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The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters
At the Museum of Obsolete Office Technologies, they're building a small but important annex that will include variations on the accordion file, that trusty companion of engagement managers of yore. They'll be displaying these cardboard-and-elastic geriatrics opposite digital installations of their successors -- software like Thomson Reuters' new Workpapers CS, which is available both on-premise and in the cloud, and which lets users process live workpapers and source documents; collaborate by sharing documents, comments and instructions; and simplify workpaper organization, assignments and routing, while offering efficient, flexible trial balance reporting and financial statement editing. Accordion files, on the other hand, let you snap an elastic band while cooling your heels in the client's reception area, which is why they're now in a fancy museum.
ACL Workpapers for iOS
ACL Services Ltd.
We just made up the Museum of Obsolete Office Technologies, but it's already in danger of becoming obsolete itself -- ACL Workpapers for iOS doesn't replace anything, because there wasn't anything that let you manage audits on the move (unless you count shouting and telephones, but that's a different museum). The new audit management app extends the cloud-based ACL Workpapers to let auditors with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches collaborate, make updates, upload documents and generally manage the flow of audits, all while out of the office and in coffee shops across the country. We can only hope that someday the app itself will become obsolete, and we'll be able to display it in the digital edition of the museum, eMOOT.
Customizing financial reports often means firing up Excel -- and then settling in for lots of cutting, pasting, data manipulation and double-checking to make sure you haven't missed anything. ExcelFSM (for Financial Statement Module) is an add-in to Excel that turns it into an easy-to-use report generator that integrates accounting data. You can build customized reports and maintain them so that they're automatically updated with data from the following periods. It's available in three editions -- Standard; a Hybrid Edition that offers direct access to QuickBooks data files; and a Professional Edition that also turns Excel into a trial balance program.
When things settle down
Valuing Professional Practices and Licenses: A Guide for the Matrimonial Practitioner
Aspen Publishers (Wolters Kluwer); $364
Value Professional Practices and Licenses is pretty much meant for your divorce lawyer, to help them help you against your spouse. But once all that ugliness is behind you, you might take a look at it as well, as it offers some interesting insight into what, exactly, your practice is really worth. That might come in handy, for instance, if you're considering a merger -- not that we're suggesting you should hook up so soon after your divorce. But you're not getting any younger, you know. And there are plenty of fish in the sea. We're just saying, is all.
More for MOOT
Iron Mountain Electronic Invoice
Iron Mountain Inc.
There's an entire wing of the museum filling up with old paper invoices, and information management services provider Iron Mountain is hoping to pull up one of its ubiquitous trucks and dump off a whole bunch more of these endangered office tools: The company recently introduced a new accounts payable solution that aims to streamline and digitize the AP process. It takes in a company's invoices electronically, by fax or by mail, makes sure they're all digitized, and then sends them through a cloud-based and automated workflow so that they're appropriately and efficiently matched, routed and (if absolutely necessary) sent for payment.
What You Should Know About Your School District's Finances: A Guide to Financial Statements, 2nd ed.
You gotta give it to GASB: The standard-setter for governments has been striving to make itself relevant to the general public, most of whom have never heard of it. And yet, given how much government at the state and, particularly, the local level impacts people's lives, they should be paying more attention. The board's new guide, What You Should Know About Your School District's Finances, is a great example of the sort of useful information it can provide the non-accounting public. It will be invaluable in choosing where to send a child to school or where to buy a house, figuring out how to vote, and shutting up that blowhard down the block who's always pontificating about the school budget. You know the guy we're talking about.
Protect and Enhance Your Estate, 3rd ed.
MH Professional (McGraw Hill); $30
This book used to be called just Protect Your Estate, but now, in its third edition, the authors have decided it's not enough just to protect your estate. You need to improve it and make it stronger -- so they've introduced new tools and new approaches to do just that, adding them to the book's already excellent primer on the purposes and basics of estate planning. Read it, and then make sure your clients don't, or else they may end up feeling like they don't need you. You don't want to end up as a docent at MOOT, do you?
Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Sage of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedtion, 2nd ed.
Amacom Books; $15
It's tempting, while reading about Shackleton's Antarctic expedition, to imagine that some leadership consultant somewhere invented the whole thing to make a series of points. But no consultant would have dared to invent a leader as perfect as Ernest Shackleton, the turn-of-the-century English explorer who pretty much embodies every single tenet of modern thinking about leadership in organizations. It's almost annoying how perfect he is, and how well -- and effectively -- he behaves. He's even just human enough to not be annoying -- but that just means he's perfect on yet another level, which makes him annoying again. That's why it's nice that this book, while giving the full (and truly amazing) story of the expedition, also brings in plenty of other stories, from both business and extreme wilderness situations (like the horror stories of some other polar expeditions), so you're not overwhelmed by Shackleton's perfection.
The Little Black Book of Innovation: How It Works, How to Do It
Harvard Business Review Press; $25
Edison famously said that genius is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration. Between that and the valuable lessons of The Little Black Book of Innovation, we started to feel as if nothing stands between us and Edison-hood but a lot of very hard work. After some reflection, we suspect this isn't entirely true -- it may take only 1 percent inspiration, but Edison was exactly one percentage point more inspired than us. (He was also suspiciously handy with a good soundbite.) That said, the book goes a long way to demystifying innovation, and making it clear that at least some level of it is available to everyone -- if they're willing to put in those other 99 percentage points. In clear, engaging and often funny prose, it offers a pretty straightforward way to get yourself and your organization moving on the path toward that field of activity we all think is reserved for geniuses - and it even offers a 28-day program to get you going.
New and improved!
Colligo Networks has released Colligo Briefcase 2.0, a secure SharePoint iPad app. ... Apex Analytix has introduced a new cloud-based delivery platform for its FirstStrike procure-to-pay software. ... Active Endpoints has built a new, free meeting follow-up wizard with Cloud Extend for Salesforce.