New AnscersX Enhancements Give Credit Managers a Better Understanding of Their Customers, by Teresa Campos

anscersxIt’s been more than a year since the launch of the anscersX multibureau trade credit report, which offers credit managers a one-click look at credit scores of their customers from the three major credit reporting bureaus. Since the report was launched, we’ve listened to our users and are proud to announce some valuable additions to the report aimed at helping you make quick and well-informed credit decisions.

The improved report includes more flexibility for you to choose the data you need and the price you will pay. It is now up to you to select data from one, two, or all three of the bureaus included in the anscersX Report (Dun and Bradstreet, Equifax and Experian).

We have added valuable information from Equifax including:

  • The Ultimate Parent
  • Headquarters Site information
  • Alternate Company Names & DBA’s
  • Owner/Guarantor
  • An easy to read Average Days Beyond Terms graph
  • Additional Report Highlights (# of accounts, # of delinquencies, charge offs and more

We have added valuable information from Experian including:

  • Years in File
  • The Date of Incorporation
  • SIC Code
  • An Industry Risk Comparison

anscersX pricing, which ranges from $32.35 to $69.95 depending on the combination of bureaus you choose, is a truly unique product that paints a true picture of your customers to help you better manage risk.

For those who would like to learn more about anscersX, I invite you to participate in an upcoming webinar exploring the anscersX report citing specific examples from the report. You can register here.

To download a sample report, visit www.anscers.com or contact me directly if you have any questions at 818-972-5361.

President’s Blog: How do CMA members leverage technology?, by Mike Mitchell

CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell
CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell

CMA is proud to host the CreditScape Spring Summit 2016 next week in Newport Beach, with a significant focus on how technology can be leveraged to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of credit operations. Regardless of whether you are attending the event, we’d like to get a baseline for how much automation is being utilized across our member base today.

Click here for a short survey that will ask you about your challenges, where you are with automation and where you’d like to be. We’ve also got several questions about the time spent and value of some of the most common activities in the credit department. By helping us to better understand your challenges regarding automation and technology, we’ll be better able to craft conferences, webinars and presentations, and even alliances with technology providers, throughout the year that help support your goals.

We’ll be asking these same questions on a periodic basis to see how quickly our membership is adopting technology. We’ll also want to understand how else we can support your needs in this area and how well our efforts result in concrete improvements and reduction of manual labor at the member level.

The results of this survey are only available to CreditScape attendees and those who complete it – so please take a few minutes to tell us about your process. We’ll discuss the results at CreditScape next week!

Here is a link to the survey.

See you in Newport Beach!

Mike Mitchell

Announcing The Construction Credit Report: One Report Does It All

octo_contractor
One Report Does It All

The Construction Credit Report is a new single-source report providing critical construction related data

 

Yesterday, industry leaders in business credit data exchange on the West Coast– Credit Management Association® (CMA), Ansonia Credit Data and Southwest Business Credit Services– released THE Construction Credit Report, providing companies in the construction industry all the critical information they need to facilitate sales to their customers.

The Construction Credit Report makes data available to construction companies immediately via the internet, including title search (with live links to actual documents) on mechanics lien filing/release; notice of completion; notice of Lis Pendens (action/discharge); public records search on bankruptcy; tax lien or judgment; active trade lines; credit analysis and score; collection agency and factoring company activities; and links to state Registrars Of Contractors. Each report is available for $29.95.

“The report gives someone in the construction industry all of the data they need to know about the amount of risk associated with a construction project in one place,” said CMA President and CEO Mike Mitchell. “There’s nothing else like it on the market to my knowledge. In the more than 30 years of experience that CMA has in the Construction Forms Filing business, our customers have asked us for this type of report, but we previously didn’t have the technology to allow us to provide it. With the help of our partners, we believe the report will save our customers countless hours searching for this type of data in multiple places, some of which is exclusive to this report. The information gained from the report can potentially save our customers tens of thousands of dollars by helping them avoid over-extending credit to risky companies.”

Rich Adams, President and CEO of Southwest Business Credit Services, concurred. “The data contained within the report helps material suppliers, general contractors and project lenders perform due diligence on their customer as well as the projects they will be supplying materials, labor or financing for. The ability to confirm that a contractor is licensed to execute the work they’re going to do, pays their bills on time, is free of liens, judgments and the like all in one report is previously unheard of in my 35 years in business credit,” he said. “This report will help you determine the maximum dollar value your company should risk for any project that your customer is bidding on or that you plan to supply materials for.”

Bill Weiss, Vice President of Sales for Ansonia Credit Data, agreed: “The depth of the credit-related information available on this report, coupled with technology that not only captures mechanic lien and title detail but can also download the actual documents, makes this offering unique. There is so much useful information available – it really makes the credit department’s job much easier to have all of that information in one place without having to search for it.”

To use the Construction Credit Report, log in to anscers.com, ansoniacreditdata.com or swbcs.com

View a Sample Construction Report

The Construction Credit Report is one of many services available to material suppliers, construction companies, bonding companies and lenders from CMA, Ansonia Credit Data or Southwest Business Credit Services including assistance in filing mechanics liens and preliminary notices, lien warning notices, bond claims and stop notices. For more information, visit http://creditmanagementassociation.org/services/construction-forms-filing/,
http://www.ansoniacreditdata.com, or http://www.nacmaz.org/.

Announcing the New anscersX Report that combines key data from D&B, Experian and Equifax into one Business Credit Report

The anscersX multi-bureau trade credit report combines key factors from the three largest trade credit reporting agencies (D&B, Experian and Equifax), giving credit managers the most complete payment story available. “We spent time reviewing all the elements on each provider’s business credit report to determine what would give anscersX clients the best insight into their customers’ credit worthiness,” says Robert Shultz, Managing Partner of Trade Information Exchange. “By using an anscersX Report, you have covered the necessary bases at a much better cost and a tremendous time savings.   The anscersX Report provides a quick review of the information needed for most trade credit decisions.”

Credit Management Association® and Trade Information Exchange are proud to announce that they have produced the anscersX Report, a single report that contains all the key elements about your customers’ paying habits needed to make most credit decisions.
Credit Management Association® and Trade Information Exchange are proud to announce that they have produced the anscersX Report, a single report that contains all the key elements about your customers’ paying habits needed to make most credit decisions.

The report, which is available now at www.anscers.com, ranges in price from $29.95 to $64.95, depending on the number of reporting agencies the user requests. Users control which reporting agencies are accessed for the report.

“The anscersX report offers some real advantages to anyone making a credit evaluation,” said CMA president Mike Mitchell. “Single-source Business Credit Reports are made up of accounts receivable data that has been contributed by companies, public record data and scores generated from the combination of this data. Since most companies that contribute accounts receivable data only send it to one provider (D&B, Experian or Equifax), using one report may only provide a piece of the payment habit story.”

