New hardware, software, services and books for accountants.
Sage Value and Sage Match
The billable hour has lasted as a store of value because it’s clear and unambiguous and easy to understand, and so many professionals stick with it because it’s difficult to establish value without an independent yardstick like time. Sage’s new Sage Value aims to provide a useful yardstick in the form of client questionnaires, pricing templates and profitability dashboards that help you get a better handle on your cost and value, and discuss it more convincingly with clients. And you’ll have more of those if you sign up with Sage’s other recent cloud-based release, Sage Match, which lets business owners find accounting professionals by a range of criteria.
Siskel, Ebert and you
Who doesn’t love to judge things? From Roman emperors judging gladiators in the Colosseum right down to Siskel & Ebert, everybody loves giving a thumb’s up or down to whatever happens to be in front of them. Now the power of thumb has been (metaphorically) extended to rating and reviewing CPE courses through Trinocity’s CPEadvisory.com, so you can both find out what courses worked for other people — and share your own imperial judgments with them. The site already has over 6,000 course listings, and is updated daily.
Have, don’t use
Most insurance helps you after you have a problem, but the best insurance helps you avoid the problem in the first place. That explains why, in addition to the coverage you’d expect in an errors & omissions policy, NAPLIA’s new CPA ProSecure insurance program also gives policyholders access to resources like a library of engagement letters, access to claims stories, data and statistics, and a risk management hotline where you can consult with an expert in the field. It also offers CPE courses and quarterly lunch-and-learn webcasts to keep you up to date on the latest risks, all in the hopes that you never need to use your insurance at all.
Retreat to advance
CPA Firm Retreats: The Do-It-Yourself Guide
Rosenberg Associates; $165
Taking time away from your practice to focus on its future is a proven way to take it to a new level, but it’s easy for these kinds of meetings to devolve into undirected ramblings that are all blue sky and no accomplishments. To get the most out of a retreat, you want direction and a clear process, and that generally means hiring an outside facilitator with some expertise in herding cats — or, now, relying on a copy of Marc Rosenberg’s new DIY guide to running firm retreats, which draws on his decades of experience with countless firms to let you organize a meeting that leads to meaningful action.
CaseWare Monitor Version 5
CaseWare Analytics/Audimation Services Inc.
CaseWare Analytics has released a new edition of its continuous controls-monitoring software, which lets companies continuously analyze their systems data to detect and fix problems. CaseWare Monitor 5 includes a cloud subscription option; improvements to how the system interacts with the user’s existing enterprise platforms; and certified connectors to other platforms like Concur to enhance data access.
Not-for-Profit Certificate II
American Institute of CPAs
As accountants looked to diversify their revenue streams after the recession, many firms decided to jump into serving nonprofits — little realizing that just jumping into an area as complex as the NFP arena wasn’t in the best interests of anyone involved. Better to wade cautiously, while studying the situation and pursuing expertise through programs like the AICPA’s new Not-for-Profit Certificate II. A follow-up to the more entry-level certificate that the institute launched last April, Certificate II is an intermediate/advanced program with 28 hours of video-based interactive learning that will give practitioners the skills to complete a set of nonprofit financials, fill out a Form 990 and otherwise head out into the deep water.
There is no great secret to growth — just a thousand little ones. And one of the best ways to learn them is by finding out how others are succeeding, and one new way to do that is through Capstone Marketing’s new Capstone Community, which will create peer groups of managing partners from 10 similarly sized but geographically exclusive firms for monthly online meetings to learn from one another. Members will also receive 10 hour-long individual coaching sessions each year, and have access to Capstone’s Community Library of templates, checklists, videos and more. Meetings kick off in January, so sign up fast.
Taxes for teens
Tax-ish: Teens 1.0
Tynisha Gaines EA; e-book, $2.99
Yes, when you give teenagers this book on how to file a tax return, there will probably be some eye-rolling. But years from now, those same eye-rolling little punks will thank you for giving them an easy way to learn about the basic tax concepts that leave the vast majority of the citizenry of the U.S. completely baffled. Every time they choose their exemptions, file their taxes or spend their refund, they’ll think fondly of you.
Scalus Accounting Edition
Communication and workflow management vendor Scalus has launched a workflow and process automation solution specifically for accountants who are focused on client accounting services, bookkeeping, payroll, taxes and advisory services, with pre-loaded template-driven workflows for a range of accounting-specific processes. Scalus also now integrates with TSheets to let users track time within the Scalus application, and consolidate time spent on a client and capture relevant notes. The company has also launched a new reseller program.
Insights for success
When it comes to delivering forward-looking advice to clients, there’s an awful lot of talk about how accountants need to do more of it, and not quite as many tools to help them do it. ProfitSee is one of those, with a host of cloud-based analytical, forecasting, reporting and other tools to help you turn data and your own expertise into valuable services that will help your clients grow their businesses.
All in your head
Stronger: Developing the Resilience You Need to Succeed
Amacom Books; $24.95
Reasonable people know that setbacks and obstacles are there to teach us our place, and to instill in us a suitable humility in our approach to the world. A small cadre of so-called “successful” people ignore this obvious fact, rising above adversity to achieve great things even though the universe clearly doesn’t want them to. Stronger shows how they do it — and it turns out that much of it is based on mental attitude, with optimism, tenacity, morals and courage playing major roles. The book includes countless real-life examples of this kind of behavior in action, so that you, too, can become the kind of person who makes the rest of us look bad.
New and improved!
Online document management software solution LedgerDocs is now available on the Intuit App Center and integrates with QuickBooks Online. … Abacus has added new features to its real-time expense management system, including custom fields, a new search function and the option to filter expenses, a corporate card dashboard, bulk administrative actions, and more. … Intacct has integrated with ADP to help companies easily sync employee data and post payroll entries from ADP to their Intacct general ledger. … Exact has integrated its project management solution with QuickBooks Online.
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