Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Keep Your Job: A Primer

Ah, Labor Day weekend! The traditional end to another glorious (hopefully) summer.

Elementary and secondary students prepare for another year (at least here in the Northeast)  a sure signal that your daily newspapers will approach the size of Al Gore’s waistline, stuffed with back-to-school circulars and specials- and the hope that you can squeeze out those last few outdoor grillings before the first frosts settle in.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is Your Star Fading?

The other day I came across a fascinating slideshow feature on one of the news websites, on fading restaurant chains – brands that years ago, enjoyed highly profitable heydays, but now whose best years are clearly behind them.

Remember The Ground Round? (Where else could an economically challenged college student get a burger and a large beer for under $8)? How about Sambo's? (Ah, those late night breakfasts!) Bennigan's? (Loved those hanging ferns and Tiffany lamps). Steak and Ale? (A must if you were lucky enough to convince that office girl on your first job to have dinner with you). Burger Chef? Mr. Donut? Chi-Chi's? (Terrific salsa, which by the way is still sold in retail outlets). No doubt many of you spent a dollar or two or three at these establishments, replete with culinary memories or special occasions. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Cheat on your Taxes? Take a Cab!

The state of New York to no one’s surprise can be maddeningly slow when it comes to government-related matters.

Whether it’s archaic legislation that needs to be changed or the umpteenth civil engineering project that’s months and even years overdue and millions of dollars over budget, residents of the Empire State have become more or less resigned to the glacial pace of bureaucracy in its capital city of Albany.

But giving credit where and when credit is due, I have to laud a recent proposal  from the Department of Taxation and Finance that captured some local headlines for what I consider a very creative solution to an age-old problem.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Succession Crises, it’s Not Just for CPAs Anymore

This weekend, after being trounced in straight sets by my tennis partner of 18 years, I happened to click on an AM station that featured nationally acclaimed financial planning expert Ric Edelman, author of a number of best-selling investment tomes including “The Truth About Money” and “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth.”

On Sundays, he has for a number of years, hosted a show where he and several colleagues field callers’ questions which run the gamut from investing in securities, what types of insurance to buy and strategies to save for college.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Curb Appeal

Despite being upsold no less than 4 times by one of the major phone/cable providers to the point where TV viewers at Chez Carlino have the option of watching any one of 210 channels (including, I believe, The Cricket Channel from the U.K.), each evening the remote in my spouse and children’s hands rarely deviates from HGTV or The Food Network.

So I’m often forced to meander upstairs to catch The Ultimate Fighter or any of the throngs of sporting events airing each night. We do however, compromise on Thursdays when “Person of Interest” comes on.

But I digress.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Jerks at Work

Although we rarely, if ever, engage in executive recruiting in the course of our consulting engagements, I’m always surprised at the number of requests we get from folks who are unhappy in their present capacity and are anxious to relocate to what they hope are greener and happier pastures.

And make no mistake, we’re happy to do what we can to help and on a personal level, I can certainly sympathize with inept and unappreciative management, people I would barely let park my car, never mind entrust with my and my family’s future.

Lately, I’ve noticed an influx of what I call workplace “litmus” tests in newspapers and online blogs on whether you basically have a jerk for a boss and by proxy, work for a jerk company.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Time to Take Out a Hit on This TV Disaster

I’m going to request some latitude on content for today’s missive, as I’m going to focus on popular culture, instead of highlighting critical accounting-centric issues that are impacting practitioners.

But since it involves tax, or rather tax evasion, I could make the lukewarm argument that it has an accounting connection in some aspect.

No, this involves two of arguably my least favorite people on the planet, one Teresa Guidice and her simian-like husband, Guiseppe “Joe” Guidice, stars of the equally offensive “Real Housewives of New Jersey” reality series, which in my opinion rivals “Jersey Shore” in terms of vacuous viewing.