Industry Topic Content
2|8| 7|9|12| Expanding the Tool Belt for Today's Successful Contractors
While technology may not be a tool you wear on your tool belt, or erect a building with, for today's generation of construction business owners it is one of the most important tools of success.
1|2|6|8| 7|9|12| White Paper: Dashboards & Scorecards - What Exactly Are They?
As companies continue to invest in business intelligence, analytical tools are becoming more commonplace. Performance reports are no longer enough. For effective performance management, the numbers need to be accompanied by how and why so that managers know what to do next. Dashboards and scorecards are analytical tools that allow you to focus on the measurements that are important to your business. Before you implement either of these tools, you need to understand the differences between them to determine which one is most appropriate for your needs.
1|2|6|8| 7|9|12| White Paper: Escaping the Spreadsheet Quagmire
Now more than ever, effective use of scarce financial resources is essential to driving higher levels of business performance. Unfortunately finance teams spend too much time on the physical machinations of consolidation, internal reporting and external reporting. As a result, finance can’t spend enough time with business leaders analyzing performance and identifying new opportunities. Companies can escape this “Spreadsheet Quagmire” by implementing a Performance Management (PM) solution.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 1|7| White Paper: The Strategic Role of Finance
Finance organizations can be a catalyst for improved business performance by providing actionable information to a company’s most valuable assets – its leaders. Leaders possess a keen knowledge of the marketplace and critical competencies. They combine their market knowledge with internal company information to make operational, tactical and strategic business decisions. The sum of these decisions dictates how well a company performs. For finance to rise to its growing role, it must transform to overcome its current orientation of skills, processes and tools towards transaction processing and historical analysis.
9|8|7|5|4| 1|9| Are You Getting the "Return" on Your Accounting Software Investment?
Purchasing accounting software can be similar to some of your personal expenditures, such as a house or a car. You need something that meets your needs, budget and functional requirements. You want reliability, performance and, above all, a sense of security. All too often software vendors have promised a great deal but delivered a lot less than the customer expected.
1|3|4|6|7|8| 8|12| A Cloud Full of ESI
Cloud computing is alive and flourishing. It has become the popular technology tool for many who want to shift from local PC/Network computer storage and processing to external computers in "the cloud" (on the Internet) handling these types of services.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| Master Data Management Series - Part 2
In the last article we introduced the concept of Master Data Management (MDM) and why it is relevant to a broad range of organizations. We ended the article with some of the indicators you might look for to determine whether you have an operational or analytical MDM challenge within your organization.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 12| Master Data Management – Part I
Regardless of the size of your organization, if you've integrated multiple lines of business systems (such as ERP, CRM, etc.) into your environment, you likely have a Master Data Management (MDM) problem. The likelihood of this is further amplified if you've acquired or merged with other businesses. This article is the first in a series that will serve to educate organizations on the importance of MDM, as well as some of the best practices and pitfalls associated with implementing an MDM solution.
8| 8|12| ESI - Finding the Needle in the Hay Stack
Electronically Stored Information (ESI) as it relates to eDiscovery has caught everyone's attention. Although ESI can be a valuable source of information for many cases, it can also be fraught with information overload and potentially be an expensive nightmare.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 4| Ten Signals of Occupational Fraud - It Could Happen to You
We all think "it can't happen to us." Our business is safe and our controls are sound. Don't be fooled. Fraud is rampant and is increasing rapidly as recessionary pressures take hold of our economy.
1|2|5|6|8| Technical Economic Recovery is Underway, But Job Recovery is Uncertain
Many economic doomsayers continue spreading the word that the economy is in terrible shape and will get worse, but the facts just don't back that up. While government finances are still in turmoil, consumers remain skittish, and job growth is lagging, the worst is definitely behind us and, according to numerous economic indicators, a technical recovery is underway.
4|8| Hard Times Demand Municipal Reform
Government reform and regionalization has been discussed for the past decade, but little has been accomplished - or attempted - in any meaningful way. This is hardly surprising considering Connecticut's makeup and history - a small state of 169 municipalities where home rule abounds.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 4|8|12| Making it Easier to Wave the Red Flag if You Detect Identity Theft
As part of the Fair and Accurate Transactions (FACT) act of 2003, the "Red Flags Rule" requires financial institutions and creditors to develop and implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program (ITPP) to identify possible identity theft that mitigates the potential damage caused by this crime.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| Cloud Based Services Are Here. Are You Ready?
Email, like the telephone, has become a standard form of communication that most people, especially in the business world, take for granted. In order to provide users with this "always on" capability, many large organizations have invested in a variety of technologies (clustering, SANs, etc.) that have cost tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars, and continue to invest to keep software and hardware up-to-date.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8| 9|12| Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way -- 5 Technology Trends to Consider
We can always avail ourselves of new technology solutions to tackle problems in new ways. Some are evolutionary, some are revolutionary and some are subversive. There are five technology trends that your organization can take the lead on, wait for a few first movers and then follow, or simply get out of the way and let the trend pass.
4|3|2|1|5|6|7|8|9| 1|8|12| New Massachusetts Data Security Law Can Mean Harsh Penalties
A law passed in Massachusetts placed stringent new regulations on companies and organizations that are in possession of customers’ personal financial information. These data security measures also included harsh penalties for companies found not to be in full compliance by March 1, 2010, subjecting businesses who fail to adequately protect credit card, debit card, bank account or other financial information to potential fines of more than $100,000.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| PCI Compliance – It's All In The Numbers
Whether it is 14 or 16 numerical digits in length, securing and protecting credit card numbers and all associated information is extremely important. In an age where electronic information can be shared from anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice, people need to know more than ever that their credit card information is being protected. The consequences of this information falling into the wrong hands are simply too severe – identity theft.
8| 9|12| Download Our Whitepaper, Staying Competitive: Are You Getting the Most out of Your Financial Reporting Tools?
