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  1. 1. NAVISION Chapter 1
  2. 2. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs INTRODUCTION Navision Software is widely considered to be one of the top five accounting systems or ERP solutions in the world today for the mid-range and high-end markets. Some industry experts, including myself, rank Navision as the top accounting system overall. The materials below briefly describe the Navision product including a summary of the product’s strengths and weaknesses. NAVISION’S HISTORY The Eighties Navision was originally founded in 1983 by Jesper Balser, Peter Bang and Torben Wind in Copenhagen, Denmark. In 1984 the product was launch as “PCPlus” in Denmark & Norway. This was a character-based accounting solution targeted towards the SOHO (small office/home office) market. In 1984 “Beauty of Simplicity” was adopted as the first company slogan. In 1987 the company changed its name to Navision and the product was renamed to Navigator. The Nineties In 1990 the company launched Navision 3.0, and expanded the market beyond Scandinavia into Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. In 1992, the company also reached an agreement with Peachtree Software President, Bill Goodhue, who acquired the rights to distribute Navision in the United States. In 1993 Navision initiated a major development effort to create a new generation of Navision solutions based on the Microsoft Windows 32-bit client/server platform. To Americanize Navision, modifications included better printing capabilities and changing the terminology of the systems. For example in Europe you “book” an entry and in the United States we “post” it. Europeans sell “product” while Americans sell “inventory”. For the most part, Navision’s underlying business rules were completely compatible with the business rules used here in the United States. Therefore the Americanizing of Navision was more a matter of cosmetics than redesign. This product designed for the Windows 95 version and Windows NT platforms, was launched in the US market in 1995. Initially called AVISTA Software, the name was quickly changed to Navision Financials in order to better leverage Navision’s name recognition. The company continued to enhance the product by adding contact management functionality in 1997, manufacturing capabilities in 1998, and advanced distribution in 1999. The Two-Thousands 2000 was a stellar year for Navision. In 2000 Navision Financials received Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Certification and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Certification. The company launched the Navision Commerce Gateway – world’s first solution based on Microsoft’s BizTalk 2 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  3. 3. Server. The company also launched the Navision User Portal – the world’s first solution based on Microsoft’s Digital Dashboard. In an industry shaking move, Navision Software merged with their long-time Danish rival Damgaard Software. (Both products were developed in Denmark and both products maintained US operations in Atlanta, Georgia. As a result, the management of both companies frequently sat next to one another in First Class when traveling between Denmark and Atlanta. This merger literally emerged on Delta airplanes). In 2001 the company made many enhancements including: 1. Re-branded “Navision Financials” as “Navision Attain” and “Damgaard Axapta” as “Navision Axapta”; 2. Integrated the e-commerce applications, Commerce Gateway, Commerce Portal into both products; 3. Introduced User Portal, browser-based access to both products; 4. Introduced supply chain collaboration functionality, manufacturing and distribution capabilities, and new financial management functionality; 5. Navision received the Designed for Microsoft XP logo. In 2002 Microsoft acquired Navision for $1.4 billion – the largest acquisition ever made by Microsoft. (This was a very high acquisition price considering that ACCPAC International was acquired the following year by Best Software for just $120 million; even though ACCPAC had more products and far more customers (41,000 to 1.2 million) than did Navision.) Today Navision has been the fastest growing accounting system solution offered by Microsoft. Consider that in 2001, Navision’s growth rate was an astounding 32%, even though the rest of the accounting software industry had been slumping and recoiling from the impact of the Y2K bug. Since then, the Navision software product line has grown steadily and today has approximately 35,000 customers worldwide, and more than 400,000 individual users. The Navision product’s strength and future outlook has never looked stronger. NAVISION TECHNOLOGY Programming Language - Navision was originally developed in C/SIDE - a 100% graphical environment that, like the application, has a graphical user interface. It is useful to understand that almost every application is developed in a specific programming language (like “C”), using a set of predefined tools for creating instant dialog boxes and other objects (such as “SIDE”). Hence Navision was written in C/SIDE, or “C” with an assortment of predefined tools on the “side”. Databases - Navision runs on three different databases - the native Navision database, the Microsoft SQL Server database, and the Microsoft MSDE database (which is basically a scaled down version of Microsoft SQL Server). Navision charges the same fee for either the Navision or SQL Server database, and the MSDE version is priced 30% less. Historically, approximately 80% of Navision customers have selected the Navision database, but the popularity of the Microsoft SQL Server database has been rising steadily. Both are excellent databases. The Navision database has a stellar reputation for speed, stability and a lower total Learn more at 3
