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                                             Advice and information to help
           PUbLIShEd bY   Brady Ware         you manage your business

     HoW doeS
     YoUR ComPanY

              voLUme 7 n iSSUe 3
            SPRing/SUmmeR 2007

Paperless possibilities—
digital considerations
10 concepts about
doing business in Japan
voLUme 7
                The Leading Edge
 iSSUe 3

               From the desk of the CEO
               dear Clients and Friends of Brady Ware:
Although tax season 2007 is fresh in your mind, it is a perfect time to think about how
you can reduce your tax burden for next year.

We have some good news in that area for you and for the charitable organizations you
choose to support. Now, with certain restrictions, you can roll over your IRA directly to
the charity of your choice. This approach avoids the tax bite that used to come when        menu of Financial Services
you had to withdraw funds from your IRA before donating them to charity. Jim Tischer
gives you all the details in “New planning opportunity: The charitable IRA rollover.”       Brady, Ware & Schoenfeld, inc.
                                                                                            •   Tax savings and planning strategies
And speaking of charitable organizations, our client spotlight features the Victoria        •   Audit and assurance services
Theater Association and its astute president and CEO, dione Kennedy. She assures us         •   Family business succession planning
that great theater is alive and well in dayton, but I’m sure it could use a helping hand    •   Valuation and litigation support services
in the form of a personal or corporate tax-deductible contribution.                         •   Investment Management

Rick Pummill tells us that tax changes have also brought welcome news to those of           Brady Ware Capital, LLC
you who may inherit a spouse’s or parent’s 401(k). In his article, he provides the
                                                                                            •   business brokerage
information you need to know to take advantage of these new rules and regulations.
                                                                                            •   Merger and acquisition consulting
                                                                                            •   Corporate finance services
Rita Keller brings up another timely topic for those of us who ask our employees to
                                                                                            •   business valuations
work overtime at certain points in our business year, like those weeks leading up to
April 15 for brady Ware. “Five ways to turn off employee turnover” and “17 reasons
                                                                                            Brady Ware employee Benefits, LLC
employees might stay” include good strategies to keep good employees. Losing good
employees is not only bad for your business, it’s expensive. Incorporating a few of         • Group and individual insurance programs
Rita’s ideas can make everyone’s work day, including yours, more rewarding.                 • Customized fully insured and self-funded
                                                                                              medical programs
All of us at brady Ware hope you have an enjoyable summer. If there is anything we can      • Section 125 administration
do to help you and your business, give us a call.                                           • hSA’s and hRA’s

Sincerely,                                                                                  miami valley Pension, LLC
                                                                                            •   Qualified plan design
                                                                                            •   Plan documentation and communication
                                                                                            •   daily valuation recordkeeping
Gary L. Adamson, President and CEO                                                          •   Plan compliance and administration

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                                                                                                   VOLUME 7   n   ISSUE 3   n   SPRING/SUMMER 2007

VOLUME 7      n   ISSUE 3 n SPRING/SUMMER 2007
             The Leading Edge
The Leading Edge Alliance is a global alliance
of major independently owned accounting and
consulting firms that share an entrepreneurial
spirit and a drive to be the premier provider of
professional services in their chosen markets.
                                                             	 4	 How	does	your	company	
Members are top quality firms who are very                   	 	 measure	up?
successful, have deep client relationships, and
strong ties to the community. The Alliance
                                                             	   	   Service,	quality	frequently	top	price
provides members with an unbeatable combi-
nation: the comprehensive size and scope of
a large multinational company while offering
their clients the continuity, consistency and
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quality service of a local firm.                             	   	   Small	business	tops	list,	more	people	
Member firms have access to the best and                     	   	   use	only	cell	phones,	U.S.	companies	
brightest teams of business advisors—a peer-
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The combined revenues of the Alliance total
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professional staff. The Alliance continually
assesses new member firms, to extend into all                	   	   Digitizing	offers	efficiency,	productivity	benefits
prominent international markets.

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                   Brady Ware
                Marshall Lehman
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                    Gary Voth                                	 	 from	our	firm
        Pannell Kerr Forster of Texas, P.C.
                 Elizabeth Reed
           Postlethwaite & Netterville
                 Belinda Ressler                             	16	 Doing	business	in	Japan…	
                   Wilson Price
                Karen Kehl-Rose
                                                             	 	 10	myths,	truths	to	consider
            The Leading Edge Alliance

               in affiliation with
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                                                             	18	 In	a	nutshell:	Q&A
      (Formerly Custom Publishing Group)                     	   	   Chris	DeSantis	responds	to	your	
                  Ann M. Gynn
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          ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                     


                                                     SERVICE, QUALITY FREQUENTLY TOP PRICE


         ou	 probably	 have	 at	 least	 a	 handful	 of	      John	Curtis	of	North	Carolina-based	Integrated	     tation	even	worse,”	says	Jim	Molloy,	president	of	
         poor	 customer	 service	 stories.	 Whether	      Organizational	 Development	 says	 U.S.	 busi-         the	 moving	 and	 storage	 company.	 “It’s	 Russian	
         wandering	 a	 store’s	 aisles	 looking	 for	     nesses	 began	 seeing	 quality	 as	 less	 important	   roulette	to	find	quality	service.”
help,	 putting	 together	 a	 complicated	 toy	 only	      than	price	in	the	1970s.	As	U.S.	manufacturers	            Molloy,	 though,	 takes	 customer	 service	 per-
to	find	parts	missing	or	navigating	a	company’s	          faced	the	threat	of	world	competition	(e.g.	Japan	     sonally.	 He	 offers	 all	 customers	 the	 president’s	
push-a-number	 phone	 system,	 the	 experience	           entering	the	automobile	market),	they	chose	to	        hotline—a	direct	number	to	his	office.	“I’ll	talk	
most	likely	ended	in	frustration.                         focus	only	on	price	out	of	desperation.	               to	 anyone	 who	 has	 a	 problem.	 The	 buck	 truly	
   The	 days	 of	 quality	 products	 and	 superior	          But	 the	 global	 economy	 today	 has	 led	 more	   stops	with	me,”	he	explains.	Few	customers	call,	
customer	 service	 may	 be	 diminished	 but	 they	        consumers	 to	 rethink	 that	 mode,	 now	 believ-      though,	and	some	who	do	are	just	curious	to	see	
are	 not	 a	 thing	 of	 the	 past.	 Poor	 service	 and	   ing	quality	tops	price	in	many	situations.	“The	       if	the	president’s	hotline	is	real.
quality	have	led	many	consumers	to	appreciate	            customer	 is	 king,”	 Curtis	 says.	 “The	 consumer	       The	 commitment	 to	 quality	 customer	 ser-
more	fully	the	value	in	good	quality	and	service.	        defines	quality.	They	have	multiple	choices	and	       vice	 really	 starts	 with	 hiring,	 Molloy	 says.	 The	
For	 many	 small	 and	 mid-size	 businesses,	 that	       vote	by	their	feet	and	pocketbooks.”                   company	 conducts	 background	 checks	 on	 all	
renewed	interest	signals	a	way	to	stand	out	from	                                                                applicants	and	employs	people	full	time,	so	they	
the	big	business	competition.                                                                                    are	 professionals	 rather	 than	 people	 who	 view	
   “It’s	 time	 to	 sweat	 the	 small	 stuff,”	 says	                                                            moving	as	a	side	job.
Jennifer	 Kluge,	 chief	 operating	 officer	 of	 the	                                                                Employees	are	trained	on	complying	with	all	
Michigan	 Business	 &	 Professional	 Association	         MOVING QUALITY                                         the	necessary	paperwork,	wearing	the	company	
and	 president	 of	 the	 National	 Association	 of	       Molloy	 Brothers	 Moving	 and	 Storage	 handles	       uniform	appropriately	and	saying	the	appropri-
Business	 Resources.	 “The	 tolerance	 for	 poor	         thousands	 of	 residential	 moves	 and	 even	 more	    ate	 things	 to	 customers.	 Molloy	 extends	 the	
service	is	short.”                                        commercial	moves	each	year.	Based	in	the	New	          service	 commitment	 further—employing	 field	
   She	tells	of	a	small	independent	grocer	nearby	        York	 City	 market,	 the	 competition	 has	 been	      managers	 who	 monitor	 and	 help	 drivers.	 Each	
who	 prides	 himself	 on	 offering	 quality	 foods	       fierce	throughout	its	60-plus	years.	The	advent	       field	manager	visits	10	to	15	jobs	a	day.	A	qual-
and	 at-home	 deliveries.	 “Their	 niche	 is	 quality	    of	the	Internet	only	raised	the	number	of	com-         ity	 assurance	 department	 conducts	 statistical	
in	product	and	service.	People	are	willing	to	pay	        petitors.	“It’s	made	an	industry	with	a	bad	repu-      analysis	 on	 complaints	 to	 identify	 areas	 for	
more	for	that	kind	of	service.”                                                                                  improvements.

ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                                                                      

    From	 a	 prospective	 customer’s	 perspective,	
customer	 service	 begins	 with	 the	 first	 call	 to	
                                                               THE CONSUMER                                            ter	serve	its	membership,	says	Kluge.
                                                                                                                          “People	are	too	busy	to	network.	We	say,	‘You	
Molloy	Brothers.	Each	customer	is	assigned	one	
Molloy	 employee	 who	 handles	 the	 customer’s	
                                                               DEFINES QUALITY.                                        don’t	have	to.	Tell	us	your	need,	we’ll	go	out	and	
                                                                                                                       get	a	solution,’”	she	explains.
move	 from	 estimates	 to	 arrangement	 of	 final	             THEY HAVE                                                  So	 if	 a	 member	 is	 seeking	 a	 new	 phone	
delivery	(a	minimum	of	seven	contacts.)	Moving	                                                                        system,	 for	 example,	 it	 identifies	 the	 member’s	
is	 one	 of	 the	 most	 stressful	 times	 in	 a	 person’s	     MULTIPLE CHOICES                                        objectives.	 An	 association	 staff	 member	 then	
life	so	minimizing	the	frustration	is	an	important	
service,	Molloy	says.	He	explains	that	customers	
                                                               AND VOTE BY                                             takes	 over	 the	 process—prequalifying	 bidders,	
                                                                                                                       receiving	 proposals	 and	 setting	 up	 meetings	 if	
are	willing	to	spend	a	few	hundred	dollars	more	
if	necessary	to	entrust	a	reputable,	service-mind-
                                                               THEIR FEET AND                                          the	member	wants.
                                                                                                                          “It’s	a	result	of	listening	to	the	client,”	Kluge	
ed	company	with	their	life	belongings.                         POCkETBOOkS.                                            says.	 While	 the	 new	 program	 started	 last	 year,	
                                                                                                                       it	took	a	few	years	of	planning	to	set	it	up	cor-
                                                                                             JOHN CURTIS,
                                                                  INTEGRATED ORGANIzATIONAL DEVELOPMENT                rectly.	 Eventually,	 the	 association	 plans	 to	 be	
                                                                                                                       able	to	forecast	the	needs	of	members	by	keep-
                                                                                                                       ing	track	of	their	requests.	So	in	five	years,	the	
NAME DOESN’T                                                  the	field	are	so	red	it	looks	like	they	have	been	       association	could	go	back	to	the	member	seek-
SAY IT ALL                                                    sunburned.	The	company’s	staff	contacts	the	cli-
                                                              ent	to	see	if	that	redness	is	a	desired	effect.	If	it	
                                                                                                                       ing	a	new	phone	system	now	to	see	if	its	phone	
                                                                                                                       needs	have	changed	and	could	benefit	from	the,	a	Montana-based	company,	                is	not,	the	printer	corrects	the	color.                  latest	products	on	the	market.
certainly	sounds	like	a	company	competing	on	                    That	 service	 means	 a	 lot	 to	 Printingforless.       The	 proactive	 networking	 already	 is	 work-
price.	But	while	price	may	get	customers	in	the	              com’s	clients	and	brings	them	back.	“I	think	we	         ing.	Kluge	tells	of	one	member,	an	educational	
door,	 the	 long-term	 business	 model	 centers	 on	          could	 increase	 our	 prices	 and	 they	 would	 pay	     consultant,	who	lost	a	major	client	and	thought	
quality	and	service.                                          it,”	Field	says.                                         his	business	would	not	survive	because	he	could	
   “We’re	not	‘Printing	for	Least’	and	we	don’t	try	             Its	 client-centered	 approach	 is	 not	 the	 only	   not	 reach	 the	 individual	 prospects.	 Through	
to	be,”	says	CEO	Andrew	Field.	“Our	revenue	is	               quality	 service	 component	 at	 the	 printer.	          the	 association’s	 assistance,	 he	 had	 access	 to	 a	
returning	customers.	We	lose	money	on	the	first	              Running	 the	 ship	 professionally	 and	 efficiently	    professional	staff	who	secured	the	right	contact	
time.	We	have	to	have	repeat	business.”                       is	 a	 must	 as	 well.	 has	 its	   lists	for	him	and	crafted	an	effective	marketing	 positions	 itself	 as	 the	           own	 “university”	 for	 employee	 training.	 It	 also	   message.	“He	had	so	many	leads,	he	had	to	turn	
print	 expert	 for	 small	 businesses	 who	 do	 not	          creates	 a	 job	 dashboard—outlining	 the	 work-         away	business,”	Kluge	says.
have	the	money,	like	a	General	Motors,	to	sup-                flow	and,	most	importantly,	communicating	the	
port	a	design/printing	staff.	The	company	prides	             customer	requirements	clearly	for	all	to	see	and	
itself	 on	 “demystifying”	 the	 printing	 process	           understand.
to	 save	 its	 customers’	 pride	 and	 money.	 “They	            Field,	too,	sees	hiring	as	THE	essential	com-
could	 blow	 the	 whole	 marketing	 budget	 on	 a	            ponent	 of	 providing	 quality	 to	 his	 customers.	     REFINED
job	or	look	stupid	because	they	don’t	know	the	
jargon	or	technical	aspects,”	Field	says.
                                                              “I’m	really	picky,”	he	says.	Despite	high	growth	
                                                              and	 great	 need	 for	 employees,	 he	 says	 he	 may	
                                                                                                                       BABY STEPS
   When	 customers	 send	 files	 that	 are	 not	 pre-         hire	about	one	of	every	100	resumes	he	receives.	        They	 had	 heard	 and	 seen	 it	 all	 before—home-
pared	 professionally,	 works	           “I	don’t	hire	somebody	who	doesn’t	care	about	           made-looking	 puppets	 moving	 to	 synthesized	
to	ensure	the	final	project	is	what	the	customer	             quality.	 I’ve	 fired	 people	 who	 had	 wonderful	      versions	 of	 classical	 music,	 a	 cartoon	 character	
expected.	If	a	file	is	sent	to	print	business	cards	          skills	but	didn’t	care,”	Field	says.                     slapped	onto	a	T-shirt	or	an	electronic-sounding	
and	 the	 printer	 sees	 only	 nine	 digits	 in	 the	                                                                  children’s	CD.	
phone	number,	it	alerts	the	client	even	though	                                                                           Adam	Adelman	and	Belinda	Takahashi	thought	
proofreading	technically	is	not	part	of	the	print-                                                                     parents	wanted	an	alternative,	higher-end	prod-
ing	process.	“That	could	save	the	client	$500	on	                                                                      ucts	for	their	children.	That	belief	turned	into	a	
a	print	order	that	would	be	useless	without	the	              WE-DO-IT-FOR-YOU                                         business	model	and	the	two	founded	JunoBaby,	
correct	phone	number,”	Field	says.	
   Or	 perhaps	 the	 client	 sends	 a	 file	 for	 a	 flyer	   NETWORkING                                               now	 an	 award-winning	 premium	 producer	 of	
                                                                                                                       educational	 DVDs,	 CDs,	 trendy	 apparel	 and	
with	two	people	in	a	field.	The	image	looks	OK	               The	 Michigan	 Business	 &	 Professional	                plush	toys	for	children	age	5	and	younger.
on	the	customer’s	computer	screen	but	when	it	                Association,	 which	 counts	 more	 than	 20,000	            “We	 differentiate	 ourselves	 in	 the	 market	
hits	the	top-of-the-line,	professional	equipment,	            small	 businesses	 among	 its	 members,	 changed	        through	quality,”	Adelman	explains.	They	write	 finds	 the	 people	 as	 well	 as	        its	traditional	business	networking	model	to	bet-        the	musical	scores	by	hand	and	have	orchestral	

                                                                                                                             VOLUME 7   n   ISSUE 3   n   SPRING/SUMMER 2007

musicians	 perform	 them	 live	 before	 a	 profes-        market.”                                                   engine	 and	 community	 for	 entrepreneurs	 and	
sional	production	team	finishes	the	sound.	They	             JunoBaby	opted	for	quality,	taking	three	years	         small	businesses.	The	company	is	based	on	the	
hired	a	leading	behavioral	science	researcher	as	         (about	 double	 their	 original	 expectations)	 to	        belief	 (and	 research)	 that	 people	 spending	 big	
a	 script	 consultant	 to	 help	 identify	 what	 plot	    bring	their	products	to	market.	“We	decided	to	            bucks	 on	 professional	 coaches,	 motivators	 and	
points,	 words,	 etc.	 would	 work	 best	 for	 the	       stay	on	the	course.	If	we	hadn’t,	it	would	have	           mentors	want	to	assure	they	are	getting	quality	
targeted	age	group.	They	hired	world-class	pup-           been	 all	 the	 more	 difficult	 in	 the	 long	 run	 to	   advisors	who	can	help	their	particular	needs.
peteers	 and	 voice	 talents	 who	 spoke	 English,	       focus	on	our	niche	and	differentiate	ourselves,”	              He	 compares	 it	 to	 or	 WebMD®,	
Spanish	and	French.	But	even	with	all	that	tal-           Adelman	says.                                              which	 takes	 an	 enormous	 amount	 of	 informa-
ent	(or	perhaps	because	of	it),	the	development	                                                                     tion	 from	 a	 particular	 sector,	 refines	 it,	 puts	 it	
process	was	not	quick.                                                                                               into	 more	 manageable	 buckets	 and	 categorizes	
   	 “I	 was	 very	 tempted	 to	 take	 a	 different	                                                                 it	 into	 an	 easy-to-use	 format.	 Peake	 used	 that	
course,”	 Adelman	 admits.	 “After	 the	 first	 year,	                                                               thinking	 to	 focus	 on	 the	 online	 coaching	 and	
we	were	far	from	finished	and	found	ourselves	            REFINING SEARCH                                            mentoring	crowd	for	professionals.
at	 the	 crossroads.	 We	 had	 to	 make	 a	 decision	     Last	November,	Jim	Peake	launched	My	Success	                  “Appealing	 to	 a	 certain	 market	 distinguishes	
to	focus	so	intently	on	quality	or	be	more	flex-          Gateway,	 a	 Consumer	 Reports-type	 search	               the	business,”	Peake	says.
ible	 in	 the	 interest	 of	 getting	 the	 product	 to	                                                                  For	 example,	 an	 entrepreneur	 is	 looking	 to	

                                  Grab that chocolate chip cookie

                                           small	grocery	store	owner	in	New	York	was	look-              a	110-percent	money-back	guarantee	so	customers	know	if	
                                           ing	 to	 boost	 his	 business	 when	 he	 heard	 Emmy	        they	are	not	satisfied,	there’s	a	positive	return.
                                           Award-winning	comedian	and	writer,	Ross	Shafer,	                “When	you	make	an	emotional	connection	with	custom-
                                  speak	about	the	connection	of	customer	empathy	to	sales	              ers,	the	customers	can,	in	effect,	say,	‘Now	I	can	stop	dating	
                                  growth.                                                               other	companies,’”	Shafer	says.
                                     The	 owner	 took	 two	 thoughts	 from	 Shafer’s	 presenta-            Of	course,	the	opposite	is	true,	too.	If	a	company	disap-
                                  tion—chocolate	 chip	 cookies	 are	 the	 most	 aromatic	 food	        points,	customers	look	for	other	“dates.”	Shafer	tells	of	his	
                                  and	the	final	moment	of	the	customers’	transaction	is	what	           recent	 visit	 to	 a	 national	 casual	 dining	 chain	 restaurant.	
                                  will	make	them	decide	whether	to	come	back.                           The	 experience	 and	 food	 were	 great—they	 left	 having	
                                     The	owner	returned	to	his	store	and	hired	someone	to	              fallen	 in	 love.	 But	 that	 feeling	 was	 short-lived	 when	 two	
                                  hand	out	warm,	fresh	chocolate	chip	cookies	to	customers	             days	 later	 Shafer’s	 phone	 rang	 and	 he	 found	 Applebee’s	
                                  at	their	exit.	Sales	increased	more	than	700	percent.	“He’s	          automated	survey	taker	on	the	other	end.	When	his	verbal	
                                  done	the	best	he’s	ever	done,”	Shafer	says.                           responses	 did	 not	 fit	 the	 format	 the	 automated	 system	
                                     Shafer	 goes	 around	 the	 country	 sharing	 his	 research	        would	accept,	the	recorded	voice	said,	“so	you’re	refusing	
                                  and	 insight	 into	 the	 importance	 of	 customer	 empathy.	          to	take	the	survey?”
                                  He	 has	 worked	 with	 hundreds	 of	 companies,	 includ-                 Shafer	says	that	final	touch	by	the	restaurant	is	what	is	
                                  ing	 Microsoft,	 Toyota,	 Safeway,	 Nordstrom,	 GE,	 Pfizer	          remembered.	“They	blew	it,”	he	says.
                                  and	 Xerox.	 Founder	 of	 the	 Customer	 Empathy	 Institute,	            Business	lingo	also	can	detract	from	a	customer-centric	
                                  Shafer’s	most	recent	book	is	The Customer Shouts Back: 10             focus.	 Shafer	 explains	 an	 example	 from	 a	 national	 pizza	
                                  Things You Must Know If You Want Their Lifetime Loyalty.              chain	meeting	to	discuss	increasing	revenue.	The	language	
                                     “IT’S CRAZY TO THINK THAT JUST BY BEING                            left	 one	 employee	 frustrated.	 He	 responded,	 “We	 call	 it	
                                  HUMAN YOU CAN DIFFERENTIATE YOUR BRAND,                               product.	 For	 our	 customers,	 they	 refer	 to	 this	 as	 dinner.	
                                  BUT IT WORKS,” SHAFER SAYS. “THE GREAT                                We	call	it	dining	in,	they	call	it	dining	out.”
                                  BRAND DIFFERENTIATION IS HUMANITY.                                       Shafer	 says	call	 centers	 are	 designed	to	eliminate	emo-
                                     “Anything	an	organization	can	do	to	connect	with	clients	          tion	on	the	part	of	the	employees	but	can	have	a	big	emo-
                                  emotionally	is	translated	as	a	quality	move,”	he	says.                tional	impact	on	customers.	“The	problem	with	most	call	
                                     Jones	Soda	integrates	its	customers	on	its	bottles,	inviting	      centers	is	that	they’re	based	on	efficiency,	such	as	each	call	
                                  customers	to	submit	favorite	photos	for	the	labels.	Zappos,	          should	take	32	seconds.	Proficiency	is	measured,	but	you	
                                  a	major	online	shoe,	apparel	and	accessories	retailer,	offers	        can’t	measure	human	relationship	in	proficiency.”	e

ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                                                                             

boost	her	company’s	marketing	and	is	searching	
for	 a	 coach.	 When	 friends	 hear	 she	 is	 looking	
                                                            WE HAD TO MAkE A DECISION TO
for	a	business	coach,	they	suggest	Tony	Robbins.	
The	entrepreneur	is	not	sure	who	would	be	the	
                                                            FOCUS SO INTENTLY ON QUALITY OR
best	 person	 so	 she	 visits	 My	 Success	 Gateway,	       BE MORE FLExIBLE IN THE INTEREST OF
which	 conducts	 one-on-one	 interviews	 with	
many	 coaches	 and	 understands	 each	 coach’s	             GETTING THE PRODUCT TO MARkET
strengths.	 At	 My	 Success,	 the	 entrepreneur	                                                                                        ADAM ADELMAN, JUNOBABY
identifies	 her	 needs.	 Robbins,	 who	 focuses	 on	
passion	 motivation,	 likely	 would	 not	 fit	 her	
needs.	 Instead,	 she	 identifies	 Blair	 Singer	 as	 a	                                                            Force	 Protection,	 a	 client	 of	 Leading	 Edge	
good	marketing	coach—a	perfect	match.                                                                           Alliance	firm	Elliott	Davis,	is	a	leading	manufac-
   Peake	 says	 he	 thinks	 women	 in	 particular	         MATTER OF LIFE                                       turer	of	armored	vehicles	vital	to	the	protection	
                                                                                                                of	armed	 forces	 and	 security	personnel	around	
place	 a	 huge	 importance	 on	 convenience	 and	
                                                           Employees	 at	 South	 Carolina-based	 Force	         the	globe.	Pruitt	explains	that	the	central	com-
value.	 “Price	 doesn’t	 matter	 if	 they	 get	 conve-
                                                           Protection	know	all	about	the	importance	of	qual-    ponent	 and	 focus	 for	 quality	 in	 the	 vehicles	 is	
nience	and	value,”	he	says.
                                                           ity.	“Someone	could	die	if	we	don’t	do	it	right,”	   the	capsule—where	the	people	are.	“We	have	to	
                                                           says	Tommy	Pruitt,	public	relations	director.        make	 sure	 the	 welds	 hold	 through	 blasts,	 run-
                                                                                                                ning	over	mines	or	other	explosion	devices,”	he	
                                                                                                                says.	In	addition,	other	truck	components	must	
                                                                                                                be	 easily	 replaceable	 in	 a	 hazardous	 environ-

                               Parts not enough,                                                                ment	so	if	something	happens	to	the	truck	it	can	
                                                                                                                be	repaired	quickly.
                               success is about the whole                                                           Quality	checks	and	multiple	inspections	are	a	
                                                                                                                must	throughout	the	manufacturing	process.	As	

                                                                                                                for	the	capsule’s	welds,	Force	Protection	follows	
                                        avid	 A.	 Fields,	 managing	 director	 of	 Ascendant	
                                                                                                                a	 rigorous	 process	 before	 it	 hires	 a	 welder	 and	
                                        Consultant	and	author	of	an	article	on	quality	pub-
                                                                                                                hires	 inspectors	 whose	 sole	 focus	 is	 on	 those	
                                        lished	 in	 The Journal of American Marketing,	 poses	
                               these	thoughts:
                                                                                                                    But	 Force	 Protection	 is	 not	 content	 with	
                               IT’S NOT QUALITY PRODUCTS ALONE                                                  superior	 manufacturing	 alone.	 It	 starts	 with	
                               Simply	having	the	best	workmanship	won’t	bring	in	the	cus-                       quality	 efforts	 in	 the	 design	 process	 and	 has	
                               tomers.	Combining	workmanship	in	the	right	measure	with	                         created	 one	 of	 the	 nation’s	 leading	 centers	 for	
                               other	factors	(consistency,	customer	service,	responsiveness,	                   blast	 protection	 technology	 development	 and	
                               friendliness,	etc.)	will	have	them	knocking	down	the	doors.                      research.	 Employees	 identify	 how	 blasts	 work,	
                                                                                                                design	 for	 survivability	 and	 keep	 up	 with	 the	
                               AVOID FALLACY OF LOCAL PERFECTION                                                new	advances	in	attacks.
                               Corporate	 executives	 often	 try	 to	 make	 each	 part	 of	 their	                  Everyone	who	works	at	Force	Protection	sees	
                               operations	perfect,	figuring	that	if	each	piece	works	with	top	                  the	results	of	their	efforts.	“They	see	the	cards,	
                               performance	 then	 the	 whole	 organization	 will	 be	 excellent.	               letters,	e-mails	from	people	who	have	survived	
                               Intuitively	obvious	and	completely	wrong.	Think	of	a	watch	                      and	 that	 really	means	 the	most,”	Pruitt	says.	A	
                               where	every	gear	spins	as	fast	as	it	can—all	the	parts	might	                    few	of	the	Marines	and	soldiers	who	have	lived	
                               be	running	in	top	performance	but	the	watch	will	keep	ter-                       through	 a	 blast	 have	 visited	 the	 company	 and	
                               rible	time.                                                                      told	their	stories	to	the	workforce.
                                                                                                                    “You	 don’t	 have	 to	 tell	 (the	 employees)	 why	
                               BALANCE REIGNS OVER QUALITY                                                      quality	is	important,”	Pruitt	says.	e
                               Companies	that	really	get	it	right	understand	how	to	balance	
                               every	 part	 of	 their	 business	 to	 meet	 customer	 needs	 better	
                               than	the	competition.	Balance,	not	quality,	per	se,	is	the	holy	
                               grail	of	market	superiority.	e

                                                                                                                      VOLUME 7   n   ISSUE 3   n   SPRING/SUMMER 2007
                                                                                                                                         BRADY WARE

Client Spotlight: victoria Theatre association
“Let’s put on a show”
The victoria Theatre association is vital to dayton’s arts community

“d      ayton is a great theatre town,”
        exclaims Dione Kennedy.
   She should know. As president
                                                                                               Dione Kennedy,
                                                                                            president and CEO,
                                                                                                                         Colegate present their draft audit to
                                                                                                                         our board in person. They answer
                                                                                                                         our questions and discuss what is
and chief executive officer of the                                                             Victoria Theatre          working for us and what isn’t.”
Victoria Theatre Association, Dione                                                                Association             Recently, Brady Ware helped in
oversees a wide range of venues                                                                                          the restructuring of the Victoria
and performances that put Dayton’s                                                                                       Theatre Association and the Arts
arts scene well ahead of most mid-                                                                                       Center Foundation, combining their
size communities. On top of that,                                                                                        operations to streamline functions
Dione is also a qualified voter for                                                                                      and reduce expenses. Although each
the Tony Awards, which recog-                                                                                            organization retains its 501(c)3 sta-
nize excellence among New York’s                                                                                         tus, they share a staff, board, budget
Broadway plays and musicals. In           Preparing for life in the               president of the association then,”    and annual audit. “We find Brady
short, she knows her stuff.               entertainment industry                  Dione says. She progressed steadily    Ware to be a very worthy partner
   She points proudly to the quality      Leading a diverse organization like     from her first position in a tem-      in helping us to do what we need
and variety of Dayton’s professional      the Victoria Theatre Association        porary role to development, then       to do and choose what’s best for
performing arts venues. “From the         requires a unique blend of business     operations, then programming.          the organization,” Dione says. And
Schuster’s large auditorium and           acumen, artistic knowledge and          And when Light retired two years       Brady Ware has long been a sup-
outstanding acoustics to the jewel-       ability to work with a wide range       ago, she was tapped to become          porter of the performing arts and is
box feeling of the Victoria Theatre       of talented people.                     president. “I hit the company at       an ongoing sponsor of the Victoria
and the intimate size of The Loft,           A native of Aberdeen, Ohio—a         just the right time,” she says.        Theatre Association.
we can put almost any perfor-             small village on the banks of the
mance in just the right setting,”         Ohio River—Dione was not imme-          about the victoria Theatre             arts and the dayton community
she explains. “And our various per-       diately taken with the theatre. She     association                            “The arts are important to Dayton’s
forming arts organizations are close      participated in some high school        The association’s goals are twofold:   success in many ways,” Dione points
enough to collaborate informally,         productions and in community the-       to present the widest possible array   out. “The arts can boost the area’s
in person—that synergy benefits           atre across the river in Maysville,     of performing events and to provide    economy because corporations
the whole community.”                     Kentucky, but when she began            excellent stewardship of the associ-   carefully consider arts and cultural
   The scope of Dione’s responsi-         classes at a branch of the University   ation’s various performance venues,    amenities when they are choosing
bilities is impressive. The Victoria      of Kentucky, in Maysville, she chose    ensuring that they will be available   new locations for their business.”
Theatre Association oversees the          to major in business administra-        for future generations to enjoy.          Besides providing theatre, con-
various performance venues—               tion. She went on to graduate from         The association’s funding comes     certs, films and more to today’s
functioning as the “landlord” for         the University of Cincinnati with a     from ticket sales (83 percent) as      audiences, the association benefits
those groups who use the the-             degree in communications arts.          well as contributions (17 percent).    future generations through exten-
atres.                                       Her “entertainment industry”         Contributions come from state and      sive education and outreach pro-
   “We also present several series        career took shape when she worked       county grants as well as corporate     grams. A play or concert at the
ourselves,” she explains, “includ-        at Riverbend Music Center, an out-      and individual sponsors. Because       Victoria is often a child’s first expe-
ing the Fifth Third Bank Broadway         door concert venue in Cincinnati.       the association is a non-profit and    rience with live performing arts.
Series, our Chase Young At Heart          There she worked with artists’ con-     answers to the public, a yearly           “The arts make our community
Family Series, outreach and educa-        tracts to ensure that all terms of      audit by a reliable outside firm is    more livable, more family-friendly,
tional activities such as the Discovery   their agreements were met through-      vital to establishing transparency     and add to our quality of life,”
Series, our summer classic films,         out the varying departments of the      and affirming good stewardship.        Dione concludes. And, with the help
Michelob Ultra Cool Films, and            company. Personal reasons even-                                                of the Victoria Theatre Association,
numerous Star Attractions designed        tually drew her to Dayton, “but I       Why Brady Ware?                        the performing arts will continue to
to reach all segments of the region’s     arrived in town without a job,” she     “We chose Brady Ware to do our         entertain Daytonians well into the
diverse population.”                      says with a laugh.                      audits because they have excellent     future. Dione points to her calendar:
   She credits an active staff, board        “The Victoria had just completed     credibility and are very good at       “We’ve already penciled in some
and community supporters with             its renovation, and a friend suggest-   what they do,” Dione explains. “For    events for the 2009-2010 season!” e
helping to bring all this to fruition.    ed I contact Mark Light, who was        instance, Bob Reynolds and Mary

ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                                                              

 new planning opportunity: The charitable iRa rollover
 by James d. Tischer, CPA

                  T   he new Pension
                      Protection Act
                   of 2006 provides
                                          reduction begins at $150,500 of
                                          adjusted gross income.
                                             The tax law also worked against
                                                                                  organization. In other words, you
                                                                                  can’t take the funds then transfer
                                                                                  them to the charity’s coffers.
                                                                                                                                  Finally, an IRA participant is gen-
                                                                                                                               erally required to begin receiving
                                                                                                                               distributions in the year after the
                   some retirees with     retirees who wanted to use IRA             Furthermore, the contribution             year in which he or she turns age
                   a unique tax-plan-     funds to donate to charity but no       must otherwise qualify as a chari-           70.5. The new law counts qualified
                   ning opportunity.      longer itemized their deductions.       table donation. If the deductible            charitable distributions as RMDs.
 By contributing funds to a qualified        Key tax law change: The Pension      amount decreases because of a                   The new law provision also
 charity directly from an IRA, you        Protection Act provides a tax break     benefit received in return—for a             applies to Roth IRAs. Roth IRA
 may reduce, or even eliminate, the       for taxpayers ages 70.5 and older. If   dinner at a fund-raising event, for          distributions to individuals over
 tax on required minimum distribu-        you direct the IRA funds to charity,    example—or the deduction would               age 59.5 are usually tax-free. But
 tions. This new technique has been       you do not have to pay any tax on       not be allowed due to inadequate             a portion of a distribution may be
 called the “charitable IRA rollover.”    distributions up to $100,000. (Of       substantiation, the exclusion is not         taxable for a Roth IRA in existence
    Background: Prior to the new          course, no deduction is available,      available for any part of the IRA            less than five years. If you have
 law, an individual could not directly    either.) This opportunity is avail-     distribution.                                both a traditional IRA and a Roth
 transfer funds tax free from an IRA      able only through 2007.                    Under a special rule for chari-           IRA, it generally makes sense to use
 to a charitable organization. Instead,      For this purpose, a “qualified       table donations, the IRS treats dis-         the traditional IRA first for chari-
 you were required to pay tax on          charitable distribution” means a        tributions from an IRA funded at             table distributions. e
 the distributions regardless of your     distribution from either a tradi-       least partially with nondeductible
 charitable intentions. If you subse-     tional or Roth IRA that would           contributions as coming first from           The Pension Protection Act of 2006
                                                                                                                               may affect your future charitable
 quently donated the funds to char-       otherwise be taxable. To qualify        taxable funds and then from non-
                                                                                                                               contributions. For help navigating
 ity, the deduction amount could be       for the exemption, the distribution     taxable funds. All of the taxpayer’s         the new IRA rollover regulations,
 reduced with other itemized deduc-       must be made directly from the          IRAs are grouped together for this           contact Jim at (937) 913-2503 or
 tions. For 2006 tax returns, the         IRA trustee to a qualified charitable   calculation.                       

 iRS releases ‘suggested’ governance guidelines for tax-exempt organizations
 by Mary T. Colegate, CPA

                 T   he Internal Revenue Service has released a set of sug-
                     gested governance guidelines for 501(c)(3) organizations.
                  Although the IRS does not have the power to require that
                                                                                     auditor or certified professional accountant that also requires the auditor
                                                                                     be periodically reviewed
                                                                                  7. Encouraging the use of the IRS intermediate sanctions “rebut table
                  organizations adopt these guidelines, it is anticipated that,      presumption” to ensure that compensation of officers and employees is
                  after public comment, a substantial part of these guidelines       reasonable
                  will become widely adopted as they are incorporated in the      8. Policies and procedures for document retention, including electronic
 IRS form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption, and through the            documents, (currently required by Sarbanes Oxley)
 exercise of the IRS’s oversight and regulatory powers.                           9. A conflicts of interest policy to ensure that directors act consistently
    The guidelines focus on nine areas, and specifically recommend that every        with their duty of loyalty, prevent any self-dealing, and require the annu-
 501(c)(3) organization adopt:                                                       al disclosure of any potential conflict of interest (This policy should also
 1. A mission statement                                                              cover the board of directors.)
 2. A code of ethics and whistleblower policy (currently required by                 In addition to these guidelines, the IRS cautions organizations with exces-
    Sarbanes Oxley)                                                               sively large or small boards, noting that small boards may not represent a public
 3. Policies and procedures to fully inform each director of its operations       interest and the large boards may not be attentive to the oversight. The IRS
    and financial status and ensure that directors act consistent with their      recommends that large boards establish an executive committee.
    duty of care                                                                     The release of these guidelines indicates that the IRS plans to continue to
 4. Policies to ensure transparency in its activities and finances, such as by    focus on the governance of tax-exempt organizations. As a practical matter, orga-
    posting tax returns and financial statements on its Web site and otherwise    nizations should consider performing a comprehensive review of the organiza-
    making these documents publicly accessible                                    tional documents, governance practices, and compensation policies in 2007. e
 5. Policies to ensure that fund-raising activities comply with applicable
    laws, keep expenses to a minimum, and require that paid fund-raisers be       Brady Ware employs a team dedicated to servicing the particular needs of nonprofits. For
                                                                                  information regarding these guidelines or how Brady Ware can help your nonprofit orga-
    registered with the state and their performance be monitored
                                                                                  nization, contact Mary at (937) 913-2509 or
 6. Policies requiring the performance of an annual audit by an independent

 10                                                                                                                     VOLUME 7   n   ISSUE 3   n   SPRING/SUMMER 2007
                                                                                                                                                    BRADY WARE

Five ways to turn off employee turnover
by Rita A. Keller, director

                  i t’s a fact of life that
                    employees will
                 come and go over
                 time. But if several
                 unrelated departures
                 turn into a mass
exodus, it can drown your com-
pany in red ink. Many surveys have
substantiated the fact that employee
turnover costs are staggering.
   How can you prevent increased
employee turnover? Start by sim-
ply asking your employees and
most importantly—LISTEN to
your employees. Then take steps
to improve the general work envi-
ronment. For example, you might

address some of the common con-
                                                  Sharpen the skills of employees    does. But his or her responsibilities        back on where they can improve.
cerns of your employees through
                                                  through training seminars. These   do not end there. It may be neces-           Feedback on job performance is
roundtable discussions or via a
                                              seminars allow workers to expand       sary to write out practical guidelines       extremely important to employees
survey. There are wonderful inex-
                                              their duties and identify how their    and discuss them periodically with           and yet many employers give too
pensive or free Web-based survey
                                              particular talents can best be used.   your team.                                   little, too late. Immediate recogni-
tools available that provide the
                                              If you do not have the resources for      One of the most important things          tion is a tremendous motivator. e
confidentiality employees desire.
                                              in-house sessions, you may be able     an employer can do is provide
As an alternative, you can even                                                                                                   A business’ most important asset is its
                                              to arrange for private seminars or     a thorough performance evalua-
schedule individual meetings to                                                                                                   own employees. For more information
                                              courses at a local university.         tion system that shows employees
listen to employees’ suggestions.                                                                                                 on ways to recognize and motivate your
                                                                                     that their individual performance

   Potential result: Some of the reve-                                                                                            team, contact Rita at (937) 913-2508 or
                                                  Set flexible compensation stan-    is recognized and matters. The sys-
lations resulting from these meetings             dards. Obviously, it is easier     tem must also provide them feed-
and surveys may surprise you. You             to retain key employees if you
may find that an employee is bored            pay them what they are worth.
by the day-to-day routine of a job.           The problem often is rooted in
Perhaps the level of compensation is
an issue. Or maybe you need to spell
                                              an inflexible company policy. For
                                              instance, an employee who puts in
                                                                                        17 ReaSonS WHY emPLoYeeS migHT STaY
out better guidelines for job per-            extra hours may feel frustrated by            etaining key employees is critical to the success of your business. Doing so will
formance. Finally, others may have            being tied to the same salary struc-          likely increase productivity and ensure consistency. But how do you encourage
special problems relating to child            ture as those who work strictly           such loyalty? There are many possibilities, but here are 17 factors cited by valued
care or other family obligations.                                                       employees:
                                              from 8 to 5. This may result in the
   With that in mind, let’s look at           employer needing to re-engineer its       1. Opportunities for career growth;         9. Flexibility for work hours
five practical suggestions for reduc-         compensation system.                      2. Exciting and challenging                     or dress code;
ing turnover.                                                                              new projects;                            10. Commensurate pay and benefits;

                                              4   Use other methods of com-             3. Work that makes a difference             11. Inspired leadership;

1   Offer new challenges. No one
    wants to stay in a rut. To avoid
this problem, you may be able to
                                                  pensation to retain valuable
                                              employees if the salary structure
                                                                                           or a valuable contribution;
                                                                                        4. Pleasant co-workers;
                                                                                        5. The experience of being part
                                                                                                                                    12. Belief in the company’s mission;
                                                                                                                                    13. An enjoyable work environment;
                                              cannot be amended. You might                                                          14. Location close to home;
emphasize an employee’s strengths                                                          of a team;
                                              consider bonuses, additional vaca-                                                    15. A family-friendly employer;
by creating new tasks. For instance,                                                    6. A good supervisor;
                                              tion pay or time off.                                                                 16. Advances in technology; and
an innovative employee may be                                                           7. Recognition for a job well-done;
                                                                                                                                    17. Job security.

asked to look into new product                   Tell employees what you expect         8. Autonomy;
development. This may require the                of them. Of course, a business         Obviously, it’s the totality of the circumstances—not just one thing—that keeps
transfer of a worker to a different           manager must be able to recognize         workers in the fold. e
department or group.                          and appraise the work an employee

ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                                                                         11

 inheriting retirement plan assets? a new opportunity awaits
 by Rick E. Pummill, CLU, QPA, QKA

                  i  f you are the ben-
                     eficiary under a
                  relative’s or friend’s
                                            the fifth year following the year of
                                            death. This results in the loss of
                                            the extended lifetime payout to a
                                                                                           If distributions had already start-
                                                                                        ed, the remaining portion of the IRA
                                                                                        assets must be distributed at least as
                                                                                                                                           titled inherited IRA that includes
                                                                                                                                           the name of the decedent in the
                                                                                                                                           title of the account. For exam-
                  retirement account,       nonspouse beneficiary if it is not          rapidly as the distribution method                 ple, “Ashley Jones as beneficiary
                  you may be entitled       already an option in the qualified          being used at the time of death.                   of Frank Jones IRA.”
                  to receive a large        retirement plan. A spousal benefi-             If distributions had not yet start-          • The rollover must be direct; if the
 lump-sum distribution. Often, the          ciary can take the distribution or          ed, all of the IRA assets must                     beneficiary takes possession of
 plan will require you to take the          elect to roll it over into his or her       be distributed within five years of                the distribution then the death
 payout within a year of the plan           IRA. With a rollover, the spouse is         death or over the life expectancy                  benefit is no longer eligible for
 participant’s death or under a spe-        able to defer the tax on the payout.        of the beneficiary, beginning in the               rollover, there is no “60-day” rule.
 cial five-year rule.                       An additional benefit of the IRA            year after death.                               • Don’t commingle the inherited
    New approach: Thanks to a new           would be control over the invest-              The new law permits a nonspouse                 assets with any existing IRA
 tax law change, you can now roll           ment of the account if not already          beneficiary of an eligible retirement              assets. If you do that, you will
 over the plan funds into an IRA.           provided in the employer’s plan.            plan to roll over the assets to an IRA.            lose the benefit of stretching out
 This will enable you to stretch out           However, prior to the new law, a         From that point on, the rules for                  the payments.
 payments over many years—maybe             nonspouse beneficiary was not per-          RMDs from inherited IRAs apply. So,             • There is a special rule which
 even decades.                              mitted to roll over funds to an IRA.        a beneficiary may choose to spread                 may dictate that the nonspouse
    The new Pension Protection Act          He or she had to receive the distri-        out the tax payments over his or                   beneficiary take the first required
 of 2006 gives nonspouse beneficia-         bution under the plan terms. This           her life expectancy. The distribution              distribution from the IRA by the
 ries a lot more flexibility than they      could result in a big tax hit over          doesn’t have to be taxed imme-                     end of the year following the
 had in the past. In short, you can         five years or less or even immediate        diately as a lump sum. Using the                   participant’s death or be stuck
 use the same rollover technique as         taxation if the plan did not contain        life expectancy method also enables                with a more restrictive plan rule.
 a spousal beneficiary. This new law        a lifetime payout option.                   you to benefit from continued earn-               As with any new rule it is always
 provision takes effect for distribu-          With an inherited IRA, a non-            ings within the IRA over time.                  recommended that you check with
 tions received after 2006.                 spouse beneficiary is obligated to             To take advantage of this new                your tax advisors. e
    Background: When a partici-             take distributions according to the         rule it is important to pay close
 pant in a 401(k) or other qualified        required minimum distribution               attention to the details.                       To see how the Pension Protection
                                                                                                                                        Act of 2006 may affect your retirement
 retirement plan dies, the plan may         (RMD) rules. The exact method               • These provisions are not man-
                                                                                                                                        plan inheritance or your own beneficia-
 require the account to be distrib-         depends on whether or not dis-                  datory. A plan may decide to                ries, contact Rick at (937) 913-2496 or
 uted to the designated beneficiaries       tributions have begun (i.e., if the             not permit these rollovers.       
 in a lump sum or by the end of             participant had reached age 70.5).          • The IRA must be a properly

 Brady Ware insideoUT
 CongRaTULaTionS                            Chunyi and Shan Tang were tickled pink      of Phoenix and is pursuing a business           Brian Carr presented a “Federal Tax
                                            with the birth of their baby girl. Olivia   management degree.                              Update” to the dayton Chapter of the
 Congratulations to Sam and Ruta            weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces and joins                                                        Institute for Management Accountants.
 agresti and big sister, Rasa, who wel-                                                 The firm’s tax team enjoyed working
                                            sister, Jenny.
 comed a boy to their family. Mindaugas                                                 with interns andrew arnett, Phil Hartke         mary Colegate and Patty ioas gave a
 weighed in at 7 pounds 8 ounces.                                                       and amy Thompson during tax season!             presentation to the dayton Nonprofit
                                            BRadY WaRe WeLComeS neW                                                                     Alliance of Executives. The luncheon
 hats off to missy Behymer. She recently    Team memBeRS
                                                                                        SPeaKing engagemenTS and                        topic focused on “Current developments
 passed all four parts of the CPA exam.     debbie angelos joined the firm as           PRoFeSSionaL aCTiviTieS                         for Nonprofit Organizations”.
 Missy joined the firm in 2005 after com-   marketing coordinator. debbie is a 2005
 pleting a bachelor’s degree in account-                                                gary adamson spoke to more than 300             Teri Hall co-chaired the annual Noble
                                            graduate of brigham Young University
 ing and management information sys-                                                    attendees at the “Winning is Everything”        Circle Project luncheon and fashion
                                            and has worked in many different
 tems from Wright State University.                                                     conference in Las Vegas. Gary shared his        show. The Noble Circle Project provides
                                            spheres of development and marketing.
                                                                                        experience with mergers and acquisi-            information about healing alternatives
 Phil Hartke was elected president of the   brady Ware’s tax team added a new Team      tions taking place in CPA firms today.          for women with cancer.
 Wright State University beta Alpha Psi     Accountant, Lauren Touris. Lauren grad-
 chapter. Congrats Phil!                    uated from the University of dayton with
                                            a bachelor of Science in Accounting.         Brady Ware office Locations                       
 Kristi henderson, daughter of Lynda and
 Jeff Henderson, recently placed first      Jamie Suter recently became a member         One South Main St., Suite 600   One Woodside drive          965 high Street, P.O. box 330
 at her high school in a competition for    of the firm’s dayton Administrative          dayton, Oh 45402                Richmond, IN 47374          Worthington, Oh 43085
 business Professionals in Accounting       Team. Jamie earned an associate of           (937) 223-5247                  (765) 966-0531              (614) 885-7407
 Fundamentals. Congratulations Kristi!      general arts degree from the University      (937) 223-0300 fax              (765) 962-5015 fax          (614) 885-8625 fax

 1                                                                                                                            VOLUME 7      n   ISSUE 3   n   SPRING/SUMMER 2007

bits pieces
SMALL BUSINESS                                            and	 Health	 Savings	 Accounts	 in	 the	 United	
                                                          States,	Private	Industry.”
                                                                                                                       bill-paying	public,	according	to	U.S.	Consumer	
                                                                                                                       Expenditure	Survey.
LEAdERS TOP LIST                                             “As	 employers	 seek	 to	 keep	 the	 costs	 of	
                                                          employee	 benefits	 under	 control,	 and	 employ-
                                                                                                                           So	who’s	sticking	with	their	cells?	The	research	
                                                                                                                       is	 predictable—younger	 people.	 Almost	 half	 of	
More	 than	 half	 of	 U.S.	 adults	 express	 a	 “great	   ees	 seek	 to	 maximize	 their	 take-home	 pay,	             cell-only	 respondents	 were	 younger	 than	 30,	
deal”	 of	 confidence	 in	 leaders	 of	 small	 busi-      pretax	 benefits	 have	 become	 more	 prevalent,”	           according	to	the	Pew	Research	Center.	About	a	
ness—more	than	any	other	institution	cited	in	a	          he	notes.                                                    third	of	cell-only	users	were	married	and	24	per-
2007	Harris	Poll.                                            In	 1999,	 7	 percent	 of	 all	 U.S.	 workers	 had	       cent	owned	their	own	home.	In	a	landline	user	
   This	is	the	first	year	that	small	business	lead-       access	 to	 flexible	 benefits	 and	 15	 percent	 had	       survey,	57	percent	were	married	and	71	percent	
ers	have	topped	the	list.	Harris,	which	has	been	         access	to	reimbursement	accounts.	By	2006,	the	              owned	their	own	home.
surveying	 confidence	 levels	 in	 institutions	 for	     percentage	of	U.S.	workers	with	access	to	flex-
four	 decades,	 added	 small	 business	 to	 the	 cat-     ible	 benefit	 and	 reimbursement	 accounts	 more	
egories	in	2005.
   The	 poll	 asked	 more	 than	 1,000	 adults	 in	
                                                          than	 doubled.	 Seventeen	 percent	 of	 workers	
                                                          could	 participate	 in	 flexible	 benefit	 programs,	
                                                                                                                       U.S. ChAMBER
the	United	States:	“As	far	as	people	in	charge	of	
running	 (specific	 category/institution)	 are	 con-
                                                          30	percent	had	access	to	dependent	care	reim-                AdVOCATES
cerned,	would	you	say	you	have	a	great	deal	of	
                                                          bursement	accounts	and	32	percent	could	have	
                                                          health	care	reimbursement	accounts.	                         FREE TRAdE TO SENATE
confidence,	only	some	confidence	or	hardly	any	              In	 this	 research,	 flexible	 benefit	 plans	 were	      The	 U.S.	 Chamber	 of	 Commerce	 recently	
confidence	in	them.”                                      defined	as	plans	that	allow	employees	to	choose	             appeared	at	a	U.S.	Senate	hearing,	“Is	Free	Trade	
   Small	business	was	 the	only	 sector	 in	 which	       the	benefits	most	important	to	them	and	forgo	               Working?”	 The	 response	 given	 by	 Christopher	
more	than	50	percent	of	the	respondents	replied	          others.	Dependent	care	reimbursement	accounts	               Wenk,	 senior	 director,	 international	 policy	 at	
“great	deal	of	confidence.”                               include	 pretax	 earnings	 designated	 to	 pay	 for	         the	chamber,	was	positive.	
   Small	 business	 was	 followed	 by	 the	 military,	    child,	elder	or	disabled	care.	Health	care	reim-                “The	 overwhelming	 majority	 of	 Americans	
major	 educational	 institutions,	 medicine	 and	         bursement	 accounts	 can	 cover	 out-of-pocket	              derive	 great	 benefits	 from	 international	 trade	
organized	religion	to	round	out	the	top	five.	The	        medical	 expenses	 such	 as	 deductibles	 and	 co-           and	investment,”	he	told	the	senators.
bottom	two	were	the	press	and	Congress.                   payments.                                                       The	 chamber,	 which	 is	 the	 world’s	 largest	
                                                                                                                       business	 federation	 representing	 more	 than	 3	
                                                                                                                       million	 businesses	 and	 organizations,	 believes	
MORE EMPLOYERS                                            PEOPLE FORGO                                                 global	trade	should	be	expanded.	“The	chamber	

