use less printer ink

How to Use Less Printer Ink

Printer ink is expensive, and the cheap refills are usually defective. Unfortunately, printer ink is a necessary evil at home, at school, and at work. Or is it? We have a few strategies to help you use less printer ink, and you might save some money on paper as well. Six tricks can help you use less printer ink.


  1. Tweak the page

Before you print anything, get in and tweak the page setup, the font, and the spacing. The EPA published recommendations that report to save ink use and paper use. Instead of using 1-inch margins, consider using 0.75-inch or 0.5-inch margins. The EPA also recommends changing the font to Veranda, Century Gothic or Calibri and then reducing the size of the font to 10 instead of 12.

Before you print from any webpage or email, remove the unnecessary items on the page such as advertisements and reply lines. When you are printing an article or post, always select the ‘shrink to fit or shrink one page’ option.

  1. Greyscale

Only print in color when it is absolutely necessary. You can go into the printer settings and change the print color to black, or better yet, you can print in greyscale, which saves you a considerable amount of ink. When you are printing, do not print images. You must also be weary of ‘low ink’ warnings. Don’t rush to change the ink cartridge until it is absolutely depleted.

  1. Digital signatures

Instead of having employees, clients, vendors, or partners sign printed documents, consider a digital signature system. Digital signatures and virtual copies will reduce both your ink and paper use, as well as provide you with a document that can be backed up right away into your company’ cloud system.

  1. Cloud collaboration

The Cloud has the potential to save your company money in many areas. All departments can reduce printer ink and paper use if they collaborate online, save files online, share presentations online, and much more. The best part about the Cloud is that the data is safe, secure, and easily accessible from various devices with different operating systems. The cloud can also be accessed remotely, which allows business owners and employees to do more work out of the office without carrying sensitive materials and docs out of the office.

  1. Maintain your machines

Your machines will work efficiently, only if you maintain them regularly, keep the nozzles clean, and use genuine ink. Yes, ink refill kits are inexpensive and cheaper ink can be purchased online, but it all comes at a cost. Many times, the cartridges don’t work, the ink use increases, or the product printed is of low quality.

  1. Make it a policy

You will only use less ink if you make it a policy. Get everyone on board. Print only what is absolutely necessary. Look at all pages in the ‘Print Preview’ before you select ‘Print.’ You must also establish rules regarding what can and cannot be printed in the office. If it can remain digital, keep it that way.


It doesn’t take much to save printer ink, but it does require you to change your printing habits.


section 179 209105665_cropped

Take Advantage of Section 179 on Your 2015 Taxes

You have had your eye on a flashy little number that will make your life much easier. It prints, it faxes, it emails, and it scans. You can’t stop thinking about how efficient the office would be if you could just get it off the shelf and take it to the office. Well, you can. You have fewer than two months before tax season rolls around, and the IRS wants you to have that new all-in-one. In fact, now is a good time to purchase any new equipment or software for your network before the end of the season rolls around. Talk to your accountant or tax professional about how you can take advantage of Section 179 on your taxes.


What is Section 179?

Section 179 is a tax deduction that helps you buy new equipment and software for your company. Section 179 is the tax code that permits small and medium-sized businesses to purchase qualifying equipment software to better the businesses within the 2015 tax year. Businesses can deduct the full amount of the equipment or software purchase or lease from the company’s gross income. Yes, the IRS allows you to deduct the entire purchase or lease price of qualifying equipment and certain software at tax time.


The code is designed specifically to help small and medium-sized businesses, as the deduction starts to fall off nearly dollar-for-dollar after the allotted maximum is reached. The Section 179 limit is $25,000. If you are not sure just how much the deduction has already saved you, allow us to show you. Let’s say your total equipment purchase is $2500 this year. After the Section 179 deduction, assuming no depreciation in the first year and a 35% tax bracket, the total cash savings on the equipment is $875. After the tax savings, the lower cost of the equipment would be $1625.00 That sounds much better than $2500.


What Qualifies?

