Smart Stops on the Web




Choose the “Insight” tab at this HR portal to access blogs and articles from seasoned HR professionals, including Jennifer Blanchard’s “Generation Y” column. As a new feature, content is organized by broad category, such as benefits and compensation, staffing or legal compliance, then more narrowly defined by multiple topic tags (there are hundreds). The “Resource Center” tab—especially developed for small and medium businesses—also offers eTools, checklists, Q&As and analysis of state employment laws.


Since its first appearance in this column, the IRS’s site for everyone with a stake in retirement plans has introduced three newsletters: Retirement News for Employers, Employee Plans News, for retirement-plan practitioners, and Timing is Everything, a periodic one-page flier with tips for employees on such topics as saving and contributing to plans. The site also provides handy guides, such as the “401(k) Fix-It Guide,” and a “Correcting Plan Errors” page that can help identify potential mistakes and offer solutions or ways to avoid future problems.


This site is a one-stop shop for firms that audit employee benefit plans. Click the “Resources” tab to access information on the Department of Labor’s Pension Audit Quality Enforcement Program and the audit requirement for employee benefit plans, plus a checklist for plan sponsors and stakeholders entering the proposal and auditor evaluation process. There is also a comprehensive analysis of how the risk assessment standards (SAS nos. 104–111) affect employee benefit plan audits. Members of the center may also access the “Employee Benefit Plan Marketing Toolkit” and sign up for periodic e-mail updates.



The D&O Diary is a blog on directors’ and officers’ liability, authored by Insurance Journal columnist Kevin LaCroix, a partner and attorney at OakBridge Insurance Services focusing on management liability. The posts feature his analysis on subjects such as insurance, corporate accountability, risk management and Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as coverage of hot topics such as subprime litigation, executive compensation and corporate governance. A section of links leads to other legal, insurance and accounting blogs.


Have questions on stock options backdating? You’re likely to find answers—and more—at this site. The SEC compiled its catalog of enforcement actions, commission speeches, testimony and letters. With the documents listed in reverse chronological order, the site offers quick access to the latest regulatory developments related to backdating. There is also testimony from the SEC’s Divisions of Enforcement and Corporation Finance, and listings of additional non-SEC documents on the topic, including criminal complaints and indictments from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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This site from Deloitte Insights hosts weekly audio podcasts on business news. The programs—organized by subject or most recent posting—cover globalization, accounting, tax, finance, technology, risk management and governance. The podcasts, such as “Develop, Deploy, Connect: Harnessing the Power of Generation Y” and “Be the Board You Want to Be: Putting IT on the Front Burner,” feature experts from the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu member firms. You can subscribe to receive the podcasts automatically from a variety of sources—including RSS feed or e-mail—or you can listen to more than 60 in the archives.


Find securities information straight from the professor’s mouth. Barbara Black, professor of law and director of the Corporate Law Center at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, pens this site, part of the growing Law Professor Blogs Network. It highlights the day’s regulatory action, law review articles, judicial opinions related to securities and investing, fraud and financial reporting. Use topical archive links such as “SEC Action” and “State Securities Law” or use the weekly archive to browse posts dating back to January 2007.


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.