Member Since: 19th Jun 2003
Retired commercial accountant
18th Apr 2005
I agree that it is useful to have a file with all the likely candidates for reporting included. However the software that we use (which I persistently refuse to name as we are in negotiations with them over a horrendous installation experience!) gets over many of the common problems by having only ONE transaction file. Although this is in essence the G/L, every transaction carries just about every piece of information possible with it. This results in a G/L with 141 fields, as opposed to the 45 suggested, but means that from a single source one can access just about any piece of information, including who did what and when.
The selection process is from within the software; one can select, in a split include/exclude table, which fields are displayed on the screen and in what order, or drag them into the required order by the column headings. By double clicking the column header required, the order can be pre-sorted then, at the click of the mouse, whatever is on the screen is exported into Excel in the same layout.
The main weaknesses are that it can only be done for one account at a time (for more I have to resort to Pivot Table/ External Data), and they have prescribed WHICH fields one is allowed to access.
Although there is a lot wrong with the software in question, in this respect they seem to have got it right; why have multiple transaction tables when, with modern high-speed computers, one will do?!
7th Apr 2005
Manual, what manual?!!!
Hiran says 'if the manual is deficient' etc.
It may be indicative of the problems that we are facing to say that, after 2years in the marketplace our vendors are yet to produce a manual for our package, nor is there any sensible on-line help facility!!! It IS MS SQL-based, and yes, there is a data dictionary.
When, on one accasion, I questioned why I could not access a certain field in G/L journals, the answer I got was 'well you only know it exists because you looked in the database'!
4th Apr 2005
Can I make all you Sage users jealous?!
I know that elsewhere I have both castigated the accounts package that we use, and refused to say what it is due to potential legal issues. However it would appear to have one VERY strong feature which appears to be absent fron Sage and, I guess, many other packages.
ALL the transactions, and I mean ALL, are held in ONE SQL table. Therefore one only has to filter out invalid ones, e.g. deleted or voided entries and, hey presto, ODBC does the business every time!
Can someone please say exactly what kind of database Sage use? Ta!
29th Mar 2005
I would love to tell, but...
My reluctance to tell which package we use is not really based on a desire to ensure that others are inflicted with it. It is because the situation with the sotware house is a little delicate at present! Suffice it to say that in the process of arriving at a remotely useable solution, we logged £30k + of lost or wasted man hours.
With reference to the reporting functionality, an example. The package has no means of reporting the totals of ALL warehouses in the stock, such that one can vouch the G/L balance -v- Stock inventory. It gives a single report for each warehouse, but we have about 200 virtual warehouses, many of which are empty, or should be. Short of running the said report for all 200 of them, one cannot see which have a balance, right or wrong. Only by using external data in pivot tables have I been able to achieve any semblance of a handle on our stock position. I can now output either the G/L total by warehouse, or the entire stock by Item by warehouse, both balancing to the G/L account to within a GBP (rounding/Currency diffs.). Without Excel we would be lost!
24th Mar 2005
I am accounting bod from XYZ Manufacturing!
As one who has to struggle daily with an integrated system in which the reporting most certainly WAS left 'till later, I must say that without the ability to use the MS Office/SQL facilities, I would be totally lost. As I have said in another string, I won't say what package we use; why should I be the only one to suffer!!!
18th Mar 2005
Adrenaline's fine, but no drugs!
The most exciting thing that I do outside work is to act as a 'Community First Responder' for our local GP Accident service ( www.magpas.org.uk ). If you want an adrenaline rush, try having a mobile go off at 3am with a call to a potentially dying person. I have to get dressed, all clothes neatly laid out so that I can do it in the dark if necessary, and get to the (local) address within, hopefully, five minutes of the call.
The object is to get defibrillation and oxygen equipment, along with the expertise to use it, to patients faster than the ambulance service can hope to. Luckily an ambulance is always on the way (somewhere!) so backup is always at hand. The only problem is that it can take an hour or so to wind down after a 'shout'. On a weekday, that makes work even less appealing!!!
17th Mar 2005
Not 'How Big?' but'How Complex?', surely
I am surprised that David Carter seems to use the size of a company as an indication of the desireability or necessity for POP. Surely the main criteria should be complexity.
Granted a media company, which I guess is mainly buying services, but with some tangibles as well, could manage without the burden of POP, even if it were turning over tens of millions. However one thing that POP can reduce, used properly, is the potential for fraud.
The company for which I work, although not large, manufactures machinery and has an inventory of 18500+ items. Because we run a semi-just-in-time system, the same items may be ordered multiple times within any given period. Not having a handle on which delivery relates to which order, and ultimately to which order/delivery each invoice relates, would be a recipie for disaster.
Yes, we DID have a manual POP system before we had computers, and the computers have speeded up the process at all levels. So I agree that one shouldn't necessarily relate POP to computers, although to do it any other way in this day and age would be madness!