Tag Archives: Business

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, Uncategorized, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 >

Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, Office Efficiency, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When “Good” Back-Ups Go Bad—Will Your Data Really Survive An Unexpected Loss?

At BMS, we want our tools and services to empower our clients, and provide them with unparalleled functionality and trusted reliability. We strive to craft products that can be counted on to perform seamlessly each and every day. Sometimes, however, our clients face technological glitches that are outside of our control, resulting in unexpected data loss. Some causes of this loss include outdated technology, power outages, or viruses/malware. Regardless of the cause, a data loss can set their operations back days, and sometimes even weeks, thereby costing invaluable time and money.

BMS knows that, while data loss can happen to any client, the resulting headaches are 100% preventable. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Keys to High Employee Retention and Job Satisfaction

What’s the big deal about employee retention? Though it’s hard to project the exact numbers, it is estimated that employee turnover costs employers anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to 1.5 to two times the employee’s annual salary in direct and indirect costs. Some of the costs associated with the loss of an employee include:

  • Cost of hiring a new person
  • Time cost and direct cost of training a new employee and getting them up to full capacity
  • Loss of productivity
  • Lower employee morale
  • Lower customer service
  • More errors

After recently celebrating the 20 year anniversaries of Jayne Devlin, BMS Accounting Installation Manager, and Stacy Violett, BMS Utility Billing Software Development Lead,  we thought, “what better time to talk about retention than now?”

What does it take to hire and retain quality employees? Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Events, BMS Partners, BMS Products, BMS Staff, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Every Data Storage Device WILL Fail! What You Need to Know

Replacing File:Handbuch Webdesign-InternetDate...Believe it or not, “Every data storage device will fail at some point in time. Every server will fail at some point in time. Every electrical grid will experience an outage at some point in time. And, every Internet Service Provider will experience an outage at some point in time.” — Thomas Toblin, 5 FAQs Municipalities Ask About Hosted Billing & Web Billing Software Providers for Utility Billing Services.

These are the realities of data security, and why more people are looking at Cloud-hosted software in an effort to reduce data security risks.

These vulnerabilities – and the potential to reduce them for our clients – are the very reason Black Mountain Software recently selected Amazon as our infrastructure-as-a-service partner for our hosted accounting and billing software. Read more >

Posted in Best Practices, BMS Partners, BMS Products, BMS Tech Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In terms of finance, what is a derivative?

Money

Derivative: It’s a confusing topic, which is why it was no surprise to see a flurry of activity on a city clerk listserv the other day when one of the clerks received a Notice of Municipal Derivatives Settlement. The answers she got were as foggy as the term.

So, what exactly is a derivative? We decided to simplify it for you using a mnemonic devise using the word “derivative.”

D – Derivative: A Derivative is a financial contract that derives its value based on the performance of another entity.

E – Entity: Entities determine the value of derivative, such as an asset, index, or interest rate. Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, BMS Partners, BMS Products, City Clerk Cafe, Small Cities | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FAQ’s For Writing Effective Emails

English: email envelope

Have you ever deleted an email before opening it? Or responded to a long email before reading it all the way through?

You may feel a twinge of guilt over doing this, but perhaps it’s not completely your fault. After all, if the subject line had caught your attention, and the note was concise, would you have responded differently?

Despite the fact that email has been around for decades, there is still a lot of confusion about what makes a good or bad email. So, we’ve put together a list of commonly asked questions about emails to help your email communications become more readable, concise, and recipient-friendly. Read more >

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Is Holacracy the New Hierarchy?

English: large meeting room

“Holacracy”, a term coined by hip, employee-centric companies like Zappos, is becoming a corporate culture buzz term. But is it a great way to organize an office, or is it just another buzz word?

What is holacracy?

Holacracy refers to offices where the hierarchy of traditional managers does not exist, and authority is distributed evenly throughout the office.

Hierarchy, on the other hand, is a more conventional, top-down approach. In order to be successful, it requires strong leaders who are able to motivate their employees through a more traditional, and almost parental role.  The problem with traditional hierarchy systems, however, is that if an organization lacks strong leadership or unified goals with its employees, it can affect employee performance and morale. Read more >

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10 Things Every City Clerk Should Know How to Do

Government Building

Did you know that only 8 percent of people follow through on their New Year’s Resolutions? Most have already faltered by today’s date.

We feel, however, that it’s never too late to start anew and make goals for the year. That’s why we decided to compile of list of useful advice for city clerks and utility billing clerks, inspired by conversations and comments made by the hardworking municipal clerks that we network with all year long. Check out the list below and decide where you are really making strides, and where you could do better. Start today and make your own resolution to be the best you can be in 2014! Read more >

Posted in Accounting Basics, Best Practices, BMS Partners, City Clerk Cafe, Government Accounting Standards, Office Efficiency, Small Cities, Utility Billing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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