November 16, 2018

BlackBerry

PwC Helping Blackberry Stay as Comfortable as Possible

Cutting 40% of your workforce is certainly a sign that the end is near and now this report from Bloomberg has PwC on the scene to guide the company into the afterlife:  BlackBerry Ltd. (BB), the struggling Canadian smartphone maker, has hired accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to evaluate the company for potential buyers, according to two […]

Deloitte Consultant Inadvertently Finds Peace on Vacation

Barbara Adachi, a principal in Deloitte Consulting’s human capital practice, started creating a stricter separation between vacation and work when she was in Patagonia on vacation several years ago. Her BlackBerry didn’t get reception there, she said, “and I had no choice but not to check it — it was very freeing.” [NYT]

Is the SEC Actually Monitoring Social Media?

The SEC has stated its position on social media, and I use the term “social media” loosely. They have also warned of hot stock scams perpetuated through those same channels.

Remember this?

A document request list sent by the SEC to some advisers asks for a broad range of data related to social media use, according to a compliance alert from ACA Compliance Group. Among other things, the SEC is seeking to identify how often advisers use social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, MySpace, Digg, Redditt, as well as any blogs used by, or subscribed to, by the adviser. They are also looking at communications made by, or received by an adviser on any social media website including among others, blog postings, messages, and/or tweets.

MySpace? I doubt unscrupulous frauds will find many worthy targets there.

To me, it says that the SEC has no idea where the important information is when it comes to social media.

Look at the BlackBerry PlayBook recall. 900 units isn’t huge if you consider they moved 50,000 units on its first day. Then again, if it were an anointed Apple product, that would be a pathetic debut.

If the SEC is in the business of protecting the investor, it would want to have some kind of say in how useful, relevant and timely RIM’s information is to shareholders. Reasonable accounting authorities might also want to understand the impact of bad PR on the company’s overall financial health, instead of constantly wasting everyone’s time discussing how to account for a lease on the books. Please!

Like when the WSJ published this story about the PlayBook’s first day:

“The traffic’s not iPad crazy, but there is a buzz,” said a salesman. “We actually had 5 people in the morning when the store opened at 7.”

Early sales were also relatively strong at a Best Buy outlet in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, where there were “only a couple” of tablets left as of midmorning, a salesman said. While he declined to say exactly how many the store started with, he said the majority had now been sold. There were people waiting to buy the tablet when the store opened, he said.

At a Staples store in downtown New York City, on Broadway, a salesman said all 10 PlayBooks it had in stock sold out within a couple of hours of opening at 7 a.m. People are still coming in to ask for it, and the store is having them order online, he said.

Shit, if I held a bunch of RIM (disclaimer: this author is long RIM) and this were a reasonable market in which I might feel safer knowing the SEC is totally protecting my interests, I might want a rule that calculates exactly what that bad PR is worth to the company I own. To a shareholder, this sort of news means my investment just took one hell of a hit. Ten PlayBooks per store? Sad.

But instead, the SEC wants to know what blogs investors are reading. I’m sure that’s a productive use of their time and far more important than monitoring the digital pulse of investing as it pumps through the veins of social media.

BlackBerry PlayBook vs iPad 2: Which Would You Rather Have Your Firm Pay For?

Tablets are the new Pocket PC and while we may question the viability of accountants preparing tax returns on iPads, it might be time to take a look at the new BlackBerry PlayBook versus the iPad2 for all things somewhat work-related. Let’s go!


Pros of the PlayBook:
• features: 7″ LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution, 1 GHz dual-core processor, 1 Gb RAM
• runs Flash so you can watch YouTube videos at the client
• works with Android applications so you have 200,000 Android toys at your disposal
• doesn’t run native email so you have a great excuse for ignoring emails (for now you can use the device as a viewer to connect to your BlackBerry smartphone but cannot actually open emails from the PlayBook)

Pros of the iPad 2:
• features: 9.7″ LED display with 1024 × 768 screen resolution at 132ppi, Apple 1GHz A5 Processor, 512 Mb RAM
• looks awesome
• inspires jealously among your friends who work for broke mid-tier firms
• makes you more likely to get robbed using it on the train, helping you get over your awkward social phobia by forcing you to talk to your would-be thief
• doesn’t run Flash so you won’t be tempted to waste precious time watching YouTube videos at the client (unless you’re clever enough to have a decent converter)
•works with thousands more apps than Android/BlackBerry offerings, allowing you a much larger pool of distractions to access from company PP&E

Though this writer must disclaim this entire article by pointing out that she is a BlackBerry fan, it’s worth pointing out that without playing with one, we have to say the PlayBook is definitely disappointing on the surface. Technology ED is nothing to joke about, and this release was definitely a premature splurt on the face of BB nerds everywhere. No native email? That doesn’t even make sense.

