Writing a review for an Accounting Package can feel repetitive. Let’s face it, without a Nominal Ledger, you cannot keep track of your accounts - so they all have a Nominal Ledger. And an Accounting Package that does not keep track of Debtors and Creditors will soon send you to the poor house, so they all have a Debtors’ Ledger and a Creditors’ Ledger, and control accounts, and so on. Except it’s so passé to call them Debtors and Creditors, they’ve all changed the wording to Customers and Vendors, or Payables and Receivables, just to keep users on their toes, and to keep with the times.
Of course an accounting system that is of any use to any commercial entity needs to have all the bits in place. And at ISL, they consider the CORE to consist of:
Sales & Distribution
You could get only pieces of it, but that’s not the way ISL likes to look at things.
The Financials part of the equation provides the staple functions to keep a commercial entity running, keeping your records up to date, and allowing you to extract information, and make your decisions based on the records.
You can also look through the telescope from the other end, starting with the Financial Statements, and then “drilling-down” (a buzz word that simply means “if I click on some record, please show me the components that make it up”) into other sections of your system, in as much detail as you need, right down to individual transactions where necessary.
This package is designed so even the big boys can play with it, since it can handle inter-company transactions and consolidation of reports and accounts amongst several companies.
A full-blown fixed-asset register is also provided, complete with retention of relevant documentation and even images of the fixed assets, and various depreciation methods.
Budgeting is also taken care of, including the possibility to import spreadsheets as source information for your budget plans.
Keeping track of inventory is obviously an important aspect of control and efficiency. Eyesel provides with the tools to manage costings and product pricing, as well as the intricacies of multiple warehouse locations and inter-location transfers. It can handle product variations based on such metrics as weight, volume, colour, and size. Waste management is also catered for, and this is rapidly becoming a more important part of day-to-day operations that supply products.
Managing stock quantities starts with reorder levels and reorder quantities, but this can go much further. It can control your inventory by batch number or serial number, can keep track of expiry dates, and also implement stock rotation rules to optimize allocation - FEDO (first expiry date out) is the most obvious type here. And it talks to all other parts of the system, so that if you are building a purchase order, Eyesel will look not only at your reorder levels, but also take into account items that are already on sales orders and still require procurement.
The purchase order processing section is very well put together, and comes with all the trimmings to handle even the most complex scenarios, with partial deliveries, backorders, multiple invoices spanning multiple purchase orders, HS Codes for per-item tax, duty, levy and eco-contribution management, and all the other lovely time saving procedures that our legislators force us through.
Keeping us in the 21st century, Eyesel has already a fully-implemented handheld solution, allowing you to interact with your system using handheld devices, such as smartphones, PDAs, and tablets, and they are constantly developing this aspect to drive more of the functionality towards such types of automation.
SALES AND DISTRIBUTION
This part of the system encompasses the complete sales cycle, as it goes from enquiry to quote to confirmation to delivery to invoice. To optimize stock level management, it talks to the purchase ordering system, and also collates information from other backorders with the same customer - this functionality comes together to also provide the Just-In-Time stock allocation mechanism.
The flexibility and power of its price list management is truly impressive, contemplating all manners of quantity-based or value-based discount structures and free unit allocations. All this can eventually be tied in to sales representative commission structures.
SALES FORCE AUTOMATION
Using handheld devices, your sales staff can take orders, accept returned merchandise, collect payments - online or offline. You take this as far as having your staff generate an ad-hoc Van Sale, complete with generation and printing of invoices.
You can also leverage the automation function to streamline a wholesale and distribution entity, allowing you to optimize van loading based on inventory item types (some items may require refrigeration, for example) and route plan.
Managing a retail outlet is made simple with Eyesel, which can handle any number of retail outlets, and also survive a situation where connection to the head office is severed. It has screen layouts designed for touch screen use, eliminating the need for having a mouse and keyboard clutter your shop counter.
It provides a full-blown cash-till experience, with end-of-day reports, takings reports, and tracking of operator logins. Other plus points are a fully-implemented loyalty card management system, gift vouchers, barcode support, management of containers (empties), and a dizzying array of other features which play a part in a Retail setup. Again, this talks to the rest of the system to help with stock taking, restocking, label printing, and stock checking and movements from one retail outlet to another.
LOOKING AT THE BIGGER PICTURE
When I look at an Accounting Package nowadays, I tend to make sure that the basic concepts, like Nominal Ledgers, Debtors and Creditors Ledgers, and so on, are still present JUST to make sure it is STILL an accounting package I am looking at, and then look into the product from a completely different viewpoint, looking for the functionality that distinguishes one product from another, rather than the similarities.
Most accounting systems are sold in “Modules”, with the Financials being the “core”, then you may opt to get the “Debtors” module, and then the “Creditors” module. Then they tell you how the “Stocks” module is sometimes useful, and maybe you would like to consider “Invoicing”.
This, I put to you, is a WLOB (whole lot of bull-droppings). Can you imagine the thinking process? Yeah, let’s run a business, but no, we can leave the invoicing part out, who the hell needs to issue bills? And oh, if we’re not issuing invoices, why bother with the debtors bit?
Having a chat with Adrian Coleiro, the Operations Director at ISL, was a refreshing experience in this regard, since he was obviously ahead of me in his thinking. I actually had to forcefully drag him back to at least mentioning (the existence of) the Ledgers and the other absolute necessities for an Accounting System.
With that part over, he started to explain to me how the Eyesel Business Suite is structured. His initial mention of the “core” functions of the product would have led me to think it was just another accounting package, except it became immediately obvious that, to him, the “core” part of the system is not the “Financials”, but rather the synergy generated between the Financials, Inventory, Sales & Distribution, and Retail components.
That core, indeed, is the basis on which ISL can then proceed to REALLY provide bespoke customised add ons to fit your internal business processes. The modular and scalable nature of Eyesel allows you to take this solution wherever you want it to go.