In business, much of accounting is focused on the past: What happened? While this is necessary for compliance (taxes, bank covenants, etc.), accounting activities should also include tools to assist management in improving the areas for which they are responsible. While this idea is nothing new, we see areas where packaged software just does not have the capability to meet specific needs of individual businesses.

This is the story of one of the most interesting situations of this nature encountered by Dossin Business Solutions:

The client was a publisher of magazines for which most of the sales came through newsstands. Each magazine was published by a separate company under one ownership umbrella. All companies used the same distributor, who was unable (or perhaps unwilling) to report the results on separate reports and still offer the significant volume discount this group of companies received.

Even if the reporting had been divided up by magazine title, the owner still needed reports by issue so that the title managers could see what type of issue worked, and what did not. The packaged accounting software the group was using could not create consolidated reports across entity lines and could not efficiently handle multiple issues.

The accounting group had attempted to create a spreadsheet to get the management data sought by the owner, but had not found a way to efficiently slice and dice the data so that it would be useful to all parties without requiring that it be entered repeatedly. Dossin Business Solutions was consulted and proposed a database approach.

Result: We produced a sub-ledger application that ran on an offsite server (per client request) using a browser for the bulk of the data entry. Once the data was in, reports were created, and journal entries were created for the accounting system, and the database was accessible (via ODBC) so that spreadsheets could still be used for custom analysis.


If you need help with management accounting, design of analysis, or evaluation of software, please contact Dossin Business Solutions, Inc. via the phone, fax, or e-mail addresses below.