Practice Management

Practice

Top Ten Steps To Effective Delegation

Executives and managers are often left feeling frustrated when their staff doesn't perform a task the way they expected. This can be eliminated by sharpening your communication and filling in the gaps that are often left open for interpretation. Here are some guidelines.Step 1. Know what the task is.Step 2. Have the end result/desired outcome you want to produce in mind.Step 3. Find the person you need to delegate to and give them the task.Step 4. Share with them the results you desire.Step 5. Ask and inform them why it's important.
Practice Management

SEC Releases MD&A Guidance for 2001 Reports

Responding to a petition by the Big Five accounting firms, the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a statement entitled Commission Statement about Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.The SEC's statement contains suggested steps that public companies should take when preparing disclosures.
Practice Management

Deloitte Reveals Best Boardroom Strategies for CFOs

An informal survey by Financial Executives International Research Foundation indicates chief financial officers (CFOs) expect tough boardroom sessions this year. Senior audit partners for Deloitte & Touche (D&T) offered practical advice during a teleconference co-sponsored by the Foundation on January 17, 2002.
Technology

New Options For Electronic Delivery of Sensitive Documents

Email has made it so much easier to communicate with clients and employees, but with the increase in the use of e-mail comes the concern of sending sensitive documents.Whether you are a CPA sending tax information back and forth to your clients, or a company trying to pass invoices to your customers, secure, private delivery of these documents is paramount to your relationship.A new service called Vault Inbox was introduced this week as one possible commercial solution to the problem faced by e-
Practice Management

Homestore.com Trips on Barter Accounting; Who's Next?

U.S. retail and property service Homestore.com joins the list of companies investigating possible accounting irregularities. In a recently-filed Form 8-K, the company said that it expects to restate its nine-month financial results and reduce the revenue figure by as much as $95 million to better reflect the nature of on-line advertising transactions that should have been accounted for as barter transactions.
Practice Management

Improve Profitability Through Efficient Scheduling

This article written by Steven T. Erickson CPA, CVA Consultant-Advisor to Professional Service Firms.In these days of personnel shortages, high labor costs and the resulting price-cost squeeze, you might want to take some of your own good advice to maximize the profitability of your firm.Gross revenue measures (realization percentage, billed rate per hour, etc.) are not the most useful tools to manage your practice when rapidly escalating personnel costs can’t be passed on to the client.
Practice Management

Generation X Study Offers New Answers to Old Questions

Big Five firm Ernst & Young and General Electric teamed up to sponsor a study of the thoughts and ideals of Generation X professionals in the workplace.
Practice Management

Estate Planning Services on The Rise

The September 11 terrorist attacks, which cut down thousands of people in their prime, have caused many Americans to examine what would happen to their families if they were to die unexpectedly.
Practice Management

Rate Your Prospects

By Troy Waugh, Waugh & CO, Inc.With a powerful and focused marketing and sales program that generates many leads, the partners find themselves meeting with prospects regularly. The partners’ focus at the initial meetings with a prospect is to understand the prospect’s business and the issues of the company. For example, if the business is not related to a niche in which the firm has expertise, a red flag goes up. If the business is calendar year or price driven, the partners begin to question their capacity to handle the client.
Practice Management

E&Y Bursts Outsourcing Bubble

The trend of outsourcing key functions in the financial services sector has a long-term negative impact on shareholder value, Ernst & Young has found.Senior executives from 26 leading financial service companies said that since they have outsourced major parts of their operations they appreciated the short-term cost saving, but admitted that it could mean a loss of control in their relationship with the customer.Companies are increasingly outsourcing activities that have traditionally been regarded as core, such as check processing, loan administration, and fund management, the study sai
Practice Management

Warning Signs of an Impending Liability Claim

The Ohio CPA Journal has published an in-depth article explaining the likelihood of CPAs being faced with liability claims and how risk can be mitigated.The article suggests that working with a risk advisor can increase the odds of: avoiding a claimcontrolling the situationkeeping a lid on damages, orprevailing when litigation occurs.The article explains the expectations of insurance companies, and offers six warning signs of an impending claim:Clients who won't payUncooperative clientsFraud/embezzlement defalcation
Practice Management

