News

Practice Management

Going Online to Recruit Employees

Most CPA firms and businesses who hire CPAs and accountants know that finding good employees to fill positions takes time and patience. Placing newspaper want ads is one way to go, but in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, going online to find employees makes sense for many reasons.Over the last two years, according to the American Management Association, just over half to 70 percent of all companies across the United States advertised jobs and recruited employees over the Internet. Why? Cost and convenience.
Practice Management

Turnkey IT Solutions Available Through Outsourced Options

Doing more with less seems to be the norm in today's small business. As unemployment statistics continue to be the lowest America has seen in a long time, outsourcing by small and medium-size businesses continues to be a viable option, especially in the IT arena.Two new California-based companies called Everdream Corp. and CenterBeam Inc. are examples of outsource options that can handle any matter related to technology, for a monthly fee.
Technology

Playing Big Brother

Time is money. Accounting firm owners know this as well as anyone. But what happens when Internet access gobbles up your firm’s precious time? Employers looking to play Big Brother and keep a check on Internet activity in their companies have several options. One solution is to completely limit access to the Internet. The problem with this idea is that it also limits your employees’ resources. Some employers are setting up Internet stations where employees can log on for specific projects. These stations are usually set up side by side and offer the employee little privacy.

Are you listening?

I walked into my boss’ office the other day to present an idea. He acknowledged my presence, invited me in to sit down to talk, and then promptly started doing everything except what looked like listening. As I began telling him about my idea, he was checking his email, looking at the phone that was ringing, and prompting me to complete my sentences (I stopped every time he quit paying attention) by saying, “I’m listening. Continue.”Our busy lives invite these kinds of distractions. We don’t have time to just sit and listen.
Community News

D&T Offers new Consulting Service for Benefit Plans

Deloitte & Touche have announced a new program called "BeneFIT: Comprehensive Fitness Testing for Outsourced Benefits," to address the growing benefit plan marketplace and the risk associated with fiduciary responsibilities. The new service is part of the firm's Human Capital Advisory Services practice.Overall, the service is geared to companies who outsource administration of plans, and as a safety measure, the litigation associated with benefits when a plan goes sour.

Federal Reserve Bank Advises Banks to Continue Strict Lending Practices

In a supervisory letter delivered Tuesday to banks across the United States, the Federal Reserve Bank advised banks against the practice of easing up on their lending practices due to the inordinate number of weak loans in recent transactions.The Fed commented that optimism on the part of banks, along with continued growth in the economy, contributed to this mindset.
Practice Management

The "Fun" Factor in Today's Workplace

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. What wrong with having fun … nothing, not even if you're at work!The workplace at the end of the Century is anything but dull. Gone are the dramatics associated with corporate politics, white button-down shirts or blouses, and the staunch quiet, labor-intensive drudgery associated with the '80s.

Mars & Venus

Newsflash! Men are different than women and vice versa. In sales calls, you might want to take a look at an approach that embraces the subtle differences found in Mars and Venus so you write more business. A new book, GenderSell: How To Sell to the Opposite Sex, proposes that sales is a process of influence and each gender has its unique area of influence you should be targeting.

Written Communication – It’s Not Going Away

On an average day, I receive anywhere from 75 to 150 emails per day. I write at least that many. Throw in a couple of memos and a few letters and that adds up to a lot of writing! In our information age, writing is essential. Use these tips to ensure you use written communication to your advantage.Do you need to be there? If the reader of your written communication needs immediate feedback or if the reader needs immediate additional information for what’s written, the subject would be best handled in person (or email if you check it regularly).
Technology

New Tech Tools Scream Smaller Size and Integrated Functions

The technology tools coming out later this year all share one common trait: their size is smaller than their predecessors, and the technology enables the devices to integrate the functions performed today by several devices. Boy oh boy - can these things hum!During the Personal Communications Showcase in New Orleans, vendors unveiled their new achievements in wireless communications, and the winners hands-down were palm-sized cellular phones that double as pagers and personal messaging centers.Think you're technologically savvy?
Practice Management

Sick Days Made Healthy: It Takes More Than Chicken Soup

It's Monday morning and one of your auditors just called in sick … again. For years, human resource professionals have reported in the business marketplace that employee wellness is a chief concern, and that compounded sick days only add negatively to a company's bottom line.For example, more than half of all employees in America's workforce have blood cholesterol levels of 200 mg or higher, while a quarter of all workers are sedentary during their leisure or off-work time.

