Smart Stops On The Web

Check Out Check 21
The AICPA Financial Literacy Resource Center has added a section to its Web site about the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (Check 21). The Web site discusses the act’s implications for auditors and businesses, and provides links to the Federal Reserve Board’s “Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act” Web page and implementation information, two frequently-asked-questions sections and a consumer guide.

A Site With Byte
CPAs and IT managers will want to bookmark this Smart Stop loaded with links to free accounting, antispam and backup software, currency and document converters, mortgage calculators, computing and financial glossaries and Web browsers. There are online dictionaries in English as well as French, German, Italian and Spanish. There’s also free clipart, fonts and photos that CPAs can use for marketing brochures, and everyone can take a break in the Jokes and Humor and Free Games sections.

Figure for Free
Sure, you already have mortgage, percentage, scientific and standard e-calculators. This site offers calculators for car leases, fractions, graphing, and home equity and general loans, plus converters for currency, international time, temperature and units of measure. There’s also a link to the tax-preparation-service calculator site with tools CPAs can use to calculate investments, mortgage refinancing and Roth IRA returns for clients. Other resources include current and archived tax news, a 2005 tax guide and information about a free online tax-filing program.

Tech Talk
CITPs and other information technology professionals can find resources here on IT capital spending, department budgets and salary ranges. Download the demo software, read book reviews or subscribe to the free monthly IT e-zine and newsletter. Technology Articles has tips on making your e-mails sound more professional and improving your project team management skills, while the Job Listing Centers invite employers to post open positions. IT White Paper Spotlight offers documents on subjects from artificial intelligence to knowledge management.

Painless Projects
Looking for more efficient ways to manage IT procedures and roll out new technology? Then register for a free membership at this e-stop to access information on managing IT operations and receive a monthly e-mail reporting on the latest task management resources. Members can download planning checklists, mission and scope statement templates and white papers on IT process improvements.


This search engine makes navigating easy by grouping results by subtopics. Then users can do deeper searches and put the subtopics on an illustrated map with URLs that quickly display the areas the sites cover. For example, a search for accounting brings up subtopics including career , free quotes , public and resources . Click on public and the map on the right-hand side of the screen shows a Web site address with arrows pointing to the topics this search engine lists related to that query.

Guides for Employers
CPA firm owners and/or human resources managers can find many useful links to incentive plans, job evaluations, performance appraisals, and staffing and training and development information. There are links to articles on avoiding sexual harassment claims and accommodating the disabled, as well as sample benefit and salary surveys and demos of HR software.
Visitors can read articles on workplace discrimination and recruitment, research studies on women of color in corporate management and tool kits on creating diversity in the workplace and other topics at this Web stop. Users can subscribe to the free newsletter Winning Workplace Ideas from the Forum link on the home page.
This site, which focuses on 21st century office trends, offers case studies and tips on employee retention and flexible work schedules, a communication checklist for workers, suggestions for implementing flex-work programs and research findings.

The Long and Short of It
This Web site should be subtitled “Everything you always wanted to know about form 1040 but were afraid to ask.” Tax preparers can find detailed information on tax laws, credits and deductions, types of taxable income, withholding taxes and annual income tax rates in Tax Filing Basics. The State-by-State section points to federal and state tax forms and Tax Software offers links to free e-filing services.


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.