While the economy continues to sputter, with concerns about Grexit, bank rates and rising food prices, there are many indicators that things are improving. Housing starts in most large North American cities are up. Car sales continue to exceed 2014 figures in both US and Canada. Year-to-date, the NASDAQ Composite index is up 9.95%.
Is the Accounting Services sector another bright spot? US accounting firm BDO USA reports 26% growth in annual revenue for fiscal 2015 (ended June 30, 2015). Its consulting and advisory practice saw a 51.4% growth. BDO has completed 13 acquisitions since 2012, which has also contributed to its $1.05 billion in annual revenue. Grant Thornton’s Interim 2015 Financial Statements also report a healthy increase in revenue half-way through its fiscal year. The need for accounting, tax prep, and assurance services never go away, regardless of what is happening in the economy.
Softrak was just recognized by CIO Review as one of 2015’s Most Promising ERP Solution Providers. CIO Review has online and print publications read by an estimated 140,000 CIOs and IT executives every month. In its July 2015 edition, CIOReview acknowledges that Adagio Accounting provides ERP that is priced and packaged for the small business marketplace.
Enterprise Resource Planning for a small company that assembles and distributes goods is very different from an enterprise ERP solution used by a large manufacturer. Further to this, the term ERP can cover such a broad spectrum of functionality that buyers are often confused by the acronym. These days, ERP usually connotes a solution with inventory management and order processing, in addition to the core accounting.
Some companies that sell (professional) services use ERP solutions. The enterprise resources they manage are their people rather than manufactured goods. Therefore, the payroll and time billing becomes the focus of their ERP world. Again, ERP covers a broad spectrum of functionality and price-points.
At Softrak, we have been focused on the small business market, and have developed software that provides best-in-class financial reporting and audit controls. We are very pleased to be recognized by this highly regarded publication. It is validating to see Adagio recognized as providing ERP leadership for the small business marketplace.
Read the full article to find out why Softrak was recognized by CIO Review as one of 2015’s Most Promising ERP Solution Providers.
We just wrapped up our 16th annual Adagio Opportunity Conference. This year’s event was held at the Westin Bayshore Hotel, on Vancouver’s spectacular downtown waterfront. We broke another attendance record this year. Our attendance was up 9% over last year’s numbers.
There were numerous highlights. Our keynote this year was Ward Blatch of K2 Enterprises. He reviewed Microsoft Windows 10 in terms of features that accounting departments will appreciate. Ward also shared his insights into data security, and covered his list of potential threats to company data. He indicated the simple things we should all be doing to protect ourselves more effectively. Al Hahn, executive director at the Association of Support Professionals, gave a couple of presentations to our Adagio consultants on best practices in design of support plans and management of customer relationships. We showed our new Adagio Cloud product with Adagio Manager, an application that lets you decide when upgrades should be installed (a feature that particularly excited Ward). As usual, we delivered lots of instructional content to help clients become more productive and proficient in Adagio. There was time for some relaxed networking, with a glorious evening cruise around Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet and False Creek – with picture postcard views and perfect weather.
I would like to thank all of you that attended and participated in the conference. I hope you learned something new, met some interesting people, and enjoyed yourself at the conference. We look forward to seeing you all again at next year’s AOC.
Looking back at 2014, Softrak had some great “wins” this year.
Starting at the beginning of the year, Adagio Accounting was awarded small business software of the year in CPA Practice Advisor’s annual Reader Poll. We were named alongside Quickbooks and MYOB as the best “installed” accounting application in the small business category. Sage was shut out of all categories. CPA Practice Advisor had approximately 4000 of its subscribers vote in its annual poll.
Another success was our 15th annual Adagio Opportunity Conference. It was held in Las Vegas at the spectacular J.W. Marriott Las Vegas Resort. We had record attendance – up almost 25% over previous year - and all of our clients and partners enjoyed the experience.
We launched our new Adagio branding and Softrak.com website last Spring. Although the new website was not without its bumps along the way, we are extremely pleased with it. The site is better designed to engage prospects and visitors that are unfamiliar with Adagio. Over 20 new “Show me how…” videos were added, increasing the availability of self-directed learning by over 50%. Half day training programs were offered in all the major metropolitan centers in Canada.
This fall we launched our new Adagio Consultants Academy. This is a program to train new dealers and help reduce the learning curve.
The end of the year saw the beginning of the 9.2A versions of Adagio being released, starting with Adagio Ledger. This upgrade signals a complete refresh of the Adagio technology platform, including a move to a current compiler and update to Crystal Reports 2013 for all the Adagio management reporting. The rest of the Financial Suite will ship early in 2015.
