Guest articles

A&A

Daily habits for developing the art of leadership

Many people are born leaders, yet the ability to lead is actually an art and an amazing collection of skills which can be learned and sharpened. The following top ten daily habits will help you and/or your clients grow as a leader personally, professionally, and spiritually.
A&A

Top 10 interview bloopers...and how to avoid them

We’ve all heard stories of job candidates who looked great on paper but who were absolute disasters in person. With fewer interview opportunities available in a competitive marketplace, it’s essential to make the best possible first impression. You can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the top 10 worst interview blunders. Poor handshake.
Practice Management

Work/life balance - the impossible dream?

By Steve McIntyre-SmithI don't know how many readers might have fallen into some of the traps I used to when I was in public accounting, but here are a few scenarios to which I fell prey. Let's see how many of them might be familiar to you:It's 5:15 p.m. on a Wednesday. You promised you'd be home in time to have dinner with the family before going to your youngest child's piano recital.
A&A

Tips on how to conduct an effective meeting

When members of a company gather at a meeting, their purpose is to conduct business - to collect information and discuss issues and to make decisions on how these issues will be resolved or addressed.The methods businesses choose to carry out these functions will frequently depend on the type and size of the meeting. Careful planning and preparation are essential to conducting effective meetings, regardless of type or size.Below are a few ideas and tips to help you prepare for a successful meeting.First, determine if the meeting is truly necessary.
A&A

Is your language blocking your success?

By Dr. Pam Brill - "I'm burned out," "I've lost my drive," "I'm not interested," - these are words and images that sales pros have used to describe their falling motivation that accompanied their failing numbers. A sales pro in financial services, Chris had lost the passion and the spark that fueled him for making chilly cold calls and energy for the heated sprint to close the deal. With numbers down and still falling, Chris blamed the competition, the internal competitors, including the other sales pros in his division and the new kids on the block.
A&A

Seven ways to avoid becoming a bad boss

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President, Discovery Surveys, Inc.Most employees experience a bad boss at least once in their career. Many feel they have never really had a good boss. Insensitivity, failure to communicate, and a lack of fairness are the hallmarks of poor supervision.Why is it that good supervisors are hard to find?Supervising is Not Easy Handling the complex issues of motivating employees and solving job and people-related problems is very difficult. Few are capable of handling these responsibilities well.
A&A

Growing your small business with project management

By Michelle LaBrosseIf you think Project Management is only for the big guys, think again. Project Management is a powerful business tool for businesses of any size. And as any small business person will tell you, effectiveness and efficiency is never about size. It's about working smart.Improve Performance with Process
AccountingWEB Life

Buying time: How to put more hours in every day

by Michelle LaBrosseHow often do we say to one another, "I just wish there were more hours in the day?" Well, there can be. When you use Project Management techniques to your advantage, you can be singing the Rolling Stones classic, Time Is on My Side.Here are some of my favorite time-saving tips that you can apply both to your business and home life.
Practice Management

How to defend yourself against receivables fraud

Fraud investigator Andy Wilson has produced a list of self-tests that companies can use to measure how well defended they are against receivables fraud.Here's a rundown of his guidelines..."I don't understand it. Business is as good as it has ever been ... but there is no money in the bank," said the owner of a floral business to a group of anti-fraud professionals he had retained to determine if the business was bleeding cash via internal fraud.Two days before the fraud examination was to begin the bookkeeper failed to report to work.
Tax

Steering Clients Towards New Hybrid-Vehicle Tax Credits

From The Tax Strategist, http://thetaxstrategist.netThe new hybrid-vehicle credit effectively replaces the clean-air deduction on the books the past several years. This deduction, set at $2,000 for 2005, was scheduled to be cut down to just $500 in 2006.Instead, the new hybrid credit lets you keep as much as $3,400 in your pocket. Advice: Make sure your clients understand all the tax ramifications.
Practice Management

