Need Accounting Help? Learn How to Use QuickBooks for Less Than $20.

The accounting software is an essential tool for small businesses everywhere.

2 min read

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Boasting a market share of more than 80 percent among small businesses, Intuit QuickBooks reigns supreme in the world of financial management software. That popularity can be credited to its vast lineup of features for invoicing, bill payments, income tracking, inventory management, and more — basically, everything a business could ever need accounting-wise. And with all of these “smarter business tools” accessible on one clean, flexible interface, it should come as no surprise that QuickBooks was recently named the PC Mag Editors’ Choice for online accounting software.

Maybe you’re already one of the 5.6 million QuickBooks customers around the world. Or maybe your knowledge of the software is limited to its quirky video ads starring Danny DeVito. Regardless, it’s worth mentioning that the latest version of QuickBooks can be tricky to use if you’re not familiar with its functionality. Fortunately, that learning curve is no match for the QuickBooks 2019 Master Class, an essential primer on the software that just went on sale in the Entrepreneur Store.

Featuring seven hours of content available 24/7, this course aims to take the headache out of accounting by teaching you how to tailor QuickBooks 2019 to your individual needs. Included in its collection of more than 70 video tutorials are a broad set of lessons that’ll help you make sense of your finances, from demonstrations on how to instantly create accurate bookkeeping documents (i.e, estimates, invoices, statements, and deposits) to tips on how to track customers, vendors, and employees.

Dreading tax season? Not to worry: QuickBooks even includes tools for tackling your tax return. By enrolling in the QuickBooks 2019 Master Class, you’ll get help creating income/expense reports and track loans, credit cards, and sales tax, and more.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll be able to easily customizable reports, summaries, and analyses using your business’ QuickBooks data. (Plus, if you score at least 70 percent on the quiz included in its learning lineup, you’ll receive a certificate of completion with which you can pad your résumé.) Who knew accounting could be so, well, tolerable?

A $150 value, Entrepreneur readers can sign up for lifetime access to the QuickBooks 2019 Master Class for just $19 — a savings of 87 percent.

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Jobvite raises $200M+ and acquires three recruitment startups to expand its platform play

Jobvite, the company that was once an early mover in leveraging social networks to help source job opportunities and find interesting candidates for openings, is today announcing two big moves to double down on its ambition to build a bigger platform for recruitment and applicant tracking.

The company has picked up an investment of more than $200 million, and it will be using the money to acquire three smaller companies focusing on different aspects of the recruitment process: Talemetry (which specializes in recruitment marketing); RolePoint (for employee referrals and in-company moves); and Canvas (a text-based conversational bot to get the screening process started).

Jobvite is not disclosing its valuation with the funding, which is coming from private equity firm K1, but for a little guidance, in an interview, Dan Finnigan, Jobvite’s CEO, said it was a majority stake but nowhere near a full acquisition. (PitchBook’s last valuation of the company, of around $150 million, is very old, dating from September 2014; and it has never been confirmed by the company.)

The combined company will have 2,000+ customers that include Schneider Electric, Lenovo, Santander, PayPal, Genuine Parts and Panasonic.

Finnigan says that Jobvite’s growth, and investor interest in backing that, is happening in tandem with two changes, one technological and another the evolution in how organizations handle human resources.

Several years ago, many companies — hoping to cut costs — merged their personnel and recruitment operations, “and recruiting became an afterthought,” he said. That led to companies tacking on, as a kind of minimum viable solution, applicant tracking software, but little or nothing else.

But more recently, the war for talent has escalated — not just because unemployment is low but because there are now multiple different opportunities and shortages of suitable people for specific, often emerging skills. In turn, businesses have started to realise “that recruiting is the backbone of every company, and that applicant tracking is just not enough,” he said.

At the same time, there have been evolutions in the technology. While a lot of recruitment software (and the recruitment process) has traditionally been quite fragmented, a move to cloud solutions has provided an avenue for consolidating the process and using one platform to manage it. (Google’s launch of Hire, which lets users manage job applicants using G Suite apps; LinkedIn’s recruitment platform; Zoho and SmartRecruiter are all prime examples of how cloud platforms are being used to build more complete sourcing and tracking services.)