The only selling point on the PlayBook for work may be that many of you already carry around company-issued BlackBerry devices, and we all know management is resistant to change. While iPads have been marketed as convenience devices, BlackBerry has somehow retained its reputation as a work device, allowing a bit of an in when it comes to getting management to spring for a handful of these little toys.

As for increased productivity? We haven’t seen any proof from either device that shows putting one in staff hands leads to any greater enthusiasm for work. Until someone comes up with a mind control app, we’ll keep holding out.

As always, let us know in the comments if you wholeheartedly agree with our obviously biased opinion.

The Doomsayers at Deloitte Have Come Up With a Crisis Management App

By crisis, we don’t mean 70 hour work-weeks and diversity training in the face of that A1 in your office who likes to wear short skirts and low-cut tops just to mess with you.

In the event of a catastrophic emergency like an earthquake, it’s good to know where your co-workers are if you’ve got to evacuate the building. Deloitte Australia has addressed the issue of safety and keeping tabs on the worker bees with Bamboo™, a Business Continuity Management (BCM) smart phone application (so far released for BlackBerry and iPhone only).

How does it work?


The BlackBerry application uses the device’s unique PIN (anyone addicted to BBM knows what that is) as well as voice, SMS and email to keep the team in communication in the event of an emergency. Emergency plans are readily available with Bamboo, eliminating the need to lug along a huge contingency binder stuffed with exit plans and instructions in a crisis situation.

Bamboo automatically logs all usage on each handset and when there is network access, sends these logs to the Bamboo server. The Bamboo Administrator is able to view all logs, from all users to understand its usage, retrace all steps taken and tailor training based on this usage. This data is also valuable in post-incident reviews and audits.

Don’t try to find it in the app store, Bamboo is an enterprise application and as such is deployed by the Company through enterprise application deployment, supported by the local Deloitte office.

Follow Deloitte’s Australian BCM team at @DeloitteBCM and stay tuned, they assure us they’re working to get the kids in America hooked up with their own BCM team.

Check it out in action below:

Accounting Tech: CCH Mobile Brings Tax Research to BlackBerry, iPhone

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight — everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

CCH’s new application, CCH Mobile, is an extension of CCH’s IntelliConnect tax research platform and makes CCH’s content and tools available via BlackBerry and iPhone.

More than 1,000 professionals attending the 2010 CCH User Conference from November 7-10 in Grande Lakes, Orlando, will preview CCH Mobile. The new app is the latest offering from CCH designed to ensure that CCH resources will be with professionals wherever they choose to work.

“We’re providing an advantage for any professional who needs to conduct business beyond the boundaries of their office,” said Mike Sabbatis, CCH president and CEO. “And while that’s just about everyone, only CCH IntelliConnect customers will have the ability to conduct research on CCH’s premier content from the palm of their hand – anytime, anywhere.”


With CCH Mobile, tax and accounting professionals can access answers and tools on the spot – when meeting in person with clients at remote locations, or whenever they need content quickly, according to the company.

A limited-time free version of CCH Mobile is available. All current IntelliConnect subscribers can download the debut of CCH Mobile at no charge and all CCH User Conference attendees also have access to a preview version of this portable tax research tool.

After downloading the CCH Mobile app to a smart phone, users of the complimentary introductory release will have access to:

• Customized Tax Tracker News
• Primary materials including Internal Revenue Code and Regulations
• Tax tools and calculators
• Smart Charts (depending on IntelliConnect subscription level)

Following the introductory period through mid-2011, additional subscription packages will be offered to suit subscribers’ specific research needs.

Click here for more information and to view a demonstration of CCH Mobile.

About CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business:
CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, is a global provider of tax, accounting and audit information, software, and services. It has served tax, accounting, and business professionals since 1913. Among its market-leading solutions are The ProSystem fx Suite, CorpSystem, CCH IntelliConnect, Accounting Research Manager, and the U.S. Master Tax Guide. CCH is based in Riverwoods, Illinois. Wolters Kluwer is a global information services company. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices.

The Time Wasted Fiddling with Your Smartphone Is Adding Up

The following post is republished from AccountingWEB, a source of accounting news, information, tips, tools, resources and insight — everything you need to help you prosper and enjoy the accounting profession.

BlackBerrys and iPhones have become the latest bane for employers concerned about lost productivity, according to Employment Law Advisory Services.

