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1. 11 QuickBooks tips for producing stellar reports  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Today’s accounting systems capture unprecedented levels of information, requiring CPAs to sort through more data than ever. In last month’s JofA (page 64), the first article of a two-part series on QuickBooks provided general tips for printing, memorizing, organizing, and distributing groups of QuickBooks reports. The software also offers many powerful features that can help you mine financial data for the information and intelligence needed to make business decisions.

2. Say "no" to O/S "edition" upgrades  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: Should we upgrade our Windows 7 and Vista computers to Windows 8?A: I don’t recommend updating older computers to newer operating systems because, in my opinion, you are better off buying a new computer. My reasoning is that the Windows operating systems installed on your older computers were most likely tweaked and tested by the manufacturers to make them run more reliably with each computer’s motherboard, RAM, video card, and other components.

3. Divisive security  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: Can you direct me to a good checklist of precautions we should take to secure our employees’ mobile devices?A: Security is a hassle, but a necessary hassle. Perhaps this checklist will help you lock down those mobile devices once and for all.1. Lock it. Require employees to lock their phones using either a personal identification number (PIN), swipe gesture, or fingerprint scan.

4. Model behavior  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: I have several worksheets of data that I want to pivot, but the Excel 2003 option to pivot multiple ranges of data no longer exists in Excel’s later editions. I find that I must copy and paste all workbook data onto a single worksheet to pivot the combined data.

5. 10 Excel shortcuts  

BY J. Carlton Collins
1. The SUM function. Pressing Alt+= in the cell below a column of numbers inserts the SUM function and highlights that column of numbers.2. Select a range of data.

6. Remotely interested in supervision  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: What technologies should we use to help monitor our “work-from-home” employees to make sure they are working productively and doing their jobs properly?A: According to the Telework Research Network, 30 million Americans (20% of the workforce) work from home at least part time, and Telework projects that number to rise to 48.9 million within the next five years.

7. Combination charts  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: Is it possible to overlay one chart atop another chart in Excel 2013 for comparison purposes?A: Yes, chart overlays are possible. Excel allows you to produce a combination chart that places one chart atop another using a percentage scale for each of the two data ranges. This arrangement allows the reader to visually compare the figures to determine if any relationships exist between the two sets of data in a single chart.

8. What does it meta?  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: How much does metadata (webpage titles, descriptions, and keywords) play into improving a webpage’s rating in Bing, Yahoo!, or Google searches?A: Metadata is an essential element to ranking higher in search engine results, and it is important to include relevant metadata in your webpage properties so your webpages rank higher.

9. Substantiating trust  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: When introduced to new privacy solutions (such as DuckDuckGo or Disconnect), what assurances do we have that these solutions aren’t themselves stealthily tracking our computing or internet activities?A: Before trusting a lesser-known privacy solution, at a minimum make sure that it meets the following criteria:The company makes definitive public statements confirming it will not collect your data (which could subject it to lawsuits if it does).The company undergoes annual or periodic security audits by reputable auditors, and those findings are made public.The company is endorsed by well-known, high-profile companies that have a vested interest in protecting

10. Shortcuts for evaluating a QuickBooks candidate  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: When hiring a new QuickBooks bookkeeper, what’s a good way to evaluate a candidate’s proficiency with QuickBooks?A: It is easy to evaluate the knowledge of a QuickBooks consultant, because Intuit makes his or her history of certifications public. You can access this information from the QuickBooks Help menu by selecting Find a Local QuickBooks Expert, the results of which are pictured below.
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