The anscersX Reports are available through CMA’s web-based platform anscers.com. “The anscersX Report is a significant proprietary credit offering to our customers,” says Teresa Campos, CMA’s Credit Information Services Manager. “A key feature is the summary section that displays scores from all three providers, plus other key data. This makes the anscersX Report easy to read and comprehend so users can make faster credit decisions. There are other advantages as well. This is a web-accessed report that can easily be ordered and received at the user’s workstation in seconds, all at a low cost. There are no minimum purchase or contract requirements. The users order what they want, when they need it and only pay for the reported results,” she added.

Several CMA Members have already used the anscersX Report and have had positive experiences with it. “We got an answer in minutes as opposed to calling all the trade references on the credit application,” said Mary Donaldson, Office Manager, Worthen Equipment Inc. Grating Pacific Inc.’s Stacy Henry added: “The enhanced anscersX Report is very intuitive and easy to read. The “Summary” section at the top of the report included all the information I needed to make my decision whether to extend credit. That saved me a lot of time.”

To learn more about the program, visit www.anscers.com or call 800-541-2622.

“Your Reminders” for Lien Service Users

New to anscers this morning – Construction Forms Filing Service users now have the ability to set up reminders for any project.

double click any image to enlarge

On a project screen, click the “Set A Reminder” button on the right hand side to add a reminder to a project.

Set A Reminder on a project
Set A Reminder on a project

Choose the due date, add a description and select if you want the reminder to be added to your personal calendar.

Select the Date
Select the Date
Add description and send to your calendar
Add description and send to your calendar

On the main Lien page and project pages -you can click on the text “Your Reminders” on the right to display all your reminders. Reminders have three timing filters – Current, Overdue and Complete.

Your Reminders on the main screen
Your Reminders on the main screen
See all Your Reminders
See all Your Reminders

Mark a reminder complete on the Your Reminders page by clicking the box to the left of the reminder. Edit a reminder to change the due date or description.

anscers RFI Enhancements

Several new enhancements were added to anscers RFI this weekend.

The first enhancement – My RFI – can be found on the RFI Main page. My RFI is a new display filter that when clicked will display all the RFI’s entered by your company in the last 30 days. This feature was requested several times in the past few months by anscers users.

My RFI
My RFI

The next enhancement occurs in the RFI Reference area. We are now requiring a phone number for all RFI References added and those that currently exist on your Reference List.

Phone entry on new references
Phone entry on new references

The phone is necessary for two purposes. First we are trying to increase the reply ratio for references added to RFI’s. Currently 38% of all references added to RFI’s reply with either a tradeline or no experience. CMA will be making phone contact with all references added to RFI’s to double check the information provided, answer any questions about anscers RFI and obtain their permission to fax (and in the future email) the RFI reference to them. Which leads to the second purpose for requiring the phone number – obtaining their permission to fax will make them aware of the coming fax increasing the reply percentage.

Phone required for current References
Phone required for current References

If you have any questions or suggestions for anscers RFI please call our Customer Support line at 800-541-2622 option 6.

 

anscers Advanced Search – RFI, Alerts, & anscers Reports

Advanced searching is now available in the RFI, Alert and anscers Report area. Advanced search gives you access to 4 more search variables:

  • anscers ID – (the number on the anscers Reports, RFI Reports and Meeting Reports)
  • DBA
  • Principal
  • Phone

To use the Advanced search click on the text link in the search window – Advanced Search.

Advanced Search Link

This will lengthen the search area and display the four new variables.

New search variables

Being able to search by Principal and phone number was a highly rated request from anscers users. We hope these new features help you find the subjects your looking for in anscers.

New anscers web pages for Construction Services 11/01/11

On November 1, 2011 CMA’s Construction Services Department will offer new anscers® web pages for our service users.

Our goal is to make the pages easier to read, easier to use and provide additional features.

You will still access the pages by clicking on the Liens tab in anscers®.

Liens tab on anscers

FORMS FILING REQUESTS

Your main Forms Filing Requests page will display all requests with the most recent request at the top of the page.

Sort, Filter & Search:
You will be able to sort the display of your requests using the column headings, filter the display of your requests using the status filters at the top of the screen or search for specific requests using the search to the right. (see screenshot below)

Click to enlarge - Main Liens Page

New – Usage Details:
A new feature on this page – Usage Details – will not be made available until the end of November. Once the November 2011 link displays clicking this link will show you the entire usage and billing for the month of November. This is the billing breakdown for the statement sent to you from CMA. Usage Details will be populated at the end of every monthly billing cycle and 12 months of billing data will eventually be available – starting with November 2011.

To see the project details and notices on any project, click on the Project Name.

PROJECT DETAILS PAGE

On the Project Details page you will see all the details of the project, starting with what you supplied and adding what CMA has verified.

Status and History:
If your project has an active notice request in process, the first item you will see on the page is the status of that current request.

Status of a notice

This status will be updated as things change. Once the notice is completed it will move to the History section of the page. All completed notices will be linked to a PDF version of the final notice for your records. This is a new feature, and a popular request among our current customers.

Click to enlarge - Project Details Page

Comments:
As CMA staff enter comments on your project (verification updates, problems, re-mails etc.) they will be visible at the top of the project details page – including the date and who is commenting.

Request Action:
Throughout the payment cycle of a project you may need to request more than one type of notice. Once your project is in anscers requesting a new notice is as simple as clicking the requested action and supplying any further information required. Your new notice request will be trackable on the project page in the Status and History area.

Print Progress Release Forms (FREE):
As payments are remitted on your project, use one of the four Progress Release forms provided to update your customer. Each time you create a progress release a PDF version of the final form will be available in the History section.

NEW FORMS FILING REQUEST

CMA has added several new features to the entry screens for notice requests. Now that we can file Mechanics Liens in all 50 states you have the ability to choose any available notice when submitting your request.

Types of forms filings - click to enlarge

On the customer and contractor fields an automatic search starts once you enter the name.

Auto search in action - click to enlarge

On all address fields we ask the zip code first, then the city and state, because anscers will automatically add the city and state with data provided by the US Postal Service. This is for your convenience, but you can easily overwrite this data if you do not believe it is correct.

The new entry screen also gives you the ability to add multiple contractors, owners and bonding companies to a project.

Very important: The new anscers® web pages have undergone significant testing before being made available to our customers, however, we acknowledge that you may temporarily encounter usability issues that were unanticipated. If you have any difficulty using the new anscers®  CFFS web pages, or you just have some suggestions, please call CMA’s Construction Services Department at 800-841-5793 and we will be happy to assist you.

We appreciate your business and your support of our efforts to continually improve your experience with CMA.

anscers Searching for companies with & in their name

Searching for companies with & in their name has been a weak area on anscers for some time.

Last night we made some updates and changes to our searching logic that results in nice and clean search results for companies using & in their name.

anscers search using & - click to enlarge

A search for R & G – will result in those entered as R&G (close together) and those as R & G (spaced apart), see screen shot below.

R & G Demo - click to enlarge

We hope these upgrades to our search make it easier for you to submit RFI’s and Alerts on the proper companies without having to add them into anscers.

New anscers RFI feature – X Days Ago

New anscers feature

New RFI feature on anscers – under the green check mark see how many days ago you responded. Great for members who contribute full AR and may want to update a response.

