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  • Save Time with Check Printing Software

    Summer is approaching and no one, not even accountants, want to be stuck inside when the warm weather arrives for good.  With those beach days just around the corner, we figured some time saving techniques could prove useful to help even the busiest bookkeepers catch a few rays.

    Blank Check Stock

    While we all need to get out of our chairs more often, doing so to change out check stock in the printer gets old.  If you print checks from more than one bank account you know what we’re talking about.  Instead of using different preprinted check stock for every bank account, use one blank check stock.  By using a check printing software like PrintBoss, you can print all of the necessary check information like the company name, address, check number, and MICR line for each bank account on the check face.  This way you can print all of your payables from all bank accounts quickly and easily.

    Document Distribution

    Clients always want documents delivered in different ways.  Some prefer email only.  Some want hard copies.  Others want both.  Some even still want them faxed.  We all spend a lot of time fulfilling these requests.  Instead, handle all document distribution needs automatically.  PrintBoss enables you to print, email, fax, or even archive (see next tip) automatically.  No longer waste your time figuring out which customer wants a hard copy of an invoice and which wants it emailed.  Let PrintBoss manage all that, saving you time to get out of the office.

    Archive Documents Automatically

    Moving from paper filing to electronic archiving can save you both time and money.  But even if you currently archive documents electronically, PrintBoss’ automatic document archiving can save you even more time.  As described above, PrintBoss can print, email, and archive documents automatically and simultaneously.  Thus you create an invoice then email it to your customer and archive it on your server all in one click.  PrintBoss will even dynamically name the file and folder on your server.

    The idea is to save you more time, to allow you to get out of the office and enjoy the warm summer months.  So stop wasting time exchanging check stocks and stumbling through document distribution.  Instead do it all with one click and then go get some sun!

  • Print QuickBooks Checks to Blank Check Stock and Save

    We’re three days into April.  The air outside is a tinge warmer and the quasi-humorous April Fools office pranks inside have been cleaned up.  All that leaves is the doom and gloom of April 15th, tax time.  For many of you, taxes may already be filed.  For others, an extension may be in place.  For still others, you may be in a mad rush to get your paperwork in.  Regardless, tax time is stressful for all bookkeepers and accountants.  If only there was some way to manage this tax time mess better…

    Well, there is.  It’s called PrintBoss.  PrintBoss allows you to save time and money by printing QuickBooks checks.  It does this by enabling you to print QuickBooks checks onto blank check stock.  This may seem like a simple idea, and it is, but it has grand implications.

    By using blank check stock, you save 80% on the cost of preprinted QuickBooks checks.  This will ease the pain of ordering new checks especially when cash can be strapped during tax time.  Blank checks will also save you the hassle of inventorying different check stock for every bank account.  PrintBoss allows you to print the MICR line on your checks, including bank account number and routing number.  Thus you can store one blank check stock and print from all bank accounts to the one stock.  Furthermore, PrintBoss will keep track of check numbers for each bank account.  No more worrying about which stock is in the printer and which check number you are on.

    Nothing is worse than having to sign each and every check that you print.  PrintBoss can solve that problem too.  With encrypted signature files, PrintBoss will automatically print QuickBooks checks with signatures.  Governed by preset rules, PrintBoss knows which signatures to print on checks of certain amounts for certain bank accounts.

    We know how stressful tax time accounting can be.  So make it easier on yourself and print QuickBooks checks with PrintBoss to save time and money.  Check out other PrintBoss features that will make your holiday season more bearable and then try out our 30 day FREE trial.

  • The Make-Up of An Underdog

    It’s March Madness again and the excitement of small school, Cinderella stories has captured our collective imaginations once again.  We’re a country founded on the underdog.  We all dream of playing that underdog role and we root vigorously for anyone who succeeds in it.  Which begs the question, what is the makeup of a successful underdog?

    The great thing is that what makes a successful underdog in the NCAA tournament is the same thing that makes a successful underdog in business.  So let’s examine the March Madness Cinderella makeup and see how it applies to a successful small business.

    Play a different game

    One of the first Cinderella teams that comes to mind is VCU.  They made their name when they beat Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2007.  While nowadays they are perennially ranked in the top 25 and their coach, Shaka Smart, is regarded as one of the best in the country, in 2007 they were an unheralded, Cinderella squad from Virginia.  Smart knew he couldn’t recruit the blue chip players that went to programs like Duke, so he competed with a different style of game.  He recruited athletic and eager players who were willing to play full-court defense for 40 straight minutes.  They played high intensity, swarming basketball that most teams at the time were not used to.  The result: VCU has been to the tournament six out of the last seven years, including a Final Four run in 2011.

