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					  SMALL BUSINESS
   ACCOUNTING
                         Chapter 8




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Small Business Accounting
On May 12, 2005 Microsoft announced its plans to deliver a new entry level accounting software
system called Small Business Accounting. This product will sell for $99.00 as a stand alone
product and will be bundled in the Microsoft Office 2006 Small Business Edition product which
is scheduled to begin shipping in September 2006. This product is targeted to compete with both
the QuickBooks and Peachtree product lines. Small Business Accounting is widely expected to
be a success for the following reasons:

      1. There are currently more than 400 million users of Microsoft Office product. If even a
         small fraction of these users upgrade to the Microsoft Office 2006 Small Business
         Edition, millions of people will have Small Business Accounting in their hands.

      2. The pricing of QuickBooks has inched up steadily over time and today the Premier
         version sells for $500 per user while the Enterprise version is priced at $2,500. Peachtree
         also sells for approximately $500 per user. By comparison, Small Business Accounting
         provides a similar solution for just $99.

      3. Small Business Accounting’s database supports up to 10 concurrent users and scales
         much higher than does the QuickBooks Enterprise database. The same is true for the
         Peachtree product.

      4. Small Business Accounting offers tight integration to the Microsoft Office products
         including the ability to attach Word, Excel and other documents directly to transactions in
         Small Business Accounting. This helps companies move more towards a paperless
         environment. By leveraging the Office functionality, Small Business Accounting also
         offers superior e-mailing capabilities, Excel pivot table analysis tools, and Word
         templates.

Presented below are a few highlights of the Small Business Accounting system.

New Company Startup Wizard
The first step to using Small Business Accounting is to setup a new company. This is
accomplished by selecting File, New Company from the main menu as shown in the screen
below.




                      Figure 1 – Setting up a New Company in Small Business Accounting




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This action will close your current company (which may be the sample company included in
Small Business Accounting) before proceeding to the next step. Small Business Accounting
provides a six step wizard to help you set up your initial company and establish some of the
defaults and preferences in your new system. The screen below shows step 1 of the Startup
wizard entitled Company and Preferences.




                           Figure 2 – The Company and Preferences Wizard


Transactions Detail by Account Report
In Small Business Accounting, the General Ledger report is called the Transaction Detail by
Account report. Small Business Accounting uses this terminology because it better describes the
report content. However, because this report is more commonly referred to as the general ledger
by the CPAs for whom this material is intended; we will refer to this report as the General
Ledger. The General Ledger (or Transaction Detail by Account) report is shown in the screen
below.




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         Figure 3 – The Transaction Detail by Account Report is the same as the General Ledger Report


Journal Entries
As new transactions are entered into the Small Business Accounting system, the General
Ledger expands to include all transactions under each account. However this is not the only way
data is added to the General Ledger. Users may also make changes directly to the General
Ledger by recording journal entries. Journal entries are typically recorded to make changes in
the system in order to reclassify items, correct errors, or record transactions that are not
generated through the accounting system.

For example, assume that a company receives a $6,000 invoice for six months worth of
insurance coverage. The proper way to record this entry in Small Business Accounting would be
to enter the invoice as a bill, and then write a check in the amount of $6,000 to pay this bill.
Since this amount is being prepaid in advance, it is best recorded as a prepaid asset rather than an
expense when the bill is entered into the system. In this example, Small Business Accounting
would credit the checking account in the amount of $6,000, and debit the prepaid insurance
account for $6,000.

After a month goes by, one-sixth of this prepaid insurance amount is no longer a prepaid item,
and this amount must be expensed accordingly. The best way to accomplish this in Small
Business Accounting is to record a journal entry by crediting prepaid insurance for one-sixth of


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the total prepaid amount, or $1,000. The resulting journal entry in Small Business Accounting
would appear as follows:




                    Figure 4 – Recording Journal Entries in Small Business Accounting

Once the journal entry is recorded in the system it is automatically displayed in the Small
Business Accounting General Ledger as show in the screen below:




               Here we see both sides of the
              journal entry to record JE 172,
                  which reduces prepaid
                 insurance and increases
                    insurance expense.




                         Figure 5 – Viewing Journal Entries in the General Ledger

Journal entries must contain both debit and credit amounts. Those debits and credits must appear
on separate lines and the debit and credit totals must equal each other in order for the entry to be
recorded. If you attempt to save a journal entry in which the debit and credit amounts do not
equal, a warning message appears and you will not be allowed to record the journal entry. An
example of this warning message is presented in the screen below.




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                  Figure 6 – Warning Message Regarding Out-of-Balance Journal Entries


Customer Set up
To set up customers, launch the new customer set up screen by selecting Customers, New, New
Customers from the main menu. As shown below, Small Business Accounting provides five
tabbed screens to organize this data. One of the admirable aspects of Small Business Accounting
is that user screens are organized to offer a cleaner, less cluttered look and feel. For example,
Small Business Accounting captures eight different types of customer addresses as follows:
“business”, “bill to”, “ship to”, “warehouse”, “home”, “legal”, “postal”, and “other”. Instead of
displaying all of these addresses on the screen, Small Business Accounting provides a drop down
list. This approach results in less screen clutter, and makes the system less intimidating and
easier to use.




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                           Figure 7 – Small Business Accounting Customer Screen

As you enter customer information, there are many aspects of Small Business Accounting that
you should be aware of. Presented below are comments regarding Small Business Accounting
functionality above and beyond the obvious functionality provided by the system:

   1. Using Customer Numbers – If you prefer to use customer numbers to identify
      customers, you will need to turn on these features by selecting Company, Preferences
      from the main menu, and clicking the Use Customer ID check box on the Customers
      Tab. This action will cause a customer number field to be displayed on the customer
      screen. The customer number field will accommodate up to 60 alphanumeric characters.
      An example of the customer ID data field is shown below:




                                       Figure 8 – Customer ID

   2. Customers Who are also Vendors - If you have a customer who is also a vendor, you
      may want to set them up as both a customer and a vendor using the same name. This
      approach enables the financial history screen to display both sales and payment


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         transactions at the same time. For example, this approach might be particularly useful for
         recording and tracking rebates paid to a frequent customer.

