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Special Reports

Special Reports (151)

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.

Web-Based Payroll Offerings for Accountants

Payroll preparation may not be the most glamorous aspect of public accounting, but it is an area where we have expertise, and our clients want and need our help. Over the past few years many smart practitioners have made payroll services a staple of their practice as they found it to be a great client retention service and also very profitable.

A generation ago, calculating paychecks and preparing quarterly reports was the sole domain of accounting offices. As payroll became more complex practitioners began to shy away and national providers such as ADP and PayChex rose to prominence.

In the mid 90s technology advances made it possible for many clients to prepare their own payroll. Then along came the Internet and with it the ability for accountant and client to actually collaborate in the payroll process. Since most clients feel more comfortable when someone outside the organization is looking for obvious mistakes and errors this new paradigm has grown dramatically. There is value in the consultative role for the outside accountant in the payroll process of a client and web-based payroll offerings make providing the service practicable for small firms and their small business clients.

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Battlefield Research – Where Experience Pays!

It’s harvest time and our colleagues all over America are “burning the midnight oil” in an effort to stem the ever-rising tide of personal tax returns our profession is charged to prepare. In a perfect world we’d have met with most (many, some, a few …) of our clients back in September for a preliminary tax planning session. Yeah, and in that world I’d exercise daily, floss after every meal, write in my journal regularly, and spend more quality time with my spouse. And none of my clients would be fee sensitive, and all would be proactive in financial matters. I wonder what color the sky would be in that world. Read more...

Sales & Use Tax: Your To Do List Might Be Missing An Item

I know. It’s almost the end of tax season and here I go telling you to add another item to your to do list. But wouldn’t you rather have me messing with your workload than a state tax auditor?

Members of our profession have been burying our collective heads in the sand when it comes to sales tax. We just don’t worry about this bothersome, nit- picky tax and expect our clients to handle this one on their own.  Sure, we review their sales tax liability account at the end of the year. But paying the amount reported on the sales tax return is the easy part.

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SUTUS BC200 – A Step Ahead

Every year in Las Vegas, the world of Consumer Electronics gathers at the Consumer Electronics Show to talk about what’s new and exciting.  As a member of the press, I have attended the show for several years looking specifically for what may benefit accountants in the practice of public accounting.  That’s a fairly narrow focus and since the show is intended for the consumer side of electronics as the name suggests, every once in a while a gem is uncovered which really has the potential to benefit the practicing accountant.  If you’ve taken any time to understand the demographics of the practice of public accounting, you know that the vast majority of public accountant firms fall into the ‘small’ classification i.e. less than 10 people.  Many of these firms are less than 5 people.  With the firm size of this group, you can understand the total frustration at the prospect of spending tens of thousands of dollars to provide basic business infrastructure. 
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Document Management System Review

It’s that time of year again! As you read this review you’re knee deep into busy season and beginning to think about putting the finishing touches on another pressure packed tax season. So it’s a great time to begin the perennial exercise of exploring ways that you can improve the efficiency of your workflows so that you make next busy season more efficient and profitable. Or in other words, get more done by doing less. That concept should sound real good to you about now. This review of document management systems (DMS) is intended to help you down that path and to short circuit some of the research that can consume a lot of your valuable time.

Before we get into a discussion of specific vendor solutions, I would like to set the table by offering some insight into the benefits that firms that have gone down this path before you are experiencing. In order for you to believe that you are making the right decision for your firm to invest your time and money to deploy a DMS, you have to develop an appreciation for the benefits.

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AICPA Establishes 'Economic Crisis' Blog

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has launched a blog as part of its Economic Crisis Resource Center. The blog will be dedicated to helping CPAs navigate through tumultuous economic times.

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In Flight WiFi - a Hands-on Test

I’m aboard Delta flight 1147 from MSP to ATL (that’s Minneapolis to Atlanta for those of you so fortunate as to NOT travel enough to immediately recognize airport codes) and am testing the new “WiFi with wings” service by GoGo.

At about 4,000 feet the flight attendant announced that we were at the appropriate altitude and the WiFi was on and available. My new MacBook Pro found the SSID immediately and I was presented with a registration page. Sign-up was a snap (I set up an account because I know I’m enough of a sucker to pay $9.95 for access for a short flight -- or $13.95 for an 3-plus hour flight. So, now I’m set to go and immediately headed to CNET.com for a speed test. Pretty impressive, actually! Results after the jump.

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Fund E-Z Accounting 9.0

FUND E-Z Accounting Base System Version 9.0 (http://www.fundez.com/index.asp) is a multi-module affordable system which can take care of all of your accounting and fund raising needs in a single application. FUND E-Z can track funds, general ledger accounts, create allocations and budgets. This system has a “drill down” feature which allows users to move through multiple layers of detailed reports into the source transaction and edit and fix errors. The fixed reports will refresh instantly. Another nice and unique feature is the audit checker which tracks modified and deleted data by user numbers, date and time stamps. This feature is essential if you have multiple entities that require joint reporting to ensure all data is correct and error free.

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Cougar Mountain Software Professional FUND 2009

Cougar Mountain Software CMS Professional FUND 2009 (http://www.cougarmtn.com/) is designed for non-profit organizations that need basic general ledger fund accounting, and is the latest version.  This release has added features which enhance the software for the accounting for non-profit organizations. Read more...

Adaptive Planning Express Edition 5.0

Adaptive Planning Express Edition Version 5.0 is a versatile, on-demand system designed to be used for budgeting, forecasting and reporting. This program is aimed at small to mid-size nonprofit organizations that want to automate their financial planning and reporting processes within a single application.(http://www.adaptiveplanning.com)

Express Edition 5.0 is a multi-user application and includes nonprofit specific functions. This is a free, open-source, entry-level version of Adaptive Planning's business performance management software. They also offer commercial versions which include the Corporate and Enterprise Editions which offer expanded features and additional support.

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