Guest articles

Technology

Ways to Get the Most from Negotiating via Email

Every day, more and more business folks are using email to help speed up the negotiation process. This creates new conflicts and challenges the traditional ways of face to face or over the telephone negotiating. In today's Top7Business article, I'm going to cover what I've learned after negotiating several contracts that ranged into the millions of dollars over the lifetime of these agreements, using Email as my primary communication method: The most important strategy, is to know WHEN to use Email, and WHEN to pick up the phone or arrange a face to face negotiation.
Tax

Eight of Ten Americans Consider Death Tax an Unfair Form of Double Taxation

The vast majority of Americans believe the estate tax, also known as the Death Tax, should be permanently repealed, according to a new survey released this week by the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA).
Tax

Tax Time Practices Jeopardizing Americans' Financial Plans, Survey Says

Americans aren't properly prepared for tax season according to a new survey from MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table), the premier association of financial professionals. This lack of preparedness could cost Americans much needed extra funds and could jeopardize their overall financial plans.The survey of 1,000 Americans found that 44 percent of people who owe taxes would pay them by tapping credit cards, loans, and even personal savings. This may be due to the fact that only six percent of Americans who owe money actually budgeted specifically for this purpose.
A&A

Top Secrets to Hiring the Best People for Your Firm

By Christopher KnightTo hire the best, you must be the best. What can you do today, to take another step closer to being the best? When possible, do a quick seven minute telephone interviews, and have some key qualifying questions ready, so that when you are in a real 'face to face' interview, you're already 50% closer to hiring a real candidate. Don't assume that you know what is important to your interviewee, because until you ask them what is important, you don't know. Always Be Recruiting!
Tax

Tax Preparers Put the ‘Fun’ in Refund

Can gifts, free address labels and $10 referral checks attract customers to a new tax preparation business?Dave and Jolinda Schreiber, owners of Refunds USA in Albert Lea, Minn., say they are making taxes more fun. After all, as Jolinda puts it, "Going to a tax preparer is like going to the dentist."According to the Albert Lea Tribune, the couple decided to start a tax business that would emphasize quick but casual service.
Tax

Top Tax Season Trends: Here's What Taxpayers Want to Know

Fiducial, an international provider of professional outsourcing services for small businesses and individuals, reported five tax questions that seem to be high on taxpayers' minds this tax season.
Technology

Browser Trapping! How to Stop From Being Held

Many Web sites use a technique that causes the following distressing situation: When you try to leave the site, either by using the Back button or by closing the browser window, the site reappears in a new window. In the worst cases, the site pops up in three or four new windows when you try to leave it, and basically the only way out is to shut down your computer. The way most people get trapped into these sites is through listings in search engines that look legitimate until you click on them.
Technology

Adding a Wrap Text Shortcut in Microsoft Excel

Wrap text is a useful technique that you will use frequently when working in Excel. You add the shortcut by adding a style in the Style box. Adding the Style box to the Formatting toolbarRight-click one of the toolbars, and select Customize. Select the Commands tab, and then select Format. Drag the Style icon from the Customize dialog box to the Formatting toolbar, and drop it next to the Font Size box (or anywhere else you choose).
Practice

Managing IT to a Plan

By L. Gary Boomer, CPA, CITP, CEOThe management of IT in professional service firms has evolved to the point where it is relatively easy to distinguish the firms who are getting the top returns on their IT investments.
Technology

'Browser Hijacking' the Latest Threat for Windows Users

Windows users already have enough security risks to worry about, but here’s a new one — browser hijacking.It takes tedious, time-consuming work to undo the damage, and most users only discover the ‘hijacking’ after it’s happened.
Community News

Employers Consider New Enticements to Attract Workers

As the economy gradually improves, workers are starting to look around for better career opportunities, leading employers to plan new ways to attract and keep talent."I think some employers are looking at a mass exodus," said Robert Morgan, president for employment solutions at Spherion, an international recruiting and outsourcing firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The New York Times reported that a Spherion survey of 3,000 workers last year indicated that 51 percent wanted to leave their jobs, and 75 percent of that group said they were likely to leave within a year.
Community News

