Featured Online Content for September 2011




Highlights of the 2011 Tax Software Survey

Few tools of the CPA tax preparer’s trade are as important as the software used to prepare and file tax returns for individuals and businesses. In this interview, Alistair M. Nevius, editor-in-chief of The Tax Adviser, highlights the results of the 2011 Tax Software Survey. The video is available here. To find out how 10,000 CPA practitioners rated their tax return preparation software, read the full results of the survey here.





Performance ReviewARTICLE

Eight Tips for Writing Performance Reviews

For many managers, writing performance reviews is a chore at best. So it’s no wonder many reviews fall short of the goal of providing a springboard for growth and development. Use the tips in this article to take the pain out of writing reviews and to transform them into productive, behavior-driven discussions. The article is available here.



Professional Responsibilities for PFP Practitioners

With passage of the Dodd-Frank Act and other developments, CPA personal financial planning practices are facing increased regulatory oversight. What are the standards by which advisers must abide? AICPA Senior Technical Manager Andrea Millar outlines how the AICPA’s Statement on Responsibilities in Personal Financial Planning Practice and other resources can help practitioners discern their fiduciary responsibilities and administrative requirements. The video is available here.


Performance ReviewBONUS CONTENT

Sample PowerPivot Excel File

While you’re reading “Pivotal Advance Boosts Excel’s Power” (page 40), follow the article’s technical walk-through using a sample Excel file. The file, which also includes the completed PowerPivot-based PivotTable, is available to download here.





FacebookFacebook Launches Video Calling

Facebook has partnered with Skype to offer free face-to-face video calling within Facebook.


Video ChatTo start a video call, click the call button in the upper-right corner of your friend’s profile or in a chat window. If your friend is unavailable or away from the computer, you can leave a video message. To end a call, close the video window. While you’re on a video call, you still will be able to use chat and Facebook’s other features.


For the call to have both video and audio, you’ll need a webcam and microphone. Most laptops have these items built in. If you or the person you’re calling does not have a webcam, you’ll still be able to make the call, but you will only hear—and not see—the other person.


For more information on video calling, visit facebook.com/videocalling. For more social media tips and how-to’s, visit facebook.com/JournalofAccountancy and click the “Social Media Tips” link in the left column.


Megan Pinkston (mpinkston@aicpa.org) is the JofA’s senior online editor.


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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.