MICROSOFT DYNAMICS AX 2009 Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, which targets companies that need to manage their operations in multiple sites, currencies or languages, can run multiple legal entities on a central installation and provide a single view of financial and supply chain information from all facilities.
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Advanced planning and reporting, including budgeting, are offered through integration with Microsoft Office Performance Point Server. A compliance center serves as a central point to view internal controls and key performance indicators. Embedded workflows automate business processes and country-specific functionality eases local regulations in 36 countries.
Price: $4,575 (Advanced Management Foundation Pack, includes one concurrent user). Microsoft: (888) 477-7989.
ADAPTIVE PLANNING 5.0
Adaptive Planning, a budget software application, integrates collaboration capabilities such as discussion forums, online documents and project management, into the planning and reporting process inside businesses.
Externally, it provides best practices and benchmarking information through a public online community, the Financial Best Practices Community, which includes expert perspectives, polls, articles and videos. Modeled Sheets help managers determine their profit by product over time. Allocations Modeling allocates expenses across projects or programs.
Price: $500 per seat per year (Corporate); $750 per seat per year (Enterprise). Adaptive Planning: (650) 528-7500.
Sage Software simplifies business analysis in version 16 of its 25-year-old DacEasy accounting system.
The Business Center Dashboard helps small companies manage cash flow, sales and profitability through a centralized and constant view of key indicators. Users can create one or more jobs per client as well as define revenue and expense estimates and report on the profitability for each individual job. The product code length has been increased for greater flexibility managing and tracking inventory. State and federal payroll tax reports for previously closed quarters now are available as stored images within the system. Sixty new fields are available for creating forms such as invoices and purchases orders.
Price: Starts at $449.99 (single user). Sage Software: (800) 987-5212.
Whitebirch Planning 7.0 makes it easier for companies to customize their business planning models.
Enhancements include the ability to extend Whitebirch’s library of standard financial objects, called Business Building Blocks, with business-specific logic. Line Item Sets can automatically reference multiple line items for use in formulas and reports, regardless of when or where those lines are added to the model. An upgrade to “find and replace” supports title prefixes and suffixes. Accumulated depreciation and amortization can be reported as negative values. The software is available on premise or on demand.
Price: $1,500 (annual on-demand subscription); $6,000 (single-user desktop).Whitebirch Software: (800) 335-1243.
TAX FUNCTION EFFECTIVENESS
CCH’s “Tax Function Effectiveness, The Vision for Tomorrow’s Tax Function” guides readers on how to manage tax within an organization.
It is written by three PricewaterhouseCoopers tax partners and provides expert insight including examples of how to succeed. It details the key external business and regulatory drivers affecting tax management and expands on what tax risk really means. The book also outlines best practice tools and methodologies for creating a strategic plan, developing the enablers and executing on deliverables.
Price: $299 (single copy). CCH: (800) 248-3248.
MIP FUND ACCOUNTING 10
The Visual Analyzer business intelligence module in Sage MIP Fund Accounting provides real-time information about key performance metrics and lets users drill down into the data to determine trends, budgets and spending ratios through graphical, interactive dashboards.
Forms that are populated with data from the Accounts Payable module can be edited onscreen so users can produce different types of 1099s. Items in the Inventory Control module can be assigned multiple locations and users can set expiration dates for items with shelf lives, such as food or prescription medications.
Price: $2, 995 (single-user license). Sage Software: (800) 463-4147.
VISUAL CE 11
Version 11 of Syware’s mobile database development tool, Visual CE, adds XML compatibility and incoming text message support.
Reading and generating XML allows Visual CE to easily exchange information with other databases, document managers, desktop publishers and programmers so that information can be transferred to and from handhelds quickly to a large variety of XML-enabled third-party applications. This release extends the capabilities of Visual CE’s drag-and-drop desktop development environment. Other new functionality includes phone dialing, password editing masks and software installation from storage cards.
Price: $399 (Professional Edition). Syware: (617) 497-1300.
SMARTVAULT DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT
SmartVault Corp. launched a pilot program for its first Web-based document management product, SmartVault, which is designed for use with QuickBooks.
It offers a way to scan and attach documents to QuickBooks interactions including invoices, bills and receipts as well as vendor, customer and employee records. The company is soliciting small business owners and accounting professionals to participate in its pilot program.
Price: Free (pilot). SmartVault: (866) 674-6785.
CHESHIRE WEALTH MANAGER
The Cheshire Wealth Manager generates net worth and cash flow projections and also forecasts the chance of meeting goals using the Monte Carlo probability analysis. It can also illustrate potential future outcome via scenarios.
The software utilizes historical data for 17 asset classes, with some going as far back as 1920. It can modify asset allocation over time to support portfolio changes in the future and can set order of asset liquidation at the account level and enable multiple taxations to be spent simultaneously.
Price: Full License, $900 per year; Assistant License, $150 per year. Cheshire: (617) 527-4000.
XBRL FOR DUMMIES
Financial reporting experts from Hitachi wrote a book to help accountants, CFOs and financial analysts and investors understand the XBRL business language and its use.
“XBRL for Dummies” explains some of the benefits of using XBRL not just in the investment arena, but in overall company activities, such as manufacturing, procurement, sales and human resources. Copies are only available online and are free, other than the cost of shipping and handling.
UBCC WRITE-UP AND PAYROLL
Universal Business Computing Company has added the ability to mail electronic eStatements from the Accounts Receivable module of its write-up package. The payroll program now allows for 110 lines of free form notes for each employee, which can be accessed from the data entry screen. ACH bank transactions for the payment of the Balance Due can be initiated in the receivable system. An alternate “Bill To” address can be selected as a default, allowing users to easily access multiple addresses.
Price: Starts at $2,800 (single-user basic payroll processing). UBCC: (800) 827-8610.
FINANCIAL RECORDS CAPTURE
Acct1st, a document management system vendor, will offer VaultStreet to its accounting firm clients as a service to its existing CPA client portal to automatically collect, organize, manage and store client tax records and other financial documents online.
VaultStreet partners with banks, brokerages, utilities and other institutions to gather PDFs of the clients’ records that accountants need access to so they do not have to hunt down the client for copies.
Price: $199 per year. Vault Street: (310) 450-3836.
SAGE BUSINESSVISION 50
The desktop and security protocols of Sage BusinessVision 50, 7.2, can be personalized and the system can more easily email purchase orders and update vendor-specific costs and faster order-entry processes.
It provides tighter inventory control features, including the ability to set up multiple units of measure for each product. Inventory can be purchased and sold in different measures while maintaining an accurate count of how many individual units are in stock. General Ledger history lookup can access up to 99 years of history in seconds for the inquiry screen.
Price: $3,595 (SRP). Sage Software: (800) 945-8007 (option 5).