All too often, finance departments face the same challenges at the end of every reporting period. In addition to the standard financial reporting package, finance teams today are often taxed with producing both management reports and even key performance indicators. The demand for more sophisticated reporting — results per product line, region, division, customer class or any number of other data points throughout an organization — is increasing. The more information needed, the more time-consuming the period close report preparation task becomes. And to stay competitive in today’s volatile and ever-changing business climate, companies need to move beyond reporting; they need to analyze the data in the reports and adjust their tactics based on the results.
6|9|8| 9|12| Cloud-Based Services are Here - Is Your Organization Ready?
Remember 1983? The A-Team debuts, the final episode of M*A*S*H airs and Cabbage Patch Kids were in high demand. Now, imagine a similar situation today. What if you needed to flex your IT infrastructure to meet a significant spike in demand? You could do it with significant capital outlay, but what about when the fad fades? In 1985 Coleco saw over $600 million in sales, but by 1986 sales dropped to around $250 million. You’d now be stuck with servers, software and staff that are being under- or un-utilized.
6|8| 9|12| Is Your Business Aligned to Move Forward?
The past few years have been as challenging an economy as most of us have ever seen. And the competitive pressures do not seem likely to ease greatly – at least in the short term. One approach that many successful businesses take to remain competitive and profitable is to periodically review and assess the alignment of their business. In particular, they check to make sure that their people, processes and their technology are working well together and delivering as planned. Just like regularly aligning your car tires to minimize wear and get the most miles per gallon of gas, you need to make sure that your fundamental business resources and activities are well balanced and working together smoothly with respect to your particular marketplace, operational goals and strategic objectives.
8| WTIC 1080: Interview with Brian Renstrom on the CT 21st Century Report
Listen to BlumShapiro Partner Brian Renstrom and Ray Dunaway from WTIC 1080 discuss the CT 21st Century Report that was unveiled on March 5.
8| 9|12| The ABCs of Cloud Computing
The term “cloud computing” is the new buzz word and hot topic among many businesses and professionals. Unfortunately, many people do not truly grasp its capabilities, limitations and benefits.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| Business Software Technology Alignment
In our last newsletter we introduced the concept of reviewing and assessing the alignment of your business software technology with your business strategy, processes and people. You might wonder how your business software could get out of alignment in the first place and what impact it could have on your business. It is important to understand how to recognize the symptoms and be able to make critical business decisions for your business when the time comes.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 8|9|12| The Death of SAS70 - The Birth of SSAE16 Standards
In 1980 the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) implemented the Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70, commonly known as SAS No. 70, to review and evaluate the internal controls of a service organization. SAS No. 70 quickly became a standard for the user organizations to obtain assurance that their data was being protected and managed in a secure manner. At the same time, service organizations were using SAS No.70 as a way to show existing and potential customers that they were utilizing industry best practices.
4|8| Information Security, it’s Not Just an IT Thing
Information technology security (IT security), in its most basic sense, refers to the protection of information systems from unauthorized access. The goal and purpose of IT security is to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of personal and/or company information and data.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 11| The Health Care Act Deemed Constitutional by the Supreme Court
On June 28, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court (the Court) made a historic decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its companion law, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (HCERA). In a 5 to 4 decision, the nation's highest court upheld all of the tax provisions and health insurance reforms that were part of the overall health care reform legislation passed in 2010 except for a certain Medicaid provision involving state funding. Critical to the Court's approval of President Obama's signature health care law was its finding that the new law’s mandatory penalty for certain individuals who fail to obtain “minimum essential health insurance coverage” was constitutional based upon Congress' power to tax.
8|9| 9|12| Cloud Productivity: Office 365 vs. Google Apps
In our April newsletter, we introduced the basics of cloud computing with The ABC’s of Cloud Computing. In this article we are going to dive a little deeper and talk about productivity applications in the cloud. Productivity applications are a category of applications that can help your employees accomplish specific jobs such as creating and editing documents, presentations, spreadsheets, databases, charts and graphs. With the cloud becoming a viable and value-added alternative to traditional desktop-based applications, many businesses are choosing cloud-based services such as Microsoft Office365 and Google Apps for their productivity application needs.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 12|15| When BYOD is as Common as a Morning Coffee
As the practice of “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) to work becomes as much of a business norm as a morning coffee, the question becomes how will companies remain secure as businesses — especially those that fall under compliancy rules (such as PCI and HIPAA) — which are still required to comply with regulations when allowing the BYOD model.
6|8|9| 9|12| Software Selection Best Practices
In our last newsletter, we discussed how to recognize if your business software technology aligns with your business strategy, processes and people. If, after undertaking this type of assessment, your organization has decided it’s time for a new software application, it is important to understand the players and processes involved.
8|9| 9|12| Addressing the Risks of Cloud Computing
More and more, businesses are moving to cloud computing, signing up with private providers that make sophisticated applications more affordable as well as setting up their own accounts with public social media sites like Facebook. The trend is confirmed by Microsoft in its global SMB Cloud Adoption Study (2011), which found that 49% of small businesses expect to sign up for at least one cloud service in the next three years.
6|8|9|1|2| 2| Value Drivers For Your Business
By most accounts, there is a wave of small- and medium-sized businesses that will be sold in the next five to ten years. Studies have shown that of the 78 million members of the baby boomer generation, nearly 10% are small business owners. In addition, nearly two-thirds of business owners in the United States do not have children that plan on taking over the family business. This leaves an estimated five to seven million small businesses without a family succession plan. In all likelihood, these businesses will come to market in one of three ways: 1) the owner will leave the business to his or her estate who will either sell or dissolve the company, 2) the owner will become an absentee owner or dissolve the company and retire (leaving market share to be taken by another entity), or 3) the company will be sold to employees or a third party. Of the three scenarios, maximum value to the owner is typically achieved only by a sale to a third party.
6|8|9| 7| Blue Chip Lessons: Optimizing Non-Core Processes
Most transactional processes are not core to your business. Typically, your business’ core competencies are likely something other than accounting, processing payroll or handling payable transactions. However, in order to manage the business, you are reliant on outputs (monthly reports, sales data) from these processes. If not managed well, especially if your business has grown over time, these non-core processes can take time and resources away from operations, depress margins and cost the business thousands of dollars in wasted cash flow.
