Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sage Changes Branding - What This Means To Your Business

Throughout Sage’s history, their commitment to customers has been at the center of everything they do.   As a Sage Authorized reseller, CPA Technology’s objective is to reflect their commitment onto our customers in order to help them reach their business goals.

Sage will be extending that commitment further in the upcoming new year with enhanced products, new services, and productivity-enhancing features.  One of the most visible elements affecting our customers will be the introduction of new names for Sage products that will make clear which products are most appropriate to complement the Sage solutions you are using today, and which may be available to support your business as it grows.

As part of Sage’s brand strategy, a new product numbering system will be put into place (think of some of the luxury car brands).  If you see any of these names floating around, you will know which they apply to:

Sage Timberline Office is becoming Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate
Sage Master Builder is becoming Sage 100 Contractor.
Sage Timberline Enterprise is becoming Sage 300 Trade Specialty.
Sage MAS 90 is becoming Sage 100 Standard ERP.
Sage MAS 200 is becoming Sage 100 Advanced ERP.

Please be assured that during this transition, there will be no interruption to your current services or subscriptions and your present applications will continue to work as they have been.

For more information, visit for FAQ’s and more.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sage MAS 90 Reaches the Cloud

Keep your eye in the sky because Sage ERP MAS 90 Online is currently scheduled to be released the fourth week of November. This release will provide small businesses the ability to get up and running quickly while still getting many of the known strengths of the on-premise Sage MAS 90/200 product line. Can you use your existing customized reports or create new reports within Sage ERP MAS 90 Online? Certainly. Your customized reports are supported within the Sage ERP MAS 90 Online environment.

Included is a powerful suite of modules ranging from financial and accounting, business intelligence, reporting, and operations, to distribution and light assembly. With the benefits of the cloud, this solution is ideal for an organization with a workforce spread across multiple locations, enabling mobile flexibility, and the ability to centralize key functions like accounting and operations on a standardized back-office solution. Your Sage MAS 90 Online system and corporate data are kept secure with hosting and management in an extremely secure data center with high levels of redundancy, backup, and monitoring.

Sage MAS 90 Online enables you to get your system up and running quickly with affordable monthly payments for the system which includes backup services, access to the Knowledgebase, and basic support. Call CPA Technology at (610) 862-1998 for more details.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

More on the CFMA and Sage Partnership...

Some things just go so well together. Sage's partnership with the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA) aims to deliver up-to-date, relevant, educational content to  fulfill the specialized learning needs of financial managers working in the construction industry.  Here is the latest: 
{Read the press release}

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Options for Digital Takeoff: Which solution is right for you?

Working with blueprints and schematics can be an extremely time-consuming and costly part of doing business nowadays.  Having to rely upon your ruler and calculator to takeoff linear feet, square feet and individual counts compromises accuracy due to human error.  What’s the solution?  A visual electronic takeoff software interface, making doing your takeoffs faster and easier.  CAD files can automatically be transferred into the software, paper drawings can be scanned, plan room files can be used or digital photographs can be taken where Digital Takeoff’s intelligence will be sure that things are scaled correctly.  Digitizers are still prevalent but more folks are moving to digital takeoff because it is less expensive and want to get rid of the “bulk”, saving desk space.

Two popular digital takeoff packages are on the market which integrates wonderfully with your Sage Estimating application.  PlanSwift requires minimal setup before you can begin using.  The integration embeds the Estimating Items and Assemblies directly into the PlanSwift user interface.  OnScreen Takeoff’s integration requires “upfront” database configuration before using, however, resulting in reusable mappings and a more automated approach or generating estimates.  So which package is right for your business?

There are two qualifying questions to ask:
Does your organization have internal resources dedicated to regular database maintenance and ongoing refinement?  If yes, the initial database mapping work required with OnScreen Takeoff will result in a powerful automation tool for your estimating department.  If you answered no, the quicker and lower upfront investment in implementation would be PlanSwift.

How price sensitive are you when shopping for such a package? For smaller companies on a tight budget with limited resources, PlanSwift should be considered.  For larger companies that can invest more into the software and implementation, OnScreen Takeoff may be the appropriate choice.