   3. Customer Addresses – Small Business Accounting tracks up to eight different addresses
      for each customer. It is important to enter each separate address because Small Business
      Accounting knows which address to use depending upon the function. For example,
      Small Business Accounting will automatically use the “Ship-To” address when producing
      a packing slip, and the “Bill-To” address when producing an invoice.

      4. Phone Numbers – Small Business Accounting tracks five separate phone numbers and
         three separate fax numbers per customer, and can track an unlimited number of phone
         numbers using the contact fields on the bottom of the Customer screen’s general tab. Be
         sure to include extensions, or phone menu directory options to help your staff save time
         when making these phone calls.

      5. E-mail Addresses – Small Business Accounting tracks three separate e-mail addresses,
         and an unlimited number of e-mail addresses using the contact fields on the bottom of the
         Customer screen’s general tab.

      6. Web Page Address – Small Business Accounting provides a data field to capture one
         customer web page, but you can enter multiple web pages addresses into the same field
         by separating them with a comma.

      7. Contacts – Small Business Accounting provides valuable customer relationship
         management functionality by tracking an unlimited amount of contact names, including
         title, business phone, and e-mail address. Note that only one contact can be designated as
         primary.

      8. Memo Field – The Memo field can be used to collect unique information about your
         customer such as birthday, children’s names, spouse’s name, clothing size, college
         affiliation, political affiliation, etc. This type of information can be valuable to company
         personnel when talking with that customer; accordingly, efforts should be made to collect
         and enter any information that may contribute to the company’s success. Since the memo
         field is limited to 256 characters, the Add Links option discussed below should be used
         to capture larger quantities of information.

      9. Add Links - One of the most unique aspects of Small Business Accounting is the ability
         to link documents such as Word, Excel, web page, and images to specific customer,
         vendor, and employee records. This single feature transforms Small Business Accounting
         from a simple accounting system into an elaborate information system. With this option,
         companies can organize an unlimited number of letters, pictures, charts, reports, and a
         host of other documents. Users of the system should make sure not to overlook this most
         important feature.




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                     Figure 9 - Example of documents attached to a customer record

   10. Salesperson - Small Business Accounting allows you to assign a sales person to each
       customer. This information is important for several reasons, but is used primarily to assist
       companies with the calculations of commissions. By assigning a salesperson ID, users
       can identify sales each accounting period attributed to each salesperson. In turn, this
       information can be easily used to calculate and support an accurate commission amount
       to be paid to each salesperson. Although default salespersons are assigned to each
       customer, Small Business Accounting allows the user to override this default setting and
       specify other salespersons during the order entry or invoicing process.

   11. Credit limit - The credit limit you allot to each customer is checked by Small Business
       Accounting each time a sales order is entered into the system. If the customer’s
       cumulative outstanding balance exceeds this credit limit, a warning message is displayed
       before the sales order is posted in the system. The user must decide what action to take in
       this situation. An example of this message is shown below:




                    Figure 10 - Example of warning message when credit limit is exceeded

   12. Price Level – Small Business Accounting supports multiple price levels, and a default
       price level can be assigned to each customer. Using this feature, Small Business
       Accounting will automatically insert the correct inventory or service pricing into quotes,
       orders and invoices, based on the price level discount or markup you have assigned. For
       example, a company may extend regular, favorable, and deep discount prices to its
       regular, favorite or related customers. (Price levels are discussed in greater detail in the
       pricing level section.)




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                   Figure 11 – Example screen where price levels are assigned to customers

   13. Customer Groups – The grouping of customers enables you to generate reports by
       customer group. For example, a company may serve both government and non
       government customers. In this case, it may be informative to later produce Profit and
       Loss reports separated by government and non government customers. This type of
       information can help the company better understand exactly how each segment of their
       business is growing. Additional examples of customer groups for specific business types
       are presented below:




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                                   Table 1 Example Customer Groups

                Type of Business                    Example Customer Groups
              Veterinarian            Dogs, Cats, Birds, Exotic
              Restaurant              Walk-in, Reservations, Corporate Functions
              Building materials      Commercial, Residential
              CPA firm                Tax, Audit, Write-Up, Consulting
              Any business type       Large, Medium, Small
              Dentist                 Insured, Non-insured

      The use of customer groups is limited only by the imagination, and clever companies can
      leverage this feature to provide a wide array of reports that are meaningful and relevant to
      the business.

   14. Tax Groups - Small Business Accounting allows you to assign a default sales tax to each
       customer. Using this feature, Small Business Accounting automatically calculates the
       correct sales tax when preparing quotes, orders and invoices, based on the sales tax group
       you have assigned. (Sales tax is discussed in greater detail in the sales tax section.)

   15. Financial Summary – The Financial Summary Tab presents a summary of key financial
       information for each customer, including aged receivables, payments and sales. However
       one of the more sophisticated features provided by Small Business Accounting is the
       Average Days to Pay information which includes both the average number of days it has
       taken the customer to pay outstanding balances year to date; and also, since the customer
       record was created. Both numbers can be useful in a variety of ways, for example in
       projecting cash flow.

      The Financial Summary Tab also summarizes total sales made to the customer by Month-
      to-date, Year-to-date and the Previous year; total payments received by Month-to-date,
      Year-to-date and the Previous year; and total sales to the customer since the customer
      record was created.

   16. Financial History - The Financial History Tab displays all transactions with a customer
       since the record was created; grouped by date, document number, type, contact and total
       amount. You can change the order of the columns by dragging the column headings. You
       can also reverse the sort order of a column simply by clicking the column heading. The
       items on the Financial History Tab are linked directly to the Small Business Accounting
       database and therefore cannot be edited. Double-click an item to open the original
       transaction record to Edit or Void it.

   17. Custom Fields –The custom field tab allows you to create twenty separate blank user
       definable fields. These fields may contain text, dates, numbers, or check boxes. Custom
       fields are a powerful feature that should be studied and used by all Small Business
       Accounting customers. Accordingly this feature is discussed in greater depth in the
       Customization chapter.




