Hiring a Tax Professional Versus Using Software

It is a question more and more frequently asked. Should I hire a tax professional or use a software program to do my income tax return?

Professional tax experts say that a trained, accredited professional can come up with deductions, exemptions, or credits that tax preparation software cannot.

Software developers and retailers say that the programs are sophisticated enough to do just as good a job as a tax professional, and will save you money to boot.

This is really a decision based upon your personal preference.

Before hiring a tax professional make certain that you are getting experience and expertise for your money. Be sure to check the tax expert’s qualifications and accreditation. Ask for references from other taxpayers who have used their service. Find out what guarantees and support they offer should you be audited.

In states other than Oregon, California, and Maryland, almost anyone can get paid to file an income tax return. Of course, if you hire a Certified Public Accountant, Attorney, or Enrolled Agent, they are all regulated by oversight. Otherwise, you are on your own. That is why it is vitally important to check any and all qualifications and references offered to you by someone charging to prepare your income tax return.

Many people who once used someone else to prepare their taxes, or who sat down with a pencil and a calculator to it themselves, are now using computer software to prepare their returns. The programs offer ease, speed, and low cost. People say that it is just as good as using a tax preparation service since the database is loaded with all of the most recent tax information and at the heart of it all is the information you provide, anyway. Also, if you run into trouble, you have the option of getting help from a live support team.

Like I said, the decision really boils down to a matter of personal preference. It is also a matter of finance, as well. Most tax software applications are available for under a hundred dollars; most tax preparation services are not. Also, tax preparation programs will not offer you a tax rebate anticipation loan, which have become a very popular reason to use tax preparation services.

If you are not in need of a tax rebate anticipation loan and are unafraid to do your taxes yourself, there is no question that you will save money by using Turbo Tax or some other tax preparation software. Either way, always be sure to do all you can to assure yourself of the lowest tax liability legitimately possible.

Service Software Dreaming

We are all amassed and amazed in/by technology, as we know it…virtual wired, virtual here or there, virtual wireless, virtual…mobile! When was the last time that you visited/took advantage of the convenience of Pay-Pal, the ATM, the Kiosk, online financials, for example., banking, or HR services – The Submittal of Cvl/Resume(s)?

What about the “Digital Divide”, “Digital Age Dilemma” – where too many citizens are at a loss of access to the world of digitization? Did a robot take your job? Did a computer application make you obsolete? Data Mining, is it alive and well? Is it/was it a dream to wake up and go to work and receive a pink, blue, brown, or/and purple colored separation notice that was dated yesterday and effective now?

It has to be a damned dream! Yeah, I’m dreaming! I wonder…do robots dream?

It all started with the Ethernet, WAN, LAN, and Virtuality – Private Networks…Bell Telephone thrived in the planting of poles and telephone lines, as did the cable companies. What about their underground cables and telephone networked lines of communication? Could we survive without it?

Software As A Service – The Digital Age…the workforce, will it become Saas?

The 411, did you know that SaaS, a software delivering method that provides access to software and its functions remotely as a web-based/cloud service does a multitude of things? Saas allows organization(s) to access business functionality at a cost typically less than paying for licensed applications since SaaS pricing is based on a monthly fee. Because the software is located remotely, users don’t need to invest in additional hardware. SaaS removes the need for organizations to handle the installation, set-up, and daily upkeep and maintenance…defined as hosted applications.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a business management system that integrates all facets of the business environment, including planning, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. As the ERP methodology has become more popular, software applications have emerged to help business managers implement ERP in business activities such as inventory control, order tracking, customer service, finance and, human resources.

SaaS Strategy:

“Of all the Cloud Computing ideas out there, SaaS is the one that needs attention now!” “Many companies treat it Ad Hock!” As evaluated and concurred, a statement by Michael Bidding, CTO of Fusion PPT, Consulting and IT Services.

Vendor marketing, new services, and cloud strategy have caught business technology leaders in a cloud-computing deluge. Business technologists who now use SaaS described their apps as critical to the missions. Ad Hoc is not Saas. Ad Hoc is an autonomous system of routes (and associated hosts) connected by wireless links. Ad Hoc Network Systems (ANS) are complex systems with cross layer protocol dynamics and interactions that are not present in wired systems. Such a network may operate in a stand-alone fashion, or connected to the larger (system) Internet, operating as a hybrid fixed/Ad Hoc network. A polling of several companies and their CIO’s could gain the most from SaaS by incorporating it into or by making SaaS a part of the overall enterprise architecture.

