New Era of Performance Standards


Gone are the days of performance checklists, hastily reviewed during an employee’s annual review. Companies now use performance standards to design orientation and training plans, research customer service and development needs, and award performance bonuses.

The National Federation of Independent Business ( ) provides guidelines for creating effective, objective standards. Design your company’s performance evaluations to meet the following criteria:

Identifies a distinguishable line between unacceptable and outstanding performance.

Is challenging but manageable.

Sets specific, measurable and objective guidelines.

Covers only functions controlled by the employee.

Benefits clients or customers.

Uses precise language and terms.

The final key for effective performance standards lies in communication—make sure the terms are settled upon by both the employee and manager.


Year-end tax planning and what’s new for 2016

Practitioners need to consider several tax planning opportunities to review with their clients before the end of the year. This report offers strategies for individuals and businesses, as well as recent federal tax law changes affecting this year’s tax returns.


News quiz: Retirement planning, tax practice, and fraud risk

Recent reports focused on a survey that gauges the worries about retirement among CPA financial planners’ clients, a suit that affects tax practitioners, and a guide that offers advice on fraud risk. See how much you know with this short quiz.


Bolster your data defenses

As you weather the dog days of summer, it’s a good time to make sure your cybersecurity structure can stand up to the heat of external and internal threats. Here are six steps to help shore up your systems.