VISUAL NEWSLETTER – MAY 2007                        




At times computers seem to cost us money as apposed to saving us any, but there are a number of strategies that users can employ to actually save money by using their computers intelligently.


The first source of savings can be achieved by following that timeless adage: “You get what you pay for”. Purchasing a slightly less expensive no-name computer is often a bad financial decision. I have seen companies have to replace all of their clone computers within 2 to 3 years while companies buying a quality computer like a Dell or Hewlett Packard usually don’t have to worry about such issues for at least 5 years. When you combine replacement cost, installation fees and lost productivity they are definitely no bargain.


Computers use electricity and as such cost money to run. Newer computers use a little less and have energy saving features but it is still advisable to turn them off at night. The old myth that it was better to leave computers on then turn them off dates back to a period when computers and components were less reliable than those today. When purchasing new monitors LCD Flat Panels save both desk space and a considerable amount of electricity as compared to older CRT monitors.


Most Computerized Accounting Systems typically generate a lot of reports. Reports require paper and hence cost money. Where possible, run reports to the screen. Many reports are run to check a few numbers and this can often be done just as easily to the screen. Changing printer settings can also save money by reducing the number of pages required to print a report. In Libra, for instance, you can reduce the number of pages in a report by changing the Lines Per Inch from 6 to 8. When you do this you will also need to change the number of Lines Per Form as below:


Lines/Inch   Lines/Form        Paper Format

6                66                     Dot-Matrix

8                                        88                    Dot-Matrix


6                60                     Laser Portrait

8                80                    Laser Portrait


6                45                     Laser Landscape

8                60                    Laser Landscape


Many Laser Printers are now also able to Duplex. This means that they can print on both sides of the page. This alone can save you a lot of paper. If you combine this with the previous idea you can reduce a 100-page report to 36 pages. This not only saves paper, but filing space as well, which can yield some cost benefits in itself.


Accounting Systems provide traditional methods for saving companies money by effectively managing Inventory and Accounts Receivable. Used effectively, Inventory can be kept at reasonable levels and be purchased at the most economical price points. Accounts Receivable patterns can help determine possible failures before they happen and avoid bad debts. Even Accounts Payable, by using the terms offered by the supplier and taking all discounts, can make sure that corporate cash flow is optimised.


Conventional mail is both much slower and significantly more expensive than e-mail. Therefore, whenever possible, e-mail documents to customers and suppliers. Many prefer to receive invoices and purchase orders by e-mail and that preference is likely to grow over time.


Direct Deposit and Electronic Funds Transfer can also save money when compared to the cost of printing, mailing and reconciling paper cheques.


Computers can also be used at home to save money. The most common example of this is Computerized Banking. When banking or paying bills on-line, you save money in different ways. You save on postage. You save by not having to drive to the bank. You save by paying bills in advance with a specified deposit date to ensure you keep your money as long as possible and avoid any accidental late payment fees.


For anyone with kids in university and more bills than assets, it also often pays to close out your conventional bank account and simply deposit your pay directly into your Line Of Credit. All bills can be paid from the Line Of Credit without fees. With every cent you have being applied to your debt the interest payable is minimized. Most conventional accounts pay little interest and often hit you up for significant monthly charges.