Budget Surplus of $115 Billion Larger Than Expected

The 1999 fiscal-year budget surplus weighed in at $115 billion, much larger than the $99 billion surplus analysts predicted over the summer. The announcement was made by President Clinton on Monday.Clinton asked Republicans to band together with him to determine how best to use the surplus.
A&A

Help Available on Sec 529 Qualified State Tuition Programs

State sponsored college savings programs are becoming hot, and every large financial institution is trying to figure out how to get a piece of the action.These plans represent a revolutionary new way parents (and grandparents) invest for college tuition. These pre-paid tuition plans are state sponsored investment plans and are given special tax status by the IRS.A new website is available to help you advise your clients through the array of programs available today through Section 529 plans.
Practice Management

Financial Advisory Specialists - Take Note

An innovative two-day conference hosted by the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors (AMAA) and organized at the request of CPAs and other financial advisors and consultants who want to better serve the corporate financial advisory needs of private business owners will be held in Chicago November 4-5, 1999.The National Conference on Corporate Financial Advisory Services for CPAs is sponsored By:National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA)and The Quantum Alliance Companies:-
Community News

MCI, Sprint Talk Merger

MCI, the nation’s second largest-, and Sprint, the nation’s third largest-long-distance carrier, are talking about a merger that would result in a mega long distance company. Though, it’s not a done deal by a long shot.Sprint is very attractive to MCI Worldcom because along with long distance, Sprint brings a wireless component to the deal.
Technology

Are Smart Cards, Er, Smart?

American Express is at the helm again. They are serving up smart cards to customers long before anyone else in the U.S. has even hopped on the bandwagon.What makes a smart card smart? Well, each card is loaded with a mini-microprocessor that allows the user to enter identification data for each transaction. It works similarly to a bank debit card where the user must enter a password.
Technology

Intuit CEO Resigns; Returns to Entrepreneur Role

Intuit has announced that CEO Bill Harris has resigned his position to pursue entrepreneur activities. Replacing him on an interim basis is chairman Bill Campbell.Harris is credited with developing and creating the company's Internet business as a hub for online financial services. Twenty percent of Intuit's revenues over the past six months were derived from the Internet.Harris has spent seven years with the company, beginning his role as executive vice president for the tax division in 1993, and progressed to CEO in 1998.
A&A

Technology Used by CPAs Affects Online Brokerage Industry

Data mining is one of the new buzzwords in the accounting and technology industry, perpetuated by the ability to drill down into spreadsheets and general ledgers to extract information. In fact, it was named one of the AICPA's Top Ten Technologies in 1998.The banking industry has used data mining as a means to track information on customers from data submitted by the customers themselves. Data is compiled in a computerized data warehouse for use in other areas.
Community News

Accounting Firms Consult to Verify Security of Web Sites

PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche are two of several consultants who have lent their expertise in the Web site security arena and to the content of a report published by Plano, TX-based Entrust Technologies Inc. This is an issue CPAs should be knowledgeable about based on the CPA Vision vision statement and AICPA's WebTrust program.The
Practice Management

Never Make a Cold Call Again

Does this sound like a goal that’s too good to be true? It’s not, and you can make it part of your selling strategy. By learning the components of effective networking you can never make a cold call again. You also decrease the time it takes to close deals. The research on networking says that each person is connected through family, business or hobbies to a network of 250 people. Building your network should be your first priority, and here’s how to work the net.Where do I go? Networking opportunities abound. Begin with your neighbors and friends.

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