New software, hardware, books and services for accountants.
CUE THE DOORS
The End of Accounting, and the Path Forward for Investors and Managers
No one mentions airstrikes in The End of Accounting, but it’s pretty clear that the authors, accounting professors Baruch Lev and Feng Gu, view current financial reporting as a quagmire. With strong research to back them, they make the case that financial reports are increasingly less reliable, and that they fail to measure the things that are, more and more, most valuable about companies, like patents, brands and information systems. Lev and Gu are not just interested in nuking current reporting from orbit, however: A large portion of the book, which is due out this month, is given over to describing a new model that will accurately gauge a company’s value-creating resources and faithfully reflect its corporate strategy and execution, so rather than being the end, it might actually be the beginning — but we don’t know a Doors song for that.
A GLIMPSE OF THE FUTURE
Microsoft is working up a new business management tool for small and midsized businesses, and it’s giving the public (that’s us!) a preview of how it works. The cloud-based solution, which aims to be extremely mobile-friendly and to more closely integrate business applications with e-mail and other Office-type tools, goes by the code name “Project Madeira,” and you can sign up for a look at the URL above. Microsoft is looking to collect feedback over the next several months, and make it commercially available in the second half of the year.
As a matchmaker, the Internet has no peers, and while its methods are often crude, and occasionally offensive, in some cases they’re sort of elegant and extremely efficient. TaxBuzz’s new MatchMe application is the latter, putting potential clients together with the accountants and tax pros who can serve them best, based on geography and the types of services they need. It’s now in beta, but has the potential to be a powerful lead-generation tool.
Audit certificate programs
American Institute of CPAs
Anyone can say they’re good at something — we here at New Products do it all the time —but proving it is something else. Demonstrating expertise in various types of audits, for example, used to be difficult. Now, though, as part of its campaign to enhance audit quality, the AICPA has created two different certificate programs that let accountants show they know what they’re doing. One program offers intermediate- and advanced-level certificates for auditors who perform single audits of governmental entities, and one offers them for auditors of employee benefit plans. Both require auditors to pass a competency-based exam, but they can start at whatever level of expertise is appropriate for them.
Ethics certification and experience verification service
NASBA and the NASBA Center for the Public Trust
We noted above the difficulty of proving one’s expertise; how much harder, then, to prove your integrity, or your ethics? This used to require waiting for a tough post-mortem exam outside the Pearly Gates; now, the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy’s Center for the Public Trust can help you demonstrate your understanding of ethics in business with its Ethical Leadership Training and Certification. The three training modules use videos, real-world ethical dilemmas and more to teach you about ethical culture, leadership and strategy. While they can’t guarantee that you’ll act ethically in your work, at least they’ll show that you know how to.
Separately, NASBA has launched its CPA Experience Verification service, which pairs CPA license applicants with a client manager to guide them through the application process, and then verifies their work experience through a partner.
The Trusted Executive: Nine Leadership Habits that Inspire Results, Relationships and Reputation
Between NASBA’s certificate program and this book, we’re beginning to think there might be an ethics problem in the country’s C-suites. Actually, we’ve been thinking that for a long time, but while it hasn’t prevented the functioning of the economy, we suspect that making the effort to build even a little more trust would pay big dividends. The Trusted Executive aims to help business leaders rebuild their credibility by teaching them nine “habits of trustworthiness” through self-assessments, coaching exercises and real-life case studies from businesses.
Advanced Continuing Education Program
We’re not kidding about this whole “show how good you are thing” — and neither is Intuit, which has introduced a new educational program just for its Advanced Certified ProAdvisors. Those exalted few will now be required to get nine hours of relevant continuing professional education within three years of getting their certification, and then every three years after that. The new ACE program will include both live webinars and classroom events, and all approved courses will also qualify for NASBA CPE.
Steiner Business Solutions
We’re not sure if this app’s name means it’s the “sidekick of the CFO” or “your sidekick who is a CFO,” but either way it’s a handy addition to the utility belt of anyone charged with running a business or a part of one. It offers a financial dashboard that syncs with QuickBooks Online, as well as key financial calculators and storage for key documents. It also has an accounting glossary and a daily tip on topics relevant to business owners, as well as the ability to create virtual groups for sharing documents, videoconferencing, and comparing dashboards.
LUNCH MONEY PLEASE
Beating the Workplace Bully: A Tactical Guide to Taking Charge
Amacom Books; $17.95
We here at New Products have received our share of Indian burns, both on the job and off, so we’re receptive to anything that can take the edge off bullying, which is why we opened Beating the Workplace Bully with great hopes — and we weren’t disappointed, as the book goes into a great deal of detail on the many different types of office bullies, their habitats, how to avoid their attentions, and tactics for outmaneuvering them. As we read through the many real-life examples of how bullies make other people miserable, though, we began to realize that being a bully might actually pay off — provided no one in the company has a copy of this book … .
NEW AND IMPROVED!
TransferMate has launched its TransferMate NetSuite International Payments App, which lets NetSuite users pay foreign currency bills directly from within their accounting software. … Xero announced a number of new enhancements, including integration with Office 365 as well as marketing and scheduling solution MindBody, the introduction of payroll in Georgia, and a new assurance dashboard. … Top 100 Firm Armanino released the latest version of its Revenue Recognition Solution for Microsoft Dynamics AX7, supporting expanded requirements in GAAP and IFRS. … RevStream has released the most recent edition of its cloud-based automated revenue recognition solution, RevStream 5X. … Thomson Reuters released a report, BEPS Filing Requirements for Multinationals Under Country-by-Country Reporting, to help multinationals prepare for the latest developments in international taxation.
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