Smart Stops on the Web



This is your one-stop shop for 401(k) information. Browse two of the site’s most helpful features: the Daily Digest, continually updated with pension and retirement news; and Collective Wisdom, handpicked resources from the site’s researchers. Sole practitioners and small-firm CPAs can find single-participant 401(k) providers or SIMPLE 401(k) plans on the Small Business Channel.

The grass-roots MomsRising organization joins working mothers to address the core benefit issues their members face: paid family leave, flexible work schedules, after-school care, health care and fair wages. Their online organization hosts forums to trade personal experiences and find solutions to shared issues, Web-based resources from more than 50 partner organizations, and petitions to state and national legislators.

With more employers changing their retirement plans (see “ Time to Rethink Your 401(k) Plan? ” page 50), it’s necessary to re-evaluate contributions to your various savings accounts. The Choose to Save site offers more than 100 savings and benefit calculators to help you responsibly set up and tweak your retirement plan. Use the “Which will provide the most retirement income?” calculator to choose your most profitable IRA or the “Which savings should be used first?” calculator before making large withdrawals.

Confused about what your benefits package really offers you? Use the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ Glossary of Terms to decode everything from IRA and 401(k) options to work/life benefits. You can search by term or scan the alphabetical listings. To stay current on new or proposed benefits regulations, visit the site’s news and health care reform sections for updates.


Catch up on the day’s accounting and finance developments on this SOX-oriented site. News is pulled from domestic and international sources and updated daily; also keep an eye out for interviews with heavy hitters in business and politics. Its blog format allows visitors to search for news and archived posts by category, such as accounting, corporate crime, ethics, compliance, and, of course, SOX.

This site evaluates the financial well-being and organizational efficiency of more than 5,000 charities, offering donors an independent resource to guide their giving decisions. The tips section answers donor questions regarding tax benefits, volunteering and giving in the workplace. Registered users can compare charities side-by-side and view their financial data from the previous three years.

What better way to mark the peak of spring than by learning how you can make your business and staff more environmentally responsible? This eco-friendly stop shows how to encourage employees to bring good environmental habits to the workplace. At their partner site with the Environmental Protection Agency, , you can research news and leadership practices from companies that are adopting innovative planet-preserving practices—search by company name, initiative type or industry sector.

Identify your employees’ charity preferences and values using this survey. Company Giving Test polls employees on their preferred donation sectors and geographic focus, allowing employers to match their corporate giving strategy to their company’s and employees’ values. Click the sample report tab for an example of their company giving report and to take a complimentary survey.

As a busy CPA, the footnotes of SEC filings are probably missing from your must-read list. The fine print, however, is where companies occasionally reveal items they’d be just as happy if investors didn’t notice, according to the site’s author. On her blog, Michelle Leder exposes these strange, and sometimes alarming, disclosures for all to see. You can search by company name or browse the “buried treasure” items. Check the site on Friday afternoons when Leder awards a “Gold Star” to the week’s clearest, most responsible report, or click the How To tab for tips on reading 10-Qs, 10-Ks and proxy statements.


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.