Category Archives: Technology

How the Cloud is Changing Telecommuting for the Better

Technology has changed everything, and the ability to telecommute is one of those.
In fact, telecommuting trend data collected by GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com shows:

  • 50% of the US workforce has a job that is at least partially compatible with telework or telecommuting
  • 20-25% of the workforce telecommutes at some frequency (2.8% work at least part-time from home)
  • 80-90% of the workforce would like to telecommute at least part-time
  • Fortune 1000 company employees are not at their desk 50-60% of the time
  • The amount of regular, non-self-employed work-at-home employees has increased 140% since 2005

The growing trend for telecommuters and telework is not likely to decline anytime soon. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Staff, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, Technology | Comments Off on How the Cloud is Changing Telecommuting for the Better

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.
  • Read more >
    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

    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

    Onsite Data Storage Can Mean Big Risks

    Natural Disasters. Hackers. Malfunctions. Disgruntled Employees.

    These are just a few of the things that could lead to a data disaster and put your agency at risk of being unable to recover sensitive and necessary information.

    Our data can feel safe, locked away and backed up on a server. But there are still plenty of risks that can be avoided by moving data to the Cloud. That’s because with the Cloud, there is no one single place the data is stored, making it less vulnerable to the following risks.

    Risk Factors to Data

    Natural Disasters

    In the event of a natural disaster, any data stored on a stand-alone computer or server is vulnerable to loss. Read more >

    Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Onsite Data Storage Can Mean Big Risks

    Technology Trends in 2017 That Will Change the Way We Live

    Despite our love for creature comforts, like the warm voice on the other end of the customer service line, or an office view that is more reminiscent of a mountain resort than a tech outfit, at heart we remain a software company, and therefore prone to technological innovation. So, as we watch the world change and technology with it, we are enthralled to think where it might take us—and our business—in the future.

    Remember when technology trends seemed to have decades between them? The rapid evolution of technology is so quick these days that it seems to be changing yearly—sometimes even sooner. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Cloud Computing, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on Technology Trends in 2017 That Will Change the Way We Live

    A Story of a Shovel and a Backhoe

    We have a funny little saying we like to use here at Black Mountain Software: “Don’t use a shovel when you really need a backhoe.”

    If you are asking yourself what that means, let us elaborate.

    Shovels are great. They can get the job done, and require very little knowledge or education to use.  But, if you’re trying to dig a swimming pool, you will quickly find that it’s just not enough compared to the scale of the project.

    Software, too, can be inadequate to complete the tasks needed for a city, school, utility or municipality efficiently. Often, we find that clients seeking new software are using a shovel, when what they really need is a backhoe. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Technology | Comments Off on A Story of a Shovel and a Backhoe

    Is Social Media a Part of Your Agency’s Communication Strategy?

    tree-1148032_1920#GetInvolved. #CommunityAffairs. #ILoveMyCity.

    Are these hashtags a part of your strategy?

    Big and small, many cities and communities are upping their communication strategy with social media. It’s in real time, it’s engaging, and for the most part, it’s free! In fact, communities can reach thousands of their constituents in just moments.

    While some cities have been quick to adopt this new method of communication, some have been more hesitant. That’s because adopting social media means you no longer control the communication, but let the constituents drive it with their thoughts, comments and concerns.

    But creating a social strategy doesn’t have to be completely scary. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Office Efficiency, Technology | Comments Off on Is Social Media a Part of Your Agency’s Communication Strategy?

    What To Do If You’re Getting the Paperless Pushback

    Paperless Pushback-rev02The idea of going paperless is pretty revolutionary. It cuts down on waste, saves trees, is easier to organize, is easier to find, and creates a searchable document. It has been a topic of much discussion on our LinkedIn Group, The City Clerk Café, which is flooded with tips for successful implementation. So, why then, is there still pushback on going the paperless route?

    Change takes time, and generations of individuals who have been working with paper for 10, 20, 30, even 40 years have a hard time exchanging a physical piece of paper for a virtual document. In addition, the prep work of scanning, storing, and organizing paperless information can be overwhelming to some. Read more >

    Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, School Software, Small Cities, Technology, Utility Billing | Comments Off on What To Do If You’re Getting the Paperless Pushback

    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