Guest articles

Technology

Finding the Best CRM System for Your Firm

By Eric Hunt, Boomer Consulting, Inc. Customer Relationship Management, CRM, is one of the most important tools a company can use to remain viable. CRM is exactly what it stands for, a system that manages customers. It is a tool that should be used to track everything you do that relates to your customers. With that definition, how does a firm go about implementing a new CRM system that will maximize the information it has on its customers? This is the big question that my company had to answer over the last year.
Practice Management

Seven Steps to the Litigation-Free Zone

While CPAs and finance professionals can’t control the malpractice insurance market, there is still plenty they can do to limit their liability and risk, and to protect their practices. Some cautious steps might even help to keep higher premiums at bay.Here are some pointers from the pros:Prepare—and use—a solid engagement letter - "It’s the ‘Rules of War’ drawn up during peacetime," says Aon’s Dave Sukert. A good engagement letter clearly defines the scope of the work, as well as the responsibilities of both accountant and client.
Practice

Hold Your Managing Partner Accountable

By L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CITP, CEO
A&A

How to Manage a Rapidly Growing Business

By Alvah Parker While some new business owners face the issue of not enough customers, others face the issue of too many customers/clients. Both are serious issues and must be dealt with carefully. There are many lists on how to find new customers/clients. Here is a list of 10 ways to deal with a rapid influx of new customers.

Ten Things Small Firms Can Do to Compete

By Bruce MarcusGreat turbulence in the accounting profession, as well as in the business world itself, makes these difficult and unusual times. Public outcry against the misdeeds of a few accounting firms, corporations, investment bankers and others in government and the business community is tarring the innocent as well as the guilty. In the meantime, the loss of Arthur Andersen and the consolidation of the now Big Five can alter the competitive landscape for firms of any size.

Matching Your Values to Your Company's Values

By Alvah Parker, Parker AssociatesHow can you identify a company's values and why is it important? Your values can be defined as those activities that are most important to you. When your life is in great shape they are the things you are naturally drawn to. When you honor your values your work is effortless. If you are working in an environment, which has different values from yours, you have to work harder. Sometimes the values are just wrong for you and you feel your integrity is compromised.

How to Use Public Speaking to Attract Clients

By Steven Van Yoder When Robert Middleton moved his marketing consulting practice, Action Plan Marketing, to Palo Alto, California several years ago, he started his business from scratch. He had left his well-established client base several miles away and now had to find strategies to generate new clients.Because Middleton had always spoken to promote his business, he turned to public speaking with a vengeance. He researched local organizations whose members comprised professional business owners, his target clientele.
Practice Management

Become Fully Accountable For Your Success: Expose Your Diversionary Tactics

By Keith Rosen, MCC - - Have you ever done something that you know is not in your best interest? Have you ever avoided doing something that is in your best interest? In either of these scenarios you were probably able to justify your behavior as well as your line of thinking and most of all; avoid being accountable. While that may sting a little bit, allow me to introduce to you a new definition for this type of behavior.
Practice Management

Employees Lack Confidence in Management

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D., President DISCOVERY SURVEYS, INC.Employees need to feel confident that senior management is competently running the organization and has solid long-term plans for the future. Otherwise, there will be an erosion of employee: Motivation;Job performance; andCommitment to the organization.What can be done to build employee trust in management? 
Practice Management

And the Goal of Prospecting Is...

By, Keith Rosen, MCC - - Think about the intention or the end result of your prospecting efforts. It's probably not what you think.
A&A

Ten Employer-Employee Rules For Successfully Running a Small Business

Compliments of bizmove.comYou've just been in a serious car accident. You've got massive internal injuries and a broken jaw. You're going to be in the hospital at least a month. Your jaw is wired shut so you can't use the phone. Will your business run easily and well while you recover? Will your customers be served while you are gone? If you've just experienced heart failure over this prospect, the following list is for you. The information below, if put into practice, will reduce your stress, increase your business' productivity, and give you the vacation you so richly deserve.
Tax

20 Ways You Can Detect Fraud

Here is a list of items to help you detect fraud in your company or a client's company. 1. Unusual BehaviorThe perpetrator will often display unusual behavior, that when taken as a whole is a strong indicator of fraud. The fraudster may not ever take a vacation or call in sick in fear of being caught. He or she may not assign out work even when overloaded. Other symptoms may be changes in behavior such as increased drinking, smoking, defensiveness, and unusual irritability and suspiciousness.2.
A&A

Dos and Don'ts for Releasing Records of Deadbeat Clients

A slow economy means slow-paying clients and increased client turnover. This can add up to tough ethical questions for accountants who prepare tax returns. One especially tough dilemma arises when a former client, who hasn't paid his bill, demands that copies of all his records be provided to his new accountant. What would you do in that situation?Do adhere to AICPA Professional Standards, ET section 501.
Community News

Thirty-Five No-Cost or Low-Cost Marketing Ideas

By Michael Platt, Upstream MidwestCPA firms and businesses of all sizes are always looking for new ways to market their services and improve customer loyalty without spending all of their hard-earned money to do so. With this in mind, AccountingWEB offers 35 no-cost or low-cost ways to impress your clients and prospects and differentiate your organization so they will think of you the next time they have a need that you can address.Thank your clients for prompt payment.A simple idea, yet no one does it.
A&A

Ten Employer-Employee Rules For Successfully Running a Small Business

You've just been in a serious car accident. You've got massive internal injuries and a broken jaw. You're going to be in the hospital at least a month. Your jaw is wired shut so you can't use the phone. Will your business run easily and well while you recover? Will your customers be served while you are gone? If you've just experienced heart failure over this prospect, the following list is for you. The information below, if put into practice, will reduce your stress, increase your business' productivity, and give you the vacation you so richly deserve.
Practice Management

How To Improve Your Self Management Skills

You are responsible for everything that happens in your life. Learn to accept total responsibility for yourself. If you do not manage yourself, then you are letting others have control of your life. These tips will help "you" manage "you." 
Community News

Four Basic Rules For Growing Your CPA Firm

By Steve McIntyre-Smith, President, MarketingForAcountants.comIn days gone by professionals NEVER did any marketing. In fact, it wasn't even allowed in most countries until the mid 1980's, and even then, only in a very conservative and restricted manner.Once open for business one simply put a brass nameplate outside one's office, had a letterhead and business card printed, called a few Bank Managers and other contacts and the work started to flood in.

Tips To Topple Procrastination

By Karen Susman, President Karen Susman and AssociatesWe procrastinate for several reasons. We dread the action to be taken. We don’t have the information, authority or support to complete the action. We are perfectionists who can’t start a project because we might not do it perfectly. Perhaps we are addicted to the adrenaline rush of doing things last minute. Some procrastinators feel proud that they can do a good job in a small amount of time.
Community News

The Value of Trust, A Client's Perspective

By, Joe Heller, The Strategy SamuraiOne of the most challenging, if not the most difficult piece of the business development puzzle in a sale is - Trust. Trust today is truly the pivotal point of building a successful business relationship. Trust is rarely tied to a product or service but it is facilitated by the person interacting with the customer. Why is this important? Because everything depends on trust and in this day and age, trust is difficult to come by.
Education & Careers

For Interview Success Start by Asking the Right Questions

Often the greatest interview anxiety focuses on trying to anticipate all the correct answers to interview questions. Equally important, however, are the questions YOU ask the interviewer.

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