Technology & Productivity Weekly

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Feb. 21, 2014 Headlines

How Is Your Accounting Firm Protecting Its Intellectual Property?
Twitter Followers Can Lead Directly to Sales. Here’s How.
Do Your Best to Tame the Technology Beast This Busy Season
Accounting Technologies to Help You Gain New Business
Small Business Guide to Online Office Suites
Bitglass Unveils Cloud-Based Mobile Security Solution
Five Tips for Landing Pages That Convert
Solve BYOD Security Issues

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How Is Your Accounting Firm Protecting Its Intellectual Property?

AccountingWEB (02/11/14); Davidson, Jeff

Accounting firms should determine the measures in place for protecting valuable assets. Data, which could be physical or digital, is a prime target for security vulnerabilities. Firms must consider the existing security measures, authorized access controls, and backup plans for storing mission-critical data. Intellectual property, contracts, and agreements are often neglected amidst a firm's data considerations. Requiring employees to sign written agreements verifying their acceptance of data usage controls and policies is a sound strategy for protecting a firm's assets. In a workforce laden with electronic communication, protecting digital data is a growing concern. Furthermore, protecting data stored on mobile devices is a fundamental component of maintaining overall security. Read More


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Twitter Followers Can Lead Directly to Sales. Here’s How.

Small Business Technology (02/04/14); Ray, Ramon

Twitter is a prime platform for growing a firm's client base. Twitter followers can result in sales through smart engagements. Localizing Twitter offerings is one tactic to increase marketing exposure and consequently sales. For example, clients that seek accounting services and locate deals for a firm's services on Twitter and might be more likely to use a service advertised on the social media site. Potential clients might "retweet" the initial product or service offering, resulting in a tremendous marketing exposure for firms. An astonishing 70 percent of small businesses retweet content that they find appealing, testifying to the power of engagement via Twitter. Read More


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Do Your Best to Tame the Technology Beast This Busy Season

AccountingWEB (02/01/14); Cytron, Scott

From business computing to personal mobile devices, technology plays an overwhelming role in every day life. However, Scott Cytron says the ubiquitous nature of technology has lead to an unhealthy relationship between technology and individuals' personal lives. Good Technology reports that about 70 percent of people do not sleep without checking their email, while 40 percent check email during dinner. The same survey reported 80 percent of employees working from home, in addition to their regular working hours. Cytron says the result of this technology overload is an environment where individuals become dependent on mobile devices, whether for work or personal usage. Cytron affirms that slowing down technology usage and taking breaks from constantly checking email and social media allow individuals to be more productive. Essentially, Cytron advises individuals to make more time for their personal times, refrain from checking work email on vacations, and making more time for each other rather than technology. Read More


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Accounting Technologies to Help You Gain New Business

Accounting Today (01/30/2014); Walter, James

New technologies have emerged to respond to the sheer amount of business operations that are now conducted via the cloud. The cloud has remained a central location for running Software-as-a-Service programs for accountants, including applications that collect and analyze data. Accountants have also used cloud technologies for organizing, aggregating, and presenting data, allowing them to spend more time focusing on growing and expanding their practices rather than managing administrative tasks. Through the cloud, firms view data in the form of visual reports, improve client relationships through customer relationship management tools, and better manage profits. Many cloud providers offer free services or trials for software solutions, which result in tremendous cost savings for firms. As more firms migrate toward an office based in the cloud, accountants must ensure clients' security is protected and industry compliance is followed, which is possible through selecting vendors subject to external security audits. Read More


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Small Business Guide to Online Office Suites

Small Business Computing (01/28/14)

There are several benefits to using cloud-based office suites, including efficiency, collaboration, and convenience. Google Apps for Business provides users with Google Docs for documents, Sheets for spreadsheet functions, and Slides for presentations. Users receive 30GB per person through drive, and includes synchronization capabilities. Google Hangouts, the video chat feature, allows teams to video conference with up to 15 users. Zoho Productivity Apps is another cloud-based suite small businesses should consider, which includes a customer relationship management application, contact management, and online bookkeeping. Through Zoho, offices can use free or paid versions, with Collaboration Apps offering chat programs, online meetings options, and project management capabilities. Microsoft Office 365 Small Business Premium is another option for SMBs seeking a productivity suite that encompasses document management, spreadsheet, and presentation capabilities, offering 50GB mailbox storage per user and support for sending 25MB of attachments. Read More


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Bitglass Unveils Cloud-Based Mobile Security Solution

NewsFactor Network (01/29/14); Levine, Barry

Bitglass has released a Software-as-a-Service security solution that allows employees to use the same apps for work and personal usage without undermining IT security. The new solution requires a single sign-on that redirect cloud-based apps like Google Apps and Office 365 to redirect via Bitglass for authentication. Bitglass says the product is simple to use, while allowing a "frictionless experience for employees." IT security remains a constant concern among businesses as more employees bring their own mobile devices into the workplace, resulting in significant potential for security vulnerabilities. Bitglass' solution is also expected to gain popularity among smaller businesses, since the deployment and administration are user-friendly. Bitglass offers the SAML Single Sign-On solution for $10 per user monthly. Read More


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Five Tips for Landing Pages That Convert

Small Business Technology (01/24/14); Totka, Megan

Megan Totka, Chief Editor of ChamberofCommerce.com, advises small businesses to follow five tips for landing pages that convert. Totka says having a single focus on a landing page is key to engaging a user's attention. A great headline is the second tip for attracting a user's interest, including using tactics like humor or fear to gain attention. Totka says a business needs to write simply about their offers, services, and products; using bullet points is recommended for presenting clear information. There should also be a call to action on a landing page, and this feature should be in a bright color. Finally, Totka notes that the key elements of a landing page should be visible in a browser, noting that different users may be viewing Web sites on several different mobile devices. Read More


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Solve BYOD Security Issues

Processor.com (01/24/14)Vol. 36, No. 2, P. 20

The office has evolved into an environment where employees carry and use mobile devices during working hours. There are several risks associated with the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work trend, starting with infecting a business' network through simply plugging their phone into a work device via USB connection. Security analysts recommend creating policies around employees' personal device usage while at work. Companies should also use a remote data wipe function which allows complete removal of data on a lost or stolen device. Security analysts caution employees' behavior could additionally be the root of potential security breaches, from disgruntled employees to simply human error. Policies governing lost or stolen devices should also be outlined, and employees should understand and accept responsibility for the tremendous risk associated with exposing a business to security vulnerabilities. Read More

LAST UPDATED 2/21/2014