Products and services.

Save a File in a Flash

New computer users often learn the hard way that when they save a file they can lose the earlier version—unless they change the file's name or use some sophisticated saving technique. Flashback, by Aladdin Systems, solves that problem. It automatically stores every change to a file, thus making it possible to recapture all earlier iterations.

Click on any program's file or folder and drag it to Flashback's folder, and it will automatically track and store all future changes to that file or files in the folder. Users can set the frequency of the backup—for example, each time the file is saved, modified or closed—and the conditions. Flashback retains only the modifications, which frees up hard disk space.

The suggested retail price for Flashback is $49.95. More information: Aladdin Systems, 165 Westridge Drive, Watsonville, California 95076; 408-761-6200; .

See Files at a Glance

Tired of not being able to access files because you don't have the supporting application? Or want to take a peek at a file without opening the application? Quick View Plus 4.5 lets you view any file-and allows you to open and edit it right then and there—with one click of your mouse.

Quick View Plus allows you to see a file's original formatting exactly as it was created, whether it is a graphic, a database, an HTML or the latest Office 97 program. Another feature is easy file manipulation: You can cut and paste parts of an old application's documents to create new documents in a new application. It also enables you to print and search for documents quickly without wasting computer memory by opening up different applications.

The suggested retail price for Quick View Plus 4.5 is $50. More information: Inso Corp., 31 St. James Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02116; 800-733-5799 or 617-753-6500;

Increase Your Online Purchasing Power

Microsoft proves that necessity is the mother of invention. The company developed an in-house program to make online purchases of office equipment more efficient and give employees more freedom in choosing what to buy. When the popularity of Microsoft's program became obvious, it was introduced for sale to others as Microsoft Site Server 3.0, Commerce Edition. Any company may now use this software to engage in and transact business with customers, partners, clients and vendors.

The product integrates into existing accounting or order management systems, allows for secure purchasing from a cooperating vendor and has a members-only site entrance for online security.

The suggested retail price is $4,609 per server—including 25 client access licenses. More information: Microsoft Corp., 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington 98052-6399; 800-426-9400 or 206-882-8080; .

Economical Videoconferencing

Kodak's Digital Science DVC323—the DVC stands for digital video camera—allows you to set up an inexpensive videoconferencing system for less than $200 as well as post images on your Web site or e-mail them.

The DVC323, which weighs less than eight ounces, can be mounted on your monitor or held in your hand. You can direct the camera to zoom in for close-ups and details or zoom out for wider shots. It includes an electronic and video mail feature to attach still images or digital video in real-time for making personalized presentations.

The suggested retail price is $169. More information: Eastman Kodak Co., 901 Elmgrove Road, Rochester, New York; 800-235-6325; .


What’s next for potential CPA licensure changes

A new model proposed by NASBA and the AICPA is designed with an eye on the future for newly licensed CPAs. The AICPA's Carl Mayes, CPA, provides background on the project and a look ahead to 2020.


What RPA is and how it works

Robotic process automation is like an Excel macro that can work on multiple applications, says Danielle Supkis Cheek, CPA. RPA can complete routine, repetitive tasks such as data entry, freeing up employee time from lower-level chores.