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Inventory Setup
To set up new inventory items in Small Business Accounting, launch the new inventory setup
screen by selecting Vendors, New, New Item from the main menu. The following screen will
appear providing you with the opportunity to create a service item, inventory item, non-inventory
item or kit.




                            Figure 12 – Inventory Setup, Select Item Type Screen

As you can see in the screen above, Small Business Accounting supports four different types of
inventory items. Each of these four types of items is explained below:

   1. Inventory Items– An inventory item is a product that is purchased for sale and is tracked
      in inventory and on the balance sheet. In other words an inventory item is product that
      you physically have in your possession and sitting on the shelf in the warehouse.
      Examples would be hats, screws, clothing, food items, jewelry, watches, baseballs,
      automobiles, shampoo, and other goods that you hold as inventory for sale. These items
      could be kept in the warehouse or on the retail shelf in full view of customers. Companies
      typically keep multiple quantities of inventory items on hand at all times, and
      continuously replenish their stock when quantities on hand decline. They are goods that
      are purchased and owned by the company, insured by the company, and should they be
      damaged, lost, or stolen, the loss is absorbed by the company. The company typically
      keeps track of the quantity on hand and establishes reorder points and reorder quantities
      using Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) calculations.

      2. Service Items – A service item differs from an inventory item in that a service item does
         not exist physically, rather the company is selling hours, or some other unit measurement.
         For example, let us assume that you are in a minor car accident and your automobile is
         damaged, and you take it to a repair shop for repair. The repair shop might sell you a
         bumper for $350, and 6.5 repair hours at $30 each – or $195. In this example, the bumper
         is a physical item that the repair shop carries in inventory; hence it is an inventory item.
         However the repair hours are service items and these items do not sit on a shelf. Hence a

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      significant difference is that service item quantities on hand are not relevant, and there
      are no reorder points or reorder quantity issues to contend with. In other words, a
      company does not stock 2,500 hours of service items and reorder more hours when that
      quantity runs low – this is a silly thought. However, this thought helps explain how
      service items differ from inventory items. You might recall that in 2004, a company
      named Sprint ran television commercials in which “cell phone minutes” were sold by the
      case, and a delivery truck actually carried boxes of (imaginary) minutes for delivery to its
      customers. This commercial caught people’s attention by suggesting the preposterous
      notion that service items could be contained and delivered in boxes.

      In Small Business Accounting, the system keeps track of the quantities on hand for all
      inventory items and warns the user in the event that they attempt to sell an item which is
      not in stock. However, Small Business Accounting understands that such a procedure is
      unnecessary when it comes to selling service items.

      Another way to view service items is to think of them as a method of billing customers
      for time, without actually using a full scale time and billing system. In the example
      above, the repair shop is billing it’s customer for both goods and services. Small Business
      Accounting is sophisticated enough to understand this transaction and apply sales taxes to
      just the goods sold, but not to the services portion of the transactions (some states, such
      as Georgia, only charge sales taxes on goods, but not on services). Small Business
      Accounting is also smart enough to know that it must check to make sure that the bumper
      is in stock, but there is no need to check to make sure there are enough service hours to
      sell. Many CPAs do not give much thought to meeting their time and billing needs
      through an inventory module, but if you fully consider this concept you will conclude
      that this approach actually works very well. The advantage provided by true time and
      billing systems is they measure and report employee budgets and performance. Since
      many companies that bill time don’t have a strong need to measure employees as closely
      as CPA firms or consulting organizations, meeting their time and billing needs using the
      inventory module works fine.

   3. Non-Inventory Item – A non-inventory item is identical to an inventory item in every
      way, except that the company does not typically keep that item in stock. As an example,
      assume that you are having dinner at a restaurant and you order a drink without caffeine
      from the waiter. The waiter informs you that all they offer are soft drinks with caffeine,
      and iced tea. However since you insist, the waiter tells you that he will take care of your
      order. A few minutes later you happen to glance out the window and see your waiter
      dashing across the busy street and visiting the local gasoline station where he purchases a
      caffeine-free beverage for $1.00. The waiter then serves the beverage to you and charges
      you $2.50 on your bill. This would be an example of a non-inventory item.

      More realistically, many companies often have infrequent or unusual requests from their
      customers, and they want to serve their customers well and meet their needs. Because a
      company can not realistically afford to stock and carry every known item in the world in
      their warehouse, non-inventory items are often a fact of life for many companies. As
      another example, consider a bicycle shop that sells a variety of high-end racing bicycles.
      A customer orders an expensive $6,000 racing bike for their spouse, but they would like
      the shop to install streamers on the hand grips. In this case the bicycle shop does not carry


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       streamers, but in order to close the deal the bicycle shop agrees. Later the bicycle shop
       assembly worker visits a local department store and purchases a set of streamers for
       $5.00, installs them on the racing bike, and charges the customer an extra $15.00 for this
       item.

       For Small Business Accounting’s perspective, the reason it is important to designate non-
       inventory items is so the system will not warn you when you attempt to sell a non-
       inventory item – resulting in a smoother transaction process. Because non-inventory
       items are never carried in inventory, the system knows that it need not track quantities,
       reorder points, or reorder quantities for this item, and that it need not check to make sure
       adequate quantities are on hand during the order process.

 4.    Kit Items (Light Manufacturing) – Kit items are simply a collection of inventory items
       that are grouped together for many reasons, such as                              quick
       entry and reporting. However kit items are also a                                 form
       of “light manufacturing” that has powerful
       implications from an accounting system
       perspective. This functionality is also commonly
       referred to as “assembly”, “kitting”, and “bill of
       materials processing”. In essence the company
       combines multiple inventory items together to form                                   a
       single inventory item for sale.

