I am researching what accounting packages might be suitable for a
small-becoming-medium electronics manufacturing operation. We take
components and sub-assemblies and turn them into products to be sold through
resellers. The sales force is commissioned.
Important to me is the ability to have non-accountants be able to run this
package during the first phase. Later-on a real accountant can be hired-in.
Cost, of course, is always important but not a primary means of selection at
I've looked at Quickbooks Manufacturing but, frankly, not being an
accountant/CPA, I simply don't know what I am not getting through this piece
of software --which is sometimes more important than what you do get.
Perhaps the questions I should be asking are:
What is important in an accounting package for this type of a business?
Which packages cover this well?
quickbooks is good for "non accountants" as you can
jump off later to a bigger and better package.....quickbooks
is a fair value for the $....whats is important (imho) in a mfg
package is the ability to track inventory...ie: raw matl's,
wip (work in progress), and finished goods....you also want the
ability to track overhead items and dev approprate rates to burden
these items as the "pass dwon the assy line" and get value
The issue is whether the accounting software "fits" the way you
manufacture. A-Systems has a manufacturing function that allows you to
"manufacture" two ways. First, you can do assemblies where you combine
inventoried items into a finished product, which is then sold. The
accounting system creates "pick tickets" for the inventoried items going
into that assembly then converts the assembly to inventory for sale.
The second process is where inventoried items are "picked" and sold in
"bundles", but shown as a single line item on the invoice.
The system allows you to have multiple warehouses, each with multiple
bins. A warehouse may a truck, if you use trucks for repair, delivery,
etc. Inventory may be tracked at each bin, transferred to different
bins and warehouses, etc. At year end, physical inventories can be used
to adjust book inventories to actual. All of these functions were based
on a popular mainframe accounting program that costs a fortune.
The sales order/quote system allows you to provide a customer with a
sale quote. That quote may be converted into a sales order, then a pick
ticket, then marked as filled, partially filled, canceled, or back
ordered. This step "relieves" inventory. The filled portion of the
pick ticket can be instantly converted to an invoice for billing. From
there, it is in the accounts receivable module where statements may be
This version of the software (The Small Business Advantage) has the
incredible price of $189.95, for a single user, including the inventory
module. The rest of the system (included for that price) includes
general ledger, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, contact
management, built in report generator, etc. Also note that payroll tax
tables may be updated for FREE, either by entering numbers from the
annual Circular E or by going to the tax tables on our website and
entering the numbers as shown there, also for free.
You can upgrade to the Preferred Edition, the top of the line version,
when you have grown to that stage. You do not have to change software
just because you have grown. The software grows with you. This
flexibility means you only have to change/implement software one time.
Amounts you paid for the SBA Edition are applied toward the purchase of
the Preferred Edition, if you ever grow that much. Our largest user
reports annual revenue in excess of $400,000,000. Our smallest user is
a startup with virtually no revenue yet.
All versions of the software include comprehensive multimedia training,
showing how to install, set up, and run the software. One multimedia
training session, "Bean Counting 101" introduces novice accountants to
the processes and terminology of accounting.
If you are just getting started and want to do some sophisticated
forecasting and modeling, that function is built in also. It allows you
to forecast both cash flow and profitability for 36 months in advance.
The system also includes pro forma balance sheets at each 12 month
period. This function is in use at business schools and specialized
small business consultants. By forecasting the anticipated sales of
each inventory item, the monthly expense of each overhead item, such as
rent and payroll, month by month, the forecast is completed. The
starting place can be "from scratch" or from "where we are" at any given
time. By maintaining this forecast, you always have a good idea where
you are headed. It is a powerful tool, but we've priced it as
affordably as possible.
"The CPA Technology Advisor" recently rated this software 4 1/2 stars
out of 5. The job costing version got 5 stars out of 5 the following month.
If you want to check it out, request a free-trial copy of Visual
Visual Bookkeeper is true accounting software. It has full multilevel
security. It has an audit trail which cannot be turned off. Archived
transactions may not be altered by anyone wishing to cover their tracks,
hide embezzlement, etc. It is professional in every aspect. To
accommodate the needs of novice accountants, it has "hand rails", "guard
rails", and "safety nets" at every turn. There is a "wizard" to help
you get started, multimedia training to show you how to do it, and what
may be the BEST Help File in the industry. Whenever you need help,
press the Help Button and a full color screen will jump into view with
full color pictures of the screen where you were when you pressed the
Help Button, and comprehensive, straight-forward, simple English
explanations of every data field to answer your questions.
