Guest articles

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.
Practice Management

Document Your Processes - It Pays!

By James K. Boomer, MCPThere are a number of tasks we do on a frequent basis that become so routine that we take for granted that “everyone in our organization knows how to do that!” This assumption is most likely untrue. More likely, a number of employees are sitting at their desks right this moment stumped about where to begin with this new project they have been assigned. Documented processes provide a perfect starting point for new projects.The first step in documenting a process is identifying a repeatable process that is frequently used within the organization.
Practice

The Focus of Firm Management

By L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CITP, CEO While there are seminars and on-the-job training for managing partners, there is no book or school on how to manage an accounting firm. Too often managing partners get strapped with administrative duties and fail to lead the firm toward strategic objectives. It is often lonely in the managing partner’s role, as they have to enforce discipline, manage partner disputes, deal with financial issues and in many firms simultaneously manage a book of business in order to retain security and status.
Technology

Color Rows According to Criteria in Microsoft Excel

You can use coloring to isolate data in lists and to differentiate between various types of data.Make sure the list is set to AutoFilter. Filter the year 1996 according to the following criterion – from the drop-down list for the Year field, select 1996. Select a cell in the list of data – press Ctrl+* (select the current region). From the Formatting toolbar, select Fill Color, and then select any color. Filter the year 1997 according to the following criterion – from the drop-down list for the Year field, select 1997. Select a cell in the data l
A&A

Small Businesses Should Start Tax Planning for Next Year Now

Don’t want to look at that 2003 tax return for a good long time?Understandable, but a bad idea, tax analysts say. Now is the time for small business owners to start thinking about their 2004 return, if they haven’t already."Once you complete the return, it's a time for reflection," said Paul Gada, a senior tax analyst with CCH Business Owners Toolkit, based in Riverwoods, Ill.
Community News

Good Questions Uncover Client Related Problems

In his book SPIN Selling, Neil Rackham discovered that sellers are fearful of asking problem questions while buyers welcome them. Buyers report that professionals, who ask problem questions seem to understand the business, seem to talk about valuable things and are more interesting.

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