Your native guide

Audit Risk Assessment Tool


Even for experienced auditors, determining the potential risk of material misstatements, whether from fraud or error, in a financial statement audit can be a difficult journey into unknown terrain. Who better to guide you to implement the appropriate risk assessment standards than the American Institute of CPAs, whose home turf this is? Their new online Audit Risk Assessment Tool walks you through the necessary steps for creating an effective audit, including step-by-step guidance. The tool is available by subscription, which includes access to the institute guide, Assessing and Responding to Audit Risk in a Financial Statement Audit.



SmartVault Client Portal


We may have mentioned before in these pages that, just as all arts are supposed to aspire to the condition of music (and no, we don't know exactly what that means), all technologies should aspire to condition of phones (by which we mean that they should be as easy to set up and use). Document management solution provider SmartVault has made a major stride in this direction with the new "view in browser" functionality of its Client Portal, which allows users to look at stored documents without having to download them, and without having to have the software in which they were created. See? Easy. Like the phone.


The anger of discovery


Philatron Wire and Cable

Great inventions give you a choice: You can either be happy that they were invented, or angry that they weren't invented sooner. With the FlexyCord, we're angry that it wasn't invented sooner. Seriously -- it took us over a century of tangled-up extension cords before we thought to apply the whole Slinkified approach that had already been in use for decades on phone cords? What's wrong with our inventors? Is the patent system somehow to blame? C'mon, people -- let's get our act together. I don't want to wait another century just to get my earphone wires untangled.



Cabinet Mobile for iPad


You know what documents are the same size as your smartphone? None. You know what documents are the same size as your tablet? Almost all of them. And if you're a customer of document management solutions provider Cabinet, you can now use its Cabinet Mobile app to view all your documents on your iPad -- where they'll look normal, and you will too, since you won't be squinting at tiny screens so much. You can also mark docs as "Favorites" for instant access, copy docs for use in third-party apps, and electronically sign them with your fingertip. Users of other tablets can use the Mobile features through their Web browser.


China for all

Selling to China: A Guide to Doing Business in China for Small- and Medium-Sized Companies

iUniverse Publishing; $20.95

It used to be that only large companies had the resources, reach and sophistication to operate overseas, but that's no longer the case, and plenty of your small and midsized clients find sales all over the world. Similarly, it used to be that only large companies could deal with the complexities and reap the opportunities presented by the Chinese market, but that, too, is no longer the case. Selling to China offers SMBs guidance on dealing with both state-owned and private Chinese businesses, helps them understand the psyche of the country's current generation of business and political leaders, looks at what products and services make sense in China, and shows how to develop low-cost entry strategies.


Intro to sustainability

Corporate Sustainability: Integrating Performance and Reporting

Wiley; $75

Sustainability reporting is still a relatively new idea to many, but it essentially involves adding economic, governance, social, ethical and environmental dimensions to the standard economic and financial reporting. And not just adding, but integrating, as Corporate Sustainability makes clear, since all of these dimensions are inter-related. It's a great introduction to these multiple bottom lines.



Procurement for InvoiceReady


E-invoicing and purchase-to-pay solution provider Basware has released a procurement module for its cloud-based InvoiceReady solution, to help small and midsized businesses reap the benefits of electronic invoicing. The new module lets users create, review and approve purchase requisitions, and matches purchase orders and incoming invoices, so that companies can keep tighter control over their spending.


If you're not Lincoln ...

The Leader's Pocket Guide: 101 Indispensable Tools, Tips, and Techniques for Any Situation

Amacom; $19.95

Two valuable primers on leadership came out late last year. One was Steven Spielberg's biopic Lincoln, whose main lesson is, "Abraham Lincoln was an awesome leader. Be like him." Since Lincoln was pretty much a genius and more or less a saint, this is advice of questionable value to the rest of us, who will do better with The Leader's Pocket Guide, which requires neither sainthood nor genius. Since leadership is awfully hard, and a 24/7 sort of job, the fact that it's actually pocket-sized, and that its advice is short and pithy, makes it even more useful.


The other skills

The Financial Professional's Guide to Communication: How to Strengthen Client Relationships and Build New Ones

FT Press; $39.99

In many cases, clients hire you because they lack the technical expertise that you spent so much time acquiring. Unfortunately, that also means that they often can't judge the quality of the technical expertise that you spent so much time acquiring -- and so they judge you on things like your presentation and communication skills, which you may have neglected while you were acquiring all that technical expertise. This is even worse in financial planning, where communication skills are critical to understanding your clients' goals. The Financial Professional's Guide to Communication is a good introduction to all the skills you didn't develop while you were developing all your other skills, and can help get you more in touch with your clients.


Everybody's problem

Buyouts: Success for Owners, Management, PEGs, Families, ESOPs and Mergers and Acquisitions

Wiley; $85

Accounting firms aren't the only businesses facing a succession crisis. Every single other business in the country is too, as Baby Boomers emerge from their self-induced self-absorption long enough to realize that they're going to need to retire at some point, and have to find a way to pass on their businesses. Buyouts is a comprehensive look at the entire process, from valuations to exit planning to tax issues. Written by Scott Miller, a CPA who has helped hundreds of businesses through transition planning, it should be the first stop for anyone who owns a business (or, ahem, an accounting firm) and is beginning to think about moving on.


New and improved!

Both CCH and Thomson Reuters have released guides to the fiscal cliff legislation (otherwise known as the American Taxpayer Relief Act), available variously in print, as e-books, or through their respective research platforms. ... Accusoft has released Prizm Capture, a solution for capturing data from invoices and importing it into QuickBooks Online. ... Vertex Inc. has made its Vertex Indirect Tax O Series for VAT management available as a Software-as-a-Service solution. ... TaxConnex has released the fourth installment of its Sales Tax Handbook: A Guide to Sales Tax Laws and Current Issues; this installment addresses exemption certificate issues and drop shipment rules.

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