Rankings for every genre entail a wide list of details, meaning that list-makers must decide which details are the most important to take into consideration.  In determining what schools are the highest ranked, list-makers look into the course load, employment opportunities after graduation, and a slew of other criteria.  Ranking online MBA schools requires a look into the program, accreditation, and how long the program takes to complete.

MBA programs offer a wide array of options to students looking to further their education.  First of all, there are programs which cater exclusively to people currently in the work world.  Known as the executive MBA, this program was developed to meet the needs of managers and executives of major businesses so that they can earn an MBA in two years or less while still working full time.  These students typically have ten or more years of experience in the business world, which is why they typically need to be separated from students who are beginning straight out of undergraduate studies.  Other MBA programs offer students the option to earn an MBA in less than two years, involving higher course loads with more intense classes.  Understandably, these programs are not meant for business professionals who do not have time as it is for extracurricular studies.  However, schools that offer these programs and others are most attractive to students from all wakes of life. 

Accreditation is an important part of online education because so many schools have become associated with “diploma mill” universities that offer degrees that are not accepted by any type of graduate entity.  Many schools offer accreditation statuses that are not legitimate and therefore researching further into MBA schools is an important part of the application process.  In online MBA rankings, accredited schools are ranked much higher than those that are questionable or lack accreditation.  Additionally, higher numbers of students typically flock to schools that definitely have accreditation.  The population of students alone in rankings is a high factor for future students in determining whether they wish to attend.  Currently, University of Phoenix has 67,700 students enrolled in its MBA program, clearly demonstrating the attractiveness of the program to students around the world.

MBA programs all contain various amounts of time it should take students to complete the program.  However, for some students, the degree may take more or less time than the traditional student.  Retention rates for students is an important factor to look for in applying to MBA schools, which is why it has become so important in online rankings.  Schools that have the highest retention ratings are typically found to be higher up on the list, although schools like the University of Phoenix (which caters to thousands of students), typically have a lower retention rate due to their higher numbers.  However, programs with 90% or higher are typically high up in the rankings and deserve a look into by many future MBA students. 

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Picking a specific concentration for any degree is difficult without some background knowledge of the field.  MBA degrees are no different, and offer a wide array of concentrations to the most uncertain of students.  Whether you prefer math, politics, or art, there is a niche for you in the business world; it is only a matter of discovering what is most applicable to your degree.  Finding something that you are both good at and enjoy doing is part of growing up and is important in securing a life-long degree.

MBA concentrations center on different fields such as accounting, public policy, environmental management, etc.  Therefore, getting a dual degree has become increasingly important for many students of business.  Earning an MBA as well as an accounting degree is now a more secure option than simply attaining an MBA degree by itself.  Depending on what your undergraduate degree is (if not business) or depending on a field that interests you, a dual MBA graduate program may be more beneficial in the long run. 

Many business professionals are currently returning to business school to focus on a different concentration in order to further their own career.  Therefore, it makes sense for students currently in business school to simply pick an MBA concentration which will be applicable throughout the next few years and is more specialized than a broad degree by itself.  While in some instances a broad degree may be beneficial for job-searching, a specialized MBA degree makes you unique within the business world and better suited for a specific niche. 

All over the country, schools are remaking their business programs in order to appeal to a wider range of students who want to specialize in a specific concentration.  International business has begun to pick up as more countries are become ever more globalized.  Additionally, pairing an international business degree with a foreign language makes your resume even more impressive and valuable to a potential employer.  Determining what your strengths and weaknesses are is a good way to focus on one particular MBA concentration. 

Additionally, many schools are also open to allowing students to create their own specialized degree, including an MBA concentration.  By simply pairing your own course of study with an MBA, you may end up with an individualized education that is appealing to many business executives around the country.  Simply understanding what degrees are currently in demand can help you decide on specific concentrations while still earning an MBA degree. 

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Distance learning has quickly engulfed modern society as an alternative for traditional schooling.  These schools have offered students the opportunity to attain a further degree while still keeping a hold onto their lives outside school, including careers and family.  With MBA degrees on the rise, it is no wonder that many students have opted to earn their degree by simply logging onto the internet.

Earning a degree through distance learning frees up much more time than traditional classes allow, thereby making it more appealing to many different types of students.  Many MBA students in general are older and already have careers and families under their belt.  As a result, they do not have the amount of time younger students may have to spend on driving to class or uprooting to a different city.  Therefore, distance learning has created a valuable option for these students and has opened up a way for them to earn a supplemental degree while remaining in their house and with their family. 

Additionally, distance learning schools offer competitive rates that are attractive to a number of students.  MBA degrees are typically expensive to attain, but distance learning schools offer a cost efficient alternative through many of their accreditation standards.  In a society where college costs are constantly sky-rocketing, it makes sense to find the most cost-efficient option, when compared to spending $200,000 for a graduate degree.   Furthermore, most MBA students are knowledgeable about the aspects of business and are therefore eager to begin their pursuit of business with an economic venture into distance learning.

Furthermore, MBA degrees are stressful as it is, and the ability to attain one without worry about the cost of travel and education eases the burden.  Many students who attain distance learning MBA degrees understand their economic advantage and receive the same education as students who attend traditional schools.  MBA degrees are now very beneficial in all aspects of the business world, and the easier to attain one, the better.  Many MBA students want to improve their current standing in the business world, and the sooner this can happen with the least disruption to their personal lives is typically the best option for most students. 

Distance learning degrees have opened up a wide assortment of options for business students and are slowly impacting the economy.  MBA degrees are no longer as clear set as they once were, and many distance learning schools offer students the option of researching into different concentrations that are more feasible within this economy. 

