Good read with takeaways for all small business. Agile needs to be an action or the modifier of actions. For all leadership and management
Excerpt: Many software products benefit from a continuous improvement model, and for the teams working on them, increased agility is inevitable. Yet, despite dozens of books on the subject, thousands of eager coaches, and a multitude of software vendors hawking products to make agile development “easier”, many companies struggle to get to a point of true agility #i.e., being agile instead of “doing agile”#.
There are many causes for failed adoption of agile development, but the one that seems to be least often addressed is how people who are comfortable in a waterfall world adapt to this new way of working. For those in some roles — software engineers, for example — the core activity doesn’t change: they continue to write the code. For others, the path is not so clear.
Read full article via How We Finally Made Agile Development Work – Jeff Gothelf – Harvard Business Review.
Guest Post by Helen Hoefele
There are many reasons to carefully track and manage your business expenses. In addition to having an up-to-date readily-available view of your bottom line, it allows you to more easily categorize expenses and identify areas where cuts or adjustments are needed. Aside from the obvious legal requirements around tracking expenses, you could also miss out on being able to quickly quantify potential money-saving tax breaks and deductions. Tracking your business’s expenses doesn’t have to be time consuming. The right expense tracking software can quickly replace any and all of your confusing and time consuming manual efforts with a more streamlined automated experience.
Say Goodbye to Spreadsheets
Over time, even the best-designed spreadsheet can become difficult to manage. Have you ever tried scrolling through a massive spreadsheet to make sense of your business data? It’s not easy. The right software can allow you to do away with cumbersome spreadsheets once and for all. Without having to manually sort through poorly categorized data entries, you will see how much easier it is to work with data that is cleanly entered and organized from the point of origin.
Cut Back on Paperwork
To increase the efficiency and productivity of your business, you should do what you can to cut back on the amount of paperwork that is generated. That can be accomplished with by professionally automating, organizing, and digitizing all your hard-copy files. Large stacks of paper can be replaced with secure, backed-up, and neatly organized computer files. You’ll no longer have to dig through boxes of receipts and invoices to match up hard-copies with vague manually captured records. All supporting documentation can be digitized, labeled, and appropriately linked to their matching entry.
Enjoy Easier Reporting and Auditing
Today’s best expense tracking programs allow you to generate useful summarizing reports quickly and easily. With a spreadsheet, you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the report you need. With a well-designed automated data tracking program, you can choose from a variety of different pre-built reports or develop customized reports that include information that matters to you. The same is true about audits. You’ll no longer dread them. You’ll have the ability to get the information you need for an audit in seconds.
To run the most profitable and successful business possible, it pays to take full advantage of today’s best technologies. Tracking expenses can be handled more quickly, easily and accurately with good software programs such as a high-quality expense tracking software. If you’re ready to be done with expense tracking spreadsheets once and for all, invest in the right software now.
Citations: Photo Credit: title=”Excel for Macintosh Screen Shot 1987-88″ by Microsoft Sweden, on Flickr
About Author: Helen Hoefele is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow her @figmentations. http://www.ghg.com
For all small business — article contains some great tips and advice on how-to evaluate your best practices needs. Information technology
Excerpt: The software your company uses can dictate the shareability, flexibility, and accessibility of important information. And, as in most things, what’s right for some may not be right for others
Read full article via David Wood Of Jun Group On Software And The Cloud – Business Insider.
Interviewee’s prediction of what our future holds — I think probably a lot of truth here, but would nevertheless venture that the consumer is going to be steps ahead of the accounting industry in adoption of some of these — the accounting industry is governed by compliance regulations and other strictures that make on-the-fly accounting a bit scary at best.
Excerpt: “As I look around at new innovations, new venture capital investments and new successes in the market,” Sleeter says, “I’m becoming more and more convinced that over the next few years there will be significant changes for those of us in the business of accounting software consulting (or teaching), bookkeeping, accounting, or tax preparation,”
Read full article via Tech Tools for Easy Accounting : Money :: American Express OPEN Forum.
This is a reprint from January 2012 — great list of free PIM. Check out the highlights of each one.
Excerpt: When you’re looking for a way to be more productive, track your contacts, ensure you know when your appointments are, and follow your tasks, you’re looking for PIM software. Learn about the best free PIM software and how it can help you meet your productivity goals in this helpful article.
Read full descriptive list via The Best Free PIM Software to Help Increase Your Productivity. From BrightHub
A good question and some answers for everyone … article also includes some how-to measure needs to expected results.
Excerpt: Making the business case for an accounting or HR system is clear-cut: Avoid unnecessary costs, manage cash better, reduce risk and you’re done. If you were to invest twice as much in one of those systems, you might increase business payoff by 20 percent, so you can find the optimization point for ROI in a single spreadsheet.
