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Smith Office Solutions Newsletter
To Save and Protect Your Assets                     June 2012
In This Issue
Important Dates
Save Your Business
In the Spotlight - Exorbyte Commerce
Protecting Information
Tip of the Month
Important Dates
June 15 P/R Tax Dep Due
June 30 End of 2nd Quarter

July 4 Independence Day
July 15  P/R Tax Dep Due
July 31  2nd Qtr 941/OQ Due 

Aug 15 P/R Tax Dep Due

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Just More Sales

Spotlight Company
View our profile on LinkedIn



Summer is finally here!  
Before you take off to visit sandy beaches or head out to the mountains for a well-deserved vacation, we hope you take look at the helpful information we have provided on internal controls. 
We have our first submission for our Spotlight Company!  Check out this amazing company located here in our own "backyard."

Also, this month we share the final guideline for protecting the sensitive data your company keeps.  It is an easy one to implement and very important for long term protection.  We would love to help you incorporate these guidelines into your company's operations.
Let us know if there are any ways that we can better meet your company's needs.  Smith Office Solutions is focused on helping your business succeed.
We hope you enjoy the sunshine (whenever it finally arrives).


Save Your Business


Last month I talked about internal control a bit, this month I would like to help you understand what this is.  You can't really gain the control until you understand how Internal Control is defined.  This came from my Advanced Intuit CPE class.  I actually thought the definition was quite good so I decide to give it to you and add my comments. I highlighted the important words because they get missed and they are important.


Internal Control Defined


"Internal Control is defined as the methods and procedures instituted by a business to control operations and safeguard assets. It is important to note that safeguarding the assets includes informational assets such as: customer lists, price lists, proposals, Accounts Receivable records, etc. Controlling operations includes how the flow of paperwork and data entry into an accounting software package has been designed. Safeguarding assets includes procedures to discourage waste, fraud, and theft. "


Many people think about computers as assets but not the things like price lists & account receivable records.  I remember classes in college about what to do if your business has a fire.  You don't want to go through that and yet many people don't even back up there computer regularly and even fewer take the back up off site.  I lost my "Growing SOS" book the other day.  When it came to telling someone what the price for my extra office was I couldn't give her an easy answer.  It really wasted my time.  Time is an asset also.  Oh yeah I found the black book in another office.


"In small businesses, the owner commonly controls everything by personal supervision and participation in all aspects of the business. As a business grows, the tendency is for the owner to begin delegating functions of business operations without adequate internal controls in place. The thought is that the employee is trustworthy, which very well may be the case, until opportunity is present and the temptation becomes too great. Internal controls help to encourage compliance with management policies, protect company assets, improve operational efficiency, and ensure accurate accounting data. In a large business, segregation of duties is easier based on a larger number of employees. Although there are dishonest people out there, internal control processes assume that people are generally honest. That is why segregation of duty works."


Again I will talk about about time.  An employee may become dishonest about their time.  The owner is gone, the employee is good friends with another employee.  The 1st employee needs to leave early and asks the 2nd to clock them out when they leave.  The 2nd employee doesn't really want to do it but they might have something to gain by this action.  It happens more & more frequently.  Now the 2nd employee could get in trouble if they report the first employee because they became part of the scam.  I had this problem with a supervisor once, he clock one of his employees in & out.  I just happened to know that the 1st employee wasn't there that day & I did the payroll.  In this day & age your can find out when a employee stopped working if they are on a computer all day.  Just because an employee has been there for a long time doesn't mean that you don't check them every once in awhile.  


"When evaluating internal controls, do not overlook other potential risks such as: hard drive crashes, viruses, deleting a file, lost passwords, computers that are lost or stolen, etc. "


One of these things will happen at sometime.  Create systems that will warn you or stop one of these threats from destroying you company.  If you lose you admin password for QuickBooks you will pay a pretty penny to recover the password.  That doesn't mean you let everyone login as the administrator or not create individual passwords.  Hard drives wear out and the jerks that create viruses will be out there honing there skills.


When it comes to these problems you may need an outsider's view.


Next month you will get a chance to see the statistics that will show you why there need for Internal Control even in a small business.  In August I will show you some of the things that QuickBooks provides for you to help against the threats.




In the Spotlight...Exorbyte Commerce


Exorbyte Commerce is a search-centric merchandising service for online stores.


Exorbyte Commerce Search will boost any store's conversion rate and revenues in under an hour through our easy implementation. Exorbyte Commerce is a hosted search engine service for independent online stores with state-of-the-art search and merchandising features which were previously only available to large online stores (eBay, Amazon, etc.)


Exorbyte Commerce Search results, the Autocomplete service, and our advanced reporting and merchandising system boost online stores conversion rates and revenues systematically and significantly. Exorbyte core technology, MatchMaker, is a unique proprietary database search and data matching engine, made especially for product catalogs.


10 years of intense development have led Exorbyte to breakthroughs in semantic, phonetic and algorithmic search technology and have been rewarded by major corporate endorsements: Yahoo!, eBay, Citibank, etc.


Would you like more information? Contact them at:


Exorbyte, Inc
9725 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Suite 230
Beaverton, OR 97005





If you are interested in having your company logo and website featured, let us know.  You can send an e-mail  to with your website address, short description of your service or product, and your logo, as a JPG. 


If you have a suggestion for a Spotlight Company we would love to hear it.  Just give us a short description of the company and why you think they deserve the "spotlight."

Protecting the information that you keep -Properly dispose of what you no longer need 


What looks like just a bag of trash to you can be a gold mine for an identity thief.  Leaving credit card receipts, papers or CDs with personally identifying information on them in a dumpster or trashcan makes fraud easier and exposes consumers to the risk of identity theft.  By properly disposing of sensitive information, you ensure that it cannot be read or reconstructed for fraudulent use.


  • Implement practices for information disposal that are reasonable and appropriate to prevent unauthorized access to, or use of, the personally identifying information your business collects.  Reasonable measures for your business are based on the sensitivity of the information you collect, the costs and benefits of the various methods of disposal, and changes in technology.
  • Effectively dispose of paper records by shredding them before discarding.  Make shredders available throughout the workplace, especially next to the photocopier.  Invest in a micro-cut or cross-cut shredder to make reconstruction of records more difficult.
  • When disposing of old computers and portable storage devices, use a wipe utility program or software for securely erasing data.  They can provide better results by overwriting the entire hard drive so that the files are no longer recoverable and are usually inexpensive.  Deleting files using the keyboard or mouse commands is not sufficient; the files continue to exist on the computer's hard drive and can be retrieved fairly easily.
  • Require employees who work from home and branch offices to follow the same procedures for disposing of sensitive documents, old computers, and portable storage devices as your main office.
  • If you use consumer credit reports for a business purpose, you may be subject to the FTC's Disposal Rule. For more information, see Disposing of Consumer Report Information? New Rule Tells How.


Adapted from "Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business," Federal Trade Commission, 2011




For more information on this subject, to download a copy of the guide, or to find out about scheduling an internal controls audit, call 503-579-8059 or e-mail us at  










QuickBooks Tips
QuickBooks Logo 

Icon Bar Magic 3

To move or group a icons:

Go to "View" on the Menu Bar

Click "Customize the Icon Bar"

Follow the instructions below the white box

To add a separator click "Add Separator"

This way you have easy access to the Icons & Centers that you use regularly.

Customer, Vendor, Employee & Payroll Centers are now like a regular Icon on the Icon Bar.



Our main services are to help small to medium size business' become more successful in the accounting needs whatever that means to them.
Meredith & Amanda
Smith Office Solutions