Archive for QCDocs Best Practice

What has changed to make the paperless office a reality?!

Written by on November 4, 2008 | Paperless Back Office, QCDocs Best Practice

The paperless back office has long been dreamed of but just hasn’t happened!  The cost-benefit just hasn’t been there in terms of ease of use and practicality.  Here are my thoughts on why the world is now poised to finally see the paradigm shift happen!

  1. First let me point why I think it has taken so long to come about!  PDF just doesn’t work!   Everyone was waiting to see what electronic document format would be the defacto standard and everyone thought Adobe’s PDF format would be it.  Problem- slow to open (time a 1 page PDF versus 1 page jpg or gif), or the dilemma of opening whole file or just first pages (practicality of Accounts Payable), scanning challenges (what if pg 51 and 52 went together you have to scan the whole pdf again), try to name a pdf document while it is open…good luck!,  what if page 51 is upside down (pdf doesn’t have page by page rotation), open source… sure there are many pdf creator apps now… but they are not all fully compatible.  
  2. Solution- Image Documents– Fast to open (small file sizes without sacrificing quality), resulting ease of use, view and name editing capability, everyone has digital cameras and are extremely familiar with working with images,   The biggest problem with this is 1 file is one image (multipage-tiff being the exeption) so file management just doesn’t work or so you might think.  Surprise, surprise, software can solve this problem…welcome to QCDocs!
  3. Fraudulent Documents– Early concerns over the editability of electronic documents created a perceived “auditor” pre-occupation with fraud problems.     Again Adobe appeared to be the defacto standard to address this problem.  Practically everyone has come to realize that creating a manually fraudulent document is equally if not easier then with electronic documents and again there is a division between legal documents and electronic copies versus originals that is of course preserved in the paperless world. 
  4. Stability of Windows– So all your documents are saved on your computer.  Well the days of Windows crashing posed a considerable dilemma… this has been for the most part resolved.
  5. Big harddrives and system backups.   Storage of documents is no longer a concern… especially with 200-300 dpi image documents and ease of storage and search!
  6. Dual monitor videocards and LCD’s–  Ahhh yes plenty of room for two monitors- one for viewing documents and one for working in your legacy system!
  7. Scanners– Fujitsu well done!  Scansnaps should be in every small business office everywhere! Although they are still married to pdf… they slipped in JPG- well done!   HP, Brother, Epson, etc. multi-functionalprinter/scanners with multi-doc feeds and Twain scanner functionality… of course it is everywhere although get your default settings to accomodate office documents not only high res pictures of the family!!
  8. Online connectivity!  In my mind the piece that clearly shatters the cost/benefit divide is the connectivity of the paperless office to the internet!  Coupled with online banking security protocols this innovation enables the distributed workforce, telecommuting, outsourcing, mobile salesforce, mobile operations, distributed offices, global commerce to truly evolve.   It also enables the re-invention of the “ERP” by reversing the workflow… a concept I leave for next time!

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Understanding the Sales Cycle: CRM to Deposit Slip

Written by on October 12, 2008 | Accounting Best Practice, QCDocs Best Practice

Okay here it is- end to end CRM to bank deposit slip!  Understanding how to optimize your sales starts with understanding the paperflow and process best practices- so here it is as I see it!  I so look forward to hearing from the sales guys out there to correct the accountant!!

  1. Leads – They’re everywhere (Yellow pages to Cards gathered at a tradeshow to LinkedIn) you just need to prioritize and record them somewhere so you can go after them! Word, Excel, Maximizer, ACT!, Salesforce.com
  2. Accounts- Now that you have your huge list of leads you start the process of going after them and you move them into Accounts- you start recording more information about them and strategize about how you’re going to sell to them.  Accounts are at the Corporate level.
  3. Contacts- Are all the people within the “account” that you can talk to, email, etc. that can influence or influence purchasing decisions within your Account/client.
  4. Opportunities- Opportunities arise from communicating with your Contacts and they consist of the “please send us a quote, or you should be aware of this RFP (request for proposal) that we’ve got, or we want to add what your selling to next years budget, etc.”
  5. Quotes/Proposals- This is where documents start to take over- These consist of all the materials and communications that help you convince your potential customer to buy!  
  6. Signed Quotes/Engagements/Purchase Orders- I highlight this one, which is really an extension of 5 as it is the first key document that must interface with accounting!  ie. This is when QCDocs connects with the CRM to takeover to ensure Sales connects to Accounting and Engineering/Production!   Signed quotes and Purchase Orders form your Backlog!  
  7. Credit application form- Okay now you’ve landed the sale, and for most you may have figured this out in the CRM but you should get signed credit application on file so collections can monitor and maintain customer records properly.
  8. Work Orders/Pick lists/engagement plans/Time sheets etc.  – This is where production personnel document the inventory items or work items that need to be assembled for delivery.  Sometimes this can involve several layers of subassemblies which are different forms of inventory processing (See Inventory flows).  This step can also consist of time sheets used to record time spent on delivering services.  Unbilled Work Orders are called WIP and are an asset recorded at cost.
  9. Shipping Documents/Packing Slips/Service slips- This is where the products are boxed up and shipped and accounting spits out a packing slip (best practice) is to correspond to a customer invoice (see 9).  The packing slip has no financial information but references the customer PO # above and details the items being delivered.  Sometimes short shipments are made (see Inventory flows) which details on the packing slip what was order and what was actually shipped.   Service delivery slips can be used for one-off field services.
  10. Customer Invoice.  As mentioned, customer invoice should be prepared at the same time as the packing slip.  Accounting applications generally record revenue at this stage so important revenue recognition considerations at this point to consider worthy of stand alone blog.
  11. Customer Statements- Okay, customer is past their 30 day credit terms so you send  them out a customer statement.  Practices differ significantly here- some do this only with problem accounts others with good collections practices do this as a matter of course.  Interest charges on late payments are an interest discussion which I’ll preserve for another blog.
  12. Customer Cheque/Check-This is a critical document for obvious reasons in accounting because you really only get a chance to record this right once and they can get screwed up easily if you have multiple cheques on one deposit or short payments, etc.   Best practice- scan your customer cheques into QCDocs before depositing and/or keep a really orderly deposit book- see 13!
  13. Deposit Slip-  Deposit slips serve to document who paid you and are especially important if you deposit more then one cheque in a day.  Trick for ATM deposits- deposit one at a time but waste of envelopes…makes accounting for deposits really easy though!!  Key rules- no outstanding deposits at month end (lazy accountant!) and messy month end close!  Credit card deposits 2-3 day lag unavoidable.

