Smart Stops on the Web



This site is dedicated to marketing for CPA and accounting firms. You can sign up for the free newsletter or browse the advice columns. Under the Marketing Tips tab, there’s info on generating leads, marketing on the cheap and recovering from the loss of a big client. Plus, you can buy a marketing program or register for workshops held across the country.

A business portal with links to advice and resources, The Business Finance section contains overviews of subjects such as valuing stock options, corporate financing, and mergers and acquisitions. Learn how to deal with difficult people, create a next-generation Web site or polish your company’s strategy. The Business Resources section can help you run a meeting, stay abreast of news, invest wisely and order management books.

This site boasts “essential skills for an excellent career.” You can find information based on your job description—such as manager or owner—or you can search for advice in such areas as project planning, leadership and problem solving. For example, you can follow the decision-making link to the “PMI” (Plus/Minus/Interesting) worksheet that will help you mathematically (sort of) come to a conclusion. Also, under the “Memory Improvement” tab, there are techniques that will help you recall long numbers, ordered lists and names.

Experts share their knowledge on this site. You can check out blogs from business leaders in finance or even from a working mom. Read advice on managing growth, profits, mergers and the like. The video library features clips from successful businesspeople on topics such as fraud prevention, hiring and firing, and effective marketing. This Smart Stop also includes handy tools: a searchable business directory for services and products, and downloadable business and legal forms.

The Microsoft Dynamics page for accounting professionals offers practical tips from accounting and business consulting experts. You can browse through the articles on “10 Management Strategies for Success in Accounting Business,” “Building a Training and Learning Culture” or “Strategies for Communicating With Your Clients.”

Give the next generation a chance to experience a day in the life of a CPA by celebrating Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on April 26. The Web site offers more than information for parents and students. For example, the Coordinator’s Toolkit contains planning tips, activity suggestions and an organizer’s checklist to help you put together a program at your firm. You can also access research and statistics on working women and work/life issues from the Ms. Foundation for Women, the event’s sponsor.

The Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting offers career and community resources on its Web site. Students and recent grads can check out the job postings, mentoring programs and links to scholarship information. The event calendar lists nationwide happenings of interest, such as CPE sessions, career fairs, networking opportunities and conferences. You can register online for the group’s National Annual Convention (Aug. 4–8). There’s also a special section for members of the organization and a contact list for chapters in your area.

Whether you’re a student learning the lingo or a CPA who needs to know whether to use “rollover” as one word or two, this online financial glossary can come in handy. It covers definitions from “abeyance” (the suspension of a title to real estate while lawful ownership is being determined) to “zombie” (a bankrupt or insolvent company that continues to operate while it awaits a closing or merger), along with abbreviations and acronyms. You can search for words or browse by letter. Sponsored by Ameritrade, this site also provides links to articles related to your word search.

Brush up on the products and practices that can help your clients qualify for credits and deductions for energy efficiency (See “From The Tax Adviser,” page 76). Search features let you find contractors or retailers in the program, tools such as the building-design checklist and an upgrade-value calculator. You can peruse IRS notices and tax forms as well as link to the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (


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.