Smart Stops on the Web





Whether you’re a CPA with small business or sole proprietor clients or you’re interested in leading your own firm, the Small Business Administration is here to help. This Smart Stop offers free online training in business planning and management, marketing and advertising, federal taxes, compliance and cyber security. Prepare for the future with guidance on disaster planning, contract opportunities and loan eligibility. Looking for a more personal experience? Use the site to locate the nearest Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center.


With plenty of day-to-day responsibilities, it’s hard for small business owners to step back and look at the big picture: their financial future. Take some time to use CCH’s Financial Planning Toolkit, which provides resources on commercial loans, working capital and profit margins, as well as dozens of calculators for debt management, investments, tax and personal finance. Click on “Planning Guide” and “Planning Tools” for guidance on risk management, taxes, retirement and estate planning, including “Ages and Stages Approach to Investing” and “Tax Year and Accounting Methods.”


This site delivers how-tos for life and work right to your desktop. You can purchase courses that help you master a computer program, build a Web site or learn how to negotiate successfully. Its skills training offerings include series of courses on sales and organizational development, personal finance and Internet marketing. Free offerings include step-by-step guides ranging from the everyday—how to clean your computer or how to remove spyware—to the workday—how to identify your customers or choose office furniture.



According to Scott Ginsberg, author of Make a Name for Yourself and How To Be That Guy , speaker and self-professed “Guy with the Nametag,” approachability is key to successful branding and professional prowess; he would know—Ginsberg has worn a nametag 24 hours a day, seven days a week, since 2000. His blog, published since 2003, provides tips, ideas, stories and techniques on approachability and selling yourself and your business. Interested in growing your practice or marketing new services? Browse subjects like “People Buy People First,” “Law of Approachability” and “Don’t Sell—Enable People to Buy.”


Getting lost in a cubicle corporation? Use Scot Herrick’s site to launch your career over the partitioned wall. Click the “Career Management Resources” link for articles on leadership, interviewing and working with management, or read the “30 Career Management Tips” series, which includes “Know Why You Work Where You Work,” “Network Through Change,” and “Watch What People Do, Not What They Say.” The site also features links to dozens of career management and productivity Web sites.


As an online community for human resources professionals, HR World features news, tools and information for small, medium and large companies. Resource centers host articles and white papers on benefits, HR outsourcing, management and payroll. An extensive collection of calculators can help you tally the cost of employee turnover, retirement planning, bad hires, stock options and more. The dictionary covers common industry terms—even “lunch.” The “Ask the Experts” section lets you post inquiries and get feedback from others in the field.


Knowledge@Wharton is the online business journal of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, focusing on research and analysis of current events. The site features news, interviews, book reviews and research abstracts on topics such as finance and investments, marketing, business ethics and managing technology. No time to browse? There’s an option to download video and podcasts or subscribe to newsfeeds. There are also interactive features, such as the “CFO Survey” on current issues in financial leadership, results of which will be published in a white paper. 


Tax reform complicates year-end tax planning

Get your clients ready for tax season with these year-end tax planning strategies, which address how to make the most of recent tax law changes, such as the new deduction for qualified business income and the cap on the deductibility of state and local taxes.


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.