Guest articles

Community News

Selling to Your Existing Clients

by Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFEOne of the biggest problems most professional firms have in selling is that they wait for their clients to approach them about additional service needs, rather than seeking them out proactively. This is especially sad, as there are so many more ways you can help your clients than ever before.
Community News

Create a Compelling Mission Statement For Your Firm

Most individual or corporate mission statements contain industry buzzwords, are so complex that no one can recite them, and do nothing to inspire. The more elaborate it is, the less likely it is understood and remembered. Having a clear and concise mission statement for yourself and your Company becomes your guiding compass as you journey through life.Your mission is larger than a job.Ideally your job will align with your mission. For example, you could be employed as a teacher while your mission is education.
Community News

Employee Recruiting - How Not to Make A Mistake

By, Sandra L. Wiley , Boomer Consulting, Inc.Hiring a new employee must be one of the most stressful duties that we encounter in our professional lives. We are selecting a person to not only fill a need we have within the firm, but also find someone who will fit with our culture and interact well with other team members. This is never an easy task, and quite often we make a bad decision and then have to start the entire process over again.
Community News

Marketing Tip - An Opportunity You Can’t Afford to Miss!

With the recent Enron scandal and the industry eager to restore public confidence, big changes are likely ahead for firms that provide financial reporting services to public companies. Just recently, the AICPA Board of Directors approved a resolution to support prohibitions on auditors of public companies from also providing financial systems design, implementation and internal audit outsourcing.
Practice Management

Improving the Workplace - Employees Say They Need More Training

By: Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D., President, The Discovery Group  The ProblemWhen work is not being performed properly, management's first instinct is to blame employees. Often, however, the problem is not the employee. It is a lack of tools and equipment, inappropriate procedures, ineffective supervision, or a lack of training.

Five Tips to Strengthen Your Reputation

In a profession suddenly surrounded by bad press, work on safeguarding your own professional image. In recent months, accountants across the country have felt the repercussions of Big 5 accounting firm Andersen's struggle with the collapse of energy company Enron. The accounting industry is focusing on rebuilding its reputation with the public, but it's also crucial that every professional do the same. Here, we offer five tips that can help. Talk to Your Clients. It doesn't matter if your clients are large or small.
Community News

Your Sales Prescription: The 'I Hate Selling' Action Plan

Excerpted from: The "I HATE Selling" Book, by Allan S. Boress, CPA, CFEEven with your busy schedule, you must create the time to sell new business by meeting clients, prospective clients, and referral sources for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Set appointments today for the next four weeks. Do not be afraid to set these kinds of appointments for far in the future - your most precious asset is time and you need to plan these meetings.Technical skills are not enough anymore; to succeed in the long run, you have to bring in new business.
Practice

Stop Looking - Start Listening For Your Next Selling Opportunity

Selling is the most advanced form of communication. It requires the utilization of all of our senses. Although you may feel the greatest barriers to your selling performance may be attributed to having the wrong product, closing techniques, presentation tools or even the wrong prospects, consider that the foundation of successful selling is based on how well you listen. The ability to actively listen has been proven to dramatically improve the capabilities of a professional salesperson. Ironically, listening is the least developed skill amongst salespeople.

10 Radical Resolutions To Create Your Best Year Ever!

With the dramatic changes in our economy and in our society, it’s no wonder that many of us are asking ourselves, "Now what do I do?" while looking for more order and certainty in an uncertain world. The New Year brings the opportunity for change. For many us, it's the time to think about resolutions. Often these resolutions are the same ones that we make every year or the ones we only stick to for a few weeks.
Technology

E-Mail Management – Part 2 of 2

This article is the second in a two part series by Boomer Consulting on understanding the best way to manage your e-mail flow. Please also see AccountingWEB's recent article on how anti-spam efforts may inhibit YOUR ability to send mail.E-Mail Management – Part 1 of 2In part one, e-mail management was defined and the first two layers necessary for a comprehensive e-mail management plan - the integrity layer and the warehouse layer were discussed.
Community News

Auditor Independence: Is This Really The Answer That Will Make It Work?

