2 Essential Mobile Tools for On-the-Go Professionals

This month’s mobile column features the CPA Practice Advisor app, as well as solutions for when your mobile device is “running on empty.”

We’re improving our tools for providing you with your favorite content from CPA Practice Advisor. In addition to our website, which has fresh content daily, publish print and digital issues every month.

In each issue, we address a number of essential areas for any practice, including marketing strategies, tax tools, write-up, and small business accounting software. Readers can view two years’ of previous digital versions of the magazine in the archives at www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/magazine. Files can be browsed online or can be downloaded as PDF files and viewed using any PDF reader.

CPA Practice Advisor’s mobile app is now available online and in the iTunes App Store. This new version provides an easy-to-use interface where readers can flip through the magazine in a special format designed for the iPad. Mobile app users can download and save the current issue of the magazine, as well as access exclusive online content from our website.

The CPA Practice Advisor app is available for iPad from the iTunes App Store, and should be available for Android tablets by early summer.


External Batteries and Chargers

Anyone who has carried a smartphone for a long time has experienced the frustration of trying to use your phone when the battery is dead. I went to New York for work with my family last summer, and had to sit at a power outlet for 30 minutes to bring my dead phone back to life so I could locate my wife and son. (I suppose I should consider myself lucky that I was able to find a friendly shop owner who allowed me to mooch some electricity.)

One solution for many devices is getting an external portable battery pack. These products are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but they all pack a significant amount of power into a relatively small form factor. My favorite portable power pack is the PowerPlant from TYLT (www.tylt.com).

This wonderful 5,200 mAh battery is available with three different built-in connectors (Apple 30-pin dock connector, iPhone 5 Lightning connector, and micro-USB), as well as a normal female USB jack. The battery charges in six to seven hours (overnight) using the included micro-USB charging cable, and has an LED indicator so that you can know how much power the battery holds at any point in time. A fully charged PowerPlant is always in my travel briefcase, and the unit will hold a full charge for up to a year.

PowerPlant is designed to charge high-capacity devices like the iPad and other tablets, and will offload power quickly (5V/2.1A) to two devices at once. The unit’s design is excellent, and has survived 20,000 air miles since I discovered this device at CES this year. At 5.4 ounces, adding this device to your backpack or purse won’t strain your back significantly, and might make it much easier for you to use your smartphone or tablet all day.

TYLT has a wide range of other accessories for mobile devices, including cables, chargers, phone and tablet cases, and other devices. The TYLT PowerPlant is $69.99 to $89.99 depending on the type of built-in jack. For more information, or to purchase one of their devices, visit them online at http://shop.tylt.com.


Brian Tankersley is a Knoxville, Tennessee, CPA and consultant whose practice is focused on technology consulting and training for accountants. Brian is a nationally recognized speaker with K2 Enterprises (k2e.com), and blogs on accounting technology at CPATechBlog.com. Comments, suggestions and errata are always welcome, and should be emailed to brian.tankersley@CPAPracticeAdvisor.com.