1|2|6|8|9| 7| Whitepaper: Your Finance Function: How Do You Measure Up?
Your Finance Organization may be simple or complex; its structure dependent on the size and complexity of you overall organization. However, its relationship to the business will change over time. Processes that worked in the past may not really be working effectively right now.
6|8| Why do I need a Data Warehouse?
Businesses measure all sorts of things in order to better manage their business. They measure how much a customer has spent on their products, what products have the best margin and how long it takes to get a product delivered to the customer after the order is confirmed. You name it, and most assuredly someone or some business out there is measuring it.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 7|8| White paper: Your Finance Function - Where do you spend your time?
In our last white paper, we began with an adage that tends to hold true for most organizations: “the thinking that got you where you are may not be the thinking that propels you to the next level”. Your finance function will change, as change is an inevitable reality in a competitive business landscape. The pace is fast. As we know from experience, one day runs into the next and when a finance organization takes a breath, it may find itself with processes that are not as effective as they once were.
8|4|9| 7| 4 Simple Steps for Improving Project Success
In today’s business world, organizations large and small are exploring ways to improve how they initiate, select, plan, track, collaborate and report on key initiatives — or projects. While these initiatives may differ in size and scope from those being worked on by your city, town or agency, government entities can benefit greatly from some of the same methods that have evolved into the professional discipline known as Project Management. Government projects can include anything from running public events, to developing an RFP, to implementing new software, to managing outside building contractors and everything in-between.
8| 7|8| White paper: Sales and Operations Planning
Perhaps the most critical aspect of S&OP, and often somewhat neglected, is the integration of plans from all functional departments, including finance. With that said, does your finance team sit next to operations colleagues at the table or at the other end during the planning process? The focus of this whitepaper is to provide insight on the importance of integrating the office of finance throughout the S&OP cycle.
1|2|6|8|9| 4|6|9|12| eDiscovery and SharePoint 2013 as a Litigation Tool
Electronic discovery or eDiscovery is the process of searching for electronically stored information (ESI) with intentions of using it for legal purposes. Electronically stored information can be found in any type of electronic form; documents, emails, videos or instant messages. It includes any type of file containing information pertaining to a civil lawsuit, audit or investigation.
8|6| 12| Should Your Employees Bring Their Own Devices to Work?
We are witnessing a remarkable increase in the number and variety of portable devices available to consumers. These devices have fundamentally re-defined the concept of what a computer can do, what it can offer us and how it can serve our continuing drive to maximize the productivity of every waking moment. They have become enormously popular; according to a report published by Cisco earlier this year, there will be more mobile devices than people on Earth by the end of 2020.
4|8| 7| Changing LEAN Government from Incremental Improvement to Sweeping Agency Transformation
The LEAN approach is a well-known and often misused process improvement tool because it is regularly implemented without the benefit of a well articulated strategic vision in place. Wanting of sufficient context, the archetypal LEAN effort overstresses operational efficiency at the cost of proficient strategic execution.
1|2|6|8|9| 7| Businesses Need to Avoid the “Virtual Blind Spots”
Often times in the business world, companies can be undermined by what is known as the “virtual blind spot.” Much like actual blind spots on the road, those areas we are unable to see and therefore make us vulnerable. In the business world, these are areas where business leaders fail to identify new opportunities until it’s too late. So how do businesses avoid virtual blind spots?
1|2|6|8|9| 12| Enterprise Social Networks: Should Your Organization Use One?
At home, millions of employees have their own Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking accounts. At work, do you use these tools to organize events and communicate with your co-workers? For most, the answer is probably not. With good reason, these social networks are not managed, private or secured within the confines of each business’ virtual walls. However, a new wave of online, cloud based services called enterprise social networks (ESNs) have entered the market over the last few years and matured.
6|8| 13| A Checklist for Product Portfolio Management
Unless you manufacture commodities or specialize only in building custom products, the lifeblood of your business is innovation and new product development. What issues and risks are impacting the speed and success of your product pipeline? If your organization is like most, you’re likely struggling with having too many new product development projects for the available resources to work on, trying to get the new products out to market as soon as possible and reprioritizing efforts in order to adapt to constantly changing business conditions.
5|8| HIPAA Compliance: When Was The Last Time?
A little over a year has passed since modifications to the HIPAA privacy, security, enforcement and breach notification rules under the HITECH Act were announced. Although the earliest impact of these rules was scheduled for March 26, 2013, all HIPAA-related documents and contracts must be in compliance with the new rules no later than September 22, 2014. The 138-page document outlines a few key points.
8| 12| With Cloud Computing, Security is Paramount
When speaking with businesses about cloud computing, there are many benefits that surface— elasticity, agility and cost savings among them. But there are also some concerns that emerge, with security usually at the top of the list. While it isn’t unreasonable that security should be called into question within the context of cloud computing, it is important to ensure that the scrutiny is focused on the right components. People need to know that the vital information they have stored in the cloud is safe from outside harm.
6|8| 12| Big Data and Business
According to a research report from International Data Group (IDG) published earlier in the year, companies are getting serious about Big Data. Nearly half of all respondents (49%) stated that they either have or have begun implementation of a Big Data solution. Of those companies investing, respondents cited the CEO as the “Largest Supporter of Big Data Efforts”. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers stand to gain a great deal from Big Data, provided they understand what it is, how it differs from traditional reporting and how cloud computing drives the ROI, even for small companies.
8|9| 1|7|12| Seven Reasons to Outsource Your Accounting Practice
In today’s high-stakes business environment, companies outsource some operational functions to save time and money. As one of the first processes to be widely outsourced, accounting procedures continue to be released from in-house operations at an epic rate. This is because outsourced accounting practices can save money and time while offering an unwavering peace of mind to managers. As a business consultant, company owners often ask me whether they, too, should make this switch. My answer, consistently, is “absolutely”.