A-Systems has been providing accounting software to small businesses
since 1978. We compete with the biggest software companies in the
country by providing more and charging less. Instead of giving you a
money back guarantee, we go one better. Don't pay for it until you are
satisfied. We provide you the software for free and let you run it
yourself, set up your own company and then charge you when you decide to
keep it. We can't do it better than that.
If you feel that you want to be trained by an instructor, we have tutors
who will show you how to run the software, one-on-one. Of course, this
cannot be mass produced, so it has a cost, but it's still affordable.
As with the first statement, the question is whether the accounting
software "fits" what you do, the way you do it.
Please feel free to inquire toll-free at (800) 365-6790.
Thanks for a great rundown of your software. I will take a look at it.
A few questions:
Is there additional cost per user? Let's say that I add a person to do
AP/AR entry, etc.
Remote web access?
Is it SQL-based? What kind of a computer/server is required?
Customer access to check on inventory/orders?
Sales access to check on the same?
EFT/electronic bill payment interface?
Full payroll processing?
See my follow-on question on this thread.
As a follow-on. I just had a conversation with a fellow from a company
called FactoryEdge (http://www.factoryedge.com /). It seems to be a
purpose-built comprehensive package. Can anyone offer a comparison to other
It is becoming clear that although Quickbooks might be a less painful entry
point (I am not talking about money here), other packages offer
significantly improved management of the manufacturing workflow and
but the real cost of accounting software is not the initial outlay but
the time spent learning and working with it. Programs like Peachtree
and Quickbooks have simple job and product costing and interfaces for
non-accountants. Also ask in groups like
news:alt.comp.software.financial.quickbooks and the Peachtree group
a consultant would love to sell you a complex
package with hundreds of billiable hours to set up
and train you...keep it simple, keep it cheap..spend
time out on your shop flook knowing your mfg business
...not depending on the software to do that for you...
unless you are over $25m in revenue and can't possibilly
manager by "walking around"....
" but the real cost of accounting software
is not the initial outlay but the time spent
learning and working with it "
If your looking for an ERP system I would recommend Navision, it may
not be cheap and it's now part of Microsoft Business Solutions which
can be a good or bad thing.
It has however a SQL backend with a proper database schema, is easily
customizable and is very much geared to mid-sized manufacturing and
distribution companies with a headcount from 20 to 250.
Get a good IT specialist to install and configure it for you and you
should be up and running in two-three months.
anyone using or evualated the SAGE ACCPAC ERP systems?
whats the good, bad, etc......I am looking at upgrading a client
that has been on a old version of SBT......Does or is there a
SQL "back end" oprion avail for reports, or linkage to Excel
"work benches", dynamic links?...thanx !!
what type of inventory and cost accountng
options are there in the erp system?
can you set up work centers w/their own overhead
rates....or is it easier to set up all this type of ^%$#
in excel...then set up dynamic links that can be
To set up multiple cost centers, you'll need a segmented general
ledger, which will allow you to assign different GL accounts to
different groups so you can see information for the whole group as well
as broken out by cost center. It's much simpler and less error-prone
to get software that already has this functionality. You can see how
our software handles this at www.comtechsolutions.com.
"Also, manufacturing companies tend to need far more data capacity than
the Quickbooks line
can provide so you should probably be focusing on something with
unlimited data capacity like Access or SQL."
Access does not have a unlimited data capacity, it is capped at 2GB per
database (have a look at comp.databases.ms-access). SQL Server can
handle many times more, I think I read somewhere it's 16 TB
Better still there is no such thing as unlimited data storage because
data storage is per definition related to disk space...
Any reputable software company should walk you through a very
consultative sales process and show you how to use their software based
on your business. We work with several manufacturing companies and
we've consistently found that they have many needs in common:
Assemblies, very strong Purchasing and Invoicing Capabilities, the
ability to add Inventory Items on the fly, etc. Also, manufacturing
companies tend to need far more data capacity than the Quickbooks line
can provide so you should probably be focusing on something with
unlimited data capacity like Access or SQL. If you'd like a free demo
of the software to compare, it's available at www.comtechsolutions.com.
Hope this helps,
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