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Practice Management

Practice Management

Inspired employees mean good customer service

Organizations that have excited and passionate people are more likely to create a service-focused culture that delivers great customer service.That's the conclusion of a new study by California-based consulting firm, The Ken Blanchard Companies, which also concludes that employees are in fact an organization's most critical customer service asset - one that requires focused development and nurturing. Research found that most organizations agree that customer loyalty is a powerful driver of organizational success and one that ties directly to the bottom line.
Technology

Teaching old blogs new tricks

Despite understanding how valuable blogging can be, many firms are still failing to fully embrace it. Marketing management provider WebTrends found that contrary to 85 percent of marketers' perceptions that an effective web presence is important in achieving sales and objectives, just 5 percent blog on a regular basis.Instead, its research showed Internet tools such as e-direct and web analytics continue to dominate. Podcasts are another medium to watch for business, says the firm, as despite relatively low usage at the moment, it registered the highest level of user satisfaction.
Practice Management

Why you should hire a training professional

Boomer Consulting is dedicated to providing visionary leadership and consulting services to accounting firms that are seeking to make more money, grow their business, and attract quality people. This article, written by Scott Morrill of Boomer Consulting, describes the author's position on how accounting firms can benefit from having a full-time training professional on staff.I recently had to ask my 8-year-old son for the correct answer to a question about dinosaurs.
Practice

Women at work: AICPA guide addresses off-ramping issues

Over the past few years, it has become clear that organizations in the financial services, accounting, and consulting industries need to focus their energies on the attraction and retention of women professionals. The talent of these individuals is essential to the success of any professional services firm, and as the below statistics will reveal, this talent pool is experiencing tremendous change.
Tax

Is your data safe? Survey reveals scandal of snooping IT staff

Results of a recent study reveal the hidden scandal of IT staff snooping at the confidential information of other employees.
Practice Management

Customer service takes a turn back to low-tech solutions

Businesses can save money with automated phone systems and online help centers, but what is the cost in terms of customer aggravation?Business owners may want to rethink their machines, with their endless lists of options, when they consider the case of online movie rental company Netflix, along with the "get human" consumer movement.Netflix has decided that offering real customer service - with real people at the end of the phone line - is a viable business option.
Technology

Intuit announces new CEO

Intuit Inc. has announced that Steve Bennett, current president and chief executive officer, will step down at the end of December 2007. Intuit's board of directors has appointed Brad Smith, current senior vice president and general manager of Intuit's Small Business Division, to succeed Bennett effective January 1."Steve Bennett has been an outstanding leader for Intuit over the last eight seasons," said Bill Campbell, chairman of Intuit's board of directors.
Practice Management

It takes two: Making mentoring work

Do you have mentoring experiences of your own, either as mentor or mentee? Please share your experiences with our readers by clicking on the Comment option below this story.They say two heads are better than one, which is why mentoring can help unlock the potential within staff looking to develop within the company. But it's not all one sided.
Practice Management

The best kept secret: How to market your firm in one easy step

What they teach you in marketing school is that marketing is a sum of the coordinated efforts of many tools. And essentially, that's true. Rarely, in marketing a practice, does only one thing work to carry the full weight of marketing. But what if you've got a small practice, and time or money to do only one thing?What if you could use only one of the many marketing tools. Which tool would be your best choice? Easy. Writing articles. And it doesn't matter whether you're a one-person office, or a partner in a major international firm. No one tool can do more for you on its own.
Practice Management

We have to stop meeting like this

With managers experiencing meeting overload, Bert van der Zwan of WebEx gives a web-conferencer’s view of why having fewer face-to-face encounters can benefit both companies and their staff. How many meetings do you attend every month? For some of us it may only be one or two, but for others a meeting every or every other day would not be an unusual state of affairs. Recent research on the subject found that on average, each working person in the UK attends almost eight meetings every month, and over 90 every year.
Practice Management

Institutional fraud is on the rise

Oversight Systems, the leading provider of automated continuous monitoring solutions, has released the results of its annual report on corporate fraud. Although the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act took effect five years ago, three out of four survey respondents feel institutional fraud is more prevalent today than it was in 2002. In addition, an eye-opening 56 percent of respondents said they have personally observed financial misconduct in the past year.
Practice

Corporate world welcomes wikis

Almost everyone who owns a computer knows about Wikipedia, the huge, do-it-yourself online encyclopedia. The software that makes Wikipedia possible is becoming increasingly easy to use, and corporate America is starting to embrace wikis as a tool for simple and swift collaboration.In fact, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales told Newsweek that the wikis are becoming mainstream, not just for "tech geeks." And in corporate settings, wikis break down barriers.
Practice Management

Financial leaders address challenges facing accounting, finance and audit professions

The future of the accounting, finance and audit professions will be largely determined by their response to escalating talent shortages and other challenges of the post-regulatory-reform era, says a distinguished group of leaders in these fields. The Robert Half International Financial Leadership Council, which includes many of the top financial minds in the United States and Canada, has recommended a number of strategies for addressing these issues.
Practice Management

'The new breed' - accountants embrace the entrepreneurial spirit

Business and practice software developer Sage claims to have discovered a "new breed" of accountant willing to embrace technology and an entrepreneurial approach to running their practice.In a survey of 267 practitioners entitled A new breed of accountant, Sage asked them to define themselves according to their growth ambitions and business aspirations in the following categories:Sole practitioner - offering traditional services to estab
Practice

How to protect data - a quick reference

The latest technologies and gadgets make it incredibly easy for your data to be stolen from right under your nose, unless you take steps to protect it.
Practice Management

Knowledge Management is all about people

Knowledge Management is all about people We don't like the unexpected. Storms, accidents, or even unexpected outcomes within our organizations. We like to be in control, we like order, and we like to predict events. The reality, however, is that organizations are nonlinear systems with behavior, like the weather, that is hard to predict.There is a confluence of events, equal to an organizational version of a perfect storm, that is brewing, and it will have consequences that are difficult to pinpoint.
Technology

Optimizing today's time and billing

Most partners would argue that, outside of the firm's tax and audit production applications, time and billing is the most mission critical program within today's tax and accounting firm. These tools have come a long way in recent years to incorporate enhanced features and processes of which many firms are not even aware. Roman Kepczyk, CPA, CITP discusses 10 time and billing best practices that should be incorporated into every firm. 
Practice

Shifting your firm’s culture: Wet Noodle or Deliberate Destiny?

We've all heard the expression, "Making changes in a firm is like trying to push a wet noodle across the table." This is especially true for firms that are busier than ever; the motivation to change just isn't there. If your firm is humming along with no need for change, congratulations, at least for now. If your firm has any of the symptoms listed below you may want to consider some of the best practices applied by firms who have made the transition from pushing the wet noodle across the table to having their staff and clients pull them in a new direction.
Practice Management

Checklist for the sale or acquisition of a closely-held company

All sales and acquisitions of closely-held companies share a general sequence of activity from inception to consummation. Phases of the process will invariably differ from transaction to transaction, but there is usually a substantial commonality of approach. Although each aspect warrants comprehensive discussion, the following is a checklist and general summary of the most material aspects warranting attention.1.
Practice Management

Using conflict as a strategic asset

Wouldn't life be easier if we could just make decisions in a vacuum and not worry about what others thought?Yes it would, but the business environment in which we operate is focused more and more on fostering teamwork. Teams increase the complexity of decision-making because they are composed of members with diverse backgrounds.Naturally, when you get a group of diverse people together to make a decision there will be conflict. However, conflict is not necessarily 100% bad.

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