Technology Takes a Stand

With the increase in technology, I like to take the opportunity to highlight some apps that improve how to conduct business. The following apps can improve how you see your business.

ScanBizCards

Like many people in business, I have a tendency to collect business cards. The question is what happens to them. Most of the time they end up in a desk drawer or worse lost. This app is a way to collect business cards and always have them at your fingertips. The perfect thing about this app is it take the data off the card and puts into a digital format that I can actually use, an actual contact in my email system.

You simply open the app, and take a picture of the business card. ScanBizCards then works its magic and recognizes the text on the cars. It populates the title, company name, email address, phone number, and other information. It is very accurate, but it does allow for adjustments and the ability to reassign, edit, or delete various fields. After adding the new contact, it will then send an email to them. They will then have your information and not just another business card to add to their pile. This app is quick, easy, and cheap. They have a free version if you just want to try it, and the full version is $1.99. It also is available in both the iOS and Android formats.

Linkedin Connected

Recently Linkedin launched a new app that replaces the old Linkedin Contacts app. It is a new way to look at how you keep in contact with professional in your network. This app has a nice deign that is card-based. Each card has the picture of your contact, and details of upcoming events such as meetings, birthdays, work anniversaries, etc. It also has a button for an action such as to congratulate or connect to the contact. You can sort through the day’s events by swiping sideways or tapping on any card.

Linkedin Connected might appeal to you if you do all your networking on Linkedin. The only problem is if your contacts don’t update their Linkedin profile often, this feature might not be useful. There are some kinks to work out, but it is off to a great start. It links to the Linkedin website. The cost is free, so that is always a bonus, and it is available on both the iOS and Android systems.

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Protect Yourself from Fraud

With the increase in identity theft and fraudulent activity in the last year, it is safe to say that this, unfortunately, will become an increasing trend with companies. Cyber attacks are becoming more and more advanced, although simple methods are still used to steal information for fraud and financial crimes. So how can companies help prevent identity theft, and protect their costumers? [Read more…]

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Tips for Cybersecurity

It seems like everywhere we turn there is a story about cybersecurity. Hackers are trying to undermine the security setup to protect companies from attacks. We know that hackers are more sophisticated and are changing their techniques to stay ahead of the technology developed to keep them out. It is a vicious circle because technology is working to thwart the threat of attack. In this day and age of computers and technology how can companies, large and small, keep ahead of the ever present threat of cyberattacks.

Many times the threats vary in how they come. Some can be highly sophisticated and others are surprisingly simple, but all cyberattacks are targeted to do one thing, gain information and data to use later. There are many tactics that are used in cyberattacks including phishing scams, large data breaches, and viruses. Educating both employees and consumers is one way to help prevent some of the attacks. Everyone needs to be in charge of cybersecurity practices to help prevent future problems.

The following are ways other industries and smaller companies can improve their  cybersecurity:

  • Involve Everyone: This issue is not just and IT issue. Everyone is responsible for maintaining the companies security.
  • Be Constantly Alert: If you do not think it will happen to you, it probably will. You have to believe that you will be attacked and be prepared for what comes.
  • Have a Plan: There needs to be a written plan so if the company is attacked then there are steps and procedures in place to help fix everything. Also, practice to make sure everything work the way you want it to work.
  • Update Regularly: Make sure the products or companies used to protect you company is up-to-date and your defenses are up.
  • Extra Security for Sensitive Information: Build extra security around sensitive data, including personal information, to prevent problems. Help employees to prevent accidental exposure of data.
  • Integrate Information Security with Risk Management: This allows more people to be watching for problems and it can help keep control on problems that arise.
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Global Opportunities: Small Businesses Make the Leap

Crowley Halloran Conference RoomIn today’s business environment, the more ways a company can share their product, the better for the company. Markets all over the world hold potential for small business, but what does it take to get into the foreign markets? Can small business take advantage of the global opportunities? The answer is yes. The global economy has never had more opportunities for small business, and with a strong global financial strategy, small businesses are competing in foreign markets.

To succeed globally, small businesses need to create a global financial strategy. Small businesses will face common issues and a few roadblocks in the global market, but having a well-defined plan can make the difference between being successful and failing in the new market

Some questions to consider when creating your plan are:

  • What performance indicators need measured for both financial and operation purposes?
  • How will accounts receivable and payable be set up and managed?
  • Is there enough support for multiple locations and countries?
  • How will the company keep control over the global financial process?
  • How are local tax regulations and requirements managed for each foreign location?
  • How are different currencies handled in foreign locations?

Being able to answer these questions and any other unique question regarding your company is the best way to start.

Some strategies that help in making a successful transition are setting up multi-entity accounting, understanding foreign tax laws and codes, managing multiple foreign currencies, and having local human resources. Businesses with multi-entity accounting have consolidated their business processes. By consolidating business processes, the company will eliminate duplicate work, create a standard workflow, and be able to support the demands of a more complex business model. Hiring a local accounting firm to help with all the local tax codes and regulations would be extremely useful when breaking into the global market. They will be able to navigate your business through the different regulations, and be able to keep up with the different currency fluctuations. They can also be part of your management team that will take care of the day-to-day running of the business.

Ventures into a new market are exciting new opportunities for small businesses. With a proper plan and a good management team, anyone, even a small business, can take advantage of the global business opportunities.

Here at Crowley & Halloran CPA’s, our consultants would be happy to help you plan and manage your business budget. Click here to request a proposal.

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