Multi-User and Accounting
Posted: 25 Aug 2005 11:33 pm
Have really been looking at different software packages over the last several months, came across Morning Flight by accident and thus far, love it. Has good features, but most of all it is very easy for our staff to use. I see in previous posts that the software was referred to as "Multi-User Ready." In the final version, will you be able to run the software on multiple stations on a network while using a common database on a server or one of the peer machines?
Also just a thought, and maybe some other people could chime in on this, many of the other packages we have evaluated try to re-invent the wheel as far as accounting. We, like many businesses, use Quickbooks, and I feel that your time would be best spent on developing your good program into a great program for estimating, and just be able to export or link into Quickbooks when it's time to invoice the job and let it do the accounting "grunt-work." (It would be nice if it exported all the details as far as papers, inks, finishing, etc, not as separate charges per-say, just line items as memos).
How do you make an item that defaults to a specific paper? For instance, we have a paper, White Royal Linen, and we would like the Letterhead product to default to that paper when we do a quote.
. . . . . cmcduff
Joined: 08 Jul 2005 Posts: 3 Location: Northeast Alabama, USA
That's precisely the profile we were shooting for with Morning Flight: Just the features a small to medium size print shop needs, fast yet accurate in operation, and pushbutton easy to use. Judging from our e-mail and some of the comments on this forum, I think we succeeded. If Morning Flight ever gets slow, feature-fat and lazy, somebody please put it down in the nearest cornfield!
The Silver Edition is multi-user ready, as you mentioned, and we'll have more details on that in a day or two.
You're absolutely correct about where we should be headed with Accounting. There's no way any vertical software developer can throw the kind of money and resources on adding accounting features that Intuit can. Doesn't mean QuickBooks is perfect. On the contrary. We use it ourselves and find it quirky, difficult to use, and cumbersome. And when it comes to "items" (the way you define services and products in QuickBooks), downright lame. You're limited to two types of pricing: Per piece or per hour. Compare that to the many pricing options available for Merchandise in Morning Flight.
Which highlights one of the problems in linking with, or exporting, to QB. The technical aspect isn't much of a problem, but how do you make MF Merchandise items fit into the narrow defines of a QB item? Never mind something as complex as an MF Offset or Digital Product! Can't be done. Even customer and contact records present a problem. It's easy enough to export or import them, but here we're talking about a two-way street. If your invoicing is done in QB, how do you prevent someone in your office from deleting an open-invoice customer in MF? If you invoice in MF, that customer shouldn't be deleted in QB. If you do, you can no longer sync without dropping that same customer in MF.
Given this set of circumstances, and realizing that QuickBooks is a powerhouse in terms of general accounting and tax related functions and payroll (although we use Paychex internally), the link point we're looking at is certainly beyond the invoicing that's part of the Gold Edition, and maybe beyond Accounts Receivable, but no farther.
Invoicing, Customer Maintenance and AR really belong in the same box, especially since dropping AR values into General Ledger is basically limited to just two amounts: Total sales and sales taxes at the end of each day, week or month. But we would never consider offering any accounting feature beyond AR and Inventory. That, as you say, would be re-inventing the wheel, and a crude wheel at that.
I'm glad you offered your opinion on this. I completely agree with you, and I think in general we're on the same page. If there is an area where we might differ, it's on Invoicing; we still haven't decided whether we'll ever offer AR.
The Invoicing module in MF Gold is far superior to the QB version. If you know how to gather Quotes into a shopping cart to make an Estimate, you'll know how to gather job sheets into a shopping cart to make an Invoice. The two are virtual twins. All the hard work such as itemized descriptions, automatic ink and paper consolidation, discounts and surcharges, etc. is done for you by Morning Flight.
Now, to your question about defaulting to a specific paper: There's no provision in MF to do that. When you default to a specific product, the program automatically selects the first appropriate paper it finds in the My Paper file. In other words, when you make 11 x 17 Newsletters your default, MF steps through the file until it finds a paper that's no smaller than 11 x 17 in size, isn't cover stock, carbonless or an envelope, and so on. If it doesn't find one, it tells you so and keeps you from making 11 x 17 Newsletters your default.
I suppose we could display a picklist of all appropriate paper after you selected a default product so you can default to a specific paper yourself. Would anyone else like to see that as a feature?
Again, thank you for your input. This kind of information is invaluable to us and shows us we're on the right track.
. . . . . Hal Heindel
Morning Flight in a Networking Environment
Posted: 26 Aug 2005 05:36 pm
Setting Morning Flight up in a Networking Environment is a simple process. All that needs to be done are the following steps:
|1.||Install MF on a server or on a peer PC.|
|2.||Share the directory that MF is installed in.|
|3.||On each client or peer PC create a shortcut to the MFlight*.exe file (* - S or F depending on which version of MF you have).|
It would be preferable (but not necessary) to set up My World, My Shop, etc. on the server before running MF on the clients. Also, run MF on each client at least once to ensure that the administrator is not automatically logged in. Let me know if you have any further questions regarding networking MF.
. . . . . RedDog105
Joined: 05 May 2005 Posts: 3 Location: Lakewood, CA
Ed. Note: See also Networking - Multi Station Ability
Hal, I see your point as far as the accounting. Synchronizing data between systems is always a compromise and a balancing act. Which, even if there is no link, we will do what we have done in the past, do the estimating with the computer, track job process manually, then make an invoice in Quickbooks. As you noted, and I fully agree, I would rather have a stable fast program that is not a "jack-of-all-trades" than some cumbersome system that you only make use of half it's features.
And just as a note, we really love the interface. Don't know really how to put this, but most software is hard and angular, your interface has a nice "soft" feel about it and seems to help in its intuitive nature of operation.
Thanks, RedDog105, your solution is what we had tried to do and it seemed to work, but we didn't really use it like that because we thought it might be an accident waiting to happen. Does it have any effect as far as two people doing quotes at the same time, users making changes to the items or papers, etc.?
. . . . . cmcduff
Even though Morning Flight isn't advertised to be networked, it is very robust in a networking environment. However, caution must be taken because no update counters are used to indicate changes made from another concurrent user. For example, two or more people could have a Contact open at the same time and all could make changes. The only problem is that whoever saves the Contact last gets the final change - overwriting the changes the others have made. With that in mind, I have tested MF in a multi-user, networked environment and have had no problems with data integrity.
. . . . . RedDog105