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When things start to go wrong with the economy, many people start making cutbacks right away as a proactive measure.  This can be quite frustrating as a business owner, but it is an understandable reaction.  There are a few things that are within your power that you can do to ensure that your customers continue to patronize your business during tough times; stay positive, employ these tactics, and watch your customers return.

Know Your Customers

Meeting your customers’ needs is an integral part of any successful business, so make sure that you know who your typical customer is.  If this has changed over the years, it’s time to do some market research.  This will be easier to do if you own a small business where you interact with your client base on a regular basis and slightly more challenging if you have a larger business that doesn’t require regular customer interaction.

Survey Your Customers

This is a great tool that will help you to understand your customers and see if you are truly meeting their needs.  Survey customers can be as simple as posting a survey on your web page or having a suggestion box on site at your place of business.  See if you can find any common threads among suggestions and make sure to pay special attention to your frequent visitors.

Make Changes to Meet Demands

If there are some areas you can improve upon based on customer suggestions and surveys, do your best to make them in a timely fashion.  This shows your commitment to your clients and your willingness to adapt in the face of challenges.  More than likely, positive word of mouth about your attentiveness to people’s needs will help you earn more clients.

Provide Excellent Customer Service

Although this is common sense, the cornerstone of any business is its customer base.  You must show through your actions that you care about them and want them to return to your place of business.  It is not enough to simply bring them in; you must make them want to come back to do business with you again.  Excellent service will separate you from your competitors, especially if you personalize the experience.

Continue to Keep Your Promise

As a business owner, you started out with an idea of what you wanted to achieve, and what kind of goods or services you intended to offer your clientele.  Many customers look at this as an implied promise that you will to your best to continue to meet this goal over time.  They see spending their money with you as a relationship and each time they do business with you, they feel they are investing in you and your promise.  Keep this promise to your customers and watch them come back once the dust settles a bit.

 

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By Megan Jones

Human Resources is one of the most complicated areas of business. Essentially, it’s the glue that keeps all employees working together. When people go to business schools and study HR, professors will give students information pretty much by the book. However, in the real business world, there are many more situations that you will encounter that may not have a textbook answer. With that being said, here are 10 HR lessons that your business professor never taught you. If after this list, you don’t feel more confident about HR, then you might want to consider getting out of HR.

1. It’s all about the people – Human Resources is a people-driven area of business. In order to do anything in HR, be it conflict resolution, or simply evaluating new hires, you have to focus on the people. Knowing that employees have many stresses and have many challenges in the workplace is quintessential to success in Human Resources. While it is important to follow company procedures in everything, having a personal touch is always valuable in HR. Sometimes HR persons have to carry out some of the most difficult tasks in business, such as downsizing. Having people skills can make these challenging tasks much more manageable.

2. Communication is essential – Communication is probably one of the most important skill sets any person in human resources has. Being able to communicate ideas successfully with other members of the company, as well as work on resolving any issues employees may have makes the entire process much simpler. For example, when confronted with a human resources violation, it is important to know how to say things in order to maintain neutrality, and not putting the company at risk. If you overhear employees entering into dangerous territory (like political discussions), knowing a cordial way to suggest a change of subject can be quite helpful.

3. Organization is the key to success – Some of the more negative people in business say that human resources is largely about paperwork. While this outlook is a bit harsh, it is important to have organization when completing HR paperwork. I’ve known people in HR who didn’t have developed organizational skills, and therefore had a hard time managing the demands placed upon them. If you are in charge of managing new hires, having organized files can make filtering through people much easier. Keeping things neat and organized can come in very handy when it comes time to bring up a specific incident report or employee file.

4. You aren’t the enemy – If you were to ask Michael Scott from The Office about HR professionals, he’d probably have some pretty mean things to say. It’s a stereotype that many people who haven’t had true business experience throw around. Human resources is not the enemy. Thinking negatively about your profession, or thinking that other people in the company view your role in a less-positive light is a recipe for disaster. The best suggestion is to realize that human recourses is there to help employees and make sure that everyone works together to help the company become more successful.

5. Always remain neutral – This is a tip that some HR professionals have had issues with. If there is a conflict, or a company policy violation, remaining neutral is of the utmost importance. Even if you may have had personal experience with the situation, keeping a level head and looking at things from an objective, company concerned point of view will make things go much more smoothly. If the HR representative cannot remain neutral, then the conflict will become much more complicated and could even lead to larger problems within the company.

6. If you can’t be neutral, ask for help – If you think neutrality will be an issue, then you should immediately seek a co-workers aid. Report the facts as you see them, and let someone else take the lead on resolving the conflict or reporting the violation. There’s no shame in removing yourself form a situation in which you feel you cannot be entirely impartial.

7. Stick to the facts – Human resources is concerned with facts. Gathering as much information as possible about every incident will ensure smoother and faster resolutions. Less successful persons in HR won’t “go the extra mile” in order to fact-check and interview all employees who may have been involved, or knew what happened. There’s nothing worse than submitting a review to your boss, only to have extremely important facts resurface sometime later. Being thorough with the essential elements of any incident can help you make sure you’re doing the best possible job.

8. Don’t jump to conclusions – It’s only natural for any human to come to their own conclusions on certain events. However, making a conclusion before a final report is released, or all the facts have been carefully analyzed is not a good idea. Depending on your company policy, you may have leeway to include some of your own opinions in an incident report. Keep in mind, though, that if you are going to take the risk in putting your opinion down on paper, you better have thought it through and analyzed all possibilities. There’s nothing more embarrassing than drawing a hasty conclusion that turns out to be woefully inaccurate.

