Practice Management

Practice Management

CPAs Can Brush Up on Tax Strategies for Small Business Owners

In today's accounting marketplace, more and more CPAs and other professionals are getting further and further away from taxation and advise strategies for the small business owner.Some end-of-year tax planning will indeed help any situation, be it that of the CPA or a client. For example, by gathering together last year's tax statement, along with a projection of 1999, you can adequately take a look at where you may or may not be headed regarding the 1999 tax bill.Some strategies for small business boil down to the calendar itself, such as sending out invoices after Jan.
Practice Management

Donations Good for Business and Goodwill

CPAs and accounting professionals try to teach their clients and employers each year the value of charitable donations and the tax breaks associated with regular giving programs. But what about applying some of this philosophy to their own businesses-as well as some of the intangible benefits, like reputation management?Each year, millions of businesses donate to charities and find themselves in a better position, not only from a tax standpoint, but in self-promotions as well.
Practice Management

Meeting Madness

I’ve spent almost a quarter of my waking business life in meetings. If you are doing business in corporate America, I’d bet that you are being “meetinged to death,” too. Meetings aren’t bad, though. They are somewhat necessary. However, bad meetings aren’t necessary at all. Ever been to a meeting where the facilitator didn’t know what he/she wanted to accomplish? “Yes!” I understand.
Practice

Listen Carefully

Active listening takes more than perking up your ears. Follow these tips to ensure you are putting your best ear forward!Be here and now.Resist distractions. Try to focus on the person talking to the exclusion of noises and interruptions.Do one thing – listen. Don’t do five things at once. The person with whom you are talking deserves your undivided attention.Let them “see” you listening. Communicate that you are listening by leaning forward slightly, focusing on your speaker’s face, and not glancing away too often.Put yourself in your speaker’s shoes.
Practice Management

Going Online to Recruit Employees

Most CPA firms and businesses who hire CPAs and accountants know that finding good employees to fill positions takes time and patience. Placing newspaper want ads is one way to go, but in today's fast-paced, technology-driven world, going online to find employees makes sense for many reasons.Over the last two years, according to the American Management Association, just over half to 70 percent of all companies across the United States advertised jobs and recruited employees over the Internet. Why? Cost and convenience.
Practice Management

Turnkey IT Solutions Available Through Outsourced Options

Doing more with less seems to be the norm in today's small business. As unemployment statistics continue to be the lowest America has seen in a long time, outsourcing by small and medium-size businesses continues to be a viable option, especially in the IT arena.Two new California-based companies called Everdream Corp. and CenterBeam Inc. are examples of outsource options that can handle any matter related to technology, for a monthly fee.
Technology

Playing Big Brother

Time is money. Accounting firm owners know this as well as anyone. But what happens when Internet access gobbles up your firm’s precious time? Employers looking to play Big Brother and keep a check on Internet activity in their companies have several options. One solution is to completely limit access to the Internet. The problem with this idea is that it also limits your employees’ resources. Some employers are setting up Internet stations where employees can log on for specific projects. These stations are usually set up side by side and offer the employee little privacy.
Practice Management

The "Fun" Factor in Today's Workplace

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. What wrong with having fun … nothing, not even if you're at work!The workplace at the end of the Century is anything but dull. Gone are the dramatics associated with corporate politics, white button-down shirts or blouses, and the staunch quiet, labor-intensive drudgery associated with the '80s.
Practice Management

Sick Days Made Healthy: It Takes More Than Chicken Soup

It's Monday morning and one of your auditors just called in sick … again. For years, human resource professionals have reported in the business marketplace that employee wellness is a chief concern, and that compounded sick days only add negatively to a company's bottom line.For example, more than half of all employees in America's workforce have blood cholesterol levels of 200 mg or higher, while a quarter of all workers are sedentary during their leisure or off-work time.
Practice Management

Financial Advisory Specialists - Take Note

An innovative two-day conference hosted by the Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors (AMAA) and organized at the request of CPAs and other financial advisors and consultants who want to better serve the corporate financial advisory needs of private business owners will be held in Chicago November 4-5, 1999.The National Conference on Corporate Financial Advisory Services for CPAs is sponsored By:National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA)and The Quantum Alliance Companies:-
Practice Management

