Archive for General

Software as a Service Empowers Sales

Written by on April 2, 2009 | General

In this flagging economy, pressure on salespeople to make (and exceed) their quotas has never been higher. The stress of the field salesperson is often compounded by a lack of information and resources available to them when they are away from the office. It can be difficult to track project costs or status for existing customers or develop accurate pricing and proposals for new customers. Often sales materials must be updated on the fly or stats and figures must be provided when a prospect or customer asks for them. If everything can not be accessed via the Internet and there is a delay in the transmission of information, which can result in a lost sale. Below are five tools salespeople rely on to get their jobs done well and that can be achieved easily through software as a service.

1. CRM. The customer relationship is the epicenter of the sales force. Without good contact information and historical contact data, it can be difficult to know the status of existing customers or learn where things stand in the sales cycle for new customers.

2. Document Management. Salespeople often need to tweak sales sheets and marketing materials on the fly. If sales documents can be stored (and updated) via an on-demand application, considerably stress is relieved.

3. Accounting. This includes everything from timekeeping to budgets and costs to expenses and invoices. When these can be done in real time, via the Internet, the information provided is much more accurate. This makes reporting more efficient and less prone to errors.

4. Collaboration. When far-flung project teams can not coordinate when necessary, problems can arise quickly. Collaborating online provides real-time solutions to existing problems and affords better decision making.

5. Planning. Things change quickly in business and flexibility is key. When salespeople can look at their historical data on a customer while they are out in the field, they are better equipped for strategic planning and acting on those plans.

Salespeople need support they often cannot get when they are away from the office. While most learn to be very autonomous early on, it is unfair to expect them to do their jobs without adequate assistance. Software on demand gives them a home-away-from-home where the information and materials they need to be successful is provided. The value of real-time data can not be underestimated when considering the pressure salespeople are under to meet their sales quotas by conveying information accurately and quickly. Delays can cost sales and no one can afford that.

This post was contributed by Courtney Phillips, who writes about the top American universities for accounting. She welcomes your feedback at CourtneyPhillips80 at gmail.com

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Happy Holidays from the QCDocs Team

Written by on January 7, 2009 | General

holidays-qcdocs1

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US Mortgage Collapse predicted 8 years ago by Canadian CPA Tax Instructor

Written by on September 20, 2008 | General

Deja vu finally took full effect for me this week!  So much so that I pulled out my Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) reciprocity course notes from 2000 to see if I could track down the name of my instructor who called it!  

In 2000, I took the US CPA reciprocity exam for Canadian Chartered Accountants who at the time were flooding down to the US to bolster the tech accounting ranks during the boom. The CPA US tax instructor was actually a Canadian tax specialist who also knew US taxes and therefore a very fitting instructor for the course.  The material was focused on the differences between the two tax systems and as such he couldn’t help but evaluate the pros and cons of each. 

There was one adament issue that he emphasized that I remembered crystal clear- the deductibility of US mortgage interest against other forms of income (ie. salaries) will one day come back to haunt the US economy!

Fast forward eight years and the American economy is facing one of the most serious economic challenges of the last 70 years as a result of … a mortgage meltdown! 

Here’s the problem and I saw it first hand as the controller of a Bay Area biotech company with employees coming to me regularly with mortgage renewal paperwork and W4 withholding calculations, etc.   This tax rule that allows people to deduct mortage interest “home equity indebtedness” against other forms of income such as salary coupled with the capital gains exemption for personal residences (not different in Canada) is a bona fide tax planning exercise!  To capitalize on it fully, you have to maximize your debt (buy as much house as the bank will let you) and pay it down as slowly as possibly!  

As a result, the Mortgage companies in the US have come up with some pretty aggressive mortgage strategies over the years… it seems like a collective effort to minimize paying the IRS! 

Anyone see the obvious problem with this…?  I just googled this and I see a splattering of this issue out there but you won’t hear too many American’s talk about it.  Who would dare challenge a tax law that so clearly benefits so many homeowners in the US… until it’s too late that is!?

Accounting buddies out there who took the CPA course… who was the instructor I’m talking about as I can’t seem to figure out who it was as he deserves a pat on the back!

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