Practice Management

Practice Management

Tips on Collecting Receivables

The end of tax season for a CPA firm marks the end of a 90-day sprint and the beginning of what most firms hope to be their biggest cash payoff of the year.However, many firms get caught in the receivables trap, and what should be a windfall for the firm turns into slow paying clients, accounts receivable headaches and frustrated owners.Here are some tips to help you collect the money your clients owe.
A&A

GASB Issues Deposit And Investment Risk Disclosures Standard

Press ReleaseIn an effort to provide the public with better information about the risks that could potentially impact a government’s ability to provide services and pay its debts, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has published Statement No. 40, Deposit and Investment Risk Disclosures, an amendment of GASB Statement No. 3. The Statement amends GASB Statement No.
Practice

Ex-Con Tells How Auditors Fail to Help Clients Guard Against Fraud

Mark Morze is in the news pretty often. Reason: He has the dubious distinction of having perpetrated one of the biggest and most brazen financial frauds in American history. While the 1980s may seem like ancient history to many, it was the decade in which the ZZZZ Best carpet-cleaning company soared and crashed, leaving a twisted trail of criminal devastation that took prosecutors, regulators and judges years to sort out.
Practice Management

The Laser Approach - Increase Your Networking Techniques

Always begin with the phrase "You know how" followed by a couple of common problems your clients normally experience. Then follow up by saying, "What I do is" and continue with several key points, benefits or value propositions as to how your product or service solves these problems. For example, if you are a consultant, you can say, "You know how some businesses experience poor staff performance and productivity which can wind up costing the company time and money?" Allow the person to respond, demonstrating you have their attention and they are interested in what you have to say.
Practice

European Commission Dashes Hopes For Audit Liability Caps

With a declaration that unlimited liability on auditors is a "quality driver," the European Commission has all but closed the door on any discussion of limiting the size of lawsuits that can be levied against accounting firms that perform public audits.Last month, AccountingWEB reported that a move was on to lobby the European Commission - the executive arm of the European Union - to cap the legal liability of auditing firms.
Practice Management

Free Report: 'Q&A on Exempt Vs. Non-Exempt'

One of the most confusing and problematic issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is who is exempt and who is not, especially when it comes to overtime. Answer this question right, and an employer could save millions. But answer this question wrong, and an employer could be pushed into a never-ending nightmare of fines and lawsuits that will eat away at a company's bottom line. The free report, Q&A On Exempt Vs.
Practice

'The Dog Ate My Suit' And Other Creative Excuses From Tardy Employees

Everyone's had them -- mornings when what can go wrong does. In a recent survey, executives revealed the most unusual explanations they've heard from tardy employees -- everything from pet-related problems to long lines at the coffee shop. Accountemps, the temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals, developed the survey.
Practice Management

Tips on Managing People From David Maister

By David MaisterThe right way to give a critique.The worst thing you can do if you want to get somebody to listen to you is to criticize him or her. As human beings we hate being criticized. When attacked we attack back. And we attack even when we are in the wrong. Right or wrong has nothing to do with it. Many of us fall into the trap of thinking 'I know I am right, so I'm going to tell the others how silly they are!' It's tempting, but doesn't work. If you have the self-control and the presence of mind to put aside your own ego-needs, and say, 'I've got a problem.
Practice Management

Five Steps Employers Can Take to Minimize Employment Liability

by Stuart R. Buttrick, Baker & DanielsThe number of discrimination lawsuits increases every year. They’re taking more time to resolve through the judicial process and becoming more costly to defend, and juries (especially in the post-Enron era) are awarding bigger awards to employees.
Practice Management

Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? (Part 3)

Continued from "Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? Part 2"WHEN DO PEOPLE EMBEZZLE OR ABUSE THE COMPANY? Generally, three things have to be present before someone commits fraud or embezzles: need, opportunity, and rationalization. This is known as the "triangle of fraud." (See Figure 1.)Need takes two forms—direct and indirect. Direct need is stealing to fund cash needs and is often driven by an addiction—drugs, alcohol, gambling, or an extramarital affair.
Practice Management

CEO Incentives Fail to Boost Company Performance

The topic of CEO compensation has taken center stage recently with news about top executives becoming incredibly wealthy even though they did little for their company’s stockholders. Over the years boards have supported incentive-heavy packages for CEOs by rationalizing that what’s good for the executive is good for the company.
Practice Management

How Am I Doing? Employees Want To Know!

By Bruce L. Katcher, Ph.D. President of The Discovery GroupTHE PROBLEM:Our research shows that employees crave performance feedback but that their supervisors are doing a poor job of giving it to them. 60 percent of employees say that they don't receive ongoing feedback about their job performance throughout the year.Here are some reasons why supervisors avoid providing feedback: 
Practice

Tax Professionals Can Now E-File Employment Tax Forms

Tax professionals are able to file employment taxes for business clients for the first time as part of a new Employment Tax e-filing System offered by the Internal Revenue Service.The IRS expects the e-file upgrades will continue to reduce the paperwork burden on small businesses.
Community News

CPA Firm Sold to Employees

Question: How do you get the employees of a CPA firm to treat the business as their own? Answer: Sell the business to them through an Employee Stock Ownership Program. That’s exactly what Minneapolis-based HLB Tautges Redpath Ltd. did earlier this month.One hundred percent of the ownership of the firm will be redistributed from the partners to the 85 employees under the ESOP plan.
Practice Management

Protect Your Business Against Employee Fraud

Employee theft is surprisingly common and can devastate your business. Consequently, it is worthwhile to put an anti-theft program into place, which includes internal auditing and monitoring.
Practice Management

Majority of Private Companies Adopting Corporate Governance Changes

A newly released survey of private companies in the United States indicates that although the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is primarily geared towards public companies, 58% of private companies are instituting changes to ensure greater control of their accounting processes."Although recent changes to accounting regulations have been directed toward public companies, privately held firms are also closely scrutinizing financial processes in the wake of corporate scandals," said Paul McDonald, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources who sponsored the survey.
Community News

Ways to Develop an Incentive Program

By Gregory P. Smith Disney World has more than 240 reward and incentive programs in place. All good businesses have at least one or two. Incentive programs serve a specific purpose. Some programs show appreciation to employees. Other programs are designed to improve performance and create behaviors management would like to see. No matter what type of program you have or want, designing the program is critical to its success.Focus on the desired behavior needed or the goal of the program. Begin with a clear, briefly-stated objective.
Practice

Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? (Part 2)

Continued from "Are You Teaching Your Employees to Steal? Part 1"FRAUD AND ABUSE ARE COSTLYFraud and abuse cost the U.S. economy $400 billion a year. That translates into 6% of revenue or $9 per day, per employee. And relatively speaking, small companies are at a higher risk of fraud than large companies. Why? Because small companies don’t have as sophisticated systems of internal controls as large companies.
Practice Management

FASB Chairman is Bullish on Fair Value

If U.S. accounting practices swing to fair value, it will be in large part due to the efforts of Robert Herz, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), according to an article in the February issue of CFO magazine.
Practice Management

IRS Increases Criminal Investigations of Tax Return Preparers

The Internal Revenue Service more than doubled the number of criminal investigations of preparers of federal tax returns in 2002 compared to the previous fiscal year, according to figures released by IRS Criminal Investigation.In Fiscal Year 2002, 254 investigations were initiated, compared to 116 the year before. More cases were referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution – 89 in FY 2002, up from 73 the year before.

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