Coupled with this is a rising use of technology like machine learning to remove some of the more mechanical aspects of a recruiter’s job to speed up processes.

Jobvite’s three acquisitions all play into both of these trends. Canvas, for example, uses a bot to source initial information about a candidate to start the screening process before human recruiters step in to take over.

Talemetry, meanwhile, taps into marketing tech to help identify where the most ideal candidates might be in order to better target job opportunities at them, in the form of ads or other kinds of content.

Lastly, RolePoint will add a new feature to tap into referrals from existing employees, and to help manage in-company moves.

Finnigan likens the cloud-based platform approach that we’re seeing in the market to the impact Salesforce has had on the expanding concept of CRM. “We know that marketing and sales software have continued to evolve with new features like content marketing, and the same has happened in recruitment,” he said.

“We are excited to be investing in such an innovative set of technologies,” says Ron Cano, managing partner at K1 Investment Management, in a statement. “The talent acquisition industry is critical to our economy and ripe for disruption with outdated software still prevalent. K1’s investment will create the only true end-to-end talent acquisition platform and will provide our customers with accelerated growth in innovation of product features and services.”

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Arizona Lawmaker Wants to Tax Internet Porn to Pay for Border Wall

Existing border fence on the U.S.-Mexico border near Nogales, Arizona
Photo: Getty

Arizona state Senator Gail Griffin, a Republican, has introduced a new bill that would force computer and phone retailers to install porn-blocking software, which could only be removed for a fee of at least $20. The weirdest part? The money that was collected by the state would be used to help build President Donald Trump’s infamous wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, among other things.

First reported by the Arizona Mirror, the bill would require retailers to install porn-filter software on all new internet-capable devices sold in Arizona. The filter would only be removed if the customer asked for it, they could prove that they were at least 18 years old, and paid at least $20. The $20 fee would be sent to the state, but retailers would be allowed to charge more on top of that.

The bill would also set up something called the John McCain Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Prevention Fund, which is where all those $20 fees would be sent. The fund would then issue grants for programs that help the victims of sex offenses, which sounds reasonable enough until you look at the list in the bill. The first thing on the list, which will allegedly “help” victims of sex offenses, is a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Grants that the fund will provide according to the bill, HB 2444, would help:

  1. Build a border wall between Mexico and this state or fund border security.

  2. Provide physical and mental health services.

  3. Provide temporary and permanent housing placements.

  4. Assist victims in employment placement, education and employment training.

  5. Prevent and protect victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, prostitution, divorce, child abuse and sexual assault.

  6. Assist school districts.

  7. Compensate crime victims.

  8. Fund shelters and dream centers.

  9. Pay for family counseling and rehabilitation.

  10. Assist law enforcement.

The bill also says that the software should block all access to any website that facilitates prostitution and revenge porn. And retailers are required to set up a way for Arizona residents to report any “obscene material” that makes it through the filter. If the company doesn’t block the offending website “within a reasonable amount of time after receiving a report” then the retailer faces a fine of $500 per website, plus attorney’s fees.

The bill also helpfully define “pornography” in bizarre detail, including the kind of nudity that’s not permitted. That includes any “female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola” as well as “male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, whether covered or uncovered.” No sweatpants boners allowed, fellas.

So far the bill has only been introduced, and it’s unclear how much of a chance it has to pass through the state legislature. But the Republicans hold majorities in both the state House and the state Senate in Arizona. And the governor, Doug Ducey, is also a Republican. So who knows?

Senator Griffin has a long history of introducing socially conservative legislation in Arizona, including a bill in 2018 to allow teachers to put up the phrase “God enriches” in Arizona public schools, a translation of the state’s Latin motto, “Ditat Deus.” She also introduced a bill backed by the NRA in 1999 that protected gun manufacturers from being sued.

State senator Griffin did not respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but we’ll update this article if we hear back.

[Arizona Mirror]

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Google wants to quiz you on phishing emails

On Tuesday, Google’s Jigsaw unit published a quiz that tests users’ abilities to identify phishing emails. The quiz tests you on a series of emails to see if you can distinguish telltale signs of phishing.

