Blog Archive

Denali Payroll Saves Time

Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2014 | 0 Comments
Here is a short video showing how Denali Payroll will save you time...

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Financial Controls for Small Nonprofits

Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

It is an unfortunate fact that nonprofits are just as much at risk of financial fraud as for-profit companies. Perhaps they’re even more vulnerable, because nonprofit employees typically share a common interest and have close relationships with co-workers. No one wants to believe someone they know and trust is secretly stealing money from the organization they believe in. Sadly, stories about nonprofit employees and volunteers embezzling money come up all too frequently in the media. For example, this story: http://ow.ly/utU9o.

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Why Nonprofits Should Avoid Spreadsheets

Posted on Monday, March 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

For-profit and nonprofit organizations rely on spreadsheets for a variety of tasks, but spreadsheets were not designed for accounting and present significant risks. Let’s look at the reasons you should not use spreadsheets for nonprofit accounting.

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Denali Payroll Introduced to Beta Customers

Posted on Friday, March 14, 2014 | 0 Comments
Cougar Mountain Software releases the Denali Payroll accounting software to select customers for beta testing.

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Tax Time? What Your Accountant Needs From You

Posted on Monday, March 03, 2014 | 0 Comments

Your accountant is getting crushed this tax season.  Want to make their day and get your businesses taxes on the top of their To-Do list?  Organize your business tax records.   Getting the right information to your accountant will be a smooth and painless process if you know what they need. 

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Do you know these payroll tax basics?

Posted on Thursday, February 27, 2014 | 0 Comments
Payroll taxes can be time consuming, but they are a necessary part of growing your business. Since the penalties for making mistakes can be severe, payroll taxes require special attention and a detail-oriented approach.   Some of what you need to know is in this article.

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Prepare Payroll Window in Denali Payroll

Posted on Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | 0 Comments
Here is how we designed Denali Payroll to save time and money for the user and their business...

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3 Reasons Spreadsheets and Financials Don’t Mix

Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

Spreadsheets are an essential part of many businesses, and they do have their place. That place is nowhere near your financial reports. While it’s possible for a business to use spreadsheets effectively when starting out, doing your accounting in a spreadsheet can easily turn into a liability. Read some of the reasons why in this article.

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Denali Payroll Built for Speed

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | 0 Comments
It takes dramatically less time and fewer steps to process payroll in Denali compared to CMS Professional Payroll or the Payroll Bridge.

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Should you use a payroll service or buy software?

Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

When your business has outgrown completing payroll manually, you have two primary options for automating your payroll: use a service or purchase software. Want to know the pros and cons of each?  

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Roadshow Training in Miami

Posted on Sunday, February 16, 2014 | 0 Comments
Here are some pictures taken by Kevin Winston in Miami, Florida, while conducting his Roadshow training to local businesses.

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Roadshow Training in Hawaii

Posted on Sunday, February 09, 2014 | 0 Comments
Here are some pictures from a recent Roadshow training in Hawaii.

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4 Approaches to Minimizing Hourly Payroll Costs

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2014 | 0 Comments
Hourly payroll is one of the largest expenses for many retail businesses, but at the same time it’s one of the hardest areas to cut. Layoffs are hard on everyone and bring down company morale, so it makes sense to do everything you can to ensure you’re maximizing employee productivity. These four approaches can help you minimize hourly payroll cost.

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5 Common Payroll Problems

Posted on Thursday, January 23, 2014 | 0 Comments
Most employees count on a regular paycheck, so payroll is one of the expenses that must get processed on time, rain or shine. Payroll mistakes can cost your business in lost time and money, and can result in personal penalties for the business owner, so it’s important that your business meets all the tax requirements and the process goes smoothly.

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New Employee Management Features

Posted on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 | 0 Comments
Here is a sneak peek at some of the new features in Denali Payroll, in the Employee Management window...

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How to Save Your Organization $147,000

Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 | 0 Comments
What comes to mind when you hear the term "fraud?” Enron? Bernie Madoff? It’s likely to be complicated schemes swindling millions from Fortune 500 companies and not a small company like yours, built on strong relationships and honest practices. While it may not make national news, smaller businesses are both more likely to be affected by occupational fraud and suffer greater losses than large companies. According to a study of 1,388 fraud cases by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), more than 30% occurred in businesses of fewer than 100 employees, with a median loss of $147,000. Can your company afford a loss like that?

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The Impact of Inventory Mismanagement

Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 | 0 Comments
Many retail business owners consider inventory an asset, but it’s only an asset when a customer trades it for money. Before then, it’s a liability, but a necessary one. Managing inventory levels is crucial to maintaining profitability and customer satisfaction for any retail business. Let’s look at the ways mismanaging inventory can cost your business.

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3 Tips to Help You Prepare to Take Over the Books

Posted on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 | 0 Comments
Whether you are buying an existing business, coming into a new position, or just helping a friend straighten out the finances of their small business, you need to be prepared. If you are equipped with the proper paperwork and information beforehand, the work will go faster and smoother. Here are a few items to think about before breaking out the calculator.