9. It’s okay to be a stickler for rules – Some people think employees in human resources can sometimes be sticklers for rules. It’s okay to stick to company policy on everything. Adding a personal, genuine, human touch to certain situations can help, but your main focus should be doing things by the book. You want to be sensitive to the needs of employees, but you also want to follow policies faithfully.

10. Be aware of the “fishbowl” – If you are in human resources, you will unfortunately be held to a higher standard than other employees. If your job is to investigate violations, hire new employees, and resolve conflicts, then you shouldn’t have any company blemishes. For example, it would make it much more difficult to have employees take an HR representative seriously in a conversation about sexual harassment if the HR representative was often heard making crude jokes at the water cooler. Being in HR places you in a position to be seen differently by many people in the company. Being aware of your actions can ensure that when you do have to be the stickler for rules, no one can accuse you of double standards.

Human Resources is one of the most challenging areas of business to be in. You have to be a leader, know the rules, and deal with employees of all different backgrounds, who all have many different experiences. Once again, HR is essentially the glue that keeps employees together, and working smoothly. HR professors are great when it comes to teaching students the basics, but there’s a large amount of HR that simply cannot be learned in the classroom. Hopefully, with these tips in hand, you’ll be able to avoid some of the rookie mistakes other HR professionals make.
 

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Travel is an important part of business these days, but it’s often hard to stay productive when you’re away from the office. That’s why we’ve found compiled a list of 50 of the best web based and mobile device tools for productivity on the go. Use these tools, and you’ll be able to work wherever and whenever you need to.

Communication

The ability to stay in touch is one of the most important things to keep when you’re away from a traditional office. Put these tools to work and you’ll always be in the loop.

  1. Skype: With Skype, you can keep the same telephone number wherever you are and save on long distance charges.
  2. Earth Class Mail: This mail service will allow you to receive snail mail no matter where you are in the world. You’ll get a PO box, scanned images of the envelopes you receive, and the ability to open or trash whatever you receive.
  3. MyQuire: This online collaboration tool includes lots of great features, all for free.
  4. LiveMeeting: Using this hosted web conferencing service, you can conduct online meetings and events wherever you are.
  5. Meebo: Stay in touch with multiple IM clients in this web based tool.
  6. Highrise: Highrise allows you to handle your contacts in a shared setting, so you and your colleages will always know the status of important contacts.
  7. Grand Central: Grand Central will give you one number that will ring on all of your phones and use one central box for voicemail.
  8. SugarCRM: With SugarCRM, you’ll be able to stay on top of your customer relations online.

Storage

When you’re away from your office, you may not have all of the files you need available. Using these services, you can get access to the important information you need using only an internet connection.

  1. Flickr: Flickr is one of the most popular and useful photo storage and sharing sites available, so it’s a great choice if you want to be able to access your images on the go.
  2. GoToMyPC: GoToMyPC offers a way to remotely and securely access your PC from anywhere, and even control it remotely.
  3. Jungle Disk: Powered by Amazon’s data centers, Jungle Disk has reliable and affordable online data storage.

Documents

For many students and workers, productivity means being able to work on documents, spreadsheets and office files. These tools will allow you to do just that in an online setting.

  1. Zoho: Zoho’s suite of office tools offer a way to work on presenations, documents, spreadsheets, and more.
  2. Google Docs: Google Docs allows you to upload and save files to your desktop, allow online collaboration and access, and share changes in real time online.
  3. Open Office: In this open source productivity suite, you’ll be able to work on documents that are fully compatible with other major office suites.
  4. Webnote: Webnote allows you to take notes using your web browser and save them online, so you can access your notes anywhere there’s an internet connection.

Organization

While you’re away from a traditional office, it’s easy to lose papers, sticky notes, and important thoughts, but with these tools you can keep everything safely stored and organized online.

  1. I Want Sandy: Sandy will be your personal online assistant, sending you useful reminders and to dos for your day.
  2. Basecamp: Make use of Basecamp, and you’ll be able to post and share documents, communicate, and stay on top of your to do lists.
  3. Jott: Jott allows you to email yourself notes using just a phone call. The service is integrated with lots of other great tools, including I Want Sandy.
  4. HTTrack: If you’ll be working offline, but need to use web pages, download them with HTTrack.
  5. Google Calendar: Google’s online shareable calendar service is a great way to stay on top of your schedule while you’re out.
  6. Toodledo: Toodledo offers an easy way to stay on top of your tasks in a really organized manner.
  7. Remember the Milk: With Remember The Milk’s online to do list and task management, you can keep your tasks organized and easily at hand online and off.
  8. Backpack: The Backpack tool will help you organize your business information and share it with your colleagues and classmates.

Finance

Keep tabs on your money while you’re away using these finance tools.

  1. Mint: Keep all of your accounts in one easy to access space online using Mint’s service.
  2. Paypal: This popular online payment system will allow you to pay and be paid using a credit card or checking account no matter where you are.
  3. Wesabe: Keep your money under control with this online tool, and you’ll be able to take advantage of social finance as well.

Media

Use these tools to stay up to date with your media and news while you’re on the road.

  1. Picnik: With Picnick’s online photo editing, you can fine tune your photos wherever you are.
  2. Google Reader: Stay up to date with news, friends, and more using RSS feeds on Google Reader.

Travel & Navigation

Get around the easy way with these travel and navigation tools.

  1. Google Maps: Google Maps makes it easy to find out how to get just about anywhere, and it integrates with a number of online and mobile tools.
  2. TripIt: Use this online trip planner and itinerary website to get your travel organized from the web.

