Guest articles

Practice

Organizations Must Innovate or Fade Away

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupAccording to Benjamin Franklin, "Insanity is doing things over and over again and expecting different results." Many organizations offer the same types of products and services to the same types of customers in the same way year after year. And, then they wonder why: The competition can offer the same products and services at a lower price; Their once high value products and services are now viewed by customers as commodities;  

Procrastination: Putting off today what you can do tomorrow

Reprinted with Permission By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. Have you ever before procrastinated? Have you put off returning phone calls only to find that you are too embarrassed to return a call when you receive the third attempt from a caller. Have you ever put off doing an assignment for someone and then when it came due, you made an excuse in an effort to gain more time? Most of us procrastinate from time to time. Most of us also feel very guilty due to our perceived lack of personal self-control. But procrastination is not only undesirable, it is losing business for you.
Practice

How To Get Better Client-Centered Referrals

To get the best referrals, you need more than naturally occurring word-of-mouth. You need to have a program to actively elicit referrals from a number of services.You may think that clients will just give you referrals because they like you or your service. However, it doesn’t always happen this way. To have a top practice, you must do more than produce good work and wait for referrals to follow. Some clients are more likely to give referrals than are others. When you identify someone who is liberal with their referrals, cultivate them.
Practice Management

Creating a Professional Referral Team

Barry LaValley As you look at your business plan for the coming year, how are you going to build referral relationships in your community?
Community News

Ten Benefits of a Mission Statement

Reprinted with Permission from "The Goals Guy". A mission statement causes you to expand your perspective, and to examine your innermost thoughts and feelings.
Practice

Corporate America Must Take Leadership in the New Economy

Guest Article, submitted by Werner ReisacherThere are as many opinions about the reasons behind the present economic crisis as there are personal interest groups. However, the factors leading up to the present economic situation go beyond opinions and personal interests. They are by far more complex and can be traced back to the 1990’s. During those years, cost reduction exercises were routine. The legacy software systems in place could not support these activities and provide the integrated solutions needed to improve productivity.
Practice Management

Changing Attitudes on Firm Flexibility

By Phyllis Weiss Haserot and Holly EnglishDespite the desire by many professionals at some time in their careers to have more flexibility in their working arrangements, particularly now that technology makes it so much easier, decision makers and even the candidates for flexibility themselves resist such arrangements.The deterrents to faster progress are perceived fears and uncalculated costs and benefits.
Practice

Life as a CPA: Business Development

By, Melinda Guillemette, Marketing ConsultantAfter all the business development buzzwords and tactics (web sites, brochures, seminars, articles, speeches, coaching, motivating, compensating and on and on) have dulled to a whisper, a few simple things remain. It boils down to a few fundamentals to understand about life as a public accountant, and a few outcomes that will result. Here are ten everyday realities about being a professional in a CPA firm:Know that being a good accountant means a lot more than understanding the technicalities.
Practice Management

Don't Look Now, But Your Client's Problem is You

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupTHE PROBLEMSenior management in most organizations have no idea what their clients are really thinking. They are insulated from the problems clients experience at the front lines of their company. Making matters worse is that in the interest of cost efficiency, organizations are establishing systems which mechanize rather humanize the customer/client experience.
Practice Management

Coping With Problem People

Reprinted with Permisson. By Kerry L. Johnson, Ph.D. John was about to give up. He had had it with his manager's explosions. It wasn't bad enough that he felt like a child, but when his manager raised his voice and demoralized him, it went too far. When his boss carried on with one of his tirades, John usually was left shaking in his boots. Not only was the guy intensely intimidating but he made most people either angry or fearful, often at the same time. Beth was tired of the backbiting.
Community News

The Value of Proactive Service

Clients want a proactive accountant. They want you using your expertise to look out for their interests and bring them benefits that they didn’t know to ask for. By being proactive, you show your initiative and you create added value.Reactive service gives you fewer opportunities to thrill clients. You have to wait until they ask for something. When you reach out, you not only have more control, you get more credit for taking the initiative. Proactive service thrills clients.For instance, at the new Park Hyatt Hotel in Japan, many staff members have two-way radios.
Education & Careers

Regain Your Job Search Optimism With Three Easy Steps

If you’ve been in a job search for more than a few months, you already know that one of the greatest challenges is maintaining a positive attitude. Without it, going through the motions can feel as demotivating as running a race in lead boots. You begin to think "What’s the use?

