Frequently Asked Questions

What about Security?

Security of your data can be considered in two parts - Security at the Website and Security for information in transit to or from the website.

  • Security at the Website is adequate for most business level operations. is our web-hosting company which provides as part of its many services basic security for the website including the data files stored there. They supply daily backups as well as constant alertness for all the nuts out there that get a kick out of breaking some body's code. Additionally, a copy of all the databases are moved off-site once a day.
  • Security while the data is in transit over the Internet is provided by encrypting the files to make them unreadable without the key code at the other end. There may not be a perfect encryption scheme out there, but we can certainly make it so costly in time to break the code that it is simply not worth it for anything less than Coke’s Secret Formula.

Can I get a copy of my databases?

Absolutely. You can have one of your computers automatically query our web server for a copy of our daily database backup.

What computer language do you use?

The primary language is PERL coupled with the database program MySql which does it's work on the web server computer. We also use java script which allows us to do many neat things in a speedy fashion by downloading little code snippets your PC. Finally, we must produce what you see using text that is formatted with HTML tags that your browser program can use to display the data you see on your screens.

Who owns the software?

We own it and we license it to you for use in your business. We are flexible in designing the license to meet your needs. The data and document images that send to the server is owned by you.

How hard is it to get setup using web-based software for reports?

That would of course depend upon what systems you would like to automate. Every program from Purchase Order to Job Control has a certain amount of master records that need to be setup. Master records contain information that you just don't want to type every time, like the names of your employees and customers. If you have a lot of these records, the setup time can be considerable. We work with you every step of the way to minimize the time it takes. Sometimes, it will be advantageous for you to send us the information in a file and let us import the information into the database.

The other part of setup question is training. Since our software is written for a narrow audience, it doesn't have a lot of built in bells and whistles that you may or may not want. The features that you really want are added as we develop our understanding of how you would like to operate. This makes training far simpler. Generally, we can bring your people up to speed in a hurry with only a few telephone calls to go over the screens.

How do I use my scanner to create a pdf file?

There are any number of programs that can be used to create pdf file formats. MS Word for one will save documents as pdf. I use Adobe Professional on a Windows operating system, but I recommend that you consider Open Office on a Linux system to avoid a lot of costs.

I want to go to electronic records, what file format should I use to keep my accounting documents?

As a rule, I would say "pdf" since it is the most widely used today. Most likely this format will still be readable some five to ten years from now should you be so unfortunate to have some government auditor threatening to eliminate all your deductions unless the documents are produced. Avoid software specific formats unless you are sure that you will still be operating with that system when the audit occurs.

What is the most common software package you provide using the web?

Purchasing is usually a great place to start if you have multiple locations. Companies using fax machines to approve or process orders can get an immediate return by simply eliminating the constant calling to ask the question "Did you get my order?".

How should I go about determining what a business process costs to operate?

Generally, I start by deciding when a process starts and when it ends. Next I accumulate all the costs for a minimum period of three months that related to the various steps in the process. Most of the time, a lot of estimating is required using interviews with various employees involved. Once I have a total cost number for the period my approach is to divide it by some activity indicator to bring it into perspective. An example might by to determine just what does it cost a company for the average purchase order issued. Purchasing for me starts with the decision to order inventory and ends with receipt of the goods including the accounting and payment of the vendor invoice. You might review your financials and total all the costs for six months. You will next need to interview the people who place the orders and receive the shipments in order to make an estimate of the labor costs involved that have been expensed to operations other than purchasing. Once you have a total number, divide it by the total purchase orders produced for that period.