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Guest articles

How to Make a Good 'First Impression'

by, The Small Business Knowledge BaseWe sometimes get only one chance to make an impression on someone either in our personal or business life. Therefore it is important to remember some basic things to do that will assure us of making the best impression possible. Here are ten of the most common things people can do to make the best first impression possible.Appear Neat And Dress AppropriatelyBeing neat in our appearance is something we can do regardless of whether we are trying to make a good impression on someone or not.

AAM Session Overview: Creating a Marketing Plan

This is the second of a series of articles on sessions presented at the 2002 Association for Accounting Marketing Conference.By Chanon Collins, Director of Marketing, Allen Pritchett & Bassett, LLP for the Association for Accounting MarketingAfter the opening address at the 13th Annual Marketing Summit of the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM), over 300 marketers scattered to workshops ranging from measuring marketing efforts to trashing the timesheet.
Community News

Employee Terminations: Negotiating The Minefield

by John J. Myers, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLCA joke in a meeting. A passing comment overheard by another employee. A satisfactory employee evaluation. These are all pieces of evidence that can be used in court to prove that an employee was unlawfully discharged.The vast majority of unlawful discharge cases that former employees win are not based on direct evidence but rather on "indirect" or circumstantial evidence. The angry supervisor who makes a racist remark while firing an employee is an easy case to prove.

Effective Employee Incentive Programs: Bring Out the Best in Your Firm

By Lisa A. Rozycki, Marketing Director, Reinsel & Company LLPIn a firm-wide marketing survey, employees were asked what would motivate them to market the firm’s services. Not surprisingly, the top two answers were "incentive compensation" and "recognition" for their efforts.Like many CPA firms across the country, we’ve had the standard commission structure on new business and cross-selling services to existing clients for a number of years. Three years ago, the paper forms that needed to be filled out for compensation almost never left the shelf.

Report From The Association For Accounting Marketing Summit

13th Annual Association for Accounting Marketing Summit Attracts Over 300 Marketing ProfessionalsBy Lisa A.
Practice Management

Selective Selling: When Times Are Tough, Make Your Standards Tougher

By Dave Stein, The Stein AdvantageDon't take on just anyone as a client or customer. Consultant, trainer and author Dave Stein offers a wealth of insights on who to avoid . . . and why.If you're in the position of having to bring in new business, you might be feeling a bit desperate. We all know times are tough and money is tight. It may seem that now is the time to take on any business that comes your way. After all, you still have revenue targets to achieve, expenses to cover and stakeholders to whom you must account. Well, hold on to your hat.
Practice Management

What Does Your Company Get Out of Having an Ethical Environment?

By, Bruce A. HammHOW NOT TO END UP LIKE ENRONRecent reports about accounting practices, conflicts of interest, document shredding and retaliation against employees at Enron heighten interest in business ethics. Many of us are asking, "What about the ethics in my company?" The reaction from many executives might be "Nothing wrong with my company.
Technology

Ten Tips For Effective Online Job Postings

By Robert G. Epstein, CPA, President and CEO of CareerBank.comWith good accounting and finance candidates in short supply, there is fierce competition between firms for qualified new hires. Effective online recruitment can be the key to attracting the talent your company needs, and the job posting is the cornerstone of a successful online recruiting program. To get started, check out the AccountingWEB CareerZONE. A web-based job posting has to be approached differently than the traditional classified advertisement.
A&A

Five Steps to Reduce Company Health Insurance Costs

by Dr. David Rearick, Chief Medical Officer of Coalition America, Inc.With healthcare costs again creeping toward double-digit levels and business profits still lagging, top corporate managers must take a personal and pro-active role in addressing those factors that drive up medical insurance costs. That is an assessment by leading companies and consultants who work with corporations to manage their healthcare costs."We have entered another period when medical insurance costs are moving upward," said Dr.

