Accounting Software Only Sounds Boring

Most business owners I know think that accounting software is boring. Not as boring as say, sitting through the movie “Watchmen.” Or waiting in line at Starbucks while some idiot discusses what flavor of tea he should choose (it’s TEA for God’s sake). Or listening to NPR.

But accounting software can be fun. Fun, I say!

Jason has lots of fun with his accounting application. He’s the owner of a 20-person firm that distributes party supplies. His company’s all about inventory. He’s spent the time to make sure that inventory is tracked in great detail by his accounting software. This is not an easy task as he’s got over 10,000 items. Oh, and a lot of helium for balloons. Now, that’s fun.

Jason’s completely obsessed with quarterly cycle counts, weekly spot counts and semiannual physical counts. His warehouse is cleaner than my kitchen, but that’s only because I have teenage kids who specialize in home destruction. Jason’s inventory records are even cleaner than his warehouse floor.

A lot of business owners ignore inventory management in their accounting software. Some don’t like keeping detailed records because they don’t want to reveal too much to the tax guy. But using these features can keep this asset under control and therefore save lots of money. Now that’s fun.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Jason’s big into alerts. So when certain inventory levels get below a minimum his purchasing guy gets an e-mail alert to order more. If a ship date passes the current date then his customer service person gets an e-mail alert. If an inventory item hasn’t been counted recently his warehouse manager gets an alert. Jason takes alerts even to his receivables systems too. His controller gets email alerts when invoices go past 30 days. And if helium inventory levels are high then Jason takes care of that too. He has a lot of fun doing that.

All of this is done by his accounting software. Most popular accounting applications do this stuff today. And most major databases, like Microsoft’s SQL Server allow you to write “triggers” which are the same as alerts. Knowing things before they happen is fun. Finding out after the fact isn’t. Just ask the people who invested with Bernie Madoff.

Want more accounting software fun? Ask Susan.

Susan is a partner at a 10-person law firm. Sure, as an attorney she likes to eat puppies and beat little children. But there’s another side to her too. A fun side. She’s a penny pincher, running a business. Susan doesn’t have to worry about inventory. But she can still have fun with her accounting software.

There’s a lot of stuff she needs to know about every day. Like unbilled time that needs to be billed. And pending client work that needs to be assigned. And client projects that are running up against their limits. Susan’s not an accountant but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t know how to use her accounting software. She gets flash info.

Every day there’s a Flash Report on her desk. This report is a one pager with key information about the firm. The flash info. Plus open receivables and open payables. She’s not waiting for the end of the month to get her information. She’s getting it immediately. She’s taking advantage of the daily reports that her accounting system offers. Like alerts, most software today generates dashboards and flash reports and daily status information, in addition to the detailed financial stuff that accountants like to know.

Like Susan, Ellen’s another owner who has fun with accounting software.

Ellen sees her accounting application as a sales tool. She runs one of those annoying franchise kiddie-tumbly-gymastic places. The ones that hand parents two Advil and a shot of Jack Daniels when entering. Every time Ellen sends out an invoice she plays with the message on the bottom. She advertises upcoming classes. She promotes her summer camps. She highlights a great staff member. Her invoices are like mini-tweets (there, now I’m cool because I just referenced Twitter). Ellen looks at her invoices not just as a bill for services, but as a communication with her customers. Fun!

Another fun thing I’ve seen good penny pinchers do: They beat up their accounting software partners. They have them come in, or get online, and demonstrate to them new features, add on applications, and better ways to use the product they have. They torture them with questions and try to soak some free training from them. The software vendors think they’re going to sell upgrades or more licenses. Boy, are they na├»ve.

See? For some penny pinchers, accounting applications can be fun! And profitable too!

Software Applications

Software applications are increasingly evident and crucial in so many aspects of everyday life that many of us would have a hard time getting through a typical day without the use of some of them. Whether they are on a PC, a Mac, or most recently, on our cell phones, these software applications have drastically changed the way that many of us live our lives at home, on the go, and in the office.

