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Practice Management

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.
Practice Management

HR Exec Magazine Selects Top Training Tools

Looking for some useful workplace legal training products for your organization?
Practice

Advisory Boards Increase Ideas and Cost Next to Nothing

CPAs working in small- to medium-size practices and other endeavors essentially are working in the small business arena. Money and time can often be tight, especially when the company or firm isn't billing time or selling a product.One way to increase ideas, brainstorm solutions and throw ideas back and forth is to form an advisory board.Advisory boards cost nothing, and unlike boards of directors, are not held legally or financially accountable for the company's outcome.
Practice

The Rent vs. Buy Scenario for Office Furniture

Cars are leased, and in many cases, makes more sense than purchasing, so why not lease other items too—like furniture? There are inherent advantages in renting furniture versus buying it, and in the world of accounting, it very much may make sense to consider the rental alternative.Many practices are seasonal in nature—and the arrival of tax season often brings temporary staff. As a result, renting office furniture enables a practice to preserve capital by minimizing upfront expenses.
Practice Management

Develop A Marketing Plan That Works - Part 2

You now know what a marketing plan is and isn’t. Let’s get started!A marketing plan is your map to results. To use any map, you first must figure out where you are now and where you want to go.Where are you now?? Define who you are as a firm. How have you positioned your firm in the marketplace? Are you the “nice” accountants? Are you the “different” accountants?? What is your firm’s business philosophy or approach to business?? What are your firm’s competitive strengths and weaknesses??
Practice Management

Develop A Marketing Plan That Works

Does your firm have a marketing plan? Do you know where it is? If your firm's marketing plan is sitting on a shelf, if you aren't getting the new business results you want, if you have a plan and don't know what to do with it - read on. A well-developed marketing plan can put you on the road to results.Like any other good instruction manual, we must start at the beginning. Let's get rid of any misconceptions you may have. What A Marketing Plan IsA well-defined marketing plan is your firm's road map to results.
Practice Management

Do your web site visitors get a virtual gold mine or the shaft?

You've seen them. The web sites that have more going on than a three-ring circus. It flashes, it plays music, and it blinks. But does it communicate with its visitors? Web sites that take advantage of the latest technology but leave old-fashioned communication at the door are missing the boat.Follow these guidelines to ensure your site's not one of them.· Talk to your audience. Know who you are talking to and speak to them in their language. Whether it's recruits or client prospects, make sure you communicate a clear, consistent message.
Practice Management

The Fog Of Value Added Selling

When you hear the expression value added do you conjure up foggy images of something good, but a concept that is not quite specific? This article will cut through the fog of value added jargon. Here are specific ideas of what value added selling can do to increase your business.What is it? The definition of value added that fuels our selling creativity comes from the experience of an executive who visited Epcot Center. He went to learn about customer satisfaction. He always believed that customers should be given more than they expect, but he had a fuzzy notion of what that was.
Practice Management

One-Button Disaster Recovery Available For Small, Medium Businesses

As accounting professionals, we live and die by bits and bytes of computer data. If you lost all computer systems in your firm, do you know what it would take to get your firm back "online?"Hewlett-Packard does. The worldwide market leader in tape backup solutions just recently announced that its One-Button Disaster Recovery (OBDR) system now can be utilized by many of the leading servers used in small- to medium-sized businesses. Among those supported: Acer, Compaq, Dell and IBM. ARCserve IT for NT is scheduled to support OBDR by October.
Practice Management

Sell Like A Harley

Everyone knows Harley-Davidson. You need to wait in line if you want one of their motorcycles. And you'll pay a premium for your hog because they're so popular. Maybe you forgot when no one wanted to buy them. In 1981 when AMF tried to sell them, not one company offered to buy them. That's quite a turn around from no one wanting you, to everyone who wants you standing in line. Their strategy for turning their business around has some powerful seeds of wisdom that can help us grow our businesses.Know your business.
Practice Management

Survey Finds Companies Rewarding "Y2K Weekend" Staff

Information systems professionals working the weekend of December 31 through January 2 can forget that New Year's party. In lieu of spirits and camaraderie, however, they may receive extra pay, compensatory time off, and other special privileges. A new survey by William M.

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