Practice Management

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.
Practice

Use Your Team's Input To Increase Your Bottom Line

Your marketing efforts are bringing more business in the door. Your gross revenue has increased significantly in the past year. But somehow, you don't think your people are performing at the level they could be. Or, maybe, you need them to increase their productivity level to keep up with your new business. How do you bump up productivity without making employees feel overworked and underappreciated?Chances are, your hunch is trying to tell you something. There may be room for increased productivity with your existing employees; hiring more talent isn't always the answer.
Practice Management

It's the little phone things that really irritate clients

You've invested in service building programs, you have high firm standards for products going out to your clients, but wait! It's your phone manners that can undo your best client service efforts.Put your best phone forward. Clients appreciate prompt, courteous attention when they call your firm. Make sure they don't have to go through telephone system twister to get to you. Offer a direct line when possible. Always ensure that your clients have a backup contact in case you aren't available. Use caution if you screen phone calls.
Practice Management

Is your vision statement working?

Yes? No? Don’t know? Hey, what’s a vision statement? In many firms, vision statements are beautifully lacquered plaques that hang quietly on the wall waiting for someone to read them. The problem is for a vision to be a truly powerful communications tool for your team, you must have a strong, realistic vision statement in place.Use these tips to “grade” your current vision statement’s program effectiveness. Is it true?
Practice Management

People Before Strategy

As the accounting industry drives through consolidators, mergers & acquisitions and Big 5 fall out, your firm may be trying to change strategy or culture to keep up with the flurry of activity.
Practice Management

Report Finds Customer Relationship Management Growing Practice For IT

A report released today by the Aberdeen Group finds that Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the major growth areas for information technology professional services firms.CRM is second only to e-commerce in the fastest growing practice area in the industry, according to the report, A Guide to Customer Relationship Management Professional Services: 1999 Edition.The report provides descriptions of CRM services and associated IT companies.
Technology

Employers Find Help For Hiring Risks

The number of lawsuits associated with hiring new employees is increasing at an incredible rate and now accounts for more than one in 10 employment suits in the United States.
Practice

Cut staffing costs

Staffing can be one of your highest cost centers. Manage this expense and you'll be on your way to preserving one of your firm's most valuable assets and getting more bang for your buck. Increase training, increase retention. Commit to an employee development program and you might just increase employee loyalty. Employees respond to employer sponsored programs that make an investment in their technical, professional and personal skills. From presentation skills to management training, you have lots of ways to show employees that you are willing to invest in them. Take it outside.
Practice Management

Planning for Disaster

Is your firm prepared for a disaster? From hurricanes to earthquakes to fire, disasters come in all forms and no business is immune from their wrath. Know the basics and protect your firm's resources. Have a plan. While you can't avoid a disaster, you can certainly be prepared in case one strikes. Ensure you have backup copies of firm records and a plan to recover them once the disaster is over. Consider offsite storage so you can get your hands on important data quickly. A recovery action plan can also help guide you and your employees. Get covered.
Practice

Some Hints For Client Retention

You've heard the saying, "For every $5 dollars spent earning a new client it only takes $1 dollar to retain one." But what does that mean? It means it's smarter to keep the clients you've got happy (and sell more services to them) than to continue acquiring new clients to replace the old clients walking out the door. So, why do clients leave? Fortunately, they usually don't leave due to lack of technical proficiency.
Practice Management

Recruiting in a Tight Labor Market - Work Smarter, Not Harder

Sure, you know the accounting labor market is tight, but everyone knows that, right? Right. But knowing this doesn't give you an advantage when many of your star candidates are talking with several of your competitors. Get a competitive edge by reviving your interviewing process.In this volatile labor market, it's not a matter of whom you want, but who wants you. How do you make your firm more attractive to new recruits? Surprisingly, it's very similar to the process you use to make your firm attractive to prospective clients. · Choose the right person or committee to interview.

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