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How Accounting Software Can Impact Holiday Sales

Posted on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 | 0 Comments
For most small business retailers, the holidays are the most important shopping season of the year. Depending on the business’s primary customer base, the month of December can spell the difference between healthy margins and financial disaster. You may not be aware of it, but accounting software can have a big impact on your holiday sales.

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2-Step Process to Protect Against Resume Fraud

Posted on Friday, December 06, 2013 | 0 Comments
Résumé fraud, which includes when a candidate exaggerates and embellishes experience and education, is soaring and can lead to bad hiring decisions. According to Tony Hsieh, NYT Best-Selling Author and CEO of Zappos.com, bad hiring decisions can be extremely costly. Hsieh states "If you add up the costs of all the bad hires we’ve made at Zappos, their bad decisions, and the bad hires they made, it has cost the company over $100 million.” The cost to your organization may not be in the millions, or even tens of thousands, but a bad hire can have a huge impact on your organization.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Illinois Tornado Relief

Posted on Tuesday, December 03, 2013 | 0 Comments
On November 17, 2013, a series of tornados hit northern and central Illinois, leaving in their wake a trail of destruction and ruin.  At least five deaths were attributed to these terrible storms. This is the story of one son who wanted to make a difference in the lives of those affected and the many people who made that possible.
By Troy Kesner

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When is the Right Time to Change Acct Software?

Posted on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | 0 Comments
If you recently purchased a business or took over the accounting responsibility at a small business, it might be time to think about the future of the accounting software. Many new owners or office managers opt to keep the business’s existing accounting software, but some decide the existing accounting software doesn’t work for their needs. For those that decide a change in accounting software is necessary, here are some factors to consider when choosing the timing of the switch.

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A Hard Look At The Hard Close

Posted on Tuesday, November 05, 2013 | 0 Comments
Under a hard close (also known as a fast close), organizations audit and "close the books” after a set period of time. For most organizations, the time period coincides with the end of a month, quarter, and year. The term "hard close” is meant to describe the situation in which all of the transactions for the period (based on the transaction date) have been processed and there is no more financial activity allowed for that period.

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Minimize Accounting Risks before Buying A Business

Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 | 0 Comments
When you decide to buy an existing small business, there are accounting risks you must face before you make the purchase. It’s a problem every business buyer, from large multi-national corporations buying the competition to a single entrepreneur taking over the corner store, must address. Buying an existing small business has certain advantages over starting one from scratch, but there are disadvantages as well. Taking a hard look at the existing businesses accounting data can prevent you from overpaying for the business and minimize the risks.

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The Benefits of In-House Customer Support

Posted on Thursday, October 03, 2013 | 0 Comments
When a business needs customer support from their software vendor, they rely on a competent support staff, clear communication, and a coordinated effort between support and software development in order to resolve their issues quickly and effectively. You should evaluate how a prospective software company handles client support calls as you select the right vendor for your business’s software.

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3 Financial Factors for New Small Business Owners

Posted on Monday, September 30, 2013 | 0 Comments
While it’s critical to assess the financial health of a small business before you buy, there are still important decisions you need to make after the purchase. Here are three factors you must look at to ensure the long-term health of your new small business venture. These decisions are especially important if you purchased a small business in financial trouble, but even if the business is healthy, they are still major factors in its continued success.

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New Prepare Payroll window

Posted on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 | 0 Comments
With Cougar Mountain set to roll out their Denali Payroll Accounting Module soon, we are taking the opportunity to start showing off some of the new features and functionality the software includes.

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The Rumors Are True

Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | 0 Comments
Payroll will soon be available in Denali. You heard that right – Denali will soon have its own Payroll module like CMS Professional does.

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Accts Payable Best Practices for Healthy Cash Flow

Posted on Friday, August 16, 2013 | 0 Comments
A business should always strive to take in more money than it pays out, but sometimes events conspire to put their cash flow into the negative. While the best way to avoid problems with accounts payable is to make sure your accounts receivables are in order, here are nine things you can do to prepare for cash shortages.

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Accts Rec. Best Practices for Healthy Cash Flow

Posted on Wednesday, August 07, 2013 | 0 Comments
Unless you run a business where the buyer must pay at the time of purchase or 100% in advance, slow-paying customers can have a drastic impact on your finances. Cash flow problems can cause your business to dip into your reserves, and might force you to take out a loan to cover your operating costs. Lack of available assets could also cause you to miss out on unexpected opportunities.

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5 Ways Accounting Software Grows Your Business

Posted on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 | 0 Comments
Growth is a constant goal for every business. Whether it’s customers, product, or profit, we all want growth. Switching from a paper-based or spreadsheet accounting system to accounting software can have a positive impact on growing your business. Here are 5 ways business accounting software can help you grow your business.

