Smart Stops on the Web


SMART STOPS ON THE WEB
Resources Revisited
www.bvresources.com

First listed as a Smart Stop a year ago this issue, this Web site still offers CPAs and business valuation (BV) professionals all the features they have come to expect, such as its BVLibrary, definition of the week, online forums, and gratis articles and downloads. Now it also includes a free section, Shannon’s Tip of the Week, by Dr. Shannon Pratt, who established the Business Valuation Update newsletter available online or in print for a fee.

Tools to Start or Sell Your Business
www.toolkit.cch.com/text/p06_7100.asp

CPAs advising clients who want to start their own companies—as well as small business owners looking to sell—can visit this e-stop for financing and legal information, market and profitability assessments and links to checklists, financial spreadsheet templates, IRS tax forms and model business documents. Users with specific questions can “Ask Alice!” the site’s advice columnist, or visit her frequently asked questions section.

Find the Value of a Business
www.spardata.com

The Web stop of this Annapolis, Maryland-based BV company offers clients and financial advisers free over-the-phone consultations, links to databases of firms that buy and sell public limited partnership interests and audio tutorials on valuation topics for business owners. Visitors also can link to free articles, such as Inc.’s “What’s Your Company Worth Now?” and get a complimentary adviser information kit.

EXPERT WITNESS SITES

Register Here to Testify
www.experts.com

CPAs looking to become—and lawyers looking for—expert witnesses can do both at this Web site. Users can read the titles “The Art and Science of Expert Witnessing” and “The Correct Way to Present Exhibits,” to name a few, and witnesses who register for a fee with the site can submit their own articles.

An Expert Site
expertpages.com

CPA expert witnesses can advertise their services here. Witness seekers can search by category and location. Also, registered expert witnesses can post topical articles, such as “Full-Time Professional and Part-Time Expert” and “Selecting and Retaining Experts,” as well as receive a free newsletter.

Lessons in Loopholes
www.taxloopholes.com

CPA Diane Kennedy offers visitors free member registration to access “tax saving educational tools” and real estate investment strategies at this Web stop. Site sections include What’s Hot with innovative tax tips, Tax Fears and Facts for frequently addressed concerns and Tax News and Updates with current IRS rulings and tax law changes. Members also can use the real-estate-wealth-builder calculator and receive Kennedy’s Loopholes Update newsletter for free.

“Financial Smarts for Students”
www.jumpstart.org

The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy’s home on the Web encourages “curriculum enrichment to insure basic personal financial management skills” for K–12 students and lists the 12 financial principles every young person should know. Educators and CPAs with clients with children can find links to a free clearinghouse of educational materials.

Feel More Secure Online
www.cert.org

The CERT Coordination Center Web site alerts IT consultants and computer users to recent viruses and software vulnerabilities, and offers recovery tips and downloadable patches for e-problems. It also offers simulations on computer accidents, crashes, cyberattacks and power failures with tips on how to thwart them. Article titles include “Improving the Security of Networked Systems.”

Get the Word Out
www.usps.com

CPAs and small business owners looking for ways to market their services will want to check out the U.S. Postal Service’s Web site section Growing Your Business. It includes advice on how to get new clients, keep them, and save time and money. Resources include information about creating a direct-mail campaign and using NetPost, the postal service’s online mail-delivery service. Visitors can check out the other sections for typical postal services such as buying stamps, filling out forms online, and mailing and tracking shipments.

Encyclopedia Online-ica
www.encyclopedia.com

This Smart Stop features an entire reference library online, and CPAs can check it out for free in a seven-day trial membership. When visitors use the Track a Topic option, Encyclopedia.com hunts down new information available on past searches and delivers it to the user via e-mail. If the search engine comes up dry, it will search an e-library and list related information from other Web resources. After the trial, the service—which also contains online almanacs, dictionaries, additional encyclopedias and a thesaurus—costs $19.95 a month or $99.95 a year.

SPONSORED REPORT

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.

QUIZ

News quiz: IRS warning on cyberattacks and a change in pension rules

Once again, the IRS sounds the alarm about a threat from cyberthieves. See how much you know about this and other recent news with this short quiz.

CHECKLIST

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.