Smart Stops on the Web


Know the Law
Firms shopping for health insurance will want to read up on the potential pitfalls at the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration Web site. Focus on Health Care Fraud has fact sheets on how to protect your employees when purchasing health insurance and what to do if a health care plan can no longer pay benefits. Visitors to the Publications section can get information on benefit accrual and investing, survivor benefits and plan terminations and mergers.

Post-Employee Benefits
Read up on—and share with your clients—information about the challenges of 401(k) plans or help female employees and clients plan for their retirement with an interactive game. This Web site has research on the risk of investing retirement income and the effects of Social Security reform on retirement-wealth accumulation. Also of interest is a paper on living standards in retirement in the Issues in Brief section and a discussion on Social Security trust funds.

HR Resources
The New England Employee Benefits Council (NEEBC) e-stop offers links to defined contribution news, the National Institute of Pension Administrators Web site and employee benefits job postings. Users can read Massachusetts Same-Gender Marriage: Results of the Human Resources Policy Survey to see how some companies are treating this issue.

Data for Decisions
The Financial Services Industries section of this e-site offers case studies on customized compensation, benefits and pay practices, while newcomers to the field can find a glossary of compensation terms. Visitors looking for benchmarking information on executive compensation rates can find it, along with a calculator to estimate and adjust salary information based on changing variables. Users can learn how to conduct a market pricing study of employee benefits and salaries or get 10 steps to building a great workplace in the published articles archive.

Benefit Alerts and Free Reports
Interested in learning more about employee benefits issues such as paid time off, unemployment benefits and vacation time? Check out this Web site’s Employment Law FAQs section. Free Reports includes details of how to conduct employment law audits, train managers to give performance appraisals, and tips on conducting workplace investigations and state laws covering access to personnel files. Visitors also can subscribe to a free newsletter about changing benefits rules and regulations.

A Fund Festival
Finding mutual fund information is easy when you visit this e-portal to federal and state tax forms, and links to IRS tax forms, the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Tax Court. Other portal windows open to the IRS real and personal property sales site and’s links to mutual fund companies, including a section on Fund Top Performers.

Time to Move on?
Need to update your resume and brush up on interviewing skills? This Web stop can help with a free downloadable copy of “Executive Jobs: A Guide to Managing Your Career,” links to resume templates, job postings and tips on working with recruiters. There’s useful information even if you’re happy staying put, such as case studies on leadership and strategic focus and travel tips.

Sell Your Services
Whether you’re trying to win clients or get the word out about new services, this Smart Stop offers CPAs articles and whitepapers that can help. Find steps to create ROI accountability and the top branding principles of corporate blogs, articles on strategy and positioning, and 10 steps for deploying self-directed teams. The site also features career-development tools and online job-posting services.

Retire in Style
Financial advisers guiding clients through the pitfalls and profits of retirement income will want to share this e-content with them. Visitors can receive the free Retiree Financial Guide and e-mail updates, learn how to cut taxes on IRA withdrawals and find high-dividend stocks. Looking for estate planning advice or the reason real estate is a poor cash-flow investment? Go to the Free Articles link for the answers.

Find It Fast
This online directory of search engines and databases is the right one to visit if you know what you’re looking for and want to find it quickly. This Smart Stop is organized into convenient categories and subcategories, such as accounting and tax, computers, government, investments and stocks. Lighter fare includes entertainment, greeting cards and humor.

—Vince Nolan


6 key areas of change for accountants and auditors

New accounting standards on revenue recognition, leases, and credit losses present implementation challenges. This independently-written report identifies the hurdles that accounting professionals face and provides tips for overcoming the challenges.


How tax reform will impact individual taxpayers

Amy Wang, a CPA who is a senior technical manager for tax advocacy at the AICPA, answers to some of the most common questions on how the new tax reform law will impact individual taxpayers.