9|8|6| 12| Workforce Science and Big Data
Workforce science is the application of Big Data methodologies to predict employee performance. In case you need a review, the value of Big Data lies in our ability to leverage massive computational scale to process massive amounts of structured and unstructured data and arrive at a simple prediction.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 7|9|12| Is Cloud Computing Right for Your Company?
With all of the hype surrounding the convenience and efficiency of cloud computing, business owners often ask whether it’s worth moving their financial applications to the cloud. You’ve probably wondered this yourself. The benefits of the cloud are real, but the risks can be, too. What’s important is that you look at the unique features of your company and determine whether the cloud is right for you. In contemplating a switch to cloud computing, one of your first steps should be to consider the potential benefits given your company’s work style, culture and location(s).
6|8| 7| Tools To Help Keep Your Manufacturing Business Efficient
Today, the manufacturing industry faces many challenges. There is global competition, the economy is still rocky and technology is constantly changing. On a positive note, lawmakers are working to find ways to revive an industry (manufacturing) that once fueled our local economy. These tips are a guide to improving your business through efficiencies. They will assist in dealing with today’s constantly changing technology which, in turn, will lead to greater profits.
1|2|3|4|6|7|8|9| 8|12|15| How to Safely “BYOD”
As technology advances and new mobile devices emerge daily, businesses need to continuously evolve their security strategies in order to protect their organizations.
6|8| 12| Securing Your Cloud (Before You Fall From the Sky)
The cloud is a revolutionary technology solution for businesses worldwide. Cloud utilization has led to a reduction in capital expenses, lessened IT department responsibilities and increased workforce access to information. Today, a considerable number of manufacturing businesses take advantage of what cloud computing has to offer. Although the cloud offers a wide array of benefits, it does not mean inherent risks do not exist. Implementing a cloud solution does not automatically protect a business from traditional IT threats and security risks. If you want to enjoy the benefits of the cloud and sleep easy at night, it is vital to fully understand what hazards exist in the world of cloud computing. This article explains cloud computing risks and the approach to take when evaluating a cloud provider.
6|8| 12| Improving Your Business through Globalization, Digitization, Rationalization and Transparency
As the pace of change continues to accelerate for manufacturers, distributors and retailers (MDR) of all sizes, we see four driving forces at play: Globalization, Digitization, Rationalization and Transparency. We will take a quick look at defining these for you, but, more importantly, we will describe how technology, more specifically the cloud, can enable MDR companies of all sizes to manage and take advantage of these forces to improve your business.
1|2|6|8|9| 12| Overcome the Challenge of Outsourcing Technology
At some point in time, technology outsourcing becomes a necessity for all businesses. Whether your staff lacks the expertise to manage and maintain network infrastructure, or your data requires secure off-site storage, there are a number of reasons why technology outsourcing eventually develops into an operational requirement. Even mega-tech giants like Microsoft and IBM, whose core competencies exist through excellence in all things IT, outsource their technology functions to some degree.
4|8| 7|12| Re-imagining The City of the Future
A century ago, as one immigrant population after another made its way to America in search of a better life, their destinations were our country's burgeoning cities. This was where they could build their desired quality of life — they would make friends, educate their children in nearby schools and find good jobs there. Slowly and steadily during the second half of the 20th century, those old cities lost people to growing suburbs, taking their jobs and personal investments with them. Evidence today, however, shows people have a desire to return to urban areas. But in order for that to happen, more of the old simply won't do. Our 21st-century cities must be modern, innovative, accessible, open and technologically advanced to attract people back.
4|8|9| 7| The City of the Future – A Re-Imagining of City Life in the 21st Century
A century ago, as one immigrant population after another made its way to America in search of a better life, their destinations were our country’s burgeoning cities. This was where they could build their desired quality of life—they would make friends, educate their children in nearby schools and find good jobs there. Everything they needed to make their lives whole was there, beneath the steeples and spires and growing skylines.
6|8| 1| Manufacturing Productivity – Cost Reduction Why the Confusion
Today, manufacturers face the constant challenge of providing competitive products to an ever-changing and dynamic marketplace. Besides the daily challenge of producing a quality product within the four walls of the factory, there are numerous external factors at work in the global marketplace influencing customer perceptions and product demand patterns.
8|9| 8|4| Businesses Shouldn’t Live In Fear of Data Breaches – They Should Take Steps to Prevent Them
Every day, hackers who wish to compromise personal information explore new methods of injecting chaos into the lives of people and businesses, often causing widespread panic. There is good news, though. There are proactive steps that can be taken to protect sensitive data from outside harm.
6|8|9| 7|15| How Can You Sleep At Night?
As an executive and leader of your company, you ask yourself the simple question: “As a business, are we protected against a cyber-attack?” It sounds simple. We ask our IT manager or outside IT support company, “Are we protected?” You knew the answer before you asked the question, “Of course we are!” So, you got the answer you wanted…but is it the truth?
6|8|9| 12| Why You Should Care About the Internet of Things
What if you could predict the future? No, seriously, what if you had the ability to know when a machine was likely to break down in your plant, when the escalator would stop working or when the water flow through a cooling pipe had become insufficient? These are all real capabilities that your business can embrace to reduce cost, increase revenue and edge out your competitors by leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT).
8|9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 8|15| Ransomware - The New Pandemic
What is ransomware? How can you mitigate risk? What do you do if infected by ransomware? Learn about all of the above in this compelling and information packed article.
8|9|4|7| 15|8|12| Municipalities, Schools and Non-Profits Need To Protect Against Cyber Attacks
It has become an increasingly common occurrence to see data breaches at large multi-national corporations that have put consumer’s personal information at risk. In recent years businesses such as Anthem, Sony and Target have all been thrown into crisis thanks to hackers breaking into their systems, gaining access to protected information and causing widespread panic.
8|9| 15|8| Cybersecurity Awareness Resources Becoming More Prevalent – Will New England Follow Suit?
