Friday, October 26, 2012

Featured Enhancements for Sage Estimating (SQL) 2013

Sage Estimating customers who are current on their Sage Business Care plan are able to benefit from the new management and security features in the newest release of Sage Estimating (SQL) 2013 coming soon this fall.  Keep a look out for an availability notice and download instructions emailed in the next few weeks.

With the analysis and productivity capabilities necessary to be competitive in today's market, the improvements in this release include:
  • Role-based and estimate level security for better management of your estimating data.
  • Personalized and shared spreadsheet templates saving yourself and team members valuable time. 
  • Estimate management capabilities from within Sage Estimating provides easy access to summarized or detailed information for better analysis on individual or groups of estimates.
  • and more....

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Construction and Manufacturing Software Are Not Created Equal

As a provider of business software solutions for the construction and manufacturing industries, we come across many contractors that manufacture most, if not all of their products they install and/or service for their customers.  Those businesses shopping around for an integrated accounting solution are often baffled by which direction to go.  Finding construction accounting software that covers both facets of the business is not as easy as it sounds.  I came across a great article recently that points out the issues those companies should consider when making a purchasing decision:

Construction Software Is Not The Same As Manufacturing Software
by David Kraft

In today's world, it is fairly common to come across a contractor that also manufactures some or all of the products that they install for their customers. Custom cabinets are a common example, as are some structural steel and low voltage products. Companies that fall in to this category that are looking for new software often have assembly job shops that design custom pieces and a separate installation department that installs the products at a customer's site. These companies especially can benefit from new construction software that allows for the most accurate estimating and quoting capabilities.

Unfortunately, finding a piece of construction accounting software that covers both sides of the business is not as easily done as it is said. Although both sides of the business deal with job cost, there are several issues that arise when trying to integrate the two sides with one piece of software.

For example, manufacturing jobs involve a separate set of constraints than construction jobs. In manufacturing, you often deal with work centers, machinery, and individuals that carry out the manufacturing process. These job shops often have to rush jobs, change schedules, or make other changes on the fly based on priority shifts. Having software that is flexible enough to deal with these sudden changes is imperative in a manufacturing situation. However, this is not the case with construction jobs. Construction projects generally involve longer lead times and have to consider variables such as subcontractor scheduling that make quick and extreme changes in plans very difficult, if not impossible to pull off.

Second, manufacturing and construction differ in the way that cost accounting works. Manufacturing projects track direct labor, materials, and a set overhead allocation when calculating job cost. These job costs are accumulated as the project moves forward from one work center to another. These costs are tracked on the balance sheet as assets until the job is shipped off, meaning that inventory costs constantly change as projects move along. Manufacturers also need to know the current progress of a job to tell customers when the project will be complete and delivered.

Construction projects, on the other hand, recognize revenue and costs on a percentage complete or job complete basis.

Most contractors do not record costs until they are actually billed for them, regardless of whether or not the labor has been completed. They are concerned with the cost to date of a project in relation to the estimated budget for the project and monitor under or over billing based on the percentage of the job complete and the percentage of the estimated cost incurred to date. This kind of cost break down simply does not work in a manufacturing environment.

Construction software will record costs in a linear fashion as the job moves along. These costs can be captured and tracked in real time with the right combination of software and processes.

Another difference between construction and manufacturing sides of a business is that the construction side often has to deal with project management issues such as RFIs, change orders, and submittals. These things are simply not relevant in manufacturing but must be accounted for in a construction accounting package. Construction software also allows for progress billing, which is not necessary in manufacturing.

Last of all, manufacturing jobs require quotes that involve a bill of materials which is not usually done in a construction job. Manufacturers like to use software to keep track of things such as change orders, revision histories, and drawings that are not covered by construction software.

Therefore, although manufacturing and construction companies both deal with 'job cost,' the term refers to different things in the two companies. As a result, it is necessary to separate construction software and manufacturing software. 

About the Author:  David Kraft writes articles to help companies in construction, manufacturing, medical, and accounting industries select new software. Learn more about construction software at

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Release of Sage Timberline Office 2013

The upcoming scheduled 2013 update for Sage Timberline Office is the first of several sweeping changes coming your way for the remainder of 2012.  It is evident that Sage is resolute to "making a grand entrance" with the upcoming release in concurrence with its official name change to Sage 300 Construction & Real Estate.  This release promises to be chock-full of useful enhancements, many of which assures to improve the user experience.

