BEACH READING FOR CPAS

What do Denzel Washington, August Aquila and Troy Waugh have in common?

They have all authored books that have landed on the 2009 Recommended Reading List for CPA Firm Management, published by R.J Gallagher & Associates Inc. in Pittsburgh. "The differentiator in today's competitive marketplace is 'knowledge' and each professional needs to continue their 'thirst for knowledge,'" according to president Bob Gallagher.

Washington's A Hand to Guide Me, Aquila's Compensation as a Strategic Asset and Waugh's Power Up Your Profits: 31 Days to Better Selling are just a few named by Gallagher. The list is organized in the categories of leadership, management and marketing, and is also organized by employee rank in firms, with specific books recommended for partners, supervisors and managers, and staff and seniors.

To view the list, visit Gallagher's Web site, www.rjgallagher.com.

ELIMINATING WASTE

The best way to get lean and efficient in tough times, according to Byron Hebert, CPA and a director at PKF Texas, is to identify and get rid of waste.

In the firm newsletter, Route to Profits, Hebert said that the first area to look at is overproduction: "In a service setting, overproduction would occur when staff spends too much time on a project that can only be billed at a certain price."

Waiting is the amount of time that your service spends waiting in the system for someone to add value to it before it goes out the door to the customer, according to Hebert, who added, "If you can eliminate the waiting time by 50 percent, you can reduce your cost and improve your cash flow tremendously."

Hebert also recommends looking at inappropriate processing, and asks, "Are you using a senior executive to do a job that a staff person should be doing?"

Another area to consider - probably the biggest of all, according to Hebert - is defects. Defects happen everywhere, he writes, and most occur due to poor processes, lack of training, or lack of proper equipment.

RSM RECOGNIZED AS ADOPTION-FRIENDLY

RSM McGladrey was recently recognized for its efforts in providing outstanding adoption benefits and services by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

The foundation published its annual America's 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces list, and aside from all Big Four firms making the cut, RSM McGladrey placed 90th on this year's list.

RSM increased its adoption reimbursement from $3,000 to $5,000 in 2008. The firm also lengthened its paid time-off for adoptive mothers and fathers from three weeks to six weeks, and instituted new initiatives to help employees and their families adjust to the new addition.

WITHUMSMITH+BROWN HONORS TOP NEW JERSEY CFOS

Here's a tip for getting closer to your clients: Honor them with awards.

WithumSmith+Brown bestowed honors on more than 30 chief financial officers as presenting sponsor of the first annual CFO Awards.

The awards, which were hosted by NJBiz, a weekly New Jersey business publication, drew more than 250 business leaders and financial executives throughout the tri-state area.

GOLDSTEIN LIEBERMAN CHALLENGES BUSINESSES TO GET INVOLVED

Every little bit of help counts these days, especially when it comes to supporting community organizations. Goldstein Lieberman & Co. in Mahwah, N.J., saw this need and developed a monthly program to assist those in the area who help others.

The initiative, called the Goldstein Lieberman & Co. Cares Program, was established to do just that - and to inspire other community business to give as well.

"We knew that community associations must be especially hit hard during this downturn," said Phillip Goldstein, the firm's managing partner. "Many organizations have suffered funding cutbacks. On top of this, we've seen that donations from local businesses have dropped as commercial enterprises struggle to stay on course during tumultuous financial times."

The Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties Inc. was the recipient of the firm's donation for the month of May.

(c) 2009 Accounting Today and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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