Squaring the Apple

NetSuite iPhone and iPod Touch app

NetSuite Inc.

www.itunes.com/appstore

For years, Apple traded on its cool, artsy image as the product of choice for students, graphic artists and other drug-addled reprobates. With the runaway success of its iPhone and iPod, however, it will have to come to terms with the fact that many of its users are now clean-cut, productive citizens - the type who might use the new app from NetSuite that allows users to view ERP data on their iPhones and iPod Touches. Features like dashboards that show key performance indicators, report snapshots, trend graphs and the like, and a calendar for accepting or declining events and marking tasks complete, may prove entirely too adult for Apple's core demographic, but offer executives useful, timely insight. And while anytime/anywhere access to lead, prospect and customer records may not mean much to those who use their iPhones to distort photos of their drunken friends, it'll prove enormously useful to salesmen and service people.

Separately, NetSuite announced that it's now integrated with U.S. Postal Service shipping, so companies can save time and improve accuracy in labels and manifests.

 

You don't work for free

NetClient CS

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting

http://cs.thomsonreuters.com/portals

Online portals are all the rage for a reason - they make communicating and sharing documents with clients much faster and much easier - and they're getting better all the time. The latest release of Thomson Reuters' NetClient CS, for instance, offers integration with its UltraTax CS tax prep product, so you can print Web organizers and finished tax returns directly to a client's portal; the ability to have source documents from FileCabinet CS flow directly to the portal; and integration with the GoFileRoom document management system so you can securely publish all manner of documents and statements. Now you can even access two client accounting systems straight through the portal - Client Bookkeeping Solution and Hosted QuickBooks powered by Right Networks.

Don't get us wrong - productivity and efficiency and streamlining are great - but you don't do all that work for free. That's why our favorite new feature is NetClient CS Bill Pay for Practice CS users, which lets you post invoices and collect credit card payments directly through the portal. After all, communication should be a two-way street.

 

Not enough lap

StudioDesk

Bluelounge

www.bluelounge.com

The ever-decreasing size and weight of the modern laptop was supposed to free up all sorts of space - but even the ever-increasing size of the American lap can't handle the proliferation of peripherals, cables, ancillary devices and the like, which threaten to overwhelm even the old-fashioned desk, leaving no space for even the smallest box of donuts, let alone a half gallon of diet soda. As a partial answer, the design gurus at BlueLounge have created the StudioDesk, a sleek, sharp-looking piece of office furniture with a sliding top surface that reveals a compartment for storing peripherals, power strips and excess cables, leaving the top of the desk free for the equipment you actually use.

 

The new CPA

Smart Practice Aids - Disclosure

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting

http://ppc.thomson.com

Don't be alarmed - yet. For the moment, you can be pleased with the release of the third module of PPC's Smart Audit Suite, Smart Practice Aids - Disclosure. The newest addition to PPC's line of audit engagement tools guides your team through completing the financial statement disclosure checklist for audit, review and compilation engagements, streamlining the process and freeing them up to concentrate on compliance. It also lets you standardize processes across engagements and across your firm, allows you to create and maintain a library of approved note disclosures, and contains extensive diagnostics to identify inconsistencies or error conditions.

Audit efficiency is all well and good, of course. The alarming question is, how long will it be before the many products that currently "free you up" to focus on more important matters "free you up" to focus on unemployment? Probably when someone realizes that CPA can also stand for "Computer Program Auditors."

 

Virtual knees

eClientPayments.com

EMG Productions Inc.

www.eclientpayments.com

The payment plans we're used to involve baseball bats and sensitive joints like the knees, which may be a little extreme for a civilized profession like accounting. Nonetheless, you have to get paid, and your clients may not always be quite as timely as you'd like. Before you sink down to the gutter with us, consider EMG Production's eClientPayments.com, a Web site that lets you create customized client payment plans and receive regular payments to a business PayPal account. Only you have access to client data and information, and their accounts are even managed through Web pages that mirror the look and feel of your firm's site. Best of all, the automated, recurring payments make it hard for clients to "forget to pay," yet still leave them able to walk and eat solid food.

 

Small, but dangerous

OneSource TaxStream Provision

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting

www.thomsonreuters.com

The ongoing globalization of business and the convergence of accounting standards have truly made ours a small, small world - but they've also made it a riskier, more complex one for corporate tax departments, as they find themselves exposed to a range of tax systems and changing standards. Thomson Reuters has enhanced its OneSource TaxStream Provision software to help, with a new Active Workpapers Module that dynamically integrates complex tax calculations like depreciation and foreign tax credits from workpapers directly into the tax provision system; real-time collection and reporting of tax data from global subsidiaries; and improved foreign exchange currency translation adjustment. It also accommodates IFRS, and U.S. and U.K. GAAP, and handles uncertain tax positions according to the new requirements of IAS 12 ED.

 

Our wish list

Model 0201OMD Optical Media Destroyer

Security Engineered Machinery

www.semshred.com

Though we produce nothing that's valuable enough to shred, there's something about a new shredder that makes us revise our birthday wish lists. Security Engineered Machinery's new Optical Media Destroyer goes beyond paper to destroy CDs, DVDs, credit cards, ID badges and the like, with a foot-wide "throat" and a number of safety and energy-conservation features, as well as being able to tell you when it's full - so you can empty it and keep shredding to your heart's content.

 

New and improved!

Sage North America has integrated the latest versions of its Sage MAS 500 ERP and Sage Abra SQL HRMS. ... CCH has teamed with LCR-Dixon to implement the CCH CorpSystem Sales Tax Office for customers using SAP. ... WinZip Computer has released a beta version of its WinZip 14 file compression software, which has been designed to work with Windows 7.

 

Send your software, hardware, service and book items to Daniel Hood at daniel.hood@sourcemedia.com.

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