Device

It’s not always ideal to use a full featured computer when you’re away from the office, so make use of these tools that will help you use your mobile device to be productive and stay on top of your courses and projects.

  1. WordBook: Using WordBook’s mobile dictionary, you can look up definitions from your smart phone, even inside of apps.
  2. WorldMate: The WorldMate travel software makes it easy to stay on top of weather, currency, and other travel needs.
  3. Mobipocket Reader: Mobipocket Reader will allow you to read news, ebooks, and more on your smart phone.
  4. VOIP Buster: Use VOIP Buster to get free, high quality voice communications all over the world.
  5. Mobile Wikipedia: Keep an encyclopedia in your pocket with the mobile version of the Wikipedia.
  6. Fizz Traveler: Fizz Traveler is a great solution for staying on top of all your travel information and more.
  7. Text Marks: Make your text messaging capabilities even better with the TextMarks service.
  8. IR Remote: This tool will turn your phone into a universal remote control that can operate audio and video equipment.
  9. PocketWeather: PocketWeather will make it easy for you to stay updated on weather reports wherever you are.
  10. GeoPedia: GeoPedia offers the ability to find Wikipedia articles based on your geographic location.
  11. RDM+: Use RDM+ to get remote access to your PC.
  12. Orb: Using Orb, you can broadcast from your home PC.
  13. Keep Track: Keep Track will help you with organized expense tracking, financial transactions, and accounts, so you’ll have your finances organized when you get back.
  14. Evernote: Using Evernote, you can take notes that will sync with your desktop.
  15. GooSync: Synchronize your mobile calendar and Google Calendar using GooSync.
  16. 1 Calc: 1 Calc will put your installed calculator to shame with its currency converter, graphing, scientific calculations, and more.
  17. Oxios: This to do list tool will sync with Microsoft Outlook on your desktop.
  18. eOffice: Use eOffice, and you’ll be able to edit documents on your device and integrate with Google Docs.
  19. Agenda One: Manage your time in a really organized way with Agenda One’s mobile time management solution.
  20. ChatterEmail: ChatterEmail is a smartphone email tool that works with HTML and webmail clients.

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10 Reasons Your Business Should Use Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the search company’s jump into the browser market. The web browser is directly aimed to compete with Internet Explorer, further intensifying the grudge between Microsoft and Google. However, what does Google Chrome mean for your business? It’s no secret that many other browsers have historically lacked in certain areas. For example, Safari and Firefox have their “Internet Explorer only” web site issues, and Internet Explorer has security and crash issues. Google Chrome is a new take on a web browser. It serves not only to be the gateway between you in the World Wide Web, but also to be the centerpiece of your interactions on your computer. Chrome offers many advantages. Here are 10 reasons your business should use Google Chrome.

1. Price – You can make the argument that Internet Explorer comes pre-loaded on all your company computers. However, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re indirectly paying for it. Google Chrome is free, and open source. One can download it, and theoretically put smart engineers to work customizing it and making it even better than before.

2. Google integration – Most companies that wish to have an online presence will probably have to deal with Google at some point. Paid Search campaigns and the like can be bolstered by utilizing Google Chrome. In the future, there will most likely even more synergy between business staples such as Google Analytics and Google Adwords.

3. Security – Security has been a major issue with many other browsers. Specifically, Chrome’s chief competitor, Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer has been known to allow malicious worms access to entire companies. Needless to say, such an event can turn out to be extremely costly for any business. Google Chrome periodically downloads updates on two blacklists. One of the lists is for malware while the other is for phishing. Much like Firefox, users will be warned before they attempt to visit a site that could be harmful.

4. Stability – Chrome goes after another weakness of Internet Explorer by offering increased stability. The way Chrome is designed, there’s a separate process for each site instance and plug-in. This mechanic successfully prevents different functions from interfering with one another. This is an excellent element to both stability and security. If you run a business that may require you to complete a variety of tasks within your browser, then Chrome is a clear winner. Chrome also has a process management utility that is called the “Task Manager.” This utility allows the user to see which sites are taking the most memory, and downloading the most bytes. For some businesses which have to deal with hundreds of workers going to demanding sites, it can help them control what sites to block if they are simply too demanding on the computers and/or internet connection.

5. Speed – I today’s high-octane business world, speed is paramount. Persons testing Chrome against all the other major competing browsers, including Firefox 3, Internet Explorer 7 and 8, and Safari, showed that Google Chrome indeed functioned faster, with more stability. This test utilized the SunSpider Javascript Benchmark in order to obtain the results. If you want people in your business getting their work done fast, then Chrome is clearly the way to go.

6.  It’s not Internet Explorer – There’s nothing more debilitating for a business then constant crashes. Internet Explorer has well known instances of crashing repeatedly, and this can cause significant losses of productivity, or even worse, important data. Chrome’s stability and speed offer a strong counter to a browser which, while used by many businesses, can be quite buggy at times.

7. Did I mention open source – Open source code is perfect for businesses for a variety of reasons. One reason is that when every person can edit the code, security updates, and routine glitch updates can happen much more frequently than if one is forced to wait for the company itself to research and fix issues.  Open source also provides businesses the opportunity to look at ways to make the browser more tailored to fit the needs of the business.

8. Your employees will love it – There are some pretty interesting and engaging elements to Google Chrome. The ability to have a look at the sites you’ve most recently visited right from opening the browser saves having to put bookmarks (which, as well all know was a very tiresome experience). The tabbing options give workers the opportunity to be on a variety of web sites with only one window open (sure other browsers have tabbed browsing, but Google’s looks cooler!). They also get to use a Google product, which has that Apple-ish “cool” factor.  Google Chrome Addons, of course, can make for a more personal experience for each employee, and could probably provide actual utility for productivity, depending on the add-on.