       Assembly Example - For example, consider the                                          needs
       of a company that builds and sells carburetors. A
       single carburetor consists of many items as shown                                        in
       figure 1. These individual items are referred to as
       components and would typically include items such                                     as a
       carburetor bowl, two 4 gauge springs, 16 1/8th inch
       machine screws, 4 rubber hoses, etc. Because the
       Small Business Accounting supports kits, or light
       manufacturing, this allows the company to establish
       inventory item IDs for each of these components, as                                    well
       as the completed item – the carburetor. In this
       manner, the accounting system allows the company                                         to
       track all inventory on hand. As carburetors are                Figure 5.3 Exploded
       assembled by workers, they increase the number of           Carburetor – each item is
                                                                         part of a “kit”
       assembled items on hand with a quick entry to the
       Small Business Accounting system, and system automatically increments the number of
       carburetors on hand by the number of built units, and depletes the appropriate number of
       components used in the assembly by the appropriate amount. For example, let us assume
       that 4 carburetors are assembled on Monday morning. The Small Business Accounting
       system increments the number of carburetors on hand by 4, and depletes the number of
       carburetor bowls, springs, screws, and hoses on hand by 4, 8, 64, and 16 respectively. In
       this example, the worker has assembled an item using other inventory items, and in this
       case, the term “assembly” is typically used to refer to this process.



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      Kitting Example - In a different example, consider the needs of a company that sells
      medical supplies. This company maintains vast shelves of medical supply items, each of
      which might be sold individually or as part of a kit. Typical medical supplies might
      include adhesive tape, gauze bandages, antibiotic cream, aspirin, thermometers, splints,
      blood pressure monitors, hypodermic needles, stethoscopes, stretchers, etc. These items
      may be priced separately or combined in various assortments to produce first aid kits
      suitable for homes, businesses, recreational parks, or even emergency technicians. To
      build a special kit, a worker gathers the appropriate items and packs them together to
      create the first aid kits. While the process of packing various medical supplies into a
      container is dramatically different from the assembly of a carburetor (as describe above),
      from Small Business Accounting’s perspective the system accounts for this activity in
      virtually the same way. As kits are completed, the system increments the number of kits
      on hand by the appropriate number of units, and depletes the various components on hand
      by the appropriate number of units. While the kitting routine converts quantities of
      individual items to completed units, it also rolls up the costs associated with each
      component item into the total cost of the first aid kit.




                                         Figure 13 – Example Kit

      The processes we have described above are often referred to as “assembly” or “kitting”,
      but are also referred to as bill of materials processing, or light manufacturing. To an
      extent, these terms are used interchangeably throughout the accounting software industry.
      An understanding of this feature is extremely beneficial to manufacturing companies
      when it comes to using entry-level accounting systems to account for manufactured
      items.

      Accounting for Labor in the kitting process - Manufacturers applaud the benefits of Small
      Business Accounting’s kitting functionality, but raise the issue associated with
      accounting for labor costs and factory worker wages. As it turns out, this is not a problem
      for small manufacturing companies who employ clever techniques for accounting for
      capturing this important information. Using the service item feature described above,
      Small Business Accounting allows for the setup of a labor item associated with kitting in
      the inventory system. Once they are setup, the labor item can be included in “assemblies”


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       or “kits” in the same way that regular inventory items are included. To better understand
       this concept, consider the following example:

       In much the same way that the auto repair shop charged the customer for labor time in the
       example presented above, manufacturers can setup labor items and then include them in
       the “kitting” process. The result is that the assembly or kitting process captures both time
       and materials for costing and sales pricing purposes. For example, the kitting of the first
       aid kit described above may include the following items: Flash light ($3.00); band aides
       ($1.20); antiseptic spray ($2.20); ointment ($3.35); 15 assembly minutes ($1.50) and 2
       inspection minutes ($.75). In order to utilize this feature in this manner, manufacturers
       must identify each labor task performed during the light manufacturing process.

       As another example, the manufacturing of twelve dozen flags may involve 1.2 cutting
       hours, 2.4 sewing hours, .4 assembly hours, .1 inspection hours, and .2 packaging hours.
       For purposes of light manufacturing, the manufacturer would most likely use a standard
       length of time for each activity, even if the actual activity varied from job to job. Even
       the largest of organizations find it beneficial to adhere to standard times rather than actual
       times for the purposes of consistency and convenience.


Item Price List
Once you have setup all item prices, you should produce an item price list report and review your
data input. This report is accessible from the following menu option:




                  Figure 14 – Menu Item Options for Producing the Item Price List Report

The resulting Item Price List Report is shown below. This data should be checked carefully to
ensure that all item prices have been properly entered. This is likely to be an executive level task
for the CPA to perform when assisting small business clients who have completed the inventory
and pricing data entry process.



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                               Figure 15 – Example Item Price List Report

It should be noted that the Item Price List report is drillable. If you spot an error in this report,
you can simply double click on that item to open the item screen and make correcting
adjustments. The majority of Small Business Accounting’s reports provide this capability. An
example is shown below:




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                     Figure 16 – Small Business Accounting’s Drillable Report Feature

When viewing any report in Small Business Accounting, keep in mind that additional columns
may be added by selecting the modify button at the top of the screen, and making the appropriate
selections. In the screen below we see that the Item Price List report has been modified to
include additional columns of data for each item. Once the report is modified, it can be saved
using the “Save Report” button located in the top left hand corner of the screen shown below. In
this manner, you will not have to recreate this report in the future; instead you can simply select
this report from a menu of saved reports.




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Accessing Financial Reports
Small Business Accounting provides 46 standard financial reports right out of the box, and
customization tools are provided so you can modify these reports or create an unlimited number
of new reports. Financial reports in Small Business Accounting are accessible three ways as
follows: 1. from the Main Menu; 2. from the Reports Home Page; 3. from the individual home
pages for each module. Presented below are screens of these three reporting access points.




                      Figure 17 – Accessing Financial Reports from the Main Menu




                                  Figure 18 – The Reports Selector Box
                  Located in the Upper Right Hand Corner of Each Module’s Home Page




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                   Figure 19 – The Reports Home Page in Small Business Accounting


                          Standard Financial Reports
A complete list of the 46 standard financial reports included in Small Business Accounting is
presented below, along with a brief description of each report.

   1. Chart of Accounts - The Chart of Accounts provides a complete listing of all the account
      names that have been created for your business and their current balances.

   2. Profit and Loss - The Profit and Loss statement reports your company's revenues,
      expenses and financial results in detail over a period of time.