SAY YES TO                                                LANdLINES FOR CELLS
                                                                                                                       does	so	because	U.S.	businesses	have	the	exper-
                                                                                                                       tise	and	resources	to	compete	globally—if	they	
FLEX BENEFITS                                             Why	have	both	landline	and	cell	phone	service?	
                                                                                                                       are	 allowed	 to	 do	 so	 on	 equal	 terms	 with	 our	
                                                                                                                       competitors,”	Wenk	reported.
                                                          That’s	 the	 question	 more	 Americans	 are	 asking	
Access	for	workers	to	pretax	employee	benefits	                                                                           He	 noted	 that	 the	 combined	 efforts	 of	 the	
                                                          themselves	lately,	and	for	a	growing	number	the	
doubled	between	1999	and	2006,	according	to	                                                                           North	American	Free	Trade	Agreement	and	the	
                                                          answer	is	they	don’t	need	two	phone	lines.
the	U.S.	Bureau	of	Labor	Statistics.                                                                                   agreement	to	create	the	World	Trade	Organization	
                                                             An	 estimated	 7	 to	 9	 percent	 of	 the	 gen-
   “Pretax	 benefits	 enable	 both	 employers	 and	                                                                    have	increased	U.S.	national	income	by	$40	bil-
                                                          eral	public	subscribe	only	to	cell	phone	service.	
employees	 to	 set	 aside	 money	 on	 a	 tax-free,	                                                                    lion	 to	 $60	 billion	 a	 year.	 Wenk	 went	 on	 to	
                                                          That’s	 a	 sharp	 contrast	 to	 just	 a	 few	 years	 ago.	
salary-reduction	 basis	 for	 retirement	 expenses	                                                                    state	that	the	lower	prices	for	imported	goods	as	
                                                          In	 2000,	 only	 0.4	 percent	 of	 households	 paid	
as	 well	 as	 qualified	 dependent	 care	 and	 health	                                                                 provided	by	the	two	agreements	means	a	family	
                                                          only	 a	 cell	 phone	 bill,	 but	 by	 the	 first	 quarter	
care	expenses,”	writes	Eli	Stoltzfus	in	his	article	                                                                   of	four	in	the	United	States	has	gained	between	
                                                          of	 2005,	 that	 increased	 to	 7.8	 of	 the	 phone-
“Pretax	Benefits	to	Section	125	Cafeteria	Benefits	                                                                    $1,000	and	$1,300	in	spending	power.	e

ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                                                                         1

Ready to SaY goodBYe To PaPeR?

d    on’t	 be	 confused.	 “Paperless”	 offices	 still	
     have	paper	in	them.	They	just	have	less	of	it,	
along	with	fewer	filing	cabinets	and	more	com-
                                                           about	what	areas	of	their	operation	would	ben-
                                                           efit	 from	 a	 decrease	 in	 their	 manual/laborious	
                                                           paper		process.	“It	works	well	and	can	increase	
                                                                                                                     cess—from	 request	 to	 approvals—all	 happens	
                                                                                                                     electronically.	“That	filing	cabinet	door	couldn’t	
                                                                                                                     close	 sometimes	 with	 all	 the	 forms	 required	 to	
puter	storage.	And	if	executed	well,	these	offices	        the	efficiency	of	the	firm,”	Guzenberg	says.              be	saved,”	Guzenberg	says	jokingly.
also	 see	 a	 boost	 in	 productivity	 and	 efficiency	       Fuller	 Landau	 experienced	 the	 benefits	 first	         As	its	filing	room	(cost	center)	shrank	in	size,	
by	employees.                                              hand	when	it	eliminated	a	single	piece	of	paper	          Fuller	 Landau	 established	 office	 cubicles	 (rev-
   “Paperless’	 really	 confuses	 people,”	 says	 Rita	    at	the	receptionist’s	desk—the	sign-in,	sign-out	         enue	sources).
Keller,	 chief	 operating	 officer	 at	 Brady	 Ware,	 a	   sheet.	Any	time	an	employee	arrived	or	left	the	              Brady	 Ware	 went	 “paperless”	 six	 years	 ago.	
Leading	 Edge	 Alliance	 firm.	 Instead	 of	 “paper-       office,	he	or	she	had	to	walk	up	to	the	desk	and	         “We’ve	actually	done	away	with	our	file	rooms—
less,”	people	should	think	of	it	as	doing	digital	         write	 his	 or	 her	 name,	 time	 and	 destination.	      it’s	 all	 digital,”	 Keller	 says.	 Basement	 storage	
with	their	documents.                                      Upon	return,	that	individual	had	to	go	back	to	           with	the	historical	records	is	being	aged	out	as	
   “We	ask	clients	if	they	prefer	digital	or	paper,”	      the	 desk	 and	 sign	 back	 in.	 The	 office	 wanted	     administrators	sift	through	the	information.
Keller	says.                                               all	 employees	 to	 know	 who	 was	 there,	 where	
   Most	clients	prefer	the	digital	format	of	their	        they	went	and	when	they	would	be	back	to	be	                       getting started
personal	and	corporate	tax	returns	with	a	one-             responsive	to	both	internal	and	external	needs.
                                                                                                                     Start	 small.	 “Don’t	 bite	 off	 more	 than	 you	 can	
page	 printed	 executive	 summary,	 says	 Vlad	               Now,	 employees	 need	 only	 click	 into	 their	
                                                                                                                     chew.	 Digitizing	 lends	 itself	 to	 that	 idea,”	 says	
Guzenberg,	 director	 of	 information	 technology	         computer	 and	 visit	 the	 electronic	 sign-in	 board	
                                                                                                                     Keller,	whose	firm,	Brady	Ware,	has	been	paper-
at	Fuller	Landau,	a	Leading	Edge	Alliance	firm.	           on	the	firm’s	Intranet.	Also,	with	a	few	clicks,	they	
                                                                                                                     less	for	more	than	six	years.	
“We	 were	 printing	 and	 assembling	 huge	 docu-          are	able	to	know	if	someone	is	in	the	office.
                                                                                                                        The	first	step	really	is	just	to	start.	“Don’t	pro-
ments,	sending	it	to	our	clients’	offices	but	they	           Fuller	Landau	also	went	digital	with	its	vaca-
                                                                                                                     crastinate,”	Keller	adds.	
typically	only	care	about	a	few	lines.”                    tion	request	forms.	In	the	past,	employees	had	to	
                                                                                                                        Jeff	 McCulloch,	 president	 of	 Yeo	 &	 Yeo	
   Guzenberg,	 too,	 thinks	 “paperless”	 really	 is	      go	to	a	specific	file	storage	area,	pick	up	a	form,	
                                                                                                                     Computer	Consulting,	a	member	of	the	Leading	
just	a	buzz	word.	“In	reality,	to	go	100-percent	          find	their	supervisor	to	review	and	sign-off,	and	
                                                                                                                     Edge	alliance,	says	companies	first	should	decide	
paperless	is	a	difficult	undertaking,”	he	says.            deliver	 a	 copy	 to	 the	 controller.	 With	 vacation	
                                                                                                                     why	they	want	to	go	“paperless.”
   He	 recommends	 companies	 instead	 think	              requests	now	available	on	the	Intranet,	the	pro-
                                                                                                                        He	 offers	 two	 primary	 reasons—data	 reten-
                                                                                                                     tion	(storing	files)	and	integration	into	existing	
                                                                                                                     work	software	(searching	files).	

                                                                                                                              Who’s doing it
                                                                                                                     The	 digital	 evolution	 is	 slowly	 finding	 its	 way	
                  INTEGRATION BOOSTS                                                                                 into	businesses.	Companies	in	heavily	regulated	
                                                                                                                     industries	are	the	most	proactive	in	establishing	
                  Jeff McCorpin, vice president
                                                                                                                     digital	offices,	McCulloch	says.
                  system integration services at LBMC
                                                                                                                        Data	 retention	 demands	 in	 Sarbanes-Oxley	
                  Technologies, says that the advantages
                                                                                                                     and	 HIPAA,	 for	 example,	 impact	 financial	 ser-
                  of digitizing grow exponentially with
                                                                                                                     vices,	banking,	insurance	and	health	care	com-
                  each implementation. Consider this:
                                                                                                                     panies	the	most.	“Most	other	industries	are	still	
                  An employee wants to know more about                                                               using	paper,”	McCulloch	says.
                  a customer. She enters the customer number                                                            Greg	 Price,	 director	 of	 consulting	 solutions	 at	
                  into the company’s system and finds all types of documents related to that                         Leading	 Edge	 Alliance	 firm	 PKF	 Texas,	 says	 he,	
                  customer—electronic work processing files, images of past invoices, pictures                       too,	does	not	see	many	clients	going	paperless.	“I’m	
                  of the customer’s site, Web pages, reports, sound files of meetings, etc.                          seeing	more	and	more	instances	(of	doing	digital)	
                                                                                                                     but	they’re	not	quite	there,”	he	says.	“Conceptually	
                  Combine all that collected information with the company’s workflow and
                                                                                                                     they	get	it.	They	understand	the	theory,	but	they	
                  you can track all types of standard business processes so activities do not
                                                                                                                     aren’t	opening	their	checkbooks	yet.”
                  fall through the cracks.
                                                                                                                        He	says	in	some	industries,	custom	software	
                  Bundle it under one application umbrella and you have a great solution—                            has	yet	to	be	created—a	manufacturer	of	clothes,	
                  saving time, money and frustrations. e                                                             for	example,	has	different	custom	digital	needs	
                                                                                                                     than	the	local	dry-cleaning	store.

14                                                                                                                          VOLUME 7   n   ISSUE 3   n   SPRING/SUMMER 2007
                                                                               DIGITAL LINGO
                                                                               Enterprise Document Management (EDM)
                  TRACT PECTS
                AT ROS
                                                                               solutions make paperless offices a reality, says
                                                                               LBMC Technologies’ Jeff McCorpin. Here’s a cheat
                TO P a company al                                              sheet so you can understand what all the jargon
                        ring              igit                                 means:
                  Foste braces a d nt can
                   that  em              nme
                                 enviro             too.                       • Electronic	Signatures—not digital copies of your signature but the
                    docu  ment dvantages
                                    a                r                           binding effect is similar; requires user authentication (i.e., a password
                            other rg of Fulle
                     have        enbe              ive                           or identifier that you set up initially for each authorized person)
                              uz               ect
                      Vlad G says prosp now
                       Lan dau                to k                             • Document	Imaging—scanning paper files (among other things) so
                               yees             tive
                        emplo ir prospec                                         they can be accessed electronically
                                h e                in the
                         that t r operates T-                                  • Optical	Character	Recognition	(OCR)—machine recognizes printed
                                  ye               sI
                          emplo tury and i ng                                    characters (produced mechanically or by hand)
                                   en                cti
                           21st c ive. “Attra o join
                                   e ss              ls t
                            progr rofessiona try                               • Automated	Business	Workflow—processes are mechanized so
                                      p             ndus
                                            s an i            logy               once an employee completes his or her portion, it is automatically
                                     firm i e. Techno or
                              your        lleng              ntiat               available for the next individual in the process
                                      cha             iffere
                               wide          as a d e,”
                                can   work       tplac
                                                                               • Electronic	Document	Management	(EDM)—software that enables
                                         marke                                   electronic filing system and document merging often using a server to
                                 in the rg says. e
                                         be                                      cross networks for access by multiple people at multiple locations e

