A selection of new books, software, hardware and other resources for accountants.


Big changes

PPC’s Guide to SSARS Preparation Engagements

Thomson Reuters


Last fall’s release by the American Institute of CPAs of Statement on Standards for Accounting and Review Services 21 brought some of the most significant changes to that area of practice that it has ever seen. You have until almost the end of the year to implement them, but you’ll want to start boning up on the changes to financial statement preparation, compilation, and so on long before then. The PPC guide is available in print or online through Thomson Reuters’ Checkpoint.


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ATX Advantage

Wolters Kluwer, CCH Small Firm Services


CCH SFS has launched a new product bundle that combines tax preparation software with a range of other tools. The newly released ATX Advantage expands on CCH SFS’s ATX Total Tax Office to include compliance research and learning and practice management. The bundle includes all federal individual forms; all state 1040 and municipal forms; all business, federal, state and specialty forms; and sales and use tax forms; unlimited e-file returns; digital document management; ATX Fixed Asset Manager features; and research and learning tools.


Too busy

Sage Life, Sage Impact and Sage One Accounting



There’s so much new stuff coming out from Sage that we don’t even have time or space to come up with anything clever to say about it — we’re just going to try to keep up. First off, there’s Sage Life, which brings together the myriad software solutions businesses use to give them a single view of their customers’ accounting, payroll and finance data in one place. Built on SalesForce’s cloud platform, it’s customizable, and optimized for mobile and social, so users can view the real-time data from any device, anywhere, at any time.

Then there’s Sage Impact, which does for accountants and bookkeepers many of the things that Sage Life does for businesses: It’s a customizable online hub that gives them a central place to run their practice and connect with their clients, incorporating real-
time data from a wide range of sources. It’s also accessible from any device, and is customizable so that users can include news alerts, social network updates and other inputs to create their own mix. Currently available in the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland, it is free for accountants and bookkeepers.

Finally, there are new features and a new pricing model for the cloud-based Sage One Accounting. The premium subscription adds unlimited expenses, invoices, bills and quotes, and the ability to link to an unlimited number of bank accounts, to the accounting tasks available through the free subscription.


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Not-for-Profit Section

American Institute of CPAs


The AICPA’s new Not-for-Profit Section isn’t a product, strictly speaking, but it is new, and it’s well worth a look, offering tools and support for accountants who work with nonprofits, including a Resource Library, work paper templates, checklists, sample letters and reports, and opportunities to connect with others in the field.


The future is online


Intuit Inc.


Yes, it’s true: The future is online, both broadly and literally, on Intuit’s new Web site of resources and information for accounting firms. It’s chock full of white papers, articles and more on topics like practice development, value pricing, hot niches, cloud accounting, and using social media. They’re also running a “Firm of the Future” contest where you can submit a video touting your firm’s future-ready credentials for a chance to win some tasty prizes.


Business arsonists

Light a Fire Under Your Business: How to Build a Class 1 Corporate Culture through Inspirational Leadership


Few organizations are as good at getting employees to go above and beyond than fire departments, so if you’re looking for advice, why not go to the source? This book, by two long-time captains in the Los Angeles FD, shows you how to use the same strategies they use to create heroes to create stronger, more successful businesses. As you’d expect, there’s a lot of focus on high-performance teamwork, a shared sense of mission and purpose, planning and training, and preventing problems, all illustrated with lots of exciting stories of real fires.


True Grit

Intacct Subscription Billing



Those who remember old-school comic books will also remember the ads promising that selling subscriptions to a magazine called Grit was a young person’s sure path to fame and fortune. But while the subscription model seems more and more popular these days, particularly when it comes to software, we’re pretty sure kids can’t handle the complicated billing and accounting processes that go along with it. So it’s fortunate that Intacct has released its new subscription billing solution for business-to-business Software-as-a-Service companies. Built on the Salesforce1 Platform, it automates recurring billing, payment and order processes, and manages the entire lifecycle for recurring revenue and billing.


Shorter than Piketty

Confronting Capitalism: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System

Amacom Books; $26

The events of the past several years have left a lot of people questioning capitalism, to the extent that hundreds of thousands of people bought Thomas Piketty’s doorstop-sized attack on the system, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. How many actually read it remains unknown; those who didn’t (or did but still have questions) might take a look at Confronting Capitalism, a much shorter critique from much the same end of the political spectrum. While the solutions it proposes will have limited appeal, the 14 questions it raises about capitalism — from the persistence of poverty and the issue of job creation in the face of growing automation, to the instability of its business and economic cycles, and its relatively narrow focus on GDP growth — are well worth considering.


Spared the sight

Traverse Turnkey Services

Open Systems


No one wants to see sausage or legislation made; similarly, no one wants to see how major accounting software is installed. Open Systems’ new Traverse Turnkey Services bring us all a little closer to a world where no one has to see servers and ERP software put in place. All the software is pre-installed on HP ProLiant servers, and Open Systems’ IT experts are available to help with all the aspects that can’t be put in the box in advance.


New and improved!

Greatland is adding year-end reporting for the Affordable Care Act to its W-2 and 1099 reporting software, Yearli. … ExpenseWatch has released a mobile app so users can capture receipts, create and submit expense reports, and approve transactions from their iPhone or Android smartphone. … Intuit has released Sync with PayPal, an app that automatically imports PayPal data into QuickBooks Online. … Lexmark has released Perceptive Checklist Capture, which automates the gathering of related documents and data from a range of devices.

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