#Google Analytic Tracker


Feb 28, 2007

Finding an Accounting Software

My dad's friend who own a store is in the US wants to use a accounting software to bill invoices automatically. However, she has 2 major requirements that has to be done. 1. The invoice number will automatically increment ... all accounting software does that 2. The statement (a summary of invoices) has a unique statement number... never hear that before I thought that, hey, it shouldn't be hard to find a software that does that. However, my dad's friend told me that she had paid money to other people before and no one able to come up with a good solution. She even paid someone to write a custom software but it didn't work out. She also fax me the invoices and the statement (Customer Statement). Indeed, the customer statement has a unique number on it.


So, I went off the do some accounting software research. With a little background that I know about accounting. I checked the following software: a. Quicken b. QuickBook c. Simply Accounting d. MS Accounting e. Other invoice billing program However, I finally realized why she has fail to find a suitable accounting software, it is because no accounting software will generate a unique incremental statement number.

What is a customer statement?

The customer statement represent a customer transaction activities in a specific period. It usually list billed invoice, amount the customer paid and the account balance. It also so the period of these activities, usually monthly The practice that my dad's friend is doing is that instead of billing her customers invoices, she bill them using a customer statement (which shows a list of invoices number). I can see the advantage of billing a summary of invoice, and with a unique statement number, it helps communicate with the customers by using the statement number, instead of date.

More Researches

So, I start looking at Quicken, Quickbook and Simply Accounting to see if I can add a statement number on it. Unfortunately none of the software able to create a statement number I even called to Intuit to see if Quickbook able to print a statement number. Although they keep telling me Quickbook has many customization you can do, they don't really know what a statement number is, and all they try to do is sell the product to me. Feeling unsatisfied, I installed all the mentioned software trial. I realized that the only software that allow me greatly customize the software is Microsoft Accounting 2007 Express.

Experimenting with Microsoft Accounting 2007

Although I am not an accountant, and I don't own a business, I like the MS Accounting interface. It is very simple and it is not like other Office software like Words and Excels, it is intuitive to do the simple activities small business owner need. Of course, this is just my unprofessional opinions, you have to try it out yourself to judge. The good thing I like about this software is that i use MS Word document as a temple for printing out Custom Statement (other report and invoices also use MS Word). For people who use MS Words would find it easily to customize the format and feel of any kind of report and statement. However, using MS Accounting 2007 alone will not help me to print the statement number that I want. So I think of a solution. By setting up a MS Access database that keep track on Statement number and do some Words VBA, this should solve my problem. Well... not quiet.....

Simple Thought

As a newbie in Words VBA programming. I started doing my study on how Words VBA works. My idea is that whenever MS Accounting print the Customer Statement, it will get the statement number from a mdb (MS Access file) and put it on the Customer Statement. Once it print, the statement number will increment and store it back into MS Access.

Testing the Idea

Well, it turns out that the only event that I can capture from MS Word is user command, such as "File->print". I can't use macro to capture a print event if MS Accounting to print a Word document. So, I wonder can I run a macro whenever the Word document. 1st, I can't find an event that would fire a macro whenever word open (I guess it is a security issue). 2nd, I beginning to realize that it is MS Words that runs the macro, and MS Accounting wouldn't able to execute Word's macro. How silly I am.

Given Up!

It is not the problem of MS Accounting or another other software, it is a fundamental issue of accounting. There isn't a thing call "Statement Number". My dad's friend introduced this "Statement Number" doesn't really make sense and only add confusion in the future. Think about database design. Your Customer Statement is identify by the period and the customer. If there is a unique statement number, what happen if you want to print the same statement (program wise it is hard, because you have to keep track what statement number to use for a specific period). What if someone corrected an entry in the pass, and print out another customer statement to customer? Now, you may have a conflict of using a statement number representing the same period of customer's activity. Well, I guess you have to tell the customer to discard the old statement and use the new one.

Another try?

Nah, I will explain to my dad's friend able what I find. Unless she want someone to write the software, otherwise I suggest her to give up the idea of having a unique customer statement number unless it is required due to law compliance.

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