New Jersey is paving the way for states to take a leadership role in the fight against cybercrime by taking a more comprehensive and inclusive approach into cyber threat detection and prevention information sharing.
8|9| 15| Why You Had To Pay the Ransom
Your organization recently suffered through a bout with ransomware, you had no choice but to pay the ransom to decrypt your files and get your business back up and running. Now, you’re wondering why it happened and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.
8|9| Sage Intacct: Outsourced Solutions with an In-House Feel
As businesses move themselves to increasingly leaner operations, working to do more with less, the need to handle complex financial work and bookkeeping while keeping it secure is critically important. In 2016 and likely into the future, more small to mid-sized businesses will turn towards outsourced services for support in this area.
8|9| 15|8|12| You’ve outsourced your IT, but are you really “all set”?
Moving to the cloud has many benefits for companies including improved data security, real-time updated information and accessibility for team members. If you’ve recently outsourced your technology systems and data to the cloud and have been incident free since the migration, you’re probably “all set”, right? Before you say yes, let’s go over a few things that you should do at a bare minimum to reduce your risk when outsourcing software systems or technology.
8|9|1|2|3|4|5|6|7| 8|12|15| Are mobile phones your biggest weakness to cyber threats?
Our phones are no longer only for making calls, they’ve evolved into our hand-held personal computers. With this, comes the storing of sensitive data so it's easily available to us―emails, calendars, contact information, passwords, payment data, etc. While these features are great for the traveling or telecommuting employee, it’s also attractive to hackers.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 8|12|15| Cyber Security Facts and Trends Infographic
Learn more about the real costs of cyber attacks with our cybersecurity facts, trends and statistics infographic.
8|9| 15| What is Bitcoin? And Other Bitcoin Basics Explained.
The Bitcoin conversation has been diverse since the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. Some say it’s the “next revolution,” comparing it to the creation and evolution of the Internet. Others believe it’s too early to tell, and that if we don’t all jump on the bitcoin bandwagon, the whole idea could flop.
8|9| 15| Cybersecurity Risk Management: Is My Organization at Risk for a Cyber Attack?
Cybersecurity threats are continually evolving, becoming more sophisticated and harder to both prevent and detect. Your organization has likely already experienced some type of a breach, whether ransomware, phishing or a malicious virus. With the severity and frequency of these threats increasing, you need to make cybersecurity a top priority for your business this year.
8|9| 12| Finding business value in the cloud.
Cloud computing uses the resources of much larger organizations to provide on-demand computing needs around the world. Organizations of all sizes can tap into the same secure hardware and software resources used by the Fortune 50. We all use the cloud every day, perhaps without knowing it. A voice search you make with your phone captures your voice, which gets sent it to Cortana, Alexi, Siri or Google for processing and understanding, then translated into a search, and the results are sent back to your phone or device. This happens so quickly; most people think this processing is happening on their phone when it really happens on supercomputers in the cloud.
6|8| 15| Manufacturers Need to Pay Attention to Cybersecurity Risks
Why has cybersecurity become a risk to manufacturers now when it wasn’t as much of one before? Read our article to find out
6|8| 9|12| The Futurist
It's clear that the speed of progress is increasing and capabilities developed in the previous industrial revolutions empower the next, so let's take a brief look at the history of the previous industrial revolutions and their impact on business and society
4|5|6|8|9| 15| Five Industries with Growing Cybersecurity Needs
While every industry, business, entity and organization is susceptible to cyber-attacks, 2015 has shown a shift in the industries experiencing the highest incident rates. IBM has recently released the 2016 version of its annual IBM X-Force Cyber Security Intelligence Index – a report that provides readers with an overview and detailed look at the types and volume of attacks out there, the industries that are most affected and the key factors enabling hackers to attack.
8| 12| The Basics of Cloud Computing
Do you want to know more about cloud computing basics but don’t know where to start? Learn more about the benefits of the cloud in our latest article.
8| 12| How the Cloud Can Keep Airlines in the Sky
Cloud computing and virtualization are game changers with regards to business continuity and disaster recovery. What can Delta Airlines and your business learn from this?
4|7|8|9| 15| Cyber Security Basics: 10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Computer Network from Viruses and Attacks
Hackers, viruses, worms, ransomware and spyware are only a few things that can do harm to your computer, network and in some cases your wallet. It can be scary to know how easily your identity can be stolen, simply by clicking a malicious link from an email. Although there are numerous ways in which a computer user can be attacked or exploited, there are also many ways you can protect yourself and your company from cyber threats.
1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9| 15| 8 Lessons Learned from History's Biggest Cyber Attacks
Every day, over 4,000 cyber-attacks occur, nearly three attacks every minute. The sophistication and techniques used by hackers is growing and evolving constantly. Fortunately, we can use the lessons learned throughout the history of cyber-attacks to increase our knowledge and awareness, and in turn, better protect ourselves from cyber-attacks.
8|5|7|9| 15| Securing Medical Records From Cyber Attacks is Imperative
Electronic medical records are an innovation that has greatly helped the overall medical industry, but with this improved access comes an urgent need to protect it. Learn more about HIPPA Compliance, Security Risk Analysis, Medical Record Security, and more.
8|9| 15| Phishing, vishing, smishing, pharming...Say What?
So, now you know what ransomware is, you’re a cybersecurity master now, right? Not quite. Keeping up with cybersecurity challenges organization big and small – and keeping up with the lingo can be difficult too. Learn more.
8|9| 15| Training Your Employees on Cybersecurity
Don’t underestimate the power of knowledge. The more your employees know about cybersecurity, the less likely your organization is to fall victim to cyber-attack. Learn more about cybersecurity awareness training.
8| 15| Watch our Video: Cybersecurity Risks for Non-Profit Organizations
Jeff Ziplow, Partner at BlumShapiro Consulting shares key areas that non-profit leaders need to be aware of when it comes to cybersecurity. In the video, Ziplow discusses three key components that are important for non-profits to consider including network security, patch management and user community.