    In business it’s tough to compete with the Goliaths, especially when you try to play their game.  Be different.  When Twitter started, Facebook was well entrenched in most households.  So instead of trying to build a Facebook replica (see MySpace), Jack Dorsey tweaked how people could interact.  By limiting posts to 140 characters, Twitter found space in the social media world not yet governed by the incumbents.

    Do something really well

    This might sound like an obvious statement, but it’s often ignored.  In 2010, the Butler Bulldogs made an unprecedented run to the NCAA Finals.  While they may not have been the most athletic or the tallest team in the tournament, they were one of the most precise teams.  They ran their offense with pinpoint accuracy, focusing on limiting turnovers.

    While big companies have the benefit of greater numbers, deeper pockets, and a wider reach, that doesn’t mean they do everything best.  With its technological expertise, Uber discovered that it could operate a pickup service more efficiently than taxi companies.

    Be agile and adapt

    Often smaller conference teams don’t have the athleticism or size to compete with the high profile schools.  For this reason, those programs, like Harvard in 2013, have to adapt.  Sometimes playing a four guard lineup offers advantages that normally wouldn’t be there.

    You’ve probably heard of, if not used the photo sharing site Flickr.  Did you know that this same company was originally created as an online multiplayer gaming company?  What they discovered was that users enjoyed sharing photos on the live chat tool.  Agile enough to react, the company pivoted and focused solely on the photo sharing.

    Underdog success stories don’t happen by luck.  By being innovative, focusing on your strengths, and being agile enough to adapt quickly, underdogs can pull off an upset.  As they say, that’s why they play the games.

  • Blank Check Printing Changes the Paradigm

    You can’t fit a round peg into a square hole.  We’ve been hearing that since we were one year old.  While this is true, maybe it is not an issue of the peg but rather the hole.  The startup Monohm, out of Berkeley, California are asking this exact question.  They are attempting to change the paradigm of smartphone technology.  Instead of a rectangular phone, they are envisioning a circular one.

    While Monohm might be the first to take this paradigm shift literally from a square something to a circular one, they are not the first to propose a better way of doing something, even if it bucks a trend.  Businesses have printed checks onto preprinted stock for decades.  While in the beginning you simply ordered checks directly from your bank, as time went on you could get preprinted checks from many different vendors.  But at the end of the day, they were still just preprinted checks.  The issue was that they cost a lot, they were a security risk as sensitive information was printed on their face, and they were cumbersome if you had more than one bank account.

    So instead of sticking with that square peg, Wellspring Software, 25 years ago, allowed companies to buy one blank check stock and print their own bank and company information on the check face.  This stock was not only much cheaper, but it also allowed businesses to use just one stock for all their accounts.

    In the end, changing to blank check stock changed the check printing paradigm.  If you print checks from more than one bank account, try PrintBoss today with our 30 day free trial, and save time and money.

  • What Improved Economy Means for Small Businesses

    The Department of Labor gave Americans hope Friday morning announcing that the unemployment rate has fallen to seven year lows at 5.5%.  This drop came after a surprising February where the US economy added 295,000 jobs.  Despite the heavy snow and cold that blanketed much of the country last month, employers, particularly in the retail and services industries, found reason to increase their payroll.

    Despite the improvement in unemployment rate, all-out optimism is being held in check by disappointing wage growth.  Wages rose only .1 percent last month.  Many assume wage growth is only lagging behind the improving unemployment rate, waiting for the job market to tighten.  Some economists even point to a demographic shift, as higher paid baby-boomers retire, and younger millennials enter the job market at lower paying jobs.  This change affects the average.

    So unemployment is down.  Wages are expected to rise.  Should we bust out the champagne?  Many investors say no, at least not yet.  Mark Cuban, the billionaire “Shark Tank” investor recently warned of another potential tech bubble like back in 2000.  "If we thought it was stupid to invest in public internet websites that had no chance of succeeding back then, it's worse today," he commented on his blog.  He and others claim that crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have made it easier for bad ideas to get funded by uninformed individuals.  This creates significant economic risk as it not only creates another hi-tech bubble, but also produces a liquidity issue for these small investors who have invested their life savings into these risky ventures.

    Another 2000 tech bubble or 2008 housing bubble type burst could be catastrophic, sending our just recovering economy back into what economists call a “double-dip” recession.  Fortunately, we do learn from our mistakes, and the Fed is doing what it can to make sure banks are prepared for another slide backward.  Recently the Fed put all big banks, including foreign subsidiaries, through stress tests to judge their financial health.  Improved capital levels by most banks indicate improved security against another financial crisis.