You receive a green check mark on an RFI if you respond to it directly – or if you have a previous tradeline in anscers, on the requested subject, that is less than 30 days old.

Please give us some feedback on this idea in the comments section on the CMA Blog.

Group Report Evolves On May 2, 2011

Increased adoption of the anscers RFI process has changed the way groups use their Group Report.

To support this evolution, CMA has simplified the Group Report using a 99% RFI solution. If you understand the RFI process (submitting and responding to RFIs) you will easily adapt to the new Group Report process – now called Meeting Review.

Flow Chart - Click to Enlarge

 

Here is how it will work (see Meeting Review Process Chart above):

  • Group members submit RFI’s as they need the information.
  • Once you make a reservation for the upcoming meeting you will be able to select any RFI submitted (since the last meeting) for meeting review. Selecting an RFI adds it to the Meeting Review Report.
  • If you have been submitting and responding to RFI’s as they happen then you are set for the Meeting Review. View the Meeting Review RFI’s from the RFI tab to add/edit your RFI responses.

On May 2, 2011 the evolution of the Group Report into the Meeting Review will be live on anscers.com. This change comes with some new rules:

  • All accounts selected for meeting review must start as an RFI.
  • Make your meeting reservation on anscers on the Group tab. CMA will no longer send fax or email reservation forms.
  • Only members who reserve for the meeting will be allowed to select RFIs for meeting review.

The evolution into Meeting Review relies on group members use of the anscers RFI process. For many group members this will not be a big change since they use the RFI process on a daily or weekly basis. For others it will take time to adapt and we ask for your patience and encouragement to help the whole group benefit from these changes.

CMA will be sponsoring training webinars on the Meeting Review process throughout the month of May. Watch for further information on training times. You can also contact Customer Support during business hours at 800-541-2622 option 6 for a personal training.

 

Group Home Page Will Change May 2, 2011

We have some exciting changes coming to anscers.com for Groups on May 2, 2011. Group and Network members will be able to see all the changes on their Group Home Page.

New Group Home Page - Click to Enlarge

The following enhancements will be made to the Group Home Page:

1. The ability to make and track your meeting reservation on the Group Home Page.

2. See how active your Group is with the last three months of stats on RFIs, Alerts, Tradelines and Subjects entered by Group Members.

3. Access report archives from the Group Home Page.

It is our goal to make group functions easier to complete on anscers.com. As more group members use anscers we reduce the use of email and faxes and increase the quality of information in the group.

Watch for these changes on May 2, 2011.

anscers Search Results enhanced

Today we launched an enhancement suggested by anscers user Alan Schlachter of Graybar Electric.

Alan was having trouble finding the proper company to use because anscers was only displaying the top 10 search results. He knew the company was in the database but it was not displaying in the results.

Using Alan’s input we implemented a “more” link at the bottom of the search result set and display the count of results so you know how many matches anscers finds.

Bottom of search results window

Once you know how many results anscers finds you can either add more data to the search to reduce the results or scroll through the results using the “more” link.

Thanks again to Alan for this great idea. If you have an idea for anscers please contact CMA by using the “help” tab on any anscers page.

Does your company have an Electronic Billing Strategy?

UTA Webinar Info

Join us for an exclusive, Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment educational webinar.

We’ll discuss the advancements in both “print to mail” bill delivery and the significant benefits that electronic billing and payments provide for both you and your customers.

The recent strides made in streamlining your manual billing processes have been
significant. From achieving faster mail times through nationwide mail distribution
to implementing strategies to achieve lower postage costs, the opportunities for
overhead savings have never been so attainable.

The Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment (EBPP) process will even further streamline and increase your cash flow by providing you with the ability to email invoices, fax invoices, or present your invoices on your website. Additionally, your customers can view and pay their invoices directly from your website using a secure and easy Online Bill Pay option.

Here are some of the benefits of EBPP

· Overhead savings of up to 50%

· Reduce Days Sales Outstanding (DSO)

· Maintain accounting control and strengthen compliance

· Gain process efficiency and accuracy with leading edge technology

· Payment acceptance flexibility

· Improve customer satisfaction and retention

This will be an engaging and educational webinar. Two dates to choose from. Please click on the preferred date below to register today.

Click on date to register >Tuesday, January 18th at 8:00 AM (PT)

Click on date to register >Thursday, January 20th at 11:00 AM (PT)

Presenter: Rudet Fountain is the VP of NACM Relations for UTA, the preferred provider of cash management services to the NACM for over 14 years. Rudet travels extensively across the country speaking at seminars and consulting with businesses about the current market conditions and latest trends of cash management. With more than 30 years of experience as a business owner/manager in the service related industry, Rudet understands and appreciates the complexity of the business environment today.

A free consultative analysis of your current billing process will also be made available to webinar attendees.

Release Your Inner Geek Presentation

Release Your Inner Geek

Last night I had dinner with the CFDD Los Angeles group. It is a great group of CMA Members who work together to expand their credit knowledge and support each others careers.

If you are interested in learning more about CFDD contact Denise Benner CFDD LA Chapter ,Vice President at deniseb@rolandus.com.

I presented “Release Your Inner Geek” and we discussed internet trends to be aware of and those to avoid.

Thanks CFDD for the opportunity to talk with you, for your great company and a nice dinner!

You can download the presentation below.

Release Your Inner Geek (338)

Take Control of Internet Explorer Toolbars

Nothing eats up your screen real estate more than adding toolbars to Internet Explorer. During tech support calls we have seen screens with a small 3 to 4 inch scrolling window. All the other space is taken up by the multitude of toolbars that come with Explorer or add to Explorer. There is one for Bing, one for Google, one for Yahoo, antivirus programs have them etc. etc.

Most are not necessary for display or installation. All, shrink your available workspace decreasing your productivity.

For example, here is my screen with all my available toolbars enabled. The extra toolbars take up about an inch of my screen and install conflicting pop-up blockers and security features on top of what is already provided by Explorer.

Screen with Bing and Google toolbar

To turn these toolbars off, go to Tools – Toolbars – and de-select toolbars you do not want to display. I removed everything but the Menu Bar and the Command Bar.

Turn Toolbars OFF

Now my screen looks like this:

Toolbars removed

I gained an extra inch of productivity space and deleted conflicting security and pop up programs.

Toolbars are a marketing tool for software companies. Unless you have a 24 inch screen, toolbars are not worth having on your screen. Almost every feature they provide is already provided in Explorer.

Take some time to free yourself of toolbars and take control of your screen space.

On the Web, You Need More Java

In the last few days we have heard from several members who could not access certain parts of our websites correctly.

We could work the sites in the same web browsers with no problem. This lead to our Java discovery. Not coffee, but a series of scripts that do fancy things on pages like auto update, open smaller windows, update calendars etc.

There are two types of Java  – java programming and java scripting. Java programming results in programs that run inside a browser like financial calculators and Pogo games.

