Website of the Month: Accountant.intuit.com

By Susan B. Anders

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NOVEMBER 2006 - Accountant.intuit.com is a website designed to provide resources for professional users of the Intuit family of tax and accounting software products. Several excellent free features that make this website a good tool for non–Intuit customers as well. While the intended audience is practicing accountants, there also are resources for educators and students.

The homepage of accountant.intuit.com is obviously commercialized, with much of it devoted to promoting Intuit products. The main navigational tool is the horizontal menu bar at the top featuring “Products,” “Training & CPE,” “Resources,” “Member Programs,” “Support,” and “Community.” The main menu is the key to the website’s organization, and the easiest way to browse the available resources is to review the main pages, which are similar in style to the homepage. The center sections of the main pages provide an overview of the available content, which is replicated in a left-side vertical index.

Resources

New users should begin exploring this website on the “Resources” page, which offers access to the QuickBooks library, tax resource center, test-drive products, discussion forums, ProConnection articles, practice development, helpful product tips, request a speaker, advisor spotlight, and other resources. Many of these materials are available to the public; those restricted to Intuit members are indicated by a key symbol. Most of the features are from Intuit, but some are external websites.

One of the best non–product-related resources can be found buried near the bottom of the “Resources” page, under other resources. “Links to Accounting Websites” presents over 250 sites organized under associations and organizations, auditing, certification, federal government, financial planning, portals, and publishers and publications. Websites are also provided for state boards of accountancy, state CPA societies, and state public accountant associations. Financial calculators are also hidden under other resources. There are more than two dozen tools under home finance calculators, retirement calculators, personal finance calculators, investment calculators, and tax calculators.

The Tax Resource Center on the “Resources” page offers connections to several external websites organized under tax links and E-File resources. The IRS hyperlink connects to a subsidiary page on the accountant.intuit.com website that offers an index of direct connections to specific IRS webpages, such as 2006 tax rate schedules and forms and instructions. State tax forms and state tax departments show similar indexes listing the individual states for further selection.

The current issue of the Intuit ProConnection newsletter is available via a hyperlink on the homepage, under answers, and on the “Community” page. Older articles can be found under ProConnection on “Resources” page. The articles are grouped under accounting, technology, practice development, and tax. While many of the articles are for members only, there are many interesting articles on a variety of topics, such as the rewards of volunteering and tax relief for hurricane victims.

Learning Curve

Users interested in “test-driving” any of the Intuit family of products can access full working online versions via the “Resources” and “Products” pages, as well as on the QuickBooks library page under resources. Free evaluation CDs can also be ordered, and introduction demo videos are available for some products. Training for the various products, and links to more than 70 third-party course providers, are located on the “Training & CPE” page.

The Intuit education program is a hidden gem on this website. It can be found on the left-hand vertical index on the “Training & CPE” page and in an understated hyperlink under the training calendar graphic.

Instructors have access to a resource center with an instructor’s guide, PowerPoint presentations, lesson reviews, and sample downloads. A hyperlink on the Intuit education program page connects to the educator’s corner, with further links to a discussion forum and other education websites.

Discussion Forums

Accountant.intuit.com discussion forums can be found under “Community,” or under the discussion forums on the “Resources” page. Forums are available for various Intuit products, as well as for practice issues. Software-user tips can be found at the resource library under “Community,” and at product tips under “Resources.”


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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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