Never Make a Cold Call Again

Does this sound like a goal that’s too good to be true? It’s not, and you can make it part of your selling strategy. By learning the components of effective networking you can never make a cold call again. You also decrease the time it takes to close deals. The research on networking says that each person is connected through family, business or hobbies to a network of 250 people. Building your network should be your first priority, and here’s how to work the net.Where do I go? Networking opportunities abound. Begin with your neighbors and friends.
A&A

Insurance is a Back Burner Issue for Home Businesses

Home businesses are here to stay, and the accounting profession is one of a number of service industries capitalizing on operating a business at home.CPAs and accounting professionals who operate from their homes, as well as those in a position to advise their clients on financial matters, should have enough insurance coverage to survive a natural or man-made disaster.Standard homeowners policies may not be adequate because they do not include provisions for business liabilities or business interruptions.
Practice Management

Program To Certify Bookkeepers Now Available

Bookkeepers who want to beef up their resume with certification can stop searching for the vehicle to do it. Sylvan Prometric, the global leader in computer-based testing, has teamed with The American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers (AIPB) to offer the first test that offers certification for bookkeepers.The test, dubbed the Certified Bookkeeper (CB) Examination, tests accounting, tax and payroll skills.
Practice Management

Ernst & Young Report Reveals CRM Money is Being Spent Without Understanding Client Needs

Is your firm spending money on customer relationship management (CRM) without understanding client needs or profitability? According to the findings of Ernst & Young's Eighth Annual Special Report on Technology in Financial Services, many financial services firms are doing exactly that.Survey results revealed that CRM spending increased 31 percent in 1999 even as technology spending slowed. Yet 63 percent of the respondents weren't sure if their CRM strategies were increasing or decreasing profitability.
Practice

Firm Newsletters Make Strong Statement but may Require More Than Meets the Eye

For years, CPAs in public accounting have relied on third-party organizations for their newsletters, and in many cases, this arrangement works quite well. The result is a combination of stock stories mixed with some personalization, sent to a firm's clients as part of the overall marketing plan.Those who prefer to do things on their own may find that creating their own newsletter requires a bit more than spit and polish.
Practice Management

Creativity in Client Holiday Gifts Creates Lasting Image

It's never too early to plan ahead for the holidays. This year, to create a long-lasting impression and stand head and shoulders above the crowd (or other client contacts), employ a bit of creative spirit in gift giving.There are probably as many examples of what professionals can do as uneaten fruitcakes. Still, how about forgetting the typical "Seasons Greeting" card and focusing on a Thanksgiving or New Years wish?Piles of popcorn and skids of other eatables that contribute to the battle of the bulge pile up, so how about a donation to a client's favorite charity instead?
Practice

Albert Einstein's Theory of Selling

Did you know that Albert Einstein had a theory on selling? He said, “Doing things the same way you always have and expecting the results to be different is insanity.” He may not have realized it at the time, but what better theory to apply to selling? Selling is complex and we face many challenges. We think that doing what we’ve always done is a strategy for success. Yet the choices we make are critical to our success. As your upcoming new year unfolds, what are you planning to do? Is it more insanity or getting different results?Doing it. What do you want to do different?
Practice

Plan to Take it all With you in Times of Disaster

We know that natural disasters can strike at any time, evidenced by the recent collection of devastating hurricanes. Regardless of where you live, threats of fire, earthquakes, hurricanes and mudslides could force you to evacuate your office or home in a matter of minutes.So, what do you take with you if you have only five minutes to collect important items and leave? Planning ahead is the key to success in this situation.
Practice Management

Develop A Marketing Plan That Works

Now that you know where you are and where you want to go. Let’s create the map to get you there!Research, Research, ResearchResearch is never the most fun, but it’s very important to the success of your marketing plan. Once you have your targets on paper, you can focus your research to find out if another firm is already the market leader in that arena. You may decide that you would rather tackle another area where local competitors don’t already have such a strong foothold. You also need to understand your target. What do they want? What do they value?
Practice Management

Phone System Options are Unlimited

Chocolate, Vanilla or Strawberry? Just as flavors abound in today's ice cream store or freezer case, options for telephone systems are as boundless as the bandwidth they encompass.A small CPA firm that has outgrown its existing telephone system is behind the times - shouting across the office won't quite do the trick. Convenience and capacity go hand in hand to deliver user-friendly solutions for employees, managers and partners.

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