S&H not included
The Accounting Practice Exchange
It makes perfect sense to us: Everything else in the world is sold online, so why not accounting practices? The new Accounting Practice Exchange aims to grab some of the roughly 1,000 practice sales that occur every year by charging low advertising rates, rather than a brokerage fee, and allowing both buyers and sellers to find each other online in one central location. They can search by location, revenue and sale type, and brokers can list right alongside firm owners. Two questions: Who pays the shipping and handling? And does UPS know it's soon going to have to deliver entire accounting firms?
Accountants who lead
Leading an Accounting Firm: The Pyramid of Success
AICPA; $71.25 ($57 for members)
We here at New Products have alerted you to a significant number of books on leadership in the past few years, covering everything from how to lead like Attila the Hun to the leadership lessons of Season Six of America Idol, but we're pretty sure we haven't seen anything like this: an actual book about leading at accounting firms, by someone who actually knows something about accounting. In this case, that's Troy Waugh, a frequent member of our Top 100 People list and a well-known consultant to the profession. Beyond his own credentials, he brings those of dozens of actual leaders at actual (and successful) accounting firms, by sharing their insights and stories. A must-read.
New in tax research
Parker Tax Pro Library
Parker Tax Publishing
Compared to a decade ago, there are far fewer providers of tax research to choose from, so it's nice to see a new one pop up, particularly one that has a pedigree like this: Parker Tax Publishing was started by James Levey, who created Kleinrock back in the day (and who seems to like other people's last names better than his own). Its new Parker Tax Pro Library includes 21 electronic volumes of explanation and analysis covering the gamut of federal tax topics, featuring extensive real-world examples, compliance tips and practice aids. It also offers biweekly tax bulletins to keep users up to date on the latest changes.
Privacy Principles Scoreboard
American Institute of CPAs
Everyone thinks they're more private and security-conscious than they actually are. When it's a matter of thinking your blinds are more opaque than they are, it's no big deal, but when it comes to knowing if your business is adhering to sound (and legally defensible) privacy policies and best practices, it's a very serious issue. The AICPA's new Privacy Principles Scoreboard offers a major step toward knowing if your firm is private enough -- it's a downloadable software tool that takes you through an assessment of your privacy risk and the maturity of your privacy efforts. It lets you complete the assessments collaboratively, and includes a variety of strong and sophisticated reporting options. Best of all, there's a version you can use to do privacy assessments of your clients, thus turning pulling down the shades into a money-making opportunity.
Don't ask us; just go
No, we don't know why it's called CollegeFrog either, but we do know that it's a pretty cool idea. Currently in beta, this Web site aims to connect firms with students for internships and entry-level jobs through an innovative matching system. It's a great way for firms to even the playing field in recruiting, giving them the sort of reach and exposure usually reserved to the big players. It's well worth a look.
Don't listen to us
CPA Firm Succession Planning: A Perfect Storm
The Rosenberg Associates; $165
We've been telling you for years that succession planning is a major issue, but if you won't listen to us, maybe you'll listen to Marc Rosenberg, who we've been telling you for years through our Top 100 People list is one of the foremost practice management gurus in the country. He's building up quite a library of monographs of various PM subjects, and his latest effort takes succession planning head-on, with a comprehensive look at why it matters, the challenges firms face, and how to build and develop staff to support your exit strategy.
Engines of destruction
Swingline's Stack-and-Shred 250X and 500X
Security Engineered Machinery's Model 0202 OMD Optical Media Destroyer
People are always nattering on about we'll get jobs and economic growth by creating things and building things -- but they never talk about how many jobs come from destroying things. What about the guys who blow up old buildings, or the people who make garbage compactors, or the people who set tire fires? Or, to bring us to the point, the people at Swingline (yes, the stapler folks) who made the Stack-and-Shred 250X and 500X, or at SEM, who brought us the 0202 OMD Optical Media Destroyer? With all the talk about the paperless office and how great it is to create stuff, it's easy to forget that there's still tons of paper out there (to say nothing of credit cards and CDs) that need to be destroyed on a regular basis, which the 250X and 500X do very nicely, neatly and quietly, thank you very much. And if you really have gone paperless, the Model 0202 can, frankly, destroy more CDs and DVDs than you can ever hope to create -- up to 2,400 an hour. Joe Schumpeter would be proud.
When you think of it, the fabled "shoebox full of receipts" that the proverbial bad client brings in every year is actually just a crude early form of document management. LedgerDocs is evolving that early tool with an online document management application that's designed specifically for accountants and bookkeepers. It lets business owners upload invoices and receipts with their smartphone or via e-mail to a cloud-based storage system, where they can be organized appropriately, and shared with varying levels of access privileges.
New and improved!
Centage Corp. has released the next generation of its Budget Maestro suite of advanced planning products, with a new Quick Start Wizard for quickly creating new budgets; dynamic real-time forecasting; and the ability to make global budget adjustments. ... The American Institute of CPAs has released the AICPA Reader, a new e-reader for the iPhone and iPad. ... Bloomberg BNA has released four new e-learning courses: Vacation and Home Office Deductions; Hobby Losses; Corporate Tax Overview Part II; and Equity-Based Compensation Arrangements Under Section 409A. ... Fast Forward Academy has released an app to let users access its CPA Exam and other courses on Android devices. ... Oversight Systems has launched rapid-deployment Software-as-a-Service offerings of its continuous analysis applications.
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