Scaling New Heights & Acctivate Basics
Dakota May of Acctivate joined the host of Desktop Time, Chris Wise, to give a thorough overview of Acctivate basics and some of Acctivate’s key features. Jeff Edmonds of the Woodard Group shares details about the upcoming Scaling New Heights conference and what’s new at the Woodard Institute.
Watch the webinar above.
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Desktop Time recently featured a presentation from the Woodard Group about the upcoming Scaling New Heights conference followed by Acctivate’s Dakota May discussing the basics of Acctivate Inventory Management Software.
Scaling New Heights 2018 takes place in Atlanta, Georgia from June 17th – June 20th. The Scaling New Heights Conference offers an ample amount of product and practice development training, with a highly relevant theme residing at the core of the conference.
As a Scaling New Heights Gold Sponsor, we are excited to learn about “Tame the Machines” – the theme for 2018. “Tame the Machines” will focus on the rise of technology and the power this new shift gives to accounting professionals to reshape the way they do business.
Steve Forbes will be taking the stage as an industry leader this year, along with many other leaders and keynotes from across the country, a few from overseas.
SNH is planning over 150 breakout sessions and an exhibition of approximately 90 vendors.
After the Woodard Presentation, Acctivate took the stage to discuss the basics of the software, where Acctivate picks up and where QuickBooks® leaves off, and some of the key inventory and order fulfillment features.
Acctivate allows users to keep QuickBooks by providing a bi-directional integration, which in turn leads to advanced inventory & business management, enhanced security, better performance, and the elimination of double entry. QuickBooks remains the “financial” side and Acctivate takes over the “operations” side, sharing data such as codes, accounts, vendors, customers, invoices, payments, and bills.
Dakota transitions from how Acctivate and QuickBooks work together to discuss Acctivate’s core basics — inventory control, purchase orders, sales orders, and customer records — before diving deeper into some of Acctivate’s most notable features.
When you drill down from Acctivate’s base “inventory control,” you’ll find powerful features such as multi-warehouse, landed cost, lot/serial control, manufacturing, mobile warehouse and barcoding.
Acctivate’s Order Fulfillment features go far beyond the simple sales order. They include features for multi-channel selling such as EDI capabilities and ecommerce, shipping integrations, custom kitting, and workflow management, along with a powerful order manager.
When a small business uses QuickBooks and Acctivate together, their business immediately reaps the benefits, as operations become more efficient, cost-effective, and organized.
Webinar Transcript: Desktop Time Featuring Acctivate
The following is an approximation of the webinar audio from the above video.
Well, hello, everyone. We have people still coming into the meeting. We just went live not more than 30 seconds ago, but we're happy to have you here. I can't believe it's already 2018. We have a Desktop Time. We finished our first year in 2017 as you know, and we're very excited about the schedule we are already putting together for this year. So, if you haven't looked already, you may want to visit our website and just go to future scheduled webinars and you can see all of the wonderful guests and vendors we have like we do today. We're very privileged to have Jeff Edmonds here from the Woodard Group. And we also have Dakota May that's here to show us the inventory software made by Acctivate...with two Cs, I had to make sure I did that right several times. So we're happy to have you here today with us. We'll talk a little more at the end about some of our upcoming webinars and more about some of the resources that are available to you also on the website.
But at this point, I'd like to go ahead and just introduce our esteemed guests and give you a little bit of background that, if you didn't read it on the website, I'm gonna read it to you now. I'm starting with Jeff. Jeff began his career in this financial software industry in 1999 with a Surtax software just after it was purchased by Intuit. As an Intuit Account Manager, Jeff was able to consult at both large and small accounting firms. He has also worked and trained alongside QuickBooks Pro advisers for almost 17 years. Are you really that old, Jeff? I'm surprised.
Yeah. I started when I was 12.
Okay. I’m going to use that answer too. After leaving Intuit, Jeff worked for Mendelson Consulting and Business Development before Acctivate and Channel Development. Ironically, Jeff currently serves as manager of partnerships and strategic alliances for Woodard. Jeff's passion, by far, is with training and development. Since his role at Intuit, Jeff has traveled to numerous conferences, speaking and training on leadership development, business development, and financial software products. His recent book, "Character Driven Leadership," was written for leaders who desire to maximize their leadership effectiveness based on their principles of human character. In his book, Jeff describes a process by which leaders make decisions, and the relationship between a leader's character and his or her success. So thank you, Jeff, for joining us.
We also have Dakota with us. And Dakota is, of course, at Acctivate Inventory Software that works closely with sales and marketing as a sales manager. His job responsibilities include managing the Acctivate sales team, collaborating with marketing, pursuing new client opportunities, account management, strategic partnership with consultants, and much more. Sounds like a lot to hats, like, I know that's something – lost my place. "One of my favorite responsibility is to help our customers find the right solution for them, all the possibilities, and how Acctivate can be used. I have to be creative in the use of the system, what ways can I figure out how to configure the product for the customer? It's like a puzzle, it's problem-solving to the right fit." And that's a quote from Dakota, I should have put the quotations on that. So the things Dakota loves about Acctivate, for a software, it's highly scalable and easy to use, Acctivate centralizes inventory, purchasing sales, and order fulfillment, placing all the elements needed to manage operations at the core of the business. The result is an easy to manage operation with accurate information is available in real-time, which allows for customers to receive accurate answers and decisions to be made with intelligence.
Okay. So that's quite an introduction for both of you. And again, we wanna thank both of you for joining us today. And at this point, I'm gonna go ahead and turn the floor over to Jeff so he can share with us what he's up to and what's happening with Woodard these days.
