Picking the "right" software package.

For 2015 I have several business changes that require me to make process changes and to select some new software for my business.  I use the Apple Macintosh as my primary computing platform, so when it comes to software selection I try very hard to keep all of my workflows in that environment.  

The first system I need to upgrade is my accounting.  Over the last few weeks I have been reviewing and testing accounting packages.  I really wanted to move my accounting to an online system where it did not matter what device or operating system I used.  With the changes in business model I will be doing payroll in 2015 so that has added cost / time / complexity.  My current system for invoicing clients is online but it requires double entry and double management of contacts.  In addition I may decide that I need professional accounting review later so the ability to get an accountant involved is a requirement. 

I need to keep this as lightweight and fast as possible.  Researching online accounting systems I looked at several tools and did some testing of Xero, and researched Quickbooks Online.  Neither of them met all the needs of my business and workflow requirements.  I then looked at Mac native applications that I could use  Quickbooks for Mac and AccountEdge seemed to be a good place to look.  I have a license for AccountEdge but the user interface and a few other things just do not make it feel right to me.  Quickbooks for the Mac is missing several features that I have on my list.

So I have selected to Quickbooks Pro 2015 for Windows.  I am using Parallels virtualization software to run Windows 7 on my MacPro desktop.  It means that I have to maintain another "computer" within my computer just to run my accounting system.  With Quickbooks I have 60 days to "test" the system.  I have high hopes it will work for me.

As a technology consultant I have to balance a lot of customer specific requirements.  Sometimes the ideal solution does not exist and we need to make compromises.  Balancing this for myself reminds me how hard it is for some of my clients.  A nice little new years lesson!

Welcome to 2015!             



Your Website!

In today's digital world your website can say a lot or a little, but you have to have one!  It might be a blog, a single page statement, a portfolio or a virtual storefront.  That your website does for you is to allow you to tell your story and stake your territory.  

  • Creating a website is NOT expensive, NOT hard, and DOES NOT require a design engineering degree.  
  • A website will take a little of your time, or a lot if you wish.
  • Your website will change, it is never done.
  • Get the message out and as Seth Godin says "SHIP IT"

There are many platforms for creating websites.  Wordpress is one of the most popular and can be used to create just about any kind of site. It is great for creating content that you want to share such as a blog.    Google Sites are simple to setup, can be really clean and are free to cheap.  Weekly and WIX are a couple of template based platforms that work well for some.

I have been crafting websites for many years and in the last few months have completely moved to the Squarespace platform.  This site and several others I am working on for my customers use Squarespace.  

You site has to look good and clean, Please avoid moving advertisements!  The site has to be responsive to the user both in speed and in working properly on different device types from computers to smartphones.

Finally basic analytics will help you to see who is looking at your site, is it working?  For now do not obsess, just SHIP IT!

Posted using the new Squarespace 7 platform.