    So what does all this mean for you as a small business?  It means that while the economy shows significant signs of improved health, as a business you must protect yourself against bad investments and overextending your capital.  We are not out of the woods yet and you don’t want to be caught out in the cold if any of these risks come to fruition.  Know how your banks performed on their stress tests and do your due-diligence before investing your money.

  • How to Pick the Best Dressed Check Printing Software

    As always, the Oscars this past weekend were a hit.  Neil Patrick Harris did a fine job conducting the evening and the celebrities did their part giving us some touching, some funny, and some downright awkward moments.  Leading up to the awards each year, all news coverage is on who will or won’t win.  But Monday morning after the awards are doled out, no one cares about who won what.  All the talk show anchors discuss are who wore what.  Even years later, you hear more about and see more pictures of what stars wore to the Oscars than what parts they played that brought them there.

    We care a lot about how we and others dress.  But it’s not only about our clothing.  We care about how our food is “dressed,” how our homes are “dressed,” and even how our software is “dressed.”  When talking about check printing software, as we often do, it is this last dressing that we care most about.

    What is software “dressing?”  It can be design features, interactive features, social features, or, as is particularly important in accounting software, security features.  Dressing is often what differentiates comparative software.  When considering check printing software then, what software dressing is important?

    Adding bank accounts: You should be able to add bank accounts easily and with little to no cost.  As your business grows, the number of bank accounts from which you print checks often grows.  Your check printing software needs to be able to scale with you.  Having simple and intuitive bank account features, as well as having unlimited bank accounts with which to use is key.

    Electronic signatures: If you are printing checks from multiple bank accounts, chances are you will need multiple signatures on your checks.  A check printing software that enables you to securely store and print signatures on your checks is important.  Furthermore, the software’s ability to print certain signatures based on dollar amounts saves even more time.

    Employee rights security: Check printing software often do more than just print checks.  From archiving documents, to sending purchase orders via email, check printing software can perform multiple tasks.  For this reason, multiple employees in your office may use the software.  Having employee account security is essential.  Your check printing software should allow you to set up certain employee rights that enables them to perform their needed tasks but not others.

    There are many other check printing software dressings to consider, like automatic archiving, faxing, and Positive Pay file creation.  To learn more about those features and more, visit our features page.

    Interesting in testing out a check printing software?  Try PrintBoss free for 30 days with our free trial.

  • What Exactly is Blank Check Printing?

    Have you been watching the Cricket World Cup?  No.  Have you at least been checking the highlights and scores?  Probably not.

    For most Americans, watching cricket is akin to watching a Greek soap opera.  Things are happening, people are talking, but you’re not sure exactly what’s going on.  We try to relate it to things we know.  “It’s like baseball but with a flat bat.”  “It’s like hockey how you can go behind the goal.”  “It’s like a Chinese fire drill where people are just running around everywhere.”

    We realized that this is similar to many businesses’ concepts of blank check printing.  They try to relate it to the way they have printed checks historically.  Like how cricket relates to baseball with a bat and a ball, preprinted check printing relates to blank check printing in that you use a computer and you end up with a printed check.  While this is accurate, it is the many differences in the process of getting to that printed check, that make all the difference.  Where the cricket metaphor falls flat though is that while cricket is a different game, like baseball it is complicated.  Blank check printing on the other hand, is a simpler and less costly process than preprinted check printing.

    So what exactly is blank check printing?  In truth, the process of blank check printing is similar to what you and your business currently do.  You process check payments the same way as you always have in QuickBooks.  But instead of switching your many different check stocks in and out depending on what bank account you are printing the checks from, with blank check printing you can leave the same blank check stock in the printer and print all of your bank accounts to it.  This saves you time changing check stocks in and out of the printer.

    In QuickBooks, you then select PrintBoss as your check printer driver.  This passes the check information from QuickBooks to PrintBoss, which in turn connects the company information from QuickBooks with the corresponding bank information in PrintBoss.  With these two pieces, PrintBoss can print checks including company info, check number, amount, and bank information (account and routing numbers).  All of this is done automatically and saves you money by requiring only one check stock instead of multiple stocks for your multiple bank accounts.

    In the end, blank check printing saves you time and money.  It simplifies your accounting processes, enabling you to focus your extra resources elsewhere.  Cricket may look like baseball, but it’s not.  In the same way, blank check printing looks a lot like preprinted check printing, but it is easier, more efficient, and more cost effective.

    Try blank check printing free for 30 days with the PrintBoss free trial, and experience the benefits first hand.

  • Let PrintBoss Be Your Check Printing Valentine

    Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the relationships in your life that bring you joy and love.  If you don’t already have a valentine, or even if you do, let PrintBoss be yours and celebrate the joys of saving time, money, and increasing security.  While it’s only a software, what other relationship in your life will work tirelessly to give you the results you desire?  What relationship will never let you down and even comes with the support of an award winning staff?  PrintBoss is designed to make your check printing easier and less expensive.