   But	 paper	 also	 is	 a	 way	 of	 life.	 When	 ATMs	          Price	says	he	thinks	digitizing	increases	pro-       think	 of	 it	 as	 a	 mandate	 from	 IT,”	 Guzenberg	
were	introduced,	many	people	opted	to	go	into	                ductivity	as	much	as	50	percent	in	half	the	time.	      says.	 “It’s	 not	 that	 we	 just	 close	 our	 doors	 and	
the	 bank	 even	 though	 the	 electronic	 machine	            A	machine	that	acts	as	a	scanner,	copier	and	fax	       come	up	with	these	ideas.
was	 available	 24-7.	 And	 still	 today	 there	 are	         is	a	must	to	contribute	to	that	efficiency.	               “Dependency	on	IT	in	the	professional	servic-
some	 who	 prefer	 to	 walk	 into	 the	 bank	 and	               He	 notes	 that	 clients	 more	 frequently	 are	     es	world	is	relatively	new.	Paperless	is	one	piece	
work	with	a	teller.                                           accustomed	to	the	digital	world—asking	for	and	         of	the	ever-changing	puzzle,”	he	says.
   One	 PKF	 Texas	 client,	 an	 Internet	 service	           expecting	 retrieval	 of	 their	 documents	 almost	        Price	 says	 going	 digital	 requires	 a	 leadership	
provider,	 gets	 the	 value	 of	 digitizing.	 The	 mul-       immediately	unlike	years	ago	when	they	would	           not	 afraid	 of	 technology.	 “You	 need	 to	 create	 a	
tiple-location	 company	 uses	 electronic	 imaging	           plan	 ahead	 for	 what	 information	 they	 needed	      culture	 that	 embraces	 technology.	 Our	 job	 is	
software	for	its	accounting	department.	When	an	              to	collect.                                             trying	to	be	much	more	efficient,	quicker	and	to	
invoice	arrives	at	any	one	of	its	sites,	the	reception-                                                               have	better	information,”	he	says.
ist	scans	it	and	adds	a	quick	tag—clear	bar	codes	                     iT and executives unite
with	sticky	notes.	Once	input	into	the	company’s	                                                                              not immediate Roi project
                                                              The	success	of	moving	to	digital	“paper”	hinges	
system,	 the	 invoice	 electronically	 attaches	 to	 the	
                                                              on	the	relationship	the	IT	department	has	with	         While	going	digital	realizes	some	paper	savings,	
company’s	accounting	software.	A	controller	in	its	
                                                              the	business’	leaders.	“It	takes	time	to	establish	     Guzenberg	 advises	 that	 businesses	 are	 not	 eas-
Houston	headquarters	then	reviews	and	approves	
                                                              relationships,”	says	Guzenberg.	“Paperless	is	no	       ily	able	to	measure	the	return	on	investment.	“I	
the	invoice	so	it	can	be	paid.
                                                              different	than	any	other	IT	project.”                   would	never	embark	on	the	project	if	the	objec-
   Gone	are	the	headaches	and	expense	of	over-
                                                                  He	 says	 advancements	 in	 information	 tech-      tive	is	only	to	reduce	paper	costs,”	he	says.
night	delivery	to	accounting	from	each	site	and	
                                                              nology	 can	 make	 IT	 an	 important	 part	 of	 the	       He	 says	 digital	 systems	 are	 a	 different	 type	
the	need	for	an	accounting	clerk	at	each	site.
                                                              business’	 future—not	 just	 the	 department	 that	     of	 expense,	 the	 costs	 of	 which	 should	 be	 fore-
   More	 than	 two	 years	 ago	 PKF	 Texas’	 audit	
                                                              buys	and	fixes	software	and	hardware,	and	is	the	       casted.	 Digital	 storage	 is	 relatively	 inexpensive	
department	 went	 digital.	 Instead	 of	 hauling	
                                                              lifeline	when	someone	accidentally	deletes	a	file.	     nowadays,	 but	 what	 about	 the	 infrastructure	
around	 hundreds	 of	 documents	 for	 an	 on-site	
                                                              “When	 IT	 provides	 business	 solutions	 to	 assist	   needed	 to	 support	 that	 storage	 growth?	 Space	
audit,	 recreating	 figures	 on	 column	 paper	 each	
                                                              in	achieving	strategic	goals,	it	obtains	faster	buy-    for	 the	 additional	 servers	 and	 disk	 space	 must	
year	 and	 filling	 work-paper	 binders,	 everything	
                                                              in	from	the	firm’s	partners,”	Guzenberg	says.           be	 planned.	 In	 addition,	 the	 company	 must	
is	now	scannable.	Gone	are	the	binders	and	clips	
                                                                  He	says	as	Fuller	Landau	has	moved	to	digital	      determine	its	system	to	back	up	the	digital	stor-
as	 that	 data	 they	 used	 to	 hold	 are	 dropped	 into	
                                                              storage	 and	 documentation,	 it	 has	 met	 with	 a	    age	in	case	something	harms	it.
an	 electronic	 file,	 tracked	 and	 put	 into	 a	 library	
                                                              little	 resistance.	 “That’s	 why	 the	 relationship	      “Going	 paperless	 takes	 time.	 You	 won’t	 reap	
where	they	can	be	checked	in	and	out	so	everyone	
                                                              between	IT	and	business	operations	is	so	impor-         the	rewards	within	a	month.	It’s	a	long-term	ROI	
knows	 who	 has	 what	 documents	 (and	 multiple	
                                                              tant.	 Together,	 all	 stakeholders	 understand	 the	   initiative,”	Guzenberg	says.	e
versions	of	the	same	document	are	not	created).
                                                              collective	 business	 objectives	 and	 don’t	 just	
ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                                                                           1

                             Working globally:
                             Top 10 Concepts of doing business in ... Japan
                             Understanding the myths and realities of the country in Asia
                             By Yoshihiro hongo, hongo Tsuji Tax and Consulting

                                      Japan	is	far	away	in	the	Far	East.
             IN ThE AGE OF            Some	people	in	the	United	States	might	have	trouble	locating	Japan	on	a	map	and	just	

          GLOBALIZATION,              think	of	it	as	a	distant	place.	That’s	understandable	as	most	people	know	about	their	own	
                             country	but	do	not	think	a	lot	about	other	countries,	especially	those	farther	

          ThE WORLd hAS      away.	If	you	look	at	a	world	map	in	Japan,	you	see	Japan	in	the	center.	
                             More	than	likely,	if	you	look	at	a	world	map	in	the	United	States,	the	

          BECOME CLOSER      United	States	is	in	the	center.	Each	map	is	drafted	with	its	“selling”	
                             country	in	mind.	Yet,	knowing	where	a	country	is	becomes	the	

            ECONOMICALLY     first	step	in	understanding	it.
                                Japan	is	in	Asia—about	5,450	miles	from	Los	Angeles,	which	is	

                    IF NOT   about	an	11-hour	plane	ride	and	about	twice	the	distance	between	
                             LA	and	New	York.	Many	U.S.	flights	to	Japan	make	the	country	easily	

        GEOGRAPhICALLY.      accessible.	Gaining	an	interest	in	Japan	can	bring	an	understanding	that	
                             could	further	enhance	your	opportunity	for	doing	business	in	this	market.

             WE hOPE ThIS
                                      Japanese	is	a	difficult	language.
                                      Well,	this	one	is	not	a	misconception,	but	it	should	not	be	a	barrier	to	doing	business	in	

           YOU A gLimPSe              the	country.	If	you	think	about	it,	with	each	visit	to	a	foreign	country	you	learn	better	how	
                             to	navigate	it	and	feel	more	comfortable.	Frequent	contact	and	visits	only	increase	your	comfort	

         inTo THe BaSiCS     level	with	the	language.
                                In	recent	years,	English	has	become	a	more	commonly	spoken	language	in	Japan.	In	our	office,	

              oF BUSineSS    at	least	10	staff	members	speak	English	at	varying	levels.	Thus,	the	language	barrier	is	diminishing	
                             and	most	business	people	can	complete	deals	in	a	single	language,	English.

               WiTH JaPan
             ANd A BETTER
                                                                      Japan	is	the	most	expensive	place	in	the	world	to	live.
                                                                      London,	Copenhagen	and	Paris	have	overtaken	Tokyo	
         UNdERSTANdING                                                as	the	world’s	most	expensive	destinations,	according	to	
                                                             Economist	Intelligence	Unit’s	latest	worldwide	cost-of-living	survey.
         OF ThE JAPANESE                                        The	survey	points	out	that	Japan’s	low	inflation	and	weak	yen	
                                                             driven	by	low	interest	rates	contributed	to	Japan’s	drop	on	the	
                  CULTURE.                                   global	stage.	Tokyo	and	Osaka	still	rank	as	the	most	expensive	
                                                             cities	in	Asia,	but	their	costs	of	living	declined	12	percentage	
                                                             points	in	the	last	year.

                                     It	is	difficult	to	collect	from	Japan-based	companies.
                                     This	is	not	true.	Japan	is	a	country	that	properly	pays	the	accounts	receivable.		For	
                                     example,	in	China,	collection	can	become	difficult	once	the	goods	are	sold.	However,	there	
                             is	no	such	problem	in	Japan.	Its	nationals,	on	average,	have	money	and	can	pay	the	bills.

1                                                                                      VOLUME 7   n   ISSUE 3   n   SPRING/SUMMER 2007
5                                                                                                           10	
        Japan	is	a	Socialist	country.                                                                                     Japan	does	not	
        There	is	a	joke	that	there	are	three	communist	countries	in	the	world—Cuba,	North	                                buy	and	sell	companies.
        Korea,	and	Japan.	Further,	there	is	even	a	joke	told	in	Japan	about	a	Chinese	businessman	                        In	the	past,	Japanese	companies	
who	gave	a	speech	at	Japan’s	Keidanren	(the	best	economic	association	in	the	country).	“I	came	to	          did	not	favor	mergers	and	acquisitions.	In	
Japan	to	teach	capitalism,”	he	told	the	Japanese.                                                           recent	years,	M&As	have	become	more	
  Japan’s	vision	as	a	capitalistic	country	has	grown	in	recent	years	as	its	number	of	millionaires	         prevalent.	M&As	are	happening	
has	grown	exponentially.	In	addition,	the	Japanese	Socialist	Party,	which	brought	the	country’s	first	      domestically	but	also	with	non-Japanese	
socialist	prime	minister	since	1948	to	power	in	1994,	is	no	longer	in	power.	The	political	party	           companies.	More	money	from	outside	
ceased	after	heavy	losses	in	the	1996	election.	Its	successor,	the	Social	Democratic	Party	is	one	of	       Japan	is	entering	the	country,	which	
the	smallest	Japanese	political	parties	today.                                                              signals	a	future	of	more	global	
                                                                                                            M&A	work	in	the	country.	e

                                        The	economy	is	growing.
                                        That	is	true.	Japan	ranks	first	in	per-capita	earnings	and	
                                        second	in	GDP	in	the	world.	Japan’s	GDP	equals	that	of	
                                 France,	Germany	and	England	combined.	Further,	Japan	has	a	
                                 consumption	economy.	People	tend	to	spend	the	money	they	
                                 make,	particularly	on	luxury	items	and	high-end	products.

