Smart Stops on the Web


Plan for Tomorrow Today

This retirement services site offers detailed explanations of various plans—defined contributions, 401(k) safe harbors, SIMPLE IRAs and executive deferred compensation. It also provides users with overviews and information about the requirements for and contributions to such plans.

A Web-Based Watchdog

Although a company’s stockholders might not see much of a profit for a given fiscal year, top executives still could receive millions of dollars in salary, bonuses, and stock options. This section of the AFL-CIO site tracks compensation packages for CEOs of corporations in the Standard & Poor’s 1,500 stock index.

A Beneficial Introduction

This section of the Retirement System Group’s site briefly reviews the benefits of various retirement plans, such as IRAs and defined benefit, contribution and nonqualified plans.

Pension Plan Tools

Magazines, newsletters, research, statistics and survey information, as well as a glossary of terms, are available at the Profit Sharing and 401(k) Advocate site. Frequently asked questions about benefit plans, as well as historical data on the growth of 401(k) eligibility and defined contribution plan participation and assets from the late 1970s to 1999, are also included.

Archived Articles and Alerts

The law firm Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren, Norris and Rieselbach offers users information on various topics at this site. It features articles such as “FDIC Regulation Alert—Restrictions on Golden Parachutes and Indemnification Agreements” and “How ‘GATT’ Affects Your Retirement Plans.” The Employee Benefits section features an alert comparing the Treasury’s 2001 and 2000 limits for various types of benefit plans.


Since Web surfing has become commonplace—and even cans of corn now display a company’s URL—sites to rate the most popular stops on the Web have gained momentum. Featured below are two sites that rate others— and —with links to the winners.

Find the Most Popular Sites Here

This site features the public’s picks for the best stops on the Web in categories such as art, business, education, e-zines and government. A continually updated list of nominees is featured, as well as transcripts of interviews and conversations with Web masters and industry insiders. The sites are “ranked and ordered by popularity.” Two top-rated sites appear below.

In the Business Category

The GE Center was “developed to promote financial literacy.” Its resource center features a financial dictionary, planning tools and tips on using the Internet. Its Hot Topics section includes discussions on financial adviser performance and state tuition savings plans.

In the Education Category

This is a thoroughly informative site on all 50 states. Each listing has alphabetical categories of information including when each state was admitted into the union, area codes, economy, local weather, parks and yellow pages. Also included are a college and university directory, a current events section and state tax forms.

And the Winner Is…

You’ve heard of the Tonys, the Emmys and the Grammys. Now see the latest—the Webbys! This site features nominees and winners of the most visited and most popular stops online, chosen by a panel of judges who are members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Some award categories—the arts, education and government—are the same as for, but Webbys also go to the top sites in unique categories such as activism, spirituality and technical achievements. Two of the winning sites appear below.

In the Finance Category

Users can sign up for free to receive “the story behind the numbers.” Site sections include domestic and global markets, economy and politics, IPOs, stock quotes and news, and research and tools. The latest financial headlines are also available as well as commentary on market developments, current trends and SEC filings.

In the Government Law Category

This site houses free tools—for example, calculators, a legal encyclopedia and a law dictionary—and links to research that includes state laws and Supreme Court decisions. The law center has articles on employment law, real estate, retirement and ElderCare, taxes and audits, and wills and estate planning.


What’s next for potential CPA licensure changes

A new model proposed by NASBA and the AICPA is designed with an eye on the future for newly licensed CPAs. The AICPA's Carl Mayes, CPA, provides background on the project and a look ahead to 2020.


What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.