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Technology

Download This Computer Usage Policy

Does your firm have a policy for staff use of computers or the Internet? If not, you need to implement one sooner rather than later. Info Tech Partners North America, a leading technology consulting organization working with CPA firms, authored a sample policy that was used in the MAP handbook and has weathered the test of time. Please send your comments (or thanks) to Roman Kepczyk for making this sample policy available to the profession.

Survey Finds Accountants Most Difficult To Recruit & Retain

Attracting and retaining professionals has been a challenge for accounting firms for more than five years. With the consolidators entering the market and gobbling up what the Big 5 hasn’t hired, it’s hard for smaller – even larger regional firms – to compete in a tight labor market.A survey conducted by Accounting Principals, a full-service human resource solutions provider, concluded that staff accountants are the most difficult accounting professionals to recruit and retain today.

Physician Practices Losses Increase

Integrated Delivery Systems (IDS) have been reporting losses for their physician practices for years. The 1998 numbers showed a dip in the number of reporting losses and it looked like there may be a change in the trend. However, the Ernst & Young LLP 1999 Physician Practice Benchmarking Survey shows that 96% of survey respondents reported losses in their physician practices. Losses averaged $111,000 per physician.Compensation and productivity are both stalled according to the survey.

Do You Live in one of the Nation's Hottest Entrepreneurial Cities?

On the heels of MONEY's recent "Best Places to Live" survey, Dun & Bradstreet has released its annual survey focused on the best metropolitan cities for entrepreneurs. And the winner? West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Fla. was first on the list as the best location for small businesses. Salt Lake City, Utah and Raleigh-Durham, NC came in second and third, respectively.
A&A

CPAs Should Brush up on the "De Minimis" Rule

The de minimis rule doesn't come into play very often. Since it only rears its head when bond prices have fallen significantly, most CPAs probably haven't even thought of it since 1994. But after looking at this year's bond market, it may be time to familiarize ourselves with the rule for the upcoming tax season.According to Merrill Lynch, municipal bond prices have decreased more than eight percent this year. With some investors buying bonds at prices that are less than par, it's time to look at what is and what isn't tax exempt.
Technology

Is Your ISP Working For You?

Let's face it: as small business owners, our reliance on the Internet is only going to increase over time. As we work to expand our client base using the Internet to transport those important financial documents, the Internet Service Provider (ISP) we currently use could literally make … or break us.So, how do we find the ISP that best serves our business needs?There's no perfect answer, but these guidelines may help you determine if your current ISP is a keeper, or if it's time to go shopping for a new one.· Search for an ISP that provides reliable customer service.
Practice Management

Sucessful Companies Do

Whether you are planning to grow your firm for the 21st century or you are providing business planning for your clients, a lesson from top-performing companies can help.According to AnswerThink, a consulting group, top performing companies integrate strategic planning with tactical and financial planning processes. More than two-thirds of companies worldwide currently rely only on financial planning to realize business goals.Successful companies also don’t keep strategy a secret. They share it with all levels of the organization.

Web-based Tool Designed To Improve Control of Operational Risk Now Available

An innovative tool for managing operational risk is brought to you by Ernst & Young LLP and J.P. Morgan. The two global companies joined forces to launch Horizon.Horizon works to show companies exactly what operational risks they are facing and helps save them time and money by streamlining manual control procedures.
A&A

Use Portfolio Forecaster to Analyze Your Investments

How does your portfolio compare to the average investor's?
Technology

You Can Protect Yourself From Being Spammed

Being spammed seems to have become a part of everyday life in this age of e-mail. While we were once bombarded with "paper spam" in our home and office mailboxes, e-mail has transformed these paper direct mailing advertisements to electronic messages that appear in our e-mail boxes without warning or solicitation.A recent study conducted by GartnerGroup Interactive revealed that 90% of people who use the Internet are spammed on a weekly basis. 50% of these people receive spam mail daily.
Practice

It Pays to Shop Around Before Making That Wire Transfer

Before you make your next domestic or international wire transfer, industry analysts recommend that you shop the rates and delivery schedules offered by banks and private systems. The difference in price and service could really affect your bottom line.While most private systems like Western Union offer same-day service and most banks require one or two business days to complete a domestic transfer, the price variance between the two is significant.
Practice

