5 Smartphone Business Apps to Increase Any Accountant’s Productivity

The smartphone is a powerful device and is an important tool for any accountant. Here are 5 essential smartphone business apps to help increase your productivity and your bottom line, all of which are either free or offer free trials.

1. OneDrive

Microsoft’s OneDrive is an online storage tool that will allow you to save and backup files in the cloud. It makes it easy to work with your files anywhere you are, with an intuitive and user-friendly interface. Photos and images can be backed up directly from the camera, and documents can be moved between devices with ease. Set automatic file uploading to cloud storage for security purposes. If your office uses Sharepoint, this tool will integrate with it. OneDrive is a vital tool for any businessperson on the go.

2. GoToMeetinggotomeeting-app

This app integrates flawlessly with Citrix’s GoToMeeting teleconferencing service, so you can attend virtual meetings while away from your computer. Share screens with meeting attendees and use your camera to provide your own visuals. The app allows you to begin a meeting on your phone and then hand it off to your computer and vice-versa, perfect for when you are moving around. Access your cloud storage for documents to present. The app is free to use to attend meetings, however, a GoToMeeting subscription is required to host.

At AccSys, we use Citrix’s GoToAssist to manage our online support, and we love it.

3. Microsoft Remote Desktop

If you use a PC and need access to your computer from your smartphone, this app is the answer. The simple interface harnesses Microsoft’s RemoteFX to easily connect to your computer. Read, modify or move documents and files, run programs and download or stream music and video, all in a secure environment. The app also makes it possible to connect to external monitors to conduct visual presentations directly from your phone.

4. Phone.com Mobile

Phone.com Mobile is a powerful communications tool that lets you seamlessly field phone calls and SMS messages with the same phone number. Your office phone will always be with you, allowing you to conduct business from your business phone number while not having to give out your personal number to contacts. You can also send and receive faxes from your smartphone, and block telemarketing or unwanted phone calls. The app provides separate voicemail inboxes, so business messages will never be mixed with personal ones.

5. Evernoteevernote

Evernote is a popular tool for recording and syncing information across multiple devices. Stay organized, discuss, and collaborate with others with an intuitive and simplified interface. Business cards can be scanned and immediately added to contacts. Track expenses and organize notes while seamlessly sharing the information with others. As well, notes can be dictated or input manually, and all can be organized into tasks and categories. Evernote is an incredibly powerful productivity tool that will make you wonder how you lived without it.

Managing a business is a time-consuming affair, and these apps are essential productivity tools. All are available for download free from the iTunes store and will help push your productivity to the next level.

We are here to help you improve your business operations in any way we can. If we can be of service, email douglas@accsyssolutions.com, or call 1.888.534.4344 to get in touch.


 

 

This is an excerpt from our Technologist Newsletter. You can find more issues of The Technologist here.

Do You Watch “Adagio TV?”

Softrak Youtube channelDid you know that the developers of Adagio Accounting have a YouTube Channel dedicated to helping Adagio users make better use of their product? They have some great “How To Videos”, including Adagio Ledger Batch Entry, Batch Posting, Account Reconciliation, Budgeting, Year End procedures and much more. These videos are all under 5 minutes in length, easy to follow, and are sure to show you some feature you didn’t know Adagio had.

These are the Top Three most downloaded Adagio How To Videos:

1. Adagio Ledger — Close Fiscal Year

2. Adagio Ledger — Batch Entry Options

3. Adagio Ledger — Opening Next Fiscal Year


Find more like these at Softrak’s YouTube Channel!

AOC 2016 Comes To Vancouver May 30th to June 1st, 2016

aoc-2016Join us at the 2016 Adagio Opportunity Conference in Vancouver, BC from May 30th to June 1st, 2016. The AOC is a must attend event for AccSys clients who are serious about Adagio Accounting. Every position in the Accounting Department will benefit: CFO, controller, manager, supervisor, or data entry.

The three day Adagio Opportunity Conference includes access to all the scheduled sessions from May 30th to June 1st, a special evening event, breakfasts, lunches, and a complimentary tablet that included all of your conference materials.

