Smart Stops on the Web


Back to Basics
CPAs looking for a refresher course on mutual funds will find articles such as “Determining Your Mutual Fund’s ‘Cost Basis’” and “Avoiding Internet Investment Scams.” Users can sign up for a free 10-day online course on the basics of mutual fund investing or a mutual fund newsletter. Other resources include links to broker ratings of funds, financial calculators and glossaries.

The Fund Finder
CPAs looking for investment information for their clients will want to bookmark this Web site. In addition to free mutual fund sponsor searches in categories such as socially responsible corporate and government mutual funds, users can find information about investment conferences and links to breaking industry news. CPA broker-dealers can add their resumes to the database or check job postings from listed companies.

For Fund Facts
Investment advisers looking to educate their clients on mutual fund options will find detailed information on topics including taxes and fund risk at this stop on the Web. Users can find explanations of the differences among mutual funds and a glossary of investment terms or search for funds, create model portfolios or use calculators for college, retirement and tax-savings plans.

The Kids and College section of this Web stop links to sites that offer investment resources for money-minded children, such as calculators to help them decide how much allowance to save for major purchases and a dictionary of basic investment terms.

Satisfy Your Need to Know
Here visitors can find free statistics on money market mutual fund assets or reports on the latest industry developments, such as “SEC changes SRO Procedures for Filing Rule Changes.” Other sections include A Guide to Understanding Mutual Funds, Frequently Asked Questions and a news archive dating back to 1995.

Keep Track of the Market
Users can register for free to keep tabs on their mutual funds at this e-stop, which offers general business, current and archived earnings news, as well as QuoteStream to see how your picks measure up on the Nasdaq, NYSE and S&P 500 stock index. Visitors also can get two daily e-mail newsletters, Earnings Ticker and Ticker AM—Business News Update.

Join an E-Community
This part of the AICPA stop on the Web offers a section for members with the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) and Forensic Litigation Services (FLS) designations. Resources include case studies on historical and comparative financial analysis, internal controls and common types of computer fraud. The site also offers a fraud survey, information on seven investigative techniques for fraud and the Institute’s competency assessment tool (CAT) for users to measure their fraud prevention, detection and investigation skill sets.

Spend Time to Save Money
Texas-based CPA and financial adviser James Trippon offers a free learning center at his Web site with articles such as “What Are the Pitfalls of Probate?” and “What Savings Alternatives Are Available?” Users can find calculators to help with cash and risk management, estate planning, and savings and investing; read free online newsletters; and use the site’s financial glossary.

A Family Affair
If you’re a CPA in business with your parents, siblings or other relations, this Smart Stop offers advice on exit strategies, financing, marketing and succession planning, to name a few. The site also has current and archived issues of the e-zine, Understanding Family Business dating back to March 2002 and answers to your questions in the Ask the Expert section.

Tips, Tools and Webcasts
For CPAs interested in Sarbanes-Oxley, this Web site offers survey data on the impact of compliance on finance operations, interviews with CFOs on revenue management and articles such as “Voluntary Sarbox for Private Companies.” Users also can find webcasts about minimizing taxes and the importance of revenue recognition in the mergers and acquisitions process.

Worth a Second Visit
This telecommuting site, first listed as a Smart Stop in the April 2003 JofA (page 24), has added a What’s New section, a search engine and a link to compile your own free surveys on its home page. It also now has a worldwide list of telecommuting centers for executives on the move and a link to the Telecommuting Safety and Health Benefits Institute, which offers white papers such as “Ten Advantages to Telecommuting.”


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