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Special Reports

Special Reports (153)

The Progressive Accountant is the leading online communit of public tax and accounting professionals focused on using technology to better manage and grow their practice.

Review: Tools to Build Your Web Site

construction imageAs an owner of a small accounting practice, I am constantly looking for new clients. One area of focus that seems to have a lot of growth potential is the new entrepreneurs. The new entrepreneurs are people who have either been laid off from large corporations or who are looking for second or third careers or young adults entering the workforce for the first time. The entrepreneurial spirit is still very much alive and well. People are taking advantage of technology and starting all kinds of interesting online ventures. I just read about some recent college graduates that have founded an online customized chocolate bars business, Chocomize, with bacon and chocolate being the most requested.

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Review: Workpaper Software Standard Tools in Unusual Times

It's amazing how quickly technology can change the way that we work. Old manual methods of working are replaced by new automated processes. And just as my 10-year-old children don't know what a 33-1/3 record is - or what they would do with one - the day is fast approaching when an accountant entering a new job will not recognize a stack of old fashioned working papers bound together by a rickety metal clip.

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Review: Sales Tax--No Place for DIY

Economic pressures have caused many individuals to stay closer to home. These homebound individuals have fueled a huge increase in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) activities. We’ve seen at home pedicures replace SPA visits, tossable dryer sheets edging out trips to the dry cleaner, even off-the-shelf mouth guards substituting for trips to the dentist. How this DIY trend has impacted small business revenue is a topic for another day, but when it comes to their internal operations, sales tax compliance in no place for businesses to consider DIY.

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Review: Budget Software Important in a Recovering Economy

Given its importance to the operation of any organization, it is amazing that software to help define and build a budget gets such short shrift in the marketplace. Yet it remains a fact that only a handful of software developers focus on this market.
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Helping Small Biz Get the Bills Out

Not everyone uses QuickBooks. But small businesses still need to send invoices. If some of your clients aren’t ready to automate their entire financial operations but want an alternative to Word and Excel for invoices, there are myriad options.

These applications are Web-based, easy to use and in some cases, free. The advantages of using them are obvious. Your clients can not only create customized invoices but easily e-mail them and track their progress. They can stay in touch with receivables anywhere there’s a Web connection, including an iPhone in some cases. And when they’re ready to move up to a full-fledged accounting solution, they have reliable A/R records.
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Making Mission Impossible Doable For Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations have an almost impossible mission. They are expected to serve the needs of as many constituents as possible while making a minimum investment in administrative costs. Their reporting needs are extensive and their teams are expected to deliver miracles. They have to answer to just about anyone who makes a donation along with a myriad of government organizations. Every dollar they spend must be tracked from plan to action to results.

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Handling Documents the Smart Way

To go paperless or not, is that really the question? I think not.  I am from a generation that used typewriters for term papers. I like to see and feel paper.  I enjoy a good cup of coffee with a newspaper, that is if you can find a newspaper anymore. But that really doesn’t apply to a document management system. You can still hold and look at paper with a good document management system.  However, document management is more about our most valuable asset… Time. 

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Scan and Organize for Good Effect

The most significant reason to use a scan-and-organize application is to make operations become more effective. “Effective” relates to the total benefits received exceeding the cost of the system and its support. Anything that creates less revenue and more cost should not be considered. The good news is that many CPA firms have already discovered significant benefits by using systems that convert paper to digital data.
 
Information is forever expanding and there are more documents, more regulatory schedules, perhaps multiple W-2s, income from a number of employers and so on. This rising tide of paper is pushing up against the availability of people to do the work of collecting, sorting and filing. CPAs, both partners and staff, have a growing desire to maintain a quality of life. Performing clerical activities like manually making copies or storing documents wastes high salaried individuals’ time. It increases rather decreases firm operating costs.

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Engagement Software Grows Up

When we first started looking at trial balance software ten years ago there was a laundry list of companies that we'd wade through for reviews. In reality, no company yet offered a complete collection of software  - trial balance, audit tools, paperless tracking - that we could label as engagement software.

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Mid-market Packages Mean Business

Mid market imageBusinesses outgrow their small business accounting package for any number of reasons. Surprisingly, it’s not a user count problem anymore– thanks to products like Peachtree Quantum and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions which offer multi-user solutions for small businesses. Rather for mid-market companies, system limitations tend to result from changes in the nature of their business –expansion into new product areas, new distribution channels, or new geographies. These are the business requirements that tend to separate the men from the boys and the business owner from her checkbook.

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