SoftwareNEW TAX PREP APP
It’s late in the season, we know, but if you find yourself unhappy with your tax preparation software, you might want to consider switching to AutoEfile 2007, a new tax prep application for individual and corporate federal and state returns. The software, which includes error detection and detailed help on each form, is free to tax preparers, who can prepare and file paper returns for free, or pay to have the returns e-filed by AutoEfile.
NO MORE EXCUSES
It used to be hard to generate useful reports out of accounting software, which was a handy excuse for not trying. Business intelligence and analysis capabilities, unfortunately, have made this less and less viable. Now, QReportBuilder aims to deprive QuickBooks users of this excuse for inaction, by making it easy to build, run and repeat custom reports that analyze the valuable data locked in the popular small-business accounting software. It’s either give in to better understanding your company, or go back to paper and pencil accounts.
The Internet has revolutionized being a college student, so it stands to reason that it should revolutionize being a college professor. But while students use the Web to hook up and plagiarize papers, their profs can now use KPMG’s new Faculty Portal to access daily news; course materials and tools; KPMG papers, initiatives and other resources; and more. Professors, however, will still have to do their hooking up and plagiarizing the old-fashioned way. http://kpmgfacultyportal.com
Attitude POSitive has released the latest version of its point-of-sale software for small and midsized businesses, AccuPOS Retail 2008. Along with its usual ease of use and special features for the retail and hospitality industries, the new release includes new features such as compatibility with the latest editions of QuickBooks, Peachtree and Simply Accounting; a training mode for more realistic employee training; more sophisticated discounting capabilities; and enhanced customer lookups. It’s available in a variety of packages, which can be purchased either stand-alone or with a set of retail hardware, including touch screens, cash drawers, receipt printers and scanners.
www.accupos.com or (877) 888-0880
Such is the spare capacity of the average desktop PC that Userful’s Desktop Multiplier software allows Linux users to configure a computer so that it can be made to serve up to 10 users (provided they attach 10 monitors and keyboards to it). If you’re running Linux, this “virtualization” could save you plenty in hardware costs. Of course, with the staffing crunch being what it is, you may find yourself with eight or nine extra computers per person ... .
NEW AND IMPROVED!
CCH has added Knowledge-Based Audits of Construction Companies and Contractors to its Accounting Research Manager platform, with over 230 risk assessment forms and practice aids. ... SharePoint Solutions has released Alert Manager 2007 for SharePoint, which simplifies and streamlines the management of user alerts in SharePoint.
Business owners turn to accountants for advice, and accountants turn to the American Institute of CPAs’ Accountant’s Business Manual, which the institute is now making available on the Web as ABMonline. Covering a wide variety of business, legal, tax and finance issues, the ABM is an invaluable reference for your firm, and now the Web version allows for hyperlinking, search capabilities, downloadable tools and frequent updates, all while significantly reducing the risk of paper cuts.
AICPA; one-year access — members, $159, non-members, $198.75
Just as parents are often oblivious to the fact that the children they’ve raised are brats, slack-jawed idiots or worse, business owners often don’t realize that the companies they’ve created aren’t all they hoped — and that they may be in for a rude shock when they try to implement an exit strategy. Avoiding the Danger Zone — Business Illusions aims to warn owners about the various delusions under which they may be operating — from how much their company may be worth to how easy it will be to sell, and more — and includes plenty of real-life examples covering a wide variety of exit strategies.
STEAK AND SIZZLE
“Sell the sizzle, not the steak” has always struck us as good advice for those with low-quality meat to serve, but all too often businesses with quality products are forced to compete on price, instead of the value they offer. Value Merchants aims to show a way out of this trap with a data-based methodology for determining and promoting the superior value of what you have to sell. That way you can sell the steak and the sizzle, at the price they’re actually worth.
Harvard Business School Press; $35
THE PROBLEM WITH DUMMIES
The problem with Small Business Financial Management Kit for Dummies is not the content — it’s got plenty of great information that your clients could benefit from, such as tips on accounting, reporting, budgeting, raising capital and much, much more. It’s the kind of book they should have available for when you’re not around (and that you might flip through on the sly when they’re not around).
The problem is that you can’t give it to them, since that would mean you think that they’re dummies, and you can’t quote it, since that would mean that you’re
a dummy. Unless you’re very comfortable with your clients, our suggestion, as always, is to read it and present its advice as your own.
John Wiley & Sons; $24.99
Given that we here at New Products barely understand what we do, it’s no surprise that we have no clue what the rest of our company does. Ever-increasing complexity has made the modern company ever-harder to understand using traditional methods like flow charts or, say, thinking. Enter XBML — the Extended Business Modeling Language, a graphical language for describing the entirety of a corporate structure using an intuitive framework. As outlined in Business Genetics, XBML quickly and relatively easily renders a company’s “genetic code” comprehensible, so that you can then start tinkering with it. Hopefully for the better ... .
John Wiley & Sons; $60
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