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The Cloud, A Major Stress Reliever

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2013 | 0 Comments
If you are a small business owner, you know a vacation is a hard commodity to come by. Business doesn’t stop just because you leave the office for a few days. As in other aspects of life, technology is helping to solve this age-old problem. The benefit of the cloud is reaching firms of all sizes and is reducing some of the stress of leaving the office.

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Upgrading from Spreadsheets to Accounting Software

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 | 0 Comments
Many small business owners use spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel to track income and expenses. While spreadsheets can work for small startup businesses, as your business grows you will benefit when you switch to a dedicated accounting system.  A spreadsheet lacks flexibility and cannot grow with your business.  Here are four situations that might indicate it is time to mature your business beyond spreadsheets.

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3 Ways POS Systems Help Plug "Revenue Leakage"

Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | 0 Comments
Small retail businesses face many challenges: creating happy customers, increasing sales, managing staff, and maintaining inventories to name a few. In order to have a successful and growing business, these challenges have to be met and managed properly. This article focuses on 3 ways small retailers can use a Point of Sale (POS) and inventory management system to reduce the impact of revenue leakage and protect profit.

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One Data Breach Can Cripple Your Organization

Posted on Thursday, May 30, 2013 | 0 Comments
A nonprofit’s reputation is its lifeblood. Any negative publicity can damage an organization’s reputation and threaten its ability to fulfill its mission. Probably the least understood reputational risk for many nonprofits is the risk of a data breach. Protecting your supporters’ information is an essential element for the success of your non-profit. 

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10 Tips to Strengthen Your Org. Against Data Loss

Posted on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 | 0 Comments
Reporting a loss or data breach can damage your organization’s reputation and seriously impact its financial health.  The cost of notifying donors and other stakeholders of the breach and the cost of providing credit monitoring for individuals and organizations whose information was affected could drain your organization’s financial resources and diminish its effectiveness.  Safeguarding and protecting your organization’s data is critically important.

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Is Your Accounting Software an Asset or Liability?

Posted on Friday, May 24, 2013 | 0 Comments
In today’s competitive environment, you need accounting software that supports you as you manage your business. Providing an electronic shoebox is not enough. Meeting government reporting requirements is not enough. You need more. What we’re talking about is information that may be critical to the management of your business but not essential for your bookkeeper.

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What Would You Do For Disruption Free Technology?

Posted on Monday, May 20, 2013 | 0 Comments
77% of business owners miss deadlines or business opportunities because of technology malfunctions in their small business. Additionally, 75% of owners feel that a crashed computer was more disruptive to their business than a sick employee.

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A Leaders Role in Hiring and HR Fraud Prevention

Posted on Monday, May 06, 2013 | 0 Comments
Hiring and HR Fraud can create unwarranted costs, harm, and a ruined reputation for an organization. Morally challenged candidates can become creative writers, padding their resumes with claims of experience and exaggerated education.   What can leaders do?  This article identifies 4 critical steps that leaders can use to protect their organizations.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Expense Reimbursement Fraud, Signs to Watch For

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 | 0 Comments
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), expense reimbursement frauds result in a median loss of $26,000 per incident and represent 14.5% of all employee fraud.  A 2011 KPMG analysis of fraud suggests that the typical employee committing expense reimbursement fraud is male, aged 36 to 45, has been with his company for more than 10 years, and holds a senior job in finance.

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Inventory Management at the Point of Sale

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 | 0 Comments
There's no denying that maintaining inventory is essential to operating a retail business. Many owners start their businesses because they are personally attached to the products they sell and have a passion for their merchandise. Every retailer needs products for customers to buy, and business owners often consider inventory their most valuable asset. Mismanaging that asset can be detrimental. Here is a look at some of the ways poorly managed inventory affects your business's bottom line.

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Planning Ahead, Tax Tips for Small Retail Business

Posted on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 | 0 Comments
It is never too early to start planning for next year. As millions of Americans breath a sigh of relief over finishing their taxes, many small retail business owners are considering changes to make the process smoother for next year. Here is a look at a few areas that will make business taxes for 2013 easier on your bottom line.

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The Business of Cash Flow

Posted on Thursday, April 11, 2013 | 0 Comments
The present economy has created an unfortunate time when it’s easier for companies to fall into cash flow problems and run the risk of going out of business. Cash flow can be an issue for most businesses, but with the unpredictability of the economy, there is less room for error because it is difficult to predict what the future holds. Let’s look at three different scenarios in which cash flow needs to be analyzed.

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To 'B' or Not to 'B'

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2013 | 0 Comments
There is a growing debate today between two different camps within capitalism: the shareholder capitalists and the stakeholder capitalists. Shareholder capitalists emphasize the need to generate value for investors and others who financially benefit from the company’s success. Stakeholder capitalists balance creating financial value with creating value for other company stakeholders, including employees, customers, and communities. Under the leadership of a man who sought to bring together both schools of thought, one successful company has joined a growing movement of businesses that create value for shareholders and stakeholders alike.

