Good Habits for Healthy QuickBooks

Using a QuickBooks desktop product is pretty simple – you install it and then you run it.  For many users, it’s just that easy and uncomplicated because they don’t need 3rd party integrated software, they don’t sync their files to other computers or services or try to share their QuickBooks data, and they remember to exit…

Product Tips: Tracking the Evolution of a Budget from Start to Finish

The budget cycle is often like the old game ‘telephone’ - you start at one point, but what comes out the other end is completely different. In the budgeting version of this you are asked at the beginning of the budget process to submit the budget for your center or department, only to see a completely different number at the end of the cycle.

QuickBooks and Dropbox? Yeah… No.

Having your data available from anywhere is awesome. Storing files in the cloud and being able to sync them with files on the computer is a great way to make sure the files are centrally available regardless of which machine you use to access them with. Dropbox is among those favored solutions which provide users with the cloud drive storage and an ability to seamlessly sync those files to various computers. It’s pretty cool, but let’s face it: not every type of file loves living in a Dropbox or sync folder. Particularly for folks who want to be able to store and sync their QuickBooks and other business files to the cloud, there are a few things to be aware of when using these nifty sync solutions.

Fixing Finance with CPM

A recent article in CFO magazine (Fixing Finance: Work in Progress, March 27, 2014) discusses the great improvement in productivity and cost savings that finance departments have made over the past 15 years. Despite this great improvement 81% of the finance executives surveyed said they were “seriously committed” to more efficiency and effectiveness.

Completing the Picture - The CFO’s Ever-Changing, and Increasing, Reporting Responsibility

Best practice dictates that changes in technology should be aligned with, or at least accompany, changes in organisation. However, by being stated as best practice in itself, this may suggest that this is not always the case. Creating the capability to deliver the necessary reports and documents is posing more questions than answers in organisations…

Budgeting for Success

Moving away from the annual budget process and into one that is more frequent is a core topic in the recent eBook from The rationale behind it - business changes so frequently that the annualized budget gets out of date pretty quickly. The fact that employees’ performance, and often compensation, is based on this annual plan makes things worse as the battle for the budget usually ends up with a much more conservative, thus achievable, plan. This pretty much makes it out of date out of the gate.

What to do?

The CPA for Small Business: Proactive, Responsive, and Helps Paint a Beautiful Picture

I recently read an article on AccountingWeb, written by Doug Sleeter and describing the findings of a published report titled What SMBs Want from Their CPA. The report is a summary of results from an annual study conducted by The Sleeter Group, and is intended to help accounting professionals understand the factors in the market which influence business use of professional accounting services. While adoption and use of technology was not named as the top item on the list, capabilities which can be rendered only if such adoption occurs were. In short, it’s not the technology that clients demand, but the level of service that professionals can only deliver by embracing advancements in technology and applying them to the client engagement.

Just Getting Started: Application Hosting for Small Business

Accessing software applications and data from a remote system isn’t new stuff. Starting with telephone modems, acoustic couplers (those things you’d put the phone handset into so that the modem could “hear” the data), green screen ASCII terminals and host computers, users have connected to remote systems to access applications and manipulate stored data for years. As personal computers became viable for business use, applications and data moved from centralized hosts to local computer environments.

4 Rules of Thumb for Considering Cloud Applications in Business

With all the talk of cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service models, businesses are increasingly questioning their continued use of on-premises and “traditional” software implementations. Having heard that cloud applications are cheaper and better than locally installed solutions, some small business owners and IT managers are actively seeking alternatives to their current software selections. In too many…

L’Affaire Madoff: A Black Mark on the Auditing Profession

There is a theory of tort law that liability should be apportioned based on who could most efficiently have assured that a tortious event did not take place. If that standard were applied to the Bernie Madoff fiasco, the auditing profession would owe a whole lot of money to a whole lot of people. It’s a shame that the thoroughness, doggedness, and precision the profession is known for wasn’t applied to its own practitioners.

My nostalgia for this whole kerfuffle arises because after a six-month trial, a jury has just returned guilty verdicts against five of Madoff’s former employees. To understand why this event has raised unpleasant memories and unresolved concerns, let’s have a short Socratic dialogue: