From the April/May 2008 Issue
How you get things done is increasingly becoming as important as what you actually do, especially in a multi-service professional practice. As individual tasks turn into a dynamic workflow process, finding ways to streamline the individual components of this workflow can lead to dramatic time savings, a.k.a. productivity enhancement. And saved time is certainly a quantifiable asset, allowing professionals to spend more time on billable (or at least higher-billable) work.
Another key component adding to modern workflow challenges is the increase in mobile computing needs. Whether for business, pleasure or a combination, accounting professionals are traveling more and require convenient access to their client and business data, in forms that are amenable to limited carryon bags and attaché cases. Finding the right tools to most efficiently service clients and manage a practice can be a daunting task, whether you spend your time in the office or on the road. This special feature gives an overview of some recently introduced technologies that can give you that added productivity edge, wherever you are.
DoubleSight Displays DS 1700S (17-inch units); DS 1900S (19-inch units):
By now, most professionals know a peer or colleague with multiple monitors on their desktop and, if they don’t have one too, they’re jealous. Multiple monitors provide an instant productivity boost, allowing the user to view different programs or documents on each screen, which can be a great help to a paperless office during tax prep time. Imagine having the return on one side and source documents or research on the other. Or during write-up, being able to view full spreadsheets and the accounting system. DoubleSight’s (www.doublesight.com) systems come pre-mounted onto a single stand, reducing the footprint on the desktop, and with software that automatically tells the computer that multiple screens are attached and how to divide programs. A wall mount option is also offered.
Computers, Inc. Model: From $295
Hardcore gamers who go to LAN parties have known of Shuttle Computers for a few years, but the company’s travel-oriented monitors are finally catching the eye of mobile professionals, especially those who are used to working with two screens back at the office. The Shuttle XP17 Lite (http://global.shuttle.com) is an uber-stylish portable 17-inch monitor that can be easily added to a laptop that supports multiple screens (most newer models do), providing an excellent option when giving a presentation where there is no projection system. The XP17 can also be used with traditional PC workstations, but its greatest assets are in its portability. The company also offers a protective travel bag.
Epson GT-2500 Business Workgroup Scanner: $599
As a central component of the modern paperless practice, a scanner’s speed and reliability have never been more im-portant. With 1200dpi resolution and 48-bit color, the compact Epson (www.epson.com) GT-2500 is geared for small business networks or can be used as a stand-alone with PCs or Macs. It offers one-click scanning of both sides of documents up to legal size, and comes with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder.
ScanSnap S300 Color Mobile Scanner: $295
Fujitsu’s ScanSnap (www.scansnap.com) line of scanners has been wowing professionals for a few years now, providing one-click instant PDF creation of documents, along with electronic document management functions that include impressive bookmarking and search capabilities. Now, Fujitsu has taken the ScanSnap a step further… out the door. The new mobile version of the device provides duplex imaging (both sides), making it a great addition to the mobile accountant’s tech arsenal. With drag-and-drop e-mail and print functions, the system isn’t just small, it’s easy to use, too.