Java scripting is used in sites like anscers.com allows for fancy things to happen on web pages. It is controlled through your browser in the security settings. For Internet Explorer users go to Tools/Internet Options/Security – make sure your levels are Medium to Medium High. If they are Custom double check to make sure Active Scripting in Enabled.

Java Scripts Settings

To see the Java Programming in all its glory you need the latest Java on your system. Web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome) come with some Java standard, but websites are depending more on some newer Java code to better the user experience.

To get the latest and most secure Java go to http://java.com.

Download Java TodayClick the big red “Free Java Download” button. The site will read your operating system and suggest the best Java for you to download.

Follow the instructions to install, then restart your browser and see what you may have been missing.

When you download Java in this way it will consistently update itself, keeping your web experience nice and fresh.

Comment code Bankruptcy creates an Alert automatically

In our updates to anscers on August 21, 2010, we added the automatic creation of an Alert when a tradeline comment code of Bankruptcy is chosen.

If you enter tradelines in the RFI or Past Due Report process and you select the comment code Bankruptcy from the drop down list anscers will ask you for a Bankruptcy number. To abide by Anti-Trust regulations you must have report this number when you report a Bankruptcy.

Tradeline entry screen for RFI

When the tradeline is submitted an Alert on the Bankruptcy will be created. This Alert will automatically be sent to the Industry Credit Groups and Networks you belong too.

Alert Main Page with new Alert

The Alert will appear, along with your tradeline, on the anscers Business Credit Report for that company.

anscers Business Credit Report with Alert

Click on any of the images to see the large version.

Company Profile on anscers.com

My Account Link

CMA is preparing for networking and service enhancements with the launch on Monday May 24, 2010 of Company Profile and My Profile on anscers (under My Account).

How does filing out your Company Profile benefit your company?

Knowing more about your company allows CMA to increase data sharing opportunities between your company and others in the same industry, others selling in the same region, others with the same size credit departments and much more.

We picture a future where you can search for companies, to exchange information with, based on the elements in these profiles.

As we learn more about your company, CMA can also become more intelligent in our communications. Sending you only those communications you will benefit from, reducing the clutter in you email, fax and mail.

Company Profile

How does completing My Profile benefit you?

Questions in My Profile are personal and optional. Completing your My Profile data allows CMA to market to you more intelligently.

CMA can also share, with members, the overall tally of this data. What is the male/female ratio of Credit Managers, average age and corresponding titles, creating career benchmarks you can use to evaluate your success.

In the future, we could also make elements of My Profile viewable to other members (right now only you and CMA see My Profile) you exchange data with, so you can learn more about the people at the companies that are in your network.

My Profile

Increase your networking and data exchange power on anscers. Log into anscers on Monday and complete 100% of your Company Profile.

New Help Button on anscers.com

New Help button

Today we launched a new Help feature on anscers.com driven by SnapABug.

The help button will be displayed on the anscers site, at the top of the window – before Log Off.

When you click on Help a small window opens on top of what you are viewing on anscers.

Enter your email and what you need help with – then submit. SnapABug – then takes a screenshot of your screen, records information about your web browser and operating system – then emails this information to CMA (note – SnapABug may have to ask you for permission to install java code to make the screen capture happen – takes two clicks and no download time.)

Help Window

You will receive a confirmation email that we received your help request, and Customer Support will contact you by email or phone to help resolve the issue.

What CMA sees

FREE Recorded Webinar – anscers Group Training

Recorded Webinar Screen

Larry Convoy, Supervisor of Industry Credit Groups at CMA, put together a 50 minute webinar on how to use anscers.com as a Group Member.

Larry focuses on how to make your group work for you everyday of the month, not just meeting day. Watching this training can increase your Group ROI (return on investment) by radical amounts.

Click here to watch the recorded webinar: http://bit.ly/aJyNkP

My Account Update on anscers.com

My Account Screen on anscers

The My Account area on anscers.com has been updated. It now displays important information about your CMA Membership and usage of free member benefits.

My Account also updates you on your service usage and anscers activity.

The My Account updates are the first step in keeping you informed of the value you are receiving from your CMA Membership and anscers.com usage.

Log into anscers today and click the My Account link in the upper right corner.

Create Your Own RFI Reference List

Today, anscers has re-launched a simplified version of our original anscers Network concept called RFI Reference List. We have removed the Network invitation and acceptance portions – and now simply allow every company using anscers to maintain their own RFI Reference List for the easy submission of RFI’s.

References come from many sources: trade references on credit applications, known competitors you currently rate with, companies you would like to rate with – all of these companies and more can be added to your RFI Reference List for easy use during the RFI process. In addition, anscers know tracks how many requests you have made of these references and how many they have responded too.

RFI Reference List and Response/Request Tracking

If you have used the anscers RFI Reference feature in the past it will be very easy to start your RFI Reference List by importing previously used references. Click on the RFI Reference List link at the top right of any anscers page – then click Import RFI References.

Import RFI References screen

To build your RFI Reference List you can add companies on the RFI Reference List page or during Step 3 of the RFI process when you are adding a reference to a specific RFI.

Adding a reference during Step 3

Find out more about the anscers RFI Service and the pricing for the service here.

anscers Continuous Address Updating & Company Merging


anscers_60
Today we added a new feature to the database of the anscers.com system that will help to eliminate the entry of duplicate companies; continuous address updating and company merging.

 

Using a US Postal Service software anscers will standardize the addresses of all new companies added to the database. After the address is standardized anscers will look for any current records of that company at that address and if found merge those companies together. The process takes about a minute to complete for each added company.

 

For example if you are entering an RFI on a company that is new to the anscers system, after you add the new company and move to the next step in the RFI process anscers will be standardizing the address and looking to duplicates in the background. You might see the updates when you are completing the RFI process or on the RFI report in development.

 

This feature will make it harder for duplicate companies to be created in anscers, and will give all users the latest US Postal Service addresses for companies in the anscers.com system.

Three updates to anscers.com

CMA has made some significant updates to anscers this weekend that will benefit users in several ways and prepare you for new anscers services we have planned.

Update #1

We have been soliciting full accounts receivable from anscers users and as a result of analyzing that data, updates had to be made to how we import trade lines. Many companies in Construction, Media and other industries track more than one account with a customer as a separate AR line with it's own account number. This could be because of different construction jobs, different advertisers, or tracking different product lines. Talking with anscers users we found it was important to see each account separately on a report. The updates we made this weekend allow this to happen using the account number on a tradeline.

As a result of this update you will now see multiple tradelines from the same company on certain subjects. These represent the multiple accounts that company has with the subject.

Entering your account number in anscers when you enter a tradeline is more important than ever. It will prepare you for services that are coming in the future and allow you to report the full relationship with a subject.

Please note: You may see true duplicates of tradelines if the account numbers were entered incorrectly. Account numbers are NOT required fields except for full AR imports. If you see duplications of the same tradeline please contact Customer Support and we will clean the data.

Update # 2

If you submit your full AR to anscers for import we are now cleansing all the address data using the USPS address guidelines before an import. This results in much better subject matching when data is imported.

