Technology news September 2007 | AccountingWEB

Technology news September 2007


Top speed, ease of use, security should be studied in payroll software search

An accounting firm offering payroll services to clients should analyze a number of important options when purchasing a new payroll software system.Try to avoid problems similar to those at Arizona State University, where a new payroll software system underpaid or overpaid about 3,000 employees, angering them so much that armed police guarded the university's HR office on several recent paydays, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Are you ready to outsource payroll? Some things to consider

Every small-business owner aims to focus on the big picture - improving customer service, increasing the bottom line, growing the company - but the details can overwhelm the best of intentions.It's impossible to think strategically when you're in the weeds, when the must-do jobs take precedence over the should-dos. For that reason, many are outsourcing tasks that detract from what's most important.

Math errors found in Excel 2007

Microsoft has confirmed the existence of a serious bug in Excel 2007 that can cause an incorrect amount to appear in a cell. The problem that has been isolated so far occurs when a calculation should produce the result of 65535. Instead of the correct result, Excel displays 100000. For example, enter the following formula in an Excel 2007 cell:=77.1*850You will see that 100000 appears as the result. Other formulas have the same effect.It should be noted that, although the spreadsheet displays 100000, the value of the cell is correct at 65535.

Here comes QuickBooks 2008

Intuit Inc. has released its new line of QuickBooks 2008 products and services. According to Intuit, the 2008 version of the nation's best-selling small business financial software focuses on ease-of-use improvements for important day-to-day tasks, as well as connecting in new ways with new applications. Other new features extend the power of QuickBooks beyond accounting by integrating with new online services and industry-leading applications.

A new approach to Excel pivot tables

In common with many of the features of the Office suite, working with Excel pivot tables has been changed both by the application of the new Office 2007 interface and by several specific enhancements.Creating a pivot tableFirst find the PivotTable option. Although PivotTables used to live in the Data menu, the new ribbon interface has moved the PivotTable option to the Table section of the Insert ribbon.

Human error and criminal cleverness still beating data security

Although often criticized for amplifying scares on which the sponsors trade, new surveys show that online data theft is changing with new service delivery trends, as well as outpacing most companies' security efforts. New research from Deloitte confirms that your company's security is far more likely to be breached through its doors than its online portals. Two-thirds of respondents to its annual financial-service company survey say they have suffered repeated external security breaches, mostly via customers. One-third say employees have also caused them.

Business faces up to social networking

It's not just teenagers and bored employees who spend time posting on the likes of Facebook and MySpace to chat with their friends – more than a tenth of the sites' users visit them for business reasons, it has been claimed.Research group emedia found 11% of respondents use social networking websites for business purposes with another 8% contact existing or potential clients via the services.Facebook in particular has come in for strong criticism

Excel 2min Tip: Round your budgets to the nearest thousand

If you have a spreadsheet containing a lot of numbers, it will be easier to read if you round the numbers to the nearest thousand.To display figures to the nearest thousand, use the Format – Custom feature and include three things: a dot, a zero, and a comma.Example: To display the numbers on the left as the numbers on the right, follow these steps:1021.76...........1.1560...................0.6540...................0.521.....................0.01345.26...........1.3-520.78...........-0.5Type the first column of

Boomers use online brain games to stave off dementia

The generation that refuses to age is not going to sit back and wait for Alzheimer's Disease and other signs of dementia to take hold. Instead, savvy Baby Boomers are expanding their minds (no, not the way they did in the 60s) with the aid of the computer, puzzles, and games.

Iowa approves $180 million class action settlement against Microsoft

At the end of August, an Iowa district court approved a $180 million settlement against Microsoft in an anti-trust class action suit. The Iowa claim alleged the company had used its monopoly position to overcharge consumers for its Windows and Office programs. Under the settlement, Iowa residents who bought Microsoft software between May 1994 and June 2006 will be entitled to refunds in the form of cash or vouchers they can spend on new Microsoft products or PCs.Word users will get $10 back per license, while each Excel user will be entitled to $25.

Windows Vista service pack release scheduled for early 2008

Windows users will get another opportunity to jump aboard the Microsoft upgrade merry-go-round next year, when it plans to introduce a new service pack for Windows Vista.

Teaching old blogs new tricks

Despite understanding how valuable blogging can be, many firms are still failing to fully embrace it. Marketing management provider WebTrends found that contrary to 85 percent of marketers' perceptions that an effective web presence is important in achieving sales and objectives, just 5 percent blog on a regular basis.Instead, its research showed Internet tools such as e-direct and web analytics continue to dominate. Podcasts are another medium to watch for business, says the firm, as despite relatively low usage at the moment, it registered the highest level of user satisfaction.
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