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MICHELLE WILLITSManaging Editor
RON JOOSSASSISTANT EDITOR
ALEX MCVEIGHSTAFF NEWSWRITER
TOM SAKASHSTAFF NEWSWRITER

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NACUSO launches blog journal

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (6/11/08)--The National Association of Credit Union Service Organizations (NACUSO) announced it has launched a blog journal on its newly redesigned website. The site was launched April 28 during the NACUSO 2008 Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The manager of the blog will be Jim Jerving, who owns a communications business and serves as board chairman of Heritage CU, Madison, Wis. His first post, “Developing Networks: A Matter of Survival,” is focused on networking and the views of Randy Karnes, CU*Answers CEO. “The blog will focus on the issues that are important to NACUSO and its National Center for Collaboration and Innovation as well as credit unions--critical thinking, innovation, collaboration and implementation,” said Thomas Davis, NACUSO CEO. “The blog is another means of bringing added value to the members of NACUSO.” A donation by PSCU Financial Services’ to the National Center for Collaboration allowed NACUSO to expedite the website redesign and blog development. Collaboration between credit unions and credit union service organizations is one of the center’s primary goals.

NewsGator evolves CUs intranet into social network

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BOSTON (6/11/08)--NewsGator, a social computing provider, has helped evolve CME FCU’s intranet into a social network, according to Joe Toth, CME assistant vice president. “It allows for users to add colleagues into their profile and exchange information across departmental boundaries,” Toth said. “These features, along with other social computing capabilities provided by the solution, have led to improved productivity by saving our employees an average of 30 minutes a day.” CME FCU is located in Columbus, Ohio. NewsGator recently announced the availability of Social Sites 2.0, an upgrade for NewsGator’s social computing solution for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Social Sites 2.0 allows users to interact, collaborate and find people they need to do their work. Social Sites offers community capabilities, that:
* Allow employees to share ideas, information and documents by enabling them to create ad hoc communities around common interests, areas of research and projects; * Provide for easy discovery of groups via customized recommendations, tags, searches and lists of recently created and popular communities; * Offer a discussion component with e-mail integration; * Simplify content additions by allowing content to be tagged into the community, added via social bookmarks and RSS feeds; and * Offer chronological views of community activity from both a single community and consolidated from all communities a user joins.
Social networking capabilities:
* Provides employees with social network graphs based on explicit and implied connections; * Show each user their strongest connections based on common content, interests and intranet activity; and * Recommend colleagues to a user based on common community membership, tags and RSS subscriptions.

PCUA offers credit card audit program

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (6/11/08)--The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (PCUA) Card Services has developed a new service that will perform a quarterly audit on the status of credit unions’ credit card accounts held by staff and volunteers, the PCUA said. Cards of all credit unions and staff should be audited, said PCUA (Life is a Highway June 10). The audit:
* Determines that the account is in good standing; * Reviews and validates any payments, transactions or adjustments that were posted internally at the credit union; and * Determines if critical changes have been made to the account.
Fees are based on the number of cardholders audited and range from $200 to $500 annually, PCUA said.

SBA launches tax savings resource center for small biz

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WASHINGTON (6/11/08)--The U.S. Small Business Administration has created an online tax savings resource center for small businesses so they can understand how they can benefit from the 2008 economic stimulus package. Earlier this year, President Bush signed the package into law. The package includes several tax incentives for businesses, including:
* A 50% bonus depreciation allowance on equipment purchased and placed in service in calendar 2008; and * A nearly 100% increase (to $250,000 from $128,000) in the amount a business can expense for equipment purchased and placed in the business tax year beginning in 2008.
The new resource center demonstrates benefits entrepreneurs can gain and includes three resources:
* Fact sheet, explaining the small business tax benefits; * Depreciation calculator, to provide an estimate of first-year depreciation available under the provisions; and * Online seminar, with a brief tutorial summarizing the tax benefits and concluding with the depreciation calculator.
However, because there are often exceptions, small businesses should contact their tax advisor for exact applications to their situation or visit the Internal Revenue Service website.