A Clear Look at Tax Software
2008 Annual Survey of New York State Practitioners

By Susan B. Anders and Carol M. Fischer

New York State tax professionals responding to the 2008 annual survey continue to report satisfaction with tax compliance and research software; overall ratings for tax compliance products increased slightly from the 2007 survey, while tax research resources continued a moderate decline from prior years. The seventh annual survey continued with an online questionnaire format. Although the current survey asked many of the same questions as previous years, some questions were omitted or modified, and new questions were added, asking respondents to rank software features for both tax compliance and tax research software, for processing tax returns online, and for furnishing tax returns to clients electronically. The dominant vendors in the national tax software market continue to be CCH, Intuit, and Thomson, and the industry continues to consolidate while using product differentiation to try to reach market segments.

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Publisher's Column

Ethical Considerations for Providing Professional Services Online

An accounting firm expanding on the Internet will likely explore several different strategies. They range from offering only selected accounting services, to providing a complete line of the firm’s services to clients online. Alternatively, a firm may simply want clients to be able to receive information from the firm’s website. Full Story

Yellow Book: The Gold Standard

Most nonprofits and all government agencies that accept federal money are required to have their audits performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards—the “Yellow Book,” arguably the most rigorous auditing standards in existence.
These standards, set by the comptroller general of the United States, apply to both mandatory financial audits and to voluntary audit services that are subject to standards for performance audits. Full Story

Ten Tips to Combat Cybercrime

Despite the increased efforts to strengthen Internet security in recent years, cybercrime has jumped enormously, as shown in the annual 2007 cybercrime survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute (www.gocsi.com/press/
20070913.jhtml). According to the survey, the average loss per cybercrime in 2007 for U.S. companies escalated to $350,000 from $168,000 the previous year.

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