Looking back at 2014, we signed up a large number of new clients, a couple of capable new dealers, and hired a few talented new employees. All in all, 2014 was a great year for Softrak. We wish all our customers, partners and supporters a prosperous 2015.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but commoditization of ERP in the accounting software market seems to have rendered the term almost meaningless. The software category Enterprise Resource Planning has evolved over a couple of generations, as its definition has morphed for new and smaller markets (for industries outside of manufacturing). Software vendors and I.T. firms have misused the term and confused the market to the point that no one really knows what ERP is anymore.
For companies that are looking to implement an ERP solution, the task is made more challenging. In a confused market where all the vendors claim to do the same things, you need to dig deeper and understand how the ERP solution’s features and functions map to your business processes and operational requirements. This can be quite a laborious exercise, but a necessary one.
Secondly, the services firm that you choose to do the software implementation needs to have a level of knowledge and experience that is broad in scope. An ERP system typically encompasses accounting, HR, supply chain, distribution, and other areas, so you need to select a professional services company that can manage the automation of these departmental and cross-departmental processes. This is a big task that requires a very capable team. The firm also needs to understand how to roll out the software across the enterprise. Getting users trained and proficient, and gaining company-wide “acceptance” of the solution is an art and a science that is rarer than one might think. It is not for the faint of heart.
I should clarify that Softrak’s Adagio Accounting software is not an ERP system. Adagio can handle the pure accounting and sales order processing requirements of a manufacturer, but we don’t provide the breadth of applications that would comprise a typical ERP solution. We focus exclusively on the accounting. That said, we are an interested observer of this space, and cringe when we see vendors selling ERP solutions for less than the price of their client’s monthly office coffee service. ERP buyers beware – and do your due diligence.
We just wrapped up another successful Adagio Opportunity Conference. This year’s conference hit a number of milestones. We had our highest attendance numbers since Adagio shipped – up almost 25% over last year. Softrak celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014, and we pulled out all the stops to make this AOC a special one.
We held the AOC in Las Vegas. For the first time ever, we elected to hold the conference outside of our home turf in the Vancouver / Whistler area. We have a large customer-base in the United States. Knowing that Las Vegas is one of the most accessible and least expensive cities in North America for air travel, it made sense to choose it over other potential locations.
We brought in a number of speakers to provide expert instruction, information and insights on accounting, e-commerce, electronic payment systems, and a variety of technologies and related services. Our advanced Excel workshops were a big hit this year.
Our "event night" was also a special one. Softrak and our guests took over the Cirque du Soleil theatre at the Bellagio for a special performance of O. It’s one of those unique experiences for which Las Vegas is famous.
Watch for video testimonials and photos from AOC. They will be posted in the next week or two. If you haven’t attended an AOC, you will want to make it a priority for May 2015.
Adagio Accounting was named along with MYOB and Quickbooks as the best client-side, on premise small business accounting software in CPA Practice Advisors’ 2014 Readers Choice Awards. Adagio beat out rival accounting products Sage 300 and Sage 50, neither of which made the list. Needless to say, we were surprised and ecstatic to see this recognition.
CPA Practice Advisor is a U.S. based online and print publication. Its annual readers’ poll surveys over 4000 professional accountants and tax advisors in a long list of technology related categories. Published in the January / February 2014 issue, Adagio Accounting was awarded for the first time in the client-side, installed (on premise) small business accounting category.
We can’t take all the credit for this accolade. We share this with our network of Adagio dealers that provide expert consulting, implementation and data migration services. Thank you CPA Practice Advisor readers.
Is the paperless office a myth or inevitability? The postal service will tell you that there has been an enormous decline in the number of printed invoices and cheques circulating through the mail system. Distribution of electronic invoices and payments has moved into the mainstream. There is no question that it’s more efficient, convenient and less costly. It is interesting to note that although an accounting office may receive an invoice in PDF format, it is not unusual for the AP clerk to print off a copy of the invoice to get a signature in writing for payment authorization. Furthermore, it is not unusual to see financial statements being printed every month as they are circulated through the C-suite and finance & accounting department. We’ve reduced paper, but not eliminated it.
Which is more expensive – a single sheet of paper or the electronic storage for the equivalent double-sided page? Would you believe that paper is 121,000 times more expensive than the digital copy?
We recently calculated the cost for a standard 20 lb., 8.5”x11” sheet of paper from Staples at $0.01 (including tax, $0.011126 per page). Also from Staples, we priced out a 2 terra-byte external hard disk at $288.86 (including tax). This was one of the more expensive models. The cost to store a PDF-formatted page on this hard disk is $0.00000009173. The paper is 121,285 times more expensive.
The electronic document is far easier to file, find and to backup for safe-keeping. Paper is far more prone to accidental loss through misfiling, misplacement, accidental destruction and fire. Paper takes up valuable real-estate, especially when stored in large volumes, which adds to the overhead. There is a strong business-case for adopting software systems in support of your company’s path to paperless, such as the ePrint module for Adagio Accounting.