9. Competitive advantage – With extra speed, stability, open source code, integration and potential increased integration with other Google products, Chrome offers a company quite a bit in terms of a competitive advantage. In today’s business world, many corporations can have difficulty separating from the pack in their respective industries. Google Chrome can be one of those separating factors.

10. It never hurts to try – Yes, a lame excuse, but if you’re a small business company looking for a new browser, or just want to see how it will affect any aspect of your operations, then Google Chrome is worth the download. You can easily keep multiple browsers on corporate computers. If nothing else, give your employees some variety and choice in what they use.

Google Chrome isn’t perfect, and lacks many of the great add-ons that Mozilla Firefox has. However, if your business is looking for a free, fast, and simple browser, then Chrome should be strongly considered.

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It’s an unfortunate part of the job universe. Sometimes people just have to get fired. Even if they are trying their hardest, it may just not be working out. Sometimes it gets even worse if you’re the one who has to do the firing, even though your boss is the one who wants it done. However, lamenting the pains of having to fire someone can be pretty boring. One way to spice things up (at least for yourself) is to come up with creative ways to fire someone. Most firings today are done with emotion and “concern” for the person being fired.  However, I feel that if the firing experience is unique, the now jobless former-employee may never forget it, and truly focus on being a better worker. At the very least, you can have a good laugh about your crazy antics with the other managers at the office. So without further adieu, here are 30 creative ways to fire someone.

1. The Geico Technique – Sure it’s been done in movies, but it would be even more hilarious in a real-life firing situation. Simply ask the person being fired into your office, and tell him that you’ve got bad news and good news. If they ask for the bad news first (which we hope they do), you can tell them they’re fired. If they then ask for the good news, you guessed it; “I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.” However, if they say what’s the good news you must use a different technique.

2. The Fake Promotion – If your about-to-be-canned employee asks for the good news first, you can say, “you’re getting a promotion!” Then be sure to add in a bunch of perks to the promotion, quote a new salary if you have to. If they ever ask “really?” or when you’ve decided enough’s enough, simply get a straight deadpan face and say, “just kidding, you’re actually fired.” Your employee’s face sure will be red!

3
. The Yoda Technique – Speak normally, and tell them all the things wrong with their performance, etc. Just when you’re getting to the part where you tell them they are now jobless, switch into a Yoda voice and say “Fired, you are!” and then give them a complimentary DVD of the original Star Wars trilogy (don’t give them the new episodes, they’ve just been fired, remember!?).

4. The Unemployment Line – Ask the employee to go for a ride with you. Then, you drive them right to the unemployment offices. Be sure not to talk to them the whole time. Then, when you get there, throw them out of the car and drive off. They’ll get the message.

5. You’re Fired Candy Gram – Who doesn’t love candy grams!? Nothing says “you’re fired” like a nice box of chocolates delivered with a song to someone’s office/cubicle. Make sure the song mentions all the things that they have done wrong during their employment, or else they won’t get the message.

6. The Marty McFly Fax – In Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly (the main character) gets fired by his boss via a fax that simply reads “YOU’RE FIRED.” This is a simple, brilliant idea. You could also change it to an e-mail if you were so inclined.

7. The Google Bomb Firing – Yes, Google Bombs are much harder (okay, near impossible) to do now. However, if you know someone is going to get fired months in advance. I suggest spending millions of dollars Google Bombing their name to bring up dictionary.com’s definition for “unemployed.” Won’t it be a laugh when they come in one day and you tell them to Google their name?

8. Fired During a Fire Drill, or Real Fire – I don’t think anyone has ever made the connection, but it’s such a great pun that you almost have to do it. Schedule a fire drill, or perhaps set a real fire (although I wouldn’t recommend it) in your office. As everyone is running around panicking (or calmly congregating outside, depending on your fire alarm method), get on a megaphone and say “This is a fire (drill) because [employee’s name] is FIRED!” Everyone will probably have such a hearty chuckle, it could be worth the thousands of dollars worth of damage.

9. Give the Employee an Atomic Fireball During the Firing – Another pun with equally humorous results. When the employee comes into your office, offer them an atomic fireball. If they accept it, and enjoy it, ask them “do you like atomic fireballs?” When they respond, “yes”, you can then say “great because you’re fired!” and subsequently throw several more Atomic Fireballs at them.

10. Pig Latin Irefay – Fire the person in pig Latin. I’m not quite sure how it would go exactly, but the employee won’t be either. It would definitely be more effective to conduct the entire meeting in Pig Latin, ending with an emphatic, "Ou’reyay Iredfay!" Eventually they’ll figure it out though when their security clearance is revoked so they can’t come into work. Or you can just direct them to a pig latin translator.

11. Just Stop Paying Them – The Office Space technique can really work wonders. It avoids confrontation and is amusing to observe. Just stop paying your employee without ever telling them that they’re fired. Be sure to have payroll refer the employee to you and you refer the employee to payroll. Making office pools for how long it takes before the employee realizes he/she is fired is another positive outcome of this technique.

12. Have IT Change Their Password – You can be very creative by having IT change the employee’s computer password to “imfired” or “unemployed.” When they go to ask what the new password is, they’ll have quite the surprise on their hands!

13
. Make Your Kids Fire Them – Who knew that bring your son/daughter to work day could actually have value for the company. Simply have your kids do all the firings for the day. The fired employees won’t feel so bad when they’re firing comes from an adorable child. Kids do say the darndest things!

