Special Reports

Special Reports (145)

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: Accounting in the Clouds

Clouds goldenAccounting software was first widely adopted by mid-market companies in the mid 1980s. The arrival of cheap personal computers made personalized accounting affordable for the first time. At first the newly affordable computer technology attracted users moving from manually prepared financial records.
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Review: Not-For-Profit Accounting Software

2010 is not proving a good year for non-profits. From trade associations to research firms and local charities, budgets have been cut to the bone and fundraising committees are looking hard for options.

All of which makes the selection of a good accounting system even more critical. Certainly, you can run a non-profit off of virtually any accounting system. But doing it well requires a slight step up, to software actually designed to meet the needs of a not-for-profit organization. And in that category, there are eight major software vendors. Read more...

Review: Document Management - Bringing Order to Chaos

When it comes to documents, many accountants used to be prime candidates for a spot on the television show “Hoarders.” Their offices were filled with stacks of folders and nothing was ever thrown away. Cluttered desks became something of a trademark. Thanks to new technology and paperless offices, what used to be physical mounds of paper have become virtual mounds of electronic records. Sometimes the information stored in those electronic mounds can as hard to find as holiday decorations in a California garage.

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Review: Is Payroll Processing for You?

Is now the right time to add payroll as a service for your firm? One of the complaints Accountants have had about providing payroll services is that they are tied to their desks. As technology has changed, depending on which software you choose that may not be an issue anymore.

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Cracking the WIP - How Workflow Tools Can Aid Productivity


For accountants, workflow tools are about gaining control of information. Rather than spending  hours running from office to office seeking to learn the status of that lost tax return or incomplete compilation, with a good workflow solution you are promised access to any client file at any stage of completion anywhere in your (real or virtual) office. Ideally these tools also let you check the status of client work, monitor due dates, manage staff time, and review actual versus budgeted time. As more firms have moved from paper to paperless, these electronic command and control systems have become increasingly important for those seeking to realize the full potential of their paperless systems.

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Review: Scanning the Market for Scanners?

Like printers, cameras and cell phones, most of the critical information is hard to root out in advance, leaving accountants to fend for themselves in terms of ease of use, quality of output and documents scanned per minute. Read more...

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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