Your New ID Card: Your Mobile Device?

Photo: PFW.com

Photo: PFW.com

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Monique Jones.

Do you remember those science fiction movies, where people don’t carry ID cards anymore, but are verified through other means? Well, our mobile world is bringing that world closer to reality.

There are two categories of identification right now that are leading how we protect ourselves. One is based on biometrics, which is about identifying unique biological aspects of your body, such as your fingerprint, retinal scans or even your voice. Others, however, are based on passwords and identification based on technology that is either with you, on you, or in you. Yep, that’s right; soon enough, you could become your ID. Here are just some of the identification systems that we’ll all soon be familiar with.

Your Mobile Device

Nearly everyone these days has at least one mobile device, and that fact has made it a good idea to use mobile devices in conjunction with biometric data to confirm our access. After all, you may be exactly who you say you are, but you may not exactly have access to where you want to go.

Your mobile device may be tagged with a unique serial number or passcode. Thus, if your mobile device is “swiped” near a reader, you’ll be allowed access. Another way is that you have entered a passcode into a specific app, and the app then is used to identify you. As mentioned before, this will probably be in conjunction with biometric security measures.

Access by Communication

It’s a bit old-school, but calling someone up through a mobile line or VoIP (read more about VoiP service) to ask for access still works, but with an added layer of security – again, your mobile device is identified, and don’t be surprised if your call will have video as well.

This has the distinct advantage of providing a visual and audio confirmation, combined with a mobile device confirmation as well. However, the idea of using a mobile device for identification and security does have problems as well.

Dangers

Even though mobile devices can act like key cards and as portable audio and video confirmation devices, there are still inherent problems.

The very fact that a mobile device is portable can lead to at least two problems. The first one is if the person accidentally forgets his or her mobile device. This would probably mean that the security measures should have alternatives – but then, doesn’t that complicate what should have been simplified?

Another problem is well, having your mobile device stolen. This is the reason why, when you do use your own mobile device for identification, you should make sure that your own mobile device has its own security system. The last thing you need is to be accused of being lax with security – why give you the opportunity to use a mobile device identification system, if you’re going to let it be stolen?

But is it feasible?

As stated before, many people find the very nature of a portable or mobile device a big target for theft or forgetfulness. However, this sort of system should be seen as a way to shorten confirmation for security – and that the alternate measures are actually the “standard.” Still, the threat of not being with your mobile device will always be the question with these systems.

On the other hand, imagine if, instead of standing in line to get into your secure workspace, or waiting for someone in the IT department to give you access to secure files while you’re working from home, you can just call up, and have the proper security confirmations done, by the book? It would shorten what would be time-sucking security processes that can be very frustrating.

In the end, the use of mobile devices as identification and security systems are definitely on the way to reality, but will probably never be a stand-alone system.

Monique J is an Engineer. She also is a Freelance Writer who concentrates on making articles about social networking, technology, business and general topics. On her leisure time, you can find Monique at her fashion boutique. Learn more about Monique on Google+.

Tawki – The Social Video Channel

SCREENSHOT TAWKI

My good friend David Leonhardt has come up with the next great new project on IndieGoGo that I just have to share with you. Tawki – The Social Video Channel, as David, co-founder of Tawki, puts it, “brings D.I.Y. videos to street level. Every individual, entrepreneur will be able to make videos part of their weekly or even daily marketing mix without breaking a hundred piggy banks each time. Sure, they can supply whatever images and video clips they like, add voice-overs and captions, but if all they need is a quick, topical video, they can get a totally unique video made with a single keyword and a single click.”

This is a great startup that is trying to reach its goal of $100,000 over the next 61 days. Check out the video here, and if you feel compelled, donate to the cause. You can also learn more about Tawki on Facebook and Twitter.

