Category Archives: Best Practices

Goal Setting by Month for a Better and Balanced Work Year

How was 2018 for you? Did you accomplish all you wanted to accomplish? Did you do everything you hoped you would do? Were you able to strike a balance between work and relaxation?

How the previous year went plays a large role in determining how we execute our goals and resolutions for the year to come. If portions of your work life left you feeling the need for a little more organization and fun in 2019, here are a few monthly suggestions to spark some enthusiasm in your goal planning for the New Year.

Month-By-Month Goal Setting for a Better and Balanced Work Year

January
Set work and personal goals for the New Year. When it’s cold outside, and you’re hunkered inside, new goals can create a great positive diversion to the weather. Read more >

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Helping You Adapt to Change

The only thing that’s constant is change.

Regulations change, reporting requirements change, and technology changes, too. Within the past few years, we’ve seen a number of reporting requirements change–from the Montana Public Retirement System to Federal Affordable Care Act reporting. These changes are frustrating for clients. It means new reports, more data entry and a system to check for errors. But we are determined to ease that pain, to the best of our ability, by creating add-ons to our software and updating our systems whenever there are new mandated compliance requirements for our clients.

How BMS Software Eases the Pain of Changing Compliance Requirements

  • US-based support.
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    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Staff, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Government Accounting Standards, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Helping You Adapt to Change

    8 Signs You Are Close to Retirement

    There is a rapidly aging demographic in the workforce, and city clerks are no exception. In fact, when we surveyed the 700 City Clerk Café members in 2013 to find out more about them, a staggering 80 percent were over the age of 40.

    With retirement looming for many city clerks, and retirement planning for the future on the minds of the remaining city clerks, it seems relevant and timely to discuss what being “ready” for retirement actually means. So, we’ve put together a list of eight signs that could mean your days basking in the sun under a palm tree are nearing. Read more >

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    Five Fall-Inspired Alternatives to Drip Coffee

    It’s the season of change and while we often don’t think twice before changing out our sandals for boots, or sunglasses for gloves, we don’t often think about changing up our in-office routine for something a bit more festive.

    The proof is in the pudding (or at least, in your coffee cup)! Think about it…how often do you make a run for that same pot of office coffee without even thinking about sprucing up your caffeine routine for something a little tastier?

    So, if your tongue is begging for a seasonal update to that black cup of Joe, consider these fall alternatives to your drip coffee—no trip to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte required! Read more >

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    Five Reasons Work Breaks Are Important

    John Lubbock, author of The Use of Life said, “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

    Did he perhaps know something we do not?

    As workdays grow longer, and the lines between work and home life continue to blur, the need for midday “me time” seems to be ignored. Taking a lunch is sometimes unheard of, so why would anyone take breaks?

    While some may frown upon the 15 or 20 minute break from work, many believe breaks are key to continued concentration, focus, brain function, energy, calmness and creativity—all of which are essential to a productive and happy work environment. Read more >

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    Having a Bad Day at Work?

    “’Cause you had a bad day
    You’re taking one down
    You sing a sad song just to turn it around
    You say you don’t know
    You tell me don’t lie
    You work at a smile, and you go for a ride
    You had a bad day” – Daniel Powter.

    If there were no bad days, there would be no songs about them. But try as we might to avoid them, they happen to everyone. So, if you feel one coming on, it’s ok! Here are some ways you can mitigate it to prevent your bad day from becoming worse.

    How to Get Through a Bad Day At Work

    Give yourself some space

    It’s not always a case of mind over matter. Read more >

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    The Smile On the Other End Of the Line: Good Phone Etiquette

    Have you ever heard that a smile can be heard over the phone? We have, and we believe it to be true! And that’s why this week—Customer Service Week (which falls on the first week of October this year)—is a big deal for us.

    Not only is Customer Service Week the time of year to celebrate the progress we’ve made providing quality, in-house customer service, but it’s also a time for us to reflect upon the service we provide and determine how we can improve our customer engagements.

    While we realize that good customer service should describe every business/customer interaction, because so much of our support comes after the installation of our products and over the phone, we thought we’d focus on one key aspect of customer service: phone etiquette. Read more >

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    The Importance of City Permitting and How BMS Can Help

    Permitting is an important and necessary process for cities and towns that controls and regulates construction to ensure that all work is done according to municipal code. It can be a long and arduous process for both the applicant and the municipality, but it is necessary to sustain the economic interests, safety, and growth of any community.

    Why City Permitting is Important:

    • Permitting regulates and controls construction to ensure work meets codes and city ordinances
    • Permitting helps ensure work has been done safely and inspected (if required)
    • Permitting helps enforce safety, convenience, and aesthetic standards for the city
    • Aids in establishing and maintaining property information
    • Helps enforce zoning laws
    • Permitting protects residential and commercial property value
    • Permitting helps track growth and plan for future development of land, utilities, and public services

    Though this process is generally a tedious one, Black Mountain Software offers a Permitting module designed to assist and streamline your city’s efforts. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Importance of City Permitting and How BMS Can Help

    The Importance of Continued Education

    As fall approaches and children, teens and college students head back to school, consider what continued education could do for you. Even if you think an un-pursued interest of yours—interior design, writing, graphics—has nothing to do with your current work, dedicating time to learning a new skill fosters so much more than what appears on the surface. The very pursuit of knowledge can lead to improved health and overall happiness.

    At Black Mountain Software, we believe in the continued effort to sharpen the brain through sustained learning. That’s why we offer a series of courses and publish educational information throughout the year to help our clients gain new skills and create understanding of topics related to technology, accounting, and human resources (check out our Event Calendar). Read more >

    Posted in Back to School Tips, Best Practices, City Clerk Cafe, Technology, Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Importance of Continued Education

    Don’t Bury Your Head In The Sand Over Cemetery Management

    It’s one of those things you never think about until it’s too late: cemetery management.

    Often, clients don’t see the need for it until it’s a problem: a plot sold that is not available, a record that needs to be found, or an error that’s been discovered. These mishaps can be tragic for those who assume their family’s generations-worth of  plot records will be properly managed and recorded.

    Poor plot management plagues the cemetery industry. Cash-strapped agencies with mismanaged funds have led to a litany of instances regarding incorrect or incomplete recordkeeping, making sacred ground more akin to a battleground. And, if that weren’t enough, these issues are not usually addressed until long after a problem is discovered. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Technology | Comments Off on Don’t Bury Your Head In The Sand Over Cemetery Management

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