Oh, yeah, perfect. And thank you, Chris. And just so everybody knows, I actually worked with Dakota, I was with Acctivate, you know, before then. So I'm gonna hang out with you guys and totally excited to be here. I'm gonna share my screen. Yeah, I just wanna make sure, is my screen showing right now.
Yeah, we can see it. I see "Tame the Machines."
"Tame the Machine," it's perfect, yeah. I work with Woodard now. And for those of you that don't know, Joe Woodard has been teaching for about 20 years QuickBooks topics. And about 10 years ago, he started a conference and trade show called "Scaling New Heights." And so, again, this will be our 10th year this year. And I just wanna go over that as well as something we just launched last year called the Woodard Institute. I'm just gonna hit both of those quickly. If you're looking for a way to really grow your business, take it to the next level, the Woodard Institute is gonna help you do that. The trade show, by far, is one of the most educational three-and-a-half days you can go to and then you find great vendors like QBox and Acctivate there so that you can recommend them to your clients. And it is just a lot of information in three-and-a-half days. I'm gonna go ahead and just get started. And sorry about all the pictures here on this screen, but I was trying to show a, kind of, a crosscut of what we do there. This is Joe down at the bottom, he's our CEO, with Stephen Covey this last year. This year, we're gonna have Steve Forbes. So, let me just tell you real quick about what Scaling New Heights is, but before I do that...Excuse me. We do have a theme. And the reason that we have this theme called "Tame the Machine" is because right now, there is unprecedented shift in technology that's going to impact all accountants, probably CPAs, if not now, certainly coming soon, large, you know, a big impact. It's already impacting the whole accounting industry right now and it's really reshaping the way that you're gonna be able to perform your services. And so that's why this trade show this year is very important for a lot of people.
I do wanna give this one thing at the bottom, Joe talks about the three levels of worker and how they're changing. To put all this into context, for years, and years, and years, accountants were service workers, there's a lot of service workers. But a surgeon, for example, that's not a profession, that's a service worker, they're doing a service, right? But because of automation, the service type of work is being automated out. Some of that has already happened, but some of the stuff that I've seen, I get to work with companies that are pre-revenue, get to know about them before they kinda hit the stage there. And we've got artificial intelligence companies right now that you're speaking into QuickBooks and getting reports back, and you're talking into it to create an invoice or being able to scan all kinds of documents, different types of documents, several a second and it just goes right into QuickBooks. So, there's a lot of automation that's happening, and we're just at the beginning of it. For accountants, the next level that is to be the knowledge worker is to know about these products and know about these services so that you can help your client. And that's what Scaling New Heights does, and that's what this theme, specifically this year, is about. So, we're trying to help QuickBooks Pro advisors, accounting professionals, bookkeepers, CPAs fill themselves with knowledge so that they can help their client much better.
So, at Scaling New Heights, here's a quick overview, we do main stage presentations by industry leaders. When you go there, you're not just gonna hear vendors from the main stage, you're gonna hear from the industry leaders that talk about a different type of practice development courses or practice development topics about how to grow, scale a practice, how to use different of the principles that are hot right now. So main stage presentations, keynotes by, like I just showed Stephen Covey, that's Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits Son, he wrote a great book called "The SPEED of Trust." This year, we're gonna have Steve Forbes there. And so, you get these keynotes by national…We actually even have some international leaders coming over from the UK, at least one coming over from the UK, that will speak as well.
Breakout sessions. This is probably the core of what Scaling New Heights is. We have about 150 courses that we put on, we have 11 or 12 breakout sessions. So, there's, you know, 12 to 15 going on at any given time for you. There's more information there than you could really go through in a decade. But that gives you the ability to pick and choose exactly what you wanna learn about and hear from the highest rated speakers. I just got the numbers back. Our speakers are rated, on average, over 4.7 out of a 5-point scale at Scaling New Heights. So we have a tremendous group that focuses all year long on bringing education during that three-and-a-half days that is the highest quality.
Another big reason to go is the meeting and networking with people just like you. It's amazing how many, I say friends or professional friends but some of them are really close friends as well, but they learn so much from each other because they're a lot of times they, accountants, Pro Advisors, they feel like they're by themselves, their day-to-day work, it may just consist of themselves and they go see their clients. When they go to these shows, they're able to talk about their business and how they handle different obstacles and so forth. That is a huge reason to go to Scaling New Heights. And then, finally, let me just show this picture here, we've always got a big trade show floor. So if you wanna find vendors that you can refer to your clients, or exhibitors, or companies that you can refer to your clients, we're gonna have...This year, it's not quite as many. We try to have about 100 there, this year it's gonna be a little under 90 but that's because of the hotel. So a big trade show floor to find out about all the latest technology that's out there.
So, that is Scaling New Heights. Chris, I can send you a link if you need me to, but really, you just go to woodard.com and you can register from there. It's in Atlanta this year, in June, June 17th through 20th, and so it's gonna be great. Do we wanna take any questions right now? I can't see a questions pending. Or do you wanna talk about the second half which is what I'm going to do?
I would say, actually so far, we haven't had any questions pop-up, Jeff, so why don't you just keep going? The only thing I was actually gonna fill in there is that the Scaling has been a fantastic event for us, not just as a vendor, but just like you said, as a learning experience. In fact, that's where I met Dakota last year, I was in Florida. And Jeff, you, of course, have been a great business friend and helped out with a lot of with suggestions and information. And to me, that's really one of the highlights from the flavor of Scaling New Heights is that, like you said, you learn about great resources, you get great education and classes, and then it's just a great place to learn more about your particular practice, and maybe learn about some resources that you didn't know about previous to go into Scaling New Heights. So, I endorsed it, it's a great opportunity for financial professionals, definitely for vendors to really just kind of expand their reach and what they're doing for their clients, so...