Transport Layer Security Is Essential On Cloud Protection To Retain Technical Control Of Your Data

Your data is everything. It doesn’t matter what it is. Whether it’s photos, financial data, or the first few chapters of the next great American novel, you want control of your data and you want it to be secure. This is why it’s essential to maintain security. It doesn’t matter whether you have a secure room in a secure building with a server inside of it. It is just as vulnerable to theft and sabotage as anything that you have on the Internet.

The server itself may not be stolen if it’s locked up in a secure room of your building, but the content on the server is still hackable – and that puts you at risk of losing all of your content.

You need a professionally maintained system where it is someone’s job 24/7 to safeguard the data. This means that you don’t have to be the one worrying about whether the data is safe – someone is doing it for you. Hackers can have the opportunity to hack anywhere – but if the data is being maintained by professional system administrators, there is less for you to worry about.

It’s important to think outside the traditional data center because you want cloud computing. This means you have the ability to access your data when and where you want. Whether you are on the road a lot, use a variety of devices, or you jump from computer to computer, you need data access – and without opening yourself up to data security threats.

This is why it is important that there is a secure data transmission using TLS or Transport Layer Security. There are many benefits to TLS. The transport layer is handled by a process within the host computer instead of by routers and switches. This will ensure that you have a powerful service that is more reliable.

Within a TCP/IP model, the transport layer is used to deliver data to appropriate application processes on your host computer. The protocol will support virtual circuits and allow you to send data packets online. Because of the virtual circuits and the other application processes, it makes it harder for hacking to take place at any time.

Additionally, the TLP model allows for reliable communication, which includes error detecting codes as well as automatic repeat requests. This means you get more flow control and reduce congestion – which is especially important when you are trying to get to your data.

Regardless of why you are storing data in the cloud – easier access to the data from anywhere or as a higher level of security – the data transmission connection has to be looked at. You don’t want problems with the connection because it’s going to make you more vulnerable to hacking or it’s going to make it hard for you to get to your data. You don’t have to worry about either of these issues with a transport layer security because it’s what it was designed for.

When it comes to network design, you need technical control of your data. You need to be able to connect virtual servers without a company telling you that it’s impossible or that it’s not secure. Hundreds of large companies have gone to virtualization of networks because it is the most cost effective way to manage data and give users access to the data that they need on a daily basis. Whether you have big data or small data needs, you can virtualize your servers and still maintain technical control.

Security has to be a main concern no matter what you do. Even if you didn’t put your data on the Internet in a cloud, there is a way for hackers to get at the data in your secure room. Plus, when you keep your data on site, you have more issues – more energy usage, more heat, and more risks due to theft, fire and other hazards.

The argument for keeping data on site is no longer valid because of the cloud computing resources available. Firewalls, virtual networks and transport layer security are all arguments as to why data is more secure on the Internet than it is locked up in your server room.

By taking advantage of TLS connections, you maintain more control of your data and eliminate the security threat. Hackers can take their best shot at your data and it’s not going anywhere. Especially when you find the right hosting company, they are going to add additional security controls to prevent your data from being accessed, manipulated, or corrupt in any capacity.

Cloud protection is out there, which means the traditional arguments of online security are no longer valid. Before you put your data in the cloud, however, be sure that you have transport layer security in place because of all the benefits that it has to offer.

About the author:

Rosa Smith uses a ProfitBricks cloud security software when working remotely on her personal blog to protect her content and personal information. Business cloud networking by ProfitBricks are a great way to customize your businesses cloud network to fit your needs.

Best Tech Options for Seniors

Coolpix S30

Photo via CitiWideOnline.com

There is no age limit when it comes to technology. However, there are certain tech options better suited to the senior set. This doesn’t mean that tech options geared towards a more mature crowd can’t still be stylish – and even downright cool. Here are some tech options seniors are likely to find appealing.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD ($199)

“This is a good way to introduce seniors to the joys of electronic books,” explains Steven Miller, senior technology editor for eldercare locator site Assisted Living Today. “In addition to offering 600,000 book choices, the Kindle eliminates the need to lug around heavy books. The 7-inch is a good model for seniors on the go, while the larger 8.9-inch model tends to be a better choice for home use. This particular Kindle also allows access to Amazon’s app store, videos, and music. It’s basically like a starter tablet computer for seniors, but it works well if it’s only used for reading too.”

