Close the Gender Pay Gap and Ask For More Money

MoneyFACT: On average, American full-time women earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by men.

FACT: Many women don’t even know they are being underpaid, so they cannot secure themselves equal pay for equal work.

FACT: Fifty-one percent of women report they are discouraged or forbidden from discussing their wages.

FACT: Women earn the majority of Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate Degrees.

FACT: You are most likely a part of these statistics, and don’t even know it.

There has been a lot of discussion about the President’s “Equal Pay for Women” in the news over the past several months. While this is all great news for working American women, we believe that we cannot sit around and wait for the government to mandate these equal pay rights. Read more >

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Can That Be True? How to Spot an Illegitimate Claim on Social Media

Have you seen the commercial where a man and women are discussing truths and the woman always replies that it must be true because she “read it on the Internet.” The commercial then closes by the woman meeting up with her online boyfriend who claims to be (but is so very obviously not) a “French model”?

With the Internet being our primary source for information these days, it’s hard to remember that what is on the Internet is only as good the source reporting the information.

Both the glory and the pitfall of Internet information is that ANYONE, ANYWHERE can publish information on ANYTHING. Read more >

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Tips for Office Moves

Ah the pains of moving.  The drywall dust in your coffee, the banging of a hammer while on the phone, and the unorthodox placement of common office equipment like the copy machine.  It’s anything but pleasant, and here at Black Mountain Software, we are feeling the everyday pains of both moving an office and converting a once-residential property into a corporate office. Which is why we thought the timing of an article on easing the pains of an office move was perfect!

Tips for Office Moves

Get the details.  Find out where your new office will be, what kind of office arrangement has been determined, and when the move will take place. Read more >

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Getting Started with Lean Projects and Lean Measures

Saving in a piggy bank

What do you think of when you hear the word “lean government”? Painful? Financial hardship? More work?

What you rarely hear in conjunction with the word “lean” is the benefits of lean operation. When properly executed, effective lean management can lead to sustainable, efficient, and effective government offices – offices that deliver more value with less waste. The key is finding and establishing the appropriate lean procedures and executing them correctly.

 

Keys to Successful Lean Measures

 

Leadership.

In order for “lean” to work, it must be executed by leaders who introduce the lean concepts in a manner that is: respectful, positive, opportunistic to the office as a whole, open-minded, adoptive, and by a person who is personally committed to the process. Read more >

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In terms of finance, what is a derivative?

Money

Derivative: It’s a confusing topic, which is why it was no surprise to see a flurry of activity on a city clerk listserv the other day when one of the clerks received a Notice of Municipal Derivatives Settlement. The answers she got were as foggy as the term.

So, what exactly is a derivative? We decided to simplify it for you using a mnemonic devise using the word “derivative.”

D – Derivative: A Derivative is a financial contract that derives its value based on the performance of another entity.

E – Entity: Entities determine the value of derivative, such as an asset, index, or interest rate. Read more >

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Tips for Seeking Government Grant Monies for Technology and Beyond!

Money!The bad news? Following the sequester, cuts went into place that reduced funding for state grants by $5.1 billion.

The good news? The result was higher grant funding (in some states) where grants in 2013 actually surpassed that of 2012—and there are still a significant amount of subsidies left!

The Center for Digital Government (CDG) estimates $93.1 billion will be spent on IT-related purchases in state and local government in 2014, and your organization can get a piece of this pie. Here’s how.

Tips for Seeking Government Grant Monies:

  • Know what grants are out there for the taking. CDW-G has a list of technology grants available for local government agencies. Read more >
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    FAQ’s For Writing Effective Emails

    English: email envelope

    Have you ever deleted an email before opening it? Or responded to a long email before reading it all the way through?

    You may feel a twinge of guilt over doing this, but perhaps it’s not completely your fault. After all, if the subject line had caught your attention, and the note was concise, would you have responded differently?

    Despite the fact that email has been around for decades, there is still a lot of confusion about what makes a good or bad email. So, we’ve put together a list of commonly asked questions about emails to help your email communications become more readable, concise, and recipient-friendly. Read more >

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    Is Holacracy the New Hierarchy?

    English: large meeting room

    “Holacracy”, a term coined by hip, employee-centric companies like Zappos, is becoming a corporate culture buzz term. But is it a great way to organize an office, or is it just another buzz word?

    What is holacracy?

    Holacracy refers to offices where the hierarchy of traditional managers does not exist, and authority is distributed evenly throughout the office.

    Hierarchy, on the other hand, is a more conventional, top-down approach. In order to be successful, it requires strong leaders who are able to motivate their employees through a more traditional, and almost parental role.  The problem with traditional hierarchy systems, however, is that if an organization lacks strong leadership or unified goals with its employees, it can affect employee performance and morale. Read more >

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    Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About…Municipal Bonds!

    Municipal BondsTime to bond with bonds.  But in order to have a relationship with them, first we’d better get to know them.  We’ve pulled together some very basic questions about municipal bonds, why they are used, and who uses them.

    What is a municipal bond?

    A municipal bond is a bond issued by a local government (the state, city, or county) or government agency (special district, public utility, airport, seaport, or school district) to pay for projects and/or improvements. These projects can range in scope, for example, improvements to government buildings and public places, a new fire station, or public utility improvements. Read more >

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    10 Things Every City Clerk Should Know How to Do

    Government Building

    Did you know that only 8 percent of people follow through on their New Year’s Resolutions? Most have already faltered by today’s date.

    We feel, however, that it’s never too late to start anew and make goals for the year. That’s why we decided to compile of list of useful advice for city clerks and utility billing clerks, inspired by conversations and comments made by the hardworking municipal clerks that we network with all year long. Check out the list below and decide where you are really making strides, and where you could do better. Start today and make your own resolution to be the best you can be in 2014! Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Partners, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
    

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