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Top 10 Reasons to use Quickbooks over Simply Accounting

Written by on September 17, 2008 | Accounting Best Practice, QCDocs Best Practice

I get asked about bookkeeping applications a lot!  I’d say I’ve pretty much mastered three- Quickbooks, Simply Accounting and Peachtree (or at least Peachtree 2004 – haven’t used it since then).  Peachtree and Simply are very similer products and I guess this is why Sage (owner of both Simply and Peachtree) has decided to discontinuing developing Simply Accounting in the US…

Simply Accounting is very popular in Canada, I suspect because Sage has gotten Simply Accounting into all the educational programs… clever, clever!  See a QCDocs virtual Company stocked with demo documents coming to a school near you in the future!

Once you use Quickbooks; however, there’s no going back!  Which brings me to my top 10 list.

  1. The most common complaint I’ve heard about Quickbooks is that it lacks an “audit trail” ie. you can change anything and people will screw it up!  This isn’t actually true as you can turn on an audit trail that runs behind the scenes.  What it doesn’t do is clutter your General Ledger with all your mistakes- hurray!   Despite SOX, bookkeeping is still an art!  Getting it just right takes time and you need a system that allows you to aggressively pursue financial reports that really work well for your business.  Having to reverse corrective entries and repost is a disaster!  It makes the General Ledger look an absolute mess and sure you can retrace your steps but you’ve created a maze that no one can follow!  The Key- Good financial Close processes and lock down your month and QB’s does just that and QCDocs helps guide the process!
  2. Speed, speed, speed… everywhere from opening the program to navigating the program to report creation, Quickbooks does it in about half the time as Simply!  
  3. Period close processes.   I may need to retract my Simply expertise hat here as I still don’t fully get why they make this so complex… enough said!?
  4. Chart of Account Management and Merge- Quickbooks this is slick!  You can whip together a great set of financials with subtotalling managed entirely by indenting of accounts (watch out for posting to headers…a wee pet peeve of mine that produces ” ….- Other” accounts!  Merging redundant accounts accidentally thrown in there…see point 10!  S..t happens in accounting…give me tools to fix it fast!
  5. Stability… In 8 years of using Quickbooks almost every day I’ve only seen one legitimate crash.  Still recovered just fine so just by pure volume I have to give the nod to QB’s here!
  6. Multicurrency- Nice job here Intuit although it takes some getting use to as this is my number one area of Quickbooks training- Home Currency Adjustments!  I think Intuit Canada is still suffering from the bombardment of QB’s 2008 without a multicurrency version… well at least for a couple of weeks until “2008-Multicurrency showed up- ie. QuickBooks 2007 with 2008 payroll tables! LOL’s but thanks anyway as 90% of our Canadian clients do business in the States.
  7. Subledger integration- This a common accounting application problem that haunts auditors everywhere- why doesn’t the subledger tie into the General Ledger?  Accountants call it a reconciliation- I call it an “f-up”. Quickbooks is the first accounting application that I’ve seen that makes it almost impossible to have this problem occur… a few multi-currency issues in there that still cause it grief but superior to others by a long shot.
  8. Customer invoicing- Time and reimburseable expense flow through.  Combine what QB’s does with this and what QCDocs does with tying the time reporting and reimburseable bills and receipts together and you have customer billing heavan!
  9. Reporting- Quickbooks produces some amazing reports- my favorite are trended P&L and Bal Sh (would like to see improvements in cash flow reports but this is tricky for GAAP).  I like collapse to show a crisp R&D, S&M, G&A and Facilities for my tech companies to match public companies peers (facilities to be allocated accordingly).  Fast clean A/P, A/R and detailed P&L.  
  10.  Integration with third party software… was there any doubt- batch upload from QCDocs of bills and expense reports into Quickbooks is a thing of pure beauty and joy to every bookkeeper… Simply Accounting not so much…!?  It still works but there must be an easier way to do it… Quickbooks did it!? iif!  Time batch entry as well- slick!   I actually like how QCDocs syncs with Simply a bit better but I have to give the nod to Quickbooks!

Big forewarning– I’ve seen bookkeepers butcher QuickBooks too!  Good processes are key to any accounting application and this is where QCDocs comes in.  QCDocs forces good bookkeeping practices by driving Bill association with Bill entries (ie. robust subledgering and proper accrual accounting!) and same goes with customer invoicing!  Accounting applications should use AP and AR subledgers and minimize the use of General Journal entries and cash entries… and all will be well!

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