Click & Grow Smart Flowerpot ($39.99 and $59.99; refill cartridges $19.99)

For seniors who love to garden but can’t deal with the maintenance requirements of gardening as easily anymore, this self-watering “smart” flowerpot does all the work for you. The starter kit comes with a plant cartridge with seeds. All you have to do is add water to the reservoir, insert batteries in the compartment, and add the seeds. Options include basil, mini-tomatoes, thyme, marigolds, and a few other choices.

Bushnell BackTrack ($51.36 to $69.99)

This key chain device is an excellent way for seniors to easily find their cars. You simply set the start and end points and you are guided back to your vehicle. The device uses GPS, but doesn’t always work inside parking garages due to the weak signal in enclosed spaces. It does, however, come in handy for quickly finding a parked car in an outdoor parking lot or along a crowded street.

BookSwim ($24 per month for 3 books at a time)

This site – similar to Netflix – allows seniors not ready to e-readers to have traditional books sent directly to their home. A list of books can be created on the site and when the top three choices are returned, the next three selections are automatically sent. This eliminates repeated trips to the library but still allows seniors to enjoy the pleasure of books. As an added convenience, shipping is included in the subscription price.

Nikon Coolpix S30 ($79.95)

This is a perfect camera for seniors looking to enjoy the latest photo technology without trying to figure out tiny buttons and other features that can be difficult to spot. This point-and-shoot camera is easy to use with a large photo button. It is also water and dust resistant for seniors on the go. Even the menu options are larger and easy to figure out.

Striiv Activity Monitor ($99.95)

Active seniors will appreciate this key chain pedometer. Aside from tracking movements, it also offers incentives for staying active such as the ability to bring a virtual island to life. It can also allow a senior to make a donation once a specific goal is achieved.

Starbucks Verismo ($199 plus the cost of coffee pads and other accessories)

More than just a simple single-serve coffee maker, this coffee maker lets a senior enjoy the same blends found in the store without the hassle of standing in line. In addition to brewing coffee, it also makes vanilla lattes, espresso, and a handful of Starbucks’ original brews. It’s very easy to use and makes great coffee.

This is just a sample of many of the tech options that just happen to be appealing to seniors for one reason or another. The main ingredient in anything geared towards seniors is ease of use, but this is really a trait that appeals to anyone looking to take advantage of the latest tech options regardless of age.

8 Apps to Keep Kids Occupied on Long Car Rides

Phone Apps

Image via Flickr by Shardayyy

Without variation, kids will get bored on long car trips. When they do, they’re very distracting to everyone else in the car. These kid-friendly apps are great for keeping kids distracted while traveling those long distances.

Netflix

The Netflix app lets kids access movies and cartoons that they love. Pick the movies they can watch and store them under upir favorites. Stop and start movies for stops along the way. With a satellite internet connection, these apps will operate without a hitch, regardless of what highway or byway you and your family are traveling on.

Road Trip Scavenger Hunt

The Road Trip Scavenger Hunt is a game in which kids spot things on their journey. The game accommodates multiple players, so no one is left out. Objects are named, and then first one to spot the target object gets the points. Parents should probably keep score to prevent fighting on this one.

Ad Libs! It’s better than [noun]

This app has turned the classic Ad Libs into something that will keep kids entertained. The kids get to make up words and then a story is created. The app is constantly updated with new stories to keep children entertained for hours.

Road Trip Bingo

Based on the idea of spotting things outside the car, this app brings it to the game of BINGO. Once the items are spotted, the slot is marked until BINGO is achieved. This little app also provides a verbal description of items so little kids can also play.

