Software & HardwareTHE ‘O’ WORD
With tax season behind you, probably the last thing you’re interested in hearing about is a new kind of organizer. Bear with us, though, because PPC’s new LifeRecords organizer isn’t about getting your clients’ tax returns in order — it’s about getting their lives in order. This deluxe notebook is designed to gather together all of a client’s important estate and financial information; it comes with sleeves for special financial documents and estate planning records, as well as a CD that makes it even easier to make sure that all the necessary information is included. As a gift for clients, it can help demonstrate your commitment to keeping their affairs in good order — and it may even speed up the settlement of an estate.
http://ppc.thomson.com or (800) 323-8724
WORDS VS. PICTURES
If you take a picture of a thousand words, is it worth a million? More important, can you then scan the picture to your document management system and throw out both the picture and the original thousand words? These are the kinds of thoughts you’ll be able to entertain once you’ve implemented one of eCopy Inc.’s document imaging applications, which allow users to easily scan and create PDF files from paper documents. The company offers three levels of software — eCopy Desktop, for individuals; eCopy ShareScan Essentials, with distribution features for work groups; and eCopy ShareScan Suite, with distribution features and integration with content management and a number of other applications for enterprises.
We here at New Products are well aware of the fact that not everyone who claims tax-exempt status actually deserves it. And while false claims bring their own troubles, failing to notice a false claim can lead to tax audits and significant penalties. Taxcient’s vCert solution simplifies and speeds up the collection, verification and management of exemption certificates. It keeps track of pending, accepted and rejected certificates; specifies the reasons for rejection; keeps lists of expired and rejected certificates; and much more, so that users can more easily know if the Church of New Products is legitimately entitled to buy all that beer tax-free.
www.taxcient.com or (866) 598-5550
On-demand business software provider NetSuite has been busy recently. Among other things, it has released two new vertical editions, NetSuite Ecommerce Company and Ecommerce+ Company, both of which offer PayPal Express Checkout integration, enhanced E-Bay integration and more.
More important, perhaps, is the debut of the NetSuite Business Operating System, or NS-BOS, a Software as a Service development platform on which resellers and independent software vendors can customize and create vertical applications for NetSuite’s core business management software. NS-BOS offers the underlying online architecture, making it much easier to build hosted applications; it also offers SuiteScript D-Bug, a real-time, interactive debugger that lets developers test their apps in an actual server environment against live data.
NEW AND IMPROVED!
Sage Software has released Sage FAS Fixed Asset Economic Stimulus Service Update 2008.1.1. ... CCH has added batch processing to its Tax Zone Locator, so users can check for tax incentives for large numbers of addresses at once. ... SysPro has released Financial Ratio Analysis, an addition to its general ledger software that helps gauge and report on the financial health of small and midsized businesses. In addition, Centage Corp. has released a version of its BudgetMaestro budgeting and planning software that integrates with SysPro’s accounting software. ... Software Technology Inc. has released Version 14.3 of its Tabs3 and PracticeMaster billing and practice management software.
In Annie Hall, when Woody Allen wants to win an argument about the work of Marshall McLuhan, he simply has McLuhan make a cameo. Calling in such an expert is not an option in most arguments, but you can come pretty close with the 18th edition of PPC’s Guide to Business Valuations, which has added as a co-author one of the authors
of the American Institute of CPAs’ new standards on business valuation, offering valuable insight into their application, alongside the rest of the reference’s comprehensive guidance. It’s not quite the same as having McLuhan on tap, but it may come in handy the next time you have to shut down a mouthy valuation analyst.
PPC/Thomson Tax and Accounting
ROOM FOR A SEQUEL?
Don’t let the subhead of The Complete CFO Handbook: From Accounting to Accountability fool you: It covers much more than just that extremely limited section of the alphabet. In fact, since the book is a handy reference on just about every topic a chief financial officer might come across — covering all the usual technical material, as well as the ramifications of Sarbanes-Oxley, and the complicated new strategic role that CFOs are called on to play these days — we’re willing to bet that that subhead is meant in more of a thematic than an alphabetic way. Of course, we could be wrong, in which case our next issue will feature Vol. 2: From Adding Machines to Assets, Fixed.
John Wiley & Sons; $145
PARADISE NEEDS CPAS
At long last, here’s a Nolo book that you don’t have to hide from your clients — though you might want to keep it from your staff. For anyone who’s ever thought about moving out of the rat race to the mountains, the shore, the tropics, etc., Small Business in Paradise is the practical guide to making it happen without being eaten by wolves, sharks or the locals. With plenty of real-world examples of people who’ve made it happen, and detailed, no-nonsense tips on how to succeed, the book may be just the inspiration a client needs to move to a beautiful remote location. Of course, they’ll still need the services of a good accountant, so make sure they pick a paradise that you like too.
STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING
Implicit in the many business books that offer best practices and highly effective habits is the notion that what you’re doing now isn’t up to snuff. Managing 7 Habitual Tax Mistakes comes right out and says that the way most companies approach tax is all wrong, and that most tax compliance programs only cover about 40 percent of total tax risk. Having identified the wrong things to do, the book then shows businesses how to be more proactive, with real-world examples to help tax departments and management get on top of tax risk.
EVERY DAY, IN EVERY WAY
It would be odd if the discipline of process improvement didn’t itself improve, and Best Practices in Lean Six Sigma Process Improvement proves that this brand, at least, has. The book delves deep into Lean Six Sigma, looking for ways to better implement it (and to correct a number of mis-implementations). While it’s aimed largely at the manufacturing audience the program was originally developed for, it holds applications for all manner of businesses that want to get better every day in every way.
John Wiley & Sons; $45
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