8| 12| Why "the Cloud" is All Sunshine for Non-Profits
Technology is just as important to a non-profit organization as it is for a business, but often the focus of the non-profit's mission takes precedence over technology maintenance and planning (as it should)! This is why cloud computing is such a great opportunity for a non-profit.
8| 12| Welcome to the Revolution
The 4th Industrial Revolution is upon us and our world is about to face some dramatic change. If the first two industrial revolutions replaced the physical power of domesticated animals with mechanical horsepower through the use of steam, electrical and internal combustion engines, the 3rd and 4th industrial revolutions will replace the brainpower of humans who perform what has been considered high-value function jobs such as insurance appraisers and paralegals will be replaced with automated processes.
8| 15| The Dark Side of Clickbait - This Will Shock You...
Clickbait, nowadays it’s hard to avoid it. “You won’t believe it,” “You’ll never guess who said this” are the types of intriguing headlines that tempt us to click that link, otherwise known as clickbait. Some clickbait now serves as a link to malicious websites.
8|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|9| 12| Investing in Technology Helps Businesses Stay Ahead
Everywhere we look, both here in Connecticut and throughout the nation, the largest internal investment being made by businesses is in new technology. Find out how this investment in technology can lead to success for your organization.
8|9| 12| The New Rules of the Game for Technology
You strive to keep costs in line while providing sufficient IT resources to your organization. Historically, the major cost centers of an IT environment have been capital expenditures for hardware, software and retaining capable IT personnel. Cloud Computing has changed the outsourcing calculus.
8| 15| Raising Awareness and Avoiding Cyber Threats This Holiday Season
It’s not surprising that in the rush of the holiday season, best practices for avoiding cyber threats end up low on the priority list. Although it’s important to be vigilant year round, it’s especially important this time of year. Here are 12 scenarios in which you or the company that you work for, could be impacted by cyber threats this holiday season.
8| 12| Watch our Video: 2017 Technology Trends
Hear from members of our Technology Consulting team share their thoughts on digital trends to be on the lookout for in 2017.
4|8| 15| Watch our Video: Cybersecurity Risks for Government Leaders
Learn about the top cybersecurity risks for cities, towns, and school districts. Jeff Ziplow, Partner at BlumShapiro shares some areas that government leaders should consider when it comes to assessing cybersecurity risks and ensuring a government organization has proper cybersecurity risk management plan in place.
8| New Benchmarking Survey - How Was Your Year End Close?
For many firms, January is often the most difficult month of the year. Why? It’s time to close the books and get everything ready for your audit and tax returns. How challenging is your year-end closing process? Participate in Sage Intacct's benchmarking survey and see how your organization compares to others in the industry.
8| 11|15| Phishing for W2’s: Cybersecurity Warning for Your Taxes
With tax season comes an increased level of cybersecurity threats. Read and learn some tips to help keep you protected against an attack this tax season.
8| 12| Technology Talks Podcast: Digital Transformation and the 4th Industrial Revolution
Listen to our new podcast, Technology Talks, hosted by Hector Luciano, Consulting Manager at BlumShapiro Consulting. Each month, Hector will talk about the latest news and trends in technology with different leaders in the field.
8| 12| Do Not Fear the Oncoming Era of Driverless Vehicles
Autonomous vehicles. Driverless cars. Self-driving automobiles. No matter how it is phrased, it still seems like a foreign and futuristic concept to many. Driverless vehicle technology represents the next step for the automobile. Rather than fear it, we should embrace and respect it.
8|6| 12| Investing in Technology Helps Manufacturers Stay Ahead
As a manufacturer, your day likely involves concerns around keeping your customers satisfied, ensuring that your plant floor is operating efficiently, having enough inventory on hand to meet demand or getting your job delivered on time. Technology can help ease these concerns and in fact, transition these concerns into a competitive advantage.
8| 15| The Importance for Manufacturers to Train Employees on Cybersecurity
According to the most recent IBM X-Force Cyber Security Intelligence Index, the manufacturing industry is one of five industries with growing cybersecurity needs. What can you do to make sure your employees are better trained on cybersecurity measures?
8| 12| Technology Talks Podcast: Big Data
In this episode of Technology Talks, Hector Luciano speaks with Brian Berry, Director at BlumShapiro Consulting about big data, the role it can play for your organization and how it connects to Digital Transformation and the 4th Industrial Revolution.
8| 15| The Truth About Two-Step Verification
As the internet becomes an increasingly popular place for cybercriminals to steal personal information and commit internet fraud, a simple login with username and password is no longer enough. Learn how two-step verification can help keep you protected from cyber threats.
8| 14| Ten Signs Your Organization Needs Outsourced Accounting and Finance
You’ve heard about outsourced back office and accounting, but do you know what it really means? How do you know if outsourcing is right for your organization? Our list below highlights the reasons why your organization should think about making the move to outsourced accounting and finance and how it can benefit your organization.
8| 15| Today's Lesson: Cybersecurity for Our Schools
When we think of cybersecurity attacks and vulnerable information, we often think of financial institutions with banking information and credit cards, or hospitals with medical records. But what about our schools? We often forget that schools hold a slew of attractive data for hackers.
8| 12| Technology Talks Podcast: Cloud Computing
In this episode of Technology Talks, Hector Luciano speaks with Michael Pelletier, Chief Innovation Officer and Partner at BlumShapiro Consulting about cloud computing, the role it can play for your organization and how it connects to Digital Transformation and the 4th Industrial Revolution.
8|9| 12| The Evolving Role of the CFO in a Digital World
Organization leaders and companies of all sizes are contemplating the impact of digital transformation on their industry, market, organization and staff by exploring the boundaries of traditional definitions. This includes the role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
8|9| 12| Digital Transformation Involves Rethinking the Entire Business Structure
Digitally transforming your business might have been considered a bold move to date, but it’s quickly becoming a necessity for organizations to compete in the digital economy. When done correctly, it can put you in prime position to not just compete, but actually lead in your field in both 2017 and beyond.