123 Color: Talking Coloring Book

This app gives kids the opportunity to color without the mess. It contains educational elements that reinforce letter recognition, the sounds of letters, and recognizing colors. Also included is a program that keeps kids from coloring outside of the lines.

Dr. Suess’s ABC

This app lets kids explore the colorful world of Dr. Seuss. Words are highlighted as kids progress through the book. This helps kids develop their reading skills while still on the road. The color illustrations accompany the reading of this book. Older siblings can read this Dr. Seuss favorite to younger ones.

The Oregon Trail

This app is directly from a classic game used to challenge kids. They must travel across the country in stagecoaches. There are lots of decisions and games to play as they travel along the Oregon Trail. The decisions they make affect the game’s direction.

Uno

The app of this classic game puts all of those colorful cards on the screen. The rules are customizable. Kids can play against online friends. There’s also a tournament mode for players looking to challenge themselves.

These apps will keep kids occupied while on the road during those very long car trips. Kids can spend time spotting things outside the window, watching movies, or engage in learning things. Make sure to download these before you hit the road, and you’ll avoid having a bored child on your next road trip.

Rob Weatherby is a freelance writer and digital designer. A recent graduate, with a communications degree from the University of Tampa, Rob has a passion for technology and writing. Besides writing and design, he is also an addict of all things fitness related and a pretty awesome cook. To get in touch with Rob, you can email him at mrweatherby86@gmail.com

Three Cool, New Smartphone Apps You Don’t Know About

Smartphone Apps

In today’s day and age, the smartphone has become as vital a part of daily life as the air we breathe and the water we drink. I don’t leave my home without my smartphone, and it is always within reach – even if I’m showering. One of the main reasons we love our smartphones as much as we do is due to the incredible list of applications we can download. From games to weather, we use apps every single day. But while anyone can talk about the same old apps, here at TechBreach, we’re all about bringing you the latest and greatest.

Be Heard: The App that Records you…5 minutes ago

Do you wish you could record something you just said, but didn’t have a microphone set to record? Well, there’s a new smartphone app that allows you to record anything that happened around you in the past five minutes.

The Heard app records everything going on around you and keeps it in a constant state of buffering. If you said something you wish you had recorded, whether a brilliant philosophical statement or a joke, all you have to do is go to Heard and tell it to record, and it will. However, if you don’t go to the app, your recordings will be deleted once five minutes have past, always providing you with the previous five minutes of recordings around you.

To make it even cooler, Heard allows you to sync the app to your social media feeds, making it easy to share your audio clips with your Facebook followers.  If you want to try it out, Heard will allow you to record 12-second clips for free, or for $1.99, you can buy the full app, allowing you to record the full five minutes of audio.

Find. Eat. Drink: It’s That Simple

We all know about the ever-popular restaurant application, Urbanspoon – the one where you shake your phone and the dials spin, landing on a random restaurant for you to check out in your area. Many users enjoy Urbanspoon, so why would they make the switch to Find. Eat. Drink.? Well, how about because it is curated by people who know what they’re talking about?

Find. Eat. Drink. is run and populated by chefs and bartenders, who have experience in the industry and know a thing or two about what makes a restaurant so great. With reviews, a breakdown of various restaurants, bars and cocktail lounges, along with chef interviews, this nifty restaurant app is in a league of its own.

Duolingo: The Ultimate Language App

A new, quick-paced language app for Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and English, Duolingo is a free application that uses an immersion system that focuses on images to teach you the languages you’ve been dying to learn. Whether you have a conference call scheduled with your clients in Spain, are planning a trip with your spouse to Italy, or need to brush up on your French, Duolingo has you covered. Unlike other language applications, Duolingo focuses on a game-type format that makes learning the new language fun. With no hidden fees and no distracting ads popping into the screen, you’ll be equipped to tackle the romance language of your choice in no time at all.

There are plenty of other cool apps that have recently been released, and more on the horizon. Check back in with us for future updates on what the latest and greatest technology has to offer.

