Guest articles

Practice Management

How Am I Doing? Employees Want To Know!

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupTHE PROBLEM:Our research shows that employees crave performance feedback but that their supervisors are doing a poor job of giving it to them. 60 percent of employees say that they don't receive ongoing feedback about their job performance throughout the year.Here are some reasons why supervisors avoid providing feedback: 
Education & Careers

Professional Trends in Accounting For 2003

By Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc.A number of important developments will affect accounting professionals in 2003. New regulations, changing job responsibilities, emerging technologies and specialties, and a more moderate hiring climate are a few of the key issues. Individuals who adapt quickly to these trends will be in the strongest position for career advancement this year. WANTED: A DIVERSIFIED SKILL SET Accountants continue to assume broader responsibilities, undertaking more of an advisory role with their clients.
Education & Careers

When Financial Aid Isn't Enough

By, FeatureSourceStudents who fill out financial aid forms - a frustrating and disappointing undertaking - know all too well that loan options and financial aid packages still result in unmet need. Books, tuition, and living expenses add up quickly and using a credit card as a life preserver can be a recipe for long-term trouble. An alarmingly high number of students use, and max out, the credit limit on multiple, high-interest credit cards.
Community News

Ways to Develop an Incentive Program

By Gregory P. Smith Disney World has more than 240 reward and incentive programs in place. All good businesses have at least one or two. Incentive programs serve a specific purpose. Some programs show appreciation to employees. Other programs are designed to improve performance and create behaviors management would like to see. No matter what type of program you have or want, designing the program is critical to its success.Focus on the desired behavior needed or the goal of the program. Begin with a clear, briefly-stated objective.
Practice

Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? (Part 2)

Continued from "Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? Part 1"FRAUD AND ABUSE ARE COSTLYFraud and abuse cost the U.S. economy $400 billion a year. That translates into 6% of revenue or $9 per day, per employee. And relatively speaking, small companies are at a higher risk of fraud than large companies. Why? Because small companies don’t have as sophisticated systems of internal controls as large companies.
Technology

Working Closer - Variations on Online Accounting

By Joanie Mann Internet-based computing was once seen more as a fad than a solid business decision. But the Internet and connectivity, Web-based applications, and the infrastructure necessary to deliver - securely - these services has matured to a level where small and large businesses alike can participate safely and cost-effectively.

The Personal Evolution - Create Your Ideal Career, Manage Your Life For Optimum Success

By, Keith RosenRapid change surrounds us as we approach the next millennium, making it difficult to assimilate all the advances in our society, in technology and in business. The rise in business failures, consumer dissatisfaction, unsatisfying careers as well as unfulfilling relationships, demonstrates that hard work and minor alterations in what we do in order to produce desired results is no longer the answer to achieve what we truly want for ourselves. To strengthen and enhance every area in our lives, the next step is to EVOLVE.
Practice Management

Building a Referral Machine For Your Company

by Andrew WoodReferrals are the life-blood of any successful business or service, but they work much more predictably and effectively when you develop and follow a system so that good leads don't just slip away.Ask any good business owner how she generates most of her business and she will cite referrals, but ask her to explain her referral system to you and you are very likely to hear that referrals just happen.

How to Make Great Decisions

Everyone has made bad decisions: choosing friends who stab you in the back, saying the wrong thing to your spouse, spending your money unwisely. Yet to succeed and have self-confidence, you must make decisions. When you are afraid of decisions, you build up stress, create confusion and make people wait. When you put off making decisions, you miss important opportunities. The worst way to make decisions is to take a vote. Asking for people’s opinions is like saying, "I don’t have any self-confidence.
Practice Management

Hidden Overhead - Hidden Expenses Cost Money

By, Keith Rosen Although you have a handle on your business' operating costs, there may be some hidden expenses that are costing you more than money. Many execs confess that although their business is moving forward, they find their time is consumed with, accepting or being dragged down by unwanted situations, problems or behavior. Not overwhelming individually, they have a way of building up until they effect productivity, cause stress and waste time and energy.
Practice Management

Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? (Part 1)

 My Employees Wouldn’t Embezzle: Yeah, Right Yes or No - Have you taught your employees to embezzle?  
Practice

Keeping Your Clients Out of The Competitive Pool

By Bruce Marcus, author of The Marcus LetterThe conventional wisdom is that it costs more to get a new client than to keep an old one. And for once, the conventional wisdom is correct. Yet, many professionals too readily take clients for granted. Or don't look for opportunities to increase revenues from perfectly satisfied clients. Then there's the classic story of the client who went to another firm for a particular service.
Practice

Document Processes to Ensure Business Success

Guest Author: Michael Platt, AccountingWEB, Inc. Think about this for a moment: If you were hit by the proverbial bus tomorrow, would someone else be able to step in and do your job without missing a beat, or would there be a significant learning curve to carry out your tasks?
Tax

Creating a Stress-Free Busy Season

by Sandra L. Wiley, COO, Boomer Consulting, Inc.You can thrive, not just survive, during this upcoming busy season. You just need to do five things:- Keep your expectations rational. - Take care of yourself. - Take control of your time and limit your commitments. - Create a positive work environment. - Embrace your family and friends.These tips will help you reduce stress, relax, and breeze through the busy season feeling rested, grounded, and in control.Keep Your Expectations Rational
Practice

Cross Selling Helps Your Clients

By, Melinda Guillemette, Marketing ConsultantCross-selling is proposing to a current client the use of another of your firm’s services. Perhaps a tax client needs a financial plan or estate plan; perhaps an audit client’s employees need training on their accounting software; maybe a management consulting client needs to update his technology. Each of these cross-selling scenarios could result in solving thorny problems for your client. No partner enjoys hearing a client say “I didn’t know your firm did that!” after the client has purchased a service from someone else.
Community News

Achieving Your Goals Takes More Than Good Intentions

By, Keith RosenThroughout my career as a business owner, a sales trainer and a business coach, I've noticed a consistent theme in relation to achieving greater levels of success. That is, the professionals who are extremely productive have taken the time to define their goals and a roadmap to attain what they want most. While some enjoy the excitement of strategizing for the New Year, others find themselves intimidated by the goal setting process.
A&A

Targeting Those Caring For Elder Parents

by Michael P. Sullivan, President, 50-Plus Communications Consulting Does anyone ever really plan ahead to care for an aging parent? Not unless the older adult is in a troublesome or even critical state. Elder caregiving almost becomes a complete surprise. We don’t normally set aside money or time for the task. In fact, we are usually unprepared for it. And, often when it does occur, we tend to deny it’s happening. And yet there are critical issues that accompany the complex, extraordinarily powerful emotions of caring for loved ones who are elderly, disabled or ill.
Practice Management

Practice Idea: Semi-Annual Client Check Ups

Guest Author: Michael Platt, AccountingWEB, Inc. Every six months you go to your dentist for a check up, and probably have done so for years. You do this because your dental professional encourages it, and because you know it's the right thing to do.

The Auditing Debate: What's The Real Issue?

Reprinted from an article originally published in early 2002 by David H. Maister, as the Enron scandal was unfolding, and still very relevant to today's debates. Any way you look at it, the audit business cannot continue much longer as it is. If years of "clean" audits are no guarantee that billions of dollars of previously reported profits are, in fact, illusory, then what value does an audit actually provide?
Practice Management

Communicating Pay Changes: Suggestions For 2003

By, Pat Zingheim and Jay Schuster http://www.paypeopleright.comWhen you think of it, your organization’s pay program is really a powerful communicator of values and directions to your employees. How many times have you heard people say, "You get what you pay for"?

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