Rev rec refs
Guides to the new revenue recognition standards
The new standard on revenue recognition that was released in late May won't begin to take effect until 2017 -- which gives everyone just barely enough time to prepare for it, so organizations across the profession are offering guides to the new standards. Among vendors, Bloomberg BNA is offering its subscribers "Navigating the New Road to Revenue Recognition," a detailed overview of the new standard that also includes guidance on how companies can prepare to apply it. Thomson Reuters has also released a special report called "An Overview of the Revised Accounting Model for Revenue Recognition" that organizes its content according to the five-step rev rec process set by the standard. It's available for free at http://tax.thomsonreuters.com/revrec. The company has also launched its GAAP Critical Issues Series - Revenue Recognition, an online product that provides detailed coverage of how to implement the standard at an industry-specific level.
Asked and answered
Quick Answers and CCH IntelliConnect Direct
Wolters Kluwer, CCH
Even computers get tired of answering the same question over and over again, which, we assume, is why CCH has created its new Quick Answers content library. It brings together the answers to more than 2,000 of the most frequently researched subjects on its IntelliConnect research platform, offering succinct information on rules, rates and definitions, as well as links to key charts and calculators, so that users can get at them even more quickly. The company is also launching its new CCH IntelliConnect Direct solution, which will give research users a more dynamic, customizable interface, accessible on a user's desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile device.
The second wave
Online Accounting Software: Finding the Right Match
The Sleeter Group; $79.95
We're living through the second great efflorescence of accounting software, with a new cloud offering popping up every week, it seems. In many ways, this is good news, but in others it's kind of a pain. With so many choices on the market, how can you pretend to be familiar enough with them to choose software for yourself, or to advise your clients? Fortunately, we're also in living through the first great efflorescence of the e-book, and this new offering from the Sleeter Group offers an in-depth look at seven leading options for small-business accounting: QuickBooks Online, Xero, Cheqbook, Kashoo, Wave, Zoho Books and Freshbooks. It compares them on 185 different features and includes hundreds of screenshots.
Knowing what your clients need to know and actually communicating it to them are two different things, which is why Thomson Reuters' two new content marketing solutions may be worth a look. Their two new client newsletters -- Accounting & Audit Monthly and International Tax Monthly -- make it easy to share useful articles and information with your clients, while also strengthening your relationships with them and building your business. (And if you happen to learn something from them, too, that's just a bonus.)
Six Steps to Small Business Success
Maven House Press; $21.95
We're not going to say that you only get one shot at success in general, but you do often only get one shot with a particular idea or plan, which means you want to plan as carefully as you can -- and get as much good advice as you can in advance. Six Steps to Small Business Success is the combined advice of five seasoned CPAs, with invaluable ideas on every part of making a successful business, from the initial planning phases right through to the bittersweet triumph after you sell out.
Everyone's doing it
CPA Firm Mergers: Your Complete Guide
Rosenberg Associates; $165
Whether you're aiming for expansion or an exit strategy, it's more and more likely that your firm or practice will someday be involved in a merger. It's almost as likely that it will be an awkward, confusing and intimidating affair. Participating in lots and lots of mergers can help make you more comfortable with them, or you can benefit from someone else's experience -- specifically, Marc Rosenberg's, as he's written a comprehensive new monograph on the subject that lets you know what to expect and how to make a deal that serves your purposes, whatever they may be.
Easier, not nicer
The 90-Day Marketing Plan for CPA Firms: How to Create the Roadmap for Your Firm's Growth
CPA Trendlines Research; $149
You can't ignore marketing anymore. What's worse, you can't pretend to be taking it seriously while actually just making a half-hearted effort. You actually have to market your firm professionally and consistently, or you will lose clients to the firms started by the 20-somethings who actually enjoy prospecting and using social media. Fortunately, The 90-Day Marketing Plan for CPA Firms offers an excellent guide to how to dive in. With a host of sound advice, step-by-step instructions, worksheets, examples and real-life case studies, it should make your path into accounting marketing much easier. One caveat: You don't get to stop marketing once the 90 days are up. You actually have to keep marketing after that. We know it seems unfair, but we don't make the rules.
The flow in cash flow
Have you got clients who need to improve their cashflow? Fundbox may be a possible answer: They simply upload their unpaid invoices to Fundbox, and then when they need to even out their cash flow, they select an invoice (or several) and Fundbox will advance them money against the amount on the invoice for a fee. The fee varies depending on the size of the invoice, but is clearly listed, so users can pick and choose among their invoices to find the mix that's right for their circumstances. There are no set-up or subscription fees, you can repay early and save on the fees, and the company says that the invoice fees get lower the more you use the service.
If, like us, you constantly find yourself sharing horribly offensive files via e-mail -- or even if you just want to control how non-offending files are accessed and shared (or not shared) -- DSTRUX is an intriguing new option for self-protection. You simply drag and drop a file into the application and it creates a link that you can share in e-mails or on Facebook. The new file can't be printed, copied, scanned or screen-captured, and you can set how long the viewer gets to see the file before it self-destructs. (We can only hope it uses the smoking-tape effect from the old Mission: Impossible ... .) And when recipients forward your file, you can track everyone who receives it and designate which of them can view it, and for how long.
New and improved!
Microsoft has released Dynamics GP 2013 R2, which includes executive dashboards in Office 365 and easy backup to the cloud. ... ZenPayroll has joined Intuit's Apps.com partner platform and will integrate with QuickBooks Online. ... Tallie has launched a new cloud-based expense management solution that links with major financial and accounting software, including QuickBooks and Bill.com. ... Sage North America has launched its new Sage Exchange Payment Management System, which lets small and midsized businesses consolidate all of their payment activity onto one platform.
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