own, which is useful in creating complex fin
ancial statements, which sometimes require
ratio analysis be included.
Customization is a powerful feature of
ProSystem fx Trial Balance. There are a large
number of statements and reports, and these
can be further tailored to your clients’ exact
requirements. You can print or email reports
in PDF format, and export a report to Excel
for additional analysis.
From pAge 27
Compared to some of the other applica
tions we looked at, TBFSwriter comes off as
somewhat of a onetrick pony. But it does
that one trick, generating complex financial
statements, very, very well.
While the other packages concentrate on
the adjusted trial balance, TBFSwriter puts
more emphasis on the statements. Data entry
capabilities are fairly rudimentary, with im
port from Excel being the expected data entry
method for most clients. You can perform
adjusting entries, but this is probably easier
to do in either the accounting package or a
quick and dirty worksheet in Excel.
But when you’re ready to get down to the
financial statement nittygritty, TBFSwriter
starts to show what it can do. There are tem
plates for different statement layouts avail
able for download from the vendor (called
practice aids), and generating all three re
quired statements is not difficult, though the
initial learning curve is somewhat steeper
than with many of the other trial balance
applications. With footnotes and other ad
vanced capabilities, there really isn’t much
in the financial statement area that can’t be
achieved using TBFSwriter.
The software itself is easy to set up. It uses
a Microsoft SQL database as its underlying
engine, but the install routine takes care
of the installation and configuration of MS
Firm summits should be both productive
and fun! Thoughtful planning, facilitation and
location contribute to their value. Delegate
the planning if it’s not your unique ability.
SQL 2008 Express. For the easiest experience
though, you will probably want to install the
application on a system that hasn’t had SQL
previously installed — unless you are experi
enced in troubleshooting SQL problems.
Several of the applications reviewed here
provide more comprehensive overall func
tionality. But when it comes to preparing
financial statements for use in SEC filings,
audit/compilation reports, and for annual
reports, TBFSwriter can really earn its pay by
allowing you and your staff to pull together
precisely the statement and format needed.
If your practice has significant work in any of
these areas, TBFSwriter might prove to be a
Quick Trial Balance
Quick Trial Balance is aptly named. You can
enter data through the data entry screen, or
if the client’s accounting/booking data is be
ing kept with a package that can output the
information to an Excel spreadsheet, you can
import it directly into the application. QTB
also supports data import from packages in
cluding QuickBooks and Peachtree.
Either way, getting the trial balance figures
into Quick Trial Balance doesn’t take much
time or effort. If needed, you can also export
client data in CSV, TXT and XLS formats.
Setup was very easy, and took just a few
minutes. QTB lets you add accounts on the
fly, which is helpful when you need to reclas
sify an adjustment into an account that isn’t
in the existing chart of accounts.
The screens in QTB aren’t fancy, but they
work well and aren’t difficult to navigate.
Reports aren’t too snazzy either, but again,
are workable. The working trial balance re
port, which is really the heart of a trial bal
ance package, is straightforward, and can be
printed in landscape mode. It has a single
column for journal entries (i.e., adjusting en
tries) and another single column for the ad
justed balance. We prefer separate columns
for debits and credits, but this is a matter of
personal preference and doesn’t impact the
usability of the software or the report. One
other thing we would have liked was a formal
user manual. QTB has a fairly extensive help
facility, but it’s a help screen, not true user
Still, Pro Ware has done a good job in pro
viding a very tothepoint trial balance appli
cation for practitioners who just need to get
the data in, make adjustments quickly, and
print an adjusted trial balance and financials.
The attractiveness is enhanced by the very
reasonable price of $99 for the singleuser
version, and $199 for an unlimited multiuser
license. QTB may be of somewhat limited ca
pability for a midsized to large firm, but for a
sole practitioner or small practice, it might
be a good fit.
Trial Balance CS
Modular systems like the CS Professional
Suite offer the advantage of letting your prac
tice closely tailor the system to your current
needs, adding and dropping application
components as needed.
It does mean, however, that Trial Balance
CS has a very narrow focus. If you want en
gagement or document management fea
tures, you’ll need to add the available mod
ules for them. For an application that starts
out with a $900 singleuser price, it means
that Trial Balance CS may price itself out of
consideration for some smaller practices.
But while price is an important consider
ation, capability is another important point
that needs to be factored in. And when the
capabilities of Trial Balance CS are consid
ered, the price becomes somewhat less of a
concern. Trial Balance CS is easy to install
and configure, and has excellent import
capabilities. Data entry screens are well de
signed and are very customizable.
One very common use for trial balance
software is preparing financial statements.
Trial Balance CS makes it easy to switch be
tween statements meant for different users
— cash, accrual, tax, book, and a number of
others. And, of course, data can both come
from, and flow to, other applications in the CS
Professional Suite, including tax prep.
Reporting is another area where Trial Bal
ance CS is particularly strong. There is an ex
tensive collection of reports, and as with most
places in the CS Suite, they can be custom
ized to a great extent. Financial statements
can have complex footnotes and even graph
ics. A boilerplate collection of basic financial
ratios is also included if you want to use them
in reports and statements.
And if there is a feature that you want that is
not included in Trial Balance CS, chances are
that you’ll find it in another CS Professional
Suite module. AT
Ted Needleman is senior director of the
Technical Services Division of Industry
Analysts Inc., an independent market
research firm and testing laboratory. He
was previously the editor-in-chief of
Accounting Technology, and writes frequently on
software, hardware, and technology-related
UECKER-RUST DEPARTS SAGE
IRVINE, CALIF. — After less than two years
at accounting and business applications
giant Sage North America, Business
Solutions Division president Jodi Uecker-Rust departed the company due to
personal reasons. Uecker-Rust explained
her abrupt exit in a note to Sage resellers
and partners. Sage chief executive Sue
Swenson is leading the Sage Business Solutions Division until a successor is found.
LAGUNA HILLS, CALIF. — Sage reseller
Blytheco made a move to further grow its
SalesLogix and overall customer relationship management business with the
purchase of the SalesLogix practice of
Result Data Consulting Ltd.
Columbus, Ohio-based Result Data
specializes in data management and
business intelligence systems. The
company’s half-dozen SalesLogix clients
will now be served from Blytheco’s existing Columbus office. This transaction
continues Blytheco’s expansion strategy,
particularly in the SalesLogix and CRM
space where it currently sees the most
growth for its business. Blytheco made
another acquisition in this space in early
October, purchasing Denver-based SalesLogix reseller SFA Technology, which has
approximately 25 clients.
INTACCT PARTNER PROGRAM
SAN JOSE, CALIF. — Microsoft Dynamics
reseller and consultant Navigator Technologies has joined the Intacct business
Navigator has resold Microsoft Dynamics since 2003 and is seeking to expand
its cloud computing practice through
partnerships with Google, Zoho and now
Intacct. Navigator offers a range of products and services to businesses in the
eastern United States, including accounting, collaboration, content management,
CRM and telephony solutions.
MANER COSTERISAN RENEWED
AS MS GOLD PARTNER
LANSING, MICH. — CPA and business advisory firm Maner Costerisan has earned
Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status
for the fifth straight year. Maner Costerisan specializes in reselling and consulting
services for Microsoft Dynamics GP and