Perfect. All right, thanks. Yeah, if any questions come up, just let me know and we'll get to them.
So, I mentioned that Woodard, Joe has been doing this show, this will be the 10th year of Scaling New Heights. But he's been teaching QuickBooks, and more than that, practice development courses for many, many years. And so, a few years ago, he started teaching some very specific about how to grow your practice, how to scale your...and he's pulling from the leaders, the giants in the industry, the Ron Baker, Mark Wickersham, Patrick Lencioni, Wes McHugh, and just some of the people that have written these books about how to really take your practice to the next level. It's not just Joe stuff, it's a lot more than that. What we've decided to do is take those courses, instead of ala carte, we put five of them together, and we've launched them in more of a collegiate format. The Woodard Institute is a one year, at least, an initial one year instead of five courses that I'll show you here in just a minute, where you go over those things that will help you scale your practice, grow your practice. As a matter of fact, we have a guarantee on that. If you don't get double what you've invested with us then there's a money-back guarantee on that.
So, let me just jump into it. What is it? It's something that I had just mentioned, it's not just an educational program, it's about setting the destination and milestones and moving forward on that. I'll stop right here and just say, a lot of times you'll take classes and we've heard this actually, it's kind of what our classes were and more into the Woodard Institute. People would come away from two days and say, "This is great stuff. Joe did great. I'm gonna put this," and then they go back to work and they just keep working, because they just don't work on their practice, they have to work in it. So, what we've done, we've said, "Okay, we're gonna help you implement this training back into your practice." And so, that's what we've done. It's not just the training itself, but it's getting with a group up to 30 called a cohort. And it's having a facilitator who I'll introduce you to in just a minute, and it's really implementing the best practices into your practice. And that's what we're helping clients all over the country do right now.
It consists of three things. One is the content, there's no more live classes. Joe has recorded the content or others have recorded the content, depending on who's delivering it, and it's accessible through our LMS. So, you log on and you get the information. Now, if you wanna do it yourself, that's fine, you can do that, pay a fee and just have access to the courses. Most people are at the next level up which is called the Climb, but it is engaging then with a group of, like I said, 30 and it's headed by Patricia Hendrix who guides you through this and who helps you implement this back into your practice. It's not just the content, it's not just the community, but you also have a one-on-one relationship with not just a facilitator but with others in a small group context. That's basically it.
If you've gone to Scaling New Heights, you probably recognize her. She's been in this industry for over 25 years. Her business is Ten key, but she was the host of "Tech Makeover" which is where we take a company and we follow them. And everything that's wrong, we go in and would just give them a technical makeover. Well, she's the host of that and we're on season 3 right now of "Tech Makeover." And then, so she is our first mentor and group leader this year. And again, we just launched this. Although the content has been around for years, we just launched it in this format last September. The format, Woodard Institute itself, is really just since last September. What is that curriculum? It is this right here, it's these five courses, Personal Planning and Development – that’s PD101. There's PD 102, "Designing a Scalable, Efficient and Effective Practice." I don't know why that's highlighted but that's probably one of the most important of the five courses. All of them are great, but that right there is where you really make the money, that's how you set up your practice so that you're maximizing what you do, you make sure you have the right clients, you're delivering at the right price. Forget about billable hours, we're going with value pricing, we're going with your top clients, we're trying to help you get more clients and the type of clients that you want. But that's what this whole journey does here, so that's PD 102. 103 is personal results, this is great. If you wanna be efficient with your email, we introduced you to OneNote. If you haven't already started using that, there's just a way to really, really shave hours every week off of your workload by getting more efficient. So, we do that in 103.
104, 105 is Sales and Marketing and then Business Development. So, 105 is kinda the capstone that puts it all together. In a nutshell, that's what it is. One other thing, this that you're seeing on the screen right here is one year. There's an introduction month, and then each of the PD classes take about two months to get through. And again, it's not just listening, it's putting it into practice back into your business. And so we take about two months to get through each of them. And then the 12th month is kind of a catch-all month where we kinda wrap it up. That's a one-year course if you look at it like that.
The second thing you wanna know though is we're not stopping there. In years to come, we're launching four more years, if you wanna look at that, four more courses.Client Advisory, Niche Consultant, Business Coaching, Operational Consulting. Those will be coming in the next two, three years. Now, this isn't a five-year course, like, you're joining for five years. Once you go through the foundational year, you can pick and choose any of these other courses that fit. So, if you wanna become an Acctivate partner and you want to do Operational Consulting, do implementation of a big ERP system, you might want to look at Operational Consulting. If you want to start transitioning your practice into a CFO for hire, being that knowledge worker and relationship worker that firms are moving to, you probably wanna look at the Business Coaching year once that comes.
So, that is Woodard Institute in a nutshell. And again, we've got information here. But Chris, you can push out my email to anyone that is asking about it and I'll be more than happy to answer questions and get you involved in either the Woodard Institute or get you signed up for Scaling New Heights.
Okay, yeah, we definitely will do that. Just so everybody knows that and you probably get those emails from us every single month. And we will send out an email with both Jeff's contact information and also Dakota's, so you can reach out to them for specifics, either regarding the resources that's provided through Woodard or what you're going to learn today about Acctivate.
So that'll be available after post webinar, sometime probably tomorrow actually. And again, it will also be available on the website. So if you're like me and you delete all the stuff that doesn't look familiar and you wipe out that email, you can go to our website, click on past webinars and you'll find all of their contact information there as well. But thank you very much, Jeff. So tell us exactly "Tame the Machines," that has a, kind of, a terminator concept to it. What exactly was the theory behind that and how will that be integrated.