Nearly all equipment a company buys qualifies as “business equipment,” and if it used more than 50% of the time for business activities, it may qualify for Section 179. The IRS lists the following as potentially eligible purchases.

  • Equipment, tools or property attached to the building. Note: this cannot be structure betterment costs, add-ons, or any other structural add-ons. The equipment must not be a structural component.
  • Tangible property
  • Office furniture and equipment
  • Certain business vehicles
  • Computers, computer equipment and off-the-shelf software
  • Equipment used for business more than 50% of the time. Note: if you use computer equipment less than 100% of the time, the deduction will be based on the percentage of time the equipment is used for business use.


Don’t wait any longer to improve your business’s productivity and efficiency. Act on the purchase now to save money on your 2015 taxes.


financial technology

Why Financial Departments Need Updated Technology Solutions

Finance departments and industry professionals are in the business of making sound financial decisions, preserving the health of the budget and spending, and they are taking on more responsibilities within their organizations. While fewer assets are focused on technology, it is the very absence of updated technology and resources that is preventing financial departments from doing their jobs effectively.

Finance departments are dealing with increased demands, strict regulations, industry scrutiny, and an ever-changing global economy. The needs for and expectations of finance departments soars each day, and financial departments can meet the demands with updated technology solutions.

IT Budgets Are Growing, but Finance Companies Aren’t Moving

Understandably, finance companies and professionals are hesitant to act swiftly on technology shifts out of fear of cost and security, but companies are in a better position to focus resources on technology. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, corporate budgets increased by 0.8% last year, only to shrink by 0.1% this year; However, information technology budgets increased by 3.1% this year after increasing only 0.3% last year.

Benefits of Updated Technology Solutions

Finance departments can find many uses for improved and updated technology solutions.

  • Efficiency Gains

The costs associated with updated technology solutions are directly tied to improved efficiency. An updated system gets more done in less time and with fewer interruptions. Equipment is becoming smarter, the people using it are gaining more skills, and data processing and smart software are all reducing the need for more equipment.

  • Saves Money

In addition to day-to-day operations, the cost to update technology is dropping. When companies analyze and consolidate, they create effective systems and software that cater to the company’s specific needs, which eliminates patchy finance and reporting systems.

  • Useful Insight

Updated technology can take care of the day-to-day financial decisions, such as issuing payments, monitoring financial trading, calculating and evaluating budgets, and translating data into immediate and critical actions.

  • Real-time Reporting

One of the most notable aspects of updated information technology is the instantaneous reporting of business and financial information. Updated technology provides users and financial departments with immediate and unified financial data that is comprehensive and relevant. This allows finance departments to manage a higher volume of data and use if for profitable business decisions. Better reporting overall provides finance departments with comprehensive immediate, daily, weekly and annual health checks.

  • Better Use, Control and Security of Big Data

Updated technology solutions allow financial departments and companies to do more and gather more data, without the weight of increased personnel salaries and underfunded IT budgets crushing the plans. Updated technology solutions allow companies to better analyze greater volumes of data from a single location or multiple locations, and translate the data into manageable and profitable financial decisions. Updated technology is also safer for companies and their IT departments. Without the right tools to collect and protect the data, a company can face significant losses in data, trust, and clientele, all from which companies struggle to recover.

Updated technology solutions are easier to use, convenient, and the safest for your company to use in any market. Technology allows your company to work smarter and it acclimates to the hasty pace of market fluctuations and business complexities.

tools for non-profits

Best Tech Gadgets and Tools for Non-Profits

The real challenge for non-profits today isn’t whether or not to use technology. The real challenge is using the right technology. Determine what the right tech and tools for non-profits are based on the answers to two questions: what are your needs and what is your budget?


Gadgets for Video


For most non-profits, building awareness and raising funds go hand in hand. Being that we now operate in a very visual, fast-moving environment, video is the logical venue for both communications and fundraising. The ability to shoot good quality video, edit it and get it distributed is critical. Thanks to tech advances, the costs and complexity have come way down. In fact, you can be shooting and uploading videos directly from a smartphone by the time you finish reading this article.