Transforming your Small Business – Ways to Go Green

Go Green

While it’s nice to make your small business Eco-friendly, ultimately, your business decisions come down to one thing: how you can save money to increase your income. Technology makes it easy for a small business to ditch paper processes and offers a way for you to manage your company through cloud computing and simpler processes. Software and applications are released regularly with the small business owner in mind, and if you aren’t taking advantage of technology, you’re behind in the market. If you want to save your company money while doing your part to save the environment, here are a few things you can do reduce your carbon footprint.

Online Credit Card Processing

Now, before you start to freak out and say you can’t take credit cards online, it’s important to realize that most small business owners still know very little about the process. However, this green concept allows small businesses to increase profits while reducing paper waste. You can save up to six pounds of paper a year for each customer or client you have, simply by taking credit cards online.

This process allows you to eliminate all paper waste that comes with a purchase from your company. No longer will you need to print out receipts, shipping information and confirmations to your clients. By asking your customers for their contact information, you can email all of these documents, along with any warranties, directly to the customer. Why pay for paper products that are likely to end up in the trash when you can keep the expense of these products within the company?

Online Invoicing

It is baffling just how many companies out there still rely on paper to conduct business. When you make the choice to manage your corporate invoices online, you save paper while making your bookkeeping process less chaotic. Thanks to technology, online invoicing provides you the ability to update and create documents, even when you’re out of the office.

Among the easiest and least painful ways to become Eco-friendly is to reduce your company’s paper consumption. Through online invoicing, you won’t be required to print a single document, and you’ll be able to access all of your invoices from any computer. Rather than continue to print out every invoice and store them in large filing cabinets, why not take advantage of the technology available and make your life – and the lives of your coworkers – less stressful? Not only will online invoicing allow you to reduce your paper waste, but it also allows you to send messages to your clients directly from the software, so you can make notes and remind clients of when they’re payments are due.

Accounting Software

Purchasing and using small business accounting software can be a bigger benefit to your company than you may even know. Not only will this software help you become greener, but will also make your bookkeepers fall in love with you. Finding the right software for your company – and there is industry-specific accounting software out there – will remove your company’s need for actual books, as everything will become digitized.

When you use small business accounting software, there are additional ways to reduce your company’s carbon footprint than you may know. Begin by transferring all of your handwritten notes to your software, and by creating all of your future notes within your software. This will make it easier for your bookkeepers to know every last detail about your accounting without having to schedule a meeting with you to gather this information. Then, set up your payroll so everyone in the office is paid via direct deposit. This can save your company hundreds, if not thousands, of envelopes and paper checks a year.

With just a bit of research, you can find the right Eco-friendly practices to apply to your small business that will help you reduce your waste. No matter how big or small your company is, we can always find areas where we can improve. So, ask yourself, how could your company benefit from going green?

How your iPhone can Protect Your Home

Today’s article is brought to you by guest blogger Hammad Baig of Techtutshub.

Anyone who loves gadgets probably has a enough of them in their home to make them seriously think about home security. Smartphones, DVD players, big screen TVs and cameras are among the most attractive items for thieves, largely due to their value and portability.

However, a great idea for those who own multiple tech gadgets is to use their iPhones to fight back. Whether your property already has a good level of security or not, you can use this smartphone to help keep burglars at bay, and here’s how.

Alarm Application

The simplest approach is to look for an iOS application which can be used in conjunction with your existing burglar alarm system. These alarm gadgets are becoming more and more popular, in fact, if you use a big name firm like ADT for your alarm systems, you will be able to utilize a free application to control your alarm system. Once you use an application that syncs with your pre-existing security system, you’ll quickly incorporate it as an essential item in your home security.

Security Camera

Another interesting home security app you can find on the Apple App Store is Presence by Power People. It is free and works in a very clever way. To make this app work as intended, you’ll need at least two Apple devices. If you have an iPhone and an iPad, you’re golden, but if you have an old iPhone stored away, this will work as well. This application allows users to use one of the two Apple devices as a video camera and the other as a monitor, providing direct feed to your secondary device. It can be set up to record five seconds of video whenever movement is detected, and can also send you an email every time there’s activity in your home when you don’t expect it.

