Making business sense with Macs

Apple logoIn the world of business, with the notable exception of “creative” industries, IT is dominated by Microsoft Windows. Apple’s Mac enjoys niche success in art and media related circles, but hasn’t been able to crack into mainstream business use.

This is not for lack of trying. Apple’s website has a section devoted to how some businesses have switched to Macs and how they are using them to help run their businesses. I was delighted to find a page or two specifically about accounting firms, hoping to read some inspiring case studies.

One such study talked about a small, sole proprietor CPA firm in San Diego that was running exclusively on Macs. The main benefit the CPA cited for making the decision to use Macs was the lower total cost of ownership, from not having to spend money on maintenance.

“People say Macs cost more money than PCs. But Mac is really far more cost-effective over time, because there’s so much back-end cost in using PCs. Suddenly you’re bringing in consultants to battle viruses, or recover lost data, or troubleshoot network issues. So many businesses spend a fortune maintaining their PCs.”

That advantage, as well as some others, is highlighted in a recent opinion piece in Computerworld. More, after the jump.


Apple’s “select” listing on the Nasdaq in jeopardy

Apple logoApple has informed investors that due to the ongoing investigation into their options backdating problems, they may be removed from the Nasdaq‘s special “Global Select Market.” How select, you may ask? Well, a mere 1/3 of companies listed on the Nasdaq are privileged enough to make the cut.

Wait, was that a typo? One-third of companies on the entire exchange are “select?” Kind of redefines the word now doesn’t it? According to the Times Online story:

Membership confers an extra degree of respectability on a company’s accounting and corporate governance procedures and, accordingly, gives investors an increased level of confidence.

Given all the tech companies that are having options troubles lately and the concentration of tech companies listed on the Nasdaq in general, this may not be the last one we hear with their “selectness” up in the air. Heck, Activision‘s on it and they just filed a non-reliance 8K for the past 15 year’s financials last week! More details:

Apple acknowledged in December that it had falsified records to show that a board meeting was held to approve the move when no such meeting took place. Apple also said that Mr Jobs was not aware of accounting implications of backdating and that he returned the options so that he would not benefit from the practice.

Fair enough. He’s not an accountant, after all. But was Mr Jobs unaware of the implications of falsifying records as well? Or is legitimate corporate record-keeping now… obsolete?


New Jersey legislates tax on iTunes downloads

iTunes logoNew Jersey residents have been hit by their government with a 7% tax on iTunes downloads (as well as other music download services such as Napster) this past week.

The sales tax overall was raised from 6 to 7% in order to help the state fight their $4.5-billion deficit.

Many are speculating that other states will follow New Jersey’s lead and introduce their own sales tax on music and movies downloads.

I guess I don’t really see anything really wrong with this. I have never bought music from iTunes. And there’s really no good reason not to tax it like anything else, other than just not liking taxes in general.

At least the people the Governor is pissing off with this move is bound to be primarily from a demographic that is known for not voting.

[Via taxalicious, via CNET]


Apple brings in new director: Google’s CEO

It has been announced recently that Dr. Eric Schmidt, currently the CEO of Google, is joining Apple’s Board of Directors. Boards are responsible for overseeing management, protecting shareholder interests and overall strategy.

The move has been hailed as a signal of future partnership between Google and Apple in their joint fights against Microsoft. I have to admit it basically looks that way to me too. I would even go so far as to say a Google-Apple alliance poses the biggest threat to Microsoft’s continued dominance on the desktop, ever.

I’ve always wondered why some Boards have an even number of members, what with the possibility of vote tying. They must have some other method of resolving those situations when they inevitably crop up.

Steve Jobs is obviously an exception to most rules, but it’s rare to see someone in management on the Board in a public company, because of the inherent conflict of interest. I think Jobs is invested in Apple long-term though, so that’s no doubt why he gets away with it.