Why Attend the AOC?

As a client of AccSys Solutions, you already understand the value of your accounting system and how training helps you get the most value from it. Do you also know how networking can help you get even more value? There will be ample opportunity to network with other Adagio clients, consultants, dealers, developers, and AccSys and Softrak personnel.

The AOC also provides product training, so you can expand your knowledge of Adagio’s features and capabilities. You will also learn best practices that will help increase your proficiency and productivity. This year’s AOC features new hands-on training, as well!

AOC 2016 Registration

The early bird deadline is April 15, 2016. The early bird registration fee is only $1,495. Second and subsequent registrations from the same company receive a $200 discount.
Click here to register today!

Please note that hotel accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

New for AOC 2016

Many new educational sessions and speakers have been planned for the AOC this year, including:

  • Terry Goodtrack – Chief Executive Officer of AFOA Canada
  • Ward Blatch – K2 Enterprise, Technology Guru
  • Adagio Cloud Hands-On Training Workshops
  • Forms Distribution Using PrintBoss
  • Special Evening Event – Adagio Dinner Theatre and Show Lounge

For more information, visit the 2016 AOC website here.

Kick Start Your Customer Service With Adagio’s New RMA Module

Hot off of Softrak’s development press, Adagio’s new RMA module prints and tracks Return Merchandise Authorizations for users of Adagio OrderEntry.

Efficient processing of returns is a hallmark of good customer service, and an important aspect of a well-tuned inventory control system. Adagio RMA is a welcome addition to Adagio that will surely enhance many aspects of the business performance of its users.

Adagio RMA lets you create an RMA exactly as you would create an Order. RMA’s can be automatically generated by referencing a previous invoice. Track expected receipt dates. When the goods are returned and inspected, create a credit note to apply to the customer account and automatically apply it to a specific invoice if desired. Quantities on RMA are tracked in Adagio Inventory by location. RMA’s can be analyzed by “Return Code Reason”. Expired RMA’s are automatically removed from pending returns in Adagio Inventory.

You can design your own RMA form for your customer to include with their return, and to assist your receiving department in processing the goods on the receiving dock.Adagio RMA

Here’s a quick recap of the main features:

  • Adagio RMA allows you to enter, print/email and track Return Merchandise Authorizations in Adagio OrderEntry, then create a credit note when returned goods are received.
  • Adds RMA Return Codes to OrderEntry.
  • Adds an RMA Listing report and the Orders/Invoices/Credit Notes report includes an RMA’s option.
  • Quantities on RMA are tracked in Adagio Inventory by Location. The field ‘Qty. on RMA’ has been added to Quantities tab in the item.
  • Adds option in Security Groups to allow creating RMA’s.
  • Adds ‘Default posting to RMA’ option to the Company Profile. Controls whether posting an RMA defaults to posting as an RMA or a credit note.
  • Adds ‘RMA Expires after n days’ option to the Company Profile. Provides a default for RMA creation. When the number of days has been exceeded and the goods have not been returned, the RMA will be flagged as expired and the ‘Qty. on RMA’ decremented in the item.
  • Adds ‘RMA Location defaults’ option to the Company Profile. Specifies the default Location for returned goods.

Note: Adagio RMA is an Add-on product for Adagio OrderEntry. Adagio RMA requires OrderEntry 9.2A (2016.01.11) or higher. If you have OE 9.2 (2015.07.29) you must install the OE Service Pack 9.2A (2016.01.11). Adagio RMA is compatible with Adagio Inventory 8.1A and higher. However, Adagio Inventory 9.2A is recommended.


This is an excerpt from our Score Newsletter. Read more here.

6 Proactive Payroll Practices You Need To Implement in 2016

2016 payroll planningPayroll professionals are continuously looking for ways to be more efficient, effective and compliant. By looking for opportunities to increase your compliance expertise, develop process improvements, and deliver better service within your company, you can personally contribute significant value to your organization’s goals, while helping them their manage business risk.

