Newsletter March 2014

During my first year as an application developer at Perennial Software, I have already played several distinct roles.

 

I have been part archeologist -- unearthing, researching, and respecting the code as I find it. For as many layers as there are to the functionality users interact with, the system is composed of even more layers of code, technologies, contributors, and time. The evolution of SedonaOffice reads like the modern history of software development on Windows and beyond, starting with VisualBasic and SQL Server, then COM, .NET and its web technologies, and finally iOS and mobile platforms. Impressive for a company of this size.

 

I have also been part handy-man, reinforcing the original builders' work primarily in SedonaSchedule and SedonaWeb, as well as SageQuest and central station integration. I started my work on Sedona Schedule by making it a more responsible user of the database and a more robust handler of errors. When something goes wrong, we can pinpoint exactly what it is and, often, why. In addition to improved stability, we added job scheduling and central station monitoring via web services. The same is true of SedonaWeb. While we added reports and configuration options, our biggest strides have been in improved performance and stability.

 

In the upcoming years, I look forward to being part architect and contributing to the design of what is yet to come. I would like to see as much functionality as possible moved from desktop applications to mobile-friendly web apps. SedonaEnhancement, the first project where I got to design and lay the foundation myself, is just a glimpse of what I see as the SedonaOffice of the future. Simplifying and focusing on explicit priorities will be crucial, as there is so much existing functionality and history to take into account, but we have no hope of getting there without input and participation from our customers, some of the most engaged and passionate users I know. With your help, lots of hard work, and just a soupçon of luck, I say our chances are pretty darn good.

  

 

 

 

 Dave Smith

Application Developer

Perennial Software

Customer Highlight
AT A GLANCE
Advantech Inc.
Founded: 1990
Location: Dover, Delaware
Area served: Mid-Atlantic region
Employees: 42
 
OVERVIEW

 

Advantech is a systems integration company specializing in solutions to access control, video surveillance, intrusion detection, fire alarm/life safety, communications and identity management solutions. Advantech's Home Systems Division specializes in custom residential solutions for security, remote management, whole house audio, home theater, structured cabling & networks, central vacuum, and smart home technology.

 

Incorporated in 1990, Advantech serves the Mid-Atlantic region of the US and supports Global accounts as contracted. As a complete solutions provider Advantech provides design, installation, service and on-going Client support. Disciplines include IT/Connectivity, Design and Drafting (AutoCAD), Project Management, Remote Management, Technology Integration, Central Station Monitoring, Inspection & Testing, Preventative Maintenance and Professional Services.

 

OF NOTE

  • Honeywell Integrated Systems "National Dealer of the Year" 2008, 2010, 2011 & 2012
  • Integrator Certification; awarded Honeywell "Platinum "Certification for achieving the highest level technical score and the ability to support Global enterprise applications.
  • Honeywell Integrated Systems "Mid-Atlantic Dealer of the Year" 2004-2013.
  • Honeywell Silent Knight Fire Alarm Systems "The Flame of Excellence Award 2005-2013
  • Department of Transportation's "Outstanding Technology Project of the Year" 

 

Management Angle

Let's Talk About GAAP

 

Despite being a robust and vibrant industry, there has been relatively little conversation in the Security Alarm Industry regarding the application of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) for the purpose of creating meaningful financial statements and comparable metrics.

 

Of the ten or so main accounting principles, three have particular pertinence to this industry: the matching principle, the revenue recognition principle, and the cost principle.

 

The matching principle requires that expenses be matched with revenues within an accounting period.  It also means that companies must use accrual basis accounting, which is absolutely necessary for producing meaningful financial statements. Unfortunately, many companies (large and small) disregard this central principle in favor of a cash basis or a quasi-accrual basis approach to accounting. 

 

The revenue recognition principal under the accrual basis of accounting requires that revenue be recognized in the period that a product is sold or service is performed. For example, monitoring and extended warranty revenues should be recognized monthly regardless of how customers are billed (e.g. quarterly or annually). This principle affects your installations and inspection contracts as well, but we'll have to talk about those in a future article.

