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This month’s cover story is our annual survey of tax preparation and research software. This marks the 15th year this survey of New York tax practitioners has been conducted by authors Susan Anders and Carol Fischer and published by the Journal. Although much has changed since its inception, providing tax services remains a challenge. This past tax season in particular was marked by new mandatory filing requirements, delayed state tax forms, and a federal electronic filing outage.

Also featured this month is a review of the Small Business Administration’s Hurricane Sandy Disaster Loan Program. In the wake of the devastating storm, a high volume of applicants delayed loan processing and left many business owners frustrated by the government’s efforts. In response, the SBA has reopened the program and promised a faster and smoother process for affected businesses. CPAs with affected clients should take advantage and act quickly.

This issue also marks the debut of another column in a core area of practice for many CPAs: auditing. Column editor Howard Levy, already a frequent contributor on the subject, will provide his incisive take on selected issues in auditing practice and procedure.