Businessworks version 8.0. (Software Review) (The CPA & The Computer0) (Evaluation)by DePasquale, Ellen
Manzanita's BusinessWorks version 8.0 offers flexibility and power, without being obvious. The user interface is easy to understand, using pull down menus to offer a wealth of options on each module.
The "bundle" costs $895.00 and includes General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, and System Manager to customize user preferences, such as passwords and the use of pre-printed forms. Payroll, Order Entry, Job Costing and Inventory Control modules are also available at a price of $395.00 each.
The manuals are well written with step by step instructions for many of the typical daily activities. Each module has its own manual, so as you read through it, the information remains focused. Manzanita makes good use of screen shots and notes in the margin to assist you in finding the answers you need, as well as the shortcuts.
BusinessWorks runs on an accrual-based accounting system, and posts each transaction as it is saved. This feature is very useful as it produces accurate reports throughout the month instead of only when the user has completed posting. This feature can also be a hindrance as correcting entries or voiding the transaction is necessary in the case of a data entry error. Manzanita considered this, and version 8.0 includes a general ledger "VOID" journal entry feature. Voided entries will not appear on Trial Balance and Journal Detail Reports unless specifically requested.
Each module has a "maintenance" menu to allow a moderate degree of customization. For example, the headings on several of the financial reports can be changed, custom payment terms can be designed, and the aging periods for the calculation of finance charges can be controlled. There are many more.
BusinessWorks comes with 20 sample charts of accounts, including construction, law office, property management, and restaurant. The chart of accounts allows departments for detailed tracking, and the availability to consolidate companies. In addition to departmental sales and inventory reports, version 8.0 also offers departmental budget reports. This feature is timely as companies continue to downsize their departments and restructure their budgets.
One of the most powerful features BusinessWorks offers is its "flash" report. Specific to each module, the "flash" report analyses the data and creates a quick report of totals and percentages that are relative to the needs of the decision-makers. For example, the Accounts Receivable "flash" report includes year-to-date sales, current A/R balance, aging information, and month-to-date balances for sales, discounts and freight charges. All this information calculates within seconds (depending on the amount of data in your system) and displays to the screen.
Of course BusinessWorks also includes the standard reports for each module, but it doesn't stop there. Each module offers a host of specific reports, such as a hand-check register and reconciliation worksheet in A/P; sales analysis by sales rep and delinquent accounts report in A/R; overstock report in Inventory Control; and a payroll tax deposit register by month or payroll period in Payroll.
If you do your own payroll, BusinessWorks 8.0 offers one of the best payroll features I have ever found. Before processing the quarterly tax deposit, it will warn you if the previous quarter payroll tax deposits were not made. This feature is especially important because the Payroll module calculates the tax liability automatically upon printing the payroll checks, resulting in minimal interaction with the user to produce the tax deposit and print the check.
Version 8.0 also offers the availability of the payroll to be electronically deposited, better known as "direct deposit."
The Job Cost module has several new features that not only save time, but also help track time. The first feature is the Work-in-Progress (WIP) Report that tracks all unbilled activity. The ability to see the time differential between when the work is completed and when the invoice is generated will assist in the management of the project. The second feature is the ability to generate industry standard American Institute of Architects-type reports, a valuable feature in the construction and design industries. Lastly, the Job Cost module also offers a Job Income Statement that brings you straight to the bottom line of the project. This report allows you to see the profit, or loss, that the job is generating. If this report is reviewed in the early stages of the project, it could alert you to a potential loss in enough time for preventative action to be taken.
BusinessWorks version 8.0 offers substantial changes and additional features making it a worthy upgrade. By listening to the changing needs of its users, Manzanita produces an affordable "high-end" accounting package that includes features that solve many of today's business owner's needs. BusinessWorks also offers most of the flexibility found in other accounting packages costing 2-3 times more.
Ellen DePasquale is Senior Consultant at RCS, Inc., a full-service computer consulting firm based in New York City.
The CPA Journal is broadly recognized as an outstanding, technical-refereed publication aimed at public practitioners, management, educators, and other accounting professionals. It is edited by CPAs for CPAs. Our goal is to provide CPAs and other accounting professionals with the information and news to enable them to be successful accountants, managers, and executives in today's practice environments.
©2009 The New York State Society of CPAs. Legal Notices
Visit the new cpajournal.com.