Technology Assessment and Planning
Computer technology offers businesses an opportunity to greatly improve their efficiencies and profits. Making the most of computer technology goes beyond just working faster. The companies that are the most successful with computer technology are those that use it to work differently, not just faster. We can show you how.
Technology is like any other resource. It has to be purchased in a manner that makes financial sense. This means buying the right technology, in the right amount, and implementing it in an effective and efficient manner. We advise our clients to make a financial plan, measure performance, and compare these results to the plan.
The first step in planning for change is assessing your current business and technology situation. Some of the questions we consider are:
- Do you have good manual processes that would benefit from more productivity gains through automation?
- Is your staff rekeying the same data into different applications?
- Are your internal communications with your staff effective?
- Would electronic communication with your suppliers and customers help your business remain competitive and grow?
- Are your accounting and business systems giving you real-time information to manage your finances, understand your markets, and make the decisions needed to grow your business?
We will make a systematic review of your current hardware, software, operating systems, and document the findings. We can make recommendations to help you maximize your current system.
After making our assessment, we can develop a technology plan for your firm. This planning insures you make the correct investment, plan for its successful implementation, and are able to measure the results of your investment. Knowing what to expect makes it easier to achieve the desired results. Our technology planning consists of very specific recommendations about hardware and software acquisitions, training, pricing, and other issues. One essential element of this planning is the determination of expected benefits of technology implementation, so that results can be compared to the plan.
Eckhoff Accountancy Corporation recognizes that your network is the foundation for the information flow within your business. Today's sophisticated software packages rely heavily on the capabilities of the underlying hardware and network operating systems to improve their functionality. In addition, the technology "of these systems" is changing at an ever-increasing pace.
We also recognize that many small and mid-size businesses do not have the in-house technical expertise to plan and manage their network technology. Our staff of consultants and system engineers can provide you with network integration services for your Microsoft operating system. We have experience and expertise with the implementation of these networks:
- Windows Server 2003 & 2000
- Windows Terminal Server 2003 & 2000
- Windows 2000 Professional and XP Professional
Our network integration services include:
- Network system review and design
- Local area network installation and configuration
- Wide area network installation and configuration
- Virus protection
- Backup policies and procedures
- Data access and security policies and procedures
- Internet / Intranet services
Hardware Selection, Setup and Configuration
Accounting Systems Consulting
We know that implementing a new accounting software package is a big undertaking for any company. We work with you to design an implementation plan that reduces the disruption of normal business processes for you and your staff. Our goal is your long-term satisfaction with your accounting system and with our firm.
We use a proven, structured approach to our implementation engagements. Proper analysis, planning and implementation assistance are key to the success of your new accounting system installation. Training and support are keys to getting the most out of your new system and your continued satisfaction. Our accounting system consulting include(s) the following services:
Preliminary Needs Analysis
Before you purchase software, we get to know your business: your procedures and processes, your people, your customers and your goals. We determine your critical current and future needs to design the most functional accounting system for your business. We will consider your hardware and network platform, transaction volumes and reporting requirements, as well as other factors in evaluating your accounting system needs.
Project Planning and Management
We will design a written project plan to guide the implementation of your accounting system. The plan details the sequence of module installation, the responsibilities of our staff and your staff, the parallel processes and testing required, and the training plan for the users. The project plan provides a timetable with milestones to enable you and us to monitor the progress of the implementation through frequent meetings and communications.
Software Installation and Configuration
We will install for example the MAS 90 for Windows®, QuickBooks® or Peachtree® accounting software modules and configure the modules according to your system requirements. Installation services also include setup and configuration of workstations and printers, initialization of master files (chart of accounts, vendors, customers, etc.), and assistance with establishing your master file records.
We train you and your staff to use your accounting system to meet the needs and goals you have defined. We train each user on the elements of the system critical to their job. Accounting staff is trained on data entry, accounting reports, performing update processes, and period-end closing procedures. Management is trained on the financial and management reports and inquiries they need to run the business. Training can be conducted in your office or in our in-house training center.
We will determine the best method for converting your existing accounting data to your new accounting software. Some data can be converted electronically, however, it may be more efficient for your staff to input the data manually. This determination will be made in the project-planning phase. We will ensure that the new system is set up properly to receive the accounting data. We can also assist you in testing your data for proper conversion from your previous system.
Productivity and Customization - Using MAS 90 for Windows as an example
Most businesses decide to change accounting systems because they are not getting the information they need when they need it and in the format they need it. Information is maintained in multiple systems and bringing it all together can be a difficult and time-consuming task. MAS 90 for Windows has many features designed to customize your accounting system to your needs, increase your productivity and your bottom line. Our staff can help you use these tools to improve the functionality of your system.
Some of the things we can do for you (without custom programming) are:
- Create user-defined reports with Crystal Reports for the information you want
- Automatically integrate your accounting data with Microsoft Word, Excel and Exchange to create documents and spreadsheets
- Change your screens to work the way you do
- Add user-defined fields to master and data entry files to store your unique information
- Create mail merge lists directly from MAS 90 for Windows
- Link MAS 90 for Windows with third-party software to integrate your critical systems
If your needs go beyond the software's powerful capabilities and require custom modification, we can assist you with the design, procurement and testing of those modifications. Modifications to MAS 90 for Windows are available from a number of Sage's Authorized Master Developers. These Master Developers have many "off-the-shelf" add-ons available for a variety of vertical markets, such as apparel manufacturing and distribution, petroleum distribution, service and warranty.