News and thoughts from CS Odessa, maker of the ConceptDraw product line: ConceptDraw PRO, ConceptDraw PROJECT and ConceptDraw MINDMAP.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

ConceptDraw MINDMAP Listing Accounting Resources

Accountants and individuals involved in accounting often use mind maps in their work.  I have made available for download a ConceptDraw mind map file that contains a myriad of resources for accountants and financial people.  The file can be downloaded from here.

You can find out more about CS Odessa and our ConceptDraw products from here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

ConceptDraw PRO: An Excellent Tool to Describe Accounting Process Flows

One of accounting’s chief concerns is to be as accurate as possible in describing a business’ financial condition. Businesses rely on accounting, more today than ever in the history of business. Legislation has imposed new rules and regulations on the accounting in companies to protect the interests of people who have a vested interest in those companies. The Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 is well-known for its impact on companies by proving more accountability for company management.

There are many areas of accounting that benefit from flowcharts that describe processes inside a company. A flowchart can describe who, what, when, and how a process is managed.  Many times, a flowchart is superior to a written description alone. Written descriptions can work well, but there are often ambiguities that exist in the description. A flow chart spells out the process path for all interested parties.

Take, for example, revenue recognition. Proper recognition of revenue is important for any public company. Improper revenue recognition can lead to companies needing to go back and restate financials. Anything that can minimize the potential for making mistakes on revenue recognition is a great thing, as the reinstatement of previously declared financials is a bad thing for any company.
Any changes to standards, such as revenue recognition, require companies to reexamine their business processes and systems that underlie the business cycle. This planning process helps companies to define what changes are necessary to meet the requirements of any new or existing standards.  Also, a determination can be made on what data is needed to capture the flow of accounting tasks and public disclosures.

ConceptDraw Finance and Accounting Area

ConceptDraw PRO, by CS Odessa, has updated and added new finance and accounting solutions to the ConceptDraw Solution Park for free download by our customers. These new solutions provide financial managers and accountants with updated tools for visual financial planning, reporting, modeling, auditing, and accounting.

The solutions from the Finance and Accounting area extend ConceptDraw PRO v.9.5 (or later) with financial and accounting diagrams and charts. The ConceptDraw Solution Park is an area of the ConceptDraw web site were we continually add new templates, samples, libraries, and functionality to add value to our customers’ user experience. CS Odessa has launched over 30 new solutions over the last 12 months, and all of them are available at no charge for our customers. In addition, ConceptDraw customers have available to them no-charge technical support. Our support team is standing by to help our customers stay productive.  Support is available via phone, ticket, and email. CS Odessa strives to be a value and productivity leader. This is exemplified by our support, product licensing, learning materials, and commitment to customer satisfaction. 

All ConceptDraw products support the latest Apple OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. For more detail please visit the ConceptDraw product site at

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ConceptDraw: A Boon to IT Students and Professionals

Dean Livingston is working on his Masters in Information Technology at the University of Phoenix online. Recently, Dean discovered and purchased ConceptDraw Office at the academic discount to help assist him with his course work. ConceptDraw Office consists of ConceptDraw PRO (business graphics and diagramming), ConceptDraw PROJECT (project management), and ConceptDraw MINDMAP (brainstorming, producing documents and presentations). 

Dean was a long time PC user who switched to a MacBook about 12 months ago. After switching to Macintosh, he then searched for products that could potentially do what Microsoft Project and Microsoft Visio did for him when he was a Windows user. With ConceptDraw Office, he found a suite of products that would address his academic and work needs in one bundle at a greatly discounted price.

Dean discovered ConceptDraw while doing a web search for “Visio Alternatives for Mac”. Right away he decided to download and trial the ConceptDraw suite of products. First use for Dean was ConceptDraw PRO for his “Reliable Backup” class to develop a timeline for how backup should occur as part of a class project. He sees that ConceptDraw MINDMAP will be of great assistance in helping him study for his classes and plan papers while he is working on his Master’s degree.

Dean says, “ConceptDraw Office suite is the best software package, it is amazing how powerful the products are. In the near future, I plan on viewing the instructional videos located on to find out more about each product’s capabilities.”

CS Odessa Announces Software Engineering Solutions in ConceptDraw Solution Park

ConceptDraw Solution Park contains lots of new content that we release for our ConceptDraw products. Today's addition to ConceptDraw PRO and the ConceptDraw Solution Park extends the current vector libraries with a complete software engineering solution. CS Odessa has introduced a new set of libraries that provides a complete solution for software engineering diagrams. The Software Development Area in the ConceptDraw Solution Park includes the Entity-Relationship Diagram Solution, Data Flow Diagrams Solution, IDEF0 Diagrams Solution, and the new-and-improved Rapid UML Solution. These new additions to the ConceptDraw Solution Park are free for current users of ConceptDraw PRO v9.

