Business Intelligence for the Masses

In Manufacturing Configurator, Power BI, Sales Configuratorby Kevin Stroud

Dear AccountMate Clients,

Business Intelligence (BI) is a powerful business analysis tool that’s been an expensive option—but no longer!

The simple definition of BI is that it’s a collection of tools to allow you to analyze your data. What differentiates powerful BI from just a collection of reports is the way you’re able to interact with the data – and this continues to advance rapidly.

Real-time dashboards are the classic “power” feature and are now commonly accessible even on your mobile devices.  You can interact with them purely by clicking to view your data from different angles that you get to change and control on the fly. For example, you select a specific salesperson and then the sales information in the other views automatically filters to match—without having any re-programming done.

The really good BI options today even feature Native Language Query which lets you ask questions such as, “What are sales this month by customer?” or “Which warehouse has the most onhand?” From your question, the query parameters are automatically built, the query is executed, and the results are displayed in the best possible way.

A Power BI dashboard summarizes the story in your data and lets you monitor what’s most important to you. If you want more detail, just click to drill down into any report that feeds the dashboard.

Tools with this kind of functionality have historically been a major investment in and of themselves—and then required additional effort/cost to integrate with applications, such as AccountMate, to define exactly what tables and fields are used in the underlying data and how they relate to each other.

Well, I’m happy to say that issues of both tool and integration cost have now been solved!

Microsoft Power BI is the most widely used BI tool and has the backing of Microsoft.  It’s been recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant (completeness of vision and ability to execute) for Analytics and Business Intelligence for eleven years, and is a PC Magazine Editors Choice for Business Intelligence—so it delivers the goods in functionality. Best of all? It’s cheap! OK, I’m supposed to say “inexpensive.” But since the average mid-tier BI software costs $10,000+ as an initial buy-in and then thousands of dollars per year, while Microsoft PowerBI is $10/month per desktop subscribed to Office 365—this is STUPID CHEAP!

Even better? We at NexLAN have already mapped the AccountMate/SQL data structures to Microsoft Power BI so you can get right to work on understanding your business and not wrestle with that mapping. What’s this pre-written integration piece cost? Well, for registered clients of NexLAN with active software lifecycle agreements in place—it’s FREE! Yes, there will be some NexLAN billable effort in installing and configuring and training (and integrating any custom tables that may be in your system), but the effort is now thousand(s) of dollars of investment instead of ten(s) of thousands.

To be sure, getting maximum benefit out of a BI tool requires a skilled user—somebody who understands how data relations work, and it wouldn’t hurt if they have “geek tendencies”—but this opens up the entire BI world for pennies on the dollar. Check out our new page that gives an overview of what Power BI can do for AccountMate users.

Just another benefit of using AccountMate/SQL supported by NexLAN!


Kevin E. Stroud

Have you been creating sales orders for items that can’t be fulfilled?

Doggone it, someone just entered an order for a ceiling fan plus a box of Size E fan blades—but that fan requires Size D blades! Maybe your product line’s been expanding in complexity. Or maybe it takes new staff time to learn the rules to order various items.

If you catch the error before you ship it (and hopefully you have Size D blades in stock…), by the time the revised order ships it might arrive late to the customer. Or you DON’T catch it before it ships and the customer brings it to your attention. Ouch. Plus the cost of rush freight to send out the correct blades + the RMA process with more freight cost + maybe an RTV too…

Everyone with an AccountMate system ought to be at a near-perfect order accuracy rate.

AccountMate released a new module in December of 2016 called the Sales Configurator Module. It gives you unlimited custom rules for sales orders, prompting the order entry person with questions. For example:

  • Only valid colors, sizes, or other attributes are highlighted for an item
  • If one option costs more, the total price will update to reflect that
  • User-defined formulas and item definitions can be added
  • Add images to the list of choices so users are 100% clear
  • And the sales order cannot be completed until all the options are filled in

Read more about preventing incompatible parts from being shipped and check out the AccountMate Sales Configurator Module brochure. We’d be happy to chat with you about increasing the accuracy of your SO process.

P.S. For manufacturing companies—yep, there’s a Manufacturing Configurator Module too. Copy your SO configurations into work orders without re-keying data, and have bills of materials be automatically consistent with sales orders.

Tech Note: Understanding the Recalculate SUTA Feature

If you have issued payroll checks for which the SUTA rate (state unemployment payroll tax) is outdated, then you must recalculate the SUTA liabilities. AccountMate allows users to recalculate SUTA liabilities for payroll checks with outdated SUTA rate or wage base without re-issuing payroll checks, which is detailed in Article #1106: Understanding the Recalculate SUTA Feature.


Tech Note: How to Utilize Multiple Paper Sizes or Paper Types

Setting up multiple printers and utilizing multiple paper trays are two ways to specify printer settings to optimize the company’s printing requirements. Article #1148: How to Utilize Multiple Paper Sizes or Paper Types in AccountMate discusses the ways to print documents using a variety of papers without the need to change paper in the tray.


Technical Tips


Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN

Module: IC

Q: We have an inventory item that we buy and sell; however, there are times when we use the item internally. How should I record these transactions?

A: Use the Internal Stock Issuance function to record these transactions. If the Transfer to the General Ledger checkbox is marked, then AccountMate will also create a journal entry; it will debit the GL Account ID entered in the GL Account field and credit the GL Account ID assigned to the inventory item in Inventory Maintenance > GL Accounts > Inventory field for the specified warehouse.

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN

Module: AP

Q: I have a vendor which is a branch office, and they requested that I issue the check to their main office. Can AccountMate handle this scenario?

A: Yes, you can do this by assigning a Factor (Pay To) record to the vendor. Perform the following to create a Factor (Pay To) record and assign it to the vendor:

  1. Access Vendor Maintenance.
  2. Enter the vendor number of the branch office in the Vendor # field.
  3. In the Settings tab, click the Factor (Pay To) underlined field label. This will display the Vendor Address Maintenance window.
  4. Enter an Address # code; this is the code you assign to the factor (e.g., MAINOFC).
  5. Enter in the Company field the payee to whom the vendor wants you to issue the check.
  6. Fill in the rest of the fields.
  7. Click Update to save your changes.
  8. Close the Vendor Address Maintenance window to go back to Vendor Maintenance.
  9. Enter the Address # code in the Factor (Pay To) field.
  10. Click Update to save your changes in the vendor record.

Every check that you will issue to the vendor will now be paid to the factor address.

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL, Express, and LAN
AM8 for SQL, Express, and LAN

Module: PR

Q: I want to replace an e-payment check (direct deposit) with a paper check; however, when I attempted to replace the check using the Re-print Payroll Check function, the Replace Check checkbox is disabled. Why?

A: You cannot replace an e-payment check using the Re-print Payroll Check function. You must void the e-payment check first using the Void Payroll Check function, keep the applied payment, and then print the paper check by performing the following:

  1. Access the Print Payroll Check function.
  2. Select the applicable applied payment in the 2nd Print Payroll Check window.
  3. Mark the Use Check checkbox.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Click the Print Checks button in the 3rd Print Payroll Check window.

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Versions: AM10 for SQL and Express
AM9 for SQL and Express (MS902 and higher)

Modules: SO, PO

Q: When amending a purchase order, the Use SO Shipping Address checkbox does not appear in the Create Purchase Order by Vendor > Order From/Ship To tab. Why not?

A: This happens when you amend a drop ship transaction (i.e., the Drop Ship checkbox is marked in the Information tab). The shipping address is always the sales order’s shipping address; thus, AccountMate no longer displays the checkbox.

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