Author Archives: Black Mountain Software

How a Good Audit Trail Can Save You!

T2014-10-03O-Nahere’s only one word scarier than “tax prep”: Audit. Regardless of how scary this word sounds, there are tools and processes available that can save you
from a truly nasty predicament. Those processes include a thorough and comprehensive audit trail.

Despite use of the word “trail”—which insinuates a long and lengthy process—the idea of an audit trail is actually very simplistic and feasible. Creating an
audit trail is as simple as:

1. Utilizing software that allows you to make notes on entries and changed accounting records

2. Logging the details of the change or record for future reference

3. Including in the audit trail details of who did what, when, how, and for how much, and

4. Read more >

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Engineers Week 2016

Spreading the Word About Engineers

T2014-10-03O-Nahere’s one week in February where we take a moment out of our lives to show love, respect and thanks for the ones who make a difference in our lives.

Did you think we were talking about Valentine’s Day? Well, leave it us to hold out for a more lesser-known, slightly nerdier holiday: Engineers Week!

Why do Engineers get a whole week of celebration here at BMS? Well, simply put: engineers make our lives better! Their work helps turn ideas into
solutions, solve problems, build dreams and see opportunities for future improvements. Because they play such an integral role in our society, National Engineers Week exists to increase the conversation about why we need engineers, and brings awareness about the career field to schools and educators so
we can continue to develop the next generation of engineers! Read more >

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8 Things Every City Clerk Should Understand and Know About in 2016


T2014-10-03O-Nahe job of being a City Clerk requires wearing many hats: software user, recorder, reporter, coworker, conference-goer, accountant, social media expert, customer service provider, budgeter…there is no end to the many roles and tasks completed by city clerks on the daily. In honor of a new year that promotes continued learning and self-improvement, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe are the eight things every city clerk should know and understand for 2016.

What the Cloud is?
With so many agencies going to “The Cloud,” it is important to know exactly what this dreamy concept is and how it affects data computing and storage. Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, Cloud Computing, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 8 Things Every City Clerk Should Understand and Know About in 2016

Five TED Talks for Government Employees

Iwidth="300"f you’ve seen them before, you probably love them. And if you haven’t, you probably should: TED Talks.

These fabulous, inspiring online speeches provide thoughtful, dynamic insight on a broad range of issues from democracy to music.

Though often admired for their insightful talks about culture, lifestyle, innovation, and arts, we found five particular TED Talks that we believe are inspiring for Government employees: government innovation; building great cities; promoting change; city design; and one on open-source government.

So, grab your lunchtime popcorn from the snack station microwave, grab a water bottle, and sit down and enjoy these work-related government TED Talks. Read more >

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EOY Financial Statements

Common Mistakes on EOY Financial Statements

A2014-10-03O-Nas if the beginning of the new year—with all its accruals, deferred assets, and budget comparisons—wasn’t a big enough bugger, those in charge of end-of- year financial statements have one more obstacle in their year-end reporting: examining the financial reports for accuracy.

Thoroughly reviewing end-of-year reports to ensure accuracy and accountability is vital. With so many items and numbers to look at, that can be an overwhelming task, so we’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes found on financial statements.

Common Mistakes on End-of-Year Financial Statements and Reports

Overlooking Expense Line Items. Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Technology, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on EOY Financial Statements

Macadamia White Chocolate Chip Cookie Cure-All

Just in Time for the Holidays!

C2014-10-03O-Naookies. They can help any number of ailments: bitter coffee mouth, the miss your family holiday blues, and lack of yuletide-itis.
If you didn’t already know, we’ve got a bit of a thing for cookies here at Black Mountain Software. In fact, we are so serious about our cookies that we do a blind cookie tasting every year to choose the perfect cookie. And we think the results are just…sweet!

If you suffer from bitter coffee mouth or lack of yuletide-itis, and you’re yearning a super yummy remedy, we’ve got a cookie cure-all recipe that is sure to keep you from falling to “crumbles!” It’s the Brown Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie recipe, inspired by our 2013 BMS Cookie of the Year. Read more >

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IP Addresses

Do you know yours and what it does?

I2014-10-03O-Nat was an almost laughable moment when we—a software company—were trying to explain to an outside technology-marketing consultant why she couldn’t inquiry her IP address to install a simple security feature. It made us realize: if the people we work with don’t fully understand IP addresses, there are
probably a lot of our clients who work on computers all day and still don’t quite understand them either!

What is an IP address?

The IP or Internet Protocol address is a unique numeric label assigned to your computer or smart machine, which allows it to communicate with other
devices on the Internet; sort of a telephone number for your computer. Read more >

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Guidelines for Government Gift Giving

‘Twidth="300"is the season of yuletide, carols, and…regulated gift giving?

It might seem like there’s a tiny heart “two sizes too small” in the office of Government Compliance and Ethics when it comes to gift giving guidelines set for government officials. However, these policies exist to prevent the potential of a token of appreciation becoming an incentive, bribe, or obligation.

That’s not to say you can’t show appreciation for your fellow government officials and coworkers; gift giving is perfectly acceptable as long as the laws, regulations and gift giving guidelines are followed.

The basic theory behind government gift giving is this: if it can be conceived as a bribe, or sway a government official to make a particular decision, it’s ILLEGAL. Read more >

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Ten Depression Busters for Winter Blues

IFeel free to use this image, just link to www.SeniorLiving.Org  This microstock required lots of post processing to get the blue tint. I also needed a bounce card to  get more detail in the glasses.t’s supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but often, the mix of cold weather, overindulgence and the financial stress of the holidays can leave many feeling the winter blues.

If you are in a seasonal funk, there are a few things you can do to help improve your everyday mood. Check out our Ten Depression Busters, which can help brighten your spirits this holiday season and beyond.

Ten Depression Busters for the Winter Blues

  • Don’t overindulge. Winter holidays are synonymous with mashed potatoes and gravy, pies, desserts, and alcohol. What you eat and drink can have a huge impact on how you feel, so try to maintain as normal eating patterns as possible so you can feel your best.
  • Read more >
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    What is Cloud, in Five Letters

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    How can five letters leave you so confused, like your head’s in the clouds? Well, when you’re talking about something that you can’t see, is indeterminable in size, and exists “in the clouds,” it’s understandable why people are confused by it. So, we’ve broken down the cloud in five letters:
    C, L, O, U, D.

    An Explanation of the Cloud in Five Letters (CLOUD)

    C – Computing. Cloud, or more formally known as “cloud computing,” is the practice of using a network of remote servers, “the cloud,” to store, manage, and/or process data rather than on a local network server or a personal computer’s hard drive. Read more >

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