News

Technology

Run a Client Business Plan By This Expert System

Do you have clients who come to you with a business idea or a business plan and ask you to review it for feasibility? You can now get some additional expert feedback to blend with your own insight by logging on to http://www.businessinsight.org and quickly get a forecast of how the business may fare down the road.
Technology

Melissa Virus Still Infecting E-mail and Software

How long has it been since you've updated your anti-virus software?
Practice Management

Growth and Considerations for Office Space

Your business is growing and bursting at the seams: you've got employees stacked literally on top of each other and can't figure out what to do … ever thought about moving offices?The first step is to determine, of course, how much you can afford and how much space your really need. For example, you have to think beyond current boundaries and figure out how many offices, workstations, conference rooms and storerooms you'll need in a new arrangement.The bottom line, or cost, is probably the largest concern - as it should be.
Practice

CPA Firm/Company Retreats are Productive Ways to Regroup

Remember the firm or company retreat of days gone by where everyone felt as if they had to participate or face a pink slip? Gone are the days of this mindset as companies across the globe have discovered the inherent benefits to the company retreat - a journey that mixes practical activities with long-term success.The retreat can be held anywhere and can be kept inexpensive. From posh Caribbean resorts to something as simple as the club room at a local restaurant, the trick is to keep it manageable.
A&A

Dueling Internet 401(k) Providers

It’s funny how things work. One company believes they are the “first” to roll out a new Internet idea and, well, then so does another. The latest Internet offering is 401(k) plans via the Internet. Could this be competition for your firm’s pension plan administration niche?Two companies have rolled out their versions of 401(k) internet sites. I’m not sure which came “first.” However, Fidelity Investments, the nation’s largest provider of 401(k) plans says they did.

Quick Tips For Busy Professionals

Save $$$ On Hotel Long Distance. If you need to make several long distance calls when you get to your hotel, simply push the # key after each long distance call to disconnect. This keeps the hotel from charging you a connect fee for each long distance call.Make Business Luncheons Count. When you plan your next business luncheon, consider switching to a business breakfast instead.
Practice Management

Is It OK To Spy On Your Employees?

According to a survey by the American Management Association International, two-thirds of businesses eavesdrop on their employees in some fashion -- whether through email tracking, Internet usage, by videotape or over the phone. And in just about every situation, they have a right to do so.Employers have the fiduciary responsibility to protect the business they are working in, and part of that responsibility is to ensure that employees are not abusing the rules and regulations of the business.Technology has allowed the ability to monitor employee activity very easily.
Practice Management

CPA Firm Marketing Done Through E-mail Newsletters

Sometimes, the most inexpensive marketing techniques make the most impact, like the e-mail newsletter. Sure, all of us get some form of news bulletins via e-mail, so how do you make your newsletter different … and really stand out from the crowd?The trick is customizing your content and truly making the newsletter seem personal rather than spam mail.
Community News

Deloitte Consulting and Sprint Join Forces to Service E-business

Fresh on the heels of the proposed merger between MCI and Sprint, Deloitte Consulting and Sprint today announced an effort to team the two businesses together as an application service provider (ASP) in the ever-emerging e-business sector.Services targeted to Fortune 1000 companies include e-commerce, enterprise resource planning, customer relationship management and data warehousing.
Community News

Arthur Andersen Opens Austin Office

Another sign of the booming Austin, TX economy is evident by the opening of the Arthur Andersen office in the state's capitol. It has been almost 10 years since the Big 5 firm had an office in Austin.The office will focus primarily on providing services emerging technology companies, defined as businesses reaching revenues of $100 million.

AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 13

============================================================== The AccountingWEB Newswire - Issue 13 October 15, 1999 http://www.accountingweb.com============================================================== In the headlines this week:1. SEC's Levitt Blasts Auditor's Role2. AICPA Issues New Standard For Audit Committee Reporting3. IRS Raises Mileage Rate4. E&Y Markets Operational Risk Management Software5.
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?

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