        The	population	is	decreasing.
        Its	population	growth	rate	now	is	relatively	flat	(about	.02	percent	according	to	2006	
        estimates).	Its	2002	growth	rate	was	estimated	at	.15	percent.	Yet,	Japan	is	home	to	almost	
                                                                                                            Yoshihiro Hongo is the managing partner of
127.5	million	people	and	its	average	life	expectancy	is	over	80	years.	These	numbers	make	Japan	
                                                                                                            Hongo Tsuji Tax and Consulting, a Leading Edge
one	of	the	best	countries	in	the	world	for	large	business	opportunities.	Its	population	is	highly	          Alliance firm based in Tokyo. He can be reached at
educated	and	it	is	politically	stable	with	sufficient	room	for	development.                        or +01181 3 5323 3301.

        It	is	hostile	towards	foreign	countries.
        In	recent	years,	certain	foreign	media,	particularly	in	China	and	Korea,	have	criticized	
        Japan’s	foreign	policy.	However,	the	true	circumstances	are	different.	Japan	sees	Europe	and	
particularly	the	United	States	as	partners.	This	is	true	in	part	because	after	losing	World	War	II,	
Japan’s	population	enjoyed	the	goods	(including	chocolate)	provided	by	the	occupation	forces,	
giving	birth	to	its	desire	to	imitate	Western	fashion	and	culture.	Further,	Westerners	get	
hospitality	that	could	be	considered	excessive.

        Japan	doesn’t	offer	a	variety	of	food.
        Japan	offers	its	traditional	native	cuisine	as	well	as	food	from	around	the	world.	It	is	also	
        low-priced	and	good.	Visit	Japan	and	I	will	show	you	around.	There	are	many	good	
restaurants	for	French,	Italian,	etc.	that	I	think	are	better	than	those	in	their	original	countries.	In	
fact,	many	businesspeople	whom	I	know	look	forward	to	the	food	on	their	business	trips	to	Japan.

ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                                                                 1

in a nutshell by Chris de Santis
Reduce customer complaints, focus on employees’ performance

Q: We are a small company that provides                     and	most	importantly,	what	kind	of	company	do	                  which	they	are	capable.	If	you	view	them	as	an	
lawn care service and maintenance to                        you	intend	to	be.	                                              investment	 then	 your	 behaviors	 toward	 them	
residential and commercial properties.                         Let’s	 start	 with	 recruiting	 and	 deciding	 on	           will	 reflect	 that	 and,	 in	 turn,	 they	 are	 more	
Lately, i have received several calls from                  hiring.	 Are	 you	 hiring	 for	 the	 skill,	 for	 the	          likely	 to	 respond	 accordingly.	 If	 not,	 you	 will	
clients who have had complaints (mostly                     applicant’s	potential	or	for	a	collection	of	skills	            spend	a	good	deal	more	of	your	time	correcting	
minor) about the service. What can i do to                  and	capabilities?	Small	companies	are	often	hard	               or	cleaning	up	after	them,	if	you’re	not	too	busy	
make sure my employees are providing the                    pressed	 to	 find	 ideal	 candidates	 so	 they	 some-           recruiting	frequent	replacements.	e
level of service our customers expect?                      times	settle	for	the	immediate	need.	I	believe	in	
                                                            the	 expression,	 “there	 are	 no	 small	 dreams.”	 If	         Do you have a workplace question you want answered? What
                                                            you	have	a	small	dream,	don’t	think	small.	Plan	                do you want to know to make work a better place? Send your
                                                                                                                            questions to to get Chris DeSantis’
                                                            to	 be	 big	 or	 as	 big	 as	 you	 so	 choose.	 If	 that	 is	   two cents as to what he thinks you might want to do.
                                                            your	mental	model	then	you	act	accordingly	and	
                                                            start	to	look	at	all	potential	employees	as	people	             Chris DeSantis uses his 20 years’ experience in training
                                                            who	 can	 grow	 with	 the	 company.	 You	 start	 to	            and development as an independent consultant. He spe-
                                                            hire	a	different	kind	of	individual	and	may	find	               cializes in the design and delivery of management and
                                                            employees	who	are	more	likely	to	be	committed	                  organization development interventions. A presenter at
                                                                                                                            Leading Edge Alliance seminars, DeSantis focuses his work
                                                            rather	than	compliant.	                                         on assisting individuals or groups in identifying obstacles
                                                               Broadening	your	scope	leads	to	the	next	deci-                to effectiveness and subsequently works with them to
                                                            sion	about	what	are	you	recruiting	them	to	do.	                 create user friendly solutions aligned with the company’s
                                                            Here	again,	if	you	have	“big	dreams,”	what	you	                 strategic initiatives. He earned his undergraduate degree
                                                            recruit	them	to	do	now	is	not	what	they	will	do	                from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA from the
                                                                                                                            University of Denver and an MA in organizational develop-
                                                            forever.	 Both	 parties	 hope	 for	 upward	 progress	           ment from Loyola University.
                                                            or	expansion	of	responsibilities	as	they	grow	in	
                                                            their	jobs.	
a:	 I	 saw	 your	 question	 and	 thought	 I	 might	            The	 entire	 scope	 of	 the	 job	 may	 be	 more	
answer	 it	 in	 more	 general	 terms	 rather	 than	         than	cutting	grass	and	watering	plants,	it	
address	you	as	a	lawn	care	provider.	The	reason	            may	also	mean	dealing	with	custom-
being	is	this	issue	is	probably	felt	by	any	number	         ers,	 answering	 questions	 or	 even	
of	companies,	big	or	small.	How	do	I	know	the	              making	 suggestions	 to	 clients.	
people	who	are	working	for	us	are	doing	what	               Training	for	the	entire	scope	of	
they	 are	 supposed	 to	 be	 doing?	 In	 large	 com-        their	positions	would	be	eas-
panies	you	would	have	KPIs	(Key	Performance	                ier	 if	 you	 provide	 employ-
Indicators)	 that	 you	 would	 use	 to	 measure	 the	       ees	 with	 a	 chance	 to	 grow	
performance	you	wish	to	see.	Small	companies	               with	 the	 business.	 If	 you	
don’t	 necessarily	 have	 that	 option.	 One	 reason	       select	well,	employees	will	
is	 that	 small	 company	 managers/owners	 wear	            be	 inclined	 to	 learn	 more	
multiple	 hats	 and	 have	 little	 or	 no	 time	 to	 be	    about	 what’s	 important	 in	
exhaustive	 in	 creating	 and	 tracking	 KPIs.	 They	       doing	 the	 whole	 job.	 You	
often	hire	for	the	skills	they	need	and	hope	for	           also	 will	 have	 more	 avid	
the	 best.	 There	 isn’t	 the	 luxury	 of	 training	 and	   students	 if	 they	 see	 that	 by	
tracking	 performance	 in	 areas	 not	 absolutely	          acquiring	 new	 skills	 they	 are	
critical	 to	 the	 function	 or	 role	 required	 of	 the	   more	 valuable	 to	 the	 company	
employee.	                                                  as	it	grows.
   Knowing	the	difficulty	of	this,	what’s	a	person	            I	 realize	 this	 answer	 may	 not	 be	
to	do?	I	think	you	have	to	address	three	things:	           satisfying	 to	 some	 but	 I	 would	 argue	
who	you	recruit	and	what	do	you	recruit	them	               that	 you	 reap	 what	 you	 sow.	 If	 you	 view	
to	do;	what,	if	any,	training	should	be	provided	           employees	strictly	on	a	transactional	basis	then	
so	they	understand	the	entire	scope	of	their	job;	          you	 will	 not	 get	 the	 level	 of	 productivity	 of	

1                                                                                                                                 VOLUME 7    n   ISSUE 3   n   SPRING/SUMMER 2007
The members of the Leading Edge Alliance                                  The Leading edge alliance is an international professional association
are leaders in many key markets, including:                               of independently owned accounting and consulting firms. The Alliance enables
                                                                          member firms to access the resources of a multibillion-dollar global professional
Alabama                  harrisburg, PA            Paris                  services organization, providing business development, professional training
Albania                  hartford                  Puerto Rico
                                                                          and education, and peer-to-peer networking opportunities nationally and
Atlanta                  hong Kong                 Philadelphia
Australia                houston                   Phoenix                globally, around the corner and around the world.
Austria                  hungary                   Pittsburgh
Bahrain                  India                     Poland                 Members are top quality firms who are very successful, have deep client
Baltimore                Indiana                   Providence             relationships, and strong ties to the community. The Alliance provides members
Bangladesh               Indonesia                 Richmond               with an unbeatable combination: the comprehensive size and scope of a large
Belgium                  Iowa                      Reno
                                                                          multinational company while offering their clients the continuity, consistency
Bolivia                  Ireland                   Romania
Boston                   Israel                    Russian Federation
                                                                          and quality of service of a local firm. Member firms have access to the best and
Brazil                   Italy                     San Francisco          brightest team of business advisors—a peer-to-peer connection that provides
British Virgin Islands   Jordan                    Saudi Arabia           the right business solutions for clients.
Buffalo                  Knoxville                 Scotland
Bulgaria                 Korea                     Seattle
Cayman Islands           Las Vegas                 Senegal
                         Los Angeles
                                                                          The Leading edge offers:
China                    Macedonia                 Slovakia               • Access to the best and brightest CPAs and business advisors—a peer-to-peer
Cincinnati               Madison, WI               South Carolina
                                                                            connection that provides the right solutions for clients.
Cleveland                Mauritius                 Spain
Colombia                 Mexico                    Sweden
                                                                          • Innovative, practice-proven strategies for improving performance in management,
Costa Rica               Miami                     Switzerland
Croatia                  Michigan                  The Netherlands
                                                                            business processes, finance, operations, information technology and marketing.
Cyprus                   Minneapolis               Tokyo
                                                                          • A leading knowledge resource for multi-disciplinary information and
dallas                   Moldova                   Toronto
dayton                   Montenegro                Tucson                   industry-specific expertise responsive to clients’ unique needs.
denver                   Montreal                  Tunisia
                                                                          • The strength and reputation to attract the highest quality team members.
Ecuador                  Nashville                 Turkey
Egypt                    Nebraska                  Ukraine
                                                                          • The Alliance offers accounting and consulting services through a global network of
El Salvador              New Orleans               United Arab Emirates
Fort Lauderdale          New Jersey                U.S. Virgin Islands
                                                                            firms with more than 7,500 professional staff in more than 300 cities.
Ghana                    New York                  Venezuela
                                                                          • The Leading Edge Alliance offers world-class business advisory expertise and
Germany                  Nicaragua                 Washington, d.C.
Greece                   Norway                    West Virginia            experience with innovation, progressiveness and quality.
Guatemala                Orange County, CA
honduras                 Oregon
honolulu                 Panama
                                                                          To find out more about The Leading Edge Alliance, visit
         Visit                           or contact Karen Kehl-Rose,
         for a detailed listing of member firms.                          President, at (630) 513-9814 or

ThE LEAdING EdGE                                                                                                                                              1
One South Main St., Suite 600
Dayton, Ohio 45402
(800) 893-4283
Fax (937) 223-0300


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