While you have likely just begun the activities for 2015 year-end, now is the right time to think about how to improve your year-end practices for 2016 and beyond. Have you thought about how you could manage year-end differently to increase accuracy and reduce the stress of processing both payrolls and year-end tax forms at the same time? Here are a few proactive practices to consider implementing in 2016 (or even now).

1. Access and communicate the impact of legislative changes

Ensure that you read the latest federal and provincial legislative and regulatory updates. Consider attending the Canadian Payroll Association’s Professional Development Seminars to stay current on upcoming legislative and administrative changes. Then, take it a step further by preparing a short internal document outlining how these changes might impact your employer specifically. Meet with management or the business owner to discuss these changes, to create more awareness of potential compliance issues.

2. Identify and maximize government programs

Be proactive and show your employer how certain government programs can reduce some of their costs. For example, many employers do not know that having extended medical programs can actually reduce EI rates.

3. Conduct year-end balancing and reconciliation quarterly

The most effective year-end best practice is to conduct a tax form balancing and reconciliation exercise on a quarterly basis, using the CPA’s 2015 Year-End/New Year Checklist (available to its members in the November 2015 issue of Dialogue Magazine). Establishing the discipline of a quarterly review of year-end will uncover errors and issues earlier, and eliminate the stress of last minute changes and adjustments during the peak year-end processing period. It has been our experience that practitioners who embrace quarterly year-end balancing as a best practice have the most error free year-end results.

4. Improve your taxable benefit administration

Do you wait until the end of the year to handle most taxable benefits? Make this review part of your quarterly analysis, and there will be less backlog at year end.

5. Deliver more self-service options to employees

Do you distribute electronic tax forms to employees? This practice can reduce your workload and provide more timely, convenient and secure services. Electronic tax forms are far more secure than paper tax forms that may go missing in the mail, and can provide time and cost savings for you and your organization.

6. Consider electronic provincial filing

Let’s not forget that Canadian year-end may also require filing with a number of provincial government agencies, such as for Worker’s Compensation or Employer Health Tax. Consider investigating electronic filing options with them to reduce your workload next year-end.

You have already invested in payroll technology. Now is the time to optimize this technology to proactively conduct many of your year-end activities on a quarterly basis as a best practice.

Information in this article has been excerpted from the Canadian Payroll Association Dialogue Magazine, which is one of the many benefits of CPA Membership. Consider joining the CPA today!


This article is from our Payroll Quarterly newsletter. You can view back issues and subscribe online here.

 

Do You Know How Adagio BankRec Can Save You Money?

Savvy business owners know that time is money, and that time saved is like money earned.

Smart companies look for ways to leverage technology to free them from time-consuming duties that can easily be automated. That’s why we encourage all our customers to add Adagio BankRec to their accounting system.

One customer that took our advice reports that Adagio BankRec reduced a three-day job for one user to just 20 minutes a month!

canadian-moneyThe greatest time-saver is automatic matching from the electronic list of what the bank has cleared with outstanding items in Adagio. You can also set up BankRec to evaluate the description of unmatched items (such as interest charges) and make a batch of transactions to be posted.

Sometimes the bank has broken down one outstanding item into several items in the electronic bank file. You can match one entry to many, many entries to one, and many entries to many. You can even “clear with error” if the difference is not material.

Here are other major features of Adagio BankRec:

  • A Cash Flow report – which brings in data from AR and AP
  • Print receipts for payments on account or donations
  • Set up credit card accounts as if they were bank accounts and make ‘statement rules’ to evaluate descriptions to create transaction batches

If you’re not using Adagio BankRec and would like to learn more about it, please contact me at douglas@accsyssolutions.com or call us at 1-888-534-4344.

5 Online Vulnerabilities And How To Protect Your Business

Every day we read about a business or individual who has had their personal information compromised. Securing both networks and personal devices is crucial for those who wish to protect sensitive information. One of the best ways to do this is to understand the top five areas that are prone to security breaches.

