Technology news June 2008


The Paperless CPA... Or close to it

It's true, your firm can green-up without going entirely paperless. But if paperless - or nearly paperless - is a goal, you'll not only save trees and buy fewer ink cartridges, but you'll save in many other ways as well: less space devoted to massive file cabinets, fewer boxes of old files going into the storage locker and later, being rotated out for destruction. No paper cuts from digging through dusty paper files, and much less time spent preparing, copying, assembling, and delivering tax returns and other documents. There are lots of positives, and not many negatives.

New tool links online files to Excel applications

Web spreadsheet EditGrid has introduced a new feature that works as an Excel Add-in linking online files to Excel applications running on your computer. With EditGrid, you can pull information directly from the Internet into your spreadsheets.

Thomson Tax and Accounting partners with EDGAR Online

The Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters has announced the launch of I-Metrix powered by Checkpoint, its online productivity and workflow solution for tax and accounting professionals. Tax & Accounting partnered with EDGAR Online to design and build the XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language)-enabled tool allowing subscribers to retrieve financial information directly while working within Microsoft Office Excel.

Intuit shows off new products at first annual accountants' conference

Accountants and QuickBooks ProAdvisors have converged this week at Intuit Inc.'s first annual Accounting Professionals User Conference to examine the issues that currently threaten their ability to work productively across their most critical tasks. Most attendees seemed pleased with the class offerings and quality of instruction. Debra Kilsheimer of Behind The Scenes Financial Services in Port Orange, FL, was glad she attended the conference. "I always like to learn more," she said. Kilsheimer works with her husband and is considering expanding their business.

Microsoft Hires Accounting Firm to Audit MSN Users

Microsoft recently hired accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to audit the number of people who use the MSN network of Internet services. Industry observers say this engagement may be the first of many, as more opportunities open up for accountants to expand their assurance services. PwC's role was to provide independent verification of the number of unique users (300 million), who visited MSN from February 1, 2002 to May 31, 2002.

You can go green and not give up printing with these tips

You want to go paperless, but there are times when you simply have to use the printer. Never fear. You can be considerate of the environment and still do some printing as you'll see with these office tips, courtesy of our UK sister site, 1. Use both sides of the paperBuying the right printer can make a significant difference in your paper consumption.

Business intelligence: The tip of the iceberg

One of our UK sister sites,, has published a special supplement dedicated to the world of business intelligence. We feel that many of the articles are relevent to our U.S. audience.BI market consolidation: What does it mean for you?With application software developers from Sage to SAP struggling to maintain growth, industry analyst Gartner predicts that worldwide revenues for BI platforms will grow 11 percent+ to hit $5.8 billion this year.

CPA Technology awards reward innovation

Technologies focused on increasing productivity and efficiency through streamlined workflow processes and management stole the spotlight at the 2008 Tax & Accounting Technology Innovation Awards, held Tuesday, June 12, at the California Accounting and Business Show & Conference in Los Angeles. Now in their fifth year, the Innovation Awards are recognized as a pinnacle of achievement for developers of software, hardware, services, and other technologies geared toward professional accountants and tax preparers.

Multiple monitors: "The quickest and cheapest way to drive up productivity"

You may think this is a thinly disguised ad designed to sell computer monitors, but it isn't. More and more accountants are adopting the practice of using dual monitors … some are even using three or four. The results? They are seeing green, in more ways than one. First, there is much less need to print, therefore less wasted paper and ink. For many, that's the original idea. Then there is the other green... increased productivity, which translates to a greener bottom line. People who swear by multiple monitors say it is the path to ultimate multi-tasking.

Mobile banking expected to soar

More and more, people are ready to go mobile with their banking needs whether their money is at one of the nation's largest banks or their neighborhood credit union. Bypassing the advances of online banking, mobile banking lets customers check their accounts, pay bills, and conduct balance transfers on their cell phones and PDAs via the Internet and secure messaging technology. You may be checking out at the grocery store or picking up dry cleaning but you could also be paying the mortgage.The growth of mobile banking in the United States is expected to be strong.

Microsoft introduces two new training and certification programs

Despite the current air of global economic uncertainty, demand for trained and certified IT professionals is expected to continue apace over the next several years. Research firm IDC forecasts that demand for technology training and education programs will increase by 5.4 percent between 2007 and 2012, with the Americas leading the way with 6.6 percent growth over the forecast period.

Windows XP operating system will still be offered on certain computers

last week at Computex, Microsoft Corp. announced that following the success of Windows on netbooks, the Windows offering is being extended to include nettop devices. Netbooks are commonly referred to as ultralow-cost PCs (ULCPCs) and were originally intended for students and other first-time PC customers in emerging markets.

Microsoft announces $1 million commitment to minority accounting association

In an effort to further its diversity efforts, Microsoft Corp. recently unveiled a $1 million commitment of cash and software over the next three years to the National Association of Black Accountants Inc. (NABA). The multifaceted commitment is an extension of Microsoft's longstanding relationship with NABA.Microsoft's commitment will align with NABA's existing mission to build a pipeline of African-American talent in the accounting and finance profession.

Small businesses are most likely candidates for risky online behavior

Trend Micro Incorporated, a global leader in Internet content security, has reported that in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Japan, employees in small companies took more online risks while on the company network compared to their counterparts in larger organizations. This is the result of a study that explores corporate computer users' perceptions of and experiences with security threats.

Old computers, unwanted mail: Get rid of them without harming the environment

Everyone knows that reduce, reuse, recycle are the watchwords for the green movement, but transferring those goals into a busy office environment may seem daunting.It doesn't have to be that way. One big problem for many CPA firms is getting rid of old computers. They're an environmental hazard because of the lead and mercury inside, and the data on the hard drives represents a security risk. What to do?Here are a few options, as suggested by Network World. Companies can get a small tax write-off by donating old computers to a nonprofit organization, such as the United Way.

10-minute checklist for reviewing your firm's Web site

For many firms, the Web site is your client's first introduction to you. Is it possible that information on your Web site is out of date or that the material has not been changed for months? Does your Web site have the look of a static site that is just a placeholder online, a location where users can find your address and phone number and little more?

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