Smart Stops on the Web


Green Golden Years
CPA/PFSs can find retirement planning advice here, including information on rolling over qualified plans, an IRA fact sheet and five reasons to open a 401(k) plan. Take a quiz to see how much you know about the basics of retirement planning, calculate 401(k) plan savings or sign up for a free newsletter.

Wealth of Resources
Free registration at the Financial Planning Association Web site gets planners access to a calculator that can figure the worth of your client’s 401(k) at retirement. Find checklists on the documentation you should ask clients to supply to begin working with them and questions they may ask about your qualifications. Take an investment fraud awareness quiz or research what to do with your retirement plan if you lose your job.

Ready to Retire?
Read detailed Qs&As on retirement planning in the Ask the Experts section at this e-stop to find out whether your clients are set for their futures. Topics include annuities, general investing, Medicaid and Social Security. Access calculators to figure out how much savings your clients will need in order to quit working. Compare taxable and tax-free investment returns and inflation’s impact on savings, get the free Primer on Annuities report or register for free Webinars and the Safe Money Advisory newsletter.

Older and WISER
The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) Web site offers five things women need to do for retirement, as well as five reasons retirement is a challenge for female workers. You can find 10 ways baby boomer women can avoid retirement poverty, read up on issues related to retirement plans, such as divorce and widowhood, or see how well you do on a pension checklist.

Retirement Resources
Don’t let the tongue-in-cheek Web address fool you: CPAs looking for pertinent information on retirement planning for themselves and their clients will find it here. Links take users to Q&A discussions on factors affecting 401(k) plans, such as active vs. passive plan management and when payments kick in and tips on how to manage investment losses.

Tax Tips
Tax advisers can get articles here on how to capitalize costs for intangible assets or read up on recent legislation and official guidance on depreciation and amortization. From the Accounting Links section, go to a business glossary or postings of accounting jobs. The Tax Center has links to property-tax-filing deadlines, current-year tax forms and news from the IRS. Take a free online course in depreciation and get a certificate when you complete the follow-up tutorial.

Tax Time
Atlanta CPA Jay Starkman’s Web site offers tax resources, including a sample of his 2005 Tax Organizer—a dozen-page questionnaire for client tax information. CPAs can read the article “Tax Court Petition Filing by Nonattorneys” and brush up on these skills with practice Tax Court exams from 2002 back to 1977. Take a break with humorous tax stories, such as how clients should not handle an IRS audit and the tale of “The Cheap Millionaire.”

Get Down to Business
CPAs looking for historical or current information on corporate governance and regulation, the domestic and global economies or social policies can find it at the Brookings Institution e-home. At the business category in the Research Topics section, users can read news about corporate social responsibility, fraud and diversity as well as learn the “four pillars of high performance.” Get articles on improving your retirement security in the U.S. Economics section.

Up Your Client Base
Looking to grow your firm? Find tips here on how to craft compelling offers to increase response rates to your mailings, determine the best price for your services, and develop competitive market strategies. Visit the archives for articles on how to brand your firm, create e-mail marketing campaigns and write compelling copy, or subscribe to a marketing newsletter.

“To Seek and Find”
Register for free at this Web stop to access its Jobseeker Resources, including postings and recruiters. Use the salary calculators to find the going rates for your position by industry and location. In Knowledge Base Articles get tips on how to dress for interviews, evaluate job offers, conduct safe job e-searches or improve the response rate to your resume.

—Vince Nolan


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.