Anyone following the evolution of the American Institute of CPAs' plan to build a for the professional accounting community can't help but notice that the portal seems to be, well, sputtering. The institute's governing council (the folks who also brought you 'Cognitor') authorized the development of the portal back in 2000.

The grand idea: to create an online community to provide CPAs and their small business clients a Web-based home for doing business. Microsoft and the Thomson Corp. (which, in the interest of full disclosure, owns the publisher of the Electronic Accountant) threw millions of dollars at the effort, and the site went on a spending spree - hiring the best developers, the top CPA technology talent, and some of the brightest business leaders to get the ball rolling.

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