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Author Topic: Supplier management, purchase orders, inventory...  (Read 1868 times)
Perry
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« on: November 24, 2009, 06:05:30 AM »

Okay, it appears there is a severe lack of applications out there for true small businesses. The time and billing aspect has been covered by several pieces of software (the best, of course, being the more focused, more powerful, more fun TimeNet!) However, there is a lot missing. I'm hearing more and more about needing things like supply management, internal accounting, etc. etc.

My question is this: what EXACTLY would you like to see a piece of software do to ultimately and completely run your business? What kind of things are needed? A separate section different from the clients where you could list other people/companies, such as suppliers? What information would you need to keep track of? What features would TimeNet have to help you with all of this data?

TimeNet 4.0 is coming very, very soon. I don't think a fully integrated businesses management solution will be available at 4.0, but maybe 4.5, or even as an add-on module. The more information the better.

Do you think the holy grail of billing and business software is still missing? Let's make it happen!
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Perry Fjellman
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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2009, 03:32:20 AM »

I believe the biggest missing aspect of all the time tracking/billing apps out there for the Mac is the ability to keep track of expenses from suppliers. Much like inserting "clients" and "client invoices" there should be an area to insert "suppliers" and "supplier invoices", along with the reporting ability of these as well (create reports by invoice dates, supplier(s), unpaid, paid, etc.).

For the "suppliers" you could include fields for:

1. Supplier ID number
2. Company Name
3. Tax ID number
4. Address
5. Contact Info (Telephone, Email, etc...)

And for the "supplier invoices":

1. Invoice ID number (your own, could be set to auto-increment)
2. Supplier's Invoice ID
3. Date of invoice (date field)
4. Paid/Unpaid (checkbox)
5. Date of payment (date field)
5. Sales tax included (checkbox)
6. Tax exempt (checkbox)
7. Line items (for each include: Supplier code, Description, Quantity, Price, Discount %, Sales tax % - an editable data grid would work)
8. Category (Dropdown of editable categories i.e.; Purchases, Services, Payroll, etc..)
9. Calculations of the totals including: base price (before tax), total tax and grand total

The reporting capabilities would need to be able to produce reports by:

1. Invoice date range (from / to)
2. By supplier
3. Paid / Unpaid

The reports would need to show for each invoice:

1. Supplier Invoice number
2. Supplier Company name
3. Supplier Tax ID number
4. Invoice date
5. Invoice base price (before tax)
6. Invoice tax
7. Invoice grand total

And of course the totals at the bottom (base price total, tax total, grand total).

Having the ability to output these reports (along with your invoice reports) in spreadsheet formats (i.e.; Excel, Numbers, CSV) would be great and reduce the amount of trips I make to the accountants office.

Another thing that would be very useful is the ability to setup your own invoice numbering schemes (i.e.; "09/0001" and the next one would auto-increment to 09/0002, etc...)

Having both client invoices and supplier invoices would also allow you to create graphs showing profit/loss over time which needless to say is very helpful when you need to check on your businesses health.

Even though many of us use an accountant service to take care of our fiscal obligations and paperwork, having a native Mac app that has these abilities would help enormously in keeping track of our businesses without having to switch over to a PC to keep track of things (there seem to be plenty of PC apps that have the aforementioned functionality, but alas I have not found a Mac app that does this without being a full-blown accounting app).

Anyway, those are my two cents, hope it helps  Smiley
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Perry
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 06:09:27 AM »

It does help, thank you. I will be sure something like this gets into TimeNet soon.
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Perry Fjellman
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 07:29:10 AM »

We used to use a piece of software where I used to work, but we all HATED it. The ideas behind it were great, they had all kinds of different ideas about tracking vendors, suppliers, etc. It seemed like it would literally do anything but make the coffee.

The problem was that the software was incredibly glitchy and the help line was NOT helpful. We lost our entire database multiple times and they offered to rebuild it for us. This only led to more crashes and more hair pulling. The most infuriating part was that this software was made specifically to be used in creative agencies, but they offered little to no help on the Mac platform. They told us that we should be working on PCs!

If this software did everything it promised, it would have been the "holy grail" for small business billing and tracking software. I'm sure TimeNet could take their ideas and actually do them justice. Check out the site: http://www.clientsandprofits.com/what_is/


On a slightly related note: I have briefly tried TimeNet and loved it. I have been very patiently waiting for version 4.0 before I purchase. Do you have an ETA?
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Perry
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 12:04:42 PM »

Great ideas and feedback, thank you! Marcy, the 4.0 update should be out sometime around the new year. It has been delayed and delayed and then delayed again, but in the process we've rebuilt almost every aspect of the software, improved the speed and reliability, and laid the foundation for all of the new features to be built on very quickly around a new and vastly improved data structure.

At this point it's just a matter of developing the new features and interface around the new data. Most of the hard work is done.

I don't think most of these more advanced business/vendor management features will be in 4.0, but maybe 4.5?
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Perry Fjellman
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