   3. Balance Sheet - The Balance Sheet reports your company’s assets, liabilities and
      financial position at a point in time. This report is grouped into categories, such as
      current assets, fixed assets, current liabilities and stockholders' equity.

   4. Cash Flow - The Cash Flow statement shows the sources of cash that have come into
      your business and how cash has been spent. This report is broken into two main
      categories: Operating and Financing activities. Cash sources included in the cash flow
      report are cash sales, collection of customer accounts, bank loans and the sale of fixed
      assets; cash uses included in the cash flow report are vendor account payments,
      employee wages, purchases of fixed assets and dividend payments.

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   5. Trial Balance - The Trial Balance is a listing of all the account balances from the Chart
      of Accounts. It is similar to the Chart of Accounts report, except that columns are
      provided for both debits and credits.

   6. Transaction Detail by Account - The Transaction Detail by Account report provides a
      detailed look at the entries posted to the Chart of Accounts over a period of time.
      Information displayed can include transaction dates, types, numbers, names, offset
      accounts, amounts and balances. Many people typically refer to this report as the
      General Ledger report.

   7. Transaction Journal - The Transaction Journal report provides a detailed,
      chronological view of the entries posted to the Chart of Accounts over a period of time.
      Information displayed can include transaction dates, types, numbers, names, accounts,
      and debit and credit amounts. It is similar to the General ledger report, except that
      columns are provided for both debits and credits.

   8. Change Log - The Change Log report provides a complete listing of activities in
      Microsoft Small Business Accounting. This report is helpful for auditing purposes and
      can be used to trace fraudulent activity and other unknown adjustments or errors.

   9. Sales Tax Liability - The Sales Tax Liability report details sales tax funds collected from
      customers and owed to each tax agency. Your company preferences setting determines
      how the liability is reported, when the customer is billed, or when the customer pays you.

   10. Transaction Detail by Tax Code - The Transaction Detail by Tax Code report lists all
       transactions relating to taxes, arranged by tax code.

   11. A/R Aging Summary - The A/R Aging Summary report helps you maintain control of the
       cash flow into your company by displaying all of the amounts owed to you by each
       customer arranged by the number of days outstanding at any date you select. The report
       includes a zoom view of the original transaction.

   12. A/R Aging Detail - The A/R Aging Detail report provides an in-depth view of the
       amounts your customers owe to your company at a selected date. Information includes
       dates, transaction types and numbers, customer names, amounts, aging, due date and
       balances outstanding.

   13. Customer Transactions History - The Customer Transactions History report displays all
       transactions with your customers through any date range you select. Information
       displayed includes transaction types and numbers, dates, invoiced amounts, and paid
       amounts.

   14. Profitability by Customer Summary - The Profitability by Customer Summary report
       helps you focus your marketing efforts by displaying the profit made on sales to each of
       your customers over a selected time range. Information displayed includes customer
       names, invoiced amounts, costs and comparisons to previous periods.

   15. Profitability by Customer Detail - The Profitability by Customer Detail report gives you
       an in-depth view of the profits made on sales to each of your customers over a selected


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         time. Information displayed includes transaction types and numbers, item names,
         invoiced amounts, standard and billed costs, and comparisons to previous periods.

   16. Sales by Customer Summary - The Sales by Customer Summary report helps you to
       adjust your marketing efforts by listing total sales made to your customers over a period
       of time. The default time period is the current month to date.

      17. Sales by Customer Detail - The Sales by Customer Detail report provides in-depth
          information about the total sales made to your customers over a selected time range.
          Information displayed can include transaction types and numbers, items sold, quantity
          and sales amount. The default date range is the current month to date.

      18. Sales by Salesperson Summary - The Sales by Salesperson Summary report helps you
          track your salespersons' performance by displaying their total sales made to your
          customers over a selected time range. Information displayed includes sales amounts and
          comparisons to previous periods. The default date range is the current month to date.

      19. Sales by Salesperson Detail - The Sales by Salesperson Detail report provides in-depth
          information for tracking salesperson performance. Information displayed includes
          transaction types and numbers, customer names, item names, sales amounts and
          commissions. The default date range is the current month to date.

      20. Sales by Item Summary - The Sales by Item Summary report helps you to adjust your
          marketing efforts by tracking which items are selling well or selling poorly. Information
          includes item names, item groups, quantity sold, sales amounts, and comparisons to
          previous periods. The default date range is the current month to date.

      21. Sales by Item Detail - The Sales by Item Detail report provides an in-depth look at item
          sales over a period of time. Information displayed includes item names and numbers,
          sales amounts, quantity sold and item sales prices. The default date range is the current
          month to date.

      22. A/P Aging Summary - The A/P Aging Summary report helps you to control your cash
          flow by displaying all of your company's outstanding debt to vendors arranged by the
          number of days outstanding at a determined date. The default date is the current date.
          The report includes a zoom view of vendor balance details.

      23. A/P Aging Detail - The A/P Aging Detail displays an in-depth view of the amounts your
          company owes to its vendors at a selected date. Additional information includes the date
          and number of vendor invoices and due dates. The report includes a zoom view of the
          original transaction. The default date is the current date.

      24. Vendor Transactions History - The Vendor Transactions History report displays all
          transactions with your vendors through any date range you select. Information displayed
          includes transaction types and numbers, dates, amounts and paid amounts. The default
          date range is the current month to date.

      25. 1099 Summary - The 1099 Summary report summarizes payments made to 1099 vendors
          during the last calendar year. This information can be used to prepare federal 1099-

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      MISC tax forms.

   26. 1099 Detail - The 1099 Detail report lists the details for all payments made to all 1099
       vendors over a period of time. Information can include payment amounts, reference
       numbers, categories, pay dates and purchase order numbers.

   27. Purchases by Vendor Summary - The Purchases by Vendor Summary report displays
       purchases from your vendors in a summarized form over a selected date range. The
       information displayed includes vendor name and number, vendor group, purchase
       amounts, and comparisons to prior periods. The default date range is the current month
       to date.