With a manufacturing systems, the extra payoff from investing in all the fanciest supply-chain add-ons, such as constraint-based production scheduling and inventory optimization, just isn’t there for most businesses. For both the CIO and the CFO, these systems are easy to think about–the data is hard to debate, and the outcomes are pretty much black and white.
Then there’s the CRM system. To misquote Tom Lehrer, “Life is like a CRM system: What you get out of it depends on what you put into it.”
Read full article via How Much Should You Spend on CRM Software? | CFOworld.
Small business need-to-know with some how-to thrown in. A good information piece for those who are not best using the open source software now widely available — how can your business benefit from either a “gernerator” or “user” experience. Information technology
Excerpt: Firms often go to great lengths to protect the intellectual property that is the source of their competitive advantage and profit margin, creating massive security systems and requiring staff to sign noncompete agreements that prevent them from working for the competition for a set number of years after they leave the firm.
Yet the rise of open-source software has bucked the conventional wisdom about protecting intellectual property. Open-source products — including but not limited to software — are typically produced on a pro bono basis or by expert volunteers and made available for free to the public
Read full article via Columbia Ideas at Work : Feature : Ticket+to+Free+Ride.
Since most of us rely on MS Office in our every day work world, I believe this early-look at what the 2013 suite release is of interest. Software and information technology
Excerpt: … after using Office 2013 for a week, I do not want to go back. In the course of writing this first look (it’s far too early for a review), I was able to switch between multiple devices without skipping a beat. I started on a desktop, moved to a notebook, picked up a tablet … documents (with changes intact) and settings followed me without requiring that I do anything more than sign in to my new Office account.
Read full article via Microsoft defends desktop while moving Office 2013 to the cloud | ZDNet.
The article gives you detail on a few of the accounting solutions software available for small businesses and startups…..to include……QuickBooks first. Quickbooks has other offerings besides those listed in the article ….. it is the QB software I most often get calls for.. or work with… in a small business. The most important advice….don’t put off getting this part of your good recordkeeping launched.
Excerpt………..a small business accounting solution is critical: You need to be able to see at a glance the health of your finances and quickly identify trends and opportunities. And forget accounting jargon and inscrutable ledger screens. Today’s approachable packages generally hide the nuts-and-bolts and deliver top-level “dashboard” synopses ………..
Read full article…….via The Ultimate Small Business Accounting Software Guide. From Small Business Computing
Data management reality check……small business takeaways..
Excerpt….The big hype around Big Data is getting a reality check.
For years, technologists have predicted that software that makes it easier and cheaper to analyze vast amounts of data would revolutionize business. One of the hottest contenders is Hadoop, a much-discussed variety of software that sprang from developments at companies that include Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.
Rob Bearden, CEO of Hortonworks, which helps companies implement Hadoop technology.Hadoop, which comes in free versions under what the industry calls an open-source license, aims to lower costs by storing data in chunks across many inexpensive servers and storage systems.
Read full article…..via Hadoop Has Promise but Also Problems – WSJ.com.
Information technology, apps, data management……. this article sort of confirms what we already can see.
Excerpt…….The mission he described was to create uber-suites of “hot-pluggable” big-module software for finance, HR and the rest with Siebel analytics, reports, alerts and dashboards for business intelligence and performance monitoring.
Middleware was the talk of the day, and between Fusion and SAP’s earlier NetWeaver, we were envisioning suites of heterogeneous software assembling like Transformer robots to tackle the big adversaries of enterprise processing.
Today apps and analytics are moving more to where the data is than the other way around. Software is still big, including purposeful middleware, but as modular CRM, HR and PLM mature, faster growth is shifting to emerging analytic apps of the type being snapped up by the enterprise vendors, notably IBM, as Andrew Bartels of Forrester Research was telling me last week.
Read full article…..via Apps Overtaking Middleware – Information Management Blogs Article. From Information Management
Update on predictions for information technology spending in 2012
Excerpt…..European economic worries and flood concerns in Thailand led Gartner to reduce its overall IT spending growth expectations for the coming year, though there are bright spots in enterprise software for data management and virtualization.
Read full article……via Cloud Computing Exchange | Presented by Information Management.
How Intuit is meeting today’s challenges and some of their plans for future challenges…… the effects on small business Accounting
Excerpt……With about $4 billion in revenue, Intuit derives 40% of its sales from small business–related products, including QuickBooks. Another 40% comes from consumer tax programs such as Turbo Tax, and related software for tax professionals. The final 20% comes from a variety of buckets, including Quicken and international business.
Here, Williams talks to CFO about what’s next for QuickBooks, how the cloud and mobile computing have affected product development and go-to-market strategy, how the European Union debt crisis affects his stock, and why he doesn’t mind meeting with short-sellers.
Read full interview……via Quickbooks Intuit Netsuite Great Plains mobile apps. From CFO.com