Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fast Facts for Kudler Fine Foods

A version of this article appeared on eHow.com, in the Business section.

None of these gourmet items can be purchased
at a Kudler Fine Foods location near you.
Kudler Fine Foods is probably the most famous gourmet food shop that's never sold a single morsel of food: nary a wheel of cave-aged Tuscan cheese, tub of cranberry tapenade, nor soy-ink-printed box of hand-rolled, Earl Grey-scented, sea-salt-dusted chocolate truffles. That's because, despite its being the subject of thousands of marketing analyses available on the Internet, Kudler Fine Foods is fictional.

Textbook Exercise

In the "Marketing" textbook by Roger Kerin, Stephen Hartley and William Rudelius, a fictional chain of gourmet markets named Kudler Fine Foods serves as an example for study. A variety of hypothetical situations facing the company is posed for students to solve and analyze. Thousands of papers written in response can be downloaded from the Internet.

Fast Facts

The fictional Kudler Foods has three locations in southern California. The first shop was opened in La Jolla in 1998 by one Kathy Kudler, a visionary woman who wanted one spot where she could buy everything she needed to make dinner and believed launching a chain of gourmet markets was the solution. The Del Mar and Encinitas locations were underway within five years, and the quest for the perfect location for a fourth shop is left as an exercise for students.

Possible Inspiration

Josef von Kudler was an influential economist in the Smithian cameralist tradition. In the 1850s and 1860s, his works were standard reading in Austrian universities. Kudler's belief that value is not inherent in goods, but arises from the intensity of people's desire for them, seems to fit nicely with the concept of a purveyor of expensive versions of ordinary food items. Using the name Kudler for a gourmet shop in a marketing textbook may be a tribute to this historical figure.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Types of Financial Software Other Than Excel

A version of this article originally appeared on eHow.com in the Computer Software section.

Excel, a spreadsheet software program from Microsoft Corporation, is so well known that, because it can be used for financial calculations, some might think Excel to be the only financial software available. The truth is that spreadsheets are only one of many types of software used for finance, and Excel is only one of many brands of spreadsheet.

Spreadsheets Other Than Excel

Spreadsheet programs are computerized versions of the paper ledgers people used to laboriously construct manually, using adding machines or calculators to figure the values to write in the cells formed by the intersection of rows and columns. VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3 were the first commercially available spreadsheet programs, starting in the early 1980s. Spreadsheets available today include Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc, Abykus, Numeric, CleanSheets, Apple's Numbers for the Macintosh and Google Calc, an online spreadsheet to be used through a Web browser.

Bookkeeping and Accounting Software

Bookkeeping and accounting software helps small business owners track the finances of their companies. Features may include bill pay, inventory, invoicing and transaction entry based on the double-entry bookkeeping system that is the standard debit-asset balancing model for business finance. Programs include QuickBooks, Peachtree Accounting, Microsoft Dynamics, MYOB, Advantage Business Software and many more. More elaborate programs exist for larger companies as well.


Personal Financial Software
Personal financial software is designed for managing household finances, allowing users to track transactions in checking and savings accounts, IRAs, 401(k)s and other accounts home users are likely to have. A few examples are Quicken, Moneydance, Microsoft Money, Debtonator and Money Manager, but there are hundreds of different programs.

Tax Preparation Software

A variety of tax preparation software programs are available to help people prepare their own taxes, or organize their taxes in anticipation of taking them to a professional tax prep service. TaxAct lets you do your taxes entirely online, while programs such as TaxCut and TurboTax are installed on your personal computer. Tax prep software typically gives you the option to submit your state and federal returns over the Internet directly from the program, saving you the steps of printing and mailing returns. The United States Internal Revenue Service provides a free tax prep software program, Free File, for users who can file relatively simple tax returns.


Techie Buzz: Free Microsoft Excel / Spreadsheets Alternatives
Apple: Numbers '09
DSSResources.com: A Brief History of Spreadsheets
IRS: Free File Home --- Your Link to Free Federal Online Filing


Accounting Softwares Directory: Small Business Software
Microsoft: Microsoft Dynamics
TAXSites.com: Tax Software
Accounting Softwares Directory: Personal Finance Softwares