Cloud Computing – the sharing of computing resources rather than having local services or personal devices to handle application(s). Its goal is to apply traditional supercomputing, or high-performance computing power, normally used by the military and research facilities. Cloud Computing Networks are also larger groups of servers, with specialized connection speed.

Data processing chores:

The shared IT infrastructure(s) contain(s) large pools of systems that are linked together allowing data centers to operate like the Internet while computing resources are utilized, accessed, and shared as virtual resources in a secured and scalable methodology.

Although SaaS is not described as being universal, users who were polled, agreed that it has moved beyond customer resource(s), Human Resource(s), Email, Sales Force Automation, Service/Help Desk, Financial (On-Line Banking), and Backup Applications. All of theses apps are used and more… Business Server Apps have used SaaS for nearly 100 % of its services. Billing, inventories, time sheets, sales, email, and pipeline management share in this Software As A Service Application(s). Businesses enjoy the quick setup and reduced capital expenditures. Another benefit is increased power and employee mobility by way of remote offices via a smart-phone or a home computer (PC). “Mobile Access is the name of the game”, says Michael Bidding. Cloud computing is overshadowing the education about Simple Software As A Service (SSAS). SaaS vendors say portability, privacy, and security is the main points of interest for businesses.

SaaS users say IT organization is the primary driver and C Level Managers or the Line of Business is behind the use of SaaS. Developing SaaS Strategy Teams are encouraged to address the selection of the Right Provider, Signing The Right Contract, having a Detailed Exit Strategy, Management of A Good Working Relationship, the Creation of A Contingency Plan, Digging Deeply Into Interoperability and System Integration In/On IT’s role in Supporting and Involvement, and Alignment to the company’s goals and objectives.

SaaS customers agree and are generally pleased with the apps. They say they are performing better with SaaS than conventional applications and will continue to invest in SaaS. When companies integrate, (and/or plan to), SaaS applications into other business applications, it shows a commitment to the product as part of an overall business architecture. The mixing of internally built custom apps, packaged, on-premises combined with customer configurations, SaaS Apps, and other tools, it becomes more difficult for company’s to understand the risks associated with app changes. The IT organization is ultimately responsible for the smooth operation and running of Federated Architecture.

The future promises to do more by way of companies monitoring their own SaaS performance(s). IT Staffing will not, and in most circumstances, do not have the local ability to determine whether the service is up and running, or if a user is experiencing a problem caused by a LAN on Internet failure. Performance problems are called into the IT Help/Service Desk.

SaaS prices are less transparent and the vendor controls reliance on performance data. IT Teams have to closely maintain bandwidth between the user and the server. Bandwidth is a range within a band of frequencies or wavelengths. The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time;

Digital bandwidth is expressed in bits per second (bps) of bytes per second. Another expression as described in analog, is cycles per second, or hertz (Hz). Bandwidth is the measurement of space and speed, i.e., a fast disk drive can be hampered or slowed by a bus with low bandwidth or space (room). I/O devices are particularly affected by low bandwidth, i.e., an Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) – throughput demands of 3-D Graphics.

An application is a program of a group of programs designed for end-users. Two general classifications of software are systems software and application software. Systems software consists of low-level programming that interacts at a basic level, which includes the operating system(s) compilers, and utilities for managing computer resources. Application(s) software sits on top of systems software because it is unable to run without the operating system and system utilities – (Interface is the interaction between computer and user).

Customer Resource Management (CRM) tops the list(s) of SaaS utilization. Human Resource (HR) applicant tracking, for more than a decade, has grown from the tedious task of hand-to-eye sorting and is poised for more growth as SaaS has proven an invaluable tool in its People Resource endeavor(s), i.e., application(s), testing, benefits, and other personnel record tasks and core functions.

Business Intelligence (BI), Application Program Interface(s) (API) – Windows, Excel, Access, SQL, etc – routine sets, protocols, and relevant tools for building software applications – by providing all of the building blocks, API makes it all easier to develop a computer program. Programmers put all the building blocks together, ergo, a program interface designed for end-user(s).

SaaS offerings are limited compared to most conventional offered in a variety of platforms on premises, or in the cloud. “Microsoft is winning customers to its SaaS-Based Exchange”, says Mr. Bidding. “SaaS is growing.”

IT Organization members will have to learn new skills an craft new strategies that allow them integration legacy infrastructure with fast growing SaaS portfolios.

So the next time you’re taking advantage of the convenient Kiosk(s), ATM’s, Pay-Pal(s), Internet, or Smart-Phone Web Navigation, remember the software dream and its relationship(s) to your life style and/or livelihood.

Have you ever wondered if robots have dreams?