KPMG Makes Advances in U.S. Legal Arena

Accounting firms have been hiring lawyers for years. In the United States, however, lawyers and accountants are not allowed to share a practice, offering both legal and accounting services out of the same office. Outside of the United States it's a different story. Accounting firms in much of the rest of the world provide legal services to clients.
Practice Management

Ernst & Young Goes Forward with Law Practice

According to a report in Legal Week, Ernst & Young has initiated its law capacity in this country with a New York connection to law firm Donahue & Partners. Eberhard Rohm, formerly of U.S. firm Fulbright & Jaworski, has joined Donahue & Partners as the firm's managing partner.Mr. Rohm indicated that the alliance conforms with New York State Bar rules which allow American law firms to have a "side by side" alliance with accountants.
Practice Management

Trend: Firms Ban Use of Hand-Held Phones in Vehicles

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against a Washington, D.C. law firm after one of the firm's lawyers hit and killed a pedestrian while driving and talking on a cell phone.A broker for Salomon Smith Barney ran a red light and killed a motorcyclist while trying to retrieve a dropped cell phone. The firm settled a lawsuit related to the matter for $500,000."The recent lawsuit focused our attention," said David Fuss, partner at Washington, D.C. law firm Wilkes Artis.
Practice Management

E&Y Expands Reach to Online Customers

According to a report on CNET, financial services provider FinancialOxygen has added tax and accounting services provided by Ernst & Young to the mix of services available on FinancialOxygen's BankOxygen e-bond Web site.BankOxygen provides online trading, products, and services to 21,000 independent banks, thrifts, and credit unions.Ernst & Young will provide its Online Tax Advisor and Accounting & Auditing Toolk
Practice Management

Building a Successful Technology Team

By Sandra L. Wiley, Boomer Consulting, Inc.A crucial element to success in technology is leadership and making progress towards established action plans and goals. You might think that I am going to talk about the Managing Partner or the Technology Partner’s role in the process, but you would only be partially correct. In the area of technology, one person does not make things happen. It must be a team effort. In many firms you will hear this group referred to as the Technology Committee. I like to refer to it as the Technology Team.
Practice Management

Guide to The Management of The Professional Services Firm

Many professional service firms measure their performance based primarily on financial measurements, such as the total number of hours billed, revenue generated per partner or net income per partner. But there are at least three other worthwhile ways in which to measure firm performance, besides the commonly-used, financial perspective. These other methods are: The Client Perspective: "How do our customers see us?" For instance, if a CPA firm says it is concerned about meeting the clients' needs, it should be measuring key indicators relating to the client.
Practice

FASB Issues Statement on Asset Retirement Obligations

The Financial Accounting Standards Board today issued Statement #143, Accounting for Asset Retirement Obligations.Originally initiated seven years ago to deal with nuclear decommissioning, the scope of the project has been expanded over the years to include the accounting for similar closure costs of other assets at any time during their life.According to the FASB press release, the standard requires entities to record the fair value of a liability for an asset retirement obligation in the period in which it
Practice

SEC May Start Curtailing Pro Formas

For years, companies have used pro forma statements as a means of better comparing previously reported financial statements with current statements where circumstances have changed significantly, as in a merger or acquisition.But recently, companies have been using pro forma statements to reflect what they believe to be the "true" financial health and well being of the company, taking into consideration various assets that may not appear on traditional accounting books, such as brand loyalty, market share, patents and other intellectual property.It is through this pro forma reporting pro
Practice Management

Indiana Joins Others in Allowing Non-CPA Ownership of Firms

In case you missed it earlier last month, the Indiana state legislature has passed a law which allows non- CPAs to own 49 percent of a firm, minimizes barriers to CPAs practicing in more than one state, and relaxes requirements to become a CPA.Indiana is just the latest in a number of states to have radically changed the way a CPA firm ownership is structured.By allowing non-CPA ownership, firms can better compete by attracting workers through stock options, and other equity models.

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