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.


UFE study materials available

2006 UFEsI received an email recently from a US CPA who is moving to Canada and hopes to write the UFE this year. She asked me if I knew where she could find relevant study materials for it.

Densmore immediately came to mind, since I’d taken the course last summer and it served me exceedingly well. On their website, you can download 2 simulation packages containing 7 cases in each package. The packages mirror a full UFE – 1 5-hour comprehensive case, and 6 smaller multi-competency case averaging 80 minutes in length.

The cases are free, but the answers are for sale for $60 each. The price is reasonable, as the benefit you will gain from studying these cases more than outweighs the cost.

Disclaimer: I’m not getting anything from Densmore to recommend their stuff. I’m just a satisfied customer!

I also recommended PASS, which I didn’t personally attend but a few of my friends did and they passed the UFE this year as well. I took the PASS CKE prep course in the fall of 2005, for what it’s worth, and passed that test on the first try.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that they offer cases for self-study, preferring to focus entirely on their courses, which require a more significant financial outlay.

As well, you can download prior year UFEs and evaluation guides as a member of your local Institute from their website.

Good luck to all 2007 writers, and keep sending me ideas for blog posts!