Along with a user interface uplift with screen-size enlargement and increased spacing, Sage has boosted Tasks and Reports performance with improved task start-up and better reporting speed for selected reports.  More featured enhancements include the ability to generate Accounts Payable electronic payments with Automated Clearing House (ACH) Payment Processing and keeping inactive AP vendors from showing up on drop-down lists and selected reports with a simple checkbox.  Other highlights underway include:

  • Outlook integration supporting the ability to "drag-and-drop" emails/attachments within Sage Timberline Office
  • Inquiry View Export to Excel
  • Bing map integration
  • "Direct Write" integration to Accounts Payable and Job Cost (replacing the previous Import routine)
  • Electronic updates to Government Forms and integrated eFile services (via the Aatrix eFile Center)
  • Added capabilities to allow for more proactive ways of managing subcontractor certification and compliance
  • ...and more!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Like It Or Not, Cloud Computing Is Here To Stay

Can you believe the Iphone was introduced in 2007 a mere 5 years ago and now it is so ingrained in our culture that our children appear as though they were born with advanced degrees in "I" skills.  Technology changes rapidly and the producers name the tune while we, as the consumers, must dance to their song.  We are the recipients of an overload of electronics and choices.  Frequently accompanying those is sheer confusion deciding over which platform or device is best.  But this is true; the Internet provides a platform for us all to communicate, regardless of what we use to access the Information Highway. 

Three points were being made above.  First, we are the consumers; how we compute is driven by what innovations and options are offered to us by the producers.  Second, businesses hoping to prosper cannot ignore change, but must embrace it.  Mobile device sales are surpassing traditional computer sales.  Last, the Internet is indeed the infrastructure by which we are all connected.  It only makes sense in this mobile society that we find the quickest, most efficient way to access our daily digital needs.  Pursuant to that, the producer’s philosophy has done a complete 180 in how they see infrastructure.  Here we go again.  It's like the mainframe revolution all over again, where things are centrally located and shared. 

The thinking is that centralized storage and applications are most cost-effectively accessed by folks all going to the Internet (a central point), as opposed to using the Internet to get to their private domains in their office.  When you take that in conjunction with the speed in which most people can connect to the Internet along with the universal tools available for accessing the internet, there is a natural convergence towards placing our computing resources there - at one central access point.  It makes some sense and there is a strong argument that there is a high ROI for companies that abandon the idea that they need everything in-house.  We can all understand it is cheaper to have one big server than lots of little ones.  I am not here to make the ROI argument.  I have one of those CPA degrees so my answer is "What do you want the number to be?"  The truth is that the producers are developing more and more applications built on this cloud concept and an increasing number of consumers need get access to corporate and personal information on-the-go. Seems like a win-win to me, but many folks out there  are uncertain if the time is right to make a leap into cyberspace with what was traditionally locked up in the computer room.

Clearly the answer is not the same for everyone and each company should evaluate their workflow, their workforce, and the costs of the various components.  There is a lot of due diligence to be done in regard to providers and the language of their contracts, not to mention the security of your data.  I and others have offered volumes of information and experience on the critical questions in considering such a leap...but the point today is that if you think change is bad, obsolescence is deadly.  Software as a service, and cloud/mobile computing are here to stay and it behooves an organization to start including discussions of how to adapt and transition from the pervasive server/client "wintel" world.  Act now because applications from backup to proprietary products are being run from external computer centers across the globe, and the Internet has become the destination, not the highway.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Business. Anywhere. Anytime. Made possible by Sage.

For those in the "industry", I'm sure you all can relate.  Pretty self-explanatory. What a great product.  And Sage, what a great video.

We have brochures on this product.  Call CPA Technology at 610-862-0039 to find out more.

Friday, August 10, 2012

What's the deal???

Here’s the deal….for Sage Construction & Real Estate customers who have been contemplating purchasing more licenses for their system, now is the time to save!  Purchase two user licenses and get one free.  Customers can mix and match any two user licenses to receive an extra one at no cost.   But hurry though, offer ends September 27, 2012!  Call Fred at CPA Technology at 610-862-0039.


What else is going on?  Stay informed and read the latest CPA Technology newsletter for the latest news, updates and helpful tips & tricks!

CPA Technology Fall/Winter Newsletter

Monday, May 7, 2012

Go Where The Work Takes You With Sage Construction Anywhere

Purchase the Sage Construction Anywhere cloud service between now and June 28, 2012, receive your first 3 months free, and the next 6 months at half price. Call Fred at CPA Technology at (610) 862-0039.

New from Sage Construction and Real Estate, Sage Construction Anywhere will make it easy for you to execute tasks and access critical project information no matter where you are. These web-based, construction/real estate management-specific services will extend the reach of your data in Sage Timberline Office*.

Today's construction companies need to be more collaborative, using technology to connect all project team members—from subs to general contractors to owners—in one central location. With web-based, secure and timely exchange of project information, you and the Sage network of more than 40,000 customers will be able to better manage your projects, communicate between team members and vendors, and deliver information whenever and wherever it's needed—in the office, on the jobsite, or at a client's office. Call CPA Technology at (610) 862-1998 for more information.