This solution can be found in the Software Development Area of the ConceptDraw Solution Park which includes collections of templates, samples, and libraries of vector stencils and icons that support software engineering diagrams of any level of complexity. ConceptDraw PRO is compatible with Apple OS X and Microsoft Windows.For more information on all of the ConceptDraw Products and Solutions visit us at

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Dear Abe, I Have Just Been Appointed the Project Manager of My Group, Help!

Dear Abe,

My boss has designated me to be the Project Manager of my group. I have a basic understanding of what is required, but I am going to need some advice from you.

At any time my department has 10-12 projects on the go. I have a team of about 20 people that I have at my disposal.  I need to figure out how to balance these twenty individuals over the projects that are active, manage the individual project budgets, and keep everyone up to date on what is going on. I need some big help do you have any suggestions.


Matthew Lewis

Hi Matt,

I have some good news for you.  The answer is ConceptDraw Office. ConceptDraw Office is a product suite developed and sold by CS Odessa.  There are three products in this comprehensive product suite. All the products run in native mode on Apple OS X and Windows.

The three products in the ConceptDraw Office suite are ConceptDraw MINDMAP (brainstorming, constructing documents, building presentations, building a process, project management, and a myriad of other uses that will save you valuable time), ConceptDraw PROJECT (the project management muscle of this troika), and ConceptDraw PRO (the business graphics and diagramming portion of the suite).  Each is a useful standalone product that can be purchased separately, but together with their integrations they become one powerful solution.

I will give you a brief example. The ConceptDraw MINDMAP product helps you brainstorm and assemble the projects content.  Working with your team makes it much easier to attain consensus and to build the project structure.  Project phases, tasks, resources can be quickly organized by dragging-and-dropping the information. Launching a project has never been easier.

ConceptDraw PROJECT lets you manage any number of projects and balances your resource s over the tasks in your projects. This will work well with your requirement of having 10-12 projects and one pool of resources. There are a plethora of reports that keep track of how things are going, giving you the ability to track progress and report to stakeholders.  The reports are generated in Excel format so you are free to do additional number crunching and charting. Also ConceptDraw PROJECT can pass your project data to ConceptDraw PRO where dashboards are generated in the blink of an eye. Your project data changes, no problem.  Generate a new dashboard quickly. Everyone has a clear understanding of what is going on.

Also you will find that any of the ConceptDraw products is an economical solution for you and your team members. Detailed information on all of the ConceptDraw products can be found at There is even a large video library on the web site that will get you up to speed in literally minutes. Matt great question, I am glad I had a solution for you. Now everything should be tickety-boo for you.

Best regards,


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Popularize Mind Mapping One Student or Classroom at a Time

I talked with one of the academic/career advisors at Boise State University today. It turns out that they have someone on staff who's in charge of putting together academic skills training programs for students. These programs help improve study habits, note taking, research organization, and writing.

I haven't been able to talk to this other staff person, but I know two things that I want to talk to them about:

  1. Do you teach mind mapping to students? If so, what do you teach them to do?
  2. If you don't, can I come in and teach a class or two?

How About You?
I'm sure BSU isn't unique in offering these classes to student. What would it take for you to contact the nearest community college, vocational/technical college, or university and ask them if you could teach a class?

I run into some many parents whose children have learning problems. Few of these parents have heard of mind mapping or how it can help kids with dyslexia, who struggle with reading comprehension, or who have a hard time organizing writing assignments. I've gone into local schools and taught classes to 5th graders, and have gotten a good reception from students and teachers alike.

You may not think you're a mind mapping expert. But I bet you have all the skills you need to show students of all ages how to become more productive and less frustrated.

Monday, July 15, 2013

New Process Modeling Tools Now Available at ConceptDraw

I blogged a while ago about how a marketing company owner I know realized, after a discussion with a client, that she needed to do a better job communicating to clients all that's involved in executing a marketing campaign. Her solution was to use ConceptDraw PRO.

Well, if you think it's time your organization did the same, you might be interested in a new CD PRO solution: Cross Functional Flowcharts.

Here are a couple examples of the kinds of charts you can create:

Process Improvement
This example shows a business process diagram that can be then analyzed for ways to improve the process effectiveness and diagnose quality issues that require resolution:

ESL Communications
The next example shows a workflow for replacing engine oil. It explains all the steps clearly and visually:

Diagrams like this can be used for training. And with our increasingly multicultural work force, visual images like this can help communicate processes to people for whom English is a second language (ESL).

Vector Graphics
The Cross Functional Flowchart solution extends ConceptDraw PRO v.9 software with templates, samples, and a library of vector shapes for drawing the flowcharts. The charts can help you visualize and communicate the operations of a business process flow step-by-step, with the responsible people or departments for each operation clearly indicated.

All source documents are vector graphic documents. They're available for reviewing, modifying, or converting to a variety of formats (PDF file, MS PowerPoint, MS Visio XML, and many other graphic formats) from the Template Gallery of ConceptDraw PRO. You must have the Cross-Functional Flowcharts solution installed to access these documents.