Category Archives: Government Accounting Standards

Spring Clean Your Software and Systems

T2014-10-03O-Nahere’s nothing like a good spring cleaning to help sharpen your tools and remove the dust and clutter, but one thing we often don’t think about spring cleaning is our computer system and software.

Early spring is the perfect time (before finalizing budgets) to seriously evaluate your software needs and tools and determine what is or isn’t working for your agency. So put down your feather duster, and instead think outside your cubicle of how you can spring clean your processes.

Spring cleaning your software means: 

  • Assessing your software and storage needs now and for the future
  • Setting aside budget for growing software needs
  • Sharpening your software tools and evaluating if there are any new add-ons or features you would like to integrate
  • Upgrading your version of software
  • Upgrading your storage needs
  • Identifying tools that will help you do your job better
  • Investigating other options for software that better suits your agency

First, every agency should evaluate and assess what their future needs are and if the current software is meeting those needs. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Spring Clean Your Software and Systems

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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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 >

Posted in Best Practices, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Five TED Talks for Government Employees

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

Survival Guide for Local Government Budget Season

Feel 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.

We said the “B” word: Budgets. They can be…well, a bugger. Long, complicated, and requiring a lot of analysis. A few “B” words came to our mind when thinking of budget: “boring,” “baffling,” and “bothersome.” But that’s ok, because we’ve pulled together a list of local government best budget practices that are the exact opposite–short and sweet–to assist with your budgeting success.

 

A Clerk’s Survival Guide to Government Budget Planning

Determine What Elements to Include In Your Annual Budget.

Planning the annual budget is a long process, with many daunting tasks and thoughtful considerations. Some budgets are fairly straight forward, while others are specific and complex documents. Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, Government Accounting Standards, Small Cities | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Survival Guide for Local Government Budget Season

New IRS Resource helps Employers Understand the Health Care Law

by: The United States Internal Revenue Service

The following article can be posted on your websites and used in other communication vehicles to help employers get the facts about the new IRS web page for applicable large employers.

The new ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers page on IRS.gov features information and resources for employers of all sizes on how the health care law may affect them if they fit the definition of an applicable large employer.

The web page includes the following sections:

  • What’s Trending for ALEs,
  • How to Determine if You are an ALE,
  • Resources for Applicable Large Employers, and
  • Outreach Materials.
Read more >
Posted in Accounting Basics, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on New IRS Resource helps Employers Understand the Health Care Law

Ease the Pain of ACA Reporting Requirements

The_Affordable_Care_Act

It’s every agency’s nightmare: more, new or changing federal reporting requirements. The Affordable Care Act, or ACA, reporting requirements are in effect, and we have until the beginning of next year to determine how to effectively and accurately report a variety of health care and employee information or face penalties and excise taxes.

In order to successfully fulfill the ACA reporting requirements, it is important to understand what ACA reporting is, when it is required, what it involves, and what your software vendor is doing to assist with an easy transition. This most certainly will affect your administrative process, and the software tools and support to comply will be more important than ever. Read more >

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Is Your Customers’ Information Really Secure? Inadequate Policies May Be Putting You at Risk

Privacy and security are hot-button words right now. We’ve seen endless media reports of retail data breaches, hacking, and identity theft. As a result, the public places an increasing importance on the safety and security of their personal information. At BMS, we understand the challenges our clients face when it comes to creating and maintaining adequate security measures. We also know that sometimes, these measures become out-of-date or inadequate to meet new dangers. We encourage all of our clients to periodically assess their security protocols so that they feel confident that they are best serving their own customers. Here are some tips to consider for both physical and electronic data:

Physical Records and Information

  • Have a clearly defined protocol as to how physical records are kept and stored, as well as who has the authority to access them.
Read more >
Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Is Your Customers’ Information Really Secure? Inadequate Policies May Be Putting You at Risk

How The Cloud Protects Office Data

English: Diagram showing three main types of c...Many organizations and government entities have chosen to store and access their data in the Cloud. But what’s so special about the Cloud?

Well, while most use the Cloud personally for easier access to their data from anywhere, there is also a level of added security that comes with using a Cloud solution for data storage and backups.

Because data stored on the Cloud is accessible to users from any location with internet access, it displaces the traditional server and hard-drive vulnerabilities of data being stored in a single location, making it more secure than data stored on company computers. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, Cloud Computing, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on How The Cloud Protects Office Data

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