Information has become the most critical element in business success - information about products, customers, vendors, competitors and market trends. Central to a modern Business Information System is Management Accounting. Progressive managers realize the positive impact expanded accounting information, available in "real time", can have on success.
Refer to these topics for expanded detail:
Automation Access is your ideal ally in taking advantage of information oriented management accounting. With 18 years experience bringing advanced technology to small business, our primary strength is in fully understanding business methods, not just technology.
Our role is to help you turn a strategic information investment into a substantial return. Our services are targeted to small business - the "Mom and Pop" to 100 employees group .
Needs Analysis and Planning
The first step in planning a new system is a needs analysis. The manager of the business and the system integrator (that's us) must map out current business flow, pinpoint where improvements can be made, and specify the equipment and software.
Short cutting the Needs Analysis is a formula for failure. The business can easily box itself into a dead end without a "big picture" plan of where the business is now, where it is going, and how to get there. The result can be an inefficient business, or a lot of expensive hardware and software scrapped. A little bit of time and money invested at this stage can pay big dividends down the road.
Automation Access has 18 years of background in business
methods, and knowledge of the latest trends in software and equipment. We can
guide you through the minefield of vendor hype and conflicting claims.
Implementing the System
As a "System Integrator", we handle all implementation stages, from premise wiring, through servers, and on to operating systems and software configuration.
Manufacturers and software publishers throw around words like "compatible" and "standard" as advertising fluff, just like "best" and "industry leading". We have the (expensive) real life experience to filter out the hype and understand what they're really saying.
You can buy equipment and software from us, or we can provide
specifications and you can make your "best deal" with equipment and software
vendors. Then we'll put it all together.
Networks and Servers
"Stand alone" computers are nearly extinct in modern business. Everything is networked, and the value of the network to the business becomes greater as more systems are connected to it. Today, the local network is likely to be extended out onto the Internet to multiply it's value to the business.
Networks are complex. Even the wire and its installation are highly critical (we've seen severe problems caused by using the wrong brand of cable, never mind the wrong type). Extending a network onto the Internet multiplies this complexity and introduces critical security issues.
How the network is organized determines how effective it is as a business tool. Will the network be server based or peer-to-peer? What kind of servers should be used and what level performance, stability and security should they offer? How should data backups be done? For a lot of practical information on networks, see our Networks Page.
Automation Access can answer any network questions you
may have. We are experienced at designing and implementing complex networks
at the lowest practical cost to fit the limited budgets of small business.
Doing it right the first time is the biggest network cost saving you can
Management / Accounting Software
If your business is highly specialized, we'll be happy to build a system around the software of your choice, but for most businesses, our Vigilant software offers an ideal range of features, and will provide the lowest practical cost for implementation and support.
For substantial businesses that require extensive customization or specialty modules, we also offer Appgen Accounting. We know of no other package that can be customized as quickly and inexpensively as Appgen, including writing of whole new specialized modules and integration with other data systems. This software is particularly suitable for distribution and light manufacturing enterprises.
In other cases, where needs are best served by a highly specialized package, we work in cooperation with your software vendor, doing all the local hardware and network support and often installing their software. Most software vendors would rather work this way rather than send their own staff to your location.
Typical specialty software companies who's clients
we work with include:
Hex Laboratory Systems
(medical lab information),
Bell & Howell Lightspeed
(credit union), and
Yardi (property management).
Modern Point of Sale and Inventory systems gain outstanding efficiency from a lot of specialized printing and automatic Identification equipment that is not sold at your local Office Depot of Comp USA. Automation Access understands these devices, and has economical sources of supply,
Typical specialty equipment includes: receipt and ticket printers, magnetic
strip scanners, pole displays, touch screens, specialty programmable
keyboards, RF ID devices, bar code scanners, bar code printers, specialty
labels, RF tags, security buttons, smart cards, handheld
terminals and wireless networks that allow data input from
anywhere in the warehouse.
Billions have been poured into Internet business schemes that collapsed with no return. Even so, one thing stands out clearly from the rubble - the Internet has become a business essential, like the fax machine, and businesses that don't adapt to it and use it effectively will fall behind.
How can your business profit from the Internet? That can be a difficult question, and the answer can be obscured by a myriad of fast buck artists and well meaning but narrowly focused consultants and developers. Automation Access knows how the Internet works, and can advise you how to use it effectively without spending huge amounts of money.
You will find a lot more information on why you need the Internet and how to use it on our page Building a Commercial Web Site.
Training & Documentation
A very high percentage of information processing systems fail not from any inadequacy of the design, equipment, software or implementation, but from inadequate training for the people using the system. Often important features are simply presumed not to be there because nobody has been trained to use them.
Automation Access can provide, or arrange for the training you and your employees must have to use a new information system effectively. This will assure the most rapid return on your investment.
We document the systems we implement and can write procedures for all
phases of daily use and maintenance. This way your business is not held at
the mercy of the personal knowledge of a few people.
Continuing Support and Maintenance
Automation Access is proud of the reliability of the systems we implement, but even the highest quality systems have equipment failures and software problems. Downtime is very expensive for any business, so we assign the highest priority to resolving issues that threaten "business as usual".One multi-user wholesale distribution system we installed in 1986 ran for over 13 years with only one full day's downtime. We finally took it out of service due to Year 2000, and to modernize the client's business methods. More typical are systems that evolve continuously under our care, some for even longer periods of time.
AAx and Your CPA
We don't do accounting (though we do know quite a lot about it). A good software package should make your CPA's job easier, and we aim to cooperate with your accountant to the fullest extent possible. S/He should have valuable insight into your business needs that will help with implementation, and should be involved from the beginning.
Some CPA firms do sell accounting software, generally a big name financial
package who's publisher may be applying considerable pressure to the CPA
firm to increase sales. This conflict of interest can result in friction
in some cases, so tact is called for.
- Automation Access
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