Sure. Yeah. So "Tame the Machines" came because two years ago, we had a...I don't think it was Scaling New Heights, but we did some classes called "Rise of the Machines." And that's where we started investigating this idea of artificial intelligence and how it's being built into. And I'll give you an example, who does H&R Block's returns? If you go to H&R Blocks, Watson does a return. Watson is a huge brain, right? So, you can ask it questions, I heard. I don't know about the credibility, but Watson is digesting every book that's ever written so that they can apply principles in those books to questions. It's trying to figure out what you're wanting. Not just exactly what you're asking but what you are wanting. The baby steps of Watson is doing logical data. It should be able to catch every law ever created as far as tax returns go, and apply that to your tax return. You're talking about finding the best accountant in the world, you know, is a machine. So, it's that concept and that started happening well, how do you now capitalize on that? Watson is an example of how H&R Block capitalized on it. How do you, as a professional, start capitalizing on what is coming out. And a big part of that is knowing what's coming out. So, again, some pre-revenue companies that I talked about - you're talking into your phone and creating invoices. You are asking questions and getting reports. And then, telling it, "No, I want that in graphical format, not in a spreadsheet format," and it does it.
So, again, small examples, baby steps. If you can start learning what is out there, you're gonna be that knowledge worker that your client is gonna pay much more than a service worker. And that's really where "Tame the Machines" came from, is conquering that knowledge of everything that's out there right now.
Okay, awesome. I did have one question and I think I know the answer, but someone was asking if the NAN groups went ...
Yeah. They're not called NAN anymore, National Advisor Network, they're called Woodard Groups, they're still around. If you want to find out if one is in your area, if you wanna start one or find out more information, if you go to woodard.com right now, then we use a product called Drift and it's always monitored, well, during business hours. You'll be able to ask questions and the person that monitors that is called, her name is Margo, and she'll be able to help even if she's not there. So, again, we're trying to take advantage of technology, which is be able to answer questions immediately if somebody comes to our website. If you have questions about the Woodard Groups, which is now, they're using Meetup to facilitate that, just go to woodard.com and Margo will be able to help you.
Okay, great. Thank you, Jeff. So, we've actually had the pleasure of doing online demos for a few of those groups, previously named NAN and now some of the community, so they're great groups. And same scenario, I'm assuming that they're just a great support network for each other, they talked about tech. We've had QBox introduced to some other members in the group by members that were already using it and I'm sure that's the same for other applications, other resources, other opportunities to enhance a particular practice. Those are fantastic groups just to have people local to you, that you can, you know, talk to, deflect off of, talk about certain scenarios and build relationships for us, so those are great opportunities as well.
Okay. Well, thank you very much, Jeff. We thank you for your time. Again, we will send out a link so you can have access to the Woodard site and to Jeff directly. Anything else you wanna close us out with, Jeff, before we switch over to Dakota?
No, I appreciate you guys having us here. To be able to talk about what we do, and that it actually helps build business, I'm excited to be able to talk about this stuff because I know that we're helping companies grow. So, thank you for having us.
And again, just as an aside, Jeff has been a very good business friend and he knows that, I'm always picking his brain and he's a wealth of information. I don't actually know if you're officially younger or older than me, you're probably younger than me, I'm assuming, because you did start working in your early 10s, right? 11s and 12s, so then he is just at a great resource of information as is Woodard, of course. Take him up and hit him up. If you have any questions or you wanna inquire about any resources he's discussed today or even just some basic business questions, he’s a good guy to go to. So, thank you again, Jeff, for joining us today. And we are gonna go ahead and transition at this point over to Dakota. Jeff, I do need you to unshare your screen. Zoom has a goofy requirement that someone has to unshare before someone else can share. If you can unshare your screen, then Dakota can take over. And Dakota is gonna walk us through their Inventory Management System and give us a demo and answer some questions. Although we're limiting Dakota probably 20 minutes, I would really like to have...he's gonna try to give us a good flyover of how it works and what it's about. And again, we'll get you some information about how to follow up if you'd like more information. So, thanks again, Jeff. And if you can unshare, then we'll get Dakota going here.
Chris, I'm having a little bit of trouble.
I work for a technology firm and I am not finding the same button I used to share it with.
It's up at the top, there should be a red button that says “stop sharing” up at the top of the Zoom frame. And if you click that, it'll unplug you from sharing your screen. We're still seeing your screen. It's up at the top of the Zoom frame, it should say stop sharing. In the middle of the screen, kinda dead in the middle, far where it says "View Options."
Yeah. Nothing's popping up on either. I've got two screens here, sorry about that. Hold on, it's on my third screen.
There we go.
There we go.
Perfect. Don't worry about that.
All right. The floor is yours.
All right. Thanks, Chris. And Jeff, that was an incredible presentation. I know we've had a long relationship and obviously we're very excited about attending Scaling New Heights this year in June. So, definitely looking forward to that and I hope to see you there. So, all right.
Yeah, good to see you again, too, Dakota.
Yeah. I'll go ahead and share my screen so we can kinda get started. I've got three screens so hopefully I get the right one. All right. So I'm obviously very excited to talk about Acctivate today. We're gonna kinda go through a little bit about everything regarding Acctivate from, you know, some of the basics to some of maybe the more value-added type features that we offer. So I'll just kind of give a general overview. And one of the first things that I typically talk about is, you know, what is Acctivate, and this will kind of set the groundwork for what are we actually talking about here. Now, Acctivate specifically focuses on inventory control and sales fulfillment. We are an integrated solution with QuickBooks, and kinda all together, we are here to bring ERP-like solutions and features to small businesses. So that's our focus. You can kind of see some of the features in each of the columns there, kinda highlight the values of each of those areas of the system. So inventory control, we're gonna actually talk about each one of these multi-warehouse, landed cost, lot and serial number control, manufacturing, mobile warehouse and barcoding.
