Setting the record

MeetingKing beta

Paracas Solutions LLC

We here at New Products are astonished at the frequency with which our colleagues leave a meeting under the mistaken assumption that we have accepted responsibility for some task or initiative - despite the fact that we have no memory of having accepted extra work, and that the agenda for the meeting that we maintain with strict accuracy in our heads clearly precluded our doing so. To fix this annoying and all-too-common problem, we're considering MeetingKing, a Web-based agenda-setting and minute-taking tool that's now in beta. MeetingKing lets you set, share and update a meeting agenda; stay on course during the meeting; keep track of open items and defer new or unrelated items to a "Parking Lot;" and quickly prepare and share minutes, including details of all the work we haven't taken on.


Use their wheel

Premier Toolkit

Bookminders Inc.

Some ask, "Why re-invent the wheel?" We ask, "Why invent it in the first place? Someone else will take care of it." In that spirit, we bring to your attention the new Premier Toolkit from Bookminders, a veteran provider of outsourced accounting services to small businesses and nonprofits. Rather than develop your own tools, you can license the Toolkit to use Bookminders' time-tested practice management technology, which includes online training, billing, compensation and employee-management systems. In a hosted environment, users can also access Bookminders' marketing and sales tools, templates, proprietary software, and online help systems, to help them build up a strong bookkeeping business of their own.


When Jim Collins speaks

Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck - Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

Harper Business; $29.99

Given the near-scriptural status of Jim Collins' Good to Great, we expect that his new book, Great by Choice (co-written with Morten Hansen), will be eagerly devoured - as well it should be, given the fascinating insights it offers into why some companies are phenomenally successful in difficult times, and the rest aren't. Be warned, though: Like all useful business books, it's full of hard lessons that shatter fond wishes. To be a "10Xer" - a company that grows more than 10 times its index - you have to be fanatically disciplined in pursuit of your goals, data-driven, and constantly vigilant. You can't even fall back on luck, as 10Xers are no more lucky than their run-of-the-mill competitors; instead, they're much more prepared to take advantage of any luck that comes their way.


Selling one-on-one

Super Rainmaker Coaching Program

Raising the Bar

Most sales are made one on one, so there's something to be said for learning how to sell one on one. Business development coach and sales trainer Robin Hensley has created a new set of custom one-on-one "Super Rainmaker Coaching Programs" for professionals at law and accounting firms. Aimed at managing partners, office managing partners, practice team leaders and "super rainmakers," the 18-month programs show how to boost both revenues and efficiency, with a curriculum that covers everything from effective cross-selling and holding others accountable for business development, to effective delegation and how to work with difficult clients and staff.


Write what you know

The NCI Effect: Explosive Client Growth Plan for Accountants and CPAs

LINX Corp.; $22.95

For many writers, the hoary old chestnut about "writing what you know" is a crippling restriction; for Bruce Clark, head of marketing and practice sales advisor New Clients Inc., it happens to play to his strengths. NCI has trained firms across the country on how to build their practices, and in The NCI Effect, Clark shares the results of decades of experience, with practical advice on building, running, marketing and selling a CPA practice.


Blamable victims

The Vigilant Investor: A Former SEC Enforcer Reveals How to Fraud-Proof Your Investments

Amacom; $24.95

A really good fraudster doesn't have to steal his victims' money: They give it to him. And why do they do that? Because they're stupid - though former SEC enforcer Pat Huddleston is too polite to say so. Instead, in The Vigilant Investor he describes all the many psychological factors that render us susceptible to fraud and investment schemes that are too good to be true. It's vital to understand all the different and interesting ways of being stupid about investing if you hope to avoid them, for yourself or for your clients. Better still, The Vigilant Investor is full of in-depth descriptions of investment scams, which are always fun, and also details dozens of quick and easy due-diligence tips.


The enemy is you

The Enemy of Engagement: Put an End to Workplace Frustration - and Get the Most from Your Employees

Amacom; $25.95

Will Beth get senior management to listen to her prediction of disaster? Will Lauren manage to head off a bloody mutiny in the call center? Will Stacy be seduced by that new job, even though her heart is with her old one?* Ordinarily, we're leery of business books that fictionalize management issues, but we found The Enemy of Engagement's made-up sections (every other chapter) unexpectedly compelling, not least because they offer very concrete, practical solutions to the imagined problems. More important, they illustrate the important issue of all the different ways management gets in the way of dedicated employees. The enemy of engagement, it turns out, is you.

* Spoiler Alert: Yes, yes, and - heartbreakingly - yes.


Scanning for QB

Desktop Capture for QuickBooks

OKI Data Americas

OKI Data Americas has released Desktop Capture for QuickBooks, a solution that works with its line of multi-function printers to streamline scanning processes. It lets users seamlessly scan physical documents and transfer them into QuickBooks Attached Documents, so they'll have one-click access to electronic copies of things like contracts, invoices, change orders and more in QB.


New and improved!

Thomson Reuters has released an Android-compatible version of Mobile CS, its app for accessing and entering data into its Practice CS practice management solution. Mobile CS already works for various Apple i-devices.

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