The One-Firm Firm Revisited <i>by David Maister and Jack Walker</i>

In 1985, one of us (David Maister) wrote an article for the Sloan Management Review called “The One-Firm Firm.” It identified a strategy common to leading firms across a broad array of professions — creating institutional loyalty and team focus.The firms named in that article were McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Arthur Andersen, Hewitt Associates, and Latham & Watkins, where Jack Walker became managing partner three years later.If one is prepared to accept the argument that Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting) is the legacy firm of Arthur Andersen, and not the defunct audit-based busi

The SOX Roadmap: A Dead-End for America <i>by Paul Sharman</i>

Imagine you’ve been told you must go on a business trip every year or there will be severe personal consequences. You give the destination and dates to your travel planner and he provides you with an agenda, trip cost estimates and maps. Your planner tells you the first year’s trip should cost no more than $910, and assures you the trip shouldn’t be too onerous. Just before leaving he explains that although you’re not going to the destination you picked yourself, you will enjoy it once you understand the many “good things” his destination offers.
A&A

Making the Fourth Quarter Push

For many small businesses, the fourth quarter of the year presents their greatest opportunity to meet budget and sales expectations for the entire year. How you prepare your business now can mean a big difference in your bottom line for the New Year.
A&A

You Can't Learn the Most Important Business Skill in School

In a recent study that asked more than 2,500 businesspeople what impacted their bottom line the most -- nearly 75% said it was networking. So why has almost nobody been taught to network in school?Dr. Ivan Misner, CEO of the world's largest networking firm and a business professor at Cal Poly University in Pomona, CA, has recently released data he compiled in a comprehensive study of businesspeople around the world.

Another Hurdle on the Road to Compliance: Assessing Company-Level Controls

By J. Stephen McNally, CPA - For many companies, the deadline to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 is literally weeks away. There is, however, another hurdle on the road to compliance, one often overlooked or consciously not addressed until the final phase of a company's overall Section 404 compliance efforts. This hurdle is the assessment of an entity's company-level controls.

Protect Your Beneficiary's Inheritance

By, Jeffery Voudrie, CFP - An inheritance is the precious fruit of years of labor. It is an expression of love. Nowadays, more than ever, an inheritance is something that should be protected. All too often, inheritances are squandered or lost because of a lack of planning by those giving it. Read on to discover how to easily change that.There are many dangers that can threaten the inheritance you leave your children or heirs. The number one concern of many of the people that I talk with is that an inheritance will be lost if the beneficiary gets divorced.

Attract and Retain Quality People by Developing Talent Now

By: Eric Hunt - A major challenge in the accounting industry today is attracting and retaining quality talent. This issue seems to be discussed everywhere: industry conferences, partner meetings, media outlets, and college campuses. Rarely a day goes by that I do not talk to a firm that is worried about finding and keeping great team members. In the October issue of Inside Public Accounting, their Annual Analysis of Firms revealed how this is the #1 challenge faced by firms today.
Community News

Organizational Behavior: We Need More Respect for Emotions in Business

By, Phyllis Weiss Haserot - It&rsquo;s holiday time, so is it OK if we talk about emotion?It seems the more educated we are, the more we try to rely on rational argument and extrinsic motivation to convince people to change their attitudes and actions about such things as diversity, generational differences, client service and client acquisition, succession planning, and flexibility - just to name a few emotionally-charged issues in the workplace.
A&A

Pre-Tax Season Media Tip for Tax Practitioners

Before tax season snows you under, get the attention of your local media. They can keep you visible even when you're not.Do you have aggressive partners who want brand equity? Create a spreadsheet of these partners, their areas of service expertise and industry concentrations to send to key reporters. If you have media savvy partners who are willing to promptly return calls from a reporter on deadline, you might include the partner's cell phone number on the spreadsheet. If a partner is unable to return calls promptly, do not include that partner with your media relations efforts.

Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Head To The Office Party

By, Lydia Ramsey - One thing you can count on during the holiday season is the obligatory office party. No matter what the size of the organization, there is always an effort to bring coworkers together for one more moment of merriment.

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