  4. 4. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs cost of ownership because it requires less on-going administration to maintain. The Microsoft SQL Server database is considered to be the best choice for larger Navision customers. The Navision database (which was formerly called the C/SIDE database) is a relational database which scales very high. The integrity of the C/SIDE database is outstanding by design. Each time a transaction is recorded in Navision, the change is actually recorded in a copy of the database after which a copy of the database is written and the originally database is then over written. The result is that you can turn off the power during heavy data entry or posting, and Navision's design will prevent the data from becoming corrupted. An article to this effect was published in the December 1996 issue of Datamation. The article described how Triad Resources – a contract- manufacturing company in Campbell, CA. lost power with 20 users concurrently using the Navision system. When the power came back on, the Navision systems came back up with no problems. It could be argued that the Navision database is a proprietary database. Typically we frown on proprietary databases. However, Navision has earned both the Designed for Windows XP logo (in addition to older logos such as the “Designed for Windows 95 NT/95” and “Microsoft BackOffice” logos.) Further, the Navision database is extremely similar to Microsoft Access and the corresponding tool set is very similar to Visual Basic. Navision is also compliant with many industry standard products such as Crystal Reports, and Office XP. The product also uses the Windows Print Manager for all printing – a widely adopted industry standard. Given these facts, it is easy to see why so many of Navision’s smaller customers choose to implement Navision on this proprietary database. Of course the Microsoft SQL Server database is the most popular selling database today and it packs a powerful one-two punch with the SQL Server and MSDE versions of the database. The MSDE version is priced lower and requires less database administration which makes it an excellent choice for smaller companies with up to 10 concurrent users. The Microsoft SQL Server database scales very high and can easily meet the needs of a larger ERP class customer. There have been many reports that companies have replaced their SAP installations with Navision software and found Navision to be far faster and easier to use than SAP. Navision Financials utilizes Sum-Indexed Flow Technology (SIFT). With this technology, amounts, balances and statistics used in the application are always fully updated in the database. The result is that when you want to see a statistic or produce a report, the numbers do not need to be generated from a large number of database entries. Source Code - Navision is a 32-bit application. The product is highly customizable and source code is available for a very small fee. This single feature is perhaps the most important feature to Navision’s success. Source code rights allow resellers and end users to easily develop and adapt Navision to specific industries or companies. For example Serenic software has developed a not- for-profit version of Navision using Navision’s built-in customization and source code tools. The results have been very successful as Serenic Navigator is now considered to be the most powerful not-for-profit solution available today. 4 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  5. 5. Testing - The Company has never revealed specific details about their internal product testing. However, many in the industry report that Navision has been one of the most bug free products, if not the most bug free product, in the world. Note - As an interesting technology note, Navision, and all its’ data, can be completely backed up – even when the product is opened. In addition, the product can be completely customized even when the product is open and being used by others. NAVISION PRICING The typical Navision customer pays between $15,000 to $35,000 for the Navision software, and an additional $15,000 to $50,000 to implement the product and train employees in the use of the product. On top of these fees, approximately 90% of all Navision customers pay an additional $3,000 to $8,000 to customize the product for their own specific use. Navision pricing is based on granule’s (or features) not modules. This makes Navision pricing rather unique in the industry. The retail pricing for Navision’s general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, inventory, order entry, job costing, and system manager; for 1 user, 5 users, 10 users, 25 users, and 100 users are presented below. Navision on the MDE Database Single User - $ 9,100 Five Users - $ 13,300 Ten Users - $ 22,400 Navision on the SQL Server or Navision database Single User - $ 13,000 Five Users- $ 19,000 Ten Users - $ 32,000 25 Users - $ 53,000 100 Users - $160,000 Learn more at 5