Sales fulfillment, we'll discuss multi-channel management. Obviously, something that's becoming more and more important as businesses focus on many different channels, not just one. And then how do you handle that, how are we supposed to manage and control those different channels so that you can keep up with it and meet your demands? Workflow management as you go through those processes, as well as some more unique features related to sales fulfillment. And then, of course, talking about QuickBooks and how we work with QuickBooks, obviously, you know, our push is stay with QuickBooks for financials, stay with what you're comfortable with. But then, add on the extra operational capabilities that are gonna allow your business to grow and scale and be successful. Some of the more important aspects of our integration with QuickBooks is that it is a bi-directional integration, essentially eliminating, you know, double entry, also reducing the number of users you are going to have in QuickBooks because they'll actually be doing operational steps and management in Acctivate. And that really enhances the security of your financials in QuickBooks, as well as just overall general performance in QuickBooks because there's gonna be less data. And that's gonna be, you know, applicable for any solution. So that's kinda what you would expect within QuickBooks when working with Acctivate.
Now, kinda diving a little bit deeper into our relationship with QuickBooks, as I said, QuickBooks is, you know, your financials, accounts receivable, accounts payable, checkbook, payroll, things like that. Acctivate takes over all the operations. So when we're talking about inventory control and sales, that's really housed in Acctivate. And then, what we're doing is we're reporting those financial transactions into QuickBooks so QuickBooks can keep up with the general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and so on. So you you're not having to do any manual work, but you're going to really be able to enhance your operational side of the business with Acctivate.
And I can kinda talk about, you know, who chooses Acctivate. Now, you know, we work with a lot of different types of businesses, whether it's
distribution and wholesale, to manufacturing, to service-oriented companies, really anybody that's gonna really buy or sell products or service, you know, the like as well. You can kind of see some of the different industries here, I'll highlight some of those. You know, food and beverage, we deal a lot with because we have some specific features. You need lot traceability, especially when you're dealing with recalls and FDA regulations to chemical manufacturing where you're really needing to have enhanced ability to deal with variable yields and variable aspects to the production process. And, of course, you know, electronic components, agricultural supply, really anybody that's buying and selling a product and really needing more advanced understanding of where their inventory is at, and then, you know, what they can actually sell and service to their customers, allow them to be more efficient and offer better customer service and experience.
Now, Acctivate it's built on multiple, very powerful platforms that really give it an edge in the industry among any solution that offers any kind of inventory beyond QuickBooks as an add-on. And those two are Crystal Reports for reporting, it's an industry standard, it's been used for a very long time. There's an incredible amount of resources out there. Acctivate utilizes this to run reports, it allows the client to really keep control of their reports whether they can work with professionals that can write the reports for them, they can take any of our 100 plus reports out of the box and modify them. But they have the control to do it themselves if they would like as well, where they just buy a Crystal Report writer and then they can modify to no end. And, of course, I always like to say, if the data is within the system, if you are capturing it, then it can be pulled to a report using Crystal and you can analyze it and pretty much present it in any way, shape, or fashion. And, of course, that is kinda twofold when we accompany in it with a Microsoft SQL database where essentially you have full access to your data.
And we're talking about desktop solutions, you know, SQL and then you have it on your own desktop, that's gonna give you direct access to your data. You don't have to worry about, you know, where is your data, is it getting backed up offsite, things like that. This gives you direct access and management, and that way, it's always in your control and in your possession.
Now, if we kinda pull back to some of the basics that Acctivate offers, and I like to kind of look at it as though, you know, four different corners, but you have inventory control which is what we really focus on. And when you think of inventory control, you have to think of sales and purchasing that accompany that, you know. The stronger your inventory control is, the better your sales and the better your purchasing management will be. So that's where we really focus the most on, but then we do offer the ability to manage purchase orders enter, receive and invoice against purchase orders. And then, from a sales standpoint, the ability to enter from a quote all the way to invoice and even managing beyond that customer record, so that you know what your customers have really done with you from a transactional basis to a communication level, and really understanding who that customer is to you, all accessible within one system.
I'm kinda jumping into each one of these areas. From an inventory control, the idea is to centralize all of that data into one place, allow you to really know your product. And, you know, what is it that is important regarding this product from a purchasing and a sales standpoint. So where do you store it, how much do you have, do you have enough, what are your costs associated to that product, and so on, and all stored in a centralized location for easy access and easy reporting and analytical tracking. Of course, as I mentioned purchasing, the ability to create a purchase order, now, we do take a similar approach to QuickBooks regarding purchasing where you have like this two-step process to complete a purchase order. You know, you create your purchase orders but then you receive it. So you identify what you're actually physically receiving and then you invoice and then reconcile against that receipt. And that way, we can accurately understand what you should be paying to your vendor based on what you're physically receiving into your possession.
From a sales point of view, everything from the quote to selling and managing the sales process, to that fulfillment process of picking, packing, and shipping, all that is fully managed within Acctivate to really give you one place to handle fulfillment and understand where are you at with these orders, what do you need to do to continue fulfilling your orders which then slides back into inventory and back to purchasing so that you can manage those levels.
And of course, as I mentioned earlier, customer records, the ability to really know what a customer has purchased pretty much from the beginning of time when they purchased it with full search capability, unique customer pricing. So, you know, I know that's one thing that we really do build off of from QuickBooks, is the ability to really give you more complex pricing, customer specific pricing as a part of that, multi contact management, as well as multi-ship to, tracking credit, orders, invoicing, history. All of that is fully accessible under a single customer's record so that, you know, if you take a call from a customer or your client is taking calls from customers, then you'll need to be able to answer questions quickly. They're not going to have to jump between two systems, they can grab all of that information directly from Acctivate as they're answering those questions and providing a great customer experience.
