Website of the Month: SmartPros.com

By Susan B. Anders

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Although SmartPros.com has been featured twice by this column, most recently in September 2001, and in August 2000 during its incarnation as Pro2net.com, the website has added many new features, moved the continuing education functions to a separate website, and added a layer of organization by subject area that makes the search process easier.

SmartPros.com is an accounting portal that provides news, well-organized links, research materials, and career resources. Additionally, the website offers books and CPE courses for purchase on many timely topics. SmartPros.com is easy to navigate, and many resources can be accessed from several locations. Users should review the drop-down indexes carefully because some features can be accessed only from the drop-downs.

The main horizontal index appears at the top of all webpages and includes hyperlinks for the different services the website provides, including member services and CPE. Since the September 2001 review, the website has added a second horizontal index of subject areas, including accounting & auditing, ethics & compliance, financial planning, human resources, international, legal, corporate finance, students, tax, and technology. The subsidiary subject-area webpages provide a narrowed focus in a format similar to the homepage. Individual article webpages also provide links to related articles, books, websites, and other materials.

Professionals and Students

SmartPros.com has so much information that first-time users may want to spend time exploring the subject-area webpages before beginning any serious search. Current articles and other resources on some topics, such as the new CPA exam and CPE courses, can be found under several subject areas.

The resource library offers links to accounting organizations, state boards of accountancy, federal and state taxation websites, and an audit glossary. One useful feature is the compilation of links to a large number of area-specific websites. Another nice feature is an extensive list of hyperlinks to journals and newsletters.

CPE resources are now available at http://education.smartpros.com, which can also be accessed through the main menu. Additionally, hyperlinks to courses can be found throughout the main website. SmartPros offers free demo courses and the opportunity to earn CPE credits by pretesting a course.

Students preparing for the CPA exam can access free CPA exam tips from SmartPros’ homepage, as well as from advertisement-style links. Study guides and other books available for purchase can be found in the student area, as well as in the marketplace section.

Links to articles and books on career information can be located in the student, human resources, and interact areas. Articles include “Moving Up: A Great Time for Accountants,” “Standing Out From the Crowd: Earning an Advanced Certification,” and “2004 Salary Forecasts.” The career center, found in the main index, offers a career guide, articles on career advice, and many articles and links addressing internships. The career center also offers job-search functions provided by Jobsinthemoney.com and CareerBank.com.


Susan B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is an associate professor at St. Bonaventure University, N.Y.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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