Short Attention Span Theater: Popular Websites for the Accounting Community

We’ve all become conditioned to using online search engines, not only to find what we want, but to find it fast. Experts say the average user decides in the first seven seconds of visiting any site whether to stay or go somewhere else. As a result, it’s more important than ever to provide engaging sites with solid content. Here’s a rundown of some of the more popular websites for the accounting community … along with some hidden gems worth checking out.

Accounting Regulations, Audit and Tax
Sites that provide information on accounting regulations are highly technical in nature and offer exact language of pronouncements, accounting standards and other documents, as well as announcements, current projects and other activities.

Many accountants use these sites for their own edification, although it’s not uncommon to send a client to one of these sites to provide the original source of a regulation or pronouncement with the exact, original language. In order to be effective, accountants who work closely with financial professionals within companies should provide their clients with the URL of a subpage instead of the main address.

Accounting Regulations:

Audit-Specific Sites:

Tax Sites

Accounting Organization Sites
With the increasing number of accreditations and designations offered to the accounting community, as well as the need for practitioners to network in their local communities, it’s important to be aware of various professional and trade organizations. Although this list does not include state CPA societies, you can use a search engine to find specific state groups and other associations.

Blogs
If this story about popular accounting websites had been written five years ago, the number of accounting-related blogs would have been slim. Today, there are more blogs than we can possibly list here. Here’s a tip: Search for content-specific blogs through Google BlogSearch. Note that many blogs were reviewed for this listing. However, many were eliminated from the final list if postings were not current.

Accounting News Sites and Aggregators
Despite the fact that several magazines and publications ceased publication over the last few years, online cousins and other eZines do capture a large share of the market. Here is a list of some of the more popular sites, as well as several aggregators of information.

Note: This list includes sites based on input from the accounting community, Web searches and the author’s own list of his favorites. It is not intended to be a complete list by any means, and as a rule, software vendor sites (other than supported blogs) were not included. If you have sites to add to this list, please provide comments or send Scott an e-mail and he will blog about your suggestions on CPATechViews.com, and we’ll add you to the list here, as well.

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For more than 20 years, Scott H. Cytron, ABC, has worked with CPAs and accountants, providing public relations, marketing and communications services. Author of the CPA Technology Advisor’s MarketingWorks column, he works with firms and companies in professional services, including accounting, healthcare, legal, financial planning, collections and debt, and high-tech. Contact him at scottcytron@cpata.com.

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