Previous to this update AR imports would create many duplicate subjects because the addresses did not match. Now we cleanse all the anscers subject data and the addresses on the AR we import resulting in better matches.

Imported AR data must also meet validity requirements before it is entered into the database. Those are:

  • Full subject address data – address, city, state, zip
  • Account Balance and aging must total +-$5 for rounding
  • If there is no account balance then the tradeline must have 2 or more of the following: Year Open, Last Sold (within 18 months), Terms, High Credit, or Comment Code

Tradelines that do not meet this criteria are not imported into anscers. If you are a full AR contributor you don't need to worry about filtering your AR for validity, anscers will do that for you.

Update # 3

CMA has automated a great portion of the AR import procedure making it very easy for us to take on new AR contributors.

If you would like to become a full AR contributor please contact Teresa Campos at 818-972-5361. There are many benefits to contributing your full AR:

  • Matching RFI's will be answered automatically with your data
  • Matching Group Report requests will be answered automatically with your data
  • We can filter data to submit to Group Past Due Reports
  • You are building better anscers Business Credit Reports
  • You are prepared to take full benefit of future services to be announced

Please contact me direct if you have any questions or ideas for the anscers system, Dina Amadril 562-432-4807. Thank you for using anscers.

Chapter 11 Searches on Google News

It used to be trying to find Chapter 11 news stories for CMA Daily News was difficult. Now Chapter 11 searches in Google News have too many results to post.

Since we have members in all types of industries selling into many states the best thing is for me to show you how to search Google News so you can find the stories you need.

You access Google news at: http://news.google.com – Enter chapter 11 in the search box, when the results display, on the left side change the recent setting to Last Day for the latest posts.

Google_news

The Consumerist Website

I have been tracking the Consumerist website for a week now and have found that it provides valuable data for business and personal use.

They were one of the first sites to announce Circuit City's planned closure of 155 stores, and they track consumer trends that can effect business. For example the backlash on overpackaging products that will effect the toy industry, rashes caused by baby clothes etc.

Each one of these Consumer issues will effect the industries/ companies financially by lack of sales, litigation or business model changes.

Visit the Consumerist at http://consumerist.com

Google Launching Web Browser – Google Chrome

Google will be launching a new web browser in 100 countries today called Google Chrome. Google Chrome will attempt to make it easier for web users to interact with application based websites, like anscers.com.

Below is a link to the comic style announcement about Google Chrome.

Google Chrome Comic

We will be spending some time reviewing this new browser and how it can make anscers.com easier to use. So don;t be surprised to see a "Chrome Friendly" version of anscers in the future.

Upgrades made to CFFS on anscers.com

Several upgrades to the Construction Forms Filing Service (CFFS) are available on anscers.com starting today.

The upgrades are:

1. A confirmation page for each project submitted where the you can make
changes to the elements of the project before submission.

2. Progress Release forms that have been requested are now saved
into History on the project detail page. Clicking on the link in History will
open the form you created.

3. A different screen flow after project submission. Instead of sending you
to the project summary page after submission – you will now see the project detail page
for the project you submitted. This confirms that we received the project and allows you to print Progress Releases right away.

If you are interested in learning more about CMA’s CFFS service please contact our Nevada office at 702-259-2622 and ask for Amber or Elise.

Plan for removing duplicate subjects on anscers.com

One of the greatest challenges on anscers is identifying duplicate subjects. Since anscers accepts data from many sources (the online user, A/R contributions, fax contributions) duplicate subjects are easily created using different spelling of a company name, street abbreviation, or missing suite numbers. Too many duplicates create confusing search results and the need to view multiple anscers Business Credit Reports to see the full payment history.

Here is our plan to remove the duplicates in the next few weeks:

We have invested in US Postal Service (USPS) software that standardizes all addresses in our database. This week, we processed over 710,000 subjects through the address standardization program. Using address standardization alone we identified over 300,000 duplicate subjects.

Our next steps are:

•    Updating all subject records with the USPS standardized addresses. Since all addresses will be standardized there may appear to be more duplicates on anscers because all the addresses will be the same. At this point we will not have run the match and merge process, but that is next.
•    Match and Merge all duplicate subjects. This means all contacts, tradelines, Alerts, RFI’s etc. that existed on duplicate subjects will be merged into a single subject.

This process will result in a great reduction of duplicate subjects in anscers. Look forward to super clean search results and data packed anscers Business Credit Reports once we are done.

As always, we thank you for your patience during this process.

If you have any questions or suggestions please contact Dina Amadril at 562-432-4807 or email damadril@creditservices.org.

Average Days to Pay – New Tradeline Measurement on anscers.com

CMA launched anscers.com with the tradeline measurement Days Beyond Terms (DBT) as an option on each tradeline. A DBT measurement tells you, on average, how many days beyond terms a customer pays.

The DBT measurement sparked conversation among anscers users, some claiming this measurement was the best to use, others suggested the use of Average Days to Pay (ADP). We surveyed users and found the split about 50/50 at the time.

Now that anscers is accepting full accounts receivable contributions we find a lot more customers using the ADP measurement and the data in the DBT field is misleading. ADP measures how many days to pay from the date of the invoice, DBT measurement starts on the invoice due date.

Since full accounts receivable contributions are the focus of anscers and key to building a substantial database, CMA has made a decision to change the tradeline measurement from DBT to ADP on anscers.com.

To accomplish this:

1.    All data that currently exists in the DBT fields will be removed from the anscers database.
2.    The DBT field will be changed to ADP on all anscers screens and group worksheets.
3.    Starting in May 2008 full accounts receivable contributors that include ADP or DSO (a similar measurement) will be added to the anscers database.

Our goal is to have this completed by April 28, 2008, and we will keep anscers users informed of our progress.

For those who prefer to view DBT calculation, there is still a way to make the new ADP data work for you. Simply take the ADP on a company subtract your terms and that will give you a DBT estimate according to your terms (ADP 54 minus your terms of 30 = 24 Days Beyond Terms).

If you would like to contribute your full accounts receivable to anscers.com please contact Teresa Campos at 818-972-5361 or tcampos@creditservices.org.

For any concerns or questions please contact Customer Service at 818-972-5332.

Thank you for using anscers.com!

ACM Introduces e-mmediate electronic payments – Webinar

e-mmediate is a blended product of ACH and check guarantee in a one step process. This 45 minute webinar discusses how to facilitate electronic payments “e-mmediately” for deposit directly into your DDA account within 2 business days, and those payments are guaranteed. No worries about NSF’s; the process works like credit card transactions for only a fraction of the cost (30-40% less). Join us for this free webinar and learn how “e-mmediate” can give you the tools to increase your sales and reduce credit card processing fees. This webinar is a continuation of the series previously conducted in conjunction with our Affiliate Partner; Fifth Third Processing Solutions (FTPS) entitled "Managing Down the Cost of Credit Card Acceptance."

Click here to register for FREE Webinars.

