Category Archives: School Software

The Problem With Cyber Security Hacks Is…Humans

When selecting a technology provider, cyber security features and protocols are at the top of agencies’ considerations. But, as we described in an earlier article “Utilities are Vulnerable to Cyber Security Breaches Too!” https://www.blackmountainsoftware.com/2016/06/17/utilities-are-vulnerable-to-cyber-security-breaches-too/. But what is not often considered is the effect users of the technology have on cyber security.

“Sometimes a clearly defined error is the only way to discover the truth,” Benjamin D. Wiker.

More government agencies and users are finding this lesson out the hard way. Despite their aggressive security features, there is one common denominator in security breaches that can’t be managed by great software: users. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on The Problem With Cyber Security Hacks Is…Humans

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Technology?

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When determining technology needs and upgrades, many important questions should be considered: Is this the right time to consider a change? How will this affect the agency’s daily workload? When should we do it? Is this right for our organization?

Changing software or technology can be a big deal. Despite what some vendors might say, it’s a significant change that requires a well-thought out plan and good decision-making that will lead to a beneficial long-term solution.

Five Key Questions to Ask Before Upgrading Your Agency’s Technology

  • How Much Will It Cost and Do We Have the Funds to Support an Upgrade?
  • Read more >
    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Is It Time to Upgrade Your Technology?

    How Schools Are Stretching Their Technology Dollars

    Budget Button

    Schools are used to doing more with less, and they never cease to amaze us. When you walk into a classroom filled with laptops, tablets and smart boards, it may seem impossible that schools are saving any money on technology at all. But, that’s where you’re wrong.

    Innovative schools, especially charter schools that are able to tap into unconventional sources for funding, are finding ways to upgrade their technology while cutting their technology budgets.

    The ability to use more technology in the classroom without dramatically increasing their technology budget is a win-win: teachers are able to tap into new sources for instruction and students are learning more with technology-driven lesson plans and instruction. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, School Software, Technology | Comments Off on How Schools Are Stretching Their Technology Dollars

    Tax Forms and More for Happier Clients

    Signed, Sealed, Delivered—Easier, More Convenient and Faster.

    F2014-10-03O-Naorms, forms everywhere! There’s 1099’s, W2’s, 1095’s, and utility bills to boot! And now, you can get them all and much more from one reliable, trusted supplier.

    Our most recent and successful business partnership is with Rocky Mountain Print Solutions (RMPS). They produce and deliver BMS-formatted forms that integrate perfectly with Black Mountain Software to ensure your form printing is accurate and improves your mailing success.

    And, do you make yet another supplier call for printer ink? Now you don’t have to. If your printer ink is running dry from printing all those required forms, consider consolidating your form and printer supply needs with RMPS. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Partners, BMS Products, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Tax Forms and More for Happier Clients

    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

    Dealing with Change: Tips for a Seamless Software Conversion

    7K0A0190How many times have you heard the words, “that’s the way we’ve always done it” from a co-worker’s mouth? Most likely, a lot! So when it comes time to make a change—in assigned roles, vendors, software, or processes—it can be difficult! Especially when we’ve grown so accustomed to a certain way of doing things.

    In the wise words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

    At Black Mountain Software, we understand what it means to ask a county, municipality, school or utility to change. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Staff, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dealing with Change: Tips for a Seamless Software Conversion

    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

    Hardware That’s Not So Hard

    by: Barbara Thomas, Support Specialist and Guest Blogger for the BMS Utility Billing Team

    I’m a technophobe at heart. If I even have to plug into a USB connection on my computer, my hands shake. Nonetheless, so many of us are surviving, even thriving in the workplace thanks to devices like computers and printers and digital phone lines. Consider how smartphones have changed our lifestyles and eliminated the need for maps and telephone books and such, saving space and time for us.

    Thanks to technology, even more labor saving devices can be really simple to use and can enable quick and accurate data entry and free up time that can be better spent performing customer service with a smile. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Hardware That’s Not So Hard

    Time Saver Tip: P-Card Credit Card Management Software by BMS

    Are you already enjoying or still just thinking about getting in on the BMO P-Card rebates that MASBO is sharing with Montana school districts which use BMO’s Procurement Card (P-Card)? The P-Card and most bank credit cards offer sophisticated controls and aid in reducing paperwork. Rebates based on use activity are making P-Cards a particularly hot topic. They seem like the sweetest thing since Splenda!

    As sweet as it all seems, tracking credit cards and vendor purchases can be quite a task for the school district clerk. For example, maybe you need to find an invoice but can’t remember when the item was purchased. Read more >

    Posted in BMS Products, School Software, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Time Saver Tip: P-Card Credit Card Management Software by BMS

    Time-Saver Tips: Using the Daily Time Card Module

    imagesGuest Blog By: Teresa, BMS Sales Manager and former Montana school clerk

    We all have busy jobs and are constantly trying to do more with less. Though processing of payroll and time cards is a necessary task, it’s not always the most efficient. That is why Black Mountain Software developed the Daily Time Card module for use with our school or municipal Payroll software.

    Processing payroll pretty much kills a day (or two in some cases!). For example, in school administration, one must gather time sheets, fan through extra-curricular trips, verify teacher leave, and then, worst of all, sort out who subbed for who and how to pay the substitute teachers. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, Office Efficiency, School Software | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Time-Saver Tips: Using the Daily Time Card Module

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