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3 Tools to reduce your risk of purchasing fraud

Posted on Thursday, March 07, 2013 | 0 Comments
Based on a 2012 study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), the median loss for fraud committed by the Purchasing department in organizations was $200,000. Can your organization afford this type of loss?  Most can’t. This article discusses purchasing fraud and reveals three areas of focus that will reduce your organization’s risk.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Watch for these types of purchasing fraud

Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | 0 Comments
Purchasing fraud is one of the top areas of fraud according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).  This type of fraud has a huge impact on victimized organizations, with typical losses amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This article identifies the red flags and most typical purchasing fraud schemes.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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5 Tips to Navigate the Tax Season

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | 0 Comments
Tax season is always a stressful time of year for small businesses. Here are five tax tips that will help you make sure Uncle Sam does not get more than he is due. From writing off deductions, estimating quarterly taxes, sales taxes, charitable contributions, and deducting loans; these tips will help make this tax season easier to navigate.

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Changing Your Business Structure Can Save on Taxes

Posted on Tuesday, February 12, 2013 | 0 Comments
It's tax time again.  If you are like most business owners signing that tax payment check is one of the least enjoyable things you do.  Want to reduce your tax burden?  Think about the way your business is structured and determine if you may want to change.
By Mark Peters, Sr., Peters Law PLLC

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Churches Are Not Immune From Theft and Fraud

Posted on Monday, February 04, 2013 | 0 Comments
Embezzlement and theft perpetrated against a place of worship is not as uncommon as you might think. Churches, because of the high level of trust they give to their employees and volunteers, are frequently unaware how often funds intended for the Church and its benefactors are stolen, sometimes right out of the collection plate.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Cougar Mountain Adopts a New Production Process

Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013 | 0 Comments
Cougar Mountain Software is constantly striving for new ways to better serve our customers and bring them the best software to properly run their business.  Our recent adoption of the SCRUM methodology for the product development team is our way of accomplishing that.  We recently sat down with Angel Smith, our SCRUM Master, to learn more about the opportunities this presents for Cougar Mountain Software and our customers.

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Donations are down. Economy or internal controls?

Posted on Monday, January 07, 2013 | 0 Comments
Stealing cash receipts is a popular embezzlement scheme accounting for 1 in 5 cases and second only to forging checks. Stealing cash receipts accounted for 42.6% of the cases, making non-profits more than twice as likely to be victimized by this type of theft.  A non-profits Board of Directors are responsible for making sure the proper internal controls are in place and functioning appropriately to prevent this behavior. 
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

Posted on Friday, January 04, 2013 | 0 Comments
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, 154-page document that came out of Congress on January 1, 2013, partially averts the "fiscal cliff” that hung over Congress’ heads.  This Act makes many Bush-era tax rate provisions permanent while increasing taxes on upper-bracket individuals.

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2013 Federal Withholdings

Posted on Monday, December 31, 2012 | 0 Comments
The IRS has not yet released withholding tables for 2013.  We understand this can be a stressful situation when trying to prepare your payroll in the new year.  We plan to release a Payroll Tax Update immediately after the information is made available to us.  In the meantime, the American Payroll Association has released a statement suggesting companies continue to use the 2012 withholding tables.

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Payroll, Accounts Payable & GL Close Out Procedure

Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2012 | 0 Comments
The end of the year signals the end of the accounting cycle.  For small businesses this event creates the opportunity to generate meaningful information, reset critical metrics, establish tax and payroll periods, and plan for the New Year.  Without the information generated from these end of year procedures, business and their owners would not be able to make informed decisions and gauge the company’s performance. The company’s books must be closed before these can happen.

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Inventory & Order Entry Close Out Procedures

Posted on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 | 0 Comments
The end of the year signals the end of the accounting cycle.  For small businesses this event creates the opportunity to generate meaningful information, reset critical metrics, establish tax and payroll periods, and plan for the New Year.  Without the information generated from these end of year procedures, business and their owners would not be able to make informed decisions and gauge the company’s performance. The company’s books must be closed before these can happen.

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Do you have an employee named Mr. ZXY?

Posted on Friday, December 07, 2012 | 0 Comments
Payroll fraud occurs nearly twice as often in small organizations (14.2%) than in large ones (7.6%). This is likely due to poor or non-existent internal controls in small organizations. Board Members have the responsibility to protect the organizations assets – including its reputation - by developing accountable and transparent financial processes. Sound internal controls speed the discovery of honest errors and dishonest acts, and reduce the financial impact of fraud.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Accounts Receivable Year End Close Out Procedures

Posted on Friday, November 30, 2012 | 0 Comments
The end of the year signals the end of the accounting cycle.  For small businesses this event creates the opportunity to generate meaningful information, reset critical metrics, establish tax and payroll periods, and plan for the New Year.  Without the information generated from these end of year procedures, business and their owners would not be able to make informed decisions and gauge the company’s performance. The company’s books must be closed before these can happen.