By Robert G. Epstein, CPA, President and CEO, CareerBank.comIs Auditor Independence really the answer that will make it all work? This is an age-old question of the accounting world, and there are no easy answers. In simpler times, the fear of being publicly humiliated by losing your CPA license and having to sit for the 3-day exam again was enough to keep most CPAs clean. Well, times have certainly changed! With auditor independence and the Enron-Andersen issue dominating industry discussions, that no longer seems to be the case.
Community News

Leveraging busy season discussions to nurture relationships

By: Terri M. Sommella, President, Sommella Market StrategiesThis time of year, accountants spend many hours a day talking to clients, prospects and referral sources. Did you know that busy season discussions can be leveraged to enhance your effectiveness as an advisor and nurture existing relationships? By incorporating a few open-ended questions into busy season conversations, you can elevate the value of the dialog. Open-ended questions usually begin with newspaper reporter's questions: Who, what, when, where, and why.

Don't Turn Your Employees Into Victims

This article written by Steven T. Erickson CPA, CVA, Consultant-Advisor to Professional Service Firms.The shortage of experienced personnel in the accounting profession has become critical. According to most estimates, this will not change in the near future. Every firm is looking for a magical way to keep staff happy, motivated and out of the job market. We hear of everything from popcorn parties to back rubs to flex hours – but none of these seem to be the real answer.
Community News

Motivating Your Staff - Questions to Lead By

Motivating employees is often exhausting and time consuming work. Managers provide incentives, set goals, acknowledge top producers, even use consequences or threats. They use these tactics in an attempt to stimulate some level of interest in their staff, trying to push them into action. Yet, when that external stimulation is no longer present, people have tendency to slip back into their old ways; not moving unless someone is there to push.
Technology

E-mail Management – Part 1 of 2

This article is the first in a two part series by Boomer Consulting on understanding the best way to manage your e-mail flow. Please also see AccountingWEB's recent article on how anti-spam efforts may inhibit YOUR ability to send mail.The average e-mail user will receive 1,466 unsolicited e-mails this year, as stated by Doreen Hemlock in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Perhaps Ms. Hemlock is under estimating this number by a few thousand.
Community News

Ten Ideas the AICPA Can Use To Help The Profession

By Robert Epstein, President and CEO of CareerBank.com The accounting industry is beginning to reevaluate and rebuild in the aftermath of Enron's collapse, and the AICPA has an important role to play in the evolution of the profession. As the main lobbying arm and service provider for the country's CPAs, the organization should be launching a major public relations campaign to educate both their own members and the general public. An outreach campaign of such magnitude is a tall order, but the AICPA has the resources needed to get the job done.
A&A

Marketing during busy season? It’s easier than you think!

It happens every year. Firms get so bogged down during the busy season (and who doesn’t?) that business development and marketing get pushed aside. But the reality is that just a few months later, those same firms are often reviewing poor growth numbers without realizing they just missed their best opportunity to grow. As you make your way through this busy season, here are a few simple strategies you can employ to keep generating new business all year and get the growth you’re looking for.Satisfy your clients with a high level of service.
Community News

The Most Effective Marketing You Can Do This Year

With the economy slowing and more companies feeling the pinch, landing new business and meeting your growth goals will likely become more difficult. And just as your goals fall further away, the marketing dollars to get you there will be harder to come by. Grim picture? Not just yet. Targeting and selling to your loyal, satisfied customers might be the most effective marketing you can do this year. Loyal customers are often the most overlooked group when it comes to laying out growth plans, but they’re also the most influential to your success.

Selling When You're Not in Sales

If you think you're not in sales, think again. Whether you sell a product or service or yourself or your ideas, you’re in sales. If a customer calls you with a billing question, you’re in sales because your work will influence whether a customer chooses to buy again. If you have a manager and are planning to ask for a raise, you really are in sales. Here are a few pointers from sales and business consultant Maura Schreier-Fleming (www.BestatSelling.com) to increase your selling success.
Practice Management

Come Together Cooperatively to Serve Your Clients

Co-opetition: Compete and Cooperate MarketingWhen you combine the words cooperation and competition, a new word emerges: Coopetition. Coopetition works when competing organizations come together cooperatively to serve a client.

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