Technology & Productivity Weekly

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July 25, 2014 Headlines

Small Business: Addressing Productivity Killers
Build Your Email List With Distraction-Free Landing Pages and Three Other Techniques
Strategies for Integrating Macs in the Enterprise
Tools to Upend the 'Tyranny of the Password'
Five Steps to Securely Share Financial, Tax and Accounting Files
Embed Frequently Used Lists into Excel
Growing an Ecosystem for Small Businesses & Accounting Firms

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Small Business: Addressing Productivity Killers

Newsday (07/14/14); Herzlich, Jamie

CareerBuilder has compiled a survey listing the common productivity killers at work. Common productivity killers include mobile phone use and texting at work, which is a product of employees using their own personal computing devices at the office. Web surfing, gossiping, and personal breaks were also cited in the survey. Social media was another digital distraction. According to CareerBuilder, technology has increased office productivity but simultaneously results in one in five workers spending at least an hour on productivity killers. Employees cited noisy coworkers, email, and speaker phone calls as other distractions. Human resource departments say minimizing distractions is possible through assessing how management address productivity and responsibilities. Management should promote a positive work environment with consistent messaging about opportunities for success, goal-setting, and accountability. Read More


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Build Your Email List With Distraction-Free Landing Pages and Three Other Techniques

Entrepreneur (07/01/14); Siu, Eric

Businesses can follow three steps to growing email lists, which McKinsey reports is more effective than Facebook and Twitter for attracting new clients. First, creating distraction-free landing pages assists with client conversions through call-to-actions. Engaging an audience via a free e-book, report, or tutorial is more successful than simply creating a landing page without clear and navigable buttons. Adding a feature box on landing pages is useful for increasing subscription rates by informing potential clients about the advantages of signing up for an email subscription. Lastly, creating a content library is a great way to increase conversion rates by providing users with libraries of information that they can download for free by providing their email addresses. Read More


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Strategies for Integrating Macs in the Enterprise

Processor.com (06/27/14)Vol. 36, No. 13,

Implementing Mac operating systems into an office has the potential to boost a business' overall productivity. However, some businesses might be reluctant to integrate Macs due to fears surrounding software incompatibility. Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research says businesses should recognize that incompatibility with Mac OS is no longer a major issue. Mac has released several new updates, including OS X Mavericks and iWork upgrades, making upgrades attractive to businesses. Financially, the upgrade to Macs might seem to be a significant investment for small businesses. But with the saturation of iOS devices in the workplace due to the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) employee phenomenon, IT researchers say users often prefer using Macs over other systems. Businesses considering a Mac conversion should anticipate challenges to integration, including the way that Macs will be incorporated into every part of a business' workflow. Lazar recommends initially incorporating Mac into desktop management systems for access control, software maintenance, and logging functions. Lazar adds that Apple Care can be used for hardware support rather than relying on external IT channels. Read More


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Tools to Upend the 'Tyranny of the Password'

Inc.com (06/27/14); Irvine, Martha

The overwhelming task of remembering multiple passwords has resulted in vendors offering user-friendly password solutions. SecureKey Technologies is partnering with the U.S. Postal Service to allow citizens with access to information about student loans and retirement funds via multi-factor authentication. SecureKey relies on a password, security question, or information that is exclusively known by a user; a specific device that is recognized as unique to a user; and biometric information. Through these multiple layers of security, SecureKey eases the stress of remembering multiple passwords. LaserLock Technologies, engineers of fraud prevention technology, notes that complexity is shifting away from human beings. Consequently, more complex security tactics are enabling users to retrieve and access data without the headache of remembering and constantly changing passwords. Read More


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Five Steps to Securely Share Financial, Tax and Accounting Files

CPA Practice Advisor (06/17/14); Liu, Sam

There are five critical steps accounting firms can follow for securely sharing financial, tax, and accounting files. The first step is achieving full featured mobile access, which streamlines collaboration across multiple mobile devices. Incorporating redundancy will support redundancy, while using a business-grade file sharing solution will allow greater controlled access, as well as comprehensive reporting for meeting compliance standards. Securing data is among the most important part of sharing files. Files should always be encrypted in-storage, in-transit, and in-application. Features that allow remote wiping of content are also critical for ensuring data is protected in the event of loss or theft. Finally, firms should have a third-party provider verified; consider selecting a firm that has been audited. Read More


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Embed Frequently Used Lists into Excel

AccountingWEB (06/19/14); Ringstrom, David

Excel includes an option to embed frequently used customized lists through following a few simple steps. Typing the first three letters or the full name of a day or month in a worksheet cell and dragging the Fill Handle down a column or across a row usually allows an auto-populated list. This is part of the Custom Lists feature in Excel and allows users to add their own lists similarly. Depending on the version of Excel a user prefers, there are different steps to deploying the Custom Lists Feature. Users should note, however, that any custom lists are included in the Excel environment on a user's system, and not linked to any specific workbook. For using the custom lists across different systems, the lists will need to be imported separately on each additional device. Read More


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Growing an Ecosystem for Small Businesses & Accounting Firms

CPA Practice Advisor (06/06/14); Jenkin, Taija

Intiuit has released an app headquarters offering small and medium-sized accounting firms. According to Intuit, the offering is aimed at assisting SMBs with seamless data integration and potential for growth. Intuit has also increased its QuickBooks Web offerings, while providing features to allow SMBs insight into areas where they should focus. Intuit says decisions to launch and upgrade products was based on client feedback, noting that SMB customers generally are categorized as service-based companies or product-based companies. Through the latest QuickBooks improvements, data is automated so time spent on manual data entry is eliminated. Intuit aims to support businesses with several capabilities, including the ability to streamline accounting and bookkeeping needs. Read More


 

LAST UPDATED 7/25/2014