Software & HardwareEASY DATA ENTRY
Fat-fingered data-entry clerks have probably triggered more audits than Wesley Snipes' accountants, and even when they get it right, rekeying tax prep information still takes an unconscionable amount of time at just the moment when you can least afford it. Intuit's Source Doc Auto-Entry lets Lacerte and ProSeries users dispense with all that by scanning in tax and financial forms and importing the data into the correct fields in those applications.
Starts at $350 for ProSeries, and $350 for Lacerte;
http://accountant/intuit.com, or (800) 765-7777
A SAFE PLACE ONLINE
While MySpace and YouTube have their charms, neither is a good place to post confidential client data. Better to use Ceridian's new CPA Client Connection, which creates a secure Web portal, branded with your firm's identity, where you and your clients can safely post, share and work on tax and financial information. Now you can remove all those old tax returns from your MySpace page.
Starts at $2 to $3.50 per user per month; www.ceridian.com or (800) 729-7655
We were initially extremely excited that TimePlus Payroll had added an Employee Self-Service feature - and we have to admit that it does offer some very nice features, including round-the-clock access to employee pay stubs, W-2s and 1099s, and the ability to build reports for information such as vacation and sick-day balances, deductions, garnishments and more. However, those who, like us, may have thought that "employee self-service" meant being able to help oneself to pay will find themselves sorely disappointed.
www.timeplus.com or (888) 720-7587
SAGE ACCPAC HRMS
Sage Software has released a version of its human resources management software specifically designed for small and midsized businesses that use its Accpac ERP accounting software. Sage Accpac HRMS offers HR, attendance and training modules for benefits administration, information tracking and reporting, and compliance.
$650; www.sageaccpac.com or (800) 945-8007
PPTshare's new PPTshare File Compressor sounds great: It takes large PowerPoint presentation files and reduces them by as much as 95 percent, making it easier to move them around computer networks, and all with no loss of image quality. We're on board with smaller files - but what if people start taking advantage of the smaller size to produce longer and longer presentations?
Starts at $45; www.pptshare.com
NEW AND IMPROVED!
NetSuite has released SuiteFlex, an application development platform that enables the creation of third-party vertical applications in NetSuite, as well as business process customization. It also announced NetSuite Employee Resource Management, which lets employees enter expense reports and purchase requests, track time by project, and access HR-related documents. With NetSuite's payroll service, employees can manage vacation time and W-4s, and view pay stub details. (www.netsuite.com) ... NexVue Information Systems has released the NexVue GL Upload Tool to help Microsoft Dynamics SL users map and convert data to Dynamics SL's general ledger. (www.nexvue.com) ... Captara Corp. has added real estate lease management to its Web-based enterprise leasing solution. (www.captara.com) ... Centage Corp. has released a new version of LinkMaestro that allows quick and easy transfers of financial information from Sage MAS 90 and MAS 200 ERP to Centage's BudgetMaestro. (www.centage.com) ... Hitachi has released XinBaT 2.0 Reader and Analyzer, an Excel add-in that lets users import XBRL-compliant financial information directly into Excel. (www.hitachixbrl.com) ... Cabinet NG has released new versions of its CNG-Safe document management platform for small and midsized businesses, and its CNG-Books DM system for QuickBooks users. (www.cabinetng.com)
For those who enjoy a good bout of finger-pointing, Corporate Crooks examines who, exactly, was at fault for the business implosions that began the century. In unraveling these accounting scandals, investigative journalist Greg Farrell lays the blame on greedy corporate executives, a complaisant and sometimes complicitous Congress, and (gulp!) the auditing industry, and then offers ideas for reform. Whether Farrell's lessons will be taken to heart remains to be - oh, who are we kidding? They should be, but they won't. At least when this kind of bad behavior rolls around again, we can't say we weren't warned.
Prometheus Books; $25
SAS NO. 112
Audit standards are in a state of flux these days, so it's a good thing the American Institute of CPAs is on the ball. Its latest Audit Risk Alert, Understanding SAS No. 112 and Evaluating Control Deficiencies, explains the way the new standard updates and changes SAS No. 60 on communicating internal control-related matters in an audit.
AICPA/CPA2Biz; members - $29, non-members - $36.25
SOX FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Small businesses may well have felt a little schadenfreude while watching their giant public cousins struggling to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, but Sarbanes-Oxley for Small Businesses suggests that that might have been a little premature, and that SMBs ought to start considering implementing some SOX provisions themselves. The reason? The trend seems to be for lenders, regulators and others to expect SOX-like transparency and internal controls - and, according to the book, because it could help businesses operate better and be more profitable.
John Wiley & Sons; $39.95
SELL YOUR BUSINESS
Interestingly, the same business owner who ruins their marriage by spending too much time on their company will probably spend more time on the inevitable divorce than on the ultimate sale of the business. Sell Your Business Your Way aims to rectify this, by teaching owners how to plan in advance for that final, and often-complicated, parting. Knowing what you want from the sale is crucial, according to author Rick Rickertsen, who then shows readers how to achieve it.
Amacom Books; $27.95
CHICKENS AND THEIR HEADS
There are any number of crises that can make you run around like a chicken with its head cut off - but here's the difference: The chicken will never bounce back, but you can. Rather than preparing you for specific events, Brian Tracy's Crunch Point offers a primer on how to behave no matter what business-threatening catastrophe may come your way - from maintaining your confidence and keeping a clear head, to clearly identifying your obstacles and searching for the upside. Bearing his mantras firmly in mind, you'll be ready to recover (and possibly profit) from any crisis - except, of course, actual decapitation.
Amacom Books; $17.95
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