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Are You Paying Employees that Don't Exist

Posted on Thursday, November 29, 2012 | 0 Comments
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) payroll fraud is one of the most common types of embezzlement accounting for 11.6% of workplace fraud in the United States. The risk of payroll fraud can be dramatically reduced with proper internal controls. Because small organizations have only one or two people involved in the accounting process, they must rely on review and oversight, rather than separating duties, as the primary risk reduction strategy. This article provides a checklist that can be used to reduce the occurrence of payroll fraud or to detect internal control areas that require immediate attention.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Need to Change your Fiscal Year?

Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 | 0 Comments
All businesses must have a tax year for accounting purposes, but that tax year does not need to align with the calendar year.  It is important to know whether choosing a fiscal year for one's business is an option, and if so, what are the crucial considerations?

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Cougar Mountain Software Assurance

Posted on Monday, November 05, 2012 | 0 Comments
As an innovative leader in financial software solutions, Cougar Mountain offers Software Assurance to help you safeguard and maintain your business accounting system and critical information. Software Assurance provides you with software stability and fewer business interruptions because it ensures access to the latest version of Cougar Mountain software.

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5 Minutes To Reduce the Risk of Disbursement Fraud

Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | 0 Comments
Organizations of all sizes are vulnerable to disbursement fraud, which is one of the most common forms of embezzlement.  This type of fraud is preventable and detectable with the appropriate internal controls and processes.  This article provides a checklist that can be used to reduce the occurrence of disbursement fraud or to detect internal control areas that require immediate attention.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Reducing Your Risk of Disbursement Fraud

Posted on Monday, October 01, 2012 | 0 Comments
Disbursement fraud is one of the most common acts of embezzlement. It’s also easily preventable and detectable with the appropriate internal controls and on going Board oversight procedures.  This article covers key high-level controls related to disbursements and the role of executives and board members in the implementation and management of these controls.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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5 Tips to Strengthen Your Reconciliation Process

Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 | 0 Comments
Beginning the financial close with a sound account reconciliation process can lead to efficient, accurate and timely reporting.  Here are 5 best practices that will set you on your way to error-free account reconciliations and a more efficient financial close.

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Accountability & Transparency

Posted on Friday, September 07, 2012 | 0 Comments
The best tools for building accountability and transparency within an organization are (1) providing oversight, and (2) segregating duties so no one controls a transaction from beginning to end. In organizations, where a few people control financial processes, board members and Executive Directors must rely more on oversight than on separating duties.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Accountability: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Posted on Tuesday, September 04, 2012 | 0 Comments
Board Members have a fiduciary responsibility for safeguarding the organization's assets.  Accountability and transparency in financial processes are essential to fulfill this responsibility.  A recent, and highly publicized, report from former FBI Director Louis Freeh on the series of failures at Penn State, which led to the cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s sexual abuse, provides a great case in point.  Here are a few tips and strategies for reducing this type of risk in your organization.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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How to Tap into the Treasurer Gold Mine

Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 | 0 Comments
Here are five key points on how you can tap the vein of gold that is your board Treasurer.  In general, the Treasurer is responsible for reporting financial results to the board and assuring that the board has the financial information necessary to make sound decisions. Here are a few key points on how you can think outside the by-laws on how you can proactively develop a stronger, more meaningful relationship with your Treasurer.  You might discover a partner with a wealth of experience and knowledge who will help you and your organization stake your claim and strike it rich.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Skip Customer Accounts with a Zero Balance

Posted on Wednesday, August 08, 2012 | 0 Comments
Streamlining the accounts receivable report to skip customers with a zero balance is one of the new features of CMS Professional 2013.  This decreases the number of records that appear saving you time and printing costs.

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Query Additional Module Data with the Custom Data

Posted on Monday, July 30, 2012 | 0 Comments
Cougar Mountain knows the importance of listening to their clients and based on your requests we have added the ability to query additional module data with the custom Data Query utility into the new CMS Professional 2013 features.

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Generate File for Manual Federal Only eFiling

Posted on Friday, July 27, 2012 | 0 Comments
Cougar Mountain is pleased to offer its customers more options when it comes to Federal efiling.  You can now file automatically through Aatrix or with the new CMS Professional 2013 features you generate files for manual Federal-only eFiling.

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Filter the AR History Report by Salesperson

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 0 Comments
For years CMS Pro provided a way to sort information by salesperson but not a way to show customer history for only one or two.  Well now you can with the new CMS Professional 2013 features it provides businesses with individualized accounts receivable reports for each individual salesperson.   

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The Role of Donor Management Within The Non-Profit

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2012 | 0 Comments
Cougar Mountain Software recently had the chance to speak with Bob Holder of DonorExpress, a software system designed to increase the effectiveness and success of donor management for non-profit organizations. 