Keeping things super simple means using something like Vine. These short videos can have a lot of impact, are fast and easy to shoot and the viewership is growing. Just keep in mind Vine skews young. The next step up would be shooting a video on your smartphone, doing some light editing in the included software that came with your phone or computer and uploading to YouTube. And finally, you could go whole hog and use a dedicated video camera and iMovie or similar editing software that would allow full-control editing.


Email Communications


Beyond visual communications, there is, of course e-mail blasting. Many non profit organizations use either Constant Contact or Mailchimp. Both systems have advantages and disadvantages but Mailchimp is free to use for up to 2000 e-mails in any 24 hour period. One interesting observation here: many people have made it a point to tailor all communications for a mobile platform, but depending on your target audience, a large majority of end users may actually still get their e-mail on a computer (one non-profit reported almost 80% of users routinely opened their mail on a computer, not a mobile device). Keep your demographics in mind when creating your e-mails.


Software for Non Profits


Acquiring software is another area that non-profits have to be very careful with. To alleviate some of the pain, many companies offer discounts to non-profits. But Tech Soup puts them all to shame. This non-profit serving other non-profits can get you many major software packages at prices that will blow your mind. The catch is that you must qualify and the process is very specific. It’s not arduous, just detail oriented. Check them out before your next round of upgrades.


Migrating to the Cloud


And finally there’s the cloud. Or more precisely, doing things like data storage using software and hardware located elsewhere. Matthijssen can help you migrate your data storage and backup systems to the cloud.

cloud computing for medical offices

Cloud Computing for Medical Offices

In the modern healthcare world, technology is playing an increasing role in record keeping. Whether your practice is small or large, stable or growing, a cloud-based electronic records system is something you should consider. There are many benefits to moving away from the traditional client-server system, as well as things to consider before you make the change.

Benefits to Cloud-Based Medical Computing

Using the cloud for your practice’s records, both clinical and administrative, is akin to renting a house: you pay for the benefits of living in it, but the maintenance issues are someone else’s problem. Once implementation is completed, you will receive full tech support including troubleshooting and the updating of software and security measures. This reduces the cost of IT staffers, as well as the headache of dealing with software issues that may be outside your area of interest. You will be using the same software to which you are accustomed, but the software itself, along with the data, will exist outside the walls of your practice.

Since the cloud stores data in external servers that you access over the Internet, your records are available to you anytime you have an Internet connection. This allows for the same access to pertinent information whether you’re in the office, on hospital rounds, or at home. Collaboration among colleagues is also much easier since everyone can access the same information simultaneously. And cloud information storage allows access from all sorts of devices, including tablets and smartphones.

Now that cloud service providers are also liable under HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), security of data is excellent. Data is stored in multiple places by the provider, backed up regularly and encrypted, ensuring that it can be recovered with ease if needed and that only those who should have access can get to the information. With billing information and medical history all in one place, security is more important than ever.

Considering the legal requirement to keep patient data on-hand for years, an on-site storage facility or IT infrastructure can fill up very quickly. Cloud-based storage is virtually limitless, translating into more patients, doctors at your practice or additional locations without the increased cost of a larger facility or upgrading software to handle the load.

Things to Know Before Moving Into the Cloud

Using the cloud does not involve hardware or software costs, so it is less costly overall than maintaining an in-house IT staff and servers. Your practice will pay a monthly fee to the cloud provider, for the “software as a service” arrangement.

While many cloud providers have started to ensure HIPAA compliance, not all are fully compliant. Before deciding on a provider, make sure to ask about compliance. Matthijssen works with lawyers and has extensive experience ensuring medical practices become and maintain HIPAA-compliant.

remote worker network security

Network Security Concerns for Remote Workers

The idea of the office is one that has changed significantly over the years. Thanks to mobility and better connectivity, workers can send invoices on the train, meet with clients on a screen in a hotel room, and work on cases at home. The boom in the remote work space allows more work to be done, it is cutting costs, and yes, it is leading to significant security concerns. Matthijssen reviews common network security concerns with remote workers.

