Here's the plan
CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
No one likes an infinite regression, but before you plan your next business tax planning engagement, you might plan on taking a look at the new CCH TaxPlan, an addition to their IntelliConnect research platform that guides users through the process. With explanations on every step of the business lifecyle; hundreds of customizable practice aids, including client questionnaires and memos, checklists, and engagement letters; access to research aids; an interactive chart of state treatment of business entities, and more, it has everything you need to plan a more successful business tax planning engagement. There is, however, no need to have a plan for planning to look at TaxPlan.
Deerstalker not included
Skout Forensics Data Collection Kit
Sherlock Holmes got by with a magnifying glass, a keen sense of observation, and some heroin, but the modern-day forensic accountant needs more in the way of detective tools than that. The new Skout Forensics Data Collection Kit lets just about anyone acquire electronic data from a standard desktop or laptop in a manner that meets all the necessary forensic standards, even if the computer is powered off. Forensic images are encrypted and secured, and the kit has built-in mirrored disk-writing support for when two copies of evidence are required.
Reporting on reporting
Financial Reporting Network
When it comes to learning about the latest in financial reporting, what busy corporate decision-maker wouldn't want the advice of a Big Four auditing firm? KPMG's new Financial Reporting Network is an online source for the latest trends in financial reporting, including insights from the firm's partners, analysis of new standards and guidance, and a wealth of other information organized by topic and industry.
Best of all, it's free, so you can get Big Four advice even if you can't afford Big Four billing rates.
Here's an interesting Catch-22: The people on your staff who are most worth learning from are often the very people who have the least time to teach others. Fortunately, webinars and streaming video have certainly made it much easier to maximize any training program, allowing a single person to train large numbers of people without travel costs or time-consuming repeat sessions - and LearnLive Technologies has taken this a step further. Its LearnLive Connect platform lets you rebroadcast webcasts as if they were live, so that they qualify for CPE, and can offer full audience participation, as well as flexibility for attendees and administrators.
A wise hobgoblin
XBRL Consistency Suite
It wasn't consistency that Emerson thought was the hobgoblin of little minds, it was afoolish consistency - and for companies spending millions to put their financials into XBRL, there's nothing foolish about wanting to get it right. The new version of XBRL US's XBRL Consistency Suite has 60 percent more automated checks that companies can run to find problems in their XBRL documents, including in detailed footnote tags. It also lets them run peer analyses so they can see what similar companies have done, and compare the 2009 release of the U.S. GAAP taxonomy against the pre-release of the 2011 FASB version.
Most people dislike reading any significant amount of text on a computer screen, which may be why the paperless office has taken so long to catch on. Turns out, though, that there are some fairly simple adjustments you can make to your computer's settings to make it easier and less painful to read on screen. TintMy Screen takes you through a short assessment of what settings you can read best, then gives you a set of recommendations for personalizing your computer.
Gold Privacy Filters
You've done it - we all have: looked over a stranger's shoulder at their computer screen on a train, bus or in some other public space. Unfortunately, that means someone's probably done it to you, too, and gleaned all sorts of private client information. We've attached giant wicker blinds to our shoulders to prevent strangers from watching us play Farmville, but you might want to consider 3M's screen privacy aides. The latest versions, Gold Privacy Filters, are laid directly onto your screen, and show only a reflective golden screen when viewed from the side. They also help protect your screen from scratches and marks, and can actually enhance the viewing experience.
More from the cloud
VITA Cloud Angel
Unit4 has taken its highly flexible ERP solution Agresso Business World into the cloud with a subscription-based deployment, VITA Cloud Angel. It's available as a turnkey solution for four industry sectors: professional services, nonprofits, health care services, and education, and is designed around a versatile architecture that make it ideal for businesses that experience frequent change - whether through mergers, acquisitions or expansion - and require flexibility in data handling and protection, hardware deployment, information delivery, and business processes.
Scan, baby, scan
Fujitsu's ScanSnap line of scanners make it easier than ever to digitize documents, with all sorts of intelligent features for creating JPEGs and searchable PDFs, and organizing and managing the files. The desktop S1500 and S1500M (for Macs) now include features for recognizing all different sizes and types of paper documents, and automatically increasing the resolution for smaller documents, but our favorite is the portable S1300, which has many of the same features and works for both PCs and Macs, but is small enough to take on the road to client engagements.
Shred, baby, shred
Jackhammer Hard Drive Shredder
Security Engineered Machinery
We love office tools that destroy things. The new Model 0300 Jackhammer will destroy hard drives, smart phones and other electronic devices, optical media, and computer backup tapes. It plugs into a standard outlet, comes with all sorts of safety features, and even requires a key to operate, so it can be kept safe from shred-happy morons like us. Despite the fact that CPA firms need to make sure client data is safely disposed of, we can't honestly suggest that most firms need to be able to destroy up to 500 hard drives an hour - but don't you wish you did?
Secure your e-mail
Connect In Private Corp.
Connect In Private has launched a new webmail platform that adds encryption capabilities for all data contained in an e-mail, including attachments. It also has an intuitive interface, and shared calendar and address book functionality, and plans to launch an enhanced mobile interface for secure access via BlackBerries and other mobile devices.
New and improved!
ClusterSeven has released Version 6.0 of its Enterprise Spreadsheet Manager, with new reporting formats for spreadsheet risk, and new security and protection enhancements. ... Sage North America has released Version 9 of its Sage Abra Suite, with data access for mobile devices, and a new HR Actions feature to replace paper-based processes with paperless, Web-based workflow.
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