Benefits of Using e-mmediate:
·  Guarantee your payments at 30-40% less cost than credit cards
·  Eliminate returned checks (NSF, Account Closed, etc.)
·  Eliminate check guarantee warranty violations
·  Eliminate check guarantee reimbursement delays
·  Eliminate internal tracking or accounting of NSFs
·  ACM web-based — No software to buy
·  Flat rate cost — No interchange assessment fees
·  Two-business-day cash availability
·  Improved ability to get "paid"
·  Reduced DSOs
·  Improve A/R agings
·  Eliminate lengthy wait times (mail or bank)
·  Extended cut-off time for deposits 

Google Sites Launches – Uses for Credit

From the site "Google Sites, a new offering from Google Apps, makes creating a team site as easy as editing a document. Use Google Sites to centralize all types of information — from videos to presentations — and share your site with just a few people, your entire organization, or the world."

How could you use Google Sites:

1. Create an internal (only your company sees it) site that has all your credit documents (applications, letters, policy etc.). This would be a great place for Sales to go to stay informed of any changes in policy or download the latest information from Credit. If you have decentralized credit locations this internal site would ensure everyone has the latest information.

2. Create an external site (show it to the world) that works as a communication tool between Credit and the customer. Explain your credit policy, allow the credit application to be downloaded, add a FAQ section etc.

Google Sites is FREE and very easy to use. http://sites.google.com

anscers Testing New Search in Reports

anscers is testing a new company search in the anscers Business Credit Reports area. To try the new search log into anscers.com, click the Reports tab, then click on anscers Business Credit Reports.

For a great comparison of the old search and new search – try a search today in anscers Business Credit Reports (new) – then click on the RFI tab, click Start RFI button and search for the same company (old).

We would love to hear what you think about the new search. To give us your feedback:

FREE anscers RFI Tutorial Webinars

anscers RFI Reference service, comes out of BETA on 9/1/07. As we officially start charging for anscers RFI (outside of a group) and anscers Business Credit Reports we want to make sure you get the most for your money by learning how to use anscers. For more info about the services Download anscers_rfi_and_report.pdf

Register for one of the three FREE webinars in September by clicking on the anscers Events tab and selecting one of the following dates:

  • 9/5/07 8:30 to 9:30 am
  • 9/12/07 8:30 to 9:30 am
  • 9/19/07 8:30 to 9:30 am

anscers RFI – Second Notice By Fax

anscers Users who use the RFI Reference feature (sending the RFI to references outside their trade group) had requested a second notice be sent to those who had not responded.

The second notice by fax is now in place. Here is how it works. If the RFI Reference has not responded to the first fax request within 48 hours, a second fax is automatically generated and sent by anscers.

Click here to see what the fax forms look like.

The second request has already proven to increase the amount of responses received during the RFI process.

Reminder: anscers will start charging for trade responses to the RFI from outside references on 9/1/07. To find out more about this Download anscers_rfi_and_report.pdf

Workers suffering from ’email stress’

Targets, deadlines and getting to work on time have long been the
main sources of pressure for most workers, but now it seems the office
is being plagued by a new problem: e-mail stress.

According to new research increasing numbers of workers say they are swamped with a never-ending tide of messages.

Read the full story and research results on This is London.

Then check out 5 ways to manage email stress from Web Worker Daily. (This is one of my favorite blogs, but then I am a serious nerd)

Tickling the Keyboard: 10 Spreadsheet Tips

Basic shortcuts to smooth the use of Excel. CFO.com has a great article for us Excel users, ten shortcut tips. Here is one, click through for the rest:

Saving, Printing, Opening. If you spend a lot of time opening, closing, and printing spreadsheets – and who doesn’t – the F12 key could become your best friend. On its own, the F12 key will open up the "Save As" dialog box. But add the Shift key to it, and Excel will automatically save the current sheet. Type "Control" and F12 together and Excel will provide a fresh spreadsheet.

anscers Recorded Webinars

Training for one, or more. anscers Recorded Webinars $79 each. View as many times as you like for 60 days.

Access the training you need, when you need it. anscers recorded webinars are available 24/7 from anscers.com. Here are just a few ideas how you could use anscers recorded webinars:

  • Train during your lunch break
  • Arrive early and train on anscers.com
  • Forget the traffic train from home
  • Reserve the conference room and train your whole staff at once
  • Throw a staff training & lunch event

Train one or more people all for the same $79 charge.

What’s available now on anscers.com:

  • "Lean Six Sigma" for Effective Management
  • How to Determine if You Need Credit Insurance 
  • Spotting and Avoiding Business Credit Fraud 
  • Start Down the Path of Success with the NACM Professional Designation Program FREE
  • How Letters of Credit Work (..and Why They Sometimes Don’t) 
  • Bulldog Collection Techniques 
  • Perfect Credit Applications 
  • Phone Power 
  • Results Driven Communication 
  • The Art of Credit Management: A Fundamental Checklist for the Success of Every Credit Professional

More webinars are being recorded weekly. Check the Events area of anscers for the latest recordings.

anscers Business Credit Report and RFI Information Sheet

anscers Business Credit Reports consist of tradelines and credit alerts added to the system through Groups, RFIs, and accounts receivable contributions.

Contents of the reports include:

1. The last 12 months of trade data

2. The last 12 months of credit alerts

3. Past inquiries on the subject in the last 12 months

The report price is determined by the number of tradelines on the report. For NACM Members the price is 0.99 a line, with a Cap price of $9.99. If the user is a member of a credit group, all lines from their group members are FREE. All credit alerts are FREE.
The anscers Business Credit Report price will be displayed on the Purchase Credit Report button:
Purchase_report_2

anscers Request For Information (RFI) is a service that allows the user to obtain fresh information on a company. Users choose a company to RFI and then enter the references they want information from. If the user is a member of a group they can request data from their group, in addition to references. In many cases anscers will identify additional references the user can add to the RFI . The anscers references are:
• Companies who have inquired on the company in the past
• Companies who have tradelines older than 12 months

• Companies who have been identified as a reference in the past but have not responded with a tradeline

Pricing is determined by how many references respond with trade information. NACM Members are charged 0.99 a tradeline, no experience responses are FREE. Group and Network responses are FREE. For example; an anscers user submits an RFI with 6 references, 4 respond with tradelines 2 with no experience. The charge for that RFI would be $3.96 (4 x .99).

anscers User Billing Section

Click on My Account   to get to User Billing and see how many RFI’s and anscers Business Credit Reports you company has used each month.
The data is displayed on a monthly basis. RFI’s do not display in User Billing until they are expired.
The following image is a User Billing display. You can track your billing, review reports, and view RFI confirmation pages.

User_billing_display

anscers Database stats:

• In the last 12 months anscers has collected over 673,000 tradelines and credit alerts on more than 172,000 companies.

• anscers has more than 500,000 subjects in our database.

• anscers has processed over 19,500 RFIs since June 2005.

• There are over 13,100 tradeline comments in the anscers system.

anscers RFI and Business Credit Report Information Sheet

We have fielded many questions regarding the anscers RFI and Business Credit Report pricing starting 9.1.07.

The download attached explains more about the pricing, the size of our database, the services offered, and what you will see in User Billing.