14. Fired Fruit Basket – People usually send fruit baskets for appreciation. Why not change the entire meaning of a fruit basket by sending a fruit basket with a “You’re Fired” card? Even though the employee will still be upset, at least they get some fruit out of it.

15. Donald Trump Himself – Depending on your commitment to unique firings, you could decide to pay Donald Trump to come say “you’re fired” to the employee. Make sure Trump is hiding in a closet or under a desk to provide extra surprise.

16. Fake Murder Fired – Set up the meeting with the soon-to-be jobless employee. Then, make your office look like the spot of a violent murder. Sprawling out on the floor with loads of professional movie-quality makeup making it look like you’ve had your throat slashed or something horrid is a great idea. When your employee comes in, they may decide to scream or call for help. Be sure to then jump up and yell “just kidding, I’m not dead, but you sure are fired!”

17. Window Washer Drama – If the employee has a nice office with a window, simply give a nice piece of paper to the window washer that reads, “you’re fired!”

18. Fake Kidnapping Firing – Call your employee up and claim to have their loved ones. Spouse, child, or both is usually the most effective. Demand a ransom, and when they agree to it simply say “Just kidding, it’s me, and you can’t afford that ransom anyway, because you’re fired.”

19. Scoreboard Firing – Your company may have box seats to several venues. Invite the employee to come to a game. At the opportune time, have them look as the scoreboard flashes “You’re Fired!” over and over. Although, funnier things have been seen on scoreboards.

20. Hire Before Fire – Hire the employee’s replacement BEFORE they are fired. Be sure to give the replacement the former-employees office. When the old employee comes in and sees a new employee in his office/cubicle, hilarity is sure to ensue.

21. Arm Wrestle for the Job – Invite your employee into your office, then challenge them to an arm wrestling match. If they lose, they lose their job. However, if they win, they get a raise. Even if they lose, you can still fire them, which is funny because you just made them waste time and energy arm-wrestling you before the inevitable canning.

22. Make an Human Resources Employee Do It – On second thought, I think that’s a bit mean. No one should ever have to talk to HR.

23. The Tricky Business Birthday Cake – At the office, there will often be cakes when someone has a birthday. If someone who is going to be fired also has a birthday coming up, give them a “you’re fired” cake. Everyone can have a laugh, and the person being fired still gets a cake out of it.

24. Elaborate Office Musical Number – Shows like Family Guy often break out into musical numbers at random times. If you’re going to fire someone, what better time then to start singing? Getting the whole office involved is a great way to build a stronger team through ostracizing one of the former members via music!

25. The James Bond Theme Firing – When the employee enters your office, make sure some James Bond music is playing softly in the background. Also make sure you have a huge captains chair and you’re facing the window away from the office door (preferably smoking a Cigar). Spin around slowly and say “Well [employee’s name], I’ve been expecting you…” You can then go into the whole firing speech. A little theatrics can go a long way when firing someone.

26. The Show and Tell Surprise – Oftentimes kids have special “what my parents’ jobs are” show-and-tell days. Find out when your employee has such a day, and then surprise him or her at their children’s school. When they are giving the presentation about their job, be sure to jump in and inform them that they no longer have that job. Feel free to stick around and see what they say to the little wide-eyed children.

27. Massive E-Mail Oops – E-mail the employee informing them of the decision and the reasons behind it. Accidentally CC the entire company for added hilarity.

28
. You’re Fired Tattoo – This idea is great because it could be used many times. Tattoo “You’re Fired” somewhere on your body. The more creative the body part that it is tattooed on, the more interesting every firing will be. Personally, I feel the buttocks would be the most amusing spot.

29. Silly String Canning – When the employee comes into your office, use a can of Silly String to cover them, and then spell “You’re Fired” out on one of the walls (assuming you have enough Silly String left over). If the person looks confused or asks what’s going on, you get to say “you’ve just been canned!” Just make sure Silly String isn’t banned in your town.

30
. Have Their Car Impounded – Again, if you’re going for a lest controversial, yet equally hilarious firing, you can always have their car impounded. Be sure the tow truck operate knows why the car is getting impounded. How many people can actually say they were informed that they were jobless by a guy working at an impound yard? I’d venture to say not many!

So there you have it, 30 unique ways to fire someone. Firings don’t always have to be dull. Making the firing as devastating as possible is a great way to add some spice to the otherwise monotonous business world. Of course, if you’re actually planning on firing someone, I suggest you don’t follow any of these suggestions, since most people would probably get pretty upset.

 

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When starting any business, there are certain intangibles one should have. Creativity, a solid work ethic, the ability to organize, modify, and stick with plans, and general business knowledge can all go an extremely long way when setting up a business. However, growing that business requires these skills and more. Open courseware is one of the greatest things to happen to education in recent memory. With open courseware, it is possible for persons to learn more and improve their careers. For business, courseware cam help you learn new ways to grow a specific business. While there are many instinctual elements to entrepreneurship, knowing theory, techniques, new innovations, and other solid business strategies can give a much needed edge over competition in whatever specific industry you may be in. With this idea in mind, there are a variety of options for free open courseware that can help you grow your business.

1. Economics Interactive Tutorials – This course is lead by Dr. Samuel L. Baker, at the University of South Carolina. This class concerns the basics of economics, which is something that is very essential to growing a business. If there’s no demand for your product, don’t over supply.

2. Introduction to Marketing – For the Entrepreneur who may not have had any marketing experience.

3. Economics Lecture Notes – Professor Brad DeLong, Berkeley University makes his in depth Economics 101 lecture notes available to all. They come in both .doc and HTML versions. DeLong also has a macroeconomics page.