I think, Dakota, that's okay. I did have a couple of questions for you if you don't mind.
Sure. Go ahead.
The first one, I'm hoping is obvious, they were asking, does this work for both QBO and desktop?
So, Acctivate currently is just a desktop integrated solution. We work with Pro, Premier, and Enterprise. We are always and consistently looking at and watching QBO. What we have found is that QBO is still really designed for very small entrepreneurs or very small institutions or organizations that really haven't grown to the need of inventory however more advanced inventory features. But that is quickly changing. And as that changes, the more focused we will become and most likely we will introduce an integration to it.
Okay. And then the other question, obviously, but finish with this and let you get start again. Someone asks, "How does this application fit into an ERP solution already implemented by a company?"
So, Acctivate really, you know, when it's a company with QuickBooks together, when you have them integrated, it provides that sort of ERP-like solution. It really would replace any other ERP. And then, moving forward, it really eliminates your need to move to an ERP. It's designed to allow you to scale while sticking with QuickBooks. We're trying to extend your life within that QuickBooks market. And what we found is we've had clients that go...You know, obviously we have very small clients that will be, you know, half a million to a million in revenue a year. But we have definitely had clients that, using Acctivate and QuickBooks together, exceeding over a half a billion in revenue. Which, if you think about it even from a QuickBooks standpoint is incredible, but that's kinda the power that Acctivate offers.
Okay, thank you. That was it for now.
Yup, absolutely. Now, I'm gonna kinda focus on some of the more unique features that Acctivate is going to offer, some popular ones that a lot of our, you know, clients that move forward with Acctivate definitely kind of que on or are really looking for. So we'll go through each one of these step by step. So Multi-warehouse, Acctivate is a multi-warehouse solution. Now, we could be talking about physical locations across the country, one in California, one in Florida, from warehousing standpoint. Managing inventory and understanding what your costs are, they will be very dramatically different when you have that kind of distance disparity. So something that Acctivate does really well is not only track physically but also the financial tracking that those independent warehousing locations. We also do more virtual segmentation as well. That means you might have a QC warehouse or waste warehouse or maybe you just wanna segment in your inventory based on different buildings on your property or something like that. And you just wanna be able to continually keep track of it at those different locations. Those are all parts that kind of work under our multi-warehouse features.
Kind of building off of the costing that I mentioned there briefly and how we segment costs at a warehouse level, Acctivate does what we call landed cost tracking and allows you to break those costs up across a product as it's purchased and delivered on a shipment. So if you get things like a freight, you know, Duty drayage, you know, or any other acquisition fees as a part of purchasing or manufacturing a product, you can take those fees and you can apply it to the receipt of goods, the manufactured goods, things like that, where you can actually say, "I wanna break it down by quantity, value, weight or volume," and our system will calculate that for you, landing into the cost of inventory asset value, which will eventually be cost of goods sold. The value of what this offers is that you would then instead of expensing those fees and then looking at it over a whole period in QuickBooks or your financials in general, you're now gonna be able to see those costs at a product and a sales order level. So you're gonna have a much more intimate understanding of what your margins are or your client would be able to understand those margins at a product by product or order by order level.
Another part of tracking inventory apart from cost is the, you know, lot and serial number tracking. And what Acctivate does is it allows you to track your lots and serial number products, you know, food and beverage are really popular. If we get into chemicals, it's also very popular. But if we come back and think about food, if you talk about coffee, you know, coffee you'd wanna know, you know, green coffee you bring in, you need to know those lots. You maybe go through a production process, which I'm actually gonna talk about here in a second, and then you eventually you sell it to a customer. The need to quickly pull together that information can be paramount to those based on FDA regulations.
So the ability in one place, and we call this track and trace, but it allows you to identify the lot of a product at either the, you know, if it's been sold or even a raw material. And then, it'll connect all transactions that it's been a part of, in this case, you can kinda see that it was purchased and then assembled. You can see the different components and kinda give you an idea or a glimpse of what that's like. But, you know, when we're talking about if your client ever deals with a recall, you know, we're talking minutes to hours that you have to gather this information. If you don't have a solution that can pull that together, you can have a hard time going through a recall, a lot of fees, and sometimes it can shut down your business depending on the severity of the recall.
And as I mentioned in manufacturing, you know, if we talk about coffee again, Acctivate, while it can handle standard assembly it's just fine, where you wanna take a bill of material and you produce a standard product and you put that back on your shelf and then you sell it, so you can definitely do that through Acctivate. But we also handle more complex situations where variable recipe and actual capabilities are really needed. So when we talk about coffee again, you have green coffee that you buy in bulk. And then, you turn around and you roast it, and you'll have shrinkage during that process. So you're gonna need to identify the actual amount of those green coffee beans going in, the shrinkage and then the yield of the roasted coffee coming out. Something that actually does really well, it'll consume at a physical and a financial level and then slide that into the finished goods so that we're accurately costing those finished goods as they're coming out.
