New Products — April 2017
Cash flow tools, a guide to being a more profitable professional, a new entry in cloud accounting, and more software, hardware and books for accountants.
Him, if not yourself
The Profitable Professional
Profit in Focus Ltd.; Kindle — $9.99; print — $24.95
Accountants are famous for giving all their best business advice to their clients, and then not following it themselves. And while most in the profession are doing well enough financially that that discrepancy is more ironic than catastrophic, it still leaves you wondering how much better the average accountant could do if they followed their own advice — or that given by Kelly Clifford in this book, which aims to give professional advisors a 12-step blueprint for a successful business based on 10 key “ingredients.” Those range from careful pricing and building a pipeline of leads, to “doing things differently” and building your business “by design, not by default.” If you’re not willing to take your own advice on how to build a more successful practice, then Clifford’s is well worth a look.
Follow the money
In the end, it all comes down to cash — how much you have, how much you can get, and how much more you can get. Helping clients answer those questions is one of the most valuable things CPAs and accountants can do. Sageworks’ new CashSage tool is all about the last (and probably the most important) of those three questions: It allows you to import a client’s financial data from QuickBooks and then play with it to quickly identify ways to wring more cash from their operations. A simple dashboard lets you adjust key metrics like net profit margins and AR days outstanding and then show the effect that can have on a business’ cash flow. Think of it as a kind of Monte Carlo simulation for a business, but instead of stock market volatility, the uncertainty is introduced by whether your client will actually act on your good advice.
Time to prepare
SlickPie Cloud Accounting Software
Someday, computers will be able to do all of our work for us, and then they will either usher us into paradise, or decide that we are parasites who should be eliminated. As a step along that journey, consider the MagicBot app at the core of SlickPie’s new cloud-based accounting software for micro-businesses and entrepreneurs (and their accountants!): MagicBot eliminates manual data entry by taking the documents like bills and receipts that you save to a Dropbox folder and automatically creating transactions out of them. The source documents are attached, and all the user needs to do is review and approve the transactions. This will free up small-business owners and their accountants to prepare for our inevitable war with our AI overlords.
Coin of the realm
The Trust Factor and Nonprofit Financial Management
Trust is the unspoken underpinning of almost all human interactions, but in the nonprofit realm, it’s particularly important to bind together donors, volunteers and the community being served. This e-book from nonprofit accounting software developer AccuFund makes the case for the value of trustworthiness, and shows how nonprofit organizations can use technology to boost theirs through better reporting tools and more financial transparency.
WoltersKluwer Tax & Accounting
We’ve noted before the growing number of tech products aimed at boosting auditors’ productivity, so we shouldn’t be surprised to find that someone is paying attention to internal auditors’ productivity as well. That’s what the new TeamMate+ does, giving them new tools to manage internal audits and handle risk and compliance issues through a cloud-based solution that they can configure to their individualized workflows, and access through many of their preferred devices (it includes touch integration, among other things).
Extreme Teams: Why Pixar, Airbnb, and Other Cutting-Edge Companies Succeed Where Most Fail
Amacom Books; $27.95
It turns out that teamwork is about more than everyone working in the same office, and that it requires more than the occasional pizza party or rock-climbing expedition. Extreme Teams looks at the team-building practices of high-performing companies like Zappos and Whole Foods to identify what works best, and it turns out that a lot of it chimes with the sort of culture-building efforts top accounting firms are engaged in: The companies hire people who fit their culture, not necessarily those with the strongest credentials; they empower their teams to make their own decisions; they embrace a certain amount of tension and confrontation; and so on. If you’re required to work with other human beings, this is a useful guide to making sure you all get the most out of it.
New and improved!
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants and the Association of Corporate Treasurers have released Treasury and Cash Management Essentials, a toolkit full of resources aimed at deepening management accountants’ understanding of key treasury practices. … Supplier payment automation provider Tipalti has added tax form validation for 47 more countries, so users can easily collect supplier tax ID information and documents in places ranging from Canada to Argentina, from the U.K. to Australia, and a host of places in between. … TALK Accounting now integrates with Fujitsu’s ScanSnap line of scanners so users can have a one-button upload of scanned files to TALK Accounting’s FileBox and Workflow system. … Wave and OnDeck have partnered to create Lending by Wave, which allows users of Wave’s accounting software to access OnDeck’s business loans and lines of credit. … FLEXquarters.com has released QXL Desktop and QXL Online for QuickBooks, which let users of many versions of QuickBooks export QB data into Excel spreadsheets.