Software & EquipmentMAS 90/200 AND 500

Sage Software has released new versions of its MAS 90/200 and 500 business management software. MAS 90 and 200 4.3, aimed at small and midsized businesses, includes new business intelligence, workflow and reporting tools. The new release also supports direct deposit and e-filing tax functions. Version 7.2 of MAS 500, Sage’s mid-market-to-small-enterprise business management software, offers the Business Insight Dashboard as a browser-based analytical tool, while its new Data Import Manager is a mapping wizard that preserves data integrity while allowing businesses to easily import a variety of transactions. The new version also includes the Sage MAS 500 Office, which offers stronger integration with Microsoft Office, stronger warehouse automation features, and a number of project accounting enhancements.

www.sagesoftware.com

TRAINING DAZE

In theory, there should be a silver lining to the ongoing staff shortage: You shouldn’t have to spend time training staff you don’t have. It never works out that way, though, which is why it’s nice to know that CCH is now offering online self-study courses for a number of its products, including offerings in its ProSystem fx line, and its Tax and Accounting Research Networks, with more on the way. You can also have CCH host any courses that your firm has developed. So now you can spend your time trying to find new staff to train. http://cchgroup.com

MODULARIZED DMS

While it’s undeniable that a document management system for, say, the Library of Congress would need to be somewhat more powerful that the DM system needed here at New Products, it would be much less likely to have to handle such “documents” as notes written on cocktail napkins, the back of our hand, or half-eaten sandwiches. The point is, every organization has slightly different DM needs.

Recognizing this, Acom Solutions is now offering its browser-based EZContent Manager DM system as a set of modules.

The basic engine includes storage, retrieval and distribution capabilities, retention controls, and multi-level access; other modules offer workflow tools, import utilities, version management, collaboration tools and more, so that you can customize the system to match your sandwich management needs.

www.acom.com

TOP, FRONT AND SIDE

Why do they call what you see on your computer screen a “desktop?” It’s not on top of the monitor — it’s on the front. That flat surface the monitor sits on is the real desktop; what you see on your monitor should be called the deskfront.

All of this is, as you’ve probably guessed, pointless, but it came to mind as we examined the Ergotech Group’s new Ergonizer line of office accessories, which attach to the side of your monitor to create something close to a real desktop, where you can store cellphones, keys, pens, headsets, Post-Its and the like vertically, without cluttering up the actual top of your desk. There are three versions, the most extensive of which even includes a little whiteboard and a dual-port USB hub. Now you can move all that stuff off your desktop and put it next to your deskfront — on your deskside.

www.theergonizer.com

PRESSURE TO PERFORM

Ever since we discovered that our company archives our e-mails, we’ve been striving to make them more interesting — wittier and pithier, with less gratuitous cursing and personal invective. We imagine a similar thing will happen at companies that install Akonix’s L7 Enterprise for the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution, which offers enhanced archiving of SMS and PIN-to-PIN text messages, as well as archiving and content monitoring for various instant messaging clients.

www.akonix.com

NEW AND IMPROVED!

Approva has released Version 4.1 of its BizRights Platform and Controls Intelligence Suite for user access and system configuration for users of Oracle, PeopleSoft, SAP and other ERP systems. ... AccuPOS and Cynergy Data have teamed up to add payment-processing capabilities for users of AccuPOS’s point-of-sale solutions.

Books

REMAIN CALM!

There’s no need for panic, but the American Institute of CPAs has issued a Financial Reporting Alert. Actually, Current Accounting Issues and Risks 2008 is the first of a series of these alerts, meant to keep accountants, financial managers and audit committees up to date on the latest accounting and regulatory developments in financial reporting. The inaugural alert discusses new standards on business combinations, fair value accounting, accounting for defined-benefit pensions and other retirement plans, and income tax accruals and deferred income taxes. The next two alerts are scheduled to focus on nonprofit organizations and the FASB Codification.

www.cpa2biz.com; members — $35, non-members — $43.75

THE DARK FOREST OF WORK

You won’t get many chances to read fairy tales at work, so grab them when you can: In the Land of Difficult People collects 24 stories from around the world full of wise animals, cruel kings and resourceful children, and applies their lessons to the workplace. But while our office does resemble the dark wood where so many fairy tales take place, and our co-workers are sly foxes, arrogant lions and wicked wolves, the authors keep the exposition to a minimum, and let the stories speak for themselves, as they always have.

Once these stories put you in a good mood, you’ll be better prepared to understand the lessons of The Power of a Positive Attitude, which draws on real-life workplace examples to describe the importance of attitude to making a business work better, and lays out a number of strategies to help both bosses and employees deal with conflict, generate ideas and generally function more smoothly and efficiently.

Closely related to the positive attitude is the notion of emotional intelligence — what elementary school teachers used to call “works and plays well with others.” If you don’t have time to develop your employees’ emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ, The EQ Interview can show you how to hire people who already have high EQs. It includes over 250 behavior-based job interview questions you can ask, and, more important, tells you how to interpret the answers. It even shows you how to know when people are gaming the questions.

Amacom; Difficult People — $19.95,

Positive Attitude — $15.95, EQ — $16

WHAT YOU KNOW CAN’T HURT

The entrepreneur who starts a tech company is likely to know a lot more about technology than about companies — which is where you, as a professional advisor, come in. Lifecycle of a Technology Company contains an awful lot of information that will be of use to your fledgling clients, on everything from founders’ agreements, venture financing and patent protection, to preparing for a public offering, with a particularly focus on the legal aspects of building a tech company. All in all, it will help you guide clients through the corporate side of things; maybe after that, they can guide you through the technology.

John Wiley & Sons; $90

Also available

CCH has released Tax Function Effectiveness: The Vision for Tomorrow’s Tax Function, a detailed guide to the future of tax departments everywhere.

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

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