Microsoft is world renowned as being one of, if not the best software companies in the world. Their Office suite of products includes software for word processing, spreadsheets, email and calendar tools, and presentations. Word and Excel are two of the most widely used and universally acceptable programs within the business world, and often time, are a required skill set for individuals looking to land a position within a company. These applications have revolutionized the way that we track, analyze, present, and share information with both internal and external customers.

Blogging has become an increasingly popular way for people to share their opinions and discuss just about anything that is one their minds. Applications have been developed specifically to assist with this new style of information sharing, such as Windows Live Writer and BlogJet. This software can prove to be invaluable to its users by providing them with the ability to create blog posts offline and makes the addition of files, YouTube videos, and images exceptionally easy. Spell checking and auto replace can also be run before transferring your completed work to the blog post of your choosing.

Another task that has become a seeming necessity to many is the ability to burn copies of CDs and DVDs from our computers. Applications such as Nero and CDBurnerXP have taken much of the guesswork out of these tasks and simplified the process to the push of a few buttons. Creating high quality CDs, DVDS, and even HD DVDs has become a reality for many users that possess little to no technical skill.

Instant messenger applications have helped to address our growing need for immediate gratification. There are no shortages of quality applications that provide this service, but one of the user-friendliest apps for communication with networked computers is Softros LAN Messenger. It provides all of the necessary features of an instant messaging program without some of the frivolous features, such as emoticons, which may be frowned upon in a professional environment.

Users of the popular Apple iPhone have been blessed with an ever-expanding library of software applications that can do just about anything. The Tweetie 2 application allows users to manage multiple Twitter accounts, translate foreign tweets, and connects Twitter followers to your address book contacts, right in the palm of your hand. The Yelp application connects to reviews of bars, restaurants, and other business and can provide a realistic, digital view of nearby establishments simply by pointing the viewfinder in its direction.

Good, bad or indifferent, software applications have become as much a necessity in our lives as food, oxygen and water.

Why Productivity Software is an Essential

What businessman would not want success for his business? Surely, any businessman who opens his own store would want it to be as successful and profitable as possible. And this is precisely why all businesses should have what is known as productivity software, more specifically, personal productivity software.

But what is this piece of software all about? What does this application do? The software actually has a lot of features that can greatly contribute to the productivity of a certain workplace. However, if you are not too sure about getting this piece of software, well, this is actually quite understandable. This is because computer software can certainly come at very high prices. In fact, being a businessman yourself, you just might have turned down the idea of purchasing a certain piece of business software for your company. But if you would take some time to check the benefits that come with business software applications, particularly personal productivity software, you would surely find the option very attractive.

With this application running in your business, you would surely have the much-needed professional touch for your business. With this application, you no longer have to worry about producing letterheads, brochures, marketing reports, mailing campaigns and so many more that look very, very professional. Do you ever wonder how you can make your paycheck look more professional? This is so easy with this piece of software. With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can now produce paychecks having a very professional appearance.

Of course, the software offers so much more than professional-looking documents. The basic package gives you a word processor of your own. You also get presentation software and a spreadsheet application. These three tools are definitely needed in operating even the smallest of businesses. However, if you have a larger budget at hand, then you can opt to get the application suite instead. Aside from the three features that come with the basic package, the application suite offers supplementary features that just might surprise you in terms of efficiency. By getting the application suite with complete features, you would actually get more than your money’s worth. And your business will surely become all the more productive. Examples of application suites include Sun Staroffice 7, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Works, and Corel WordPerfect Office. Microsoft Works actually comes free of charge with most personal computers. But for Microsoft Office, you will have to purchase the application itself. There are also a number of supplementary software packages that you can consider purchasing as well.

Another popular software application is the QuickBooks. The reason behind its popularity is that it has features that make inventory management and finance management easier for any business. We all know how tedious it can be keeping track of inventory, supplies, and stocks. And when you are managing the finances of the business, such as benefits packages and payroll, these tasks become all the more tedious. But with QuickBooks, you can easily process all of these with just a few mouse clicks. However, you do have to prepare yourself for the cost entailed, since this application cost roughly five hundred dollars. But with the benefits that come with this productivity software, you will surely get more than your money’s worth easily.