“Phishing is, by far, the most common form of cyberattack,” Jigsaw explains in a blog post. “One percent of emails sent today are phishing attempts.” According to the post, the quiz is based on trainings Jigsaw held with “10,000 journalists, activists, and political leaders.”

In total, there are eight examples that Google tests you on, some representing legitimate emails and others phishing scams. Many of the examples are actually based on real events, such as the massive phishing attempt that hit Google Doc users in 2017 or an email that Russian hackers sent to Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager in 2016.

Image: Google

After each email, Google explains how to tell the signs, often by hovering over URLs to check where they lead and checking the spelling of email addresses. Malicious users often try to send emails that have URLs containing the names of companies like Google or Dropbox, but there will usually be some sort of giveaway that the links point to somewhere more nefarious.

Jigsaw is an experimental incubator project within Google that’s aimed at tackling broad geopolitical problems in the tech space, often through relatively simple microsites and software projects. In the past, the group has produced troll-detecting software, an open-sourced tool to help media organizations provide journalists with VPNs, and AI tools that filter out abusive language.

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Google admits that Android Things are only smart speakers and displays

We got a look at Google Assistant Connect last month during CES, which shows how the AI platform can link up with something as simple as a button or e-ink display, with no Android heavy lifting required. Clearly that’s where the company’s focus is now, although with Google’s own Home Hub bypassing Android Things for a Chromecast-like setup after running the company’s Fuchsia software during development.

As-is, developers can still test Android Things on hardware like the Raspberry Pi, but for OEMs it’s now limited to a specific set of devices. We’ll see if the likes of Lenovo continue to develop on the platform for their next generation of smart products, or if cloud AI features just ride along on even simpler devices going forward.

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Xiaomi made its own version of the Google Home Hub

At the Mi 9 launch event in China, Xiaomi has revealed that it’s working on a smart home hub — one with looks that might conjure up images of the Lenovo Smart Clock and the Google Home Hub. It’s called the Xiao Ai Touchscreen Speaker Box, and while details are scant at the moment, the electronics maker dropped some details about it. Unfortunately, it’s still not clear if it has Google Assistant and if it uses the same software as Google’s and Lenovo’s devices. But it has the power to control Xiaomi’s smart products, including ACs, air purifier, lights, cameras and door bell monitors, using touch or voice commands.

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Over-the-air update strands NIO electric car on a highway in China

One of EV startup NIO’s cars got stuck on a highway in China on Wednesday after the driver triggered an over-the-air software update, according to Bloomberg and the South China Morning Post. The driver, who was testing the car, and a NIO representative were wading through Beijing’s notorious traffic when the update was triggered. They wound up inside for “more than an hour” after the process began, SCMP says.

The NIO representative who was stuck in the car said on Chinese social media site Weibo that “[p]olice officers came, one group after another, yet we could not even wind the window down,” according to SCMP.

NIO apologized on Weibo, according to Bloomberg. The company said in a post it will “optimize” the confirmation process for over-the-air updates going forward, and reminded customers that they should only accept an update when the car is parked in a safe place.

The car was stopped in traffic when the driver triggered the update, a spokesperson for NIO told The Verge in an email, but it should have been obvious what was about to happen, they said. “Before users start to upgrade the software, they receive a clear notice explaining that users need to park their cars during the upgrading and the car’s relevant functionalities will be shut down,” the spokesperson wrote. “The upgrade takes several steps, including entering the password and confirmation. The user tried to engage the upgrade while she was caught in a traffic jam.”

Cars have evolved rapidly in recent years with the addition of touchscreens, complex user interfaces, and even advanced driver assistance features (like Tesla’s Autopilot or GM’s Super Cruise). The software at the heart of these advancements can cause new kinds of problems for companies of all sizes. Last February, for example, an over-the-air update from Fiat Chrysler sent the Uconnect infotainment system in some of the company’s cars spiraling into an endless boot loop, a problem that left a few owners with dead batteries. Tesla, meanwhile, issues so many over-the-air updates to its cars that it started to mess with some owners’ heads last summer.