  6. 6. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs NAVISION MODULES Navision’s Standard Core Modules: 1) General Ledger a) Cash Management b) Navision Analyst (financial reporting) c) Bank Reconciliation d) Consolidations e) Budget/Estimate f) Allocations 2) Accounts Payable a) Purchase Order 3) Accounts Receivable 4) Sales Order a) Sales Tax 5) Payroll 6) Inventory 7) Job Cost 8) System Manager Navision’s Advanced Modules: 9) Warehouse 10) Human Resources 11) Foreign Trade 12) Service Management 13) Bill of Materials 14) Resources 15) Fixed Assets 16) Basic Manufacturing 17) Supply Planning 18) Capacity Planning Management 19) CRM Navision software features every core and advanced module that you would expect to find in a mid-range or high-end accounting system or ERP product. Third party add-on modules are also available to meet industry specific needs such as reporting (Jet Reports); not-for-profit accounting (Serenic Navigator); retail point of sale (Microsoft Retail Point of Sale); bar coding (Ballies); textile (BMI’s Apparel add-on); etc. 6 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  7. 7. NAVISION LOOK & FEEL Tabbed Dialog Boxes Labels and data fields help organize the user are neatly arranged in screens a straight line Icons are clear, easy to understand, and easy to click on Data fields are wrapped in boxes to help readability Additional buttons are available to deliver more information The open company’s name is clearly displayed Icons located at the top allow you to search and filter data VCR buttons make it easy to scroll through customers The date here shows the period that is currently open The background prevents other open applications from cluttering the screen Learn more at 7
  8. 8. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs NAVISION’S MAIN MENU The main menu presented below offers a elegant design which is easy to navigate and use. The icons at the top of the screen allow the user to perform the following: 1. Print & Print Preview 2. Cut, Copy & Paste 3. Undo 4. Insert (insert a new record) 5. Delete (delete an existing record) 6. Find 7. Field Filter, Table Filter, Flow Filter, No Filter 8. Sort 9. Scroll Records 10. Show List Sub Menus Main Menu User Desktop Navision’s list of modules does not do the product justice. For example, bank reconciliation and budgeting are included in the general ledger. Sales orders and purchase orders are included in the accounts receivable & accounts payable modules. Many accounting software solutions list these modules separately and charge separately for these modules. Because Navision combines many 8 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  9. 9. ancillary modules within the core modules, this sometimes conveys the impression that Navision does not have as many modules as other products, when in fact it does. In addition, the function keys in Navision provide the following functionality: F1 – Help F2 – Edit F6 – Lookup F12 – Main Menu Shift + F1 – What is this Shift + F2 – Edit Assist Shift + F6 – Drill Down Shift + F12 – Object Designer Control + F2 - Designer Control + F4 - Close Control + F6 – Next Window If preferred, Navision can be used completely without the aid of a mouse, just the keyboard is needed. Learn more at 9
  10. 10. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs CUSTOMIZING NAVISION The number one reason for Navision’s remarkable success is the product’s built-in customization capabilities. The importance of customization capabilities is best described as follows: Accounting system developers figured out long ago that the process of adding a never ending stream of enhancements to an accounting system eventually resulted in “bloatware” that was so cluttered with features that users found the product difficult, if not impractical to use. To alleviate this problem, developers focused their attentions on producing accounting systems which contained the core features most desired by the masses, along with built-in tools designed to allow end users to customize the product specifically for their needs. Navision Software provides an excellent example of this approach. The scenario presented below provides a basic understanding of how this process works. Assume that Navision has been installed for a boat marina operator, and there are specific additions to the system that would be beneficial to that customer. Presented below is the basic Navision customer screen which does not capture critical data such as the name of the customer’s boat, the slip number where the boat is parked, the level of fuel, the boat mechanic’s name and phone number, tag expiration, etc. Using Navision’s built-in customization tools, the reseller or end user can solve this problem in a matter of minutes. 10 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  11. 11. The first step is to launch the Object Designer application as shown below: As you can see in the screen shot above, the Object Designer is very similar to Microsoft Access, and works almost the same way. Those who are already familiar with Access find it very easy to customize Navision. Those who are not familiar with Access report that the tools are quick and easy to learn. The next step is to create the new data fields that the boat marina would like to add to their system. This process involves simply typing in the name of the fields to be added and indicating the type and length of data field. Learn more at 11