8|9| 12|15| Technology Talks Podcast: Cybersecurity
Listen to our podcast, Technology Talks, hosted by Hector Luciano, Consulting Manager at BlumShapiro Consulting. Each month, Hector will talk about the latest news and trends in technology with different leaders in the field. In this episode, Hector speaks with Jeff Ziplow, Partner at BlumShapiro Consulting about the most pressing cybersecurity threats and the tips your organization can take to keep themselves protected.
8| 9|12|14| 6 Reasons to Move Your Financials and ERP System to the Cloud
It seems like everywhere you turn cloud computing is being discussed. What is cloud computing and how can it benefit your finance department and organization?
8| 15| The Top 5 Critical Internet Security Controls Your Company Must Have
Technology has unlocked innovative ways for businesses to discover and service markets, identify and reach new customers and control inventories and processes. However, technology has also increased the surface area for which businesses may be vulnerable. The manufacturing and retail industry, now more than ever, must rise to meet the challenges and defend from both external and internal threats to protect its data and the information of its clients.
8|6| 12| Technology Talks Podcast: Digital Transformation's Impact on the Manufacturing Industry
In this episode of Technology Talks, Hector speaks with Janet Prisole, Partner at BlumShapiro Consulting about the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution and Digital Transformation on the manufacturing industry.
8|13| 12| Unlocking the Mystery Behind Predictive Analytics
How can you streamline machine learning and predictive analytics as a food and beverage manufacturer or distributor? We have six steps to help transition these ideas into a repeatable process for your organization.
8| 9| Using the Right Financial Metrics to Improve Your Non-Profit's Success
Do you find running your non-profit today is more challenging that it was five years ago? One reason is that fundraising has become more difficult. Find out how you can use success metrics to make potential donors, members and volunteers more comfortable.
6|8| 15| Are you Prepared for New Department of Defense Security Standards?
With the threat of cybersecurity breaches on the rise, the U.S. Government has implemented new security standards for Department of Defense (DoD) contractors, including manufacturers. Learn more.
8|10| 12| Technology Talks Podcast: Introduction to Blockchain
In this episode of our technology podcast, BlumShapiro Consulting Manager, Hector Luciano, provides an introduction to blockchain technology, the connections to bitcoin and how this technology will have an impact on business going forward.
3|8| 8| New Security Audit Objective for Audits of Institutions of Higher Education - The 2017 and 2018 Compliance Supplement Vett Draft
With the 2017 Compliance Supplement Vett Draft, the Office of Management and Budget is proposing that the US Department of Education now require a new audit objective to test for compliance with rules for securing student information. Learn some key takeaways for your organization to stay compliant.
8|10| 12| Technology Talks Podcast: Predictive Analytics
In this episode of Technology Talks, Hector Luciano talks with Michael Pelletier, Chief Innovation Officer and Partner at BlumShapiro about another component of a digital transformation - predictive analytics.
8|10|14| 12| Developing a Growth Strategy Backed with Supportive Data and Analytics
How can you streamline machine learning and predictive analytics as a professional services firm? We have six steps to help transition these ideas into a repeatable process for your organization.
8|9| 4| SOC Audits Put Simply
As consumers become more and more savvy when selecting their software or services, many are now asking for evidence of independent Service Organization Control (SOC) audits. The difficulty comes when trying to decipher which SOC to get (1, 2, or 3) and which Type (I or II). Who needs one? When do they need it? What does it mean? This article will help navigate these questions and concerns.
8|9| Traversing the Trust Service Principles
If your company is considering a Service Organization Controls (SOC) 2 audit, you may have heard the phrase “trust service principles.” Knowing where to start and which principles you need to have evaluated and reported on by a CPA firm can be overwhelming. This article should help you get started.
8| 15| The ABCs of Cybersecurity for our K-12 Schools
Generally, we tend to think of our elementary schools as a “safe place” from cyber attack, ransomware, phishing and other online scams. But it’s time for us to think again. K-12 schools are now considered a “prime target” in the world of cyber attacks. Learn how you can protect your schools from cyber attacks.
8| 7|12|13| Applying Lean Thinking to Optimize Your Business
Learn about the principles of lean thinking and how you can apply these principles to your organization.
8| 9|12|14| Does Your Finance Department Use Too Many Spreadsheets
Is your organization using too many spreadsheets to analyze, format and report on financial data? Learn about the issues of spreadsheets and if it is time to consider moving to a new accounting and finance system.
6|8|9|13| 9|12|14| The Evolution of Corporate Performance Management
When it comes to Corporate Performance Management (CPM) most tend to think about the technology or tools they are using for their budgeting, planning and forecasting. With the manufacturing, distribution and retail industries dealing with so many moving parts the importance of a CPM solution is something that needs to be considered.
8|9| 15| De-Mystifying Data Breaches
No matter how careful you are, no matter how much you invest in cybersecurity, it’s always possible that your business, at some point or another, will suffer a data breach. Learn how these breaches occur and steps you can take to protect your organization.
8| 15| Discovery of Two Recent Security Flaws Puts Nearly All Devices at Risk
Recently, major security flaws found in Intel and other processors have been disclosed by tech researchers; it is said that this set of flaws could let hackers steal sensitive information from nearly every modern computing device containing CPU (central computing processors) chips from Intel Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), and ARM Holdings. Read what you need to know about this recent discovery.
4|8|9| 12| Why Investing in Infrastructure is Always the Right Investment for Municipalities
When most municipalities think of infrastructure, they think of physical infrastructure like roads, buildings and utilities. In most cases, this is a good investment for the benefit and quality of life of your citizens. Investment in digital infrastructure offers similar quality of life benefits, and is usually far less expensive than capital improvements.
6|8| 9|12| Improving Efficiency by Automating Workflows
A 2014 study determined that the ROI of workflows automation is 176% with a payback in 10.5 months. What’s even more interesting is that the productivity per user jumps 8%-15% - “finding” an extra 4 hours a week per employee. Learn more about workflow automation.
8| 9|14| Stop Wasting Time Managing Multiple Offices or Franchises
As your business grows it becomes more and more challenging to cover every location. Learn how BlumShapiro and the Sage Intacct solution can streamline your accounting operations.
