Americans Would Rather Have a Root Canal

A recent survey sponsored by GoToMeeting, a leader in online meetings, found that 41 percent of Americans say that a meeting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the meeting they would most like to avoid. That’s more than twice the 20 percent of respondents who rate going to the dentist as their least favorite meeting.

Poll results also reveal that if meetings are going to be held away from the office, most Americans would prefer to hold them at home. Fortunately, remote meeting technology, like that available from GoToMeeting and Microsoft’s LiveMeeting, make the home meeting a viable alternative, even when it comes to meeting with their tax preparers and accountants.

Although it may be tough to get out of the office during tax season, accountants can offer to meet with clients in their homes, through the convenience of their homes. Anyone with a PC and an Internet browser can host, attend, or participate in an online meeting within a few seconds. Of course, privacy and confidentiality are major concerns of discussing confidential tax matters online. GoToMeeting and LiveMeeting both feature advanced, secure communication architectures that utilizes industry standard Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption and U.S. government standard 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) end-to-end encryption.

“With the ease and security of real time collaboration services like GoToMeeting.com, reviewing tax documents and collaborating online with your CPA can be a real time saver,” David Uhler, a partner with the accounting firm Bartlett, Pringle and Wolf LLP, said in a prepared statement regarding the poll results. “This is especially useful for busy mobile professionals when they can sit at their office or home PC and handle the paperwork just as if they were at their accountant’s office.”

http://www.microsoft.com/office/uc/livemeeting/default.mspx LiveMeeting offers a free 14-day trial, allowing registered users to host an unlimited number of web-based meetings and collaborative sessions with up to 10 simultaneous participants.

“We designed GoToMeeting to be the easiest and most cost-effective way to conduct secure online meetings,” Mike Mansbach, Vice president of enterprise marketing and business development at Citrix Online Services division, said in a prepared statement announcing the survey results. “our easy-as-e-mail simplicity can be a real time saver, especially during the crunch to meet tax deadlines. So we’re offering free use of GoToMeeting through April 17, by visiting www.gotomeeting.com/tax.”

Oh, and if offering clients the option to meet to go over tax information and documents in their home doesn’t get the meeting scheduled, try inviting a celebrity. The survey also reveals that celebrities, from actors and actresses, to superstar athletes to business tycoons, are the people Americans would most like to meet.

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