  12. 12. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs The final step involves the placement of these new data fields on the appropriate user screens and reports throughout the system. As shown below, these fields are simply dragged from the field menu and positioned onto the appropriate user screens. The result shown below is an accounting system that not only offers strong core functionality, but also offers additional functionality specific to the end user’s needs. 12 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  13. 13. Navision’s customization capabilities are coveted for the following reasons: 1. The tools are quick and easy to use, similar to those in Microsoft Access. 2. Customizations are virtually unlimited; users can make up to 50,000 changes to the system. 3. Customizations are not lost when the user migrates to newer versions of Navision. These customizations can be imported into the new version. 4. Navision’s customization tools allow the user to not only add new data fields to the system, but users can change any thing in Navision as well. For example, Customer’s could be renamed as “Clients”, “Patients”, “Members”, “Donors”, “Pets”, “Patrons”, “Associates”, “Affiliates”, “Shoppers”, “Consumers”, etc. 5. Navision’s customization tools allow the user to create new tabs in a dialog box, new dialog boxes, new tables, and new reports. 6. Navision’s customization tools include a “Dataport” feature that will import data into Navision from virtually any remote source, complete with data verification. The screen below shows the Dataport creation screen: Learn more at 13
  14. 14. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs SUPPLY CHAIN & REVERSE AUCTIONS Navision supports many top supply chain solutions. Microsoft’s BizTalk, for example, is a supply chain solution that work’s well between Navision and virtually any other top accounting system or ERP solution. Briefly stated, an electronic supply chain solution allows your accounting system to communicate with your suppliers/customer’s accounting system automatically. Rather than phoning, faxing or mailing your PO information to your supplier, an electronic supply chain solution allows your accounting system to send the PO directly to your suppliers system electronically. As a result, communication is almost instantaneous and keypunching errors are virtually eliminated. Administration and labor cost are virtually eliminated. The advantages offered by an electronic supply chain can be enormous. Consider that Wal-Mart used superior supply chain technology to send their competitors (K- Mart, Federated Department Stores, Macy’s, and others) into bankruptcy. Today Wal-Mart stands alone not only as the world’s largest retailer, but as the world’s largest company period. When Wal-Mart first committed itself to establishing a superior electronic supply chain, technology was at its infancy and the Wal-Mart solution often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to each supplier who wanted to supply goods to Wal-Mart. Today, an electronic supply chain is far easier and far less expensive to establish. For example, to set up a BizTalk supply chain solution in your organization, all you need to do is call Microsoft and set up a BizTalk account. Microsoft will supply you with some basic information which is entered into the Navision Commerce Portal Setup Screen shown below: This Commerce Portal Setup window is used to set up the basic rules to be used in the Commerce Portal application area, on your Web Portal, and in the communication between the two. On the General tab, you specify the currency, country, language and decimal symbol you want to be used on your Web Portal. On the Communication tab, you establish communications 14 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  15. 15. between Navision and your Web Portal, such as the data source and initial catalog. On the Numbering tab, you specify the number series that will be used for pictures, contacts and reverse auctions. Reverse Auctions - The Reverse Auction screen shown above allows you to create reverse auctions. A reverse auction is a process in which you desire to purchase products or services through Internet commerce. You can invite vendors to participate, and they then respond to your auction by making bids on the Web portal, stating delivery time and quantity. Finally, you choose which of the vendors you want to buy from, or the system can be set up to make the choice for you based on the criteria you specify. Start by entering general information about the item you want to list for auction and other relevant information. (Most information about the item can be copied from the item card when you enter the item number on the reverse auction.) On the lines, you enter information about the vendors you want to invite to participate in the reverse auction. When you have finished filling in the reverse auction, you then release it to be synchronized to your Web portal. Public Reverse Auction - It is up to you whether the auction should be public or not. A public reverse auction results in an open reverse auction, where participating vendors are able to follow the auction progress. All vendor bids are made public for the rest of the vendors to view and react to. However, not all information about a vendor is made public to the other vendors. The vendors name or other information about the vendor is not displayed on the Web portal. Each reverse auction document in Navision lists one item for auction. The specific information used in the reverse auction is as follows: Learn more at 15
