VISUAL NEWSLETTER FEB 2004

 


THE SOFTWARE UPGRADE DILEMA

 

Many software programs have now advanced to the point where they do almost everything that we need them to do. This may seem like a good deal for the consumer but it is anything but to many software development companies. In the early days of software development, most of the income of a development company came from first time sales. As the market became more and more saturated, fewer new sales were to be found.

 

Microsoft may be the one exception, as they have a form of fixed income built into the Windows Operating System. As such, they obtain income for every new PC that is sold. They can also build in planned obsolescence and block the installation of any newer software on platforms older than 7 years. They no longer support Windows 95 and will soon also drop support for Windows 98.

 

As long as your older model computer functions, you can get away without further software purchases. At some point however, hardware service charges become an issue. The cost of new computers has dropped to as little as $500 with a 17 screen and this promotes the sale of new computers and again Microsoft benefits by O/S sales.

 

Many Accounting Software Companies on the other hand, ourselves included, have had to re-evaluate their revenue strategies. While extensive marketing can still increase sales, it is often no longer cost effective. Most companies have switched to a service contract model, providing technical support and updates for a fixed monthly or annual fee. You can think of this as an all inclusive extended warrantee and service program that you might purchase for your automobile.

 

Such programs do provide for vendor stability which is usually desirable if you want to continue using your current software.

 

NEW SOFTWARE FEATURES

 

Several new features have been added to the Visual Accounting Features Menu. Updates to this program are distributed semi-annually for clients on Payroll update services. They are also updated during on-site visits or on request. A list of newer features includes:

 

24. A/P Cheque Reconciliation Import

- Many banks are offering electronic reconciliation files that permit electronic matching and this will highlight mismatched cheque#s and cheque amounts as well.

 

25. Yearly Vendor Purchases Report

- A twelve month spreadsheet highlighting purchase by vendor and by month.

 

34. Positive Pay File Creation

- Some banks are now offering a service where you transmit a list of valid cheque #s and amounts and they only clear these cheques. This can help combat fraud.

 

59. Inventory Value Report

- A twelve month spreadsheet of Inventory Values by part and by month.

 

60. Inventory Aging Report

- An aging of Inventory Value relative to the last posting date of an item.

 

64. General Ledger History Merge

- Allows multiple accounts to be consolidated into a single account with the transfer of balances and journal entries.

 

68. 69. 70. Distribution Journal Creation

- Routines to define a group of accounts to be totalled and amounts distributed by percentages to other accounts.

 

78. 79. 80. Inter-Company Journal Creation

- Routines to migrate journal entries from one company to another. Useful in Single Fund Accounting environments.