The company reported that its help lines are taking more and more calls from employers worried about the amount of time staff waste playing with their smartphones when they should be working.

Over the past couple of years, employers have equipped their people with phones that let them send and receive emails. Now that worries about productivity are taking hold, one of the common questions is whether taking smartphones away from employees might constitute a change in their remuneration package.


“What started as a trickle is certainly building up to a stream as more and more employers start looking at what they really need from their employers,” said Peter Mooney of ELAS.

“Being able to email staff at seven or eight o’clock was certainly seen as a benefit, but now the phones can do more and more, they are realizing that giving staff such powerful technology has its drawbacks too.”

ELAS estimated that accessing emails on a smartphone typically saves the employer between five and 20 minutes a day, depending on how much time the employee spends out of the office. Time lost to Facebook, Twitter, checking football scores, and so on can amount to 30 to 90 minutes a day.

As well as being a potential distraction for them, staff with expensive phones are also more likely to have their phones stolen, the firm advised.

In the past year or so, social networking sites were employers’ biggest online bugbear and this concern was addressed by a range of web monitoring and blocking programs. But companies that restrict staff Internet access through computers are finding it harder to control staff surfing habits on their mobile phones.

According to Mooney, downgrading an employee’s phone from a smartphone to a standard handset does not constitute a reduction in their overall package.

“Because most companies’ IT policies state that any technology staff have is for business not personal use, then it is no loss of benefit to take that away,” he advised.

Share your thoughts on this topic in the General Business forum on our sister site, USBusinessForums.

This article originally appeared on our sister Web site, AccountingWEB.co.uk.

Accounting News Roundup: Big Names Oppose Proposed Washington Tax; American Apparel Names Acting President; Oregon Gubernatorial Candidate Donates Home and Gets Burned | 10.08.10


SEC Accuses CHiPs Actor, Others Of Securities Fraud [Dow Jones]
“In complaints made public on Thursday, the SEC alleges that the actor, Larry Wilcox, and more than a dozen other penny stock promoters engaged in a series of kickback schemevolume and price of microcap stocks and illegally generate stock sales.

Wilcox, who starred as Officer Jon Baker on the long-running television show “CHiPs”, lives in West Hills, Calif., and is president and chief executive of The UC Hub Group, according to an SEC complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.”

Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon Line Up Against New Washington Tax [Janet Novack/Forbes]
“The Washington State fight over whether to impose a new income tax on well-to-do residents heated up Wednesday, as the group opposing the tax released a list of employers that have joined the anti-tax cause. Companies on the list include Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon, Weyerhaeuser and Safeco Insurance.

The tax, which will appear as Initiative 1098 on the state’s November ballot, would impose a 5% tax on income of more than $400,000 per couple and a 9% levy on income exceeding $1 million per couple.”

Rep. Levin: Fate of Bush tax cuts unknown [On the Money/The Hill]
This does not sound good: “The Senate is expected to move first on the issue, but Levin said even that was not certain.

‘It’s preferable that the Senate act first because we’ve seen that if they can’t act first they won’t act second because the Republicans block it and don’t provide the 60 votes,; he said, adding, ‘I think we’ll have to wait and see.’ ”

American Apparel names Tom Casey as acting president [Reuters]
Tom Casey just left the terminal case known as Blockbuster in August.

SBA Loans Jump, Despite Unsteady Year [WSJ]
“Small-business lending still hasn’t bounced back to pre-recession levels. But despite a rocky year, the number of loans backed by the Small Business Administration jumped about 30% in 2010.

The agency, which ended its fiscal year Sept. 30, says it approved $16.84 billion, or 54,826 small business loans, in the past 12 months. That’s up from fiscal 2009, when the SBA backed about $13.03 billion during the depths of the credit crunch. In 2007, the agency backed about $20.61 billion.”


Oregon Gubernatorial Race Roiled by Candidate’s Charitable Deduction for Donation of Home to Fire Department [TaxProf Blog]
You try and do something nice…

FASB Advances EITF Proposals on Goodwill, M&A [A&A Update/Compliance Week]
“The Financial Accounting Standards Board is proposing new updates to the Accounting Standards Codification around goodwill write-downs, business combinations, and revenue recognition for health care entities based on recommendations from its Emerging Issues Task Force.

In the proposal titled Intangibles – Goodwill and Other (Topic 350): How the Carrying Amount of a Reporting Unit Should Be Calculated When Performing Step 1 of the Goodwill Impairment Test, FASB and the EITF want to settle on one starting point for all companies to follow in deciding if goodwill needs to be written down.”

U.A.E. Drops Threat to Suspend BlackBerry [NYT]
Your vacation is back on.