Compromised Passwords

bunch of old brass and bronze keys for sale at flea market

One of the most common areas of attack is the compromised password. This is caused by weak passwords. Tools can be used to guess passwords, and the less complex passwords can be cracked easily. Many people use the same password for all their services. This can lead to a great deal of data loss if that single password is compromised.

It is a good idea to use complex passwords. The best ones are comprised of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. It is, also, a good practice to use different passwords for each service that is accessed. See our article here about “How To Create A Great Password”.

Network Permissions

Another point of attack is from inside a network. Sadly, this is very common. An example of this is the unhappy employee who wants to do damage before leaving a company.

The best way to combat this scenario is to make sure that employees only have the permissions they need to do their job. First, do not give administrative access to everyone in the company. This may seem like common sense to some, but many companies do this for simplicity. Secondly, use permissions when available. Most operating systems give administrators the ability to set permissions on folders and users. For example, not everyone needs access to finance information.

Unlocked Devices

Another security mistake is allowing physical access to a device to someone who shouldn’t have access. A company can set up security on a network,; but, if an administrator, for example, walks away from their terminal without locking it, anyone else can walk up and cause damage.

Encourage users to lock their computers when they are not using them. That forces anyone to enter a password to access the computer. Also, disable access to external drives. This prevents anyone from walking up to an unattended computer, inserting a thumb drive and copying important information.

Malware

A hacker with a hood with laptop. Online network danger.

One of the most common forms of attack is malicious software, or “malware”. Typically, this software is secretly bundled with software the user believes to be useful or legitimate. Once installed, the software can exploit the computer and network in various ways.

Users should be careful about what they install and where they get files. Be sure the download location is from a trusted source. Torrent sites, movie streaming sites and adult sites are rife with malware and malicious software. It is best to avoid these sites. Lastly, files should be scanned by a virus scanner before installing to make sure they are not infected.
Learn more about Malware in our Technologist Article: “Malicious Software And Your Business”.

Operating System Vulnerability

The last point of entry discussed is through the operating system. If a hacker is able to access the operating system, they can install software, malware or other tools to attack a PC or network. If the PC has administrative privileges, the hacker can do even more damage.

As mentioned before, it is best to limit the users that have administrative rights to devices. Make sure devices are protected with virus scanners, and that they are updated. Ensure operating systems are updated frequently to patch holes found by the vendor.

The issue of security is becoming more prominent every day. Education is the primary weapon in protection. An educated user is your first line of defense.
Do you have a question about this topic, or a security concern to discuss? Give us a call at 1-888-534-4344 or email ddickie@accsyssolutions.com.


 

 

This is an excerpt from our Technologist Newsletter. You can find more issues of The Technologist here.

How Softrak Took A Different Approach to Cloud Computing With Adagio

Adagio In The cloudThe traditional Software as a Service (SaaS) model has disadvantages for the accounting software market, and the developers of Adagio recognize this. In a traditional SaaS model, forcing everyone onto a single shared application means that updates and upgrades are installed on the vendor’s schedule, as opposed to the client’s. It also greatly limits integration with 3rd party applications. Fortunately, Softrak took a very different approach.

Adagio runs in the cloud as a hosted solution. It maintains the same look and feel as an on-premise (or LAN-based) implementation. Click on the Adagio icon on your desktop and Adagio Cloud looks the same as its on-premise counterpart. The biggest advantage to Adagio in the Cloud is that we can schedule the installation of updates and upgrades at a time that makes sense for your business. This way, we don’t introduce changes to the software in the midst of a tax audit, or while you are trying to close your year-end. You can get the upgrades installed when there is minimal impact to your business. As far as we know, Adagio is the only cloud accounting product that offers this capability.

In addition to frequent backups in the cloud, Adagio Cloud’s Datacare utility allows you to back up your data to a local storage device. The “offsite backup” for your cloud accounting can be in your own office! If there was ever a protracted interruption to internet connectivity, we could install the required accounting modules to a local server and quickly get your accounting department back in business. Again, as far as we know, Adagio is the only cloud accounting product that offers this capability. And having the data in your office under your control removes any question about who controls the data.

