AICPA Audit Guide: Special Considerations in Auditing Financial Instruments

American Institute of CPAs

Paperback, online subscription, or e-book- members, $60; non-members, $75

There's a reason financial instruments have been called "financial weapons of mass destruction" -- their ability to destroy companies is unparalleled. This new Audit Guide from the AICPA aims to prepare accountants for dealing with financial instruments in the course of an audit, with valuable background information and detailed implementation guidance for assessing and responding to the risk of material misstatement related to financial instruments, as well as guidance on reporting considerations. It also includes a series of case studies. It's available in print, as an e-book, and through an online subscription.


Mind the proviso

Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L

Novatel Wireless and Verizon

Software vendors are forever promising you access to your data and applications "anywhere, anytime," but there's always an unspoken qualifier to those promises, isn't there? That's that you have to have an Internet connection -- but those are nowhere near as easy to come by as vendors seem to think, and many of those you do find aren't very reliable. So we're fascinated by Verizon's new Jetpack mobile hotspot. For a very reasonable price, you can carry around your own permanent Internet connection. Provided, of course, you can get a phone signal ... .


A little knowledge

Financial Statement Fraud: Strategies for Detection and Investigation

Wiley; $85

If you've ever wondered, "How can I commit financial statement fraud?" then this is the book for you. It's full of great schemes, as well as ways to avoid being caught by pesky auditors and other financial do-gooders, including highlighting the many kinds of detection tools you'll need to circumvent, and the sorts of red flags you'll want to avoid raising. It uses plenty of real-world examples, so you can get a good idea of what works and what doesn't work when prison time is actually on the line. Of course, it's all carefully disguised as a book to help nice people find and prevent these kinds of frauds, but we know what it's really for.


Going once ...


ExpertBids Inc.


The Internet is good at selling everything else, so why not accountants? (Or, more accurately, their services.) ExpertBids has opened a page to help businesses connect with tax accountants -- the businesses submit their details through a handy form, and then tax accountants bid to serve them. It's free for the businesses, and just a little more expensive for the accountants.


Going twice ...

TurboTax CPA Select

Intuit Inc.


Following the same path as ExpertBids, Intuit is now using the Internet to help taxpayers find qualified CPAs to prepare their taxes. ("Qualified," we assume, meaning more than just that the CPA in question uses TurboTax.) Taxpayers can check the preparers' qualifications and practice areas, read customer reviews, and know the final price they will pay before the work begins. It also lets them directly upload their tax documents. Once again, the Internet proves useful.


Growth industries

Safeguarding Critical E-Documents: Implementing a Program for Securing Confidential Information Assets

Wiley; $75

While we here at New Products are considering a career in financial statement fraud (see "A little knowledge," above), we are not considering one in stealing vital digital information -- the field is simply too crowded. As Safeguarding Critical E-Documents makes clear, everyone and their brother (but not us) is looking to steal your information assets. Since accountants are responsible for vast amounts of confidential client data, you might want to give it a read: It's an excellent primer on why this kind of information leaks, and how to prevent it. And showing your clients how to prevent those kinds of leaks could turn into a growth industry of its own.


New Relief

Accounting Relief



Long-time provider of accountant-centric cloud applications AccountantsWorld has upgraded its flagship Accounting Relief application with a number of new features. In addition to an improved user interface that allows for usability on all major browsers and offers quicker access to help, it also supports all major mobile platforms, and streamlines key accounting processes.


Easier checking


Wycom Systems


Wycom Systems' new WySign check-signing solution aims to make check-signing easier for organizations that produce a large number of checks, while maintaining strong security. With signatures encrypted on a USB key, authorized users can turn just about any standard desktop printer into a check signer. There's no software to install, and the graphical interface makes setting up signatures easy, while an audit log keeps track of every check signed.


Everyone's guide

Who Says It's a Man's World: The Girls' Guide to Corporate Domination

Amacom; $21.95

It subtitles itself The Girls' Guide to Corporate Domination, and there's no doubt that Who Says It's a Man's World does have a great deal of useful (and often refreshingly blunt) advice that specifically relates to how women can help themselves achieve the corporate success that has either eluded or been denied them. But there's also plenty of advice of building a successful career that works no matter what your gender is -- our favorite is the acronym WAIT, which stands for "Why am I talking?" which is a question most people need to ask themselves more often during meetings. In the end, like all of the best advice, it's about changing yourself to change the world.


New and improved!

CCH has released its CCH Code & Regs 2013 App for iPhones, iPads and Android mobile devices, as well as Version 7.1 of its Global Integrator tax reporting and compliance solution, and a new look and design for its line of Smart Charts, including optimizing them for all sorts of mobile devices. ... Redcort Software has released Virtual TimeClock '13, with a new Report Preview feature to integrate and simplify employee timecard editing, formatting and printing.

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