New software, hardware, books and services for accountants.
Billy’s Billing Corp.
We have noted before that one of the beauties of the cloud is that it lowers barriers to entry in the world of accounting software, and has spurred a host of new options — the latest of which we’ve heard is Billy, which originated in Denmark in 2012, but is now being released in the U.S. The cloud-based software is designed to let small businesses and entrepreneurs track their expenses and finances, send invoices and receive payments, and more, all for free (there’s also a premium version that includes more advanced features).
All for small
CCH ProSystem fx for Small Firms
Wolters Kluwer Tax and Accounting
Wolters Kluwer’s CCH ProSystem fx line has been around for quite a while, but the new release opens it up to a whole new audience of small firms, giving them an all-in-one solution for tax prep (including complex returns), client and workflow management, and more. It comes in three editions, depending on how many returns the firm processes.
Accountaneur: The Entrepreneurial Accountant
CPA Trendlines; $99.97
Early on in Accountaneur, author Hitendra Patil notes a disturbing trend in accounting firm Web sites: They all promise the same thing — basically, expert tax and accounting services. But if they’re all promising the same thing, then there’s nothing to differentiate them. If you want to do that, the book suggests that you stop being an accountant who provides the traditional services, and become instead an entrepreneur whose focus is on providing new and valuable solutions to financial and business problems — and it goes on to offer a host of tactics and strategies to do just that.
The public library
The Accountant’s Content Vault
Medows Media Group
It’s impractical for everyone to build up their own library — which is why we have public ones that everyone can share. On similar lines, CPA Jonathan Medows has created the Accountant’s Content Vault, a free resource for accountants and firms that gives them access to a host of professional-level client communications and marketing content and resources, including client letters, articles and blog posts, e-mail content for reminders and lead-generation campaigns, a marketing plan template, and much more.
They know you
Postlethwaite & Netterville
We’re spotting a trend — and it’s accountants building tools that other accountants can use. In this case, it’s Pounce, from Louisiana-based Top 100 Firm Postlethwaite & Netterville. It’s a business development and marketing tool for professional services businesses that offers marketing material management, resume management and sales packet creation features, so that when business opportunities come up, firm employees can quickly access relevant marketing collateral and team member resumes.
Nitty + gritty
Talent Development & Career Planning: Practice Manual & Planning Workbook
All too often, business books are heavy on theory and light on detail, leaving you without the guidance you need to implement whatever big idea the book is flogging. This new book in the CPA Trendlines Pathfinder Series, on the other hand, is all about getting down to the nitty-gritty: It’s a series of short, to-the-point articles on different ways to improve your staff and your firm — from staff training to building your culture to handling staff who don’t listen to you — with clear guidance on implementation, and exercises and worksheets to get there.
CB for QBO
Like most technologies, the paper check has long outlived its usefulness. The new Checkbook app aims to replace the paper check with a digital check you can send straight from QuickBooks Online. Recipients just need to verify their identity with an easy process to receive instant payments — they don’t need to sign up or have an account.
Emburse offers a new approach to handling employee expenses, at least for certain types of expenses: Users fund a business account, and then issue staff with virtual or physical debit cards, each customized for each individual employee with time restrictions, spending limits and merchant requirements.
‘Tinder for taxes’
Getting clients to manage their records can be a nightmare, so any tool that helps them is welcome. The new Ducky app aims to make part of this easy by automatically calling in and categorizing a user’s expenses, and then giving them a Tinder-like interface to swipe them left or right as either personal or business expenses. It also lets them attach receipts and easily generate reports.
If you can pool risk, why can’t you pool ways to avoid risk? That’s the metaphorical idea behind governance, risk and control solution provider ACL’s ACL Inspirations — a Web site that puts together a host of analytics ideas, tests and other tools you and your clients can use, including the top 25 analytic tests that every organization should be using to keep themselves safe. Registration is free, and you don’t need to be an ACL customer to dive in.
New and improved!
Validis has added working papers specific to nonprofits to its financial data extraction platform, making it easier to audit NFPs. … Thomson Reuters and Big Four firm EY have partnered to provide the latter’s EY Tax Alerts to the former’s Checkpoint research platform. … Acumatica has launched Version 6 of its cloud-based ERP software for small and midsized businesses, with enhanced dashboards, CRM integration and more. … Integrated Business Systems has released Version 2 of its lease management/accounting system, Imperium Powered by Acumatica. … The Institute of Management Accountants has released Management Accounting Case Book: Cases from the IMA Educational Case Journal.
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