of the Month: AccountantsWorld
By Susan B. Anders
JULY 2008 - Many
new resources have been added to AccountantsWorld (www.accountantsworld.com)
since this column reviewed it in March 2001, and reviewed its tax
center in January 2005. AccountantsWorld promotes its commercial
products and services, but the site also offers free resources of
interest to practicing accountants, educators, and students. Some
materials are accessible to the general public, while others require
The top of
the home and main pages presents a menu of the major commercial
areas of the website: “products & services,” “practice
development,” and “training,” as well as links
to “home,” “my AccountantsWorld,” and
“company.” The keyword search and “find an accountant”
features are also located in the top banner.
products are promoted via direct links from the homepage, and
are also tied into resources throughout the website. Beneath the
homepage’s top menu are secondary bars for “products
& services,” “training & education,”
and “additional resources.” “Products &
services” links to specific products, such as Accounting
Relief and CyberCabinet. “Training & education”
links to webinars, tutorials, tips, and articles. “Additional
resources” links to Taxsites.com, Abacus magazine,
and a directory of accounting professionals.
available under “products & services” and “training
& education” are free. For example, several products
offer free online demonstrations, sample client presentations,
and free trials. At the time of this review, three live webinars—offered
on multiple dates—were available. The webinars are free
to registered members and provide CPE credit. Several free online
tutorial videos are available as well, covering topics such as
blogging and website best practices. The free tips address practice
management topics. The directory of accounting professionals is
free to users seeking an accounting firm; however, there is an
annual fee for accountants to be listed.
of the homepage has several free resources, as well as some commercial
products. The main groupings are “headline news,”
“stories and articles,” “discussion groups Q&A,”
“comprehensive research & resources,” “tools
of the trade,” “training & education: upcoming
webinars,” and Abacus.
provides tax and accounting-related news, including recent articles
from CCH, RIA, and other sources. Each category on the news main
page has top daily news stories from a variety of sources, and
links to archives, tips, discussion groups, and related resources
on AccountantsWorld and other websites. Stories are also archived
and grouped by topic.
discussion forums can be accessed by anyone; however, free membership
is required to participate. Forums cover the seven major topics,
plus others such as “ethics & fraud” and “fixed
also has links to more than 1,600 websites, organized by the seven
major topics and then subcategorized. For example, “accounting/audit”
includes accounting firm networks, accounting software, and accounting
publications. “Taxation” includes almost 500 websites
under headings such as state tax departments, tax research, and
offers a variety of useful tools and calculators to registered
members, accessible under “tools of the trade” on
the homepage. Sample engagement letters cover audit, review, and
compilation services, as well as several types of tax returns.
Additional tax resources, such as IRS documents, are offered.
The website provides more than a dozen calculators, from the amount
of income needed to retire, to net paychecks for employees, to
estate and gift tax liabilities.
B. Anders, PhD, CPA, is a professor of accounting at St.
Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, N.Y.