Website of the Month: WillYancey.com

By Susan B. Anders

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Will Yancey, PhD, CPA, is well known to accounting educators as an early adopter of Internet technology. As he has moved from a full-time academic career to consulting, his website (www.willyancey.com) has changed to reflect his evolving interest in state and local tax resources, with particular emphasis on sales, use, excise, and property taxes. The site also includes many offerings of a more general interest, such as links to income tax resources, financial data, Internet and computer resources, and general reference information.

The homepage presents an index of links to accounting, tax, finance, law, and general business websites. Although the topics are similar to those on other websites, willyancey.com introduces many links and other resources that will be new to most users. The website relies on connections to an independent Tax and Accounting Sites Directory (www.taxsites.com, reviewed in December 2002) for many of the general accounting and income tax resources.

New users should be warned: This website has many positive attributes, but appearance is not one of them. The homepage and main webpages are organized in an index-style format. The heading of each main page has a bold-print, large-font title. Directly under the title is Yancey’s contact information, a link back to the homepage, and an e-mail hyperlink to Yancey. The resources available from a particular page are organized under bold-print topic headings. The homepage presents the subtopics in one continuous line of text that is a bit cramped and requires some effort to read. The subsidiary pages are more visually appealing, with the topics presented in bulleted lists. Links to “related web pages at this website” are noted on each main page.

Areas of Focus

The main focus of willyancey.com can be found in the first line of links on the homepage: local sales, use, and transaction taxes; state sales, use, and excise taxes; technology for tax practice; and property tax and appraisal records. The importance of this “main menu” is somewhat obscured by the innocuous configuration. Below the initial text line of links are other topic headings: sampling and statistics; broadband, e-commerce, and telecommunications; general business; law and litigation support; web and computer resources; finding people, places, and firms; and miscellaneous general-interest sites.

The website offers too many materials to address in this column. Most of the state and local tax information can be accessed from the “main menu” on the homepage. Resources that would appeal to a broad range of users include general directories of professional organizations and associations, court cases, software providers and other vendors, and specific state and city links.

In addition to providing consulting services in the areas of audit sampling and litigation support, Yancey offers many free resources under the links for “sampling and statistics” and “law and litigation support.” “Sampling for income tax” includes listings and summaries of IRC sections, federal court cases, IRS rulings and revenue procedures, and journal articles. “Sampling in sales and use tax audits” provides information similar to the federal resources, organized for 47 states and the District of Columbia. “General law” presents links to federal government agency sources, law school library websites, Internet sites, and compilations of federal, state, and local law codes and court decisions.

Presentation Outlines

Many of the resources on Will Yancey’s homepage can be located via one route, although there is some helpful cross-referencing. One useful feature of the website can be found at the bottom of the homepage, under the heading of “my presentation outlines.” The outlines cover the topics of e-commerce accounting and tax issues, litigation-support Internet sources, and Internet uses for tax practice, and provide an organized navigational approach to the specific resources available on this website, as well as introduce additional resources not found elsewhere on the website.


Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor of accounting at St. Bonaventure University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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