Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Vacations, Vacations...

Sorry I've been dark as of late. I'm on vacation and thought I'd just drop a note to that effect. I'll be back in full force after Thanksgiving. Happy holidays all -- enjoy your vacations.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

SBA *now* supported on SBS

Hot off the presses is a whitepaper detailing how to use Small Business Accounting with Small Business Server in a supported way.

If you are looking for details on how to make this work, get the details straight from the horse's mouth: whitepaper.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Import transactions into SBA with Excel -- Finally!

A reader emailed this to me yesterday and I know there have been numerous requrests from people desperate to get their transactional data into Small Business Accounting. It's not the cheapest solution, but depending on how married you are to your historical data, this may be one way to go.

Check out the offerings from DP Solutions LLC

Monday, November 07, 2005

Templates in a multi-user environmet

Greg on the alt.comp.software.financial.quickbooks newsgroup had the following comment about Small Business Accounting:
> Oh, here's another thing... document templates (invoices, quotes, etc.)
> exist as separate files and need to be distributed to every machine on which
> they're used.

This is a great point. There are two solutions to this one:
  1. Create a central fileshare that contains templates used by your company.
  2. Email the templates required to those who need them.
In both cases, to use the templates, users will have to copy them to the templates directory on their own PC -- not a huge problem. A better template sharing story is probably in order, but the reality is that it's not like the whole company needs the templates -- typically it's less than a handful of employees that are printing quotes or invoices.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Mobile access to SBA and BCM -- Coming Soon

I ran across a new 3rd-party application called Aqivo for Small Business Accounting and Business Contact Manager by 360 Degree Solutions yesterday. Details are a little sketchy, but the concept sounds really cool -- access your data from both of these applications from mobile devices while you are away from the office. I'm assuming that the application uses some sort of web application and works it's magic even across a firewall without a lot of setup (or at least, lets hope so).

The web page says that it'll be available in November -- more details when it appears.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tips for using the Add Links feature

A feature in Small Business Accounting that one reader asked for more information about is the Add Links feature. This feature in a nutshell allows you to link files located on your computer or network to a document or other item in SBA. This is a powerful concept that could enable you to work in a more paperless way. For Invoices or POs recieved by email or quick scans of important bills or other documents from customers, vendors or employees, this feature lets you associate these external documents within SBA. Not every company will fully take advantage of this feature due to diminishing returns, but using it in a selective way to improve your business processes may make sense. To make best use of this feature, my recommendation is to create a directory to hold files being linked to in a structured way (see image to the left).

With this structure in place, you can start to capture more electronic data than ever before. Some examples include:
  1. Job specifications attached to quotes
  2. Invoices attached to Bills (see example to the right)
  3. PO's attached to Invoices
  4. Contracts attached to Jobs
  5. Scans of Item Receipts
  6. Etc...
Since these "links" act like shortcuts in Windows, they are a familiar concept. One thing to be cautious about is security. Make sure you store your files in a secure place and only share out the location to those you trust (the files you link to may contain information you may not want to share with all of your employees).

Even with the challenge of maintaining a separate file system folder to store these files and the security and backup around it, I am glad that these files weren't wrecklessly just added to the database. If these files were placed in the database, we'd all be needlessly sending around HUGE files just in the name of digitization.