Frustrations of a Rainmaker - There’s More Than One Way to Make a Splash!

By, Gale Crosley, CPAIf you’re like most rainmakers, you are happiest when the skies open up and opportunities pour down faster than you can reach out and grab them. And you are most frustrated when you see others seemingly unable to do what’s relatively effortless for you. Understanding why this occurs is the first step to eliminating frustration. But you also may wish to consider a paradigm shift that involves changing your perception of "who can make rain," breaking business-building into component parts that can be championed by many.
Technology

Wireless Networking: A Fit for Your Firm?

By Kenneth M. McCall, MBA, Boomer Consulting, Inc.IntroductionIt seems everywhere you turn someone is talking about wireless networking. Computer related magazines are saturated with advertisements featuring wireless networking gear, and people keep throwing around terms like “802.11b”. Sooner or later, your Managing Partner will ask you (or, if you’re the Managing Partner you may be asking yourself), “What are we doing about wireless?
Practice Management

When Management is Caught in The Middle

By, Kaye Vivian, Marketing Communications ConsultantThere are moments when anyone in middle management of a firm can feel trapped between an order given by a partner and the staff likely to feel the negative impact of that order. When given such an order, who deserves support more--the boss who controls the manager's destiny with the firm or the staff who rely on and trust him/her to protect their interests? It's a difficult call. To refuse a partner's directive will create trouble with the partner. To carry it out, however, there's sure to be trouble from the staff below.
Community News

Building Name Recognition to Attract New Business

Fundamentally, there are two ways to sell services.You can go to the market and try to influence companies to buy your services. Or, you can get the market to come to you and ask for help, which is usually preferable to non-professional sales people.The big question is: With all the competitors in the marketplace, how do I get companies to seek out my firm?Building your firm’s name recognition is the key. The market can’t come to you if it doesn’t know you.There are four stages name recognition.

Getting Beyond the Screener and Into The Interview

By, Deborah Walker, CCMCI had an interesting conversation a while back with a hiring manager who made a comment about the surprising number of resumes she gets from people seemingly overqualified or from unrelated industries. Most of the resumes she tosses aside with disinterest. I share her comments in case you fit the profile of candidate she mentioned. If so, there are steps to take to make certain your resume is seriously considered when applying for position outside your industry or for which you are overqualified.Address the issue in your cover letter.

Setting Your Goals For a Prosperous Sales Force

By Brian Tracy Setting GoalsIn numerous conversations with top salespeople over the years, we've found that they all have one thing in common. They have taken the time to sit down and create a clear blueprint for themselves and their future lives. Even if they started the process of goal setting and personal strategic planning with a little skepticism, they eventually become true believers. Becoming a True BelieverSalespeople are amazed by the incredible power of goal setting and strategic planning.
Technology

Taxing Times Ahead: Digital Sales and The European Union

By, Torsten Fetzer, Director of Tax Research Department TaxwareOn 1 July 2003, a new European Union Directive [Directive 2002/38/EC and Regulation No. 792/2002 amending the Sixth VAT Directive (77/388/EEC)] comes into force with regard to the levying of Value Added Tax (VAT) on digital sales within the European Union.All companies outside the EU that are supplying certain specified digital goods and services to final consumers in the EU will be required to register with European tax authorities by July 2003 to collect value-added taxes (VAT).
Community News

Companies Fail to Heed SEC’s Deadline For Insider Trading Disclosure

Dozens of small- and mid-cap companies have failed to comply with a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deadline for them to file insider trading information on their websites, according to a survey by investor relations consultants Blunn & Company Inc.The survey of 300 small- and mid-cap companies found that 11% had failed to meet the SEC’s June 30, 2003 deadline. All of the companies surveyed are included in the Standard & Poor’s Small-Cap and Mid-Cap indexes.

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