Technology & Productivity Weekly

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July 4, 2014 Headlines

Run Your Small Business in the Cloud
Why You Need a Solid State Drive for Your Computer
Don't Make These Social-Media Blunders That Businesses Keep Repeating
The Evolution of Small Business Accounting Systems
Intuit Injects Note of Caution on Cloud
Three Deadly Mistakes of Infographic Creation
Automation is Key to Wave's View of Accounting for Small Business

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Run Your Small Business in the Cloud

Small Business Computing (06/23/14)

The cloud has revolutionized small business computing with new devices and platforms. Mobile devices are now engineered to handle multiple aspects of remote computing and collaboration. Technology in the past consisted of laptops or desktops, but the climate is rapidly shifting to Chromebooks and tablets. While Chromebooks have been slower to saturate the market, the HP Chromebook 14 boasts a savvy design, equipped with 16GB SSD. Another technology phenomenon is Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platforms-as-a-Service (PaaS) which allow businesses to rent server space and CPU cycles from third-party providers. Businesses can additionally outsource server and network maintenance, redundancy, and data backups. However, while computing in the cloud, firms should remember to uphold due diligence and ensure the highest level of data security is followed. Read More


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Why You Need a Solid State Drive for Your Computer

AccountingWEB (06/12/14); Ringstrom, David

There are a few reasons businesses should consider adopting solid state drives (SSDs) for their offices. One major reason is maintaining program hygiene, which allows businesses to only use go-to applications. Maintaining Windows hygiene is another reason, as unnecessary services associated with Windows, like XPS Services, work more efficiently. Turning off hibernation is another important reason to adopt SSDs, as hibernation consumes an overwhelming amount of memory on computers. Finally, tweaking virtual memory is another benefit of using SSDs, allowing for significant gains in computing power and overall system efficiency. Read More


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Don't Make These Social-Media Blunders That Businesses Keep Repeating

Entrepreneur (06/10/14); Richard, David Gerzof

Social media is one major communications platform for engaging with clients. However, the ease of communicating via social media also provides an atmosphere for common pitfalls. The first blunder businesses should avoid is mixing up business and personal accounts; major businesses like Chrysler have had employees accidentally send posts from personal accounts that went viral and negatively impacted the company's reputation. The second mistake to avoid is failing to monitor posts about a business online. Businesses like British Airways that failed to acknowledge users sending complaints via Twitter resulted in a huge customer service catastrophe. Finally, using automated posts can have adverse impacts on a business if these posts are not constantly monitored. Businesses should always monitor posts and use social media platforms for assuring and acknowledging customers. Read More


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The Evolution of Small Business Accounting Systems

CPA Practice Advisor (06/07/14); Perry, Gail

According to Cook and Intuit CEO Brad Smith, there are four major trends that will impact customer behavior and technology. The first is products as platforms, which is a phenomenon allowing high levels of customization. The second trend is the elimination of traditional work borders due to the Web. Mobile technology is another important factor, which will is slated to outpace traditional desktop usage, particularly as wearable smart technology becomes more popular. Finally, small businesses will benefit from big data through more options available to them through SMB-specific QuickBooks offerings. Smith says the accounting market was saturated when QuickBooks was created, but the software has allowed accountants to significantly streamline their client interactions and daily operations. Read More


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Intuit Injects Note of Caution on Cloud

AccountingWEB (06/09/14); Koreto, Richard

According to CPA David Bergstein, regional strategic account manager in the Accountant & Advisor Group, accounting firms considering the cloud should proceed with caution. Important questions to consider including how the cloud will support more efficient workflow, task automation, and productivity, as well as projected return on investment. Bergstein says firms should also consider a few pitfalls of moving to the cloud, including creating a through transition plans that includes integration of multiple applications. He advises firms to create a document outlining the ways in which solutions are implemented and achieving desired outcomes, as well as creating specific goals. Bergstein recommends creating a checklist with specific tasks that need to be completed during the transition process, which should include accounting for redundancy issues and synchronizing applications. Bergstein notes that accountants must embrace new technologies to be able to remain competitive and grow their practices. Additionally, Bergstein advises accountants to challenge assumptions and complacency concerning using outdated technology and to continually reevaluate their current practices and technologies. Read More


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Three Deadly Mistakes of Infographic Creation

Entrepreneur (06/10/14); Siu, Eric

There are three common mistakes businesses make while creating infographics. The first mistake businesses might fail to realize is creating an infographic with too many words. Social science researchers state about 70 percent of individuals are visual learners, underscoring the need for businesses to emphasize images over words. In addition to using graphs in an infographic, creating illustrations is also useful. The second mistake businesses commonly make is failing to brand their infographic. Branding content provides a business ownership over engaging information that will attract new clients and ensure protection from marketers stealing content. The final mistake businesses make is creating an infographic that is too long. KISSmetrics recommends creating infographics that have less than six main points which are divided into sub-points. Read More


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Automation is Key to Wave's View of Accounting for Small Business

CPA Practice Advisor (06/06/14); Perry, Gail

Wave Vice-President of Cloud Accounting, Scott Zandbergen, says the Web has allowed the evolution of small businesses. He notes that "a big appetite for choice" has emerged that allows SMBs to create products with autonomy. Zandbergen affirms for his company, the Web was definitely the impetus for growth and evolution. Zandbergen predicts that accounting will continue to be automated in coming years. He adds that more data streams will be integrated to provide firms with more mission-critical information. SMBs will also be able to spend more time running their businesses, Zandbergen says, due to automated processes supporting everyday tasks. Read More


LAST UPDATED 7/4/2014