To aid in choosing which the right package is for your business, listed below are some of the features in each:

OnScreen Takeoff
  • Improve takeoff productivity
  • Improve communication (change orders, plan addendums, etc.) between owners, architects, project manager and estimators
  • Manage bids (takeoff projects) electronically and check status and other project details
  • View, measure and annotate electronic plans
  • Calculate simple or complex lengths, areas and volumes
  • Keep track of takeoff. It it’s colored, it’s counted.
  • Store up to three values of each condition (example, LF, SF and CY)
  • Backout dimensions
  • Auto count
  • Takeoff summary tab showing detailed audit of takeoff
  • Worksheet tab allows manual entry of Labor, Material and Subcontract amounts
  • Ability to view multiple pages at once
  • Overlay feature saves time with exhaustive plan review using color coding for deleted and added items
  • Hot links can be strategically placed within secondary views such as elevation to provide supplemental information
  • Measure and draw takeoff directly on your display via interactive pen (w/ On Center’s Digital Takeoff Table 2)
  • Project Express.  Now estimators can easily share very large bids for free (up to 100 mb) via the internet. 
  • Get rid of paper plans all together
  • Works with all major CAD and image file types
  • Scan in or download plans
  • Level feature (plans scanned in crooked)
  • Easily navigate through plans
  • Just point-and-click to calculate areas, linears and counts
  • Calculates curved walls and arcs and cut-outs
  • Undo
  • Automatically calculates roof pitches
  • Identify takeoffs easily by labels and colors
  • Track changes with comparative plan overlays
  • Share plans (email) or individual pages with others
  • Hyperlink to URL or other plan pages
  • Export to Excel/2010 compatibility
  • 14-day free trial

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On "Virtual Newstands" Now! Fall/Winter 2011 CPA Technology Newsletter

If you've been wondering what "good read" to immerse yourself in during your lunch's your answer!

The latest issue of CPA Technology's newsletter is on "virtual newstands" now! Included in this issue is important information on both recent and upcoming software updates and helpful tips for preparing for year-end.

Read it here!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This just in! Sage and the CFMA Team Up for Unprecedented Partnership

Sage just announced a new partnership between Sage CRE and the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), an international professional non-profit association focused on the educational needs of financial professionals in the construction industry. With Sage CRE becoming a major sponsor of CFMA, the acceleration of development of timely, relevant educational content will fulfill the specialized learning needs of thousands of financial managers and professionals within the construction industry.

Through this partnership, Sage will sponsor many of the existing CFMA educational programs, as well as fund the establishment of the Sage Educational Fellowship which will develop new educational programs, opening many more learning opportunities to its association members and the broader construction community.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beyond the Horizon: Sage Timberline Office Version 9.8 Release

Sage is gearing up for Timberline Office’s latest release, Version 9.8, which will feature several enhancements and performance improvements across the board to make the job of running your business easier.

The improvement of speed in starting up applications and tasks in v9.8 will save you hours in a week so you can spend your time more efficiently. Field reporting in Project Management, security improvement, along with workstation installation enhancements are other features to look forward to in the new release, scheduled for launch early fall of 2011.

Two major challenges of a majority of Timberline office users will be addressed: managing your workforce and credit card payment management. Reduce the time spent managing your employees and avoid costly claims and other employee related liabilities with proper HR documentation. With over 70 customizable forms, you can now easily hire, probate or terminate employees by automatically pre-filling these forms with information from your Timberline Payroll application. Better credit card management capabilities will now benefit businesses using corporate credit cards. You will be able to enter and distribute credit card receipts, reconcile credit card statements and create statement invoices in AP.
Look for more enhancements coming in 2012. Sage is looking to extend credit card management into broader electronic payment processing in Timberline Office. Continued enhancements in Accounting and Property Management, and improvement in business intelligence and forecasting tools are in the works as well.

[Download Timberline Office v9.8 Enhancements Brochure]
[Download Timberline Office v9.8 HR Documentation Manager Brochure]

Customers who are currently on a Sage Business Care software assurance plan will receive this release as part of their plan. For more information on Timberline Office v9.8, contact CPA Technology at (610) 862-1998 and speak to one of our Certified Timberline consultants.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Look out for Sage MAS 90/200's new version (4.5) coming soon!

