Street Talk: Reader Views

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What has been the reaction of your customers and prospects to roles-based accounting software? Does role-based accounting have merit? The answer is yes. Do I think it will drive more sales? The answer is-not now. If you couple role-based accounting with a powerful workflow engine and surround it with Sharepoint and portals, we have a powerful technology that can drive sales and business improvement. The problem is none of this integrated technology is deliverable today in one product at an affordable price. When it does arrive, hopefully sooner rather than later, I believe it will make a significant impact.

Sheldon Kralstein

Clients First

Partner Insights

Morganville, N.J.

I have never had a client or prospect ask about roles-based accounting software.

Glen Mund, BBA, CGA

Plus Computer Solutions

Vancouver, B.C.

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Editor Robert Scott also writes "Consulting Insights," a free, twice-monthly electronic newsletter that addresses issues concerning the consulting and reselling market. It's insight with an attitude. If you want to subscribe, put the following in your browser address line: subscribe.webcpa.com. You can also visit us at www.accountingtechnology.com

The reaction of our customers and prospects to role-based accounting software has been nothing short of spectacular. We emphasize the benefits of the role-based interface early on in both the sales and implementation cycles. Prospects immediately identify this feature as a differentiator in their evaluation of multiple accounting software vendors. Customers prefer adapting their accounting desktop to the specifics of their daily work processes, while filtering out unnecessary and cumbersome menus and screens.

Barry Knaster, CPA, CITP

The Knaster Technology Group

Centennial, Colo.

I find that most customers are intrigued by the idea of roles-based accounting software. The benefits appear to be easier training, focused users, and clear-cut security.

Tom Wimberly

The CSG Group

Duluth, Ga.

Our larger customers think it may have some advantage, especially when the multiple applications can be accessed from the role "home page." At that point, the role-based log-in page becomes more of a personal portal. But even with that, if they have been using the software for a while, they don't see the need for an additional navigation tool. They already know where they need to go to each task. In the smaller customers, where a single person has many roles, they change hourly, the roles-based concept has limited value and is actually confusing!

Korey K. Lind

Third Wave Business Systems

Elmwood Park, N.J.

The concept has gone over well, but in these early stages of deployment, most customers still feel defining roles in smaller organizations is too restrictive. Many people play various roles throughout the business day and cannot be placed into a single bucket, which most role-based applications require.

Bryan L. Wilton, CPA-CITP

InterDyn Progressive Group

Houston

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In the software on-demand space, such as NetSuite, role-based accounting is key to providing customized dashboards to people that perform specific roles. This has gained high praise from customers in that the average CEO does not want an accounting clerk to see company assets and bank balances. Moreover, it allows you to better structure your workforce and your operational workflow, allowing companies to operate more efficiently in terms of revenue, cost, and overall performance.

Ray Tetlow

Skyytek

Miami

I think that more and more clients and prospects are interested in role-based accounting systems. Roles as templates ease the amount of time required to set up individual users. Time-consuming tasks such as configuring security, reports, and dashboards are already completed. We currently sell and implement Microsoft's Dynamics GP. The latest version has 21 roles imbedded into the system, and we have had a very positive reaction from both clients and prospects alike. People like the thought of an executive role, for example, already having the appropriate financial statements set up in both report format, as well as dashboard format on the user's home page.

Todd Bowlsby

Polar Systems

Portland, Ore.

Mostly yawns. During the sales process, it's not a "wow" feature that wins the deal. However, it has improved security in the organizations once they start using it.

Steve Ciarciello

CompuData

Philadelphia

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