Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

AICPA Welcomes Entire Online Community

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

AICPA Welcomes Entire Online Community

Article excerpt

The American Institute of CPAs launched a Web-based forum as part of its Web site, AICPA Online, providing an online conference center to anyone in the world who can access the Internet. For no fee beyond normal access time charges, members and nonmembers can read the messages and leave ones of their own. Although the forum serves the same purpose as the CompuServe Accountants Forum (see sidebar), it is not limited to users of a particular online service provider and it has some additional useful features.

The Forum on AICPA Online is actually six forums, or areas: general, accounting, auditing, taxation and information technology (more forums are planned). The previously launched assurance services forum has been rolled into the new structure. The six areas are simple to use -- they are not very different from the CompuServe Accountants Forum -- and extensive directions are posted. First-time users see a registration screen with step-by-step directions. After registering, users can pick a forum and go to an index page. They can click on any of the messages to bring that message onto the screen. Each message offers an opportunity to jump to the next message, the previous message or to reply, as in the CompuServe forum.

Customizing the Forum experience

The forums offer many options. For example, they display a brief header, or title, of each message on the opening page. Viewers can elect to see just the opening message of each "thread" or all the responses. (This is comparable to looking at a book index and deciding whether to view just the main entries or all the subentries, too.) In Web-speak, a thread consists of an initial message on a given subject followed by the responses to the first message, the responses to the responses and so on. …

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