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Enhanced Readability of Detail Lines

Posted on Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | 0 Comments
How many times have additional numbers accidently jumped onto our reporting screen?  Well not anymore with the new CMS Professional 2013 features there is enhanced readability of details in the entry grid for Order Entry and Point of Sale.  There is now a more visually friendly entry screen to help avoid any errors. 

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Six Tips for Non Profit Board Members

Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | 0 Comments
Non-profits and religious organizations combined account for approximately 16.5 percent of all embezzlement incidents – an increase compared to our prior years, according to The 2011 Marquet Report on Embezzlement. The report also states that Non-profits ranked #2 in the amount of embezzlement losses, behind the financial services sector, which means non-profits beat out healthcare, manufacturing, real estate, government and all the other industry categories.
By Denise McClure, CPA, CFE, Averti Fraud Solutions, LLC

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Email Payroll Checks & Direct Deposit Stubs

Posted on Thursday, July 19, 2012 | 0 Comments
Want a quick and easy way to save time and money within your business?  With the CMS Professional 2013 new features you can email payroll check and direct deposit stubs automatically to your employees inbox. This cuts down on printing costs and saves time printing, stuffing and distributing stubs. 

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What Would Happen If Your Computers Were Stolen

Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 2 Comments
A recent burglary of an accountant office in Boise, Idaho has united some downtown businesses and sparked the question, what would happen if your computer equipment were stolen?  If you didn't have good backups or those backups were located on equipment within your office, this might result in serious business disruption and harm.  This post outlines some of the services Cougar Mountain offers that can prevent any disruption or loss of information. 

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Noah's Restaurant

Posted on Friday, July 06, 2012 | 0 Comments
To continue the Cougar Mountain Software's 30th Anniversary celebration we have highlighted Noah's Restaurant.  For the past 32 years Noah's Restaurant has built a successful business perfecting the art of "scratch cooking".   Located in the quiet town of Stonington, Connecticut their dishes are famously homespun, and include recipes such as the Kentucky Butter Cake and the Brown Derby. 

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Leveraging Technology in the Financial Close

Posted on Monday, July 02, 2012 | 0 Comments
The analysis of financial information and making decisions from that information are at the core of sound financial management.  Technology, in the form of software applications like Cougar Mountain Software, allow small businesses to execute the closing process with greater speed and accuracy which provides more time for in-depth analysis and decision making.

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Comparative Balance Sheets

Posted on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 | 0 Comments
CMS Professional 2013 will have a number of new features and we will highlight each of the most significant ones in the coming weeks.  The first feature we will highlight is updates to the comparative balance sheet.

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Signs of Embezzlement

Posted on Friday, June 15, 2012 | 2 Comments
What are the signs that fraud may be committed at your business? 
By Denis McClure

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Monarch Cleaners - A Valued Cougar Mountain Client

Posted on Friday, June 08, 2012 | 0 Comments
This year Cougar Mountain Software celebrates our 30 Year Anniversary. We’re also celebrating the success of our customers, including some that have been with us for many of these first 30 years.   From time to time this year we will highlight these customers by sharing their story with you.

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3 Mistakes to Avoid when Choosing a NP Acct. Syst

Posted on Monday, May 21, 2012 | 4 Comments
There are many accounting systems available today that provide numerous options for cost, implementation, and features.  Here are 3 mistakes you should avoid to ensure you select the right product for your organization. 

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The Value of an Audit Trail in Your Non-profit

Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2012 | 1 Comments
An audit trail is a chronological record of all your transactions.   It is vital that you maintain this record for a number of reasons; three of which are the ability to monitor all activity for fraud, find and enter lost transactions again, and supply documentation for internal and external audits, especially government audits.  The last reason is especially important for a non-profit organization because you are much more open to scrutiny from outside agencies.

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The Advantages of Accounting Software as a Service

Posted on Friday, December 09, 2011 | 3 Comments
This is a break down of SaaS (Software as a Service) so that you can make an informed decision about if it is the right solution for your business accounting needs.

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Generation Gaps in the Workplace

Posted on Wednesday, November 09, 2011 | 1 Comments
You most likely work in an environment that is comprised of a mix of generations. How do you think this affects the communication that takes place in your workplace? You probably realize there is a difference between the way your generation communicates and the way other generations communicate around the office. Much of this has to do with the way each generation was raised and the circumstances surrounding their experiences.

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End of Year Charitable Donations

Posted on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 | 12 Comments
End of Year Charitable DonationsMost people donate to charities around the holiday season which is at the end of the year. The economy has been tight for the past few years which has impacted charitable donations as people are watching their wallets more closely, and being more choosy who they are donating to. So how do you know who to donate to this year?

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Having a Concrete Fundraising Plan

Posted on Monday, November 07, 2011 | 1 Comments
When you take on any kind of fundraising, it’s important to have a concrete plan. Without a plan, it can be hard to keep track of goals and objectives, which tasks are complete, and who is responsible for tasks that need to be done.