Til next time…

End.

iPhone Application Development Benefits and Restrictions

After the launch of iOS 6 and iPhone 5 this year, it has been reported that the popularity of iPhone has sky rocketed. Many users of iPhone 4s are also getting software upgrades to iOS 6. The iOS6 is packed with 200+ new features making it the most popular software upgrade for iPhone. iPhone has always been the most popular smart phone and its popularity has made developers and programmers to develop thousands of applications making the handset more useful and practical for its users. If you have an idea of an application, here are some reasons why you should choose the iPhone platform:

Why should you prefer iPhone for your application idea?

• Currently in the market there are many brands of smart phones available. The iPhone dominates them all. Approximately 6 million sets of iPhone have been sold until now and the sale hasn’t slowed down. iPhone gives you a tremendous opportunity to market your application idea to millions of users worldwide.

• SDK of iPhone is available for download and any one can create and market their applications on the Apple App Store. This kit provides all the tools necessary for iPhone application development. There are companies who have successfully developed and marketed hundreds of applications for iPhone, and can be hired to develop your idea into an application.

• iPhone applications are popular. iPhone users use these applications to have fun, perform tasks, surf the internet etc. iPhone is not just a phone today, it has become a very important part of its user’s life.These were some of the benefits of why you should choose iPhone platform for your application development. But there are some restrictions put down by Apple for development and running of applications. Here are some restrictions which you should keep in mind before starting on your iPhone application idea.

Restrictions and limitations of iPhone applications

• The most major restriction applied by Apple is that the users cannot run two applications at the same time, no matter how important both applications are. For example, if you are busy in one application and you need to open another application to complete your work, you will have to close the first application and then move on to the next one. This is sometimes frustrating, especially when you are surfing the internet or checking your email, and you receive a call, you will be disconnected from the server if you take the call and will have to sign in again.

• Second limitation is that iPhone does not allow you to run third party applications in the back ground. This means that you are on an application chatting with someone and you receive a call. You will be disconnected from your chat window and shown offline to the other party once you take that call.

• iOS version compatibility issues also arise sometimes. If you develop an application for the iOS 6, you have to put in some extra effort and develop the application so that it would run on the previous versions as well. Although this issue has not been reported too much but still it is a problem for the developers and programmers.

Although these limitations and restrictions are sometimes frustrating but they haven’t effected the sale of the iPhone or its popularity. iPhone still is the leading smart phone in the market capturing almost 30% of the smart phone market. Up until now there are almost 700,000 different iPhone applications available on the internet. We can clearly say that popularity and the benefits of iPhone application development over powers the limitations put forward by Apple.

Features to Look For in Good Software for Social Networking

While social networking software have been known to provide huge benefits to various businesses, not all of the software applications available in the market today can actually do. Different vendors of software for social networking offer different features and options. This is why it is important to evaluate each application and make sure it has the features and options you need in communicating with your customers and business associates and in helping you achieve your desired business results.

Choosing s software to use for your business is a very important decision you need to make. It can affect the outcome of your business in many different ways. But with hundreds of software applications available in the market today, how do you really know whether you have chosen the best and most appropriate software application for your business?

First of all, you need to ensure the software provides communication tools, which include chat interface. Such tools will allow you to communicate faster and more efficiently with your existing and potential customers as well as with your business associates. With these tools, customers are also able to ask questions and get instant answers about the products and services that you provide.

Another important element that good software for community websites should have is a multimedia sharing tool that allows you and your customers to share photos, audios, or videos. Another advantage of having multimedia sharing tool is that it allows you to easily share media that feature and advertise the products and services you are offering. It’s also easier for customers to share them to their friends who aren’t yet a member of your social network.

Some software applications for social networking also feature RSS feeds. This feature allows customers to easily retrieve recent updates, content, and blogs from the site. This is crucial as this helps your customers stay informed about the recent company changes, events, products, and services that they may be interested in.

You may also want to consider having software that features a VoIP application. Such application allows for an ultimate computer calling experience, making communication among businesses and customers faster and more efficient than ever.

Aside from these software tools and options, it is also important that you choose an application that can be customized according to your style and preference as well as to the theme of your business. Many applications come with social network templates that you can use to make your own unique and attractive site.

There are hundreds of applications offering a huge variety of tools and options, which can be really beneficial to your business. Remember, however, that the software that has the latest and most exciting features is not always the best option. It’s easy to get lured into buying the latest and popular brands of social network software, but you need to take your time evaluating the features and ensuring these are what you need for your business.

In the end, the best and most appropriate software for social networking is not the one that contains the most innovative and ingenious feature, but rather the one that is able to meet your business requirements and provide personal satisfaction.