New Products -- December

A roundup of new software, hardware, books and services for accountants and tax professionals.

Names were changed

How to Become a Firm of Choice

CPA Trendlines; $49.95

Like Tolstoy’s happy families, successful accounting firms share many of the same characteristics. August Aquila and Robert Lees have compiled a list of those in this article, and they show you how to develop them in your own firm in their new book, How to Become a Firm of Choice. Based on real practices, but presented as a case study of a couple of fictionalized firms, it combines a broad range of best practices to help you create a culture that will position you to succeed going forward, no matter what changes come your way.



Checkpoint Engage, AnswerPath

Thomson Reuters

At its annual Synergy user conference, Thomson Reuters launched a next-generation online audit solution. Building on Thomson’s engagement process, Checkpoint Engage enables cloud-based collaboration across an entire engagement, eliminating version-control issues and unnecessary steps.

At Synergy, the company also unveiled a new search feature for its Checkpoint research platform — Answer Path, which offers shortcuts to commonly searched federal tax topics, connecting users with Quick Tax Amounts and Orientation Documents for immediate, reliable answers.


Not just money

Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal

Public Affairs Books; $29.99

In the wake of a great financial fraud, it’s not uncommon to hear people ask, “Why did they do it?” to which we here at New Products are always tempted to respond, “Duh — for the money!” We resist that temptation, though, because fraudsters are much more complex than that, as Harvard Business School Professor Eugene Soltes proves in this new book. Through in-depth research and interviews with dozens of high-profile incarcerants, including Bernie Madoff, Allan Stanford and Rajat Gupta, he paints a portrait of an executive class that relies on instinct to operate in a gray zone where rules and consequences are not as clear as we might expect. Those instincts, fortunately or unfortunately, are often more suited to a bygone age … .


Help clients help you


You, better than anyone else, know if your clients are going to be able to pay your bill — in fact, you may know it before they do. Now, though, there’s a new option for this kind of situation: QuickFee, a service that’s been up and running in New Zealand and Australia for some time, and is now coming to the U.S. Essentially, you and a delinquent or cash-shy client sign up with QuickFee, which then creates an installment plan for the client that can run over a period from three months to a year, but pays you the total of the client invoice right away.


Eternal return


Out of the Box Technology

Recurring revenue is nice; recurring invoices, not so much. Constantly having to create and send invoices (and then remind the client about that invoice …) is something of a pain, which is why Recur360 automates the e-mail delivery of unpaid invoices and collection notices. It integrates fully with QuickBooks Online and QB desktop, so that Recur transactions fully sync with QB as they occur.


New rules

CPA Firm Staff: Managing Your No. 1 Asset

Rosenberg Associates; $265

It’s always been true that most of a CPA firm’s assets go home at night — the difference now is that they go home much earlier, and sometimes they never come into the office at all. A whole new set of rules applies in this era of empowered employees, and keeping up with them can be bewildering. Marc Rosenberg’s latest monograph on CPA firm management aims to explain them, and this time he bolsters his own expertise with help from top thought-leaders in the field from ConvergenceCoaching and the Growth Partnership.


Digital safe

LifeSite Pro


Your clients might have a safe deposit box, but more and more, the most important things they need to store are digital, and that’s where LifeSite Pro comes in. LifeSite itself is a highly secure online vault where users can organize and store important digital documents and information like wills, insurance, medical information, financial information and the like, and LifeSite Pro lets you help clients set up their secure vault, lets you collaborate with them, and keeps you apprised their vault activity.


What’s in a name?

Staples Records and Cloud Management

Staples Inc. and GRM

Staples has licensed its brand to GRM Document Management to offer companies a comprehensive solution for physical and digital document storage and management, with on-demand scanning and imaging to convert paper-based offices to digital, and cloud records management tools to let users share, collaborate and manage business records. The service also includes modules focused on HR records management and accounts payable invoice processing.


New and improved!

Wolters Kluwer announced a number of enhancements to its CCH Axcess tax workflow solution, including additional billing options, easier navigation in billing, and advanced editing capabilities in invoice formatting. The company also released its new Global Master Tax and Business Guide. … PayPal and Intuit created a partnership to give QuickBooks Online customers new ways to accept payments through PayPal, and to automatically import PayPal transactions directly into QB.

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