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The More Effective You in 2013
By: Jason Will
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Your day is filled with distractions and those can create constant wasteful moments. How about becoming increasingly effective in 2013 and accomplishing more? If you are like most people, your deficiencies come in the form of monetary losses due to wasteful spending or a lack of planning, accountability, and simple organization 101. I’ll be detailing a couple of tools that can make an impact on an individual or a business.

As an individual, your personal finances are important and plague many people every year. Bills are an inevitable part of life, but let’s implement a simple tool to better treat your bank account. The app is called Mint, which is available through the App Store for free. If you are an iPhone user, simply go your App Store icon and search for Mint. So you may ask, what is Mint and how can it help?

Mint is an app that consolidates all your financial accounts in one place. It also allows you to set budgets, track goals, and better your financial position. Here are a couple of recommendations when using the app: take advantage of the alerts and set up notifications. There are over 20 types of alerts that will notify you of fees or budget overages. Also, push reminders can be sent to either your phone via SMS message or email before payments are due. Eliminate late fees and keep your budget on target for the next vacation you are dreaming about.

The other side of improving financial stability is from a business vantage point. If you are fortunate enough to run your own business or be the financial decision maker within an organization, then pay attention to this next piece. The tool is called PostBooks, which is a product within xTuple’s portfolio. I’ll be focusing on the accounting component and will touch on the other pieces that come along with the product.

Here are the basics: PostBooks is open-source software, predominantly supported by online development communities, free to download and extremely flexible to implement. Why choose open-source software? Please refer to my original article, Open Source Software and the 3 Mandatory Questions, for the answer. PostBooks is an ever-evolving open-source software play that organizations can quickly install and leverage an extensive online community of developers working around the clock and all over the world to better the solution. This software addresses multiple pieces of traditional accounting: general ledger, accounts receivable and payable, bank reconciliation, and financial reporting. In addition to the accounting components, this software includes Sales, CRM, Purchasing, Product Definition, Inventory and Distribution, and Light Manufacturing modules. For a free copy visit Download xTuple ERP and also take note that they were just featured on SourceForge.net as project of the month.

As a final note, historic ERP solutions such as Oracle and SAP have hindered adoption within organizations due to exponential implementation costs to shoulder customization efforts, extensive change management needs, and lack of innovation. Better your bottom line in 2013 and make the switch to an open-source solution that evolves at the speed of your business.  

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About the Author
Jason Will is an avid traveler and entrepreneur based in San Francisco where he serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of Zipkick, which is the first travel site to completely customize the search results on an individual basis. Zipkick is Netflix for travel and their mission is to make travel search more accessible and mobile. Check out www.zipkick.com and connect with Jason via Twitter or LinkedIn.  
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