4. Marketing Strategy – If you are trying to seriously grow a business, you need to think outside of the box. This course is strongly recommended for entrepreneur, and anyone who has goals to see their business expand.

5. Environmental and Natural Resources Economics – This course is taught by Steve Hackett, at Humboldt State University, Taking a look at trends, going green is a fantastic business decision. Learning about economics and natural resources, via lecture slides that go in depth on the topic.

6. Introduction to the Study of Language – The economy is global, and businesses wanting to have success can increase their reach by having knowledge of other languages. In fact, as countries become more diverse, this discipline will become even more important. Keeping that in mind, Professor Philippe Schlenker’s UCLA class would be a good choice.

7. Mandarin Chinese – If the market is Global, its heart is moving to China. If the Beijing 2008 games aren’t enough to convince you, consider the sheer growth of China’s economy year over year. Learning Mandarin Chinese via The Free Online Language portal would be a great decision for your business. If you want to grow, expanding into China is the next logical step. Knowing Mandarin Chinese can give you a leg up on the competition.

8. Business Law – You can’t expect to go far in your business if you don’t understand Law. If you’re trying to grow your business, you may have to do it via mergers or acquisitions. Understanding the law behind this can help you significantly.

9. Globalization, Migration, and International Relations – This is another course that can build off of the idea that expanding your business can be done internationally.

10. Economic Analysis of Law – Another business and law related course that can help you navigate the sometimes-complicated business laws that exist.

11.
Computing, Audio, and Music – If you think you can’t expand a business without investing time in technologies. Being proficient at computing, as well as any alternative technologies can give you an edge over the competition.

12. Taxes and Business Strategy – Taxes are part of any business. You can always hire someone to help you, but knowing a little about taxes can also be extremely helpful. Business strategy is, once again, something solid to have a background in if you have lofty goals for your organization.

13. Language and Mind – Depending on how in-depth you wish to get in your language knowledge, this course can be very useful for further expanding your understanding of other languages. The goal in taking such a course would be top increase fluency to a point where it is quite the boost to your business.

14. Modern Technology – Offered by the University of Winnipeg, this is another technology class that can make sure you are always with the times when it comes to technology and your business.

15. Sociology – Some may wonder what sociology has to do with business. Sociology can be a tremendously useful when trying to reach customers with the end-goal of growing the business.

16. Principals of Microeconomics – A basic course that helps to give the foundation for Microeconomics.

17. Principals of Macroeconomics – Another basic course that helps to give the foundation for Macroeconomics.

18. Entrepreneurial Finance – Knowing the financial aspects from an entrepreneur context can really help your business. Business is a lot more than revenue minus expenses equals profit.

19. Business Analysis Using Financial Statements – Being able to analyze where your business has come from and where it’s going is one of the best things you can do. In order to grow your business you need to be able to assess what has worked, and what could be improved. Some people think analytics to be a lost art form. Get a leg up on the competition by proving them wrong.

20. Information Technology Essentials – Going off of other technology courses, learning IT can be quite the boon to one’s fledgling business. Discovering new ways to be organized, meet goals, make goals, and generally interact with your customers can certainly help your business grow by leaps and bounds.

Growing a business isn’t impossible. While it is an extremely daunting task, if you have the knowledge, it can be much, much easier to do. Taking some of these free open courseware classes can provide you with that essential knowledge. If one were to ask Steve Jobs, Donald Trump, or another highly successful business person what he could change about his path, he or she might mention wanting to have had more business-centric knowledge before embarking on risky business ventures. Get a leg up on the competition with superior knowledge, and you’ll find it was worth it to donate your time to free open courseware.
 

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The Internet is full of great resources for current and future CPAs to keep up with the latest in their industries and in the world of finance. With so much information at your fingertips, why not take advantage of it? You may just learn something new or find advice on topics you’ve been struggling with. Here are 50 great accounting blogs to check out to learn the ins and outs of the accounting field.

General

Give these blogs a read for great general coverage of topics in accounting.

  1. A Passion for Business: Axiom CPA publishes this blog which gives advice and information on consulting and general issues in accounting.
  2. Beancounter Magic: Both entrepreneurs and those looking to get started in business can get informed on this blog which offers opinions on accounting, taxes and business.
  3. Number Insights: This accounting blog focuses on taxes, but also covers a wide range of other issues.
  4. Periodic Ramblings of a CPA: Chad Bordeaux, a CPA, shares his thoughts on accounting issues in this blog as well as a host of other topics.
  5. Skeptical CPA: This CPA from Texas covers news issues in his blog as well as providing his own life lessons for other CPAs to learn from.
  6. Where Every Penny Matters: Written by a Florida CPA, in this blog you’ll find news about the latest in accounting, tax issues, and much more to help you learn the things you need to know about managing money.
  7. Re: The Auditors: Those with an interest in business accounting, more specifically auditing, will find some valuable news and views in this blog.
  8. The Solo Accountant Reporter: Check out this blog for some great managerial and forensic accounting tips and advice.
  9. Understand Accounting: If you don’t have the attention span to read long blog entries, check out this site. It specializes in explaining accounting issues in "mercifully brief" form.
  10. Accounting for What’s Next: Accounting firm Gainer, Donnelly & Desroches puts out this blog which covers important issues facing accountants all over the US.
  11. Accountants Round Up: This blog from Golden Marketing brings together all kinds of news and commentaries to give accountants some interesting reading material.
  12. Footnoted*org: If you have a special interest in the crazy things companies try to bury in their SEC filings, give this blog a read. You’ll find out some interesting business facts and learn what questionable accounting practices some businesses may be involved in.
  13. Life and Times of Accounting: This accounting firm’s blog provides humorous commentary, raises issues about tax filings and much more.
  14. The Accounting Blog: Vanilla Accounting posts entries on this blog which deal with everything from advice on selling a business to rules for independent contractors.