    So let PrintBoss be your valentine and start saving time and money this Valentine’s Day.  You can even start out the relationship slowly with our 30 day free trial.  PrintBoss isn’t asking you to meet the parents on the first date.  Get to know it, then commit.

    To help persuade you to be its valentine, PrintBoss has written you a love letter.  We hope you say yes, as there is nothing PrintBoss loves more than improving your check printing process.


    Valentines day poem

  • What Does It Mean to be Crazy as an Entrepreneur?

    Are all entrepreneurs crazy?  If so, what kind of crazy?

    Wellspring Software started 25 years ago by brothers, Stu and Greg Neale.  At the time they were routinely told they were crazy.  “This is your third business in nearly five years, are you crazy?”  “You each have multiple kids, you’re crazy to start a business now,” Stu remembers people telling them.

    So were they?  “Yeah, probably a little,” Stu says.  “Then again, for us it would have been crazy not to be in business for ourselves.”  So is crazy simply a matter of perspective?

    MBA professors will tell you that the idea that some people are born entrepreneurs or that you have to be a little crazy to be one, is a farce.  Through financial risk mitigation techniques and sound business planning, they’ll explain, you can take the crazy out of entrepreneurism.  But can you ever remove all the risk that startups bring?  Can starting a business ever be as stable as joining an established company?

    Simply answered, no.  If it were, there would be a lot more new businesses in the world.  What these MBA professors don’t address are the psychological risks, be them perceived or otherwise, that contribute to the notion that startups are precarious business ventures.  Linda Rottenberg, the CEO and co-founder of the global non-profit Endeavor, says, “It’s not an absence of ideas or business techniques, it’s the absences of courage to actually be willing to put yourself on the line and maybe even be called crazy.”

    For some, like Stu and Greg, this willingness to be called crazy was second nature.  They had been developing businesses since they were in junior high in Cleveland going door to door in their neighborhood offering snow shovel services.  Is every kid willing to go door to door offering services?  “Fortunately not, or else we might not have had a good business.”

    This same craziness was behind the Neale and Peter Paint Company and the Neale Tree Eradication Services they operated in high school and college.  As they got older the products and services became more refined with mopeds in the 70’s, car clocks in the 80’s, and eventually accounting software in the 90’s through today.  But that craziness, that willingness to put themselves on the line, did that ever change?  “No, that was probably the one thing that endured from business to business.  We always thought our ideas were gold, even if in hindsight they weren’t, and we were willing to push them.”

    Are all entrepreneurs crazy?  Yeah, probably a little.  But it’s a good crazy, a courageous crazy that allows them to face both financial and psychological risks and move forward anyway.  For Stu, being a little crazy, being willing to put himself on the line has worked, “Wellspring Software has been around for 25 years now, so we’re hardly a startup any more…but that doesn’t mean we’ve lost our crazy.”

  • Intuit Crowdsourcing and its QuickBooks Add-Ons

    The act of crowdsourcing has been around a lot longer than the term has.  Over the past several years, websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have popularized the term and idea of using a community to source a project, whether we are talking labor, funding, or any other input.  But this concept of using the community to accomplish more did not arrive with those online markets.  Even in the software world, crowdsourcing was a thing longer than five years ago.

    In fact, Intuit has been offering crowdsourcing opportunities and benefits in its Intuit Marketplace since before 2009.  Intuit recognized that by developing a QuickBooks Add-on ecosystem in which third party developers could create and market software to improve the QuickBooks experience, it would improve QuickBooks itself.   So while Kickstarter was forming its LLC in 2009, the Intuit Marketplace was crowdsourcing QuickBooks features for its users.

    It is in large part due to this QuickBooks add-on crowdsourcing market that Intuit has risen to the top of the accounting industry.  This QuickBooks add-on market has been so successful, in fact, that Intuit is depending more and more on it moving forward.  Intuit has made it known that its cloud version of QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, will reach parity with its desktop forbearers only through third party add-on software.

    Features like document distribution that enables you to email, print, fax, and archive all accounting documents automatically are only available through QuickBooks add-ons like PrintBoss.  Crowdsourcing has gained popularity on its ability to develop the best and most efficient solutions at the lowest cost.  It’s a community effort to solve only problems that people and businesses actually want solved.  The Intuit Marketplace is no different as third party add-ons respond quickly to market needs.

    While crowdsourcing continues to gain popularity, Intuit has been realizing its value for years.  There is a reason it is the best accounting solution available and that reason is its community.

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