SOFTWARE & SERVICESTHE CONTROL CHAIN
So companies institute internal controls to make sure they function properly, and then internal auditors check the controls to make sure they function properly, and then external auditors check again. And now the American Institute of CPAs has launched ControlsDocsSM, a set of software tools to help make sure all of this is functioning properly, helping capture the necessary controls documentation and evaluate the effectiveness of controls design. It comes in Lite, Standard and Suite versions to accommodate businesses of different sizes.
The obvious next step is adding another link in the chain to make sure all of this — controls, auditors and the new software — is functioning properly. How about Eliot Spitzer? We hear he’s free.
When we here at New Products need to secure information, we booby-trap the filing cabinets. PK Ware’s SecureZip isn’t that proactive, but it does offer some extra features to make up for its failure to employ lethal force. The compression and security software makes your data both safer and smaller, and supports both passphrase and digital certificates for access.
Better still, its Application Integration feature means that data streams directly in and out, with requiring an extra step for extracting the data from its secure environment. Now all they need is a feature that immediately punishes unauthorized interlopers with extreme prejudice.
THE MARK OF ZOHO
As part of its growing line of online business applications (which already includes customer relationship management, human resources and more), Zoho has launched Zoho Invoice, an on-demand invoice-generation and tracking solution. It lets you send and keep track of overdue and open invoices, supports over 150 currencies, and includes an online payment gateway so you can get your money directly once the invoices are sent. It also has a number of reports to generate useful business data, and comes in a variety of service plans.
DON’T STAY UP LATE
One of the things we’ve always admired about late-night cable TV is the generally high standards of quality it espouses, particularly when it comes to commercials from local businesses. Now BizFlick.com is bringing this high-quality programming to the Internet, by allowing small and midsized businesses to post “Vmercials” (that’s “video commercials,” as opposed to the other kind) for free on its Web site. So get out your camcorder — with any luck, you’ll be parodied on Saturday Night Live or the like, which should do wonders for your business-generation efforts.
STEAL THIS IDENTITY!
We here at New Products are personally insulted by the fact that no has found our identities interesting or lucrative enough to steal, particularly since we understand that it happens to much less fascinating and wealthy people every day. Why else would the federal government have legislated a complicated new set of privacy and security rules for companies that collect consumer information, and why else would Compliance Coach Inc. release CompliancePal, a software solution that helps businesses comply with the law by performing risk assessments on affected accounts, identifying potential red flags for identity theft, helping them develop appropriate programs and policies, and producing compliance reports?
For now, though, we refuse to care about this issue until someone pretends to be us for nefarious purposes.
NEW AND IMPROVED
Oversight Systems has released Version 4.5 of its continuous auditing software, including support for Windows Server 2003 and enhancements to the Oversight Workbench. ... CCH has added a daily e-mail update, ARM Daily News, to its Accounting Research Manager platform. It has also added the FAS 157 Manager, a collection of FAS 157 support materials, to its Tax Research Network. ... BizNet Software has released a version of its Excel-based financial reporting and analysis solution, BizExcelerator, for users of Epicor Enterprise. ... Corcentric has enhanced its Electronic Invoice Presentment & Payment system for the transportation industry with optical character recognition capture technology, so users can digitize invoices. ... OpenPages has launched OpenPages Hosted, an online, on-demand version of its governance risk and compliance technology.
WE’RE NOT FEELING WELL ...
The closest we’ve ever come to health care fraud was calling in sick when we weren’t really, but thanks to Healthcare Fraud: Auditing and Detection Guide, we’re ready to move up to a whole new level. For those determined to stay on the legal side of things, the book is a great reference for auditors and forensic accountants looking to root out the sort of health care fraud that we’re about to start perpetrating on a large-scale basis.
John Wiley & Sons; $65
GIVING AWAY THE STORE
We don’t know what Marvin Davis was thinking when he wrote Take No Prisoners. The book mines his years of experience as a noted turnaround expert to reveal a variety of strategies and tactics that will lift your business from mediocre to magnificent. His hard-headed, practical advice touches on everything from optimizing your relationship with your bank to fixing your pricing, evaluating new ventures and much more. The problem is, if everyone reads his book, there won’t be any companies to turn around anymore, and he’ll be out of a job.
Amacom Books; $24.94
We’re not sure which new business process philosophy will become all the rage, but since we don’t really understand any of them, we’re backing them all. The latest we’ve seen is Integrated Enterprise Excellence, which aims to integrate analytics with innovation. As outlined in the first of four planned volumes, The Integrated Enterprise Excellence System, IEE improves on Lean Six Sigma and the Balanced Scorecard to bridge the gap between project management and enterprise-level decision-making, while maintaining both ethical and quality standards.
The second volume, IEE: The Basics, which is also out now, illustrates some of the concepts by telling the story of four friends who discuss business improvement systems while playing golf, and learn how to better both their companies and their handicaps with IEE.
Bridgeway Books; Vol. 1 — $16.95,
Vol. 2 — $27.95
ALSO IN PRINT
Legal publisher Nolo and USAToday have joined forces to produce a series of business and legal guides, the first of which is Retire Happy, which you might want to crib from in your client presentations. ... Aspen Publishers has released the latest version of its Ohio Payroll Guide. ... For those who’ve dreamed of a new job — or at least want to get paid for the work your firm does now — collections expert Michelle Dunn has released the third edition of her Starting a Collection Agency.
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