Less Than Half of Workers are Committed to Their Organization's Goals

FranklinCovey, which has surveyed more than 2.5 million people about productivity and effectiveness issues, last week released the findings of its latest Execution Quotient study of 12,182 U.S. workers. The findings confirm that most organizations suffer from major "execution gaps," which undermine the achievement of their most critical, strategic goals.
A&A

Study says Organized NCAA Pools Could Save Firms Money

It’s that time of year again — time for basketball fans to put aside their work to study stats, ponder possibilities and start picking the teams they hope will end up in the Final Four.Are NCAA office pools a wasteful disruption or a pleasant diversion? A recent study suggests that March Madness may cost companies more than $1.5 billion in lost productivity.
Practice Management

Deloitte's Tinkler Outlines Three Elements to Creating an Ethically-Managed Company

Harold Tinkler, Deloitte & Touche LLP's chief ethics and compliance officer, told Baruch College's first Ethics Week forum that culture, controls and consequences are the elements necessary to creating a successful and ethically managed company.
Tax

Resume Fraud Gets Sophisticated; What You Need to Know

The combination of a sluggish job market and poorly protected databases is opening the door to a new, more sophisticated wave of resume fraud, with some candidates stooping to breaking the law to boost their chances with prospective employers.Adding to the dishonest atmosphere is the uprising of websites that exist solely to provide job-seekers with false credentials, including college degrees and previous work experience."Candidates are allegedly breaking the law to get a particular job or promotion, and that is pretty much going to the full extent of the limit," Scott Pustizzi, vice pr
Tax

It’s a One-Stop Shop for Haircuts, Tax Returns

This time of year, Bill Taber’s Oak Park Barber Shop is busier with tax business than hair business. Barber Bill got the idea to combine the two after years of giving his tax advice to senior customers in the chair. He took a tax class in 1984, and his second business was born. But he stayed put. His shop has operated from the same address in southwest Indianapolis since 1967."I enjoy being self-employed," Tabor told the Indianapolis Star.
Community News

EnterpriseEmail Fraud Threatens Security of Sensitive Corporate Information

At DEMO 2004, Pavni Diwanji, CEO and co-founder of MailFrontier, warned corporate executives and IT directors of a growing threat to enterprise messaging: corporate email fraud. While phisher scams -- a largely consumer-facing problem where fraudsters spoof well-known brands in an attempt to steal personal information -- garner most of the media attention, the untold story is that IT departments are being spoofed as well, compromising the security of entire corporate networks.
Community News

Don't Let Your Best Employees Jump Ship: What You Can Do

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupTHE PROBLEM:The last few years have been very difficult for employees. They have experienced large scale layoffs, the outsourcing of their jobs, limited advancement opportunities, and low, if any, pay increases. In private, many have said to their colleagues, "When the economy turns around, I'm outta here." In fact, our research in 60 organizations over the past 10 years shows that 32 percent of employees claim that they plan to leave within the foreseeable future.
A&A

Don't Wait for Tax Time to Look at the Bottom Line

By C.J. Hayden, MCCA curious thing happens to entrepreneurs in the spring of every year. They wake up one day and realize they had better figure out how much money they made last year so they can pay their taxes. But wait, shouldn't a business owner already KNOW how much money he or she made last year, last quarter, or last month? If you don't keep track of how much money you're making, you have no idea whether your business is successful or not. You can't tell how well your marketing is working.
Community News

Keeping the Sale Going to Closure

By Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFESome buying situations take longer than others. How do you gain the advantage when the client is taking their time – and talking to others? It’s a fact - most CPAs are horrific at taking the sale from interview to actual closure (getting the client in a competitive situation). And let’s be clear – most CPAs do not engage in selling, they take orders. When they do have to compete against others, the chances are at least 75% they will fail (the average closure to a multiple selling situation based on 4 firms invited to propose). How do I know?

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