Smart Stops on the Web


Try It, Then Buy It
This CNET Networks site offers CPAs, small business owners and IT consultants software reviews organized by “Most Popular” and “Most Talked About.” Product categories include accounting and tax, as well as business and personal finance, database and project management, inventory systems and word processing. Users can either sample the software for free or purchase it.

Home Is Where the Office Is
“Dedicated to serving home-based and small business professionals,” the Home Office Association of America (HOAA) site offers its members—for an annual registration fee of $49—discounts on car and hotel reservations, equipment and health insurance, and long-distance and merchant credit card services. Nonmembers can sign up to receive an abridged version of HOAA’s biweekly newsletter Home Office Connections and access a list of links to additional home office and small business Web sites.

Make Your Home Your Office
CPAs interested in information technology for setting up home offices, as well as IT consultants, can access links to workshops—in RealPlayer audio files—on technology planning as well as to articles such as “Developing Effective Technology Plans” and “Promoting Technology: 13 Ways to Do It.”

From the Chief Home Officer
“Created with business owners and telecommuters in mind,” this small office/home office site offers a tip of the week, “home office success stories” (for example, “Tech Lease: A Smart Small Biz Strategy”) and a list of links to related Web sites. CPA telecommuters also can find links to helpful sites such as and .

Avoid Traffic—Work at Home
This site provides links to literature about achieving a work/life balance, geographically dispersed staff member teams and working at home as well as a detailed overview of the book, 101 Tips for Telecommuters. For CPAs or clients interested in setting up a home office, they can read the site’s guide to making a case for telecommuting to the boss and a checklist to ascertain whether employees fit the telecommuter profile.

Office Sweet Office
Users can register for a free membership to this site and access articles of interest to telecommuters, mobile executives and road warriors, such as “Access Your PC and Data From Anywhere.” The information center includes links to news, case studies, statistical information and research.


For the Small Business Owner
“Don’t wait until your company is on its last breath. Get a free basic business checkup now.” So say the “fiscal physicians” at the Small Business Consulting and Business Advisory Services Web site. The “BASIC Business Checkup” assesses the following factors to alert owners of any potential risk exposure or other problems within their organizations: b aseline factors, a ccounting, s taffing, i nternal processes and the C EO.

All the News That’s Fit to Download
Web surfers looking for more than just online news headlines should stop by this site. Not only does it offer links to articles from around the world, but it breaks the information down into categories including business, entertainment, finance, the Internet, lifestyle, the United States and world. The home page also offers other resources such as a financial calculator, stock market data and universal currency converter.

“Th-Th-That’s (Not) All, Folks”
Motivate and inform employees while entertaining them. That’s the strategy of this Web site, which offers amusing animations for the business world. Categories include change, diversity, the electronic office, harassment prevention, office etiquette, problem solving and teamwork. So take a break from the day and view the demo versions. Also, visitors can buy these cartoons individually or in batches by category.

All Things Investment
For the novice investor or the CPA/investment professional looking to bone up on his or her area of expertise, this site covers most of the field’s bases with links to articles, tutorials and a definition of the week taken from its database of more than 3,000 investment terms. Other sections include “Analyst Insight,” “Investing in Options,” “Retirement Corner” and “Trader’s Edge.”

Tap Into Tax Information
If this URL sounds similar to the one above, there’s good reason—they’re both owned and maintained by the same company, Equade Internet Ltd. This site promises “tax information all of us can understand,” and users can search for topics in the site’s database of more than 1,000 tax terms. Other features include checklists, frequently asked questions and tax forms and rates.


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.