Smart Stops on the Web



Your Company’s Conscience
CPAs charged with keeping their firms and employers on the straight and narrow will find PowerPoint presentations here on corporate reform, Sarbanes-Oxley and the nature and scope of business ethics. Users can find a link to the 2005 National Business Ethics Survey or read business ethics case studies on Bridgestone/Firestone’s tire recall and the much-publicized Napster Web site legal proceedings. Test your own ethics with case scenarios and accompanying possible solutions.

Visit the Vault
CPAs will want to check out this Association of Coaching and Consulting Professionals on the Web (ACCPOW) e-spot to register for instant access to the free Coaching Business Weekly, which includes business tips on practice building, management techniques and generating passive revenue. A membership fee of less than $20 a month gives subscribers discussion forums, tutorials and practice management articles on deducting medical expenses, setting fees and five things a contract should include. Here are other ACCPOW Web sites, linked at the bottom of the home page:
Looking to expand or rethink your client base? Take a free test-drive at this Web stop to rate your marketing know-how and target niches, Web design skills and even stress levels. Find free articles on how to create and use value assessments to determine whether your service is an “ideavirus” and how to recognize and fire a difficult client early.
CPAs who need help with HR matters can browse this pay-per-item e-catalog of assessments, checklists and worksheets on business management, finance, marketing and small business. Get resources for writing a company profile, finding employees who are a perfect fit and “virtualizing” your business, or rate your clients’ financial fitness.
Interested in implementing teleconferences and teleseminars or arranging focus groups for marketing purposes? Find help at this Web site and read the free article “How to Organize a Successful and Profitable Teleclass.”

Women on the Web
Female CPAs and finance professionals thinking about moving to a new job can find employment listings and local chapters of the American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) at this Web spot. Links take users to marketing and prospecting tips targeted to CPAs and sales strategies and techniques for small to medium-sized firms. Also find out how to avoid accounting service advertising mistakes and get a free membership at .

Open a New Door
CPAs and executives considering a career move can get a free analysis of their resume and read success stories on job switches due to downsizing, forced relocation or retirement at this Web site of the Barrett Group. Find free articles (click on the yellow box on the right-hand side of the home page) with hints on how to create networks that work and deal with difficult people, as well as eight simple stress busters and 10 etiquette tips for business lunches.

Defenses at the Ready
Sole practitioners and CITPs can guard their companies and clients from scamsters by registering here to get free e-mail alerts of sightings and locations of possible fraudsters. Users can read details of cons involving foreign advance-fee and mail schemes. The Fraud Resources section offers links to a Stock Fraud Newswire and government agency Web sites, such as the U.S. Postal Service—which includes a long list of financial frauds, from 900-number frauds to solicitations disguised as invoices.

Invest Time for a Laugh
Who says researching investment information can’t be fun? At this Web site, visitors not only get the latest market headlines and insights, but also some laughs. For example, the Essentialist Glossary in the Extras section defines Bill Gates as “where God goes for a loan.” Users also can read special reports on investing in India or value-investing strategies, subscribe to the free Daily Reckoning financial e-letter or get five secrets for investing in small- and micro-cap stocks.

On the Road Again?
CPAs on the go can find links here to the top seven frequent-flier programs and a plethora of tips, from how to quickly book a business trip to how to keep better records on the road. Sign up for a free newsletter to read “Crazy Business Travel Stories.” The Women’s Travel section offers advice for females traveling alone and the Travel Safety and Health section tackles tips for Americans taking trips overseas. There also are links to guidance geared to specific geographical areas such as China and the Middle East.

—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.