All posts by Guest Contributor

Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

PART 2: Building Relationships- A Black Swan POV

building-relationships-part2

Guest Blogger:   Our special guest contributor this month is Melissa Michalski, co-owner of CertPro Accounting Team, a proud member of IPBC, a Certified Professional Bookkeeper and a graduate of the Black Swan Project.

swanIn January 2015, at the Black Swan Summit, we, of course, discussed value pricing concepts but there was also a focus on building stronger relationships.  After a debriefing of the summit, my business partner and I have concluded that there are three kinds of relationships we want to improve: suppliers (which I previously discussed in my first blog of this series), customer relationships, as well as those within the company.   

What are your customers worth to you? For us, they are everything.  The value conversation is very important when meeting new customers, you need to listen and ask the right questions in order to determine their needs, because each customer is different.  For example, some customers might want to see monthly reports, while others might just want their bills paid on time. In order to provide excellent service, you have to understand each customer and know what the most valuable service is to them. The most important part is providing the outcome they want, and this is a big task!

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Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

Pillar 6: Technology – The Cloud – Part 2

pillar6-part2

The series is from Chartered Accountant, consultant and author, Jeff Borschowa, from his book, 8 Pillars for Exponential Business Growth. The series is focused on how to find new and better ways to integrate innovation and technology to enhance the customer experience and improve efficiency in the accounting process.

Part 2 – Core Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud solutions can provide greater security. However, the real benefits usually revolve around availability, cost effectiveness, flexibility and scalability.

Cloud providers will usually have a written guarantee to demonstrate that their systems will be available. Most offer some variant of 99.99% “up time”. You can even get greater up time, usually measured by another 0.009%, if you are willing to pay higher fees. It all comes down to how much down time will impact your business.

Cloud solutions are cost effective, flexible and scalable, because you can often pay only for what you need. If you need five users, you pay for five users. If you add a sixth user, you pay for one more. Cloud solutions are built on large-scale hardware, so they can easily accommodate the addition or removal of team members on your side. We will focus more on costs in the next section, virtual versus physical servers.

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Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

PTE Appreciates Telpay

Audience_Slider_Mainpage_ptePhoto: Robert Metcalfe, PTE’s Artistic Director

Guest Blogger:   Our special guest contributor for this blog post is Cherry Karpyshin, General Manager of Prairie Theatre Exchange.

Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE) wishes Telpay a very Happy 30th Anniversary.  PTE’s first partnership with Telpay’s founder, Mr. W.H. (Bill) Loewen goes back many years to Comcheq.  In 1985, we desperately needed a corporate sponsor for our new play, SECTION 23:  THE FRENCH LANGUAGE REVIEW.  Upon reading our plea in the newspaper for corporate support of this controversial subject, Mr. Loewen took the initiative and called to say Comcheq would support the production.  From this day forward to the founding of Telpay in 1985, this company and its predecessor is and has been a true supporter of our work.  Telpay understands and values risk, research and development, return on investment, partnerships and building relationships which PTE also relies on to do the work we do.  Because of these values, Telpay and PTE have been most fortunate to work together over many projects.   We wish Telpay many, many more years of success while continuing to be an important supporter in the work of not only PTE but for many other not for profit organizations.  Bravo!

Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

Artspace Arts Management- Bookkeeping for the Arts

artspaceGuest Blogger:   Our special guest contributor this month is Randy Joynt, executive director of Artspace.

We are fortunate in Manitoba to have a vibrant and varied arts and cultural scene that goes a long way to defining who we are as Manitobans. We are also fortunate to have companies like Telpay and individuals like W.H. (Bill) Loewen that value and support arts and culture.

In 2013, with the support of Telpay and Mr. Loewen, Artspace launched Artspace Arts Management (AAM), a program to provide bookkeeping services to small and mid-sized arts and cultural organizations.

Arts and culture and a large part of our economy and the organizations that create, produce and present cultural offerings are for the most part, not for profit businesses that employ people and buy and sell products. This means, just like any other business, they have books to keep. As small to mid sized arts and cultural organizations do not have dedicated finance staff, they historically utilize contract bookkeepers or rely on another staff person with multiple duties to do their bookkeeping. These practices come with many challenges; from the contract bookkeepers leaving the organization or not being familiar with the unique requirements of not for profit or charitable organizations, to too much information resting with one staff person.

After two years of operation, AAM is flourishing and meeting the needs of small to mid sized arts and cultural organizations by providing standardized, cost effective bookkeeping services and promoting best financial management practices. As a charitable and not for profit organization itself, Artspace could not have managed the start up costs of this new program without the invaluable support of Telpay and Mr. Loewen.

It has been exciting to provide a needed service to a client group that is contributing so much to our province and to add stability to their back office operations so that more time and resources are dedicated to their core work, creating and producing shows, exhibits, festivals, films, books and more.

Telpay and Mr. Loewen have long been champions and supporters of arts and culture in Manitoba. They exemplify the importance of giving back to the community and like the arts and cultural organizations they support, we are better for them.

Telpay Payment News
Bringing You Payment Insights, Trends and Best Practices

Pillar 6: Technology – The Cloud

pillar6-technology

The series is from Chartered Accountant, consultant and author, Jeff Borschowa, from his book, 8 Pillars for Exponential Business Growth. The series is focused on how to find new and better ways to integrate innovation and technology to enhance the customer experience and improve efficiency in the accounting process.

In this section, we will discuss:
• What is the cloud?
• Cloud security
Through this discussion, we will also examine key criteria to evaluate when looking at cloud solutions.

What is the cloud?
The cloud is essentially a metaphor for the Internet. Specifically, an external server or servers performs the bulk of the processing work for a given task. The user accesses the computing power via the Internet. The real power of the cloud is that the computing power is no longer held within the actual device accessed by the user, thus, we can dramatically reduce Information Technology spending by integrating lower cost devices, such as tablets and smart phones in place of expensive work stations. The other advantage to cloud solutions is that we can literally access our programs and data anytime and anywhere, as long as we have reliable Internet connectivity.
There are various terms that you will hear in relation to computing, but the most common one is “Software as a Service.” This particular model involves software that is hosted no a central server and you pay a monthly per user access fee. The provider maintains responsibility for software updates and maintenance, freeing you up to focus on your core business needs.
We are seeing more people becoming comfortable with cloud computing. Perhaps an example or two will clarify the definition and demonstrate that you are likely already using the cloud, whether you call it that or not. Online functions such as banking, booking flights, and reserving hotel rooms are all examples of cloud solutions. They have been around long enough that most of us do not even question their existence any more.

Cloud Security
We hear a lot in the media about hackers and attacks on large facilities. Unfortunately, this gives us a false sense of security in thinking that hackers are targeting large organizations and will leave small businesses alone. The reality is that most information technology issues or security breaches in small businesses are the result of hardware failure, internal errors or disgruntled employees deliberately sabotaging data and computing resources.
Hacking instances make for good news fodder, but they are not indicative of the real risks you there. The reality is that a centralized computing environment, such as the cloud solutions available today, represents an opportunity to centralize security efforts and build a stronger defence around our data.
When you are selecting a cloud solution, pay close attention to their security and privacy policies. You want to make sure that you retain access to your data, they don’t have access, and your data is in some way encrypted. One word of caution, some industries have specific guidelines that govern their use of Information Technology, including restrictions on what data can be in the cloud. Ensure that you know about any unique rules surrounding your business before you start looking at cloud solutions.

Next Month – Technology Part 2 will cover the following:

• Core benefits of cloud computing
• Virtual versus physical servers
• Examples of cloud technology