The virtual office is one that involves many players and devices. One of the most common policies in the modern work space is BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device. This allows users to work from their own devices, it permits cohesive connectivity without meeting in the flesh, and it reduces infrastructure expenses. As companies reorganize infrastructure and remove company-owned devices, they need to have a plan in place that does not lose sight of the increased vulnerability and potential for loss.

Common Threats for Remote Workers

Remote workers are not tethered to a desk, which means their devices can be stolen, hacked and lost. Lack of encryption, failure to use device passwords, and unsecure network access puts not only the client and client data at risk, but the factors expose the company as well. No business or industry is immune. Threats can even be something as simple as kids at home and shared family domains. If your company permits or encourages remote commuting, your office must take steps to ensure the integrity of EVERY transaction and device, and the company’s image.

Ways to Improve Network Security

Three strategies aid in protecting your company’s remote security, and each won’t kill your company’s budget.

  1. Require passwords and multi-step verification

Passwords, passwords, passwords. The first line of defense against outside intrusions is a PIN or password. Company’s must set password requirements. There must also be a lockout feature or deactivation feature that kicks in when a password or PIN is typed in incorrectly a set number of times.

Many applications require a two-step verification process that requires two verifications into the app before access is granted. For example, after a user enters the password correctly, a separate code or alert is sent to a registered mobile number. The code must be entered or the user must allow entry from the smartphone.

  1. Move to the cloud

Web-based cloud solutions and applications can improve your company’ remote security, and the cloud is compliant with various industry regulations, such as HIPAA. It is important to recognize that we are talking about business-grade cloud programs and applications, not personal cloud services. The cloud requires passwords for access, data is not stored on a device, but encrypted and stored online, and managers and owners can control employee access.

  1. Establish guidelines for connectivity

You spend a great deal of time revamping and testing your office’s network security, but what are your strategies for ensuring safe network connectivity outside the office? A company must draft security policies and standards to which all users must adhere when out of the office. The policy must state that users cannot access free Wi-Fi, unsecured connections, or Bluetooth connections they do not recognize. Users must secure their own networks at home as well.

The professionals at Matthijssen can help you review your company’s existing policies for remote workers and make suggestions for a safe and secure environment.



windows 10

Common Problems With Windows 10

Windows 10 was supposed to be the upgrade to end all upgrades, as it combined the desktop users loved with Windows 7 and the functionality of Windows 8. Windows provided many users with free upgrades from their current, qualifying Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating systems. It was supposed to be seamless and easy, but then the problems rolled out as well. Windows 10 still faces a number of issues and we have tricks to help you repair them.

Remember one thing: Put all of your important files in a cloud drive. Put them in two if you want. If you have a problem with the install, you don’t want to lose pictures, documents, and other important information.

  1. Submitted request, still no 10

Windows 10 was not a sweeping rollout. The upgrade rolled out in stages. If you have opted in for the notice, you will receive a notification on your desktop. To check your upgrade, click on the Windows icon at the bottom of your screen. Don’t worry if you don’t have it yet. Your system may not be ready.

  1. Hardware is incompatible

Even though you received a notification that your upgrade is ready, your hardware still may be incompatible. Sometimes you don’t find out unless your computer screen flashes after the upgrade is installed, the screen goes black or blue, or your desktop does not show any icons. If this is the case, call and ask about going back to your previous operating system. You have 30 days to do so. If you go beyond the 30 days, your previous version will be gone. You should be warned that even though your hardware is not compatible, and you go back to your previous operating system, when you get the revised version in the future, your 30-days is up. If you run into trouble again, you will have to go to a repair person. The computer tech will do one of two things: either find a previous restore point or wipe the system clean and reinstall a clean version of your previous operating system of Windows 10.

  1. Can’t watch DVDs any longer

If you use your laptop to watch DVDs, you are going to run into trouble after you upgrade. You will have to head over to the Windows Store for a free download. If you did not upgrade from either Windows 7 Premium, Professional or Ultimate, or from Windows 8 or 8.1, you will have to pay for the download.

