Smart Stops on the Web



Use this global accountancy search engine to scan the Web for articles, management tools and practice techniques written by the International Federation of Accountants and its 155 international member organizations. Designed for practitioners in small to medium-size firms and in business and industry, it taps sites specifically developed for accountants. Advanced options allow you to search based on specific source, language, document format and date range.

If you want to embrace the wiki-fever that’s sweeping the Web, this stop provides secure, SSL-encrypted pages that are “as easy to make as a peanut butter sandwich.” Firms set up a free, custom domain ( where they can manage collaborative projects and internal communications. Employees then can edit, search and share material on pages that are password protected, comment enabled and backed up hourly. The Daily Peanut blog offers weekly tips, such as how to set up YackPack voice chat, where employees viewing their firm’s PBwiki can discuss business plans, projects and events online.

At the AICPA’s Information Technology Center, CPAs can access the latest XBRL, systems audit and IT governance resources. Find Web seminars, infocasts and this month’s TECH conference brochure under the Events tab, or browse the Resource tab’s paperless office aids and business software tools. Interested in becoming a certified information technology professional? Research the application process, business experience requirements and lifelong learning initiatives, or download the CITP Handbook.

The Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool allows firms to compare nearly 800 desktop and notebook computers and monitors that meet the Green Electronics Council’s 23 environmental performance criteria. Ratings standards fall into eight categories, including product longevity, packaging, energy conservation, end-of-life management and corporate performance. Purchasers can use EPEAT’s three classification levels—Bronze, Silver or Gold—to select equipment that matches their firm’s environmental performance requirements.

CPAs looking for technology news and tips from inside the accounting community can turn to Knoxville, Tenn., IT consultant and speaker Brian Tankersley, a CPA and CITP with experience in public and industry accounting. His Web site covers accounting and tax software, computer applications, gadget reviews and tech bargains with a special emphasis on mobile productivity (see “ Stay Connected on the Road ”).

The SEC is rolling out updates to make searching EDGAR more efficient and user-friendly. Its full-text search engine, introduced in November, lets visitors browse by firm type, company name (or Central Index Key) and industry (or Standard Industrial Classification Code), then limits the results by date range. Practitioners also can use several special-purpose engines, including current events analysis (filings during the previous week), mutual fund prospectuses and proxy voting records (for 485 forms and N-PX filings), daily effectiveness notices and XBRL submissions. .

Visit this stop before you head to the airport or hit the highway. Hosted by Orbitz, Tools for the Road Warrior posts coupon codes for flight and hotel discounts and travel updates from the site’s team of air traffic controllers and weather analysts. Use the WiFi Locator to find wireless Internet hotspots in your destination city. Joe Brancatelli, editor and publisher of business travel site , pens two columns, “On The Road” and “Outlook of the Month,” that also are worth a read.

This online portal for all things management provides CPAs with multimedia resources on business strategies, work/life issues and practice development. Users can download the site’s Useful Commute podcasts or watch videos on the Intercom blog. Go to the Strategy tab for Crash Course features, which offer step-by-step guides and “What you will need” lists on topics such as “How to Sell an Idea” and “How to Gather Competitive Research.”  


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.