In my past life I was involved in the implementation of IT, which includes
the matching of computer systems with the company operations. Our customers
ranged from 5 users companies to multi-national/multi-site/500-user
conglomerates. What I learned was the following:
1. Software never works without lots of grief. This is mainly due to the
fact that software companies create software for the masses from hardware
stores(Sales Order Processing-Inventory Control-GL/AP/AR) to television
manufacturing (Forecasting-Purchasing-JIT Manufacturing(Requirements
Planning)-GL/AP/AR-HR-etc.) Your business may not operate as the software
company anticipated so you have a gap. It is this gap where consultants,
programmers, operational resources get involved to either modify your
operation, modify the software, or not perform the task on the system.
Whenever you modify software you move yourself out of the realm of software
updates, another headache. If you leave a task out, you weaken the reason
for implementing the software, so whats the point of implementing software?
2. Never buy with anticipation of expecting future releases. Always make
your decision based on what features-functions are available today!
Tomorrow may never come. Or the release of the "Great" feature is forever
3. Anticipate downtime, maintenance, ongoing support from the software
systems integrator. PC's are not perfect, they always crash when they are
not supposed to (when posting to GL), and they always work perfectly when
you are attempting to prove the error to the systems integrator(or when
operating flight simulator). Once you install a network based system
(Novell or NT) the maintenance/support requirement suddenly jumps out of
hand. This is due to the fact that Client-Server or the like accounting
systems require a perfect network environment to run smoothly. Once you
have a glitch which is either related to network connection(line fault, hub
fault, router fault, collisions) within the infrastructure, pc-client
problem (memory issues, bad ethernet card, virus,...) or the user (bad usage
locked the system) problem, the entire system which your company is relying
upon to order, pick,pack, & ship comes to a grinding halt.
4. Take your time in selecting your systems integrator. They all sound too
good to be true. Perfect installs. No complaints. No downtime. BS. All
SI's have problems. If software were so simple and easy to install, users
would not require such educated professionals with advanced network degrees
(CNE, ECNE, MSCP, etc.)to implement these systems.. Dont get me wrong, make
sure you select an SI with specialists or you'll pay later when the system
fails. Make sure that the SI understands your business, ask questions to
see if they are listening to you. If at all possible document the flow of
your operation then include the document into their contract. Never
contract "time and materials" always contract a complete turnkey system
with minimum upfront payment, i.e., once all is running smoothly and you
have closed a period, then pay.
Sorry to babble...
One more note:
Peachtree great for small operations, should work well with your
requirements, but no flexibility in reporting. I'm sure that there are
tools but tools require experience.
Accountmate might work also but I dont have first hand knowledge.
Great Plains has many features with third party software packages for just
about every operation but requires a Great Plains specialist to implement &
maintain. Dynamics LAN which utilizes a third party database is suitable
for up to 15 light users or 5 heavy users but if you have database problems
you have to restore from a backup. No roll-backs are allowed. Dynamics CS+
utilizes MS SQL server for many many users and costs are in the 10's of
thousands. CS+ is for large companies or small ones with lots of budget.
One note about GP is that many mouse clicks and keystrokes are required for
the simplest operation so you might forget how to perform an operation if
you dont perform it on a regular basis.
If you have any other questions feel free to contact me directly so I dont
clog this group.
From: Steve Stewart <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Friday, November 21, 1997 7:58 AM
Subject: Off-topic: Accounting software
>Hello, all (specifically rp service bureaus)-
>If anybody is willing to comment: we are looking for a good accounting
>package to run our business. The one we're using is horrible and doesn't
>fit the custom nature of the rapid prototyping and urethane casting
>business. So, we have to evaluate new packages.
>We need to:
>Be able to enter orders flexibly (different quantities, prices, notes).
>Track the order (initial quantity, quantity shipped and when).
>Flexibly customize management reports.
>Anybody out there ecstatically happy with their accounting software and
>willing to talk about it?
> \_ Steve Stewart Phone: 303-252-0212 \_
> \_ protogenic, inc. FAX: 303-252-0223 \_
> \_ 1490 w. 121 ave., suite 101 WebSite:www.protogenic.com \_
> \_ westminster, co 80234 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org \_
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:40:46 EEST