And then, one more feature that's actually very popular for a lot of QuickBooks companies that are looking for more mobile operations in the warehouse, they wanna be more accurate, be able to move faster or do things without having to walk back and forth to get rid of the paper trail. So the mobile warehouse, and then use of barcodes in the warehouse, something that Acctivate does really well. You can actually do things like sales order picking, vendor PO receiving, inventory control of transfers, cycle counts, assemblies eliminating the paper trail. There are also functions within each one of these features that allow you to ensure that you're picking the right item or scanning the right barcode. That way, if you scan something incorrectly, you're going to be told immediately. That way, the idea there is that you ship fewer incorrect shipments. Customers ship product back less often, you're able to give better customer service, in the long run, you're able to allow your warehouse users to be more efficient. So this is definitely a powerful part of Acctivate. I'll give you some examples of what those look like. The idea that you have a list of purchase orders, and then the middle screen shows a list of products on the specific purchase order that you need to scan, what's expected. So you have the PO quantity column there that shows you what you're expected to be receiving from the vendor, as well as what you've scanned so far, as well as the ability to product labels. A put away list tells you where it's supposed to be stored at in the warehouse as well as any discrepancies that you might want to look over before you post.
Sales order picking, it's kind of a similar process here. You have a list of sales orders, kind of, that are ready to go. Whoever's managing the orders from the actual system will shift this. And now, whoever is managing it from the device will know, "I need to be filling these orders." They open up each order that's actively in real-time updating the system to let whoever is managing those orders at a high level know that, "Hey, I'm working on this order in the warehouse right now." So you would, you know, if we're talking about it from a management standpoint, I will be able to see how many orders are currently being worked on, how many have already been completed, so that I know what we're doing from a fulfillment standpoint, a workflow standpoint.
And that takes me into some sales fulfillment features, and then we'll wrap up. But some of it, you know, this multi-channel sales, it is becoming more and more important that systems are able to manage and really handle multiple channels of orders because every…companies are looking for more ways that they can actually get orders to come in. Now, from an EDI standpoint, that's where I'll actually start with first. This kinda gives you an idea of what EDI is to Acctivate, as well as what is EDI in general. So for those that are familiar with EDI, this will make a lot of sense. For those that are not, EDI is just in an electronic form of communicating with very large retailers such as Walmart, Lowe's and many others that are going to want to communicate in that format. They will require it, they'll tell you or your client, "Hey, you need to be EDI compliant." Then you need to work through an EDI provider. And then, Acctivate is the backend operation or ERP solution that allows you to manage those orders and get those out on time as requested by the big-box retailer. And Acctivate supports everything from the PO that's gonna come from the big-box retailer like Walmart. They're gonna send that order in for hundreds to thousands of Walmart locations. Then you're, you know, whether you're working with a 3PL for your warehouse or you're going to do that internally, there are several additional transactions that will allow you to manage that. As well as, eventually once you've picked, packed, and shipped it, you can send things back like the advance ship notice to let Walmart know exactly how their distribution center is going to receive your shipment or shipments, multiple, as well as the eventual invoice that you'll send them electronically. So no more emailing in this, you know, they don't want you to work through email, they want you to do it all electronically. And this allows you to manage that sequence seamlessly and very easily.
And, of course, Acctivate also supports many different e-commerce platforms, and these are direct integrations, no third-party middleware. So we would be able to communicate directly with Amazon or directly with eBay, or if you have your own website through Magento or Shopify. We actually have more than just this list but it just kind of gives you an idea, and we're always adding to this list based on customer feedback. But it does allow you to connect multiple platforms, and that way, we can have these orders automatically streamlining into the system, and then returning information like item availability. So when a customer goes to your website or goes to your clients' website, then they can identify, you know, is this product actually available. I mean, if you're trying to order it, I mean, am I actually gonna get that product or is it gonna then turn around and give me a back-order notice. This will allow you to keep that up to date through the sink, and as well as order status tracking information, things like that. So when we get that tracking information from the shipping software, we can pass that back up to the web store so a client can identify when their shipment should be delivered.
Shipping integration kinda goes hand-in-hand with the, you know, fulfillment and the different channels. But we do work with UPS World Ship, Ship Manager, some third-party solutions like Ship Rush, Starship. There's many more that we work with, but just an example. We do also, you know, anybody that really can support our integration path, which is an ODBC type integration, we should be able to communicate on the backend to allow you to eliminate any manual entry of order information in order to generate those shipping labels. Anywhere from auto generation as an order, goes across a scanner to, you know, you're manually scanning an order and printing out a label and moving forward. So depending on how large the fulfillment line is, there's different ways that we can work within and help streamline that process.
Custom kitting is also very popular. This kinda differentiates or is a little different from QuickBooks. I know QuickBooks offers the ability to do groups, Acctivate calls it kitting. Essentially, it works like an assembly except it's made to order. So you don't actually build it and then restock it, you build it and fulfill it directly on an order. So a customer will look at it as a single item and internally, you're going to see it as a list of components that you're needing to pull together or build and put together for that order. It allows you to optimize the allocation of those components, they stay as components until you actually have the order rather than building and then tying up a lot of inventory for stock assemblies.
And a couple more things before I wrap up, and see if there's any other questions. But one of the most valuable additions to Acctivate in the last year has been our Order Manager. Acctivate's Order Manager allows you to really endlessly filter and group and manage different attributes and different types of orders so that you can know intimately what's going on with that specific type of order or orders. You can kind of see the example here, sales orders from Amazon, the EDI orders, Shopify. So if you wanted to look at different channels, you could set up channel, what we call bars, and then you have buttons for filtering. But this would allow you, at any point in time, know, "Is there something I need to do to this order or these this list of orders, do I need to be moving this forward? If we're talking about from a fulfillment standpoint, you're going through workflow statuses, you know, "Where am I with those orders?" You can also do things what we call actions, where you can move things in bulk such as, you know, scheduling orders. When you get replenishment to printing and emailing things in bulk, so you're not doing printing and emailing at a single order level, you can actually do it at a whole batch of orders. Maybe you send to the warehouse, maybe you wanna send a bunch of customers' orders so you can send them all emails in batch, as well as processing invoices in batch. You've processed 100 orders today, you shipped them all out, instead of doing that one by one where you go in and invoice them, you can actually invoice all 100 in a matter of about 2 to 3 clicks. Really makes processing and managing orders very easy, very fast, and much more efficient. Now, of course, there's a lot more to this but that's kind of a high-level overview.