 

The cost principle dictates that asset amounts should not be adjusted to reflect fair market value. Well, we all know where the lion's share of value resides for a security alarm company...in the alarm contracts! And since the value of contracts are not typically shown on the balance sheet, how can you produce meaningful financials? Did I mention a future article?

 

Standard application of accounting principles is a sign of a mature industry. Hopefully with a little conversation we can better define these principles for the Security Alarm Industry.

 
Questions about GAAP?  Contact Jim Lee - President, Astute Financial (970) 223-2382.
March Tip

Reversing a Payment with a Late Fee

 

When a late fee is posted with a payment, only the amount paid for the invoice will appear in the list of paid invoices when a negative payment batch is created.  To reverse the full amount of the payment (invoice plus late fee), please do the following:

  1. Go into Accounts Receivable Payment Processing and create a negative payment batch for the amount of the invoice plus the late fee.  The tape total must be a negative amount.  The date of the batch should reflect the date that the bank notification was made that the check was NSF.
  2. Place the portion of the check that was posted against the invoice as a negative amount next to the invoice which was paid by the check.
  3. Place the amount of the late fee against as a negative amount against any other already paid invoice.  This will create a balance due on that invoice of the amount of the late fee which will be credited off separately.
  4. Deposit the negative payment batch with a deposit date of the date of the bank notification if the accounting period is still open.  If the accounting period is closed, the deposit date needs to be in an open accounting period.
  5. Create a credit memo using the line item for Late Fee for the amount of the late fee.  Change the date of the credit memo to the date of the bank notification of the NSF if that accounting period is open.  If it is not open, please choose a date within an open accounting period. 
  6. Apply the credit memo against the customer's invoice showing the balance due in the amount of the late fee.  Select the Apply Date as the date of the bank's notification of the NSF if it is in an open accounting period.  If it is not an open accounting period, please choose a date within an open accounting period.  
SageQuest-SedonaOffice Integration Key to Increased Efficiencies

Custom Alarm is a full-service, family-owned and operated, residential and commercial security business that employs over 65 staff members and has a fleet of 23 vehicles.

 

As a SedonaOffice customer for the last five years, the team at Custom Alarm always looks forward to the SedonaOffice Users Conference, so they can better understand what's next on the roadmap. At one such conference, Operations Coordinator, Erik Lee, viewed the SageQuest GPS vehicle tracking solution and left knowing he needed to switch vendors. 

 

The GPS solution they were using at the time utilized maps that were out-of-date, the technology was poor and it had no integration capabilities with SedonaOffice.  In February 2011, Custom Alarm switched to SageQuest GPS fleet tracking and management solution and according to Lee, 

 

"The power of the integration was one of the driving factors in our initial reason to switch vendors.  Additionally, our office staff finds SageQuest's reporting simple to understand and the solution is easy to use, unlike our old system." 

 

"We don't need it to spy on our technicians," said Lee.  "We use it as a tool to review and compare technician and work order data. By simply bringing up topics such as idle time to our employees, we've received positive feedback and results directly impacting our bottom line."

 

"One of the pleasant surprises I've experienced is the responsiveness online via Live Chat on the SageQuest website and when I speak to their customer care team. Their team is top notch."

 

Lee is excited to see how the new jobs and unassigned work order capabilities mentioned at the SedonaOffice Users Conference will impact their fleet moving forward.

 

For more information call Adam Restifo (440) 528-0805 or attend the SageQuest - SedonaOffice webinar on April 16th.

REGISTER HERE

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Update: Holiday Sales Special
YouSave SedonaGives

Thank you for your purchases during our Holiday Special.  We were able to donate $3,000 to both the Greater Cleveland Fisher House and Old Newsboys of Flint.


ABOVE: Chris Hamilton, Executive Director of ONF receiving the donation from Matt Howe.
Meet Rebecca Hall
Marketing Director
Since February 2013
What do you like best about your job?

My role has a lot of variety, which I like.  Working with our customers and all departments within our organization on various projects keeps things interesting.

 

Words to our customers:

We are always looking for SedonaOffice Success Stories. Please contact me if you would like to be featured.

 

Did you know?

Porky Pig's police car number was 6 7/8.

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