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Ergonomics to Improve Your Firm’s Productivity

Accountants spend huge amounts of time at their desks, many of which were acquired before the advent of multiple monitors and the knowledge of optimum ergonomic desk configurations.  While most of us were taught in school that sitting up straight, having an organized study space with good lighting, and focusing on one subject at a time makes us more productive, those lessons are often forgotten within firms, particularly during the more hectic busy seasons when individual productivity really needs to be optimized.

When a discussion on ergonomics comes up, most partners think about extreme examples such as the lost productivity of a co-worker due to a repetitive stress injury or absenteeism caused by a person with a chronic issue such as back pain.  While critical issues must take precedence, owners often forget about or discount the daily loss of productivity caused by an improper working environment.  Improper equipment and subpar work environments create fatigue that cause more work errors, resulting in lower profitability.  Add on top of that study after study pointing to the negative

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Xcentric Recognized as Business of Excellence

The City of Alpharetta (where we are headquartered) just sent us these beautiful awards to honor us as a 2014 Business of Excellence. This award is given to businesses within the city limits that are seen as valuable to the community. Thanks Alpharetta for your support!

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Free Resource: The Role of Technology During a Merger or Acquisition

What’s inside

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, we have found that there are several technology considerations firms often fail to take into account before jumping into the transition. This white paper will go through some of these considerations as well as highlight some tips for before, during and after a Merger or Acquisition.

Excerpt

Firms should also plan for the centralization of all applications by a specific date so that everyone becomes part of the single, merged practice moving forward. In the long run, maintaining separate practices operating under the same banner costs everyone more as duplicate licenses, IT support, and network infrastructure have to be maintained as well as increased training costs caused by the lack of standardization.

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Mobile Techs from CES 2015

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) provides a unique opportunity to see and experience the tools and technologies that will be hitting the market in the year ahead. Over three days, we were able to cover much of the exhibit venues with a primary focus on identifying mobile technologies that could make accountants more productive. Below we list our top 10 mobile finds, which should be evaluated for the benefits they could someday bring you and your firm.

New Dell XPS 13

My current Dell XPS 13 is simply the best mobile laptop I have ever worked with, and Dell has improved upon it by making the chassis thinner and smaller, while retaining the same size screen as my legacy XPS 13. This is done by reducing the bezel on three sides and fitting it into the form factor of a smaller traditional 11-inch laptop. This updated version claims to have 15 hours of battery life, which is amazing, as I have used my current XPS 13 often for five hours and never run out of power. This is a true road warrior laptop.

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Shedding Light on Social Media & Disaster Communications: Disaster Recovery Tip

Author: Trevor Mickelson, CPA Practice Leader, Agility Recovery

There’s no doubt about it – social media is changing the way we communicate. These online tools, once thought to be for personal use only, have asserted their dominance in times of emergency as go-to sources for news and updates.

However, despite its popularity, social media and disaster communications can still be confusing when it comes to implementing a strategy of your own. What do you say in an emergency? When do you say it? How do you say it?

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Xcentric Shout-out in BuyerView 2015

Software Advice is a helpful resource for companies who are looking for software. They have reviews and research on the thousands of applications that buyers have to choose from. Because of the exposure they have to buyers’ needs, feedback from current users and other resources, they came up with a report of their findings for people looking to buy software in 2015. They even divided the report into specific industries.

Our Director of Consulting, Roman Kepczyk, was used as an expert resource in the accounting industry for the Accounting Software BuyerView. Below is the list of their key findings for 2015:

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Merger Success: Bringing IT into the Equation

The improving economy has bolstered merger discussions amongst CPA firms with one of the primary differences being that negotiations and consolidations of practices are occurring in a much shorter time frame.  One thing that has not changed, is that in most cases IT considerations are not being discussed until after the deals are inked, which can lead to subpar integration or worse a failed merger that ends up costing everyone.  Partners involved in negotiations will increase the odds of a successful merger by making key information technology decisions earlier in the process.  Below we list our top ten IT discussion points prior to finalizing a merger and the core items firms should agree upon integrating:

1. Tax Application Compatibility

There is no “one size fits all” tax application and the higher level products that are more effective at multi-state, consolidated, and complex returns are not as efficient at cranking out a high volume of simpler 1040s.  Moving clients either way leads to less effective production impacting a percentage of the returns reducing their profitability. The firm’s method

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Cloud Secret Sauce: PVS – Keeping Multiple, Redundant Servers the Same

Author: Ian Bennett, Xcentric Technical Sales Specialist

What is the ‘secret sauce’ of keeping servers the same? PVS.

PVS (Provisioning Services) is an infrastructure design and toolkit developed by Citrix that allows a single disk image (i.e.: server) to be multiplied and streamed to create identical virtual servers across a network. It’s an essential part of any cloud network that follows industry best.

Here at Xcentric, we utilize a PVS environment custom built by our infrastructure engineers around the needs of accounting firms. It’s an indispensable part of our cloud network and provides advanced server management and creation capabilities to our support teams that can’t be found in other offerings.

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1st Annual Cloud Conference Registration is Now Open!

We’re thrilled to announce that we’re having our first Cloud Conference later this year. This event is exclusively for our Xcentric Cloud clients. Registration is now open! The sooner you register the better, as Early Bird pricing ends on June 1, 2015.

The event will take place on August 24-26, 2015 at the W Hotel Buckhead in Atlanta, GA. We chose this location as it is conveniently located by area attractions, public transportation, and has great staff and dining options.

We are excited to host this event and hope to see faces representing all of our Cloud firms.

Agenda at a Glance

Tour the state of the art data center where the Xcentric Cloud and your client data lives
Partner roundtable discussions on firm and technology best practices based on firm size
Administrator roundtable discussions on technology and processes
Exciting group meals with a southern flare, local flavors, and great drinks at the W and Cook Hall (both menus created by Chef David Gross)!
Meet your Client Services Manager and other key contacts at Xcentric

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