Product Features
Project reporting—request and delivery
Save time, improve decisions, and enhance client service with mobile access to project reporting that provides project team members with real-time access to job cost and project management information.
Connector for Sage Timberline Office (*becoming Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate)
Ensure that key financial and project information is secure both behind your firewall and in the cloud.
Powerful user management
Use role-based security access to easily control who can view project information, ensuring the right information gets to the right people.
Security and scalability
Built on Microsoft's industry-leading cloud services platform, Microsoft© Windows Azure™, Sage Construction Anywhere leverages state-of-the-art data center technology.
Project maps
Gain efficiencies with map functionality that allows access to job site addresses, directions, and related project reports.
Simple to set up,
simple to use
An easy-to-use interface allows the field to be productive right away and without training. Make a seamless transition to a solution that protects your current investment and infrastructure.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Protect Your Most Valuable Investment....Your Business

With a broad reliance on the Internet for today's businesses, harmful events such as network attacks, data breaches and other malicious threats require companies to adopt proactive security systems and processes. Information security threats range from inquisitive prowlers to technologically sophisticated hackers with insider information. It is essential that organizations implement an information technology security and backup solution plan in order to maintain and improve their exposure.

 As a Preferred Certified Partner of Barracuda Network’s award-winning security, networking and storage solutions, CPA Technology’s experienced IT experts can plan and implement a custom-designed Security Architecture Plan for your network.

Whatever the security issue, you need to be protected. It's no longer a matter of preference, it is a matter of survival.

View available solutions here ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MyAssistant for Timberline Office Releases Its Latest Version

Sage has announced the release of the latest version of MyAssistant (9.8.1) for Timberline Office. Compatible with Timberline Office versions 9.7 & 9.8, the latest release features many enhancements and new features:

- Enhanced performance in Running Tasks and Viewing Notifications
- From the Notification Viewer, the ability to export Sage Timberline Office data to Excel
- A new Reminder feature that tells MyAssistant to remind you of a particular Notification in "X" days
- A new All Notifications button in the Notification Quickviewer that allows you to see all notifications
- A new Insert Picture feature that allows you to include your logo or other images in MyAssistant email messages
- A new option to freeze columns to the right or left has been added to the Notification Viewer
- When you run a Task from the MyAssistant Tile, the Notification Viewer opens automatically displaying the newly generated notifications.

As far as the release schedule is concerned, new customers who purchased MyAssistant as of December 16 should receive the release this week and all existing MyAssistant customers will receive the release in late April. Give CPA Technology a call at (610) 862-1998 for more information.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Latest...Right from the Comforts of Your Own Office Chair

With businesses trying to catch up to a slow recovering economy, competition is fiercer than ever. A lot of folks are looking for better solutions to handle their business operations but are just too busy to leave and cannot afford to leave the confines of their office. Well, CPA Technology has got you covered! We've added monthly interactive, live web demonstrations on some of the best solutions out on the market today. The webcasts provide a great opportunity for those to see key product features in action with a chance to get answers to any questions you may have from an expert.

Here are some of the webcasts on tap for the upcoming months:

Sage MAS 90 Distribution Management
April 4, 2012
9:00 - 10:00 AM

Sage Fixed Assets - Fixed Asset Management
May 2, 2012
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Barracuda Security & Backup
June (Date & Time TBA)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring/Summer 2012 CPA Technology Newsletter - Vol. VII

While this mild winter has been welcomed with open arms, the buds on the trees and bushes mark a hint of the upcoming spring season. With that, CPA Technology has just released the 2012 Spring/Summer Volume 7 newsletter filled with important customer updates and upcoming events you don’t want to miss. The focus on this edition is the approaching Sage product rebranding, as it applies to all of our valuable customers. We have been working closely with Sage and are committed to bringing our clients and prospects the most up-to-date news about this change.

So grab your cup o’ joe and get ready for some informative reads.

"Informative Reads" here:

Spring/Summer 2012 CPA Technology Newsletter - "The Net"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sage ERP & Sage CRM Integrated Solutions: The Complete Picture

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution helps establish a positive, consistent experience when customers interact with your company. An ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system helps you manage the financial and operational aspects of your business. Linking these systems together can create new ways to increase customer satisfaction, improve cash flow, save time, and earn a better return on your investments in sales, marketing and customer service activities. With Sage CRM and Sage ERP integration right out of the box, companies can quickly and easily create seamless workflows between the front and back office.

When these two powerful solutions are combined, your employees company-wide have access to all the information they need in order to provide customers with exceptional service, without delays.  In sales, your staff can easily check the availability of stock across different locations and check the real-time status of orders without having to log on to different systems or call someone in another department.  Your sales team also benefits from instant access to comprehensive customer information, easily retrieving real-time status on orders, availability of stock, invoices, customer payment history and more.  The integration also allows your marketing team a greater insight into the customer base.  Better promotional campaigns and offers can be designed with the information they can retrieve about buying trends, suitable target markets and other customer purchasing behavior.  Finely tuned marketing programs can lead to higher response rates and new leads.

To find out more how your company can build a better purchasing experience for your customers, click here for a brochure or speak to Fred at CPA Technology at (610) 862-0039.