Sage MAS 90/200 version 4.5, featuring new customer-requested enhancements (across Payroll, Accounts Receivable, and Sales Order) is scheduled to be released in Q4 2011. Customers upgrading to 4.5 will be eligible to receive a FREE SageCRM user License and a FREE Sage CRM Service License and installed base Sage MAS 90/200 customers will have the option to move to Sage MAS 200 SQL with the release of v4.5.

So why should you upgrade? Listed below are the new features and functionalities that version 4.5 has to offer:

  • National Accounts Management 
  • Additional Payroll Deduction Calculation Methods 
  • Deduction Recalculation in Payroll Entry 
  • Deduction Calculation Based on Earnings Type 
  • Payroll Data Entry Importing 
  • Enhanced Benefit Accrual 
  • Automatically Create Purchase Orders from Sales Orders 
  • Price Level By Customer and Product Line 
  • Pricing Flexibility for Total Item Quantities 
  • Item Pricing By Total Quantity 
  • Distribute By Lot and Serial Number 
  • Maintain Split Commissions by Customer 
  • Commission Rate Table by Salesperson, Customer & Item 
  • Enhanced Sale Order Integration with Job Cost 
Sage ERP MAS Intelligence will be enhanced in v4.5 to include Reporting Tree capabilities, additional sample reports, and compatibility with the Sage ERP MAS 200 SQL product. FAS Fixed Asset Accounting will also be compatible with v4.5 Sage MAS 200 SQL.

No need to fret. All (36) enhancements that have been provided through Product Updates for v4.4 will be included in the 4.5 release, as well.

Contact CPA Technology at (610) 862-1998 for more details.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Time is Money!

We all know the phrase “Time is money,” but have you ever stopped to figure out how much it costs when a job runs late?  Say a $1 million project is scheduled to last 40 days. That’s $25,000 per day. If the project runs 10% over (that’s just four extra days!), it will cost an additional $100,000 (four days times $25,000 per day). On most jobs, that would represent the job’s entire profit! In addition, there’s also the opportunity cost—what is lost from not working on other projects because of working on this one.

Increasing efficiency and accuracy and eliminating redundancy is part of what's required to deliver quality work on time and within budget. The backbone to a successful construction/contracting company is a strong, robust software package that can handle all of the business operations: accounting, estimating, project management and service.

Saving time means saving money. Save time and resources by adding more licenses or more tools (modules) which allow for more workstations be put to use and an increase in productivity. Now between September 30, 2011, current Sage CRE customers can take advantage of a deal where the more they buy, the more they save. Not only on their wallets but in time in managing projects.

Purchase (2) add-on/add-uses --> Receive a 10% discount
Purchase (3) add-on/add-uses --> Receive a 15% discount
Purchase (4) or more add-on/add-uses --> Receive a 20% discount

Sage is also extending a special offer to NEW Sage CRE customers with 0% financing now through September 23, 2011. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sage Timberline Office Receives Top Honor

With the past recession, it’s no secret that it put a hurting on the construction industry. Construction companies and contractors are looking at ways to improve efficiency, maximize profits and win more bids in order to stay alive - one of these ways is looking for a more powerful and capable software package to handle their accounting and operations. The CPA Practice Advisor has completed a review of several Construction and Accounting systems out on the market to aid construction and contracting businesses in their selection process.

In their 2011 review, the products varied widely, from out-of-the box entry-level construction products to top-line, comprehensive construction and contractor products that offer everything from in-depth financial capability to the ability to access the system from anywhere, to color-coded service boards that track service calls and technicians in the field.  This year, the CPA Practice Advisor has ranked Sage Timberline Office with five stars based on the criteria below: 
  • Basic System Functions (ease of use, customization capability, multi-location/remote access capability and supported platforms)
  • Core Accounting Capabilities (focusing on the four main core modules – GL, AP, AR and PR, the availability of additional accounting modules and audit trail functionality and user security)
  • Construction/Contractor-specific Features (availability of tools – estimating, project management, inventory and purchasing, etc. and contractor-specific features such as dispatch & scheduling, equipment management and integration with GPS devices)
  • Reporting & Management Tools (reporting options, alerts and dashboards, Document Management integration and employee/contractor time-tracking)
  • Integration/Import/Export (ability to import/export data from other applications, add-on module availability, integration with industry necessities such as estimating tools)
  • Help/Support (available Help options, accessibility of system updates, training/support options) 
You can find more on CPA Practice Advisor’s review on Sage Timberline Office here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Next Generation of Award-Winning Estimating Software