   28. Purchases by Vendor Detail - The Purchases by Vendor Detail report gives you an in-
       depth view of purchases from your vendors over any date range you select. Information
       displayed includes dates, transaction types and numbers; purchase order numbers,
       payment terms, item codes, purchase prices, delivery dates and amounts. The default date
       range is the current month to date.

   29. Purchases by Item Summary - The Purchases by Item Summary report displays item
       purchases in a condensed form over any date range you select. The basic information
       displayed is item names and numbers, quantities purchased, and dollar value purchased.
       The default date range is the current month to date.

   30. Purchases by Item Detail - The Purchases by Item Detail report gives you an in-depth
       view of purchases over a selected date range. Information displayed includes item types
       and numbers, date, purchase order numbers, payment terms, due dates and quantity
       purchased.

   31. Item Price - The Item Price list shows the current price for all your product and service
       items at a selected date. The information includes item names, item groups, item
       descriptions and prices.

   32. Inventory Valuation Detail - The Inventory Valuation Detail report lists all transactions
       affecting each inventory item and their impact on the number and value of stock on hand.
       Information displayed for each item includes the transaction date, customer name,
       quantities purchased or sold, value of purchase and sales, quantity and value on hand.

   33. Inventory Stock Status by Item - The Inventory Stock Status by Item report lists items
       currently in stock by Item Group. The information includes reorder points, quantities on
       hand, quantities on purchase orders, quantities on sales orders, and the dates of next
       deliveries and shipments.

   34. Physical Inventory Worksheet - The Physical Inventory Worksheet is a printable
       checklist for taking a physical count of your inventory. You can use this information to
       trace theft, track shrinkage, and make adjustments to the financial records to bring them
       in line with the count.

   35. Item Profitability - The Item Profitability report helps you to fine tune your marketing
       efforts by giving you a detailed view of the profit margin from the sales of items over a


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         period of time. Information displayed includes item description, item quantity sold,
         invoiced sales amounts, cost of goods sold, and profit margins by amount and
         percentage.

   36. Profitability by Job Summary - The Profitability by Job Summary report allows you to
       track which of your jobs are profitable and which are not by listing sales amounts and
       margins in dollar and percentage format, grouped by customer.

   37. Profitability by Job Detail - The Profitability by Job Detail report provides an in-depth
       view of job success by including details of what was sold. The default date range is the
       current month to date.

   38. Job Estimates vs. Actual Costs Summary - The Job Estimates vs. Actual Costs Summary
       report helps you to determine how your job success compares to your plans. This report
       compares job revenues and costs broken out by dollar and percentage.

   39. Job Estimates vs. Actual Costs Detail - The Job Estimates vs. Actual Costs Detail report
       displays a detailed listing of all actual job performance and estimates over a period of
       time. The report provides more information for use in analyzing why job performance
       varied from the estimates. Information detail includes item quantities sold, item
       descriptions, incurred costs, sales amounts and estimated job information which is based
       on quotes.

      40. Job Progress Invoices vs. Quotes - The Job Progress Invoices vs. Quotes report tracks
          the billing of jobs to customers by comparing the amount billed in partial invoices
          against the total amount quoted for customer jobs.

      41. Deposit Detail - The Deposit Detail report lists all deposit transactions for your bank
          accounts over a designated period of time.

      42. Check Detail - The Check Detail report lists all checks and amounts issued from your
          bank accounts over a designated period of time.

      43. Bank Transactions - The Bank Transactions report lists all transactions, including
          deposits and withdrawals, for all of your bank accounts over a designated period of time.

      44. Missing Checks - The Missing Checks list shows all numbered transactions that are
          missing from the check sequence for the current month, arranged by bank account.

      45. Reconciliation Detail - The Reconciliation Detail report lists all the book transactions
          that do not match the bank balance (according to the bank statement) for a bank account
          on a given date.

      46. Time Entry - The Time Entry report shows how your employees are accounting for their
          recorded hours. It helps you to determine whether billable job time is properly accounted
          for and to create invoices to send to your customers. Information displayed includes
          customer names, job names, service items billed, status and billable hours.



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Features of Reports Printed to the Screen
The various features, functions and capabilities of reports printed to the screen are discussed and
demonstrated below.

   1. Drillability – The ability to double click on any number and drill to a detailed report
      supporting that number can be very beneficial. This approach provides fast and accurate
      access to underlying data. This feature can help business owners save time, better
      understand their financial information, and provide an audit trail. An example of
      Drillability is presented in the screen below:




                                                                            Double clicking on the sales
                                                                                    line item produces a
                                                                                   detailed sales report.
                                                                             Thereafter double clicking
                                                                             on one of the detailed sales
                                                                                       item produces the
                                                                             supporting invoice. This is
                                                                              an example of Drillability.




                  Figure 20 – Drillability in Small Business Accounting’s Financial Reports

   2. Filtering – Small Business Accounting provides the ability to filter financial reports
      printed to the screen using a variety of filtering tools, depending upon the particular
      report being displayed. In the example below, the filtering tool can be used to specify the
      date range or specific accounts that you would like to be included in the report.



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                      Figure 21 – Filtering Reports in Small Business Accounting

   3. Exporting Reports to Excel – Microsoft Excel is the most popular financial reporting
      tool in the world and Small Business Accounting allows users to take full advantage of
      Excel’s extensive functionality by making it easy to export reports directly to Excel. A
      simple click of the Excel button tool included on the top of all Small Business
      Accounting reports automatically sends that report to Excel, where further formatting,
      charting and analysis can be performed. Once your data is in Excel, users can unleash a
      full range of features and functions to meet their reporting needs. Some of the more
      powerful and popular Excel tools include pivot tables, consolidation capabilities, what-if
      scenarios, password protecting report files, e-mailing reports to recipients or groups of
      recipients, and publishing reports to the web. An example of a report being exported to
      Excel is shown below:




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                           Figure 22 – Exporting Reports to Microsoft Excel

   4. Charting Reports – Small Business Accounting also offers the ability to chart reports
      with the click of a button. Simply press the charting tool located at the top of the Small
      Business Accounting profit and loss report to produce a colorful chart that represents
      your company’s data.