Download anscers_rfi_and_report.pdf

Thanks for using anscers.com – we look forward to providing you valuable services now and in the future.

anscers Business Credit Report Pricing – starts 9/1/07

Credit Reports are still in Beta and are free until September
1, 2007

To offer your company the best value for anscers
Business Credit Reports, you only pay for the number of tradelines that appear
on a given credit report, up to a maximum amount per report (see pricing below):

NACM Members – 0.99 per
tradeline, up to a maximum of 9.99 per report.

Non-members – 1.99 per
tradeline, up to a maximum of 19.99 per
report.

For information about how your company can become an NACM
member, contact Customer Support at (800) 541-2622 Option 6.

anscers Metals Credit Network expands regionally

Participation in the new anscers Metals Credit Network has increased to 26 members, which now includes representatives from the Steel Warehouse and the Aluminum Suppliers/Extruders Groups in Southern CA, the Metals Supply Group in Northern CA, the Las Vegas Materialman’s Group, and the Northern Nevada Construction Group.

If you are interested in joining the anscers Metals Credit Network please contact Teresa Campos at 818-972-5361.

You can now buy recorded Webinars!

Recorded_webinars

Now you can purchase recordings of selected Webinar programs. When you purchase
a recorded Webinar, you will be provided with an Internet link to the recording,
which you can view as many times as you like for 60 days. To view and hear the
recorded program, you will need to have Internet access and speakers connected
to your computer. See (and hear) what you’ve been missing!

To access Recorded Webinars, log into anscers.com and click on the Events tab.

Note: If you purchase a Webinar you also get access to the Webinar recording for 60 days.

Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms

Fraud

Thanks to Deana Marcroft for sending us the link for the Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms.

"The  Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms is a free on line dictionary of financial terms as they are misused by con artists to lure investors into fraudulent money making schemes.

An invaluable tool for investors, law enforcement, attorneys, financial advisors, investigators, auditors, and anyone who wants to ensure that they are not the target of a smooth talker. The Dictionary of Financial Scam Terms is written by Annie McGuire, a woman caught in the web of a High-Yield Investment Program fraud for over a year, and is a no-holds-barred expos of the ways and means of financial fraud."

Google Challenges Microsoft with Google Apps

Google_apps

For those techies in the credit crowd like me, you will be excited to hear about Google launching their Google Apps product.

It seems to be tailor made for decentralized offices that need to share, calendars, spreadsheets and documents. Anyone who telecommutes might want to research Google Apps as a way to easily be in synch with what is happening at the office, without having to learn IT.

Click through here to learn more about Google Apps.

New anscers.com feature – Order an Experian

Order_an_experian

A new feature was added to anscers.com last night. We have integrated the ability for you to easily order an Experian report in 7 areas on anscers.com:

  • anscers Business Credit Report
  • RFI Report
  • Group Credit Report
  • Group Report
  • Submitting an RFI
  • Submitting an Alert
  • Submitting a Group Report Request

In any of these areas if you want to know more about the subject, click the "order an experian" icon on the page.

A small window will open where you can make your Experian Report selection and tell us how you want it sent to you; email or fax.

CMA Staff will pull the reports and fax or email them to you within the hour. All report usage will be billed at month end on your statement from CMA.

Special Note: If you have an Experian Report Contract through CMA you will be charged your contract price for reports, which will save you money on each report. To find out more about securing a Experian Report Contract through CMA contact Terry Campos at 818-972-5361 or tcampos@creditservices.org.

The Experian Credit Reports that we offer through anscers.com are:

  • Business Profile $38.00  Full detail report, trade payment, company background, public record, financials and payment trends. Most comprehensive report. Use for new accounts, key accounts or high balances.
  • Commercial Intelliscore  $20.25  One page scoring report includes risk score, trade payment summary, public record data, and company background. Use in high-volume, quick turnaround situations.
  • Business Summary  $13.00  Credit snapshot on the current trade experiences. Summary data provided on trade lines, public record and collection data, officers, and employees. Use for low balance accounts, prescreening accounts and updating credit files.

Gather as much data as you can on your customers by using anscers.com and Experian together.

Audio Interviews with Getting Things Done Author

Merlin from the 43Folders.com has interviewed David Allen author of "Getting Things Done" each audio portion is about 10 minutes long. Hook up those speakers and take a educational coffee break.

All Posts in the Productive Talk Series

  1. Introducing "Productive Talk" Podcast: 43 Folders meets David Allen
  2. Podcast: Interview with GTD’s David Allen on Procrastination
  3. Productive Talk 02: David Allen on patching GTD "leaks"
  4. 43f Interview: GTD’s David Allen on the "Someday Maybe" list
  5. 43f interview: David Allen on Getting Things Done with your team
  6. David Allen Interview: Getting Things Done with Email
  7. 43f Podcast: David Allen on interruptions

50 Lessons – Business Videos

Fifty Lessons works closely with the world’s most successful business leaders to capture, store and pass on their most important learning experiences, in the form of short and powerful videos.

Video link: Author Robert Sutton on The No A$$hole Rule. We posted about this book previously, now listen to the author tell you how the story came about, and how to deal with those you work with. (Update 11.2.06 – When we posted this yesterday the video was FREE to view, today you can not view it without a subscription.)

Very high quality videos with great messages, some are free to watch and some require a registration. Powerful content for those who want to grow in business.

After Some Delay, Check Imaging at ATMs Is Serious Business

(September 21, 2006) Check imaging at ATMs is poised to become a big business, much bigger even than some experts had thought up to now. Driven by the Check Clearing Act for the 21st Century (Check 21), enacted in October 2004, banks are just now starting to equip machines to take so-called envelopeless deposits, image the checks in the ATM, and transmit the images to the bank. And they’re laying plans to install more and more image-enabled machines. “This is predicated on Check 21, which passed a couple of years ago, and nothing happened, so I thought envelopeless deposits were a lot of hype,” says Tony Hayes, managing director of the financial-services practice at Dove Consulting, Boston, a unit of Hitachi Consulting. “I’ve changed my thinking. A lot was going on in the back office.”

Wells Fargo & Co. said recently it will equip 400 ATMs for imaging by year’s end, and Bank of America Corp. said it plans to install 1,500 such machines within the same time span. Overall, though just 2% of large banks’ ATMs are image-enabled now, nearly one-third will be within two years, according to a major survey on ATM deployment recently released by Dove (Digital Transactions News, Sept. 12) and sponsored by several major electronic-funds transfer networks. For large credit unions, the current figure is 10%, going to 45% by 2008.

Meanwhile, while 21% of large banks now deploy imaging ATMs, another 37% say they plan to within 12 months, the survey says. Some 41% of large credit unions plan to, while 21% already have. Even large independent sales organizations, which have yet to deploy imaging machines, are poised to get into the act, with 57% saying they plan to switch on imaging ATMs within the coming year. Among smaller ISOs, nearly one-fifth report such plans.

