Editorial Manager/US Team Lead
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App Watch on Aplos, Markit and Expat Tax Tools

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Apr 12th 2016
Editorial Manager/US Team Lead
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Welcome to those who are new to App Watch, our weekly round-up of accounting-related application and service-provider news where we shine a light on what’s happened and offer our two cents on what it could mean to you and your clients.

OK, so it has been a bit over a week for this would-be weekly column, but in that time we have some nonprofit accounting software upgrades from Aplos, a tax solution for the common reporting standard from Markit and a Form 8621 cloud calculator from Expat Tax Tools. Let’s find out more, shall we?

News: Aplos Upgrades its Nonprofit Accounting Software

Aplos Software has released Aplos Advanced Accounting, a fund-based financial system designed for churches and nonprofit organizations(NPOs) that includes features for nonprofits to manage budgets for each of their designated funds. NPOs can also build custom reports by department, campaign, project or custom segment, allowing them to track the finances of each program, monitor the health of multiple sites, or share department financials with managers. For churches, the flexible reporting segmentation allows multi-site churches to pull reports for each campus and departments or ministries across campuses. Churches could also easily manage the books of separate ministries or an on-site preschool. Aplos Advanced Accounting starts at $120 per month for a single user or $200 per month for unlimited users.

Views: There has been a notable rise in firms taking on nonprofit clients in recent years and, as you know, this encompasses a very wide range of organizations. Whether you have schools, foundations, government entities or even religious organizations as your clients you know they all have very specific accounting needs. As such, just hooking them up with a standard accounting system, cloud or otherwise, isn’t necessarily going to get the job done and if it does, it’s still going to be extra work for you. Maybe you’ve heard of Aplos, maybe you haven’t. I’ve known them for some time and can say nonprofit is what they do. Sure, there’s others on the market, but they are among a handful that are solely focused on the sector and at $2400 per year for unlimited users it seems worth checking out, no?

News: Markit Launches CRS Due Diligence Solution

Markit, a global provider of financial information services, today announced the launch of Markit CTI Tax Solutions for the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) which identifies tax residency and performs due diligence on customer accounts. The product is designed to enable institutions to conduct due diligence through validating account data across existing books and records, self-certification forms or existing account data. It also has built-in logic to extract the necessary information required to meet jurisdictional standards.  From January 1 2016, the CRS requires financial institutions in 56 jurisdictions to have stronger processes around automated solutions for due diligence, monitoring, customer data, tax reporting and responding to authorities’ requests for information to increase transparency between countries on foreign assets and investments. CTI Tax Solutions for CRS is available across all of the 56 early adopter countries and will be available in seven different languages in Q2 2016.

Views: As client needs get more global, so too will reporting and accounting regulations follow suit. It only make sense that there are tools on the market that aid the reporting process for global entities, so if you do indeed have such clients it would behoove you (and your clients) to know what is on the market to better serve their reporting needs.

News: Expat Tax Tools Releases Form 8621 Cloud Calculator

Expat Tax Tools has introduced a cloud-based Form 8621 calculator designed to make it easier for smaller companies and individual preparers to access tax software that handles Passive Foreign Investment Companies (PFIC). The Form 8621 Calculator will be available for $750 per user per year and data will be stored on a secured Expat Tax Tools server. Only transactional history is recorded so there is no sensitive client data in the cloud. Accountants and tax professionals will still have the option to purchase a small or large server option and host the data within their offices. For those unaware, Form 8621 must be completed by U.S. citizens and residents who own PFIC investments when they have made a prior election, meet the ownership threshold or have received income.

Have any thoughts to add? As ever, this and all other content on AccountingWEB is for your voice as well so feel free to blog, post under this article or ask any questions in our Any Answers area. See you next week (I promise)!

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