AccountingWEB Weekly News Wrap-up - Issue 26

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The AccountingWEB Friday Wrap-Up Newswire - Issue 26January 21, 2000

In the news this week:

1. H.D. Vest Moves Ahead In The Race To Be "Better Than Free"
2. Wackiest Tax Court Cases Of 1999
3. John Sharbaugh Named New Exec of the Texas CPA Society
4. Want To Corner The Market in Online Tax Preparation Services?
5. Big 5 Execs Continue To Be Lured To The Internet
6. TexSys RD Launches National CRM Practice With SalesLogix
7. The Sage Group Announces Acquisition of Best Software
8. How To Practice Before The New IRS
9. Low Cost Ways To Publicize Your Website
10. Internet Tip: Check Your Computer's Security Vulnerability

*** Any Answers Feature Feedback ***
*** AccountingWEB Workshop Marketing Opportunity***

Editor's Note

Those of you involved in computer assisted audit techniques should be sure to access the transcripts of this week's AccountingWEB Workshop with Carolyn Newman as she discussed the latest developments in using IDEA software to analyze massive amounts of data.

***Marketing Opportunity***

Be sure to mark your calendars for this Tuesday, January 25 at 4:00pm EST to learn the subtleties and requirements of focusing on a customer base during mergers and acquisitions - whether it be yours or a client's! Bill Case of Integrated ChangeWare Systems joins us in a discussion of what needs to be done to keep focused on what is important. If you have a client who is going through a merger, invite them to join you online -- then sit down with them afterwards and see what you can do to help ease their transitional issues.

Michael T. Platt
mailto:[email protected]

1. H.D. Vest Moves Ahead In The Race To Be "Better Than Free"

What's better than free web-prepared tax return preparation and free e-filing? How about removing all salary caps or form restrictions in place by other "free" services? "Done!" says H.D. Vest in a move this week that positions the financial brokerage firm as the first organization to offer a completely free online tax preparation and filing service. A simple sign-up process will expose an expected 1 million taxpayers in the next ninety days to many H.D.Vest-prepared financial planning tools, including debt management techniques, retirement and college funding calculators and general insurance and risk management analysis.


This newswire will be read by thousands of accounting professionals this week. Worldwide, AccountingWEB is a global community of over 50,000 accountancy professionals. For details on how to reach this audience: contact Ryan Carmen at mailto:[email protected] or go online to

2. Wackiest Tax Court Cases Of 1999

CCH has announced its fourth annual compilation of the wackiest tax court cases of the year. If you are an accountant involved with taxation, you won't want to miss this humorous listing of the "strange but true." The "winning" stories include some bizarre cases: An author gets questioned on the deductibility of "research" costs at brothels; a beggar claims the earned income tax credit; a policeman tries to deduct lobbying expenses to save a puppet; a CPA tax preparer forgets to file his own taxes for more than a decade due to a neurological condition; a tax windfall on charitable donations assessed at 25 times the stated value; a Soviet spy argues with the IRS about when he should have reported an illegal bribe. Reading through these cases will help you get mentally prepared to enter another tax season!

3. John Sharbaugh Named New Exec of the Texas CPA Society

AccountingWEB congratulates John Sharbaugh, who has been named as the new Executive Director of the 27,000 member Texas Society of CPAs. Sharbaugh currently holds the position of Vice President of State Societies and Regulatory Affairs with the American Institute of CPAs in Washington, D.C. Sharbaugh replaces Don Weldon, who served as CEO and Executive Director of the Texas Society of CPAs since 1989, and who will be retiring this year.

4. Want To Corner The Market in Online Tax Preparation Services?

If you are trying to figure out how to leverage your tax expertise and cash in on the Internet craze at the same time, we've got the solution for you. The much desired domain name WWW.TAXES.COM is being auctioned off this week by The current bid is a cool $250,000. If you can beat the bid by $10,000 and can make the decision to do so before January 28, you could become the owner of a great domain name, which could be the catalyst to turn your organization into the next great Internet success story. Good luck, and remember where you heard about this opportunity!

Hardware tip: Lightning that strikes a phone line can destroy electronic equipment connected to the line, including fax machines, modems, printers and computers. Equipment plugged into simple power-supply surge protectors is not protected against surges that occur over phone lines.

Source: Bottom Line Publications

5. Big 5 Execs Continue To Be Lured To The Internet

The latest extraction of CPA talent from the public accounting profession comes from Internet start-up, co-founded by Bill Donlan, who has worked for more than a decade in systems integration with Andersen Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers.'s chairman, Tom Richardson, also has worked in the accounting field with Arthur Andersen's Management Consulting Services Division. is yet another example of the opportunities to convert consulting knowledge acquired through the public accounting arena, and translate that into a commercial dot-com venture.

6. TexSys RD Launches National CRM Practice With SalesLogix

TexSYS RD, one of the nation's leading software integration companies, and SalesLogix Corporation, one of the leading providers of customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce software, have announced a business partnership that will make SalesLogix's products available to TexSYS RD's 6,000 customers around the world.

7. The Sage Group Announces Acquisition of Best Software

Sage, the leading provider of PC based accounting software, announced the acquisition of Best Software, a leading HR, payroll and fixed asset software provider. The combined client base will be in excess of 2.1 million business customers worldwide. Following the acquisition of Best Software, Sage Group will have four major businesses in the US market: (1) Peachtree: a leading provider of accounting software to very small businesses. (2) Sage Software, Inc: a leading provider of accounting software solutions to small to mid-size businesses. (3) Sage Time Division: a leading provider of time and fee billing software to accountants in practice as well as to the legal community. (4)Best Software: a leading provider of HR/payroll, fixed asset and planning solutions to both the mid-size and small enterprise businesses.

Communication Tip: Don't put vital facts in the middle of a sentence, paragraph or document. Reason: You'll risk losing the skimmers who usually read only the beginnings of all three.

Source: Professional Selling

8. How To Practice Before The New IRS

Tax professionals representing clients in disputes with the Internal Revenue Service now can find up-to-date, expert assistance in How to Practice Before the New IRS published by CCH INCORPORATED (CCH), a leading provider of tax and business law information. Based on decades of practice, author Robert S. Schriebman shares insights in a clearly written,
clearly organized "no-nonsense" guide to every aspect of representation, from negotiation through litigation.

9. Low Cost Ways To Publicize Your Website

Every organization is looking for ways to publicize its website, and every organization wants to do it on a shoestring budget. Find some quick tips from those "in the trenches" as to what you can do now -- for yourself and for your clients -- to promote your website(s) with little or no cost.

10. Internet Tip: Check Your Computer's Security Vulnerability

Cyber-security is a big issue these days. But just how vulnerable is your computer to a possible security breach? Get a quick, free and easy security diagnostic through by providing nothing more than an email address. One of their systems will scan your computer remotely, and report back any potential vulnerabilities and how to fix them. Hopefully your analysis will come back without too much to report!

If you know of an Internet tip, or a technology tip that others
can benefit from, you are encouraged to send it in to us at
mailto:[email protected].

Any Answers?

Several questions have popped up this week on the new Any Answers feature on AccountingWEB. Please take a moment to help if you have any information that is appropriate on any of the following issues:

* Deductibility of website design costs

* Avoiding small firm failures

* Busy season blues busters

* AMT for stock options

* Time & Billing software recommendations

* Repossession of installment sale property

For full details of these questions, or to post your own, see:

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