News

Practice

Managing Voice Mail For Improved Results

No one likes voice mail, but if you make an effort to use voice mail more efficiently, you will see improved results in a matter of days.Take advantage of the greeting to promote a new offer or new service of some kind. And, be sure to update your email message daily so you send a clear signal that you are on top of your agenda at all times.There are other tips as well.
Community News

SEC May Have Leaked News of Audit Irregularities

The ongoing probe by the SEC of Andersen’s accounting practices was made public last week when a story appeared in the Wall Street Journal that included confidential details of the investigation into the accounting services provided by Andersen to Waste Management Inc. The accounting problems that were uncovered last year resulted in billions of dollars of write-offs for Waste Management.
Community News

Survey Says: 96% of Accountants Have Internet Access

Harris Interactive, the folks who bring you Harris Polls, have finished conducting the CCH Accountants on the Internet 2000 poll and the results are fascinating.
Technology

Amazon's Debt Load Worries Investors

Admit it. You've been at parties or social functions at which a group of accountants, CPAs or financial professionals cussed and discussed the much-anticipated fate of Amazon.com. It's on everyone's minds as we still sort out the dotcom winners from the dotcom failures.Amazon.com continues to be strong in the eyes of the consumer, but the investor side is a different story completely.
Tax

Section 83(b) Election an Option for Tax Clients

Are you familiar with Section 83(b) of the tax code? It provides a method to save your clients money on their tax bill should they own stock options through their employer.With an election made under Section 83(b), the taxpayer agrees to pay taxes on the current value of shares after exercising the option, even if the taxpayer doesn't have full ownership of the shares now because they are restricted.
Technology

Word Tip: Customize Spelling & Grammar Tools

Word’s spelling and grammar checker is a great tool, but it is far from perfect. The system often flags "mistakes" that are actually correct. To prevent Word from flagging an item in the future, you can simply click the Ignore or Ignore All button in the Spelling And Grammar dialog box while you're running the spelling checker.

Denver-based Company Forms Alliance with PWC

TeleTech Holdings Inc., a company that manages customer service operations and marketing for customers such as American Express and Ford Motor Co. announced plans for buying a firm in California for $200 million. TeleTech will soon be revealing plans to open a call center in Northern Ireland as well.In the midst of all the excitement, TeleTech has also announced an alliance that has been formed with PricewaterhouseCoopers. The goal: to place TeleTech in touch with prospective clients that the company wouldn’t normally have access to.
Technology

Make Your Site Search Engine Friendly

When you develop your web site there are certain tricks you can use to optimize being found by search engines. However, there are also a few tricks that you shouldn’t use in an effort to help people find you. Here they are:Do not use popular keywords in your Meta and Title tags that have nothing to do with your site. Make sure they are directly related to your site. Also, don’t “borrow” other people’s Meta Tags and Titles.Do not use hidden text in your website.

Ronald Baker, Author, Speaker, Consultant, Trainer

Ronald J. Baker started his accounting career in 1984 with KPMG Peat Marwick’s Private Business Advisory Services in San Francisco. Today, he is a partner in Baker & Barnett, CPAs, located in Corte Madera, California–the firm he co-founded in 1988.As a frequent speaker at CPA events and conferences, and a consultant to CPA firms on implementing Total Quality Service and Value Pricing, his work takes him around the world.
Tax

H&R Block Jumps into Online Tax Filing Fray

H&R Block, which has served more tax clients than any other single company through is offices in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia, has announce an exclusive agreement with Inisoft to provide online personal tax preparation services throughout Canada.
Technology

ASPs and the Value of Web-Based Accounting Services

Here's a story about a company in search of a way to enter the fast lane of the ASP (Application Service Provider) superhighway.Insilicon manufactures software that gives a computer chip the ability to communicate across various platforms.

HR Consultancy Goes Online With Investment Services

The ability to surf the Internet and handle day-in, day-out tasks associated with the human resources function is getting hotter and hotter. Now, Hewitt Associates has tapped into the power of the Web to provide defined contribution services for more than 4.3 million employees and clients by partnering with Business Logic.Business Logic created 'AccountLink,' a system that enables anyone with investments administered by Hewitt to obtain investment balances on a 24/7 basis.
Community News

PWC Finds Banks Non-Compliant With Privacy Act

A report from PricewaterhouseCoopers reveals that two-thirds of U.S. banks are non-compliant with disclosure standards for online privacy as outlined in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.According to the Act, which becomes effective July 1, 2001, a bank must declare that any business a customer conducts on the Internet is secure. Even though the implementation date is in the middle of next year, banks only have until Nov.
Practice Management

US Firms Reveal Best Practices for Audit Efficiency

The AICPA's Journal of Accountancy has a feature in its September issue in which firms cited for their excellent quality controls share practice tips on how to improve audits while saving time and enhancing profits. There is probably something for most practicing accountants here, and many well-organized firms will find much familiar ground.The first step towards audit efficiency is to manage and train clients. Auditors work best when clients provide them with the data they need.
Technology

Dotcom Disasters Keep Insolvency Practitioners Busy

Loss of investor confidence in dotcom companies has created a mini-boom for insolvency practitioners, according to British financial recovery and restructuring specialists, Kroll Buchler Phillips.The firm, known for its high-profile work with ailing British football clubs, has been at the forefront of the Internet insolvency boom."We've moved on from football," said Kroll Buchler Phillips business recovery partner Lee Manning.

High-Profile GM CFO Retires

As of Sept 1, General Motors CFO J. Michael Losh, age 54, will retire.The retirement marks the first time a change in an executive position has occurred since G. Richard Wagoner took the role of chief executive in June.Analysts speculated that Losh had been 'on his way out' for months. While a successor is being sought, executive vice president and the head of GM Acceptance Corporation, John Finnegan, will assume the CFO duties.
Community News

What's in a Name? Andersen Consulting, of Course!

Although the news about the final separation between Arthur Andersen, LLP and Andersen Consulting has cooled a bit, speculation as to the 'name game' has just begun.A report from The Times in the United Kingdom suggests that Arthur Andersen may name its consulting arm 'Andersen Consulting.' You heard right: the namesake of its divorced spouse.The current Andersen Consulting has until January 1, 2001 to change its name, and until then, it's anyone's guess as to what the new consulting firm will be called.
Tax

Tractor Pulls Estate Tax Bill to Clinton's Door

The estate tax repeal bill was delivered to President Clinton Thursday for what is expected to be a certain veto. Congressional leaders have promised to attempt a veto override on this extremely popular bill.The bill would entirely repeal the federal estate tax over a 10-year period. Opponents of the bill claim it favors the wealth, while supporters claim it will save untold numbers of family businesses, particularly farms, which often end up being sold to pay exorbitant estate taxes.Clinton has until Labor Day to make a decision about the fate of the bill.
Tax

German Government to Tax Internet Surfing

Germany's Finance Ministry appears to have been watching too many episodes of John Cleese's Fawlty Towers after it came up with a novel method of raising more taxes, according to UK.internet.com.Employees surfing at work for private recreation will be taxed on their endeavors as a perk of the job, in the same way that they would be taxed for the private use of a company car or indeed any other benefit.German employers have hit back at the unworkable proposal saying it is insane and impractical.

Improve Business Skills by Being an Active Listener

Thursday’s workshop at AccountingWEB featured Michelle Golden of Golden Marketing Resources who shared ideas about active listening. "Active listening and reflective listening are the most effective techniques to use. Active listening is when you have a genuine interest in what the speaker has to say. Reflective listening takes active listening a step further. It mirrors what the speaker is saying, allowing him or her to gain a fresh perspective on what s/he has just communicated."

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