SoftwareA PEACE DIVIDEND
Now that they're sure the Spanish-American War is safely behind us, Congress has seen fit to repeal the tax on long-distance telephone service that they enacted to pay for it, and they're graciously allowing taxpayers to make retroactive claims back to 2003 (meaning that we've spent 105 years paying for a war that lasted six months).
Figuring out the complexities of the new phone tax refund, though, requires more courage than charging up San Juan Hill, so TBRC Cost Recovery is offering a range of phone tax refund calculators that can maximize refunds for individuals, corporations, nonprofits, partnerships, and trusts and estates, either separately or all bundled in a $99 Professional Tax Preparer Package.
HELP 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 the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as interest calculations through software licensed from Decision Modeling Inc.
FUN FACTS ABOUT HELL
No. 1: The bottom-most level of Dante's Inferno is cold, not hot. No. 2: It's reserved for the greatest betrayers in human history. No. 3: They're adding a special annex for those who fail in their fiduciary duty to retirement plan participants.
So if you don't want to spend eternity in the Ninth Circle being gnawed by Lucifer, pick up a copy of the 401(k) Plan Sponsor's Fiduciary Toolkit from Benefit Plans Plus, a subsidiary of CPA firm Brown Smith Wallace. For $49.95, this e-book will give you the tools and information you need to manage your duties, improve plan operations - and stay out of Hell.
BE LIKE AMAZON
As befits a company that's all about the Internet, on-demand software developer NetSuite has announced a raft of new functionality aimed at helping midsized businesses dive successfully into e-commerce.
Among the new features are multi-channel, multi-store, multi-currency and multi-language support, and automated Amazon-like upsell and cross-sell capabilities. NetSuite has also added a new eBay channel to its business management suite, to let power users of the auction site manage online sales.
All the cool kids are saying that document management and the paperless office are the future, so they'll like Lead Tools' ePrint5, a handy piece of software that can convert any document from a Windows application into any of over 150 file types, including PDF, JPG, TIFF, GIF and many, many more. At just $49, it may be the least expensive big step into the future you've ever taken.
NEW AND IMPROVED!
Cabinet NG has released CNG-Safe for Act!, a document management add-on for Sage's Act! contact management and CRM software. (www.cabinetng.com) ... Vertex has released Vertex GeoCoder Advantage to allow telecommunications companies to accurately determine customers' tax jurisdictions. (www. vertexinc.com) ... Coda Group's Fast Close 1.0 has earned SAP xApps Certification, so the period-close improvement application can integrate with SAP's NetWeaver platform.
I'VE GOT A SYSTEM ...
Ordinarily, when someone says, "I've got a system," you know they're about to lose their life savings (and any money they can borrow from you) in Las Vegas. When it comes to taxes, however, the government isn't as efficient as the average casino, so a system to minimize your burden can actually succeed. Strategic Business Tax Planning offers one such system for integrating tax and business planning, with a wealth of knowledge organized around business processes. Updated in a second edition to reflect the latest tax legislation and regulations, the book can help businesses focus on the big picture of taxation, and how it affects them. Remember, the house always wins - but the House (and the Senate, and the IRS) don't have to.
John Wiley & Sons; $79
NO MORE BURNT HOLES
It's fine for you to have a little spare cash burning a hole in your pocket, but businesses can't afford to just leave money lying around. To help avoid this, the American Institute of CPAs recently released Optimizing Company Cash: A Guide for Financial Professionals to show you how to make the most of your company's short-term resources. The guide includes workflows, step-by-step checklists, templates and treasury tips. At the very least, it could save you having to buy another pair of pants.
AICPA; members - $69, nonmembers - $86.25
One may be the loneliest number, but at least it's easy to understand - it's when you start adding numbers to it that we get confused. According to Graham Foster's The Power of Positive Profit, we're not alone: Most of American business doesn't understand math, either, and it's costing them a fortune. Foster claims that this innumeracy is particularly destructive when it comes to pricing, where it leads to all sorts of bad practices. His "MoneyMath" system aims to reverse this by showing managers how to improve their pricing and their profits by calculating margins correctly and avoiding the perils of discounting, and includes a number of useful formulas, models and illustrations.
John Wiley & Sons; $27.95
WHERE'S YOUR MONEY?
Did you ever have the feeling that there was money somewhere out there with your name on it, but you didn't know how to get it? When we here at New Products feel that way, it's a completely unwarranted sense of entitlement; when your Accounts Receivable Department feels that way, it's time to pick up a copy of The Ultimate Credit and Collections Handbook, by collections expert Michelle Dunn, which teaches you everything you need to know to create a lean, mean AR machine.
Entrepreneur Press; $29.95
One of the more interesting things about scandals is how often they turn up monumental agglomerations of money and power that you never knew existed. Broken Trust is a perfect example: It's the story of the Bishop Estate, America's largest charitable trust, with an endowment larger than Harvard's and Yale's combined, and which at one point owned one out every nine acres of land in Hawaii.
The sad thing, of course, is that the only way people outside Hawaii would hear about it is through a series of truly astonishing abuses on the part of the trustees. It's as if they had a list of governance abuses to avoid, and decided to commit all of them (including paying themselves $1 million salaries for work they weren't capable of performing). A sad, fascinating story that makes you wonder what other giant institutions are being ransacked ... .
University of Hawaii Press; $16
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