For Accountants By Accountants

Students and financially-minded individuals can get great advice and insight from accountants on these blogs.

  1. A Counting School: A young Canadian Chartered Account talks about his struggles to pass his exams and pursue a career thereafter in this blog.
  2. AccMan: This blog is written by an accountant with over 30 years experience in IT finance. You’ll find advice on how to use new technologies to drive client value in your own accounting business.
  3. Accountant Jokes and Fun: Accountant Mark Lee provides a little comic relief in this blog, filled with jokes and humorous anecdotes just for accountants.
  4. Ambitious Accountants: Mark Lee and the Tax Advice Network put out this blog, which provides tax accountants with the information they need to efficiently and thoroughly complete their clients’ taxes.
  5. Big4Guy: This Big 4 consultant shares his advice and experiences in an effort to help out other accountants and those interested in taking a variety of security certification examinations.
  6. CPA Marketing Center Blog: Blogger David Rachford posts on this blog, designed to provide tax accountants with new ways they can build and market their businesses.
  7. The EyeShade: Check out this blog by auditor Mark Ramos. It provides posts on the latest news in the finance world and aims to give accountants ideas to spark their imaginations.
  8. Innovative Practice Management: Accountants can get advice and ideas on managing their practices from this helpful blog.

Professors and Students

Whether you’re in school or just want an academic perspective, these blogs can provide helpful reading material.

  1. Tick Marks: Dan Meyer, accounting faculty in Tennessee, writes this blog filled with information on accounting, taxation and personal finance for CPAs and non-CPAs alike.
  2. Tax Prof Blog: Charles Hartsock, law professor at the University of Cincinnati, writes this blog which focuses on the legal issues surrounding tax matters.
  3. CPA Pledge: Accounting student Jim chronicles his experience working to become an accountant in this blog.
  4. Exam Cram Blog: Students studying for their CPA exam can find loads of tips from Priscilla Jenkins, a student currently working towards taking and passing the exam.
  5. The Journey to Success: This blog covers a range of issues including personal finance and accounting, but also offers tips for students trying to pass the CPA exam.
  6. Accounting Coach: Maintained by University of Wisconsin-Whitewater professor Harold Averkamp, this blog provides loads of information that can be helpful to students and professional accountants alike.

Associations and Professional Literature

These professional organizations’ blogs for accountants can provide some great information.

  1. Alex Malley: This blog is put out by the president of CPA Australia and offers information on conferences, general accounting issues and more.
  2. CPA Success: Check out this blog from the Maryland Association of CPAs. You’ll get tips on managing your own finances and building your accounting business.
  3. NYSSCPA Blog: The New York State Society of CPAs provides numerous articles and tips on a wide range of accounting issues in this blog.
  4. TSCPA Governmental Affairs Blog: Keep up with what’s going on in the news related to accounting and finance in this blog from the Texas Society of CPAs.
  5. AGA Weblog: If government accountability is your area of interest, check out this blog from the AGA. You’ll get insightful commentary on the latest issues.
  6. The AAO Weblog: While you’ll need a subscription to read all of the content on this site, the Accounting Observer puts out loads of articles that can be of great interest to those in the accounting field.

Taxes

Taxes can be the bread and butter of many accountants’ businesses and you’ll find tips and information about them in these great blogs.

  1. Tax Tips Blog: CPA Gina Gwodz provides little tips that can help you improve the amount you get back on tax returns.
  2. Tax Guru: Kerry M. Kerstetter, CPA, provides news tidbits and his own commentary to help business owners get the most back from their taxes.
  3. Our Taxing Times: This blog deals with tax laws, US taxes and tax preparation.
  4. Taxable Talk: Russ Fox of Clayton Financial and Tax uses this blog to give advice and insight on the current state of taxes in the US.
  5. TaxMama’s TaxQuips: You’ll find daily audio clips and other tips on this site dedicated to helping small businesses with their taxes.
  6. Tax Update Blog: Firm Roth and Company puts out this blog which updates accountants about the latest news in tax accounting.

Niche Accounting

Whether it’s technology or bankruptcy, these blogs focus on special areas of business and accounting.

  1. InsolvencyAccounting: Chris Laughton of Mercer & Hole writes this blog which deals with numerous issues in bankruptcy accounting in the UK.
  2. Business Valuation Blog: Blogger and CPA Eva Lang posts valuable sites, comments and news articles on this blog to help businesses determine just how much they’re worth.
  3. Accounting Thoughts: If your interests lie in forensic accounting and fraud investigation check out this blog by Joel Ungar.
  4. Islamic Finance Blog: Price Waterhouse Coopers provides this blog which delves into the latest financial issues facing Islamic countries in the Middle East and beyond.
  5. Abacus: Get loads of tips on using computer programs to track and manage accounting information in this blog.
  6. Energized Accounting: Learn how to get the most out of the software you’re using to do your accounting with a little help from the advice in this blog.
  7. Financial Systems and Business Intelligence: Get some insight into the most common financial systems and ways you can use them more effectively in this blog.
  8. The Tech Gap: Explore the areas where technology and accounting intersect in this blog written by CPA and tech expert Gregory LaFollette.
  9. From Greg’s Head: Greg Price of PKF Texas writes this blog which follows the latest in accounting and technology trends.
  10. CPA Firm Technology Blog: CPA and technology advisor, Brian Tankersley gives you some ideas on how to use technology better in your accounting practice.

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