Improvements to QuickBooks Online, a new marketing blog, new certificate programs, and more new tools for accountants.
DO AS THEY SAY
CPA Growth Trends blog
Association for Accounting Marketing
If your marketing director has ever asked you to create content for the firm blog, and you muttered under your breath, “Why don’t you write a blog post?” — well, they did. And AAM has given them all a place to live and be shared with the entire profession, so all accountants can get better at marketing themselves. The new “CPA Growth Trends” blog will bring together expertise from AAM’s marketing-genius members across a wide range of areas, from digital marketing, PR and business development, to useful technology and practice management. Now get back to writing that tax article, would you? Your marketing director needs it.
Imagine if your clients’ businesses had a Facebook feed, but instead of unacceptable political opinions and pictures of their ugly children, it was full of useful, accurate financial data distributed in short, graphic posts — a dynamic dashboard that also allowed you to interact with them, sharing and exchanging information and documents, communicating about issues, and otherwise collaborating. Obviously, it would be secure, and would have a mobile app, and it would integrate with major accounting programs likes QuickBooks, Sage, Xero and Microsoft Dynamics. Someone should really build something like that.
WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW
"Accounting 101: From Calculating Revenues and Profits to Determining Assets and Liabilities, an Essential Guide to Accounting Basics"
Adams Media; $15.99
In case the title didn’t give it away, this is a quick and easy guide for learning the fundamentals of accounting. Hopefully, you already know the fundamentals — but do your clients? We’re assuming not, which is why this might be a great handout for your accounting-impaired small-business clients. It won’t make them accounting-savvy enough to do without you, but it may save you having to explain the difference between assets and liabilities again.
SOUPING UP QBO
QuickBooks Online enhancements
Intuit recently announced a number of improvements to its online accounting products. For QuickBooks Online, the dashboard has been enhanced to provide greater visibility on company financials; employees can now sign up for payroll on their own; and CC/BCC functionality has been added to invoices, estimates, credit memos, sales receipts and more. For QuickBooks Online Accountant, users can now specify a lead accountant under “Accounting Firms;” the individual firm name will be noted on the audit log; and users will now be able to share reports that they have custom-created.
EASY, NOT PAINLESS
TaxJar, a sales tax services provider for e-commerce, recently released a new AutoFile service that automatically files sales tax returns and remits sales tax payments in all 50 states. The company guarantees timely filing, too, so the whole process should be quick and easy — though the pain of seeing that money go away will remain.
PROVE YOUR WORTH
New certificate programs
Those who know you, know how great you are — but those who don’t may need to be clued in. If those who don’t know you are in the small-business space, Thomson Reuters’ new Checkpoint Learning Small Business Start-Up Certificate Program may be just the thing: The curriculum covers major issues of interest to new small businesses, like writing a business plan, finding financing, picking an entity type and more, so you’ll actually be an expert in the field, and then the certificate that you earn lets you actually prove it. If the ignorant are in the market for a compilation or review, on the other hand (or maybe are looking to hire someone skilled in those services …), Thomson Reuters’ Compilation and Review Certificate Program does much the same thing in that area (with all the appropriate changes in curriculum, obviously).
"The Perfect Firm: Your Playbook for Building a Perfect Accounting Business"
Best Seller Publishing; $49 (Kindle)
You can’t point to the perfect accounting firm: It doesn’t exist. You can, however, read about it in this book, which is a compilation and distillation of all the things author Rob Nixon has seen individual firms doing right over the years. Gathered together in one place, they’re a great guide to deliberately building a strong practice, with a much-needed emphasis on the ways firms are going to have to operate differently to handle the challenges of the future.
SELF-SERVICE IN THE CLOUD
My Account self-service user management portal
Cloud hosting provider Right Networks has introduced a self-service user management portal that allows users to more easily manage account and user-level information. It includes faster, simpler client setup; the ability to view, add, edit and remove users from an account; system status notifications; billing and invoice reminders; and much more.
EASIER AND EASIER
Pass-Through Entity Navigator
No one ever said tax work would be easy, and the regulators and legislators who set up the vast labyrinth of rules around the huge variety of pass-through entities — from partnerships, LLPs, LLCs and S corps to QSubs, RICs, REITS, REMICS and more — seem determined to make it ever harder. Standing on the other side of the equation is Bloomberg BNA’s new Pass-Through Entity Navigator, which aims to make it easier for tax practitioners to handle all that complexity and make sure they’re applying the right rules in the right way. The Navigator is available to users of Bloomberg BNA’s Tax & Accounting State Tax research service, and includes detailed analysis and the ability to chart out answers on over 1,700 topics.
"Trusted Advisors: Key Attributes of Outstanding Internal Auditors"
Internal Audit Foundation; $24.99
Institute of Internal Auditors president and CEO Richard Chambers has released a follow-up to his 2014 book, Lessons Learned on the Audit Trail, and this time he’s focused on other people — specifically, all the professionals he’s known who were trustworthy, so he could figure out what they all have in common. While the book is aimed at internal audits (among other things, he surveyed 250 chief audit executives for their perspectives), it offers useful lessons for professionals throughout accounting and beyond.
NEW AND IMPROVED!
Expensify and Bill.com launched a new partnership with enhanced integration, including document sync between the two and ERP solutions. … Document management solutions provider Doc.It released Doc.It Go, a mobile app that offers instant access to all of a user’s information in the Doc.It Suite, as well as the ability to track documents, know the status of workflows, collaborate on multiple devices and much more. … Expense management solution provider Chrome River has integrated with Lyft to allow automatic receipt forwarding for Lyft passengers. … Thomson Reuters launched integration between its ONESOURCE tax technology and Oracle ERP Cloud. … Gravity Software released a purchase order module for its mid-market accounting application. … Captova Technologies debuted Scanov, a data capture engine for capturing and exporting data from receipts and supplier invoices to QuickBooks Online.
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