Smart stops on the Web.


Hardware and Software Games
This site is geared toward computer users who also have time for fun and games. Thresh's Firing Squad offers news and information about the latest high-tech games software as well as product reviews by users and links to vendors.

For PC Enthusiasts
The Web site, Ars Technica—which is Latin for the "art of technology," is a comprehensive source for reviews, buyer's guides and helpful hints for all things PC-related. Included are articles that preview and review software, hardware and the latest trends in computer technology.

A Hard Look At Hardware
This site functions as a self-study course for PC users who want to deal more easily with hardware problems. Its 264 pages of material are broken down into 28 illustrated modules so users can see exactly what components are included in each. Among the topics covered are PC data and system boards, CPUs, drives and other storage, expansion cards and interfaces as well as operating and file systems, graphics and sound. A dictionary of computer terms with detailed definitions and explanations is also included on the site.

Hardcore Hardware
Hardcore is right! This site is for seasoned computer users who want to upgrade, replace, rebuild or repair their systems. One section offers a list of books and manuals for troubleshooting and upgrading: Just click on the titles to get more information or to order. Also included are links to manufacturers and vendors of controller cards, CPUs and input devices—to name a few.   Hardware Central
Yet another site devoted to computer hardware offers reports and opinions as well as discussion groups and reviews of most computer components. Unlike some of the other sites listed, this one has links to a computer vendor for online purchases and offers a free e-mailed newsletter.


Census Redux
The U.S. Census Bureau has unveiled a redesigned and much improved site. Key business links are clearly noted up front, along with a news section. The bureau has long been a technology leader: The punched card, for years a staple of data processing, was developed for the 1890 census.

Get A Job
Smart accountants know to look online for new jobs. Career Mosaic, an online job bank that's free for applicants, reported nearly half a million searches on its site for accounting and finance positions in a three-month period. It boasts 100,000 job listings, including positions at Big Five firms.

Charity Begins Online
Raffa & Associates, a CPA firm, has a free resource page on state registration for nonprofit entities soliciting contributions. For each state, Raffa lists requirements, fees, dates and agencies. This can be an enormous timesaver for CPAs who either work for nonprofits or have them as clients.


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.