Software & HardwareCOME OVER!
Red Rover, the children’s game, often ends in tears and howls of outrage — much as the use of spreadsheets does. RedRover Audit, the spreadsheet quality control software, aims to end the tears — at least with spreadsheets. It locates errors and inconsistencies in Excel spreadsheets by examining both the formulas and the underlying data, which should help to avoid the kind of multi-million-dollar errors that badly set-up spreadsheets can lead to. It also creates a visual map overlay of potential risk areas, and allows groups to work together to track and review approvals.
Your employees are holding back on you. Sure, they’ve put plenty of information in contact databases and Outlook contact lists, but there’s a huge cache of contact and relationship information hidden in other places that never makes its way to central repositories. That’s why Cole Valley Software’s ContactEase Relationship Discovery CRM system goes beyond the usual sources to find more in-depth information in e-mails and calendar items, so you can more quickly and easily discover who knows who, measure the strength of those relationships, and leverage them for growth. Think of it as an e-strip search, without all the messy constitutional issues.
While the ability of Royal Consumer Information Products’ new line of SIM card readers and writers to back up your GSM-enabled phone’s address book is certainly a must for anyone who stores a lot of contacts in their cell phone, that’s not what intrigues us about these inexpensive little life- and data-savers (most are less than $20). We’re more interested in their totally unauthorized and non-recommended potential to back up other peoples’ address books — say, when they’ve stepped away from the conference table or the bar.
NO MORE FILING
E-invoicing pioneer OB10 has added a Purchase Order Services solution to its global e-invoicing network, so that users can now handle both sides of the equation electronically. The system lets you submit POs in the format of your choice, and then translates it so the supplier receives it in their preferred format — and can then flip that data into the invoice they send back to you. With all this e-activity, pretty soon there’ll be nothing left to file.
We have often wondered if apparently random changes in company policy were actually carefully calibrated psychology experiments, designed to see how many pointless changes the subject can stand before running amok. Now you can conduct your own experiments with Videx Inc.’s new CyberAudit-Web Lite software. When combined with Videx’s CyberLock electronic locks and keys, it lets you control access to doors, cabinets and padlocks throughout your firm from a Web browser. Designed and priced for small businesses, it can run up to 50 electronic locks and keys, keeps a record of openings and denied entries, and will provide hours of fun and psychological insight as you lock employees out of the bathrooms after lunch.
NEW AND IMPROVED!
TRex Global has released new versions of its DeferEm.com (for handling like-kind exchanges and generating Form 8824) and DepreciateEm.com (for handling depreciation and generating Form 4562) with special features to allow accountants to brand client reports with their name and logo. ... Apex Analytix has launched enhanced versions of its FirstStrike Accounts Payable and Purchasing platforms, and of its FirstStrike Fraud Detect software and its Vendor Risk Analysis services.
NOT JUST A PRETTY COVER
If we gave out awards for best title and best cover art, Barking Up a Dead Horse would sweep the nominations. We don’t, though, so we’re only able to mention it here because it contains information of use — particularly if your sales efforts look like the unfortunate equine on the cover. The book aims to improve business-to-business sales by teaching readers how to stop wasting time being uncertain, afraid and inauthentic in the sales process, and how to understand their own and their offerings’ value and communicate it in a disciplined sales process.
Dog Ear Publishing; $14.95
SMALL BIZ RETIREMENT
The American Institute of CPAs has released the second edition of The CPA’s Guide to Retirement Plans for Small Businesses, a comprehensive reference on the complexities of small business retirement plans, so you can help your clients — and yourself — make sure you have enough to stop working comfortably. Also available is the QP-SEP Illustrator Software and Simple Illustrator Software, which let you automatically compute salary and contribution levels to show clients.
AICPA; members — $89, or $259 with software
SCIENTIA PECUNIAS EST
The knowledge-based economy is upon us, and value-billing pioneer (and frequent member of the Accounting Today Top 100 People) Ron Baker has written the roadmap for it. Mind Over Matter: Why Intellectual Capital Is the Chief Source of Wealth explains the ongoing ascendance of what we know over what we make, and offers ways for companies to discover and harness all the intellectual capital currently lying hidden within them. Baker breaks down intellectual capital into three categories — human, structural and social — and shows how to attract it, develop it, leverage it through knowledge banks, and generally revel in it. Of course, accountants have long known that the intellectual is superior to the merely physical.
John Wiley & Sons; $45
TRUST YOUR TRUSTEE?
To be effective, a trust must be fairly complicated to make sure it complies with the applicable laws. That complexity, though, can make it more or less incomprehensible to the nonprofessional trustees who may be named to administer it. The Time Is Now: Choose Your Trustee Wisely makes this point with real-world examples, and urges those establishing trusts to think very carefully about who they inflict trusteeship on, with the long-term view of making sure the trust fulfills its purpose. How much you love someone, after all, is no indication of their credentials when it comes to intricate tax and estate law. Whether they have a CPA license, on the other hand, is.
We here at New Products are always looking for ways to boost our income, and The Truth About Avoiding Scams is full of them. With a little reverse engineering, this comprehensive, up-to-date dissection of a huge number of different scams — including all the latest money-makers from the Internet, like phishing, vishing, pharming and more — is going to make us wealthy.
It should also make you, and your clients, very nervous. Our advice is to read the book, and then spread the word to your clients as a public service and loyalty-builder. All we ask is that you wait a couple of weeks until we cash all these checks ... .
Financial Times Press; $18.99
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