Expert in experts

Roth IRA Conversion Expert

CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business

There are those who study up on complicated issues like the 2010 Roth IRA conversion rules and become experts - and then there are those who spend their time figuring out who the experts are, and how to access them. CCH's new Roth IRA Conversion Expert is a software tool that comes with a Conversion Evaluator that lets you run various client scenarios to determine the best way to take advantage of the rules, as well as guidance on the rules, and practice management tools including client letters, checklists and more. So you can spend hours becoming an expert, or minutes hooking up with the Conversion Expert. Best of all, your clients don't need to know where, exactly, your expertise lies.

Debt dragging you down?

Money Desktop

Money Desktop LLC

Not your debt, obviously: You manage your finances better than that, right? Your clients' debt, on the other hand, may be preventing them from investing more in their portfolios and adding to your assets under management. Money Desktop is an online financial-planning program that can help them budget, save and, most important, manage and pay down their debt, thus freeing up money for them to invest (through you, of course). It also includes a Financial Intelligence Tool that shows your clients the financial ramifications of their decisions, and can help you guide them to appropriate investments.

Stepped-up monitoring

SymSure for IDEA

CaseWare IDEA Inc. and SymSure Ltd.

The earliest tools for monitoring a business were managers' eyes. But managers have to sleep sometime (and blink frequently), so security cameras allowed managers to keep track of things even when they weren't there. But simply keeping your eyes open and the cameras on isn't enough to spot some kinds of trouble. After all, typing looks like typing, whether what's being typed is a perfectly normal invoice, or the routing number of an employee's secret Cayman Islands account. Hence continuous auditing and monitoring tools like SymSure for IDEA, which examines the details of company transactions and automatically reports exceptions and the sort of fishy stuff that no security camera can. Designed specifically to make continuous auditing and monitoring easier and more cost-efficient to implement, it can be customized for whatever business processes the user wants to monitor, regardless of the underlying system or platform.

Scanning on the go

ImageScan Pro 490i

Ambir Technology Inc.

If you're looking to go paperless, you don't want a scanner that takes up as much space as your old filing room. Ambir Technology's new ImageScan Pro 490i is a sleek model with a tiny footprint and the ability to scan both double-sided pages and cards of all kinds. Between its speed, flexibility and light weight, it's good both for in-office use and for taking on client engagements.

Power for nonprofits

Sage MIP Fund Accounting V. 10.2/ DrillPoint Reports

Sage North America/ Capital Business Solutions

We've noted the burdens laid on nonprofits before (basically, they're held to similarly stringent accounting and reporting standards as for-profit organizations, but with far fewer resources), so it's nice to note that someone is listening - literally. The most recent release of Sage's MIP Fund Accounting solution for nonprofits includes a Customer Enhancement Portal that lets users make requests and suggestions for improving the product, and then track the progress of their suggestions. Version 10.2 also includes improvements to Form 990 reporting and improved drill-down functionality, as well as new e-mail and import capabilities.

In a similar vein, Capital Business Solutions has released DrillPoint Reports, a tool that integrates tightly with Sage's MIP system to bring data into Excel to allow richer reporting, with more filtering and formatting options, and the ability to drill down to the underlying details.

Watching the basket

ComplyXL Discovery

Lyquidity Solutions

Just as you separate your eggs, you should never put all your data in one basket, unless you're prepared to watch that basket very carefully indeed. Lyquidity Solutions' ComplyXL Discover adds a layer of basket security to the Excel spreadsheets into which so many corporations put so much of their data. It automatically monitors them, tracking all sorts of changes and giving the proper authorities a whole range of notification options, as well as documentation and audit trails. It also now leverages Microsoft's Silverlight technology to create better user interfaces over intranets and the Internet.

Watching the chickens

E2B Collect Suite

E2B Software

At the risk of straining the whole egg-and-basket metaphor, we'll point out that before you can even start worrying about how many baskets to use and how much to watch them, you actually have to get some eggs. That means accounts receivable and collections, where the metaphor grows less strained, since AR and egg-collecting both involve lots of squawking and the all-too-frequent empty nest (or checking account). E2B Software's new E2B Collect Suite aims to streamline and manage a company's processes in this area, tying into a wide range of accounting systems to put all the necessary invoice, payment and account data in one place, so AR and collections personnel can more easily bring in the eggs.

Crush! Kill! Degauss!

EMP001 Eliminator, and Model 200 and DS-200 Disintegrators

Security Engineered Machinery

Sometimes, it becomes necessary to destroy data in order to protect it. This is certainly the case with old hard drives and other storage media that contain client data. Fortunately the Eliminator from SEM can take care of this for you: It renders all sorts of magnetic storage media unusable and unreadable by "degaussing" them (that's tech-speak for permanently and irreversibly scrambling them). For those who, like us, insist on a little more visible destruction in their data protection, SEM also has two powerful new shredders, the 200 and DS-200, that can handle paper, CDs and DVDs, ID cards, key tapes, audio cassettes, ID cards and more.

December madness


Rosslyn Analytics

We don't look too closely into how we spend our money during the holidays, writing many pointless purchases off to good cheer, and shying away from any analysis of the actual amount of holiday spirit procured. We can only get away with this sort of willful blindness once a year, but for companies, it shouldn't be an option at all. Rosslyn Analytics' new RA.Pid spend analysis solution lets users gain valuable insight into how they're spending (and overspending), with all sorts of ready-to-run analyses, dashboards and reporting tools. The SaaS solution is easy to use and free for the first user, making it an excellent tool for small businesses with big spending problems.

New and improved!

Cabinet NG has launched the latest version of its CNG-SAFE document management and workflow software, which works with Windows 7. ... Two Step Software Inc. has added a set of Black-Scholes calculators to its FAS 123R Reporting Kit. ... CCH has enhanced its Smart Charts with a more customizable Highlight Changes function, and the ability to e-mail results directly from the results screen.

Send new products for consideration to Daniel Hood at

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