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1. Expanding your app-titude  

BY Greg LaFollette, CPA/CITP, CGMA
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” or so goes the old pithicism. While most people use only a few apps regularly, thousands of apps are ideally designed to complete a particular task or solve a really unusual problem. It’s doubtful that anyone will use these apps every day, but there’s no doubt that they are extremely helpful when needed.

2. Five apps for CPAs  

BY David Cieslak, CPA/CITP, CGMA, GSEC
For all but the most tech-averse souls, smartphones and tablets have become an integral part of CPAs’ daily lives. This development can be attributed in large part to the quality of the applications available for mobile devices. Here are five apps that will help CPAs take their mobile productivity to the next level: Consider Dropbox for document sharing.

3. Excel: The power of mapping  

BY Jeff Lenning, CPA/CITP
Many financial systems do a fine job of generating standard reports, but accountants often need more. In those cases, accountants can create custom solutions in Excel, but that approach has drawbacks. For instance, a typical process may involve exporting some type of data, perhaps a trial balance, and then opening it in Excel.

4. Embracing the automated audit   CPEDirect

BY Miklos A. Vasarhelyi, Ph.D., J. Donald Warren Jr., Ph.D., Ryan A. Teeter, Ph.D. and William R. Titera, CPA
Big Data demands and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are now commonplace in the business environment and not restricted to larger audit engagements. Auditors must deal with the lack of transparency that automated systems create by placing computer procedures and configurable controls between the auditor and data. To facilitate data access and automation opportunities for auditors, the AICPA Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC) has developed a new set of data specifications, the Audit Data Standards (ADS), and is exploring ways to work with vendors to facilitate the development of semiautomated to fully automated audit tools.

5. Microsoft Office 2013  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
An essential tool for many CPAs is a dependable computer running Microsoft Office. Accordingly, CPAs have more than a passing interest when Microsoft releases new editions every three years or so. This year should be no exception. With Office 2013, Microsoft has made major modifications related to new touchscreen capabilities, cloud connectivity, and a new subscription pricing plan.

6. Tech talk: What CPAs need to know  

BY Jeff Drew
Tax Code modifications and new FASB rules aren’t the only changes that CPAs have to concern themselves with these days. Whether it’s the security of clients’ data, the implications of migrating to the cloud, or the uncertain future of the once-venerable desktop, rapid technological transformation continues to generate new challenges and opportunities for accounting professionals.

7. A tour of five XBRL tools  

BY Mitchell R. Wenger, CPA, Ph.D., Rick Elam, CPA, Ph.D. and Kelly L. Williams, CPA
Supporters of extensible business reporting language (XBRL) have long touted its potential to transform financial data mining and analysis. Now that potential is starting to become a reality, thanks to several new software applications. These tools are designed to help accountants, investors, and analysts extract data from XBRL documents for use in familiar software applications such as Microsoft Excel.

8. How to develop and publish a mobile app  

BY Jeff Drew
When Susan Bruno set out to launch a mobile application to help women gain control of their finances, and Leonard Wright decided to develop an app to enhance his client interactions, neither wealth manager could foresee the dizzying array of detours and dead-ends they would encounter on the road to the app marketplace.

9. Google, Apple, Samsung surge to top of market for smartphones, tablets, PCs   WebExclusive

BY Jeff Drew
Google, Apple, and Samsung are leading a sales surge in the worldwide smart connected device market—a category consisting of personal computers, tablets, and smartphones—that should continue for at least the next five years, according to new research from International Data Corp. (IDC). The IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Smart Connected Device Tracker found that global shipments of smartphones, tablets, portable computers, and desktops reached a record 303.6 million, valued at $140.4 billion, in the third quarter of 2012, a 27% increase from the same quarter in 2011.

10. Windows 8: Jump or wait?   CPEDirect

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
With the Oct. 26 release of Windows 8, Microsoft unveiled a new look and new direction for the operating system that runs 92% of desktop computers worldwide. But Windows 8 isn’t about desktop dominance. It’s about Microsoft seeking to gain a foothold in the mobile market, where Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems rule.
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