   5. The Cash Versus Accrual Option – Virtually every small business in the world has a
      need to see their data using both the cash basis and accrual basis of accounting. The
      accrual basis of accounting presents a more realistic view of your company’s actual
      profitability - it depicts how much money you’ve actually made. By contrast, the cash
      basis of accounting is based solely on cash receipts and expenditures – amounts that may
      or may not accurately reflect your profitability or results of operations.

      Reports based on the accrual basis of accounting are useful for monitoring and analyzing
      your business, whereas reports based on the cash basis of accounting are useful in
      completing federal tax forms because you opt to report your business earnings for tax
      purposes using the cash basis of accounting. Small Business Accounting accommodates
      both situations by providing reports using either method of accounting. The screen below
      shows the cash versus accrual toggle that is conveniently located on top of all financial
      reports in Small Business Accounting.




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2005 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs




                 Figure 23 – The Cash versus Accrual Option in Small Business Accounting


Purchase Orders
Now that we have learned how to print a quick check, let’s take a look at the more complex
check writing process which begins with the creation of a purchase order. Most businesses order
frequently purchased items such as inventory and supplies by placing the order over the
telephone, through the fax or via e-mail. These situations call for the creation of a purchase order
in your accounting system in which you record the purchase order, and then transmit the
purchase order to the vendor. The following example will walk you through the complete
purchasing process, beginning with the creation of a purchase order to the completion of the
process by writing a check. To start the process, launch the New Purchase Order window by
clicking on the New Purchase Order button on the Vendor Home Page as shown in the screen
below.

Creating the Purchase Order




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                               Figure 24 – The New Purchase Order Button

In this example, the company is placing an order with the Season Sports Company for 12 hiking
boots. The company currently has 18 hiking boots in stock as shown in the screen below on the
purchase order line item for hiking boots, but the company expects increased demand for hiking
boots due to an upcoming charity event called Hike for Life.




             Figure 25 – The Create New Purchase Order Window in Small Business Accounting

The company uses the Small Business Accounting purchase order system to create purchase
orders for all ordered goods. Why use a purchase order system at all, one might ask? Why not
just order goods and pay for them when they arrive? Without a purchase ordering system, a
company might not know which items have been ordered, and which ones have not. In this
situation it might be possible for company representatives to double order items which would
result in too much inventory on hand. On other occasions, company representatives may think
that replenishment quantities of an item have been reordered when in fact they have not been. A
purchase order system enables a company to instantly see what has been ordered and track the
status of those orders.

Another benefit of using a purchase order system is it makes it easier for companies to pay bills.
For example, if a company receives an invoice for which there is no corresponding purchase
order, then the company can immediately suspect that the invoice is erroneous. By only paying




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2005 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs
invoices for goods which match a current purchase order, a company can avoid paying for goods
they never ordered.

Delivering the Purchase Order

The next step in the purchase ordering process is to send the purchase order to the intended
recipient – the vendor whom you wish to fulfill the order. As mentioned above, this task can be
accomplished many ways. The company could print the order and mail it to the vendor. The
company could also print the order and fax it to the company. Yet another method is to call the
vendor and provide the purchase order information to the vendor over the telephone. All of these
purchase order delivery methods are widely used today; however, all three of these methods can
be very costly.

Consider the process of using the U.S. Mail to deliver the purchase orders. In this case the
purchase order must be printed; and an envelope must be addressed, stamped, stuffed, and sealed
and then delivered to the mail box. This process is labor intensive and once the letter is mailed, it
can take days to arrive at its destination. Upon arrival, the letter must be opened and the purchase
order information must be entered into the system manually. This type of re-keying of the data
can lead to inherent keypunching errors. Realistically it takes about 5 business days for a
purchase order to flow through this slow moving, labor intensive, error susceptible process.
Multiply this inefficient process by hundreds of purchase orders a year and you can begin to see
how costly this method can be. Considering that the same purchase order could have been sent
through e-mail in about 5 seconds, thereby reducing out-of-pocket costs for envelopes, stamps,
paper and printer toner, it is easy to see that the e-mail method is far less expensive. In addition,
the e-mail method involves far less labor, can avoid inherent keypunching errors, and results in
much faster communications. All of these factors lead to higher company profitability and
greater customer satisfaction.

While faxing or phoning a purchase order to a vendor results in quicker delivery, these two
options are perhaps more expensive and costly to your company than using the U.S. mail method
described above. The reason is that the process of phoning or faxing an order into a vendor can
be labor intensive. For example, phoning in a purchase order can involve a long distance
telephone call, and the order clerk may have to navigate a lengthy phone menu in the vendor’s
voice mail system. The vendor’s order taker may or may not be available at that very moment. In
some cases, the order taker may place your order clerk on hold. Once the two parties are
communicating, it is common for them to exchange a certain amount of social conversation such
as “Hello Roger, how was your weekend? It was great, we went fishing and caught 12 stripped
bass”. While such interactions can have positive relationship building affects, it also eats
valuable time and productivity. Considering that the average order clerk salary is approximately
$34,500(1), the per hour cost of that person is almost 28 cents per minute, or 36 cents per minute
if you include fringe benefits and the cost of office space. Because labor is the number one
controllable cost for almost every organization, every attempt should be made to promote labor
efficiency in the workplace.

While the fax delivery method avoids social banter, this method has its own shortcomings as
well. Consider that fax machines are not always available – on occasion employees must wait in
line, or wait on incoming faxes before they can send their outgoing fax. Additionally, the fax
method typically involves a long distance telephone call, and once received the purchase order
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information must be re-keyed by the recipient. Also there may be a time delay in the delivery of
the faxed document to the intended recipient. As mentioned above, the process of re-entering
data leads to time lag, delays, and inherent keypunching errors.

E-Mailing the Purchase Order

For all of these reasons, companies should strive to employ the e-mail method of delivering
purchase orders to the intended vendors. The steps below depict this process.