  1. Download resulted in a system crash

After your upgrade, your computer may crash. You will see a blue screen with a message warning you that a problem has been detected. If this happens, rebooting may resolve the issue, but do so with a tech on the phone. Another solution may be removing the problematic driver.

  1. Files are opening with wrong programs

Many users are finding that their PDFs, Word docs, photos and other files are opening with the wrong apps. Many times, this results in an error. No worries. All it takes is a quick right click on the file. Once you right click, click on ‘Open With’ and select the app you want to use. You will have the option to permit that program to always open that type of file.

If you’re still having trouble, you might have to take your device to a computer repair technician. Many of the problems are stemming from the actual upgrade process and the files involved in converting one system to another. It is best—in many cases—to have the system wiped clean and a fresh version of Windows 10 installed. The chance of file corruption during conversion disappears.

You can’t avoid the inevitable. Soon, each system with be upgraded to Windows 10. All you can do is protect yourself and choose a restart time that works best for you. Right now, type ‘System Protection’ in the search box and establish a restore point before you upgrade.

network security for HIPAA

Network Security for HIPAA Compliance

Back in 1996, the United States Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act in an effort to help people hold on to their health insurance when they changed jobs. Attached to the HIPAA was Title II that helped prevent fraud and specifically the so-called “Security Rule.” This requires that businesses dealing with sensitive personal information secure it along three major axes: administrative, physical, and technical.

Do You Need to Be HIPAA Compliant?

Are you a Covered Entity? If you are a business that has anything to do with the storing or transmission of healthcare policies or information, you are. The law stipulates that any company that is responsible for protected heath information (PHI) or electronic protected health information (EPHI) must be HIPAA compliant. This extends to anyone dealing not just with information and records, but also with the software used to do so. Everyone from the offices and practitioners themselves to their contracted vendors to the insurance companies they work with are all considered “Covered Entities.”

Administrative and Physical

The first two forms of HIPAA compliance are already familiar to most Covered Entities (CEs). For a long time now, precautions have had to be taken to physically prevent the use or transmission of medical information. What makes this a bit tougher today is the electronic component.

All CEs must have a clear and codified set of policies when it comes to accessing PHI. This means making sure your office has rules in place regarding who can access what information at which terminals. Keeping logs of who is accessing the PHI is essential and other physical limitations need to prevent public access to equipment. As for administrative protections, your business must offer adequate supervision of these physical safeguards. In addition, you must demonstrate other policies in action like training programs and update awareness. You must also be sure to have a set of policies for the event of a breach of security. How you will fix the breach and appropriate punishment must be clear and followed.


The technical safeguards, of course, can be rather tricky. As soon as you’re dealing with EPHI, the risk increases exponentially. Consequently, the technical safeguards focus on security and recovery. For example, it is imperative that an off-site backup exists for all PHI and EPHI that cannot be directly accessed if your primary information system is compromised.

As for ongoing security, HIPAA requires that extensive precautions be taken for any method of PHI transmission. This means that everything from internal databases to interoffice email must be secure.

Finally, the ability to detect unauthorized access or changes made to PHI is critical. To be HIPAA compliant means that you can demonstrate how you would know if your files were breached by a hacker and how you would discover an internal issue with a staff member.

The penalties for noncompliance became much steeper in 2009 when an addendum was attached to incentivize compliance and minimize violations.

Matthijssen can help you become and maintain HIPAA compliance.

benefits of virtualization for business

Benefits of Virtualization for Business

Virtualization, the process of dividing physical hardware into smaller virtual components, provides several benefits to your business including increased efficiency, capabilities and more. If you haven’t taken the leap into the world of virtualization, here are some reasons you should consider taking the plunge.


