Constructing assetsYour small and midsized clients who have fixed assets that are built or assembled before being entered into service should take a look at the new release of Best's FAS Construction in Progress Accounting. Version 2.0 helps users control their capital budgets and streamline their capital asset accounting processes, with multiple levels of detail tracking and built-in reports, as well as a number of new features.

In addition to its normal ability to manage unlimited projects of any size with thousands of individual components, FAS Construction in Progress Accounting lets users accumulate and summarize numerous purchase orders, invoices, receipts and tasks; and manage both capitalized and expensed assets for project tracking.

The new release also has a Project Snapshot feature that shows the exact status of a project instantly, with a variety of charts and graphs, so you know exactly where it stands; improved asset creation capabilities; and enhanced security, allowing users to quickly define access for each project and what tasks they can perform.

FAS Construction in Progress Accounting Version 2 also shares more fields with Best's FAS Asset Accounting than before, and, upon completion of a project, fixed assets can automatically be moved from the former to the latter.

Price: Contact vendor.

Best Software
(800) 368-2405

Office Tracker V. 7

Some of our New Products staff have recently stopped coming into the office; they left a vague note about court, but we're not sure if this means they're on jury duty, or on trial. If we had a scheduling program like Office Tracker, we would know whether they were judging or being judged, and with the new Web-based version of the program, we'd be able to check the schedules of everyone in the department from any convenient Web browser.

Office Tracker Version 7 lets users track individual schedules; schedule appointments, rooms and resources; set meeting reminder alarms; export contact lists for mail merges; and access all the information from any Internet-connected computer, whether it's in the jury room or a holding cell.

Price: Five users - $995; 25 users - $2,395. 30-day free trial available.

Milum Corp.
(800) 257-2120

Compliance framework

Compliance is the big thing across the business world these days, but with Hank Greenberg disgraced and Eliot Spitzer and the Securities and Exchange Commission constantly ready to pounce, it's particularly important for financial services companies. QUMAS's Qcompliance Suite provides banks, investment management companies and insurance companies with a single, comprehensive compliance and risk management solution. As a "system of record," the suite automates processes, manages documentation and guides employees in performing consistent compliance activities. With a single, enterprise-wide approach, financial services companies can achieve complete compliance with a wide range of regulations and legislation, including Sarbanes-Oxley, the Patriot Act, the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Investment Company Act and more.

Price: Based on number of seats and desired functionality.


Managing expenses

When it comes to expense reports, employees often reveal themselves as improvident, sloppy in their record-keeping, and sometimes even fraudulent - and then they complain when they don't get reimbursed instantaneously. (We here at New Products, for instance, have not yet received the check for the hot tub we had installed in our cubicle, and we intend to raise a fuss about it.)

To help management in this ongoing struggle, Gelco Expense Management recently upgraded its expense management automation service, ExpenseLink Intelligent Workflow. With the new improvements, users can create routes for expense report approval, so that some are automatically okayed, while others are flagged for further investigation according to user-defined criteria, such as being over a certain amount or being out of policy (or, perhaps, simply belonging to that guy in sales that you don't like).

The service identifies compliant and noncompliant expense reports, streamlines transaction routing, and tends to improve employee compliance with company policies.

Price: Contact vendor.

Gelco Expense Management
(952) 947-1500

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