Guest articles

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." Look at every new opportunity as an exciting and new-life experience. If you catch yourself worrying about an upcoming task, go ahead and do it now so it no longer is a distraction. Get into the habit of finishing what you start. Give up "waiting time" forever. Have something with you at all times to work on.

Managing Technology – 10 Cost Saving Tips

By, Gary Boomer, Boomer ConsultingWith uncertain economic times ahead, the first call from many partners is to look for ways to cut overhead. As I have said many times in previous articles, the firms that are winning with technology are those who view technology as a strategic asset rather than as overhead. If you don’t believe this, ask yourself the question, “will technology play an increasing or decreasing role in our firm’s future”?

Common Faults With Accounting Firms' Web Sites

By Steve McIntyre-Smith Ph.D, President, There are many, many reasons why so many Web sites fail to achieve results. Here are some of the top problems found in our work with accounting firms the world over.Beauty and the beast. Having a beautiful looking web site is not why people buy from you. Think for a moment. Why do you go onto the web? For information. We surf to find answers to questions, to find something that will help improve our firm and give us a competitive edge.The best-looking sites are often not the best sites!

Recession Plus PCs Equal More Fraud

by Camico InsuranceInternal or occupational fraud continues to cause enormous problems for CPAs. While audit engagements historically generate more losses than other engagements, all types of engagements are affected by fraud, from non-attest services to tax return preparation. Nearly one-third of all claims losses over $100,000 received by CAMICO stem from some kind of fraudulent activity.
Community News

Articulating The Values of Your Professional Service Firm

By Nancy Blodgett To come to consensus about what its stands for and where it's headed, one South Carolina-based professional service firm recently took the time required to produce an organizational mission statement.Taking a key idea out of Stephen Covey's best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Turner, Padget, Graham & Laney, decided it was important to draft a mission statement for the law firm.
Practice Management

How to Win an Auditor Beauty Contest: Taking Advantage of Auditor Changes

by Bruce MannMore companies are giving serious attention to the auditor selection process than ever before, opening the door for firms to compete for assignments on a more level playing field. The days when management was able to pick its favorite auditor without oversight from the board or audit committee have passed. First it was the demise of Arthur Andersen that forced many companies to interview for new auditors.
Community News

We’ve Lost the Client Focus

by Rick Buckingham Business today has lost the client focus. It’s as simple as that. There’s no spin, no hype, and no play on words. Despite the fact that corporations spend millions of dollars each year on programs and training designed to teach them how to deliver exceptional customer service, we still suffer from mediocre service. Associates fail to demonstrate their newly learned skills, and company leaders look away as service ratings plummet.As our economy is stuck in a slump, companies today need lifetime clients now more than ever.

Unleash The Potential of Booklets to Sell Your Accounting Services

By, Paulette Ensign Does writing a booklet make you an 'authorlette'? It sure does. That is one of several key reasons to write an informational tips booklet - author status as an expert on your specific topic. It takes much less time, money, and stress to write a booklet than writing a full-length book, and can bring as many or more benefits. Writing a booklet is less overwhelming than writing a book.
Education & Careers

Bring More Than Your Resume to Your Next Job Interview

By Sarah Self It's the night before an important job interview. You've researched the company, thought through every possible question and picked up your best suit from the drycleaners. What else can you do to make the interview a successful experience? Prepare a few more valuable tools to bring with you. The following items can keep you focused and organized, and help prove that you are an excellent candidate for the position.PortfolioAlways bring a collection of your past work to an interview.

Employers May be Entitled to a Refund of FICA Taxes Paid on Severance

Kathryn A. English, Esq. and Holly S. McCann, Esq.A decision issued in April 2002 by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims may enable employers to obtain a refund of social security or "FICA" taxes paid on certain kinds of severance payments. In CSX Corporation, Inc. v. United States, the court rejected the Internal Revenue Service's interpretation of what constitutes supplemental unemployment compensation benefits that are exempt from FICA.