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Preparing for a Physical Inventory

Posted on Monday, November 07, 2011 | 7 Comments
The primary purpose of a physical inventory is to verify that the on-hand quantity of each item in a distributor’s computer system reflects what is actually on the shelf. This in turn contributes to a smoother ordering system that will help salespeople be more confident when they sell items and keeps happy customers coming back. Now, the key to successful physical inventory is planning, even before the actual physical inventory count takes place.

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Nonprofits: Don't Lose Your Tax-Exempt Status!

Posted on Wednesday, November 02, 2011 | 0 Comments
In June 2011 the IRS announced that 275,000 nonprofits lost their tax-exempt status because they failed to file an annual information return or notice with the IRS for three consecutive years. Read this article to find out if you are on the list, how to file, and how to get retroactively reinstated.

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Disposing of Multiple Assets in CMI

Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2011 | 2 Comments
Have you come across the situation where you sold a company; or a branch of the company; or otherwise needed to dispose of several assets at one time?

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Cougar Mountain's Value Proposition

Posted on Friday, October 14, 2011 | 3 Comments
We believe the true value of your accounting software purchase comes when you have successfully implemented the solution and your employees are happy and efficient using our software. Our price is competitive, and we contend that our commitment to your success is the best on the market.

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The Return of Layaway

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | 1 Comments
Layaway sales are making a comeback after years where widespread credit card and gift card use caused many retailers to discontinue the practice. With the recession retailers are looking for ways to increase sales to customers who do not have credit, do not want to max out their credit, or just do not want to pay interest on credit card purchases. Layaway plans have benefits for both the retailer and the consumer.

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Nonprofit's - Telling Your Story

Posted on Thursday, October 06, 2011 | 1 Comments
Story telling has been a part of our culture since the dawn of man. In France, twenty thousand year old cave drawings tell us stories of daily life for the people of that time. Many of the ancient religious texts are written as to teach through a collection stories or parables.

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Budget Management for Nonprofits

Posted on Monday, October 03, 2011 | 2 Comments
It is the start of your organization's fourth quarter and the dreaded budget question arises – What are we going to do next year? Sound familiar. With many organizations, budget time can be a daunting task that involves multiple individuals and days, maybe weeks, of compiling and crunching numbers just to get the base set. Then comes the approval process and the back and forth of numbers – you can have the indicated amount for office supplies, but not the one for travel and meals, and your administrative expenses can't be nearly this high. Of course, we cannot forget the biggest question for most nonprofits: From where is our funding going to come. The remainder of this article presents some ideas to help you answer these dreaded questions.

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Keys to Winning the Fight for Inventory Control

Posted on Monday, October 03, 2011 | 2 Comments
A solid inventory system should help you grow your business. What follows is a must have list of features that will help lower your costs, increase your productivity, and make your business more competitive.

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Three Things That Will Keep Your Computer Running

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 | 4 Comments
Here are three basic things every computer user can do to make sure their computer is running as well as it can. These include running an updated anti-virus program, maintaining regular back ups, and paying attention to computer messages.

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Accounting Software Can Grow, Too

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | 2 Comments
Have you thought about whether your business has outgrown your accounting solution? If your accounting package isn't meeting your needs, decreasing workloads, and providing beneficial tracking and monitoring options – it's time to change.

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Liquor and Tobacco Shop POS Requirements

Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 | 14 Comments
Tobacco Stores and Smoke Shops have their own unique set of requirements in a Point of Sale System and POS Software. Cougar Mountain Software has successfully implemented many Tobacco POS Systems and is familiar with the particular needs of the industry. Cougar Mountain Point of Sale with Back Office along with Specialty Shop offers Cigarette Store Software that successfully accommodates the requirements.

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Referral and Business Partner Program

Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 | 1 Comments
If you are an accountant, bookkeeper or software vendor, you probably get the question, "What accounting software should I buy.” If you recommend Cougar Mountain Software and they buy, we’ll give you 20% of the net software sale. It’s that easy.

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Touchscreen Benefits in Retail Markets

Posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 | 2 Comments
Many people have a difficult time reconciling what they really need in their POS software and want to know the key benefits of adding software before they plunge into a purchase.  This White Paper is going to look into and answer some of those questions for POS users who want to upgrade to touchscreen technology; why should I go through the hassle of setting up new hardware just to add touchscreen ability?

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When You Lose the Vision

Posted on Thursday, September 01, 2011 | 1 Comments
Nonprofit organizations have a special power to create miracles in the lives of those they serve, but the first step in the act of creation is having a clear mental picture of the end results you want.  The vision is seeing the future in what you are doing today.

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Microsoft Partner Benefits

Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | 2 Comments
Microsoft Partner BenefitsAs a member of Microsoft’s Partner Program there are many benefits for partners of all levels. Imagine being able to have all your Microsoft software licenses provided at no charge, as one benefit. For some organizations, the savings can be as much as $13,000.00.

