Practice Management

Practice Management

Operating and growing in a down economy

By Michelle Golden, President, Golden Marketing Inc.So far, CPA firms seem to be feeling limited impact from the economic downturn. Some firms are seeing a bump in "average days in A/R" as business clientele slow their payments due, in turn, to their dipping receipts. Other firms report the heartbreaking scenario of trying to assist vulnerable clients take measures to remain solvent—scaling back, if not ceasing, operations.
Practice Management

Tax season temps: What kinds of work do they do?

With tax season rolling up fast, some CPA and tax preparer firms will supplement their full-time staff with temporary help to ease the workload. What kinds of help do they hire? The answer has changed over time. Some firms hire temps to do actual tax work. But since Internet technology has made it easier to share the workload with colleagues in multi-location firms or to take work home, the tasks for which temps are now hired may be different than they once were. Here's what some firms are doing.
Practice Management

Test your customer IQ

By Barbara BixIt will come as no surprise that customers want it their way (to paraphrase Burger King). Yet many companies don't have processes for figuring out what that means.Take this quiz to assess your customer "IQ" (or "Insight Quotient") and determine the necessary next steps for shortening your sales cycle.The Questions 
Practice Management

Highlights of CCH seminar: Top Tax Practice and Procedure Blunders

AccountingWEB staff writer Anne Rosivach attended the recent CCH audio seminar: Top Tax Practice and Procedure Blunders Which Can and Should Be Avoided. This is her report.CCH'S Audio Seminar, Top Tax Practice and Procedure Blunders Which Can and Should Be Avoided, takes a look at some of the most common practice and procedure errors or omissions that can come back to haunt practitioners in an audit.
Practice Management

Tips for getting more out of meetings

If you have a boss who loves meetings, chances are you're not quite as enamored with them.
Practice

Avoid a fraud hangover this New Year

Fraud loves Christmas. Andrew Durant provides a checklist of actions for finance staff to undertake before and after the festive holiday that will help prevent fraud or spot something out of order.The Finance Director had been acting strangely for weeks - he said this was due to work pressures in the lead up to the year-end. He was due to return from the Christmas break in the first week of January but called in ill.
Practice Management

How to avoid those pesky Gen Y stereotypes

By Phyllis Weiss HaserotThis is the fourth of a new series of regular columns by generational expert and internationally known consultant, coach, writer, and speaker Phyllis Weiss Haserot on intergenerational relations and navigating the challenges of the multi-generational workplace for better productivity, retention, succession planning, and business development results.
Practice Management

Avoiding holiday liability

The holidays should be a cheerful, festive and happy time of year. However, the holidays can provide fertile ground for potential legal liability against employers. Seemingly simple scenarios, such as employees taking time off of work for religious observance, and employers giving end-of-year bonuses and hosting holiday parties, all can have legal consequences.
Practice Management

Ensuring efficient, effective growth

By Gail Crosley, CPA The days of building business by doing good work and chatting over lunch, ending with a firm handshake, are the historical legacy of our profession. But what about the future? Don't get me wrong – CPAs like a good meal as much as ever. But these days, lasting growth is a systematic process based on proven methodologies and metrics. Public accounting has long relied on creating books of business to ensure efficient, predictable success. But things have gotten more complex, as they have throughout corporate America.
Practice Management

MAP survey results show continued growth for CPA firms

A large majority of CPA firms reported continuing strong growth during the past two years according to the 2008 National Management of Accounting Practice survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. "CPA firms continue to do well," said James C. Metzler, CPA, AICPA vice president, small firm interests.
Practice Management

Tips for Generation Y/Millennials' managers and mentors

By Phyllis Weiss HaserotThis is the third of a new series of regular columns by generational expert and internationally known consultant, coach, writer, and speaker Phyllis Weiss Haserot on intergenerational relations and navigating the challenges of the multi-generational workplace for better productivity, retention, succession planning, and business development results.
Practice Management

