Let’s Meet in the Cloud

Technology in the area of accounting has made tremendous advancements for the benefit of both the client and the accountant. This has been and can be a great advantage to any consumer, even those who would not consider themselves tech savvy. Within the world of smartphones and tablets (and I guess now watches!), you have access to needed financial information at your fingertips for various purposes.

Learn the benefits of private cloud computing

How can a private cloud give you better control of your personal and business finances?

By now I believe we’ve all heard of this “miraculous” thing known as the Cloud. What I don’t believe many are aware of is Private Cloud Computing and its benefits. The Cloud is classified into three categories: public, private, and hybrid. For the purpose of this article, we’re only going to focus on private. Private cloud, also known as internal cloud, involves a distinct and secure cloud based environment that is only accessible by a single organization. The organization grants clients secure and private access for their specific need or purpose.

Potts & Company has begun working with clients that have found using a hosted QuickBooks option, where their QuickBooks software and data files are located on a cloud server rather than their desktop, to be a great benefit. We also encourage those clients who have not yet decided to take advantage of the cloud to consider the benefit and time saving opportunity.

The Internet allows the accountant or the client to download important documents, bank statements, make payments, update information and analyze data using either web-based software or accessing online websites in real time. This helps to drastically decrease the amount of time it takes the accountant to complete projects by not having to wait for important financial documents from the client, or vice versa. Both the accountant and the client can work remotely from any location by having the ability to access necessary information and workflow solutions.

While you’re attempting to juggle all of the “must do” items on your checklist for the day, be smart and include your accountant. An individual or a small to mid-size business owner now has the ability to gain in-depth, real-time financial provision from their accountant which can lead to improvements in their cash flow.


Tempting Technology

Last week, news outlets and the online world were gawking at the latest Apple products. Apple does a nice job of hyping things like this, with the white box building and vague invitations sent out, curiosity was high. The new phone does look great and promises to resolve many issues users find with the current and older versions. There is even now a choice in the size of the phone you want. But none of that held a candle to the other product revealed. The Apple Watch.

It looks like something from Back to the Future, and even Doc Brown would be impressed. The lure is at fever pitch. I didn’t know I needed a watch to handle the things I handle now with my phone. I don’t even know what all it does. But one thing is certain, I need one, right?!

That is the problem with technology. Each software, app, product and gadget use the same exact marketing approach, and it works every time: This will improve your life! And it likely does make it easier; that is until the next generation is available and your life-saver quickly becomes cumbersome and antiquated. 

Be it your personal life or business life, each company makes you want what they offer by promising to deliver the solution to your problems. They tantalize you with what could be, if only…. And it is so easy to be snared with that hook. But bear in mind that right behind that hook is the next.

It is understandable to be enticed by the latest devices, apps and software. We all long for control but need a streamlined, easy-to-use tool. The key is to assess which things meet our actual needs and which ones meet the needs someone declared for us.

I don’t actually worry about how to pay for coffee while on a run and without my wallet. So, the ability to swipe the Apple watch does solve a problem, it’s just not one of mine. I do however spend hours each week working in odd places, away from my desk, trying to read emails and reports on my tiny phone screen. So, the larger display of the iPhone 6 Plus may really improve my productivity on the go.

Is technology good? Yes, it is downright amazing! I cannot imagine life without it. Is every piece of technology going to make you a better you? No, save your money, time and energy, and only seek out the tools that assist you in what you do.



I Dare You to Look at Me Naked!

This past Labor Day weekend, news headlines announced certain female celebrities’ Apple iCloud accounts were hacked and personal pictures of these celebrities, more specifically very personal pictures of these celebrities in the nude, were obtained and posted to a public forum named 4Chan.

This breach of privacy incited news pundits to discuss cyber security risks and strategies to prevent hackers from accessing your personal information and finding your nude photos and making them public. I only heard one news anchor, Becky Quick of CNBC’s Squawk Box, suggest the best way to prevent nude pictures of you from being made public is to not take pictures of yourself naked or let others take pictures of you bare. That does seem the safest way to prevent public embarrassment caused by your nude photos being posted for public viewing. I would suggest we all take Becky’s advice. I don’t even look at myself in the mirror when I’m naked. If I do, I stare at my eyes.

Is your password strong enough?

How are you guarding your online privacy?

Some experts suggest the celebrities’ accounts were most likely hacked by malicious individuals concentrating on their specific accounts. The hackers might have found someway to get their email address and then send them an email that allowed a hacker to deceptively acquire the celebrity’s user names and passwords. Others suggests that hackers might have used software designed to use computer power to quickly generate passwords at high speeds over and over again until they break your account password.

These news headlines should cause us all to pause and consider the user names and passwords we use to access our own accounts. David as a user name and Fido123 as a password may be easy to remember but it is also going to be easy for a hacker to hack my account. So what is a better strategy to keep your personal information personal and safe from unauthorized access?

Because of the sheer number of accounts that I have to remember user names and passwords, I personally use a password manager software called RoboForm. With RoboForm I only have to remember one user name and one password and it remembers the rest. RoboForm will generate strong and unique passwords for each of your accounts and work on both Apple and Windows computers.

However, if you are a DIY devotee, below are some links to recommendations on how to keep you digital data safe:

Google: Online-Safety, Secure Your Passwords

Wikihow: How to Choose a Secure Password

Windows: Tips for creating a strong password

Bottom line advice: Keep your clothes on.