                                Figure 26 – E-Mailing Purchase Orders

Upon clicking the e-mail icon on top of the purchase order screen, the following e-mail will
appear in a Microsoft Word template format. In this format, you can insert a subject, insert text
to accompany the purchase order, and copy other persons, such as yourself, on the document.

Custom Fields for Customers
Let us start our review of custom data fields in the Customer area of Small Business
Accounting. Let us assume that the Small Business Accounting product is being installed by a
Boat Marina, and that they have identified specific information they would like to track for each
of their customers. In this case, the first step is to launch the Customer Setup screen and toggle
to the Custom Field tab as shown in the screen below.




                            Figure 27 – The Custom Field Tab for Customers

In the example shown above, the customer Pro Sporting Goods keeps a boat at the marina, and
below the Small Business Accounting product is customized to capture additional information
for Pro Sporting Goods and other customers. Selecting the Customize button on the Custom
Fields tab, launches the following screen where the user can setup the desired custom fields.


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2005 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs




                    Figure 28 – Setting up Custom Fields in Small Business Accounting

In this screen, we have setup a variety of information that a boat marina operator might need to
better serve their customers. For example, assume that a customer calls the boat marina on
Saturday morning requesting that their boat be pulled from dry dock, fueled, and prepared for
use. Of course the first action that a boat marina owner will typically take in this situation is to
check the accounting system to make sure that the customer’s account is paid in full. If the
customer has payment in arrears, then the boat marina operator will inform the customer that
they will need to bring a check covering the amount in arrears before they can turn the boat over
to the customer. This is a common practice in this industry and boat marina operators refer to the
accounting system on a frequent basis throughout the day.

It is easy to see the benefit of having access to outstanding balance information for each
customer in this type of situation. However, additional information may be just as beneficial. For
example, it would also be beneficial for the boat marina operator to see the current level of fuel
in the boat. If for example, the fuel level is near empty, the operator would be able to advise the
customer as follows:

       “Yes sir Mr. Smith, we will be happy to pull your boat out and put it in the water
       for you. However, I can see in our records that your boat is nearly empty, and we
       have a rather long line of boats waiting to be fueled. Therefore it will probably
       take us about 90 minutes get your boat fueled and in the water – will this work for
       you?”

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By managing the customer’s expectations, the boat marina operator is better able to keep the
customer happy. Without this information, the scenario may develop in which the customer
shows up in an hour only to find that the boat is not yet ready. The customer spends time
complaining to the operator who must deal with the irritated customer, and ultimately the
customer may be dissatisfied.

At the same time the boat marina operator is checking the accounting system, most likely they
are also filling out a ticket that other boat marina employees will use to pull and prep the boat in
question. At this time it would be helpful for the boat marina operator to see the name of the
customer’s boat and the slip number where it is parked so that this information can be included
on the ticket. Without this information, it is more possible for the boat marina employees to pull
the wrong boat from storage – perhaps a different boat with the same name. In this situation, the
employees would be far more likely to pull the correct boat if the ticket contains the name of the
boat and the dry dock slip number where that boat is stored.

Still other fields in Small Business Accounting could contribute to the success of the boat
marina. For example, in the screen above, Small Business Accounting tracks the name and phone
number for the boat mechanic used by the boat owner. In this manner, the boat marina is better
able to communicate with the boat mechanic to schedule tune ups, repairs or regular
maintenance. As an example, perhaps a boat owner returns from a day on the ocean and reports
to the boat marina operator the following: “My boat engine was skipping a little bit in full
throttle, can you call my mechanic and have them take a look at it in the next two weeks? Thank
you”. With the proper information on file, the boat marina operator can more easily assist the
customer with this problem.

Also included in the example screen above we see that the boat marina operator is using Small
Business Accounting to track expiration dates for the boat license, trailer license and fishing
license. As an added service, the boat marina operator could contact the customer and warn them
of the impending deadlines and offer to file the paperwork necessary to keep these licenses up to
date. Many people who keep boats at boat marinas appreciate matters such as these being taken
care of for them, and Small Business Accounting helps make this happen.

Another example of how custom fields can help in this situation is seen in the CB radio channel
monitored by the customer while operating the boat. Assume for example that the customer lives
200 miles from the boat marina and the husband has taken the day off to go fishing. Assume
further that he is fishing in an area with no cellular telephone service. An emergency arises back
at home and the spouse needs to get in touch with her husband. In this situation, she might call
the boat marina and ask them to relay her message. Because they know which CB Radio channel
is monitored by the boat owner, they stand a much better chance of communicating with the
customer in such situations. A similar scenario could be envisioned in which the boat marina
operator receives notice of severe weather.

Yet another example that underscores the power of custom fields in Small Business Accounting
would be the tracking of sales information pertaining to the customer’s boat. It is difficult for an
absentee boat owner to sell a boat from a long distance away and often the owners rely on the
boat marina to locate and broker a deal on their behalf. In this situation, the boat marina owner
will need to collect and maintain information about the boat, the boat’s age, type of hull and


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2005 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs
other factors including the sales price. This information will help the boat marina know which
boats are for sale, their asking price and ultimately may lead to the sale of the boat. The customer
is happy that the boat has sold, the boat marina operator earns a commission, and the new boat
owner customer is more likely to be a patron of the boat marina since they were the ones in
contact with this buyer.

All of these examples are provided in an effort to expand your creative thinking regarding the
use of custom data fields for customers in Small Business Accounting. While this example
focused on a boat marina business, we could just have easily focused on the needs of a
veterinarian, doctor’s office, professional CPA firm, office building rental, distributor, printer,
automobile repair shop, etc. You will make the most out of Small Business Accounting if you are
clever and creative when it comes to identifying the additional data field needs for your
company. An example customer screen complete with detailed custom field data is shown below.




                            Figure 29 – Custom Data in the Customer Record

244                                  Copyright - July, 2005 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
Conclusion
The highlights above present only a fraction of the functionality provided by Small Business
Accounting. Upon its arrival, Small Business Accounting will be a version 1 product, and
appears to be a very good first effort from Microsoft. However, this product is expected to get
better over time as more features and functionality are added to the system. If you or your client
is in the market for an accounting system, then Small Business Accounting is definitely worth a
look.




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