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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hallelujah chorus

Somehow this one seems to have snuck up on everyone. You know all those terrible audits? The ones where CPAs who hadn't known of the existence of the E-rate until a month or two before they arrived at school sites to sit around for a couple of weeks dreaming up ways to look busy? Well, for the most part, they're history.

As Mel Blackwell promised last year, the audits are looking much better this year. In fact, they aren't even calling them audits. IPIA requirements will be met by the Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) Program, and it feels more like a Selective Review than an audit. No on-site visit, fewer ridiculous document requests.

There will still be audits, but not by the hundreds (I hope).

It's time to celebrate!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hate the new PIN

Anyone else notice that the system for assigning PINs has been out of commission for quite a while? Well, it's finally unstuck, which is good news.

The bad news? The new PINs are more secure, which means they're much less catchy. PINs used to be a 6- or 7-letter word, with a special character like & or + at the beginning or end. I already mentioned that some of combinations seemed oddly apt for the particular applicant.

But the new PINs are random combinations of letters, numbers and special characters. Sure, it's more secure, but it looks like someone ate alphabet soup and vomited. Except I don't think alphabet soup includes @ or & (maybe Campbell's makes a cyberalphabet soup these days).

Just another example of simple elegance giving way to paranoid functionality.