Smart Stops on the Web


Value for Your Business
The AICPA’s Business Valuation and Forensic Litigation Services Center offers members case studies on fraud schemes, a practice management toolkit and a definition of the month. Read the full text of an exposure draft on valuation service standards and get tips on how to conduct an inquiry interview or an interview with a CEO or CFO. Help your clients develop internal controls with a risk management checklist and a list of common auditing deficiencies.

Answers for Accountants
CPAs interested in switching to investigative and forensic accounting can get an overview here from Alan Zysman, CA and certified fraud examiner, of Toronto’s Zysman Forensic Accounting Inc. His to-the-point e-site offers a detailed explanation of what it takes to become a forensic accountant and how to approach assignments. Also get an overview of investigative accounting and litigation support.

A Valuable Site
Looking for information and news on business valuation? Visit this Web stop for BVWire, a free weekly update with the latest valuation court cases, practice tips, a definition of the week and questions and answers on valuations of start-ups. There’s also free downloads of IRS BV guidelines, an international glossary of terms and free issues of the newsletter Business Valuation Update, as well as links to other BV associations such as the AICPA and the Appraisal Foundation.

What’s It Worth?
The e-calculators here can help you determine cash flow, financial ratios and business valuation as well as estate tax, retirement planning, investment returns and 401(k) savings. The Tax section has a 1040 calculator and the Tax Planning Update newsletter offers advice on how to reduce estate taxes and draft buy-sell agreements. Users also can get marketing tips and links to franchise and small business opportunities.

M&A How-Tos
Free membership to this e-stop gets CPAs and their entrepreneurial clients a valuation guide with tips on business appraisals and pitfalls associated with them. Users can find a due diligence checklist, simple- and long-form nondisclosure agreements and a buyer profile. The Resource Center offers the M&A Advisor with archived articles on e-mail strategies during an M&A, “Lessons for Dealmakers” and tips on small business valuations. Business Planning Tools includes sample business and marketing plans and e-calculators to determine cash flow and start-up costs.

Take a Tech Tip
CPAs looking for IT consulting advice can find it at this Smart Stop. Sign up for a free subscription to current and back issues of the Small Business Computer Advisor e-newsletter, whose topics include Outlook shortcuts for Web-based access, a review of spyware software and tips for Macintosh users. Find hints for taking better digital photos and sign up for virus alerts via e-mail. Small and midsize businesses can request free guides on e-mail management and spam control, IT outsourcing and PC security.

Hear Her Roar
Visitors to the American Women’s Society of CPAs (AWSCPA) e-home can get links to information on accounting and tax research, financing and women’s issues. Those interested can become members online and look for work in the Career Opportunities section, find affiliates and get the scoop on awards and scholarships. The AWSCPA began in 1933 with nine women CPAs and now has more than 2,000 members in all areas of accounting, with a focus on gender equality, the glass ceiling and work and family issues.

An Uncle Sam Site
Tax professionals looking for a summary of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 can find it in the legislation link on the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance Web site, along with the act’s full text and estimated revenue effects. Users also can find legislative archives back to 2001 and read a history of the committee on finance from the Civil War to the present. Go to Links at the bottom of the home page and visit sites for the IRS, Social Security Administration and Congressional Budget Office.

Tips for Tenderfoots
Whether you’re starting an at-home business or just need a refresher course on the rules of the game, this entrepreneurs’ e-page offers checklists for starting a business, marketing plans, tips on how to write a contract and small business tax deductions you may be able to claim. Visitors also can find articles, links and discussions on immigration law and intellectual property, and advice on buying, building or leasing office space. Get a laugh or two in the Business Humor section as well.

—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.