The accuracy of your estimates can make the difference between profit and no profit. Sage Timberline Office Estimating is a completely integrated, single-source estimating solution that automates and streamlines the entire estimating process so you can create tighter and more accurate estimates. Better still, it easily adapts to your changing needs so you can always improve overall operational efficiencies as your business demands evolve. When it comes to the flexibility and power you need to increase speed and accuracy of your bids, only Sage Timberline Office Estimating provides mid-sized contractors, real estate developers, and specialty contractors with the confidence they need to stand behind their numbers.

The long-anticipated SQL Server-based Sage Timberline Estimating (11.1) is now available. Of course, the current version of Sage Timberline Office's Estimating software will continue to be supported.  The new Sage Timberline Estimating solution will have an updated and modern user interface as well as some new features not in the current Estimating software.  Along with it comes a fresh user interface focused around tasks and workflows for increased productivity and a Pervasive to SQL Server Migration tool. 

For current Timberline Office Estimating customers on a current 
support plan, you can choose to continue on your current Estimating software and receive updates as you do today, or you can opt to migrate to the new Sage Timberline Estimating software (SQL Express) for free.  If you decide to migrate but are not on a current support plan, by signing up for a support plan today, you’ll be eligible for the free migration to the new Sage Timberline Estimating solution.

If you would like more information on this release, give CPA Technology a call at (610) 862-1998.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hop Into Spring Savings!

Be sure not to miss out on Sage's newest Spring promotion.  New and current customers* can receive 0% financing (dependent upon credit approval) for any Sage Timberline Office, Sage Estimating, Sage Master Builder or Sage Timberline Enterprise purchase. Current customers can choose from the 0% financing offer or take 15% off any order over $3,000.  Hurry though...offer lasts now until June 24, 2011!

Call CPA Technology for more details (610) 862-1998

(* Does not apply to third-party or off-schedule applications. Customers must be on an active service plan at the time of purchase.)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Read CPA Technology's Spring/Summer 2011 Newsletter - "The Net"

Flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and our beloved baseball season is finally upon us once again. So when you're sitting outside during your lunch break getting some of that fresh springtime air or lounging on your favorite chair on the beach listening to the ocean waves, grab some interesting reading. Yes, folks, CPA Technology's latest newsletter is published. And here it is!

"The Net"Vol. V

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March is here...bring out the "green!"

If you've thought about enhancing your Sage Timberline Office or Master Builder system, now is the time to do it. You're in luck...through the month of March, Sage is running a promotion where current customers can save up to 25% on additional modules or user licenses. Spending a little bit of the "green" can go a long way when it comes to building productivity.

->  10% off one additional module or user license
->  15% off two additional modules or user licenses
->  20% off three additional modules or user licenses
->  25% off four or more additional modules or user licenses

* Folks taking advantage of this deal must be on an active service plan.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is the Cloud Ready Yet? Let's Ask the Accountants

This is a guest post from Hunter Richards of Software Advice. His original post comes with a survey about accountants' impressions of the cloud. Vote here: Is the Cloud Ready Yet? Let's Ask the Accountants.

Recent interviews with accounting professionals have revealed some lingering hestitations about cloud computing. Accountants aren’t yet fully convinced, but their doubts can be answered with improved products.

“I’m a firm believer in [the cloud] - I really am,” says Carolyn Duffy, who directs business advisory services for Hein & Associates. “But if I had some special legacy system, I would have to look at the integration issue.”

Similar concerns from accounting firms should get the attention of software makers, given these firms’ history of influencing the software-purchasing decisions of their clients. The list of may initially seem troubling for the cloud, but vendors are releasing new services and products that suggest future improvements.

“If you have a secret sauce in how you want to handle some orders or how you handle your pricing, then often times the cloud might not be the best way to do that,” says Doug Wiescinski, a partner at accounting firm Plante & Moran. 
Accountants often cite customization problems as a reason to avoid the cloud, but software vendors such as NetSuite and Intacct have already gotten the message and have built customization tools. As more of these hit the market, the process could be easier in the cloud than it’s ever been for on-premises systems.

