Software Tool Spotlight: Make Audits Smoother with Suralink

Suralink is a cloud-based platform that combines the multiple tools that CPA firms traditionally use on audits and other complex engagements for document exchange and communicating with clients. Central to Suralink is a dynamic PBC needs list that is integrated into a secure file hosting platform. Layered on top of the needs list is audit and tax specific workflow plus the ability to communicate back and forth with clients regarding the status of individual requests and the overall engagement. A dashboard, timeline, and key data analytics provide partners and managers with a high-level view of each engagement for better decision making. Finally, firms can request, receive, track and manage all of their needs from a single platform while providing a better client experience. (more…)

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: (more…)

Losing the Microsoft Licensing Battle

Licensing is difficult. Microsoft licensing is really difficult. Microsoft licensing on a terminal server is really, really difficult. As the Sales Engineer for Xcentric, I am keenly aware of the licensing challenges that accounting firms face.

Microsoft licensing is difficult to manage because it can involve a lot of choices: Retail, Software Assurance, Enterprise, Select, Open Value, Open Business, Spread Payment, Upfront Payment, and then you have to deal with new version of applications every few years. In order to maintain compliance it requires a lot of thought. If a firm is found not to be in compliance, the fees can be as high as $10k per occurrence. If this licensing is on a Terminal Server then you have to make sure you have additional licensing for Servers, SQL servers and CALs (User or Device). (more…)

Beware of Outlook’s Autocomplete

You’re writing an email in outlook, and you click in the To field. You type the first few letters of the recipient’s name. M…i…c… Michael. There. Down arrow, enter key. Next field.

That was fast and easy. Chances are though, if something happened to your computer, those contacts could easily disappear because they may not actually be saved to your “real” contacts. Or, if you tried to make an export of your contacts for any reason, the autocomplete list would again be excluded. These *autocomplete* contacts as they can be called, are stored in a separate file called an NK2 file.

There are ways to extract these contacts into something like a CSV file and then import them into your contacts – see NK2.info and Nirsoft. However, this creates more work for everyone involved – you, your IT staff, and the person in the office/cube next to you.

Overall, here are a few reasons why you should make sure your frequently used contacts are saved to your mail account:
1. Prevents loss of contacts in the event that the NK2 file is corrupted
2. Ensures that contacts will be in place through a mail server upgrade, as well as an Outlook upgrade
3. Gives access to contacts across all devices and platforms – Outlook, Web (OWA), Mobile phone
4. One less thing to contact IT about

Five Reasons Windows 7 is Fun & Productive

Beyond the world of Windows XP, there lies a new age in computers.  When the time comes for you to switch to Microsoft’s newest operating system, 7 will be waiting for you with enhancements that will make your transition extremely pleasing.  No need for overly pricey third party software; these enhancements come ready out of the box and pack a punch that will make you wish you had switched to 7 sooner.

Jump Lists – Windows 7 makes it easy to access your most used documents, spreadsheets, web pages, and media.  Simply right click on an item in your task bar and a list of your most recently used items will appear in a popup window.  You can also pin documents, much like a bookmark, and your document will always be listed in the jump list, ready to open with a simple click. (more…)

CPA applications in the Cloud and how to keep the conversation going

Imagine you and a friend are having a good chat at the local coffee shop and mid-conversation he stands up and says, “Keep talking, I’m going just down the street.” So you continue your discussion as he proceeds to walk three doors down and into his favorite pizzeria. You’re still talking, but his ears are no longer within range.

In the realm of cloud computing, this scenario can easily play out unless we are intentional about keeping our applications within communication range of each other.

Many of the applications accounting firms use “talk” to one another to transmit information between them. They’re “integrated.” We’ve been sold on the value of this integration for years and use it to make our practices more efficient.

  • Tax talks to Engagement and Practice to update client records
  • Engagement talks to Microsoft Office to link workpapers
  • Just about everything should talk to the document management system, etc. etc… (more…)

Important QuickBooks Release Notice

Intuit released a major QuickBooks Automatic Update on December 1st with some significant improvements to QuickBooks 2009. However, be aware that this latest version is not compatible with earlier releases, so it is recommended that you review your client base to determine which version is best for your firm based on which versions your clients support.

There are various options depending on which version you and your client base use.  For example, the Accountant’s Copy of R9 will retain compatibility with previous versions, so if you choose to download the latest release, you would still be able to receive, open and return an Accountant’s Copy of your clients’ files in earlier releases of QuickBooks 2008 and 2009, and your clients would be able to accept and upload the Accountant’s Copy without moving to QuickBooks 2009 R9.

Click here for more information on QuickBooks 2009 or feel free to contact us at 678.297.0066.

Microsoft Word – Dooms Day? or mild scare?

You may have seen the news as of late as it relates to Microsoft (MS) and the patent lawsuit they have been found guilty of. A good article to read on recent happenings can be found HERE. Since we are talking about Microsoft it is likely this will get settled and/or MS will just buy the company, i4i, out to gain the patent themselves.

BUT…….what happens if they don’t settle? Are you planning on upgrading to the latest MS Word 2007 any time soon? If so you have about 45 days to pull that trigger or you may have to wait an undisclosed amount of time.


MS Outlook 2010

Seems like most people are just catching on with Office 2007 ……but say hello to Office 2010. Using much of the same look/feel of 2007, 2010 looks to have made some things easier, created a cleaner feel, and taken to the web with many of its features. Here is a link to a demo video of the New Outlook 2010 – which is the application that got the most changes from the 2007 version.


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