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How to Defend Your Fees

  Advisors often ask how they should defend their fees when working with small clients who contribute the least revenue to the firm. Beverly Flaxington, a practice management consultant, suggests firms use a tier approach that classifies clients and outlines services and fees provided at each level. Remind clients during consultations of the services and values provided by your firm. ...

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Big Data = Big Opportunities

Big data offers unlimited potential to change the way business is done, for almost any type of company says Arleen Thomas, Senior Vice President of Management Accounting, at the AICPA. Management accountants can use the ever-growing amount of data to make decisions that will increase the competitive advantage of clients’ businesses.  This article discusses not only the sources of data available to the finan ...

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Managing Uncertainty for Market Advantage

Modeling Uncertainty to Gain Better Insight and Create Value Gary Lynch, founder and CEO of The Risk Management Project, proposes that uncertainty is the new normal and that firms that espouse risk management can create and preserve value. In this article, Lynch describes how his firm used quantitative models to assist a manufacturer assess how it should respond to a competitor’s price-reduction strategy an ...

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Is Strategic Planning Still Relevant?

Thoughts on How Valuation Professionals Can Recognize and Quantify the Value of Strategy What is strategic planning? How does a valuation professional adding value to the client recognize strategic planning? Quantify strategic planning? Michael Porter observes that the whole subject of strategy has become too confusing. It seems that everything is strategic; otherwise, it is not really that important. We ha ...

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Pricing on Purpose

How to Implement Value Pricing in Your Firm, Part 3 In this third article of the three-part series, Ronald Baker discusses how to implement a value pricing model and the advantages this model presents over the hourly billing model. Again, the focus is on the value provided to the customer and communicating this to clients. Read Part 1 and Part 2. ...

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Pricing on Purpose

How to Implement Value Pricing in Your Firm In this second article of the three-part series, Ronald J. Baker challenges professionals to move from value billing to value pricing. Value pricing inverts the hourly billing model by recognizing the economic facts that it is the customer who is the ultimate arbiter of value. If value is created, the customer understands that cost is secondary. ...

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Pricing on Purpose: How to Implement Value Pricing in Your Firm, Part 1

In this first of a three-part article, Ronald Baker challenges professionals to rethink how they market and price professional services. He reminds us that “[c]ustomers buy value, not hours.” Many practitioners and firms are locked into the current pricing myopia of hourly billing, which prevents professionals from getting paid what their customers believe they are worth. In this first article, Mr. Baker of ...

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The Importance of Industry Research

Understanding the different aspects of an industry is key to evaluating a company’s future performance Understanding a subject entity’s industry is a hallmark of any good valuation report. Conducting a very detailed and intense industry analysis can provide valuation analysts with specific knowledge needed to determine an appropriate conclusion of value. As a general rule, a company’s performance is commens ...

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FASB Endorses VIE Alternative for Lease Arrangements

FASB has voted to endorse a GAAP alternative to exempt private company lessees from a requirement to consolidate variable interest entities (VIE) in common control leasing arrangements.  Initiated by the Private Company Council (PCC), the exemption would be allowed under specific conditions including: Private company lessee and the lessor entity are under common control Private company holds a leasing arran ...

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E-mail 40 Times More Effective Than Social Media

In an enlightening article by McKinsey & Company, a compelling case is put forward for something you always felt was true, but couldn’t quite prove.  When it comes to marketing professional services or products, good old-fashioned email is much more effective than social media.  How much more effective is it?  The report states that email is so significant in generating new business that it’s 40 times m ...

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Effective Internal Fraud Controls

The Frontline of Fraud Risk Management Internal fraud occurs as the result of a series of weaknesses within internal control systems, which are at the top of the fraud risk management pyramid. This article defines the three essential types of internal controls, their five interrelated components, and how they can be instituted for maximum protection. ...

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Leading Your Team

How to build more personal power At some point in their careers, many executives find themselves short of the power and influence they need to get their jobs done effectively. Fortunately, these problems can usually be remedied as this article by Leslie Brokaw explains. ...

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Website vs. Social Media for Brand Destination

With the explosion of new social media platforms over the last five to seven years, a dilemma has arisen for business owners in search of new customers or clients.  Is the standard company website obsolete?  Should businesses be reaching out to potential prospects through platforms like Twitter and Pinterest?  With Facebook standing at 500 million accounts, many companies are abandoning their standalone web ...

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An App a Day

The onslaught of new phones and apps and their related potential for financial crime This article examines the high cost of convenience in regards to constantly evolving smart phones, iPads, and other personal communication device applications. The intentional (and unintentional) transfer of sensitive data between individuals happens in seconds. The author lays out the double-edged benefits of such technolo ...

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Time, Technology Devalue Blackberry Patents

BlackBerry’s patent portfolio is one of the most diverse in the technology industry and is possibly the company’s most valuable asset. Sifting through its thousands of patents reveals a host of innovations in all areas of mobile technology, ranging from user interfaces to battery efficiency and data compression. Some 80 per cent of BlackBerry’s patents are the result of the company’s own research efforts. ...

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Quarantines

A cheap price of admission for electronic client files Everyone understands the risk their firm faces from hackers and cyber thieves lurking in the shadowy places of the Internet. What they might not know is that the greatest, and most common, technology threat is posed by their own clients. In this article, the author retells the story of how his entire business data system was taken down by a trusted clie ...

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Survey: Business Development Now Tops Forensic and Valuation Services Practitioners’ List of Concerns

Business development concerns outpacing technical issues A new survey by the AICPA reveals that priorities for forensic and valuation services (FVS) professionals have changed significantly in just the last three years. The report details what’s most important to them today and why it may not have as much to do with the economy as you think. ...

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