Infuse Your Marketing Plan With Measurable Activity

By Lisa Rhatigan, Vice President Operations and Consulting, The Whetstone Group, Inc.It happens in accounting firms everywhere – partners tell you they want a positive substantiated ROI from their marketing efforts, but then allocate the majority of their marketing budgets to activities that can’t be measured. From memberships dues and advertisements to event sponsorships and the traditional catchall category “client meals and entertainment,” marketing plans everywhere are full of activities that, while valuable, can rarely be substantiated.
Practice

Discover Who You Are To Succeed

By Paul J. MeyerIf you were asked to make three brief statements in response to the question, "Who are you?" how would you respond? One response might be to state your name because your name is an important emotional symbol of your identity. You might define yourself in terms of your professional title, especially if you enjoy a sense of dedication and commitment to your career.

How to Attract and Retain Talent in Your Firm

By Robert G. Epstein, CPA, President and CEO of CareerBank.comSmall CPA firms face a challenge in today’s competitive employment market. Quality accounting professionals are a hot commodity, and smaller firms often lose candidates to the big starting salaries and name recognition at larger firms. What can smaller firms do to be competitive? Be creative. There are many programs and policies that can turn small firms into aggressive competitors in the hunt for CPAs.First, get involved with the community to establish name recognition.
Community News

Dynamic Intuition: A Strategy for Business Success in the 21st Century

Submitted by J. RussellLooking for the next new business idea? It is a strategic process that works in a down economy, a stagnant economy and an up economy. It works in all economies because it concurrently focuses the company in two directions—inward (core competencies) and outward (marketplace definition) while empowering employees. When looking at the marketplace, it calls for the company to examine the future and look outside the norm.The status quo of business today is change. Accordingly, any modern business strategy must be dynamic and embrace change.
Community News

17 Ways To 'Retool' For Successful 21st Century Selling

Consultant and executive coach Dave Stein shows how to master the art of selling in a book that is enjoyable to read and filled with practical advice. Selling no longer means what it once did. Quick communication and instant access to information-i.e., the Internet-have created a brave new world for sales professionals. This "infoglut" means they must take on the job of sorting, interpreting, and winnowing the facts and presenting what's relevant to a client's bottom line. And there have been other big changes in the world of selling. Competition is fierce. Hype is rampant.

Lack of Information Frustrates Employees

By: Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D., President, The Discovery Group THE PROBLEMOne out of every two employees feels that they do not receive the information they need to do their job well. As a result, employees feel frustrated and the quality of the organization's products and services suffer.Employees complain that they need more information from management, supervisors, co-workers, and customers. The key employee questions that frequently go unanswered are listed below. 
Community News

Seinfeld on Marketing For Professional Services Firms

by Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFE"Hey -- Did you hear the one about the guy who set up his kids' educational trust funds as tax exempt corporations because he knew that if any college accepted his children as students it would be pure charity on their part?"It's no wonder that you won't see stand-up CPAs on HBO.
A&A

Are You Providing Your Clients With The 'Right Kind of Counsel'?

By IntuitAdvisorThere are almost 17 million small businesses in the United States, (U.S.
Community News

Four Ways to Help Your 'Old Dog' Employees Learn Some New Tricks

Collaboration, Change & Comfort Zones: 4 Ways to Help Your "Old Dog" Employees Learn Some New Tricks.If you want your employees to work together online, you must first help them break out of their comfort zones. Collaboration Architects co-founder John Darling tells you how.You know the time is right to join the ranks of those companies that are benefiting from online collaboration technology. Employees working together via the Web is clearly the wave of the future. And there are plenty of great software programs out there. Still, there is one major barrier to overcome: human nature.
Community News

The Benefits of Incorporating Your Business

By, Brian Liu, Esq., CEO & Co-Founder, LegalZoom.comAs the tax season draws to a close and many lament their generous yet grudging contributions to Uncle Sam, it is the perfect time for small business owners to start planning for next year. One of the most overlooked, yet most beneficial, ways to help save on taxes is to form a corporation.There is one thing that General Motors, Microsoft, AT&T and all other major businesses in America have in common - they are corporations.

Ten Steps to Branding Your Firm

by Terri M. Sommella, Sommella Market StrategiesStudies show that 75% of firms are either in the process of a branding campaign or are considering one. Why? Succinctly put, branding creates differentiation and client loyalty. It is the purposeful development of a personal relationship between the client and the product or service. A brand is not all consuming but rather, represents a piece of the whole, one aspect of the firm.

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