The delay between the enactment of Check 21, which encourages electronic check imaging and exchange, and the current outbreak of activity stems from banks’ need to equip their back offices to deal with the flow of ATM-generated images, Hayes says. Banks, he says, wanted to be sure that not only could their ATMs make and send images, but that they could process those images once they arrived without the need to convert the items back into paper documents. “Let’s get the plumbing right,” Hayes say of banks’ thinking on the matter.

The impact of such complex new ATM functions on ISOs could be dramatic, as it may force those that have pursued bank-branding strategies to rejigger machines to mimic what that client banks’ own ATMs are doing. Some ISOs have recently sought to counter a trend toward lower per-machine transaction averages by cutting deals with banks to run machines in retail stores that are branded by the banks and appear to cardholders to belong to those banks.

Now, says Hayes, banks will expect ISOs to add new features like envelopeless deposits and targeted marketing messages (Digital Transactions News, Aug. 18) so these branded off-premise machines behave the same way as the banks’ other terminals. “What we’re going to see is these ATMs becoming more sophisticated because the ISOs’ customers—in this case banks—are going to demand it,” he notes. “The cardholder is unaware that the machine branded by the bank is owned by the ISO.”

Source – Digital Transaction News

Google to run in Intuit small business software

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Intuit Inc. will feature several of Google Inc.’s products, including search and advertising, in its QuickBooks accounting software aimed at small businesses, the companies said on Wednesday.

The
deal between the two Silicon Valley-based companies marks the latest in
a string of business partnerships where hardware and software makers
have agreed to feature Google software.

Google is racing with Internet rivals Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.
to win prominent placement within major computer products to fend off
efforts by rivals efforts to strike similarly exclusive deals.

The
partnership also promises to help small business customers attract new
clients. It helps Google get more small businesses to buy ads and use
Google services while allowing Intuit users to get more out of their
QuickBooks software.

As part of that effort to make QuickBooks
more attractive and help users list their products on the Web, Intuit
also said on Wednesday it paid $60 million for San Francisco-based
StepUp, which helps businesses reach local customers.

In a
statement, Intuit and Google said they had agreed to a strategic
alliance aimed at helping millions of small businesses promote
themselves online with several Google services built into most
QuickBooks 2007 products.

QuickBooks will encourage users to
market themselves online by listing their businesses on Google Maps,
creating and managing advertising campaigns with Google AdWords and
posting their products for sale using its Google Base free Web listing
service for publishing the equivalent of online classified ads.

QuickBooks 2007 will be available in coming months.

Intuit
also plans to embed Google Desktop search into QuickBooks 2007 so users
will be able to quickly find customer, retailer or financial
information stored inside QuickBooks or on their desktop.

(Additional reporting by Eric Auchard in New York)

Microsoft Releases Free Accounting Software

In an effort to capitalize on the growing number of eBay businesses, Microsoft began offering a new version of its small-business accounting software on Tuesday.

 

A pre-release beta version of Microsoft
Office Accounting, formerly called Small Business Accounting, is now
available for free download on Microsoft’s website. The latest version
offers new features designed to help small companies do business on the
Web.

 

Like its previous
version, the beta software offers accounting tools to manage and track
inventory, print checks, pay bills, and create invoices. However, the
beta version has added tools that integrate the software with eBay,
PayPal, and Equifax.

 

The software
facilitates eBay sales by allowing business owners to select products
from their inventories, list items for sale, and view the status of
listings from within the accounting application. Online shopkeepers can
also download the results of sales transactions and related fees
directly from eBay into the software.

 

Because the
software can be configured to work with PayPal business accounts,
businesses can use online invoicing and accept payment via e-mail or
direct credit-card payments. In addition, users can monitor the
credit-worthiness of their customers and vendors using Equifax from
within the accounting software.

 

The new version of
Office Accounting also supports multi-currency accounting and allows
users to customize the layout and labels on accounting forms.

Source INC. Magazine

Online Spreadsheets

The Web Worker Daily blog highlights several online spreadsheet programs, with Excel like capabilities. Most of these services are free and great for sharing data with others in an online format. For decentralized offices you could use online spreadsheets to communicate with other offices, and to allow more than one person to work on an active spreadsheet.

Click through to read about the online spreadsheets available.

Post your comments on the best use of online spreadsheets by clicking the word Comments below.

SearchSystems.net – Access Billions of Public Records

Website searchsystems.net provides access to over 37,000 public records databases. "The original, largest, most up-to-date and reliable directory of public
records on the Internet. Online since 1997, SearchSystems.net continues
to be by far the best resource of business information, corporate
filings, property records, deeds, mortgages, criminal and civil court
filings, inmates, offenders, births, deaths, marriages, unclaimed
property, professional licenses, and much more."

I have demonstrated Search Systems many times in the Internet as a Credit Tool Seminars. It is an awesome service for those who have the time to search for the information.

If you do not have the time to perfom the searches, you can contact CMA’s Credit Information Services Department (818-972-5300) and have us do the searches for you ($$) and fax or email you the results.

Internally, we do not use Search Systems.net – we use aggregator services that search multiple databases at once.

 

Can your Customers pay on the web?

Results of a five month study in the Consumer Collection arena by Online Resources Corp."showed the effectiveness of the collections web site in reaching delinquent account holders who were unreachable by phone, particularly for late stage accounts, which are past due between 90-180 days. In addition, late stage account holders who were offered and accessed the web site paid at a higher rate than those who were not offered the web site, and they required less phone contact.

The results were gleaned from a five-month control group assessment of account holders who were offered and accessed a web site to resolve their delinquent accounts over those who were not offered an online method."

What works for consumers will also work for business transactions, although it is usually not adopted as fast by the business marketplace. Does your company already have an web based payment option for customers? If not, CMA partner, American Check Management can help you with their new E-Bill Payment System. Contact ACM at 800-759-6786, don’t forget to ask for your CMA discount.

This Is Broken.com

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20 minute Google video of Seth Godin at Gel 2006 Conference. Seth is a author of some of the most influential marketing books. There are some very funny bits on the video, but the message is serious for all of us.

Are there areas of your customers credit experience that are broken? What can you do to fix them?

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Financial Statement Analysis I New Online Course Format

Approved for the National Association of Credit Management Certification Program

CMA is pleased to announce this exciting new course format! We launched a beta test version of this online course in March 2006. Nine out of the ten students successfully passed the final exam and received NACM certification credit for the course. The class will start Tuesday, September 26, 2006, and will be held each week from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm. There are 6 lectures and one week for the online midterm exam. There is a training session scheduled for Monday, September 25, 2006 – details will be sent with course confirmation. Space is limited to the first 20 students registered so sign up today.

Financial Statement Analysis I Online Course
Here’s What You Get:

  • Weekly live lectures online with the instructor using CMA’s popular Webinar presentation format
  • 24/7 access to online classroom where you can find all course materials, get and post assignments, and interact with the instructor between lectures
  • Online forums where you work with classmates on team projects and case studies
  • Online Midterm Exam
  • Course Text is Provided
  • NACM Certification credit toward the Credit Business Associate (CBA) Designation

Download the Course Flyer and Registration