Manufacturing?

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 all.
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?
Thanks,
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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 added.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Martin,
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 printed.
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 Bookkeeper at:
http://www.a-systems.net/freetrialvb.htm
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,
Arnold
Martin wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
a lot of times it is cheaper (for start ups) to change the way they mfg to fit the erp or software system...as long as margins and critical processes are not compermised....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Arnold,
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?
Quicken/Quickbooks import?
See my follow-on question on this thread.
Thanks,
-Martin

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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 solutions?
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 peripheral functions.
Thanks,
-Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

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 about manufacturing
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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 $25m in revenue and can't possibilly manager by "walking around"....
" but the real cost of accounting software is not the initial outlay but the time spent learning and working with it "
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If your looking for an ERP system I would recommend Navision, it may not be cheap and it's now part of Microsoft Business Solutions which can be a good or bad thing.
It has however a SQL backend with a proper database schema, is easily customizable and is very much geared to mid-sized manufacturing and distribution companies with a headcount from 20 to 250.
Get a good IT specialist to install and configure it for you and you should be up and running in two-three months.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
anyone using or evualated the SAGE ACCPAC ERP systems? whats the good, bad, etc......I am looking at upgrading a client that has been on a old version of SBT......Does or is there a SQL "back end" oprion avail for reports, or linkage to Excel "work benches", dynamic links?...thanx !!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
make that "sage pro" erp / small business edition.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
what type of inventory and cost accountng options are there in the erp system?
can you set up work centers w/their own overhead rates....or is it easier to set up all this type of ^%$# in excel...then set up dynamic links that can be updated..??....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I never recommend excel for bookkeeping.
You may need a SQL back-end at some stage is all.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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.
Good Luck, Rebecca
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"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...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
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, Rebecca www.comtechsolutions.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

BeanSmart.com is a site by and for consumers of financial services and advice. We are not affiliated with any of the banks, financial services or software manufacturers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.

Tax and financial advice you come across on this site is freely given by your peers and professionals on their own time and out of the kindness of their hearts. We can guarantee neither accuracy of such advice nor its applicability for your situation. Simply put, you are fully responsible for the results of using information from this site in real life situations.