8| 12| 5 Critical Skillsets for HR Analytics
Increasingly, companies are applying analytics and data science procedures to new areas of their business. Learn the impact that data science is having on the HR industry.
5|8|10| 9| Accounting Pain Points in Healthcare - An Obstacle You Can Avoid
Could more effective accounting help your healthcare organization? Learn about the causes and solutions to common pain points.
8| 9|14| Strategic CFOs are at the Vanguard of Accounting
The CFO has risen to the top of the C-Suite, but with new opportunities comes new responsibilities. Explore what the evolution means for today's accounting executives.
4|8|9|10| 5|12|13| Essential Project Management for Government Operations
From initiating your project to executing, learn some tips for managing your city or town's next project.
7|8|9| 14| How Outsourcing Resolves Common Challenges for Today's Non-Profits
For a non-profit to be sustainable and impactful it must be good at managing its financial resources. See how outsourcing can resolve common challenges for today's non-profits.
5|8| 8|15| Medical Devices Must Be Protected from Cybersecurity Thieves
Cybersecurity in medical devices is a newer issue for companies to address; after all, in the past, medical devices didn’t have the ability to directly connect to the Internet. But with challenges, as always, come opportunities, and those companies that act at the outset to ensure the security of their IOT-based devices will find themselves much more protected.
8|9| 14| Four Reasons Why Your Startup Company Should Partner with an Outsourced Accounting & Finance Firm
In this article, we’ll discuss the strategy of outsourcing your organization’s back office. In other words, we’ll discuss the advantages of working with a third-party advisory team rather than hiring an internal chief financial officer, controller and/or accounting team.
6|8|9| General Data Protection Regulation: What It Is and Why It Matters to Your Business
The primary purpose of GDPR is to define standardized data protection laws for all EU residents for all member countries. Learn more about its objectives in our article.
8|9| 10| The Amended Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) Takes Effect July 1st, Have You Completed Your Pay Equity Assessment?
An important piece of Massachusetts legislation goes into effect July 1, 2018 – An Act to Establish Pay Equity, which amends the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA). The updated law is intended to provide clarity around what constitutes gender-based wage discrimination. Find out what you need to know.
8|13| 14| Outsourced Accounting is a Recipe for Success in Any Restaurant
Discover how outsourcing the accounting workload for a restaurant can lead to improvements across the board.
7|8|9| 9| Meet the Mission of NFPs Using Sage Intacct
Learn how non-profit organizations can easily streamline their accounting functions and allow them to dedicate more time to focusing on their mission.
5|10|8|9| 12| Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Marries Machine Learning with Human Expertise
It is not question anymore of if or when AI and machine learning will enter the medical profession; it’s here now—and hospitals, medical offices, nursing homes and practitioners are adapting to it. See what you need to know.
8|9| 9|14| Strategies for Controllers: Making the Case for Upgraded Accounting Software
Just because upgraded accounting software is overdue does not mean executives will approve it. Learn how controllers are making a more convincing case.
8|9| 10| Human Resources “Health” Assessments – Not Just for Big Companies
See how an HR “health” assessment is a cost-effective, efficient way to give managers and HR teams a complete picture of where their HR practices stand today and where they’ll need to be tomorrow.
8|9| 9| Project Accounting Software: The Missing Asset at Professional Services Firms
Accounting is different at professional services firms. Learn why successful firms use project accounting software instead of a general accounting solution.
8|9| 9|14| Taking Your Professional Services Firm to the Next Level With Sage Intacct
Professional services is a land of opportunity for firms that know how to grow. Learn how Sage Intacct provides the tools to drive your own success.
2|8|9|10| 12| Digital Transformation for the Construction Industry
While there have been significant advancements in the technologies used in the actual construction of a building, there have historically been fewer within the context of digital transformation. See the role that digital transformation can play for the construction industry.
8|9|13| 9|14| Franchise Pain Points That Put the Brakes on Growth
Common pain points mean growth is an achievement and a liability in a franchise business. Learn what those pain points are and how easy it is to solve them all.
4|8|9| 5| Reaching Beyond Municipal Borders
As local governments continue to face tight spending restrictions, having to make hard choices on which services to maintain or eliminate, there is an option that many municipalities should consider that could (in the long term) lead to significant cost saving—shared services.
4|8|9| 5|12| Technological Disruption: How Can Cities and Towns Adapt and Thrive
In business it is imperative to know your customer, differentiate in the marketplace, innovate to drive down costs and bring new and exciting products to market. Cities and towns across America can take a similar approach by using technology as a disruptor.
1|8|9| 7| Human Resources “Health” Assessments – Not Just for Big Dealership Groups
Even the most talented HR professionals find it challenging to balance the daily tasks and unexpected demands of the business and also have the time to proactively address the bigger issues. Learn how an HR assessment can help you.
9|10|8| 12|15| Why Does Your Business Need SIEM?
Security information and event management (SIEM) is an approach to security management that combines SIM (security information management) and SEM (security event management) functions into one security management system.
7|8| 14| Top Benefits of Outsourcing for Non-Profit Organizations
Non-profit (NFP) organizations are driven to solve many problems and serve their communities. Learn how outsourced accounting and finance can help your non-profit accomplish your goals.
2|8|9| 1|7|11| Special Considerations Under the New Revenue Recognition Standard for Contractors
The construction industry, in particular, is going to be impacted by this new standard, and there are a number of special considerations within it for which companies will need to prepare.
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Advisors | Auditors | Consultants | CPAs – BlumShapiro is one of the premier consulting firms in New England and a Top 100 CPA Firm in the U.S. Our professionals serve companies in Boston (MA), Hartford (CT), Cranston (RI), Shelton (CT) and Quincy (MA) with technology consulting, business valuations, litigation support, project management, process & controls and bankruptcy consulting services. We are a Intacct Partner offering accounting software including Cloud ERP solutions. Learn more about our City of the Future offerings.