Here's a peek at some new products that we think should be of special interest to accountants.
Here's a selection of New Products from the September issue of Accounting Today.
That KPMG has made its new KPMG GO app for the iPhone and iPad available to all college students, not just those in accounting and finance, may seem merely a nice gesture on the Big Four firm's part, but we think it's actually an extremely clever plan. The app is meant to help students launch their careers with advice on interviewing, resumÃ©-building, etiquette, social media and more through videos, blog posts, articles, Q&As and branding tips from the firm's partners and professionals. Giving that to people you expect to hire is just good business sense, since it means they'll be more professional and presentable; the clever part is giving it to people you're not going to hire, since they'll probably end up working for your clients, who can use all the help they can get when it comes to professionalism and presentability.
Fee Technology has released a new version of its Profit Solver business management and analysis software specifically designed for accountants. It lets firms run "what-if" scenarios based on their current fixed costs, labor costs and fee schedules to figure out more-optimal fee structures to help them be more profitable and meet profit goals, and is available in versions priced for individuals and sole proprietors, and small, midsized and large firms.
If we were to make a documentary on document management, it would be called Why Don't You Have a Document Management System Yet? If your firm could be the focus for this shocking exposé, you might consider OfficeGemini's Dokmee, an easy-to-use document management system that comes in a variety of versions, and offers drag & drop entry, e-mail management, Web access, search and retrieval functions, document indexing and more. Look into it, or we'll be dropping by your office with our cameras.
Everyone is saying that the cloud is right for you, but everyone also seems to be caught up in the hype of the Next Big Thing (or is selling a cloud-based solution). Everest Group's new Cloud Value Assessment Model performs analytics on a business' entire IT workload to see if it actually makes sense to switch to the cloud. Using actual client cost data and a database of cost information on cloud solutions, the CVAM lets executives bring hard numbers to sometimes-fuzzy promises.
We here at New Products power all of our electronics with hamster wheels, so we weren't aware that many devices continue to suck power even when they're not in use. These so-called "vampire electronics" are inflating your utility bill even as you read this, which is why you need Smart Strip Power Saving Surge Protectors. They automatically turn off the power to electronic devices that aren't being used, including peripherals. It will save you wear and tear on your hamsters.
When it comes to technology assets, it can be remarkably difficult to figure out the total cost of ownership, given how widely scattered and uncertain the actual costs can be. Costnomics offers a new Software-as-a-Service IT financial management tool that uses proprietary data mining techniques to drill down into a company's data in six different IT cost pools (including outside costs, such as those related to the cloud), to find the real-life numbers. Then it analyzes those to let you know if you're getting your money's worth.
Just having an iPad is no longer enough to make you cool. Don't misunderstand us - iPads are still cool, and are actually becoming cooler as you can do more and more on them. But with so many people snapping them up, they no longer have the power to make their individual owners cool. You need to up your game by placing your iPad in one of NewerTech's leather carrying cases, which look pretty stylish, and also protect your iPad from physical danger and the lustful glances of the very few people who don't own one yet.
Beyond Budgeting Round Table
Old-fashioned periodic budgeting is giving way to real-time, 24/7-type rolling forecasting, offering businesses better control and constant insight into their organizations. For executives who want to explore rolling forecasting - and accountants who want to encourage them into it - the Beyond Budgeting Round Table has introduced its Forecasting Improvement Road Map, a new year-long program that includes a copy of Future Ready: How to Master Business Forecasting, implementation training, quarterly webinars, attendance at an annual conference, and monthly open-forum conference calls.
We've come a long way from the rigid "just price" theory of the Middle Ages, as companies realize that there's actually a lot of wiggle room in what they can legitimately charge for their products and services. Getting your pricing just right, though - maximizing profitability without unnecessarily sacrificing sales - is a complicated affair. Pricing and Profitability Management, by a group of experts