And then the last thing that I have to talk about is just in general, kind of, bringing back, you know, Acctivate and, you know, in essence what it's designed to do. It's designed to make small businesses more efficient, offering tools rather than doing things one-off, allowing you to do them in batch, move things forward. Some things are automated so that you're not even having to do them in batch. There are dashboards and other tools within the system that allow you to see things at a very high level so that you can continually know what's going on, having an intimate knowledge of how your business is performing or how your client's business is performing, so that they can make optimal decisions on a daily basis with real-time data, real-time information. And that hopefully should allow them to be far more successful at a level that you would see with like an Oracle or SAP system that would maybe be, you know, 10 to, you know, 100 times more expensive.
And with that, I guess I'll hand it back to you, Chris. I don't know if there's any questions.
We did have one question, I'm just gonna read it to you in verbatim. So QB, QuickBooks is basically used for payroll, banking, and GL only. APM and ... and AR, are they imported automatically in real-time or periodically?
It is through a sync. So it is something that is initiated by a user. We do user authentication to ensure that they...Actually, it's a part of them just authenticating that that specific user has the authority to update that part of QuickBooks. So you just press a button, it sends that information from Acctivate to QuickBooks, and it's also a bi-directional sync. So at the same time, we'll be pulling data back.
Okay. And then I just have another just pop up. How does Acctivate work with Pro Advisors? Do you have any special programs or?
I do. In fact, I know that Jeff is on the line. Jeff actually led up our partner program for many years and did a fantastic job of really building it from the ground up, so obviously he can give some props to Jeff. But yes, we do have a partner program, it's a big part of why we go to Scaling New Heights, continually working to develop more relationships. We do offer incentives, you know, working with us but we also offer different levels of implementation and support depending on how an advisor wants to work. Whether they just want to be more of a referral and have a client, you know, be more handed off and then have our sales team work with the client directly, or if they wanna be more fully engaged, possibly even help with implementation. We do have a full implementation process where our partners and QuickBooks advisors can be involved and even become certified Acctivate partner or certified Acctivate implementation partner is where they can implement Acctivate in addition to QuickBooks to sort of even broaden their repertoire of solutions that they can offer their clients.
Okay. And that actually segues into the next question from the same gentleman. He was asking, basically he said, "Do we need to know their system, can we learn their system or is it just a referral?" So, you mentioned a certification program, they can actually participate in the program to learn more about it before they start representing it to other folks, I'm assuming.
That's correct. And, you know, there's different ways we work with partners and Pro Advisors. There are those that they can be as much like the client. So I know there's multiple solutions that that I'm aware of. You know, we can schedule demos, they can be a part of it, and then they can allow our sales team to just be sort of the Acctivate expert. They don't necessarily have to put their credibility on the line, they can allow our sales team to be that credibility, answer the questions, and see if it's a good fit. We also do that certification program where we go through a process, really teach you the system ins and out or in and out so that if you do feel comfortable being that referral, I think you should move forward with Acctivate or I would recommend that you would move forward with Acctivate or at least take a look, that you would know or be very comfortable and understanding whether or not Acctivate is a good fit. So it's kind of up to the individual of, you know, how comfortable they are. But we train at all levels and whoever, how basic you wanna know Acctivate to however complex.
Okay, excellent. I think that answers his question. Well, thank you very much for the demonstration that they have at Acctivate. Again, keep in mind, if you have any questions, if you're like me you finish the webinar and two seconds later, "Dang, I wish I had thought of this question," we will provide all the contact information. You can see it on screen as well, sales.acctivate.com. We'll have that available to follow up email to everyone, even those that couldn't join us today, so we'll make that available to you. We'll also have Jeff's information. And I wanna thank Jeff again also for joining us today. You both did an outstanding job. So our numbers are a little down today, but I'm assuming that's a tax season thing, everyone's rushing to get their W-2s done for their clients. So hopefully, those of you that couldn't make it, you'll find the recorded version also on the website and that'll be included in the email as well. And you won't wanna miss out on the rest of the year with Desktop Time, we have some outstanding guests and vendors that will be here, just like we did today. Including next month, we'll have Sarah Leyva as our guest host. I know a lot of you probably are familiar with Sarah, she's also gonna be introducing the software they developed for their own practice. And we'll have Givenchy joining us. I actually have one of the founders of Givenchy will be joining us with a demo of their product as well.
But if you look at the schedules throughout the year, we have some folks coming back who a lot of you know like Joe [inaudible 00:55:48], and Miriam Martinez, and Dawn Brolin. This year, we also have Hector Garcia joining us, he's gonna be introducing the new QuickBooks desktop version for 2019. I'd really wanna talk about it next year, just barely getting used to 2018. But we have a lot of just outstanding guest and vendors this year, so we really encourage you to take a look, see the schedule, and make sure you kinda schedule yourself up and join us when you can. Again, thank you to both Jeff and Dakota for joining us today. Thank you to all of you. I know we are in the throes of tax season, so we're sorry if we didn't see you here today, but again, we'll send you the follow up. And we look forward to seeing you all back next month on February 21st. So a little over a month from now, we'll look forward to seeing you back here. So thank you again to everyone. Have a wonderful day. Don't stress out too much about taxes. You go out and play golf or do whatever you like to do, have a margarita, whatever it takes, but don't let it get you down. Enjoy the next couple of months, so we look forward to seeing you back next month. Take care.
Thank you, guys.
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