Practice Management

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?
A&A

Individuals and home businesses: A survival plan for important documents

When storms ravage the country, we often concentrate on how lucky we are if we're not in the path of the storm, but fail to consider the possibility that the next storm might just be a direct hit. Before you find yourself bailing out the basement, try re-examining your own readiness to react, should catastrophe strike your home.Most of us know what to grab should we need to evacuate on short notice and many of us have these items in an easily accessible location, ready to be loaded into the car in five minutes’ time.
Practice

From Boomers to Gen X and Y: How and what to communicate

By Phyllis Weiss HaserotThis is the start 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. Communication is a key sticking point, so we start with very specific tips to increase rapport and understanding.
Practice Management

The business discipline of practice growth

"Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."-- Thomas EdisonBy Gale Crosley, CPAPromising opportunities may not be sporting overalls at your firm, but it's likely a number of them have successfully camouflaged themselves from you and your partners! Sure, you're busy these days, but sheer momentum isn't enough to guarantee long-term sustainable growth. For that you need an orderly approach to opportunity planning.New Attitude
Practice Management

Seven ways to make sure your workforce investment is paying big dividends

Now that the economy is dragging and business is tight, it's more important than ever to get maximum return from your employees. Change management expert Morrie Shechtman tells you how.It's no secret that the economy is barely limping along. And whether or not your company is feeling the pinch, the downturn is making you scrutinize your employees with a skeptical eye. Is Anthony really working or is he goofing off? Why does Stacey hole up in her office and never speak to anyone? And as for Edward, he seems even more hostile than usual these days.
Education & Careers

For young accountants, communication is key to developing successful client relationships

For many new accountants, landing a first job or getting to know the culture of a firm can be a major accomplishment. But in today's tight economic times, it is a new accountant's client development skills that will help him or her stand out from the pack and get on the fast track at a firm.Of course, there are the tried-and-true methods. Network with fellow accountants, join professional organizations, and dress the part if you want to be taken seriously as an up-and-comer.
Practice Management

Is golf just “A good walk spoiled” or a premier business tool?

To some, golf is just a boring waste of time. To others, it's an expensive hobby masquerading as a sport. Mark Twain called it "a good walk spoiled." But whatever your attitude towards golf, this is one endeavor that may have the power to multiply your business success. Not only is golf an excellent place to network and to build relationships with clients and prospects, some fans view a round of golf as a window into the soul of a fellow player, both in business and in life.
Practice

Real world education: Tips for workplace training

Formal education is a finite exercise, it ends with graduation or certification, although there is no limit on the number of degrees and diplomas a person can earn. Learning, however, never ends. In fact, long-term success in business demands that individuals continue learning, but not always through continued formal education.
A&A

Staying top of mind (without being a pain in the neck)

By John Doerr"And if you can't be with the one you love, honey, love the one you're with,love the one you're with, love the one you're with, love the one you're with...."- Stephen StillsWhy does it seem that our clients (and prospects) too often take the advice of seventies rock stars when selecting their professional services providers? Perhaps the following story will shed some light.I Just Awarded that Assignment…
Practice

Top 10 lead generation mistakes made by professional services

By John DoerrWilliamson: [handing Roma lead cards] I'm giving you three leads... Ricky Roma: Three? No, I count two. Williamson: There's three leads there...Ricky Roma: I'm waiting for the new leads. - Glengarry Glenn Ross, David Mamet 1992Leads, leads, leads. It seems it is all about leads once the referrals and the circle of family and friends aren't enough to keep our firms growing.
A&A

Is the Perfect Employee Really Out There?

In today's competitive job market, small business owners often find themselves feeling the odds are against them in finding the right employee. Positions in accounting, information technology (IT) and sales are increasingly in high demand and require businesses to have human resource tools that are both competitive and strong enough to bring in the best possible recruits.While you may be wondering if that perfect employee really exists, there are some things you can do to be ready if and when the time comes and they walk through your front door.
Practice Management

Lean & not mean: Simple management most effective

By Matt HenkesThinking lean when it comes to running a company can bring significant advantages.Lean thinking is all about maximizing performance efficiency and end product or service value through the elimination of waste. The philosophy was originally developed for the automotive manufacturing industry, but experts claim that its applications are far wider.
A&A

Daily habits for developing the art of leadership

Many people are born leaders, yet the ability to lead is actually an art and an amazing collection of skills which can be learned and sharpened. The following top ten daily habits will help you and/or your clients grow as a leader personally, professionally, and spiritually.
Practice Management

How much are you leaving on the table because of mediocre pricing?

By Ronald J. BakerOne of the most frustrating aspects of teaching Value Pricing to professionals is their tendency to believe that customers have to be part of the change process. This is demonstrably false. Customers may have to be convinced of a firm's value in order to accept it's price, but customers should not be expected to be participants in changing a profession's (or industry's) pricing strategies, any more than they should be expected to innovate new products and services.
Practice

Old computers, unwanted mail: Get rid of them without harming the environment

Everyone knows that reduce, reuse, recycle are the watchwords for the green movement, but transferring those goals into a busy office environment may seem daunting.It doesn't have to be that way. One big problem for many CPA firms is getting rid of old computers. They're an environmental hazard because of the lead and mercury inside, and the data on the hard drives represents a security risk. What to do?Here are a few options, as suggested by Network World. Companies can get a small tax write-off by donating old computers to a nonprofit organization, such as the United Way.
Technology

10-minute checklist for reviewing your firm's Web site

For many firms, the Web site is your client's first introduction to you. Is it possible that information on your Web site is out of date or that the material has not been changed for months? Does your Web site have the look of a static site that is just a placeholder online, a location where users can find your address and phone number and little more?
Practice Management

TSCPA and AICPA's PCPS join forces again for National Map Survey

PCPS (AICPA Private Companies Practice Section) and the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) are pleased to introduce the new and improved PCPS/TSCPA National MAP Survey for 2008. The Survey's rich history makes it the leading benchmarking survey for the CPA profession.
Practice

10 ideas for getting your board involved

The board of any organization can make an enormous contribution to planned giving, and it can do so in a variety of ways. According to Philip M. Purcell, vice president for planned giving and endowment stewardship at the Ball State University Foundation, involving board members in planned giving is an ongoing challenge but one that is necessary.
Practice

How to handle difficult people

A bully at your work is difficult for you to face. He is demanding you do part of his job without pay or credit. How do you handle it?Your neighbors are constantly fighting. They wake you up in the middle of the night with their screams and curses. What do you say to them?Your father is unhappy about your career choice. He constantly criticizes your work and points out what he thinks you should do. How do you deal with him?
Practice Management

Work/life balance - the impossible dream?

By Steve McIntyre-SmithI don't know how many readers might have fallen into some of the traps I used to when I was in public accounting, but here are a few scenarios to which I fell prey. Let's see how many of them might be familiar to you:It's 5:15 p.m. on a Wednesday. You promised you'd be home in time to have dinner with the family before going to your youngest child's piano recital.

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