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Mobile Apps Impact your Bottom Line

Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2011 | 4 Comments
Can new technologies such as mobile devices impact a company’s bottom line and ability to compete?

There is huge growth in mobile everywhere. Every day we see this by the proliferation of fancy mobile devices like iPhone, Android, and iPad, but what we might not consider as strongly is how we all shift more and more of our internet activities over to mobile devices.

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Gratitude

Posted on Tuesday, August 02, 2011 | 6 Comments
GratitudeGratitude is the cornerstone of the nonprofit community and is often taken far too casually.The nature of nonprofit work is built on the generosity of people who want to make a difference in the World. < Donors see their gift as an investment in special organizations that they believe can have an impact and will use their gift wisely. Most gifts come in the form of financial gifts, volunteer time or through passionate employees who work in understaffed organizations for low pay.

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Why Use Donor Management Software

Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | 4 Comments
Why Use Donor Management Software

When I speak with individuals at nonprofit organizations, they tell me a variety of things about their donor management software needs. For example, they might tell me about how they need the software to integrate with their accounting software or how they use donor management software in their organization. However, the most important thing is that their organization actually uses their software. In trying to discover why some organizations successfully use this software and others do not, I found one thing to be consistent: details matter. 

Here are three things that encourage employees and volunteers to actually use their donor management software, and why Cougar Mountain Software has chosen to use DonorExpress to meet these three criteria:

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Software Support - Behind the Curtain

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 | 2 Comments
Software Support - Behind the Curtain

Read how Cougar Mountain Software supports its customers from the perspective of our Systems Administrator. Software support is not just about the systems. It's about the people who have to use them.

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Why Choose a Point of Sale System?

Posted on Monday, July 25, 2011 | 4 Comments
Why Choose a Point of Sale System?One statement I consistently hear new business owners say is "I don’t need a point of sale system, I’m just going to use a digital cash register.” This may seem like a savvy business decision, after all a PC based point of sale (POS) system including hardware and software will typically cost $1,500 - $4,000 while a basic digital cash register can cost as little as $200.  So the question is: what benefit does a business, especially a brand new- cash strapped business, receive that would justify spending all that money? 

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How Documentation Can Make or Break Your Company

Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 | 2 Comments
"If your business hasn't been paying attention to your documentation, you're ignoring a sales tool and a revenue generator and you need to rethink your priorities.”

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10 Tips to Avoid Embezzlement

Posted on Friday, July 01, 2011 | 8 Comments
Fraud perpetrators have one thing in common they are morally flexible. Some are serial embezzlers, leeching what they can from a victim organization before moving on. Most are otherwise honest people who see the opportunity for easy money, and take it.

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Payroll In-house vs Outsourced

Posted on Saturday, June 25, 2011 | 15 Comments
Payroll In-house vs OutsourcedShould I process payroll in-house or should I outsource? This is an important question with cost and liability considerations. You may be suprised to find that in-house payroll processing is not only less expensive, but with the right payroll processing software can be secure and hassle free.

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BarTender 9.4 Provides Several New Features

Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011 | 3 Comments
BarTender 9.4 Provides Several New FeaturesBarTender 9.4 adds several exciting new features. Seagull Scientific has been a trend-setting innovator of label software and bar code technology since 1985. Their industry-leading BarTender design and print software for labels, barcodes and RFID tags is an essential tool for hundreds of thousands of users in more than 150 countries.

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Whitepaper: Fulfilling CPA Needs

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | 2 Comments
Cougar Mountain Software is always integrating new tools to help CPAs fulfill their client’s needs efficiently and effectively.

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Whitepaper: Is Your Data at Risk?

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | 1 Comments

Is Your Financial Data at Risk? What You Should Know...

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Best Business Investment - Training

Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 | 0 Comments
Training yourself and/or your employees to use your business accounting software is one of the most cost effecitve decisions you can make.

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Computer Performance and Stability Tips

Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2011 | 0 Comments

Here are some tips to help with computer performance and stability.

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E-file Your W-2 Forms

Posted on Tuesday, March 01, 2011 | 1 Comments
E-file Your W-2 FormsStart 2011 off right by saving yourself time and money by eFiling your W-2s, state and federal taxes by using our CMS Professional 2011 Payroll software that links directly to Aatrix eFile Center. EFiling has never been easier, and it’s simple and secure.

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Year End Procedures

Posted on Thursday, January 20, 2011 | 0 Comments

Here is how you do Year-End steps to close out your CMS software for the year. These steps cover six modules; AR, IN, OE, PR, AP, and GL ¨C close the GL module last. Before starting, it is important to do a CMS backup of your data (in the Main Menu, click Options > Back Up Company > Backup, check the Data checkbox, then click OK).

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Cougar Mountain has been making accounting software for over 30 years - our latest generation is called Denali.

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