Focus on Retirement Programs for Baby Boomers

The way people retire is going to change dramatically in the new millennium. As 80 million baby boomers prepare to retire in the next 10 years, financial service professionals are setting their sites on helping this generation find the best ways to spend their nest egg. It is believed that many retirees will take the non-traditional retirement route and pursue second careers, explore educational options or take vacations that are tied to the ability to generate income.
Technology

CCH TAXESSENTIALS DELIVERS CRITICAL TAX INFORMATION, VALUE ON THE WEB FOR SMALL FIRMS, GENERAL PRACTITIONERS,

CCH TAXESSENTIALS DELIVERS CRITICAL TAX INFORMATION, VALUE ON THE WEB FOR SMALL FIRMS, GENERAL PRACTITIONERS, ENROLLED AGENTS(RIVERWOODS, ILL., October 7, 1999) – CCH INCORPORATED (CCH), a leading provider of tax and business law information has introduced CCH ®TaxEssentials™, a new Internet-based research and productivity product designed to meet the special desktop needs of small firms, enrolled agents and the general tax practitioner.
Technology

CCH POWERS UP INTERNET WITH MORE NEW FEATURES

CCH POWERS UP INTERNET WITH MORE NEW FEATURES FOR ITS INTERNET TAX RESEARCH NETWORKFaster Starts, More Effective Searches, Greater Customization Through CCH Innovation(RIVERWOODS, ILL., October 7, 1999) – In response to the continuing rapid adoption of Internet services by accounting and legal professionals, CCH INCORPORATED (CCH), a leading provider of tax and business law information, said today that it has added a number of valuable new features to its CCH Internetsm Tax Research NetWork™ (CITRN).
Tax

IRS Raises Mileage Rate for 2000

BUSINESS MILEAGE RATE RISES FOR 2000(RIVERWOODS, ILL., October 7, 1999) – The standard mileage rate for cars used for business will pop back up to its 1998 level of 32.5 cents per mile in 2000 after declining to 31 cents per mile for most of this year, according to CCH INCORPORATED (CCH), a leading provider of tax and business law information. The standard rate is used to calculate the tax deduction for business travel as an alternative to deducting the actual costs of maintaining an automobile.

Sales Training For Professionals With Maura Schreier-Fleming

Below is the text of the sales training workshop presented by Maura Schreier-Fleming for AccountingWEB on Tuesday October 12, 1999. Be sure to check the schedule for upcoming workshops, and join us in the workshop room then!Mike Platt[Maura Schreier-Flemi] While we're waiting if you have any questions for me, I'd be happy to answer them.

CPAs Playing The Consulting Game

In your firm’s consulting practice, how many of your consultants have real, day-to-day operations experience? How many of them are 50 years old? If you say, “very few,” you aren’t alone. Many public accounting firms turned consulting firms have twenty- and thirty-somethings selling advice for $100+ an hour.A recent research project conducted by ExperTeam, a consulting firm comprised of former CEOs, CFOs, VPs and other high level executives, found that almost 70% of executives turn to their CPA advisor for advice.
A&A

Regulators to Increase Supervision of U.S. Big Banks

In his speech to the American Bankers Association's annual convention in Phoenix on Monday, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said that few regulatory changes are needed for the majority of banks in the U.S. However, regulators are looking into increasing the level of supervision of the country's largest banks because of the negative impact they could bring upon the U.S.
Technology

Is There a $200 PC In Your Future?

We've all seen the retail price of personal computers (PCs) drop in recent years, but could they possibly fall to a low of $200 by the end of next year? Industry analysts are divided on this issue.Some analysts believe companies like eMachines Inc., who already sell computers for less than $400, will make this prediction a reality.
Technology

Guru.com Provides Services and Support for Business Consultants

Freelancers and small business owners, this one is for you! If you're looking for an electronic support site, check out Guru.com. The site, which went live in June, is slated to offer a host of services for the nation's 25 million self-employed professionals when it is fully operational later this fall.Site creators Jon and James Slavet refer to independent professionals as gurus, and plan to provide everything from vendors for health insurance and bill collection, to expert advice. But the site's biggest draw may be the new job-matching service.

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