Webcam Viewer

If you don’t have two Apple devices to use the Presence application, you could set up a home security camera system using your PC’s webcam. This allows you to operate the same type of system covered in the last section, but without needing to purchase a second Apple device. There are numerous apps available in the App Store which will let you do this, many of which are free.

 

iSmart Alarm

While this final option isn’t yet available for purchase, you might hear about this app in greater detail in the months to come. It is a bespoke alarm system which you can control entirely from you iPhone, similarly to the way the previously mentioned apps help you monitor your home. The idea is that you purchase the cameras, motion sensors and pet tags as you need them, and then monitor the entire system through you iPhone. It will be interesting to see how it sells once available – and what bugs will affect the application – but early suggestions are that it might be amongst the best home security options available to those living in smaller homes or flats.

An article is written by Hammad Baig. He is a young blogger, online marketer, SEO and a tech lover. He loves share his ideas about blogging & technology.  You can reach his blog Techtutshub.

The Galaxy S4: A Crash-Course Review

via Samsung.com

via Samsung.com

Late this April, Samsung released its much-anticipated Galaxy S4 smart phone.  Considering the success that the phones predecessor, the Galaxy S3, enjoyed as a direct competitor to the iPhone 5, many Android geeks and tech bloggers have been hopeful that this newest iteration of the Galaxy line will finally be enough to push Samsung and Android into the forefront of the mobile market. So far, it looks like they’ve been right. Sales of the new Galaxy topped 10 million in less than a month and are expected to remain strong in the future. But will all of the S4’s new features and enhanced capabilities really be enough to unseat the iPhone as king of the mobile market?

Well, we recently got our hands on one. So let’s break it down and find out.

Build and Design

Visually, the Galaxy S4 looks nearly identical to the S3. It’s still large – 5.4” x 2.75” x .31” to be precise. It’s still made of black or white plastic (until the new colors hit the market this summer) and it still has a chrome trim. What’s noticeably different is that the screen bezels have been thinned out to make room for a larger screen and the corners have been squared off, which creates a chunkier silhouette that’s actually easier to grip.  The USB port has been cleaned up and the rear of the phone seems tighter and better-built as well. All in all, it’s an appealing evolution that addresses many of the complaints about the GS3’s design without changing the look in any significant way.

Display

As far as screens go, the new AMOLED screen on the GS4 is a beauty. It measures 5” across and boasts an astounding 441 pixels per-inch, up from the 306 on the GS3 and much more than the 326 on the iPhone 5.

Though the Full HD display is less refined than an equivalent LCD screen, it still provides stunning contrast and a crisp, clean picture. Colors are brighter than they appear on the iPhone and HTC one and a permanent brightness slider on the notifications screen makes it easy to adjust this monster of a monitor down to appropriate levels wherever you happen to go. In short, it’s bigger, it’s better, and it’s awesome.

Performance

Is the GS4 Fast? Yes, yes it is. The 1.9 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor handled everything we threw at it with ease, including 3D-heavy games like House of the Dead Overkill. Other reviewers report that the processor torched all of the benchmark tests that they ran, which doesn’t surprise us in the least. Suffice to say, the GS4 is the fastest phone we’ve ever tested.

Networking is equally impressive. With full service, the 4G LTE phone can hit up to 14MBS on a download and 2 MBS on an upload, a solid mark by anyone’s perspective. Connecting to networks is fast, browsing them is faster.

As far as the battery goes – it’s good but not great. According to GSMArena, phone has about 18 hours 3 minutes of talk time and 7 hours 24 minutes of web browsing. The talk time is good, but the browsing life pales in comparison to the nearly 10 hours you’ll get on an iPhone 5 and HTC One.