Data Integration
“Every additional outsourced app brings another set of steps to go through to create and delete accounts and a new ID and password for the employee to have to remember,” says John Neall, chief information officer of accounting firm UHY. “That may not seem like a lot. But when you multiply that by the number of apps that employees are required to run, it becomes very time consuming just to maintain operations.”

loud applications have typically offered limited application programming interfaces (APIs), middleware and other integration tools that are widely available for on-premises systems. But a number of new middleware offerings, such as Informatica, SnapLogic and Dell’s Boomi, are beginning to fill the void with mature APIs and other products - so integration is also becoming more convenient.

“The pricing models [of the cloud] have been inconsistent,” says David McDonald, a senior managing consultant at BKD, another accounting firm. “Usually, once you get to the five-year range, your TCO is higher for the cloud versus on-premise. And you own nothing.”
Some accounting professionals warn that cloud systems can incur a higher total cost of ownership (TCO) than on-premises alternatives, despite its ability to save money with lower up-front costs. But the on-premises approach is often not an option for smaller firms without the up-front cash for professional IT resources. The nature of smaller, recurring payments actually empowers these businesses to use software when it’s otherwise impossible.

IT Staffing
“The added benefit of a team of [in-house] IT professionals that care about the business” can be much more valuable than services from “a vendor hosting thousands of other clients,” says UHY’s Neall. 
Accountants also recommend comparing outsourced IT services with the value of a dedicated in-house team. Businesses have a love-hate relationship with IT, so they may prefer to shift that function to the software vendor; this concern is unlikely to have a major deterrence effect.

Software selection is never easy, but moving to the cloud is looking better and better. If accounting firms’ current hesitations are any indication, then the doubts about cloud computing are more vulnerable than ever.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A True Timesaver in 9.7

With the busy year-end season upon us, many of you have already upgraded to 9.7 for Sage Timberline Office and to meet the latest reporting requirements.  To maximize effectiveness and simplify workflow in your day-to-day operations, the performance improving enhancements in this upgrade version are plentiful.  Your Timberline Office system now allows your team to efficiently locate and act upon key information with a wide range of automation, workflow and process improvements.

Among the numerous enhancements in 9.7 (Summer 2010- 9.7b release) is improved integration between Project Management and Document Management with the capability of sending and archiving Project Management attachments directly to the Document Management DocuVault. 

Queries can be initiated from the Attachment window and original documents or DocuVault versions can be easily accessed and retrieved.  I remember back in the day, several of my college professors advocated the “KISS” concept – Keep It Simple Stupid.  Now that’s what I call “simplicity.”

Now the question is how do you perform Project Management DocuVault integration?  Keep in mind; attachments are able to be sent from these tasks: 
  •          Change Order Requests
  •          RFIs
  •          Submittals
  •          Meeting Minutes
  •          Commitments
  •          Commitment Change Orders
  •          Custom Logs
  •          Drawing Logs

 To send an attachment to the DocuVault for one of the above Project Management tasks:
  •  Click [Attachments...].
  •  On the Attachments window click the File Links tab.
  •  Click [Add...] to select a document to attach or drag and drop a file into the window.
  •   If the Automatically send to DocuVault check box is selected, then you can click [OK] to close the window. Otherwise, click Send Copy to DocuVault.

Now that your file has been sent to the DocuVault, you can open it from DocuVault or from the original location. In addition, you can now open a Document Management query from the Project Management Attachment window.  And for now, life is simpler.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Chaos is a friend of mine."

As Bob Dylan once quoted, "Chaos is a friend of mine." 

Come again? Obviously, Mr. Dylan never had the all too familiar task of closing out the books at the end of the year. When we're thinking of business year-end, we think of "chaos." Installing updates, closing applications, printing 1099's, closing the fiscal year, closing the payroll year, yada, yada, yada... Determining the order you should follow for year-end tasks can be challenging, to say the least. Believe it or not, there is a method to the "year-end" madness. 

For a straightforward Q&A on timing year-end tasks, take a peek at the Year-End Resource Center on the CPA Technology website at Hey, there's even a workflow diagram to help you along. 

To quote a polar opposite of the above, German novelist/essayist, Thomas Mann once said, "Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject."