Here’s the plan
CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
No one likes an infinite regression, but before you plan your next business tax planning engagement, you might plan on taking
a look at the new CCH TaxPlan, an addition
to their IntelliConnect research platform that
guides users through the process. With explanations on every step of the business lifecyle;
hundreds of customizable practice aids, including client questionnaires and memos,
checklists, and engagement letters; access
to research aids; an interactive chart of state
treatment of business entities, and more, it
has everything you need to plan a more successful business tax planning engagement.
There is, however, no need to have a plan for
planning to look at TaxPlan.
Deerstalker not included
Skout Forensics Data Collection Kit
Sherlock Holmes got by with a magnifying
glass, a keen sense of observation, and some
heroin, but the modern-day forensic accountant needs more in the way of detective
tools than that. The new Skout Forensics Data
Collection Kit lets just about anyone acquire
electronic data from a standard desktop or
laptop in a manner that meets all the necessary forensic standards, even if the computer
is powered off. Forensic images are encrypted
and secured, and the kit has built-in mirrored
disk-writing support for when two copies of
evidence are required.
Reporting on reporting
Financial Reporting Network
When it comes to learning about the latest
in financial reporting, what busy corporate
decision-maker wouldn’t want the advice of
a Big Four auditing firm? KPMG’s new Financial Reporting Network is an online source
for the latest trends in financial reporting,
including insights from the firm’s partners,
analysis of new standards and guidance, and
a wealth of other information organized by
topic and industry.
Best of all, it’s free, so you can get Big Four
advice even if you can’t afford Big Four billing rates.
Here’s an interesting Catch-22: The people on
your staff who are most worth learning from
are often the very people who have the least
time to teach others. Fortunately, webinars
and streaming video have certainly made it
much easier to maximize any training program, allowing a single person to train large
numbers of people without travel costs or
time-consuming repeat sessions — and LearnLive Technologies has taken this a step
further. Its LearnLive Connect
platform lets you rebroadcast
webcasts as if they were live, so
that they qualify for CPE, and can offer full
audience participation, as well as flexibility
for attendees and administrators.
A wise hobgoblin
XBRL Consistency Suite
It wasn’t consistency that Emerson thought
was the hobgoblin of little minds, it was a
foolish consistency — and for companies
spending millions to put their financials into
XBRL, there’s nothing foolish about wanting to get it right. The new version of XBRL
US’s XBRL Consistency Suite has 60 percent
more automated checks that companies can
run to find problems in their XBRL documents, including in detailed footnote tags. It
also lets them run peer analyses so they can
see what similar companies have done, and
compare the 2009 release of the U.S. GAAP
taxonomy against the pre-release of the 2011
Most people dislike reading any significant
amount of text on a computer screen, which
may be why the paperless office has taken so
long to catch on. Turns out, though, that there
are some fairly simple adjustments you can
make to your computer’s settings to make
it easier and less painful to read on screen.
TintMy Screen takes you through a short assessment of what settings you can read best,
then gives you a set of recommendations for
personalizing your computer.
Gold Privacy Filters
You’ve done it — we all have: looked over a
stranger’s shoulder at their computer screen
on a train, bus or in some other public space.
Unfortunately, that means someone’s probably done it to you, too, and gleaned all sorts
of private client information. We’ve attached
giant wicker blinds to our shoulders to prevent strangers from watching us play Farmville, but you might want to consider 3M’s
screen privacy aides. The latest
versions, Gold Privacy Filters,
are laid directly
onto your screen,
and show only a
the side. They also help protect your screen
from scratches and marks, and can actually
enhance the viewing experience.
More from the cloud
VITA Cloud Angel
Unit4 has taken its highly flexible ERP solution Agresso Business World into the cloud
with a subscription-based deployment, VI TA
Cloud Angel. It’s available as a turnkey solution for four industry sectors: professional
services, nonprofits, health care services, and
education, and is designed around a versatile
architecture that make it ideal for businesses
that experience frequent change — whether
through mergers, acquisitions or expansion
— and require flexibility in data handling and
protection, hardware deployment, information delivery, and business processes.
Scan, baby, scan
Fujitsu’s ScanSnap line of scanners make it
easier than ever to digitize documents, with
all sorts of intelligent features for creating
JPEGs and searchable PDFs, and organizing
and managing the files. The desktop S1500
and S1500M (for Macs) now include features
for recognizing all different sizes and types of
paper documents, and automatically increas-
ing the resolution for smaller documents, but
our favorite is the portable S1300, which has
many of the same features and works for both
PCs and Macs, but is small enough to take on
the road to client engagements.
Shred, baby, shred
Jackhammer Hard Drive Shredder
Security Engineered Machinery
We love office tools that destroy things. The
new Model 0300 Jackhammer will destroy
hard drives, smart phones and other electronic devices, optical media, and computer
backup tapes. It plugs into a standard outlet,
comes with all sorts of safety features, and
even requires a key to operate, so it can be
kept safe from shred-happy morons like us.
Despite the fact that CPA firms need to make
sure client data is safely disposed of, we can’t
honestly suggest that most firms need to be
able to destroy up to 500 hard drives an hour
— but don’t you wish you did?
Secure your e-mail
Connect In Private Corp.
Connect In Private has launched a new web-mail platform that adds encryption capabilities for all data contained in an e-mail, including attachments. It also has an intuitive
interface, and shared calendar and address
book functionality, and plans to launch an
enhanced mobile interface for secure access
via BlackBerries and other mobile devices.
New and improved!
ClusterSeven has released Version 6.0 of its
Enterprise Spreadsheet Manager, with new
reporting formats for spreadsheet risk, and
new security and protection enhancements.
… Sage North America has released Version
9 of its Sage Abra Suite, with data access for
mobile devices, and a new HR Actions feature
to replace paper-based processes with paperless, Web-based workflow.