'Preparing For The Anniversary Of 9/11' - Free Report

As the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 tragedy approaches, employers need to be prepared for the onslaught of new and renewed emotions that are sure to pour out. Employers will find a valuable tool for helping their employees get through their difficult times by downloading the latest free report posted on AHI’s Employment Law Resource Center located at free report - "Preparing For The Anniversary Of 9/11" - shows employers what they can do to provide their employees with the mechanisms for coping with new and renewed emotions that the anniversary will bring.
Practice Management

AAM Session Overview: Trashing The Timesheet

This is the sixth of a series of articles on sessions presented at the 2002 Association for Accounting Marketing Conference.By Karen Bergh, Senior V.P., RainMaker Pro, Inc. for the Association for Accounting Marketing Ron Baker, Founder of VeraSage Institute, shared in his topic "Trashing the Timesheet" his philosophy of how accountants should free themselves from the "tyranny of time" as an indicator of performance.

Use Those Capital Losses by Taking Advantage of The 18% Deemed Sale Election

By Tony Cardinalli, CPAThe Dow Jones Industrial Average has seen 20% of its value decline in 2002. Many investors were avoiding the dreaded phone call to their brokers instructing them to sell off their positions before things got worse. Their losses were causing them to lose sleep at night. It happened. They called. An original tax strategy herein will provide some additional damage control. Countless taxpayers will carry forward those stock market losses into the future because of the $3,000 limitation rule.

Creating a Culture of High Achievement

by Sam M. Allred, CPAWe live in a time of unprecedented change, both in our profession and in the world market place. Stakeholders and staff in accounting firms are wondering what changes are on the horizon in the wake of Enron, World Com and the other debacles in our financial markets. In these uncertain times, the most important thing that leaders can do is to give their partners and staff members focus and a sense of confidence.

CPA Firm Impact of AICPA 2002 Top Technologies - Part II

by Roman Kepczyk, InfoTech Partners North AmericaThe AICPA has once again released its list of Top Technologies that will impact your firm in the year ahead. Part I covered the first five items technology issues on the list. We continue in Part II by looking at the impact of AICPA Top Technologies number Six through Ten, dealing with communications technology, remote connectivity, web applications, qualified IT personnel and messaging applications with a focus on how CPA Firms would be impacted. 6.
Practice Management

How Smart Leaders Reach Out

by Cheri L. Swales, MonsterDedication to your company is not the only thing you need to consider when developing your career. Volunteering can be an important part of your leadership skills repertoire. Networking is the best way to enhance your career status, and volunteering is one of the best networking opportunities.

CPA Firm Impact of AICPA 2002 Top Technologies - Part I

by Roman Kepczyk, InfoTech Partners North AmericaThe AICPA has once again released its list of Top Technologies that will impact your firm in the year ahead. In this first of two articles, we have outlined the top five technologies with a focus on how these technologies can be addressed within your CPA Firm. 1. Business and Financial Reporting Applications are those tools that allow us to more efficiently create and manage digital information and electronically transfer it to those that need it.

Tips For Selecting The Right Employees

Job applicants may be more abundant in today’s employment market, but that doesn’t mean hiring the right person has become any easier. Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc. and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies (Hungry Minds, Inc.), warns that poorly executed candidate searches and cumbersome hiring processes can undermine the recruiting process for managers.Messmer advises firms to avoid costly hiring mistakes by being diligent. "While many applicants may appear to be an ideal fit on paper, it’s important not to make snap judgments.
Community News

Defining & Targeting a Campus Recruiting Program For Your Firm

By, Michael Platt, President, AccountingWEB, Inc.For the last decade, the one commonality among all firms that I have consulted with has been the rallying cry "we just can't find good staff." Those firms with a campus recruiting program designed to fill this void often focus on answering the question "who can we get?" rather than "what do we want?" Many local and regional firms believe that their efforts are best spent aiming at second tier students, assuming there are no other alternatives and that the top recruits will naturally opt for national firms.If this is how your firm
Practice Management

AAM Session Overview: The Accounting And Consulting Firm of The Future

By Lisa Dickson, Marketing Coordinator, Bland, Garvey, Eads, Medlock + Deppe, P.C. for the Association for Accounting MarketingAnother successful Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) conference has concluded in San Antonio, Texas. This conference opened with a war cry by VeraSage Institute founder, Ronald J. Baker. Baker, a CPA and marketer, has shed some light on what direction the accounting industry in heading. He has challenged us to see beyond the present atmosphere of the tradition accounting firm and reach for excellence in our industry.


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