SOFTWARE & SERVICESWHERE THEIR MOUTH IS
There may be no guarantees in life, but there are in online application provider Intacct's new "Buy with Confidence" program. The company promises extremely high availability rates for its hosted financial solutions - and subscription credits when they don't match them! They also offer credits for late or over-budget implementations, as well as rapid support response and communications. All in all, it sets a new standard for industry guarantees - a standard we here at New Products are happy to say does not apply to us.
NEW ACCOUNTING APPLICATIONS
Searer Business Technology has released Version 5.9 of its Executive Series and Director Series accounting software, with over 350 new improvements, including an enhanced reporting subsystem, extended security and new e-mail functionality. Aimed at the mid-market, Executive Series has a full suite of modules, including General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Receivable, Inventory Control, Fixed Assets and more, and is fully customizable, with the source code available. Director Series is an entry-level version of the software, with an upgrade path to Executive.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
The latest version of the Adaptive Planning budgeting, forecasting and reporting solution, 4.0, aims to combine the flexibility and ease of use of spreadsheets with the depth and robustness of enterprise-level business intelligence software, while avoiding the weaknesses of both. The release includes a new Report Builder module that makes it easy for users to create their own reports, as well as the new Cell Explorer capability, which allows users to thoroughly analyze any cell by drilling down into the underlying data and formulas.
EPROPERTYTAX V. 8.0
Thomson Tax & Accounting has upgraded its Web-based commercial property tax processing application, ePropertyTax. Version 8.0 includes an expanded mass editing tool, customizable queries and personalizable data entry screens, the ability to export contacts or event dates, links to Google Maps so you can see property locations and values, and more.
CHARTS WITH ART
This month, SmartDraw is releasing a new 2008 edition of its graphics program. The new version will have automatic flowcharting, single-step charts, hundreds of specialized templates, new "Live Map" capabilities, and a host of other improvements to make creating presentation-quality graphics easier, but what we - and, we suspect, they - are most excited about is the new ability to use pictures and images to represent data, rather than the usual boring old bars, lines and circles. SmartDraw calls them Chartoons - the name alone should explain our excitement.
NEW AND IMPROVED!
CCH, in partnership with VCM Software, has launched the CCH Coolbar, an add-on toolbar for ProSystem fx Practice Manager that offers easier, deeper integration with Outlook. ... Workstream Inc. has introduced three new hosted human resources solutions: Workstream Recruitment Professional, Performance Professional and Development Professional.
While regulators and the courts may frown on "creative" accounting, there are many areas where the discipline can prove itself innovative, flexible and completely legal. Throughput Accounting focuses on applying to accounting the theory of constraint management, which broadly contends that corporate performance is determined and limited by scarce or "bottleneck" resources. Companies need to determine their overriding goal, and then recognize the maximum capacity constraint standing in its way. The book applies throughput concepts to all the facets of the accounting function, showing financial executives how to revamp their processes to use those concepts to increase efficiency and save money.
Project Management Accounting, meanwhile, explores the financial side of project management, showing how to approach individual projects to determine their value, return on investment and viability, and how the individual project relates to the business as a whole.
John Wiley & Sons; Throughput - $65, Project - $45
HANDS OFF MY STACK
Money, as Pink Floyd so aptly noted, is indeed a gas, and a highly combustible one at that. People don't rob liquor stores for work/life balance, and they don't murder rich spouses for a bit more responsibility on an audit engagement. But they will destroy a perfectly good partnership over money. Compensation as a Strategic Asset, by frequent Accounting Today contributor August Aquila and consultant Coral Rice, tackles the topic of money head on. In addition to the results of an owner compensation survey of top consultants, the book details a process for aligning compensation with performance and strategic initiatives, and proven methods for expanding the amount of money available for compensation, so the explosion can be in your growth figures, not your partner meetings.
AICPA; members - $57, non-members - $71.25
NO WEIRD BLACKOUTS
Having seen how many were disappointed by the finale of one of America's favorite family-owned businesses, The Sopranos, real family-owned businesses may be ready to heed the advice in Minding Your Own Family-Owned & Managed Business. Distilling the expertise of the accounting and consulting firm members of Enterprise Network Worldwide, the book offers sound strategies for family companies on everything from accounting to budgeting, tax planning, working with banks and succession planning - all they need to avoid a controversial fade to black in a Jersey diner.
Enterprise Network Worldwide; $24.95
Numbers don't lie, but lies are the basis of all the best marketing, which puts accountants, who are certainly more comfortable with numbers than with lies, at something of a disadvantage when it comes to self-promotion. Dry figures do not sell as well as an engaging story, and Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins shows how to take the stories that are inherent in any business, and use them to create powerful, compelling illustrations of your services, value proposition for clients, vision and values. Even better, since the stories all come from you, they'll actually be true.
Amacom Books; $22
GUIDE TO ESOPS
In the eternal war between capital and labor, employee stock option plans occupy a kind of no-man's land that frequently changes. Guide to ESOP Valuation and Financial Advisory Services is a crucial pathfinder for those - like plan administrators, advisors, accountants and auditors - who must cross this muddy terrain. The just-released second edition covers ESOP structure, the role of independent advisors, and a number of valuation issues, and adds sample valuation reports.
Willamette Management Associates; $59.95
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