Smart Stops on the Web

BY MEGAN PINKSTON

PRACTICE DEVELOPMENT
MARKETING KNOW-HOW
http://tinyurl.com/2g7bwv

Looking to attract new clients or increase your firm's visibility? Visit this Smart Stop to access the AICPA's "CPA Marketing Tool Kit," part of the Institute's public accounting firm resources. The collection offers customer service and selling tips, client satisfaction surveys, PDF brochures and guidelines for becoming a media resource. The marketing guide includes a sample e-newsletter template, dos and don'ts when creating and marketing a Web site, and e-mail marketing tips.
 
BE A PROMOTION GURU
www.marketingsherpa.com

Find case studies on what works - and what doesn't - when it comes to marketing your business on this site from MarketingSherpa. The research firm also provides how-to articles and interviews with marketing directors in both business-to-business and consumer marketing. Click the "Browse by Topic/Brand" tab for a complete listing of articles by industry or target, such as "Marketing to Small Businesses" or "Business Services Marketing," or tactic, such as "Integrated Campaigns" or "How to Pitch to Business Media."
 
MARKET PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
www.legalmarketingblog.com

Don't let "legal" throw you off - this site's client communication and marketing tips can be applied to CPA firms wanting to expand their service offerings or client base. Author Thomas Kane, Esq., the principal of Kane Consulting Inc., has served as an in-house marketer for several firms. Check out articles like "Guarantee Client Referrals With Good Client Relations" and "Narrow Your Niche for More Effective Marketing," or explore the Web's marketing resources using Kane's extensive library of marketing and firm blogs.
 
GENERAL INTEREST
LINK AND GO
www.taxsites.com

First appearing in this column in October 2004, this index of tax, accounting and payroll specific sites underwent a complete redesign recently. The new site features an expandable navigation tree and improved search capabilities using a Google custom search. There is also quick access to the site's most commonly requested pages - including federal and state tax forms - as well as links to industry associations, certification information and software vendors.
 
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
www.calcpa.org/forum

Corporate CPAs and financial executives: This leadership forum from the California Society of CPAs and the California CPA Education Foundation is for you. The site provides executive education, advanced training in finance and business management, thought leadership, helpful resources and professional peer networking. The site also features opportunities such as participation in economic forums, CFO of the Year events and local roundtable discussions, which are listed in the "Upcoming Forum Events" section. You can read articles, such as how-tos with practical tips and Q&As with other leaders in the field. There is also a section featuring news on such hot topics as the XBRL taxonomy and new PCAOB standards.
 
SWEET AND SIMPLE
www.mint.com

How much do you actually spend on gas, groceries or impulse purchases every month? Find out with this money management program. Using login information for your online bank, credit union and credit card accounts - not account numbers - Mint consolidates the data from your accounts and automatically categorizes purchases daily. The site tracks spending and savings, then alerts you when you're over budget, have a low balance, need to pay a bill or if there is suspicious activity on any of your accounts. Spending trends can be displayed graphically by category or month, which allows users to compare purchases over time.
 
FEDERAL FOCUS ON TAX
www.treasury.gov/topics/taxes

Use the Department of the Treasury's tax site for access to the latest news and regulatory releases of interest to tax professionals. The site organizes content based on topic, such as tax relief, business tax competitiveness, international tax issues, and health and benefits taxes. CPAs can quickly access information on the earned income tax credit, health savings accounts, and bonds and securities.

SPONSORED REPORT

How the election may affect taxation of business income

This report summarizes recent proposals to reform the U.S. business income tax system and considers the path to enactment of any such legislation.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

Did you follow 2016’s biggest accounting news?

CPAs will remember 2016 as a year of new standards and new faces. How well did you follow the biggest accounting events? The 7 questions in this quiz will help you find out