Moving to virtual servers from physical servers reduces the number of physical servers your business requires, as virtualization allows you to do more with less. Most dedicated physical servers use between 5-15% of their capacity, but several virtual servers can be housed on one physical server. This reduces the power needs and cooling costs associated with physical servers as well as saves on the amount of office space required to house these servers. Increased efficiency is also realized when outdated applications or data can be removed from the physical servers. Fewer physical servers also means less time and employee resources dedicated to maintenance of the machines.

Testing Environment

Virtualization provides a safe environment to test new software, server upgrades and patches. First installing the new code in a virtual environment provides you with an opportunity to debug the changes in a controlled environment and increases the chance of a successful deployment when the changes are implemented in the live environment.

Business Continuity

Server virtualization aids in business continuity by decreasing the likelihood of a hardware failure and decreasing the amount of downtime related to such a failure. In the event a physical server experiences a disruption, you can migrate the data and applications housed on that server onto a virtual server while you work to get the original machine back in service.

Disaster Recovery

A key component to disaster recovery is being able to get back up and running as soon as possible. A main benefit of virtualization is that it requires fewer physical servers to begin with. Back-ups of virtual servers can be reinstated more quickly than a physical environment can be repaired, which is imperative to getting your operations back in action. You can store a small number of physical servers off site, which can easily be relocated in the event of a disaster situation.

Increased Security

Web activities can be segregated onto a virtual server without access to sensitive files, which means any malware installed cannot proliferate through your entire network. As virtualization expands from servers to desktops, companies are seeing a reduction in the loss of data due to equipment failure since data is stored on the virtual machine rather than the local drive. This is especially significant as businesses are utilizing remote access solutions and “bring your own device” policies more than ever before. Employees can log into their virtual desktop from any location and have immediate access to the same programs and security provisions required by your business.

Determining which methods of virtualization are best for your business can be tricky. Our team is ready to help. Contact us today!

benefits of voip for non profit

Benefits of VoIP for Non Profit Organizations

Non profit organizations depend on the kindness of those who believe in their cause to keep their organizations going. In order for people to take your non profit seriously, you must keep up with the latest in technology, without breaking the bank. Moving to a cloud-based solution will keep your organization current with security, storage and communications. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is an excellent choice of communications for non profit organizations because of the many advantages it has over traditional phone lines. Below we discuss in detail a few of the benefits of VoIP for non profit organizations:

Cutting-edge Features

When you opt for a VoIP system, you will be getting much more than a new way to talk over the phone. Since it is online, VoIP unifies communications and offers non profit organizations many features such as auto attendants, message unification and time of day routing. Smaller organizations can appear larger by sending direct inward dialing numbers to tenants. All the advanced features of VoIP allow non profits to increase their networking, which leads to more much needed donations. With VoIP you will never be stuck with obsolete equipment because upgrades are automatically added to the system without the need for additional IT staff.

Cost Efficiency

One of the most attractive features of VoIP is the savings its users are afforded. Since it is Internet-based, there are no or very low costs on long distance calls. When the system is managed remotely by a provider, there are little to no maintenance costs. Software upgrades are reduced with updates pushed automatically to phones from the remote provider. In addition to less maintenance costs, there is hardly any capital expenditure.

Large non profits with site based systems can use only one system to cover many areas without each individual location requiring its own system because they are connected to the host over their IP network. Non profits can also save money on hardware costs, with no premise-based PBX equipment to buy for the office. If there is ever a need to purchase VoIP network equipment or phones, the costs are much less than a traditional phone system.

Environmental Factors

Generally non profit organizations have spearheaded the “green revolution” and are passionate about helping our environment. VoIP is an excellent choice for these organizations because of its usage of green technology. With features such as IP faxing, there is a tremendous reduction in the amount of paper usage, which helps the organization reduce their carbon footprint. With VoIP there is no longer a need for pricy copper telephone wires and plastic phone equipment that is only going to end up in a landfill. VoIP allows workers to work remotely from anywhere across the globe, reducing the need for gas consumption and pollution.

Contact us if you have any questions about implementing a VoIP system for your non profit organization! Our knowledgeable staff is here to assist you and answer any questions you have.