Loud & Square


Q: I’m using a Square credit card reader that attaches to my smartphone, but I’m finding that the transactions don’t always go through properly. Is there a certain smartphone or cellular service provider that works better with these devices, or should I be using a different smartphone credit card reader?

A: The solution may be as simple as turning up the volume on your smartphone. The Square Reader (as with similar devices) draws its power from the smartphone’s audio port (standard 3.5mm headphone minijack), but if the smartphone’s volume is too low, the device may not be receiving enough power to work correctly or consistently.

Many smartphone-based credit card readers are on the market; each has different fees and capabilities. This industry is growing fast, and these devices’ plans and features are changing frequently. The brief comparison in this chart may help steer you toward the best option.



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.