Features

Ah, yes – the features. The Galaxy S4 has loads of them, and they’re all pretty great. Our favorite feature on the phone is it’s NFC capability, which allows you to use the GS4 as a mobile wallet to pay for transactions at stores that support them.

Samsung has upgraded the GS4’s camera as well. The new phone has a 13 megapixel backside-illuminated camera that captures stunning images in fine detail. It shoots well in sunlight as in darkenss, and features plenty of photo modes, including a neat 20-shot burst mode for those moments when you want to feel like a professional photographer.

In addition to all of Android 4.2.2’s OS features, Samsung has added a few touches of its own to the operating system. Most notably there’s the S Health app, which is a nice spin on the classic health and fitness app – it tracks your food intake, vitals and exercise routines to help you stay fit. There’s also the S Translator, which can translate speech or text into nine different languages.

Following that, there’s a Group Play feature that allows you to share media with other S4 owners and even lets you network multiple handsets to create stereo and surround sound. The suite also includes a built-in IR transmitter which allows you to control your home theater devices from the phone.

Other aspects found in the S3 have been improved. Eye and motion-tracking has been enhanced to function over a wider range and the former will now pause videos when it knows you aren’t watching. You can also scroll up or down on webpages just by looking.

Conclusion

It’s hard to find something not to love on the Galaxy S 4. The iPhone 5 might still have the “hip” factor and the superior battery life, but the GS4 dominates in every other significant category. It’s faster, it’s smarter and it has a ton of cool features that any tech geek or weekend mobile warrior will love.

Why Every Small Business Needs Accounting Software

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If you run a small business, properly handling your bookkeeping is an absolute must. That said, we need to explore all avenues for ways to simplify our processes. Embracing technology and all it offers us , including accounting software for small businesses, can make our lives simpler and less stressful. With a multitude of quality options at our disposal, the trickiest part of using accounting software can be choosing the right software for your small business. Here are a few tips to help you narrow down your search and choose the perfect small business accounting software for your company.

Tax Preparation

Do you really want to be doing your company taxes by hand, agonizing over ever last detail up until the last minute before you can file your return? I didn’t think so, and honestly, this practice is by far one of the least-efficient you can implement in your small business. Preparing your taxes becomes significantly easier and less stressful if you choose accounting software that fits your needs. Explore your options; some software options are designed to work across multiple platforms and some offer easy e-filing options for your tax returns.

Whatever your intricate needs may be, there is accounting software out there that will tackle all of those needs head on. If you have a CPA who handles your small business taxes, most software options will allow you to send your CPA all of your tax reports with the click of a button. If you have an in-house accountant, they will love how easy your taxes will be by implementing a new accounting software. Able to create and edit reports while syncing your updates, you simply cannot afford to bypass small business accounting software.

Expansion Features

An aspect that often times goes overlooked is whether the software has modules that will allow you to add information later when your small business experiences new growth. When a business does experience growth, a payroll accounting module is one of the first added to a company’s bookkeeping. If specific software doesn’t allow you to add modules, make sure you have the newest version. If you do have the latest version, spend some time going through all of its features to determine if you need to upgrade to new accounting software. While some software options will disappoint you, there are plenty of options to explore, and you will come across accounting software that fits every need of yours.

Must Haves

In order to narrow your accounting software options down to a select few that can get the job done, small business owners must make a list of all the features their businesses require in order to run efficiently. Most small business accounting software options feature the following:

  • Tax Reporting
  • Budgeting
  • Payroll
  • Tracking Sales
  • Managing Inventory

While some software options are industry-specific, others offer an array of tools that will work for the majority of small businesses. If your company is in a niche market that requires specific accounting features, research applications that suit those unique needs. Talking to your friends who also run small businesses will help you find software options that will truly benefit your company. Discuss what they like about the software they use, and perhaps more importantly, what they wish they had the ability to do with their software. You’ll most likely walk away with a short list of accounting software options, with a list of their pros and cons that will allow you to make the best decision for your small business’ accounting needs.