Yearly Archives: 2020

How to Effectively Work from Home

While opportunities for telecommuting and remote work have become more prominent within the tech sector over the last few years, working from home is now a reality for many. This digital reinvention of the workplace can be a jarring transition from regular office life, but it doesn’t have to be.

Unlike in Japan, most American tech workers are uniquely positioned, both logistically and culturally, to easily work from home due to increases in the availability of cloud technology and access to home Wi-Fi and personal computers. Efficiency, however, can be an issue. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available to keep efficiency high or even increase it. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe | Comments Off on How to Effectively Work from Home

The Importance of Civic Engagement Now More Than Ever

According to the National Research Center (NRC), data collected by the National Community Survey over the last 15 years shows that nearly 80% of residents expect their governments to provide opportunities for community engagement. But with most government offices closed and employees working from home due to the spread of COVID-19 and the adoption of social distancing guidelines, attending a board meeting or town hall is virtually impossible. The timing couldn’t be worse either since civic engagement is now more crucial than ever. As Senior Vice President of Innovation at Polco, Michelle Kobayashi, tells the NRC: “finding ways to connect with people when they are socially isolated…gives people a sense of empowerment…a sense of things they can do to make them feel like they have some control over the situation.” Read more >

Posted in City Clerk Cafe, Latest News, Small Cities, Technology | Comments Off on The Importance of Civic Engagement Now More Than Ever

Bringing Our Best to Overcome Adversity

The world has always been crazy, but we live in truly unprecedented and uncertain times. There’s no need to beat anyone over the head with current events because it’s obvious that life is exceptionally tough for a lot of people right now. Yet, while it’s easy to focus on how bad things are or wonder how they could get worse, one thing is certain: trust is key in getting through this pandemic. Not necessarily trust in “the system”, but trust in ourselves, each other, and the tools we use to make life easier.

Amidst the chaos of the news cycle, there are a few examples of this crisis bringing out the best in the corporate world. Read more >

Posted in Latest News | Comments Off on Bringing Our Best to Overcome Adversity

Don’t Let Credit Cards Manage You

According to Fundera, 70 percent of consumers prefer card payments, and credit cards account for a third of all card purchases. Unsurprisingly, the amount of daily credit card purchases is expected to continue increasing over time. While government employees only account for a fraction of all credit card purchases, as the amount of credit card purchases increase, local agencies will have a ton of credit card purchase information to monitor. Luckily, Black Mountain Software offers a convenient way to document, track and report employee credit card activity with ease and efficiency: Credit Card Manager.

Credit Card Manager is an add-on module available for Accounting that keeps all credit card information in one secure place so transaction information can be viewed on the fly. Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, BMS Products, Office Efficiency, School Software | Comments Off on Don’t Let Credit Cards Manage You

Will Electronic Voting Improve or Hamper an Already Fragile Process?

Tablets, phones, and mobile devices are everywhere. We use them to read, take notes, and even place orders at restaurants. Their portability and ease-of-use have helped them become a vital part of everyday processes in the private sector. And while the public sector has traditionally been slower to implement new technologies, the convenience of mobile devices has spurred government agencies into readily adopting them. The corresponding increase in efficiency and transparency has even led to public agencies incorporating mobile technology into council, board, and committee meetings; making it easier to record minutes, disperse agendas, and share information. But could the same technology be used for voting? Read more >

Posted in City Clerk Cafe, Latest News, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Will Electronic Voting Improve or Hamper an Already Fragile Process?

The Problem of Advanced Artificial Intelligence

The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has been around for decades with people pondering its philosophical implications the entire time. From the stories of Isaac Asimov in the 50s to modern television series like Westworld, humanity seems obsessed with both the potential and danger associated with sentient technology. And, unlike the prospect of flying cars, the discussion over AI is now more relevant than ever.

There are two primary camps in the debate over AI: the pessimists and optimists, which can be represented by folks like former presidential candidate Andrew Yang or MIT research scientist Lex Fridman respectively. Yang recently brought the idea of automation displacing American workers in the trucking industry into the national spotlight. Read more >

Posted in Latest News, Technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Problem of Advanced Artificial Intelligence

Current Tax Season Scams

Tax season is now in full swing so it’s important to make sure you get a refund and not ripped off. Scammers are incredibly sneaky when it comes to exploiting people’s fears and tax-induced anxiety makes the IRS a perfect cover for shenanigans. Accordingly, we thought it beneficial to address a few common techniques (recently compiled by Infosec and reported on in the Washington Post) criminals currently employ to help ensure you know what to look out for this tax season.


This approach is all bait—where scammers send seemingly legitimate emails that lure victims into downloading malicious software via link in order to gain access to their devices, and subsequently, their information. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe | Comments Off on Current Tax Season Scams

3 Ways Cities are Innovating with Technology

Cities across the United States have started to work smarter—not harder—when it comes to improving their technological infrastructure. From free public wi-fi in big cities, to high speed internet in rural areas, and a general push toward financial data transparency, many cities are finding ways to use technology to innovate within their communities.

Free Public Wi-Fi

Coastal hubs like New York City and San Francisco paved the way for free public wi-fi. However, some landlocked cities have caught up and become hubs in their own right. Kansas City, for example, began by installing wi-fi hotspots across 54 square blocks of downtown in 2015. Read more >

Posted in BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Small Cities, Technology | Comments Off on 3 Ways Cities are Innovating with Technology

Why We Use Amazon Web Services for the BMS Cloud

The BMS Cloud allows our clients to simplify data management, automate updates and nightly backups, strengthen security, and improve their overall software experience. We offer a smooth transition to the BMS Cloud using in-house migration and installation services, as well by partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the most secure, reliable and responsive providers in the industry.

Three Benefits of AWS for the BMS Cloud


Security is of the highest priority for Amazon Web Services. As a customer, BMS benefits from the same security infrastructure built for larger industries, which includes multiple secure data centers, encrypted data transit, network firewalls, multi-factor authentication, and frequent vulnerability testing to ensure data is stored and transmitted safely. Read more >

Posted in BMS Partners, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Why We Use Amazon Web Services for the BMS Cloud

Stay Connected with Black Mountain Software

If you sign up for Black Mountain Software emails, about 4 times per year you will receive a special email designed for organizations like yours that are not already Black Mountain customers. We won’t clutter your inbox, and we will provide information relevant and helpful to you. And don’t worry, your email address is never sold or given out to third parties.

Select the Email Updates You'd Like to Receive:

Other Ways to Stay Connected:

Subscribe to the Blog Subscribe to City Clerk Cafe Connect with LinkedIn
Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Connect on YouTube