Smart Stops on the Web





This site features content from the SEC’s Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404—A Guide for Small Business, a publication for small public company managers and their auditors as they begin to assess internal control over financial reporting. Sections such as “What Constitutes Effective Internal Controls?,” “Identifying Financial Reporting Risks and Controls That Address Them,” and “Do Your Controls Work in Practice?” guide small business managers through the assessment process for the first time. The complete guide is also available in a printable version.


Visit the AICPA’s PCPS Firm Practice Center for the most recent installment of Small Firm Solutions, a new e-newsletter for small firms and sole practitioners. The quarterly publication, part of the Institute’s “Small Firm Advantage” initiative, features “Hot Topics for Small Firms” from James Metzler, CPA, AICPA vice president–Small Firm Interests. The site hosts a collection of helpful resources from the Small Business Administration on startup businesses and on managing existing businesses. PCPS members can also access the “Risk Assessment Standards Toolkit” for SAS nos. 104–111, as well as small firm marketing brochures.


Here, dozens of small business experts share their wealth of knowledge in articles, interviews and book reviews. A pull-down menu lets you choose information in your area of interest or by specific expert. These business owners and guest columnists offer information on topics such as globalization, Web design, employment trends and sales. You can also link to other small business resources, subscribe to the twice-monthly Small Business Trends newsletter and comment on articles.


Stay current on federal regulatory policies and proposals—including Sarbanes-Oxley compliance deadlines for small public companies—that could affect your small business clients at this Smart Stop from the Small Business Administration. You can electronically subscribe to the Office of Advocacy’s newsletter, The Small Business Advocate, or sign up for RSS feeds of regulatory news and research, such as state economic profiles and banking and financial research. There is even a complete chronology of the organization’s Sarbanes-Oxley activities at



Written by Miriam Lawrence, director of Horsemouth, a business-building resource for financial advisers, the site provides tactics and tips for professionals who use referrals for business development and growth. Find articles such as “Five Great Times to Ask for Referrals” and “Keep a Referral Scorecard,” or catch up on Lawrence’s “ABCs of Automatic Referrals” series, which starts with “A is for Action” and works through the alphabet, including “K is for K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple and Specific).” The site also touches on topics such as client service and relationships, marketing and communicating value.


Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.


The mission statement says it all: “It is the job of the 10Q Detective to dig through businesses’ 8-K and 10-Q SEC filings, looking for financial statement ‘soft spots.’ ” The blog, run by David Phillips, a financial statement analyst, features several posts a week, including investment news, opinions, trading alerts and stock alerts. There are also links to financial Web sites, corporate governance news, educational sites and other investment-related blogs. 


Keeping you informed and prepared amid the coronavirus outbreak

We’re gathering the latest news stories along with relevant columns, tips, podcasts, and videos on this page, along with curated items from our archives to help with uncertainty and disruption.


Excel walk-through: Sparklines

Want to liven up your spreadsheets with some color and graphical elements? Kelly L. Williams, CPA, Ph.D., shows how to use Excel sparklines, which illustrate data trends and patterns via small charts that fit in a single Excel cell.