SOFTWARE & SUPPLIESHELP WITH FIN 48
Thomson Tax & Accounting has developed a new solution to help corporate tax professionals who use Checkpoint and InSource WorkFlow Manager comply with the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Interpretation No. 48 on uncertainty in income taxes. It offers workflow analysis, best practice templates, interoffice memos, and guidance to help navigate the complex intersections of FIN 48 and Sarbanes-Oxley, as well as interest calculations through software licensed from Decision Modeling Inc.
http://ria.thomson.com or (800) 865-5257
LEAVE US ALONE!
We have always aspired to Howard Hughes' reclusive, germophobic lifestyle, but couldn't manage it due to our need to interact with other human beings. With the release of BizConference from BizAction, we're one step closer to that hermetically sealed penthouse suite: It offers a Web-based meeting place that allows you to easily share information, collaborate on documents, conduct a webinar, and more - with none of that pesky personal contact.
Starts at $20 a month; www.bizconference.com
SPEND, SPEND, SPEND
Employees are like sailors on shore leave - spendthrift and irresponsible. To put a leash on them, consider using expensewatch.com, a Web-based expense system with modules for travel and entertainment, purchasing, and invoice management. It makes it easy for employees to create expense documents and route them to the appropriate approvers, who can then either accept or reject all or a portion of each document. More important, it allows you to apply spending policies across your entire business, and lets you integrate and export the data to your other systems for business analysis.
www.expensewatch.com or (866) 399-2824
MAKE 'EM LAUGH
We're not going to sugarcoat this: There is a perception abroad in the world that accountants are, well, humorless. One way to combat this would be to work up a laff-riot comedy act, but that might smack of desperation. Why not consider instead a set of accounting cartoon note cards from the CPA Marketing Center? Their dry New Yorker humor will help you show yourself for the witty urban sophisticate that you are.
$18.95; http://cpamarketingcenter.com or (877) 272-4249
YOU GOT QUESTIONS
The financial planners at Kitchen Table Advice have begun offering a free service where they'll answer questions submitted on their Web site for free, to help the public get a handle on issues like retirement or saving for college. We're not suggesting you turn to them when clients stump you - do your own work! - but it strikes us as a nice bit of marketing savvy, and a good way to draw in prospects. We here at New Products, for instance, have a number of questions for them, starting with, "Will you lend us $50?"
NEW AND IMPROVED!
CCH (www.cchgroup.com) has launched the Tax Zone Locator to provide location-based tax incentive info on its Tax Research NetWork. ... BNA (www.bna.com) has added the Auditor's Reports Portfolio, an in-depth analysis of the standard audit report, to its Accounting Policy and Practice Series. ... BWise (www.bwise. com) has launched a templated governance, risk and compliance implementation program, as well as Version 3.3 of its GRC Solution Platform.
DEALING WITH THE FEDS
The federal government is everywhere these days - and where the federal government goes, it brings its accounting with it. Oddly enough, accepted federal practice is not the same as the generally accepted accounting principles used by everyone else, but, as the second edition of Wiley's Federal Accounting Handbook makes clear, knowledge of its quirks is crucial not just for federal financial employees, but also for financial types at hundreds of thousands of nonprofits, government contractors, grantees and more. The latest version of the book adds coverage of the new FASAB standards, and of the impact of SOX on federal departments and agencies.
John Wiley & Sons; $80
We just can't get enough SOX! And that's a good thing because, despite some recent proposed changes, it's not going anywhere. And since we're likely to be living with it for some time, it's a good thing that David Hardesty keeps updating his Practical Guide to Corporate Governance and Accounting: Implementing the Requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which remains one of the pre-eminent references on the subject. The 2007 edition includes new material on Auditing Standard 4 and the results of the first year of Section 404 testing.
Thomson RIA; $89.95
YOUR TAX LIBRARY
As if tax season weren't stressful enough, legal publisher Nolo has released a flood of books that threaten to shrink the market for tax advice for small businesses. Deduct It - Lower Your Small Business Taxes, Home Business Tax Deductions, Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide and Tax Savvy for Small Business are all full of exactly the sort of tips that business owners usually turn to their accountants for, and they don't charge by the hour. Fortunately, Nolo has yet to come up with a book that can prepare and file a tax return. Yet.
Nolo; $34.99 each, except Tax Savvy - $36.99
We used to think we had mad skills when it came to negotiation - our arsenal included not just screaming, but also crying and pounding on the conference table - but
3-D Negotiation has brought home to us how naïve we were. While most of us think only of the tactics we'll employ while at the table, the authors here consider that merely the first dimension of negotiation; the second is deal design, which for them is about developing a systematic approach to envisioning and structuring creative agreements that go far beyond just "win-win." And the third dimension is what they call "setting the table" - all the things you do before you get into the negotiating room, such as making sure that the right parties are contacted in the right sequence, and kidnapping your opposite number's family just before the session begins.
Harvard Business School Press; $29.95
IN HOT AND COLD BLOOD
When The Nature of Leadership suggests that there are lessons to be learned from mammals and reptiles, it's not talking about the value of a thick pelt or a set of razor-sharp teeth (though those can be handy in the boardroom). Rather, the point is that they represent two crucial skillsets a leader must have: Mammals stand for being nurturing, creative and inspiring, and reptiles for being analytical, decisive and effective. With that distinction, the book shows readers how to travel the long, hard path to great leadership, and how to develop both their furry and their scaly sides.
Amacom Books; $21.95
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