SOFTWARE, HARDWARE & SERVICESA SHOT OF EXPRESSO

Call it More's Law: The more useful an Excel spreadsheet is, the more people want to use it to store more information and more calculations, and the more difficult it is to keep versions straight and corruptions out. A new hosted service called eXpresso lets companies store Excel spreadsheets in a secure online location where users can view, edit and even collaborate simultaneously on them through the Internet Explorer browser. Spreadsheets can also be downloaded and synched up later. All it takes is a browser, an Excel license, and $15 a month.

www.expressocorp.com

PRACTICE UPGRADES

Software Technology Inc. has released the latest edition of its Tabs3 and PracticeMaster billing and practice management programs. Version 14.2 includes a new Quick Clicks pane for immediate access to common tasks; a new document search capability that lets users search both e-mails and e-mail attachments; a new application toolbar; and a PracticeMaster toolbar for Internet Explorer so users can track online research done for clients.

www.tabs3.com or (402) 423-1440

ASSET PROTECTION

Autonomic Software has upgraded the Asset Management component of its ANSA Suite of vulnerability management solutions. The new version scans any device on a company's network and reports back a wealth of useful information; it can also report on software applications. The reports can then be used to for IT purposes - such as planning system changes or upgrades - or formatted into a report to meet Sarbanes-Oxley or other compliance requirements.

www.autonomic-software.com or (925) 820-8209

GATHER YE DATA WHILE YE MAY

Stopwatches and clipboards are outdated; these days business process data is collected on computers, using tools such as the innovative software from Spotlight Data. This lets users determine the parameters of the information they wish to gather on a particular business process, and then blast them out to PDAs used by the actual participants in the process, who record the data themselves, speeding the process and multiplying the amount of data that can be gathered in a set time period. Just released in Version 5, Spotlight Data's software improves business improvement, and lets you spend less time gathering information, and more time analyzing it and using it to make a business better.

www.spotlightdata.com

YOUR OWN P.O.

In the same way that we've always wanted to try out the other side of the counter at the DMV, we've always wanted to work at the Post Office - but we were put off by the danger. Now Dymo, an Internet postage vendor, has developed the Dymo Desktop Mailing Solution, which is essentially your own little Post Office. The system has everything you need (including a scale!) to weigh mail and print postage without ever leaving the office. You will, however, need your own anthrax gloves and disgruntled coworkers.

www.dymo.com

HP ON SEC

For those who find themselves obliged to comply with SEC CFR Rule 17a on records for securities transactions, HP has developed a system of software, services and document capture hardware to make compliance quick and easy. A network-friendly, plug-and-play solution, HP Compliant Document Capture obtains and captures regulated e-mail, fax and couriered mail documentation, and lets users centralize management with a collective system.

www.hp.com

BOOKS

MERGER BELLS

Mergers are a lot like marriages - and not always in good ways. For instance, just as marriages aren't just a union of a bride and a groom, but involve a whole host of minor players, so too do mergers and acquisitions involve a lot more than simply a buyer and a seller. Mergers and Acquisitions Deal-Makers delineates the roles played in M&A by everyone from buyers to sellers to institutional shareholders, private equity and a whole host of in-house constituencies, and then shows how to stay one step ahead of them to successfully consummate the deal. No advice, unfortunately, on how to deal with the intrusive mother-in-law, drunken best man, or bitter bridesmaid.

Similarly, fiscal considerations loom large in both mergers and marriages, and Mergers and Acquisitions: Business Strategies for Accountants is an excellent reference for finance officers, with specific advice for them on all aspects of M&A, including advance planning and transaction structure, as well as tax issues, regulation and purchase accounting. It wisely avoids any discussion of how to pay for that ridiculously extravagant wedding, or how to get the gold-digger to sign a pre-nup.

John Wiley & Sons; Deal-Makers - $39.95, Strategies - $130

ALIENS AND DEMONS

The Boss from Outer Space and Other Aliens at Work is too polite to say so, but it's essentially about the fact that, as the man said, "Hell is other people." Rather than get all Existentialist and French about it, however, the book lays out a whole set of cheery, planet-themed classifications for the demons you have to work with, and then shows how to get along with each.

Should these tactics fail you (and if you don't have a cross or some holy water handy), you can turn to Resolving Conflicts on the Job, which shows you how to handle disagreements and conflicts of all types and at all levels in a professional way - that is, without resorting to an exorcism.

Amacom Books; Boss - $15, Conflicts - $12.95

Quick companies

As always, legal publisher Nolo is trying to eat your lunch, this time with guides to starting different forms of businesses. Quick LLC will tell your clients everything they need to know about limited liability companies, including comparisons with other structures and information on taxes, while Starting and Building a Nonprofit is a comprehensive resource for clients looking to formalize their desire to do good. Both come with a wide range of forms on CD.

Nolo; Quick LLC - $29.99, Nonprofit - $29.99

'REVENUE RECOGNITION'

Given how frequently the phrase "revenue recognition" appears in restatements and court papers, it's incumbent on statement preparers and users to make sure they're up to date and within the law. Frighteningly prolific author Steven Bragg's Revenue Recognition covers the topic from all angles, including the latest accounting rules, SOX compliance and more, with plenty of examples and descriptions.

John Wiley & Sons; $60

INSIDE INFO

The American Institute of CPAs and Vertex have launched a monthly newsletter on hot news and trends in the world of corporate taxation. AICPA Corporate Taxation Insider will include articles on current issues; links to conferences, webcasts and career opportunities; and survey questions and responses. Readers will also be able to submit their own articles.

www.cpa2biz.com or (888) 777-7707

ALSO IN PRINT

PPC has released updated versions of its Guide to Audits of Construction Contractors and Guide to Audits of Financial Institutions.

Send your product news to daniel.hood@sourcemedia.com.

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