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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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5–25. Use Video Conferencing for Budget Updating

Companies with many locations have the added budgeting cost of bringing together managers from outlying locations, sometimes for a number of meetings. Given the high price of travel and lodging, this can be a significant expense. Further, the activities in which those people are normally engaged will stop while they are traveling to and from budget meetings, so there is an added degree of waste.

Technology can be used to eliminate these costs. The latest innovation is to use video conferencing to hold meetings, thereby avoiding all travel costs and taking up people’s time only for the duration of an actual meeting. The range of options for a video conferencing system runs from a company-owned video production room that has projection screens and television cameras down to a small device that mounts on top of one’s computer, allowing for transmission of the image of whomever is sitting in front of it. The larger and more complex option is recommended for the budgeting chore, since it has the added features of allowing for the video transmission of documents to other sites, much better video quality, and the option to have simultaneous conferences with up to two other locations.

The main problem with using a quality video conferencing system is that it can cost $100,000 per location, though this cost is rapidly coming down. The smallest video units only cost about $100, though the video quality is quite poor. One must choose the system ...

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