make my life easier

Do You Want Your CPA Filing Tax Returns From an iPad?

Technology is a beautiful thing. It makes our lives easier, including work. It gives us supremacy over our late-to-adopt friends and colleagues who are still stuck with clunky old company laptops. And apparently it makes it easier to lug around several devices than just sit at our desk with one. Somehow this is more convenient, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Check out this revolutionary, wielding his iPad as a weapon in the war against April 15th 18th:

With the 2011 tax season in full swing, accountants and CPAs are searching for ways to save time and service geographically separated clients. A popular solution, QuickBooks hosting, allows for CPAs to securely access QuickBooks and client data remotely from any computer, phone or tablet with an internet connection. Recently, NovelASPect’s client, Scott Sanders, CPA, took QuickBooks hosting to the next level. Scott added his tax software to his QuickBooks hosting account on a NovelASPect virtual server. Using the Citrix receiver, Scott can now access his tax software from anywhere with his iPad. He then paired his iPad with his iPhone via Bluetooth to use the iPhone as a mouse for the iPad.

“Accessing my tax software and QuickBooks via my iPad has been a tremendous time saver,” says Scott Sanders. “Clients can review and sign their tax documents at their location. I can then efile the return with the government and email a copy of the tax return immediately to the client. I also have access to client financial information in Quickbooks anytime / anywhere.”

Quick question: can’t a laptop do the same exact thing?

Remember last June when 114,000 iPad user accounts were exposed by rogue Internet security group Goatse Security? Not to mention the fact that the iPad is not only a target of hacktivists looking to prove a point but also thieves who would love to get their hands on that overpriced toy you insist on playing with on the subway.

Here’s the issue I see with on-the-run tax preparers MacGyvering their iPads to shoot the data off to the client and then to the government from just about anywhere: WiFi is not always secure. We assume Scott Sanders knows a thing or two about protecting sensitive data if he’s knowledgeable enough to figure out how to use his iPhone as a mouse for his iPad (and what’s wrong with using a laptop and a, oh I don’t know, mouse?) but I would not want my tax preparer sending me my 1040 to sign; he can barely wash his grungy white dress shirt separate from his red socks.

I’m all for convenience but there’s a point when the work required to make it safe for all involved parties becomes inconvenient.

Intel’s Thunderbolt Makes FireWire Look Like Your Grandma on the Freeway

Sick of staring at your computer screen watching the data crawl by? Stare no longer, the future of data transfer is here with Intel’s new Thunderbolt™ technology:

From the company with the fastest processors comes the fastest way to get information in and out of your PC and peripheral devices. At 10 Gbps, Thunderbolt™ technology gives you great responsiveness with high-speed data and display transfers in each direction—at the same time. With a single cable, connecting a PC to multiple devices is simple, making it easy to get and see what you want, when you want it. Thunderbolt technology gives you incredible flexibility; high performance expansion is just a cable away for new and novel uses, now and in the future.

Intel boasts that you can transfer a full HD movie in less than 30 seconds or backup an entire year of continuous mp3 playback in around 10 minutes using this technology.

Thunderbolt is bi-directional and allows for daisy-chaining, making that tangle of USB cords hanging off your desk obsolete, as soon as hard drive storage size necessitates lightning-fast data transfer, that is.

New MacBook Pros come equipped with Thunderbolt ports but for the rest of us, it’ll be USB for the foreseeable future until PC technology catches up and new laptops begin shipping with bolts emblazoned on the side.

Just think how many years of SOX-compliant data you can transfer away from prying eyes no sooner than the front desk says “the PCAOB is here!”

Five Ways Windows 7 Will Make Your Life Easier

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight–everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

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 ListsWindows 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 also can pin documents, much like a bookmark, and your document will always be listed in the jump list, ready to open with a simple click.

Snap – Making two applications align on your screen is no longer a hassle. With Windows Snap you can drag the windows to the left or the right of the monitor, and the applications will simply and easily be aligned on your screen. You also can drag a window to the top of your screen for easy maximizing. This feature is incredibly useful while dragging applications from one monitor to another.

Shake – If you ever get distracted by countless number of open applications on your desktop, with Shake, you can click and hold on any of the applications’ task bar, shake your mouse around, and all of your other applications will magically minimize. If you want to restore the applications, click on your open application, and just give it another shake. The windows will reopen.

Location Aware Printing – Have you ever taken your office laptop home, tried to print that one file you needed only to realize that you accidentally tried to print it to your office printer? With Windows 7, when your computer changes networks from home to office or office back to home, your computer will remember what printer you last used at each location and will automatically default to that specific printer. You won’t have to waste time changing your default printers.

Windows Touch – With the rise of touch screen electronics, Windows 7 comes equipped to work with touch screen computers and monitors. Not only does this feature work with single touch monitors, Windows 7 comes equipped with multi-touch, for very simple and very easy navigation around your computer. You can fly through your applications, photos, and media all with just a touch.

About the author:
David Rowe is a managed services consultant at Xcentric, which specializes in Cloud Computing and IT consulting for CPA firms. Rowe graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. He can be reached at (678) 297.0066 or at [email protected]. Follow Xcentric at xcentric.com/blog and www.twitter.com/xcentric.