Unlike most of its competitors, Softrak is committed to maintaining its on-premise offering. They offer both on-premise and cloud, knowing that our customers want the choice. They want to provide great accounting software at an affordable price, and they don’t want to force customers to the cloud if they are not ready.

Get in touch today and let’s talk about whether cloud computing makes sense for your accounting system.

Is Your HR Department Drowning in Paper?

Pile of documents on desk stack up high waiting to be managed

Payroll and HR Departments know that forms, documents and paper stacks are a fact of life.  Here are just a few examples of the documents that contribute to the paper chase most HR professional deal with on a regular basis:

  • Offer letters
  • Acceptance letters
  • Employment contracts
  • Employee photos
  • Performance reviews
  • Tax forms
  • NDAs
  • Policy acknowledgement
  • Emergency contacts
  • Health and safety acknowledgements

And the items above are just the tip of the iceberg. How many documents are required for you organization? Then multiple the number of documents by the number of employees and suddenly we can all appreciate the mountain of paperwork HR must manage on a daily basis.

We see this regularly in our work with small to mid-sized businesses. You need to ensure consistency and compliance, and tracking paper isn’t the most efficient way to do so.

SmartRecords HR

We recommend SmartRecords HR for PayDirt Payroll to help you maintain order and control of your employee information. It will store, track, and retrieve any document, data file, report, listing, specification file, or record within your employee’s data.

It’s easy to learn. You don’t have to be a expert programmer. User can easily set up new data fields and document types as needed. SmartRecords can be tailored to meet your particular needs.

Adagio ePrint

If you are an Adagio user, then Adagio ePrint can also cut down significantly on the paper your office produces and stores. Adagio ePrint enables printout management and filing within all Adagio modules. When Adagio ePrint is installed, all reports and forms in Adagio can be automatically “printed” to PDF and saved with unique, meaningful, auto-generated names in a filing system of your choosing. It not only saves you paper, but it makes has great search functions, which can eliminate hours of time wasted hunting down documents. Check out our latest blog post about Adagio ePrint here.

Will Your Your Adagio Backup Plan Hold Up?

backup_wpWe’ve all heard the nightmare stories of companies that suffer data disasters, and find themselves without proper backups, losing weeks or months of transactional data. From the front lines, we can tell you that these are not urban myths. These stories are true! We cannot stress enough the importance of maintaining sound backup practices, especially when it comes to your business’s financial data.

We frequently encourage our clients to take proper backup precautions with their data, and will continue to do so until the cows come home. As part of these efforts, we have published a white paper entitled “Best Practices for Backing Up”, and we encourage you to download it here: Best Practices for Backing Up White Paper. This white paper is free and contains sound, practical advice on how to both prevent and prepare for the worst.

We also want to introduce you to a cloud-based backup service that we recommend: VitaleSafe. VitaleSafe`s shadowSafe encrypted off-site storage allows you to securely store and share all your files and folders. While we have many reasons for recommending VitaleSafe, our most compelling reason is that the data is stored in Canada.

Why is it important that your data be physically stored in Canada? There are two compelling reasons to keep your data on home turf. Firstly, your data cannot be accessed by foreign governments. If your data is stored in the United States, on the other hand, your data can be seized at any time, without warrant, thanks to their Patriot Act. Secondly, should you require the physical backup appliance for an emergency restoration, there is no risk of that appliance getting tied up in customs when you need it most.

VitalESafeIf you want a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery solution for your organization that includes everything that you need, shadowSafe by VitalESafe is for you. As long as you maintain your shadowSafe subscription there’s never anything to purchase. They provide you with the software, hardware, secure offsite storage in Canada, installation, and daily monitoring required to ensure that all of your information is backed up (both onsite backup and to their secure data center). If you have a need to restore your data, VitalEsafe and AccSys Solutions are available to work with you (or your IT provider) to not only restore your data, but your entire server as well (in the event of a total server failure).