Business Success: Critical Questions- Acc.Software

Will the right accounting software save me money?
Selecting an accounting program is not a very quick, easy answer. There are many issues and there are many decisions and considerations. To make sure that we help our clients select the appropriate accounting package to meet their present needs and future needs, there are considerations of their industry, the computer literacy of the user, whether they want to be networked, the growth trend of the business. The level of information that the owner wants. Some people may want just basic accounts receivable information and other business owners may want detailed sales analysis by account. What products are their accounts buying? What is the sales trend of their account? So, there are many considerations, so we have to take a more detailed needs assessment. We can do these needs assessment in several alternatives. We have several alternatives to offer these needs assessments. We offer the in-store demonstration. Again we offer personalized on-site needs assessment. We have an assessment form where we can do an initial review and send them additional product information and our recommendation. Our assessment form will also include prices and an implementation time frame.

The emphasis of our company is to help the client and enhance their self-sufficiency. We're there as educators. We want to bring them up a long staircase of education. Basically, we ask them to climb and periodically they're going to take a breather, they're going to stop at a landing, take their breath, and look at all they've accomplished. But there is a great sense of self-sufficiency and satisfaction. Automating your accounting system is a long process, but it's a very fruitful process. No one fails our class, our clients are very, very satisfied and proud of what they do.

Our focus is growing the business and using technology rather than being oriented on the technology and not obtaining the goal of getting the critical information that the business needs. Our goal again is to grow the business. We have one client, for example, that we presently have offered in excess of $5 million for the business and they're running with a $49 program. We built a relationship with a client based upon getting the critical information and spending our time on growing the business and allowing you to have the information needed to grow the business rather than doing data input work.

We're always looking for the products that are maximizing the return on your investment for the dollars invested in your computer information system. We act as teachers. We don't try to control the situation. There are many instances where we'll recommend to the client to do a lot of their own reading, for example, in the implementational point of sale system. We'll help the client install the software and configure it, but obviously they can do most of the data input work. Our goal is to develop a framework and allow the client to fill in a lot of the detail. We will write procedure manuals. But again the first step that we do is to get an understanding of the business and then we focus on the general ledger chart of accounts. We modify the chart of accounts, give them the critical information they need for their specific business.

For a manufacturer, that would be designing the cost and consult section of their income statement for the components of their product. We'll be designing the raw material categories. For a restaurant we will be looking at ingredients and material cost, but again, the first step is to really take the time and design a good chart of accounts. We believe in designing a very, very good framework for the business that you'll be using for the firm many, many years.

We get great satisfaction of looking at systems that we design that have not been modified in over 4 years. Because they were designed properly right from the beginning.

After designing the chart of accounts, we're going to develop a plan, an implementation plan. Basically we're going to give you homework assignments. We're going to come up with a plan of steps 1 through 10, and number 1 may be to simply create your vendor cards and your customer cards. Number 2 may be to load the historical open balances for those accounts. After designing the chart of accounts and establishing your plan, we'll give you demonstrations of each of the tasks that we've asked you to perform.

Our pricing. Services are provided in 4-hour increments. Typically, for the installation of a computerized accounting system, it may take either two or three 4-hour sessions truthfully. Sessions do not have to be performed consecutively in terms of weeks or days and may be spread out over a six-month period. But the initial session is typically four hours. We will do an abbreviated sessions for two or three hour sessions. The two hour session is $175, a three hour session is $250. But the first session, because of the amount of information that we have to cover, has to be a minimum of 4 hour session. We do offer continuing support programs. We offer a process review service where quarterly we will come onsite, or, if you request, on a monthly basis, to review the quality of information that you're performing. Many clients ask us to perform monthly process reviews. A process review session again could be a 2-hour session for $175, and each additional hour is billed at $75 per hour. During that time, we're looking at our transaction processing. Basically we're looking at the accounting. We're making sure that the manual checkbook agrees to the computer, looking at your bank reconciliations and the appropriateness of your accounting distribution. For example, you may have made a disbursement to the utility company, but that may have been for a deposit as opposed to a utility expense. So we make sure that was properly charged or applied to the asset account, utility deposit, which will be refunded at a later time as opposed to the operating expense of utilities. Our process review is a 10-point program. Basically looking at the very vital, it's a vital check of the performance of your accounting system. At that time, we'll also work with you to enhance or add to your understanding of some of your computerized accounting program.

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