NIO is just one of the many high-profile EV startups that have emerged over the last few years, but it’s also one of the only ones to have started delivering cars. The company’s first model, the ES8 SUV, began shipping last summer in China. More than 10,000 were delivered by the end of 2018. NIO is also publicly traded in the United States, and the startup plans to bring its electric cars stateside in the next few years.

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H&R Block, TurboTax, iPads, Microsoft Surface Pro, Apple HomePod, Instant Pot, and more on sale for Feb. 6

Did you know that the Backstreet Boys (or should it be the Backstreet Men?) have their first number one album in nearly 20 years? Their new record DNA just hit the number one spot on the Billboard 200 Chart, while the last time they had a number one hit album was back in the year 2000 with Black & Blue

Hopefully, the pop band does a better job keeping their funds together this time around and doesn’t spend it all like they did back in the early 2000s. And with tax software from H&R Block and TurboTax on sale, you and the Backstreet Boys can keep track of all your finances and expenses to get the best possible refund from the IRS during tax season.

If you want to put off your taxes for a few more weeks, we also found amazing deals on kitchen products from Instant Pot, Cuisinart, and more, as well as deals on Amazon devices and tablets for video streaming and home security.

Here are the best deals from across the internet for Wednesday, Feb. 6:

Just want the best of the best? You can save $206 on the Apple iPad Pro (priced at $672.98), while you can save $100 on the KitchenAid Deluxe tilt-head stand mixer (priced at $229.99). In addition, Udemy has deals on their online courses, which start as low as $11.99, and there are also deals on pet toys and food from Chewy

If you like these deals, keep scrolling down for more.

We also found deals on a few laptops and smart home devices, including save $77 on the Apple HomePod at Walmart.

Looking for more deals, the latest news on cool products, and other ways to upgrade your life? Sign up for the Mashable Deals newsletter here.

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Instagram direct messaging could be coming to browsers, desktop – CNET

Instagram application

Instagram’s Direct messaging service could be expanding.

Getty Images

Instagram’s apparently working on making its direct messaging available on desktop apps and web browsers.

Tipster Jane Manchun Wong tweeted screenshots of browser-based and desktop versions of Instagram Direct on Tuesday, before noting that the Facebook-owned social media service had disabled access to the prototype she’d found.

Instagram has traditionally been mobile-focused, but last month Facebook said it plans to merge the backends of its messaging services, letting Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram users message each other without switching apps.

Since Messenger and WhatsApp already have browser-based versions, it makes sense that Instagram should follow suit.

Instagram didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Google says it doesn’t want to prevent ad blocking on Chrome – CNET


Google responded to criticism about breaking ad blockers.


After Google announced proposed changes to its Chrome browser back in October, some software developers criticized the search giant because they said the changes could cripple extensions to block ads and improve security.

Though the changes, called Manifest v3, were first proposed last year, many developers began to notice — and speak out against — the changes for ad blockers last month. Last week, Google said it was revising the plan and sought to reassure angry developers.

“It is not, nor has it ever been, our goal to prevent or break content blocking,” Devlin Cronin, a software engineer on the Chrome team, wrote in a Google Groups post last week (emphasis his). “We are committed to preserving that ecosystem and ensuring that users can continue to customize the Chrome browser to meet their needs. This includes continuing to support extensions, including content blockers, developer tools, accessibility features, and many others.”

Manifest v3 is designed to improve Chrome extensions’ performance, privacy and security. But the backlash over the proposed changes illustrate the problems that come with Chrome’s scale and dominance. The browser, which has more than 1 billion users, accounts for 62 percent of website usage, according to analytics firm StatCounter.

“These changes are in the design process,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. “We want to make sure all fundamental use cases — including content blockers — are still possible with these changes and are working with extension developers to make sure their extensions continue to work while optimizing the extensions platform and better protecting our users.”

The post by Google’s Cronin came after Ghosterly, one of the ad blocker makers that staunchly opposed the changes, released a study last week that said the extensions would only impact the performance of Chrome by about a tenth of a millisecond.

However, a source familiar with the situation disputed the methods that Ghosterly used in its study and said Cronin’s post wasn’t a response to the study.

Ghosterly didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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