CCH Accounting Trends Survey highlights challenges for the future

The demands on the accounting profession have changed in unexpected ways in recent years, driven by increasing regulatory complexity, the need for specialization, the globalization of businesses, and shifting demographics. In addition to this are economic factors, which will not only challenge some firms, but will also bring new opportunities. CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business conducted a nationwide survey of accounting firms to take a closer look at the issues firms face today and the trends that will influence the profession over the next three years.
Practice Management

How to manage in a downturn: Strategies for entrepreneurs

Setting aside their original blueprint for growth agenda, three prominent entrepreneurs, guest speakers on Ernst & Young's October 14th Thought Center Webcast Strategic Growth Leadership Series, agreed to engage instead in a candid discussion on what entrepreneurs actually can control and manage in a time when they can't control the economy.
Practice

INSIDE Public Accounting names the nation's best managed accounting firms

INSIDE Public Accounting's Best of the Best recognition honors 25 firms annually for their wise management and superior operational performance in fiscal and management metrics based on 50 criteria. Another 25 firms are recognized with designations as Best of the Best Honorable Mentions. This is the 14th year INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) has named the best-managed accounting firms. Two hundred fifty firms participated in this year's IPA Annual Survey and Analysis of Firms. Each of the firms is eligible for the IPA Best of Best honor, regardless of size.
Practice

Boomers and millennials: Can we achieve mutual admiration?

By Phyllis Weiss HaserotThis is the second in a new series of regular columns by generational expert and internationally known consultant, coach, writer, and speaker Phyllis Weiss Haserot on intergenerational relations and navigating the challenges of the multi-generational workplace for better productivity, retention, succession planning, and business development results.All the generations want more respect from the others. Below are things I think are under-appreciated. Recognizing them can help to build bridges.
Practice Management

A Conversation With Betsy Nolen: The busy accountant’s best friend

Betsy Nolen is not an accountant, but at the CPA firm of Barfield, Murphy, Shank & Smith in Birmingham, Alabama, she's a VIP. Ask anyone who works there and they'll tell you that this young woman is well-loved. What does she do? For the last two years, she has filled the role of personal valet to every member of the BMSS staff, from partners to the receptionist. It all started when founding partner, John Shank read about another firm that employed a valet to help busy CPAs get through the hectic tax season with a little more peace of mind. Shank admits... he stole the idea...
Practice Management

A bad boss can send you to an early grave

By Dr. Travis BradberryIt seems there's always a steady supply of sympathy available for anyone stuck working under a bad boss. Most everyone I know has been there at one time or another, working under a tyrant who somehow manages to survive in this world without people skills. If you haven't had a boss like this, you should consider buying a lottery ticket--and I mean soon. You are that lucky.
A&A

Exceptional service is an exception to the rule

So, you don't communicate so good! How do you think people perceive you? Is it professional or is it just OK?As a business owner or a manager, you must remember that the people who work for you represent you as well. In fact they are you!Example: You have a bad meal or bad service in a restaurant and then what do you tell people - "Don't go there!" You blame the whole place for one person. You do not simply say, "Don't have Bob as your waiter," or, "Carol was a lousy hostess." You blame the entire establishment. One person is the business.
Practice

I'm not a salesperson . . . or am I?

By Lenann GardnerAs a thoracic (chest) surgeon, Aaron was used to working on hearts and lungs.He's a gifted surgeon, with a wonderful bedside manner, impeccable skills, and true caring for his patients' lives and families. But the truth was, his case volume was down, and so too was his income. What to do?Aaron was surprised to realize that he had a sales problem.
A&A

Can we talk? Surveying your prospects and clients

By Angi FisherToday more and more companies around the world understand the importance of really knowing how their customers and prospects view their organizations. They also realize that customer viewpoints can change quickly. So how do you keep informed of your customers' opinions? How do you know they're continually satisfied? That they value your company? That they feel appreciated?

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