is clear. Currently, in second- and third- tier markets, the only competition is from Baby Bells.
Practice

Focus Your Efforts For Results

Do you know that old tradition of meeting with bankers and other "referral" sources? Or maybe you have participated in many of the "happy hours" designed to get people talking and referring business. The question, though, is how much business did you really get from the event?Many firms participate in referral activities, however, the results are often sketchy. Ask yourselves about the last one you attended. How many referrals did it actually yield? Often, people will say that it increased the potential for referrals in the future.
Practice Management

News You Can Use

It’s a competitive market out there. With consolidators gobbling up firms and others hiring salespeople to sell services, it’s important to keep an edge on competition. Soliciting feedback can help. It might even point you in a strategic direction that’s best for your firm.When clients are dissatisfied, they usually won’t complain to you; they will simply leave. What’s more is that when that person leaves, they take 250 contacts with them (this is the average number of people each person knows).
Tax

IRS Simplifies Offers-In-Compromise Program

The Internal Revenue Service has announced a simplification of it's Offers-In-Compromise program, a program instituted in situations where individuals want to pay the tax they owe, but can't afford to make good on the entire liability.The IRS has indicated in a news release that it will offer taxpayers a new payment option providing for fixed monthly payments over the life of the agreement, which can run for as long as ten years.

Web Sites for Accountants

Grand Rapids, MI - Greatland Corporation and Nelco announce the launch of a web site creation product, developed specifically for accounting professionals. Cytax Sitebuilder allows accounting professionals to build their own business web site completely online. Step-by-step instructions on Cytax guide an accountant through site set up. Cytax is designed for novice Internet users with little knowledge of HTML or similar web expertise.

Reference Checking

You know how much a bad hire can cost you. So it makes sense to look into avoiding that situation in the first place. Part of that process is checking references. Used correctly, a reference can give you a snap shot of the candidate’s previous track record. However, in these litigious times, getting an actual recommendation or reference is much harder. These days, previous employers will stick to the facts that YOU provide to them.

Glance at a Century of Benefits

As the year closes, Hewitt Associates, a leading human resources management consulting firm, looks at the benefit programs and legislation that shaped the 20th century. Many of these programs significantly changed the workplace and transformed it into what we know today.ERISA. The Employment Retirement Income Security Act is enacted to protect benefits promised to employees.

Time to Set Goals

As the new year approaches, it seems natural that goals should be in the front of our minds. We aren’t talking about new year’s resolutions, though. A goal is a written statement of what you want to achieve by a set point in time. New Year’s resolutions don’t usually work that way, do they?When you set your goals, remember they must be S-M-A-R-T:S pecific. You should describe your goals specifically. For example, I want to increase my business revenue by $1M in 2000 rather than I want to increase fees.Measurable. Your goal should be measurable.
Community News

3 CPA Firms Make Fortune's Top 100 List

In its annual survey on The 100 Best Companies to Work For, scheduled for publication in January 2000, Fortune magazine has listed three CPA firms on its prestigious list.Among the best:# 17 Michigan based Plante & Moran#31 Deloitte & Touche#86 Ernst & YoungThe List is compiled based on a number of factors, including work environment, financial rewards, ben
Community News

CBIZ Begins Integration Of Its Operations

Professional services firm consolidator Century Business Services announced today a year long effort to consolidate its offices in markets where multiple CBIZ offices exist.CBIZ will initially consolidate 10 of its largest markets where the Company has acquired multiple companies over the past three years, including its BIZ Centers in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Kansas City, Colorado, Northern and Southern California, Cleveland, Chicago, and Texas.
Technology

Y2K Security Issues Should Not Be Overlooked

It's a couple of days away, but it's not too late to give your computer system a once-over for Y2K. And we're not talking about system anomalies -- no, the issue is security breaches and what you can do about them."Most companies have done a really good job preparing their computer code for Y2K," says Mike Higgins, CEO and President of Para-Protect, the foremost authority on e-commerce and network security.

Termination Toolkit

You don’t want to fire an employee, especially in this tight labor market, but sometimes you have to do it. Lots of things may cross your mind including a possible law suit or revenge by the employee. The best way to protect yourself and your firm is to document all of your actions and provide a forum for the employee to “have the last word,” so to speak.

10 Biggest M&A Bloopers of 1999

As 1999 draws to a close, the final price tag on corporate mergers and acquisitions has surpassed the $3 trillion mark. But not all of these transactions have contributed to shareholder value.Mark N. Clemente and David S. Greenspan - M&A consultants and authors of the best-selling book, Winning at Mergers and Acquisitions - have identified the Top Ten Bloopers of the M&A world this year, indicating that even the biggest companies with the brightest minds and unlimited resources stumble along the way.From Mr. Clemente and Mr.

Creativity

Have you ever thought how creative salespeople need to be? Creativity is the process for coming up with new ideas. Why do salespeople need new ideas? Solving customer problems, finding applications for products, meeting customer needs, addressing competition, prospecting for new customers, and on and on. Knowing that you need to be creative and being creative are two different things.

Workers Call the Shots on Compensation

It makes sense to reward those who do the lion’s share of the work, right? Well, in the 90s, many companies tried various compensation schemes that didn’t quite make cut. Employees simply “rejected” these concepts, according to a new study by Towers Perrin, a California-based human resources firm.In a study of 770 U.S. and Canadian companies, the firm found that pay schemes such as “broad banding” and “competency-based pay” are floundering while executive comp models are flourishing.

CPE Made Easy

Continuing Professional Education (CPE) is something that always looms over CPAs from year to year. Now, an online learning community offers benefits that will make CPE headaches a thing of the past. Yipinet LLC is a one stop destination for CPE.For those of you who are a reporting nightmare, the site will keep track of both your online and offline CPE for you. Yipinet also allows you to “try before you buy.” You may try the first part of any course and decide to buy later.

Compute the Cost of Bad Hiring

Have you ever hired an employee and then spent the next 12 months trying to figure out what went wrong? When you finally rid your firm of the employee, did you wonder how much that hiring fiasco really cost? Often, a bad hiring decision can affect employee morale and productivity in the co-workers of a bad hire.Now, Advantage Hiring, Inc., a provider of web-based employment, screening and interviewing applications, lets you take the guesswork out of a bad hiring decision.

Learn CRM Strategies At "1 to 1" Institute

Here’s an idea. Treat different customers differently and give each of them a powerful incentive to buy more today and return tomorrow to buy again. This is the thinking behind the Peppers and Rogers Group’s unique methodology of leveraging technology and their upcoming “1 to 1” Institute.The five day seminar will be held January 16 – 20, 2000 at the Prudential Center for Learning and Innovation in Norwalk, CT.

Women.future E-Business Workshop

The future is now and women are a big part of it. Ernst & Young, LLP (E&Y) certainly knows the value of women business owners and has scheduled an e-business workshop that will precede the first global gathering of women business leaders.E&Y’s e-business workshop will be held on April 4, 2000.

Quick Start Tips

If you are like me, you love all the technological gadgets that are on the market, but you hate reading all the techno mumbo jumbo that comes in a neatly folded pamphlet in every box. Enter ZDNet’s Quick Start 2000 Guides. I don’t want to fawn, but this is the best thing since sliced bread for those of you who hate wading through tons of info before getting to the “fun” of your new toy.The Quick Start Guides offer helpful hints for set up and troubleshooting.

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