More like this, please

Accounting Changes: Chronicles of Convergence, Crisis and Complexity in Financial Reporting

AICPA; $61.25 ($49 for members)

While prominent politicians and business figures often are expected to produce memoirs, it's not common practice for important players in accounting to do so. A dip into former Financial Accounting Standards Board chair Robert Herz's book may make you wish that it was. To be sure, Herz was a central figure in some of the most important issues in the field over the past decade, from a dozen contentious standards to convergence and the battle over the adoption of IFRS. He's also had a fascinating career, and is clearly a thoughtful guy, with a serious vision for the future of financial reporting. He sets a pretty high bar for future accounting memoirists.


All in one place

Intuit Practice Management

Intuit Inc.

Intuit released its new Intuit Practice Management, a cloud-based system that integrates tightly with its QuickBooks and Lacerte Tax software to help firms better manage their work, their staff and their clients. With all their data accessible in one application, firms can quickly and easily prepare for a client meeting, figure out the status of an engagement, check an employee's workload, and even send out invoices directly to QuickBooks for unbilled work. With over 100 customizable reports, IPM also gives users deep insight into how their practices are doing, and how to make them more profitable.


A great leap forward

Wallet Share: Grow Your Practice Without Adding Clients

L. Harris Partners; $19.95

We are always wary of gimmicky ideas with catchy names involving numbers: Stalin's Five-Year Plans and Mao's Hundred Flowers spring to mind, for instance, or Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan. The "3x3x3" model laid out in Wallet Share, though, is worth considering. It's deceptively simple: Go through your client base and make sure that you're selling each one three services, that you have three contacts at each, and that they have three contacts at your firm. Properly implemented, it can unlock a tremendous source of new business.


Sage One, plus

New features for Sage One

Sage North America

Sage has unveiled a number of features for its Sage One accounting software for entrepreneurs and small and start-up businesses. One of the primary enhancements is bank integration, which provides links to users' accounts at over 10,000 banks and financial institutions to eliminate all sorts of manual entry and information transfer. The user interface has also been simplified, and now incorporates features like recurring transactions and accounts payable to help streamline typical management processes. New features also support bills with multiple line items.


Better prep

Fastbook and CPA Exam game

Fast Forward Academy


Exam prep and CPE provider Fast Forward Academy has launched a new intelligent online textbook called FastBook that uses study performance to highlight the areas students most need to focus on to pass the CPA Exam. Depending on the "FastFocus" threshold users choose, the textbook will queue up material that they're not scoring well on for further work. Separately, the company launched a new multi-player game for CPA Exam review, so course purchasers can compete against colleagues and other exam candidates on trivia questions from previous exams.


Invest like the rich

The Wealth Code: How the Rich Stay Rich in Good Times and Bad

Wiley; $40

Jason Vanclef has no time for "asset diversification" as commonly practiced -- spreading a portfolio around a range of stocks and bonds that are, hopefully, uncorrelated. No -- as detailed in The Wealth Code, he favors a kind of diversification on steroids that includes a huge list of different types of investment vehicles. This is how the truly wealthy stay that way, he says, floating serenely above volatility and the suckers' bets on offer from Wall Street. Make no mistake, though: Vanclef isn't selling a panacea. He's recommending investments that require the sort of serious research and constant involvement that only the wealthy can engage in.


Tools of the trade

Investigative Computer Forensics: The Practical Guide for Lawyers, Accountants, Investigators, and Business Executives

Wiley; $75

Unfortunately, it often seems as if the people best positioned to understand how computers have enabled modern fraud are those who want to perpetrate it. Those who are tasked with detecting, preventing and investigating fraud, meanwhile, are often woefully ill-informed on how technology can help. Investigative Computer Forensics aims to be a primer for them, explaining the converging worlds of technology, business, law and fraud in layman's terms, so they can keep up with those who want to defraud them.


Your own cloud

StoAmigo's CloudLocker

Duvon Corp.

Like the idea of the cloud, but afraid to let your data leave your office? StoAmigo's CloudLocker offers the best of both worlds, since it's a cloud server where the server actually sits in your office. CloudLocker features 250 GB of storage and gives access to all stored material through StoAmigo's Web and mobile apps.


New and improved!

New River Innovation released enhancements to its Beyond415 WorkCenter and Guidance solutions, including a simplified interface and an interactive file system for WorkCenter, and issue-specific workplans with tips and step-by-step guidance for Guidance. ... Serenic Software launched the latest version of its finance and accounting software for nonprofits, Serenic Navigator 2013. ... ACL has launched ACL GRC, a cloud-based governance, risk management and compliance solution. ... Billtrust has incorporated SmartTrak into its Open API; SmartTrak helps track delivery of bills.

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