  16. 16. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs Field Comments No. A unique number to identify the reverse auction. Item No. The number of the type of product you want to buy. Quantity The number of items that you wish to order. Unit of Measure Code The code for unit of measure. Description Description of the item you want to buy. Web Site Code Web site that you want your reverse auction to be allocated to. Closing Date The deadline for when you want the auction to close for more bids. Closing Time Time of day for when you want the auction to close for more bids. Public Allows you to want to make the reverse auction public. Status Enter the status of the reverse auction. To submit the reverse auction to the Web portal, choose Released in this field. Purchaser Code Enter the initials of your company's contact person. Expected Receipt Date Enter the date for when you expect to receive the items. Selected Vendor No. The number of the vendor you have chosen as the winner. Order No. The order number that is connected to the Purchase Order. 16 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  17. 17. Releasing a Reverse Auction - When you have filled in the reverse auction, you must release it to be shown on your Web portal. The Status fields for each Vendor on the subform will be automatically updated when you have submitted the auction. Then, all vendors on the subform are invited to participate. Once you have released the auction you can no longer edit fields and comments in the Reverse Auction window. The screen above shows where vendors are selected for participation. Automated Reordering via Reverse Auctions - With the batch job option, you can create a reverse auction for reordering items so that you can maintain the required quantities on inventory. The batch job processes all the item cards and determines whether each item should be reordered. The calculation is based on the contents of the Inventory, Reorder Point, Maximum Inventory and Reorder Quantity fields on the item card. The quantity in the Inventory field is compared with the Reorder Point field, the result shows the quantity of the item that the batch job suggests for reorder, and a reverse auction is automatically created. NAVISION’S GENERAL LEDGER The heart of any accounting system is the general ledger and Navision’s is widely considered to be an excellent system. One reason for this is Navision’s account number can be expanded to any length with an unlimited number of segments. Many other top accounting system solutions have been hampered by limited account number structures. For example, until the release of Version 4.0 in early 2004, MAS 90’s account numbers were limited to just 9 digits and three segments. Macola Progression is limited to just three segments as well (15 digits). Navision; however, offers an account number structure as powerful as SAP’s in that the structure is dynamic and can be increased or modified at any time. The Navision Chart of Accounts screen is shown below: Learn more at 17
  18. 18. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs The Navision product has been designed to allow end users to view all information on the screen, and avoid the necessity for printing out voluminous copies of reports thereby reducing paper costs, toner costs, wear and tear on printers, paper storage costs, trash removal costs, etc. For example, Navision allows the user to scroll the data in reports while the column headings and row labels remain visible on screen. Other accounting systems that do not provide such a feature often force the user to print pages of reports in order to read them. You could say that by design Navision is environmentally friendly because fewer trees are killed. The screen below shows the financial reports (referred to in Navision as Account Schedules) that are available in the system. The screen below show example financial reports as presented in Navision. The drop down option button in the bottom right hand corner allows the user to export financial reports to Excel. 18 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  19. 19. The screen below shows the resulting financial report in Excel, including an automatic pivot table and field list box to make it easier for end users to create OLAP data cubes, pivot reports, and pivot charts. Learn more at 19
  20. 20. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs DRILL-ABILITY Another strength of Navision is its outstanding drill-ability. Two separate articles which were published in the Journal of Accountancy studied the audit trail of various top accounting packages. The general premise of the article was to test the ability to trace source documents thru the accounting systems to the final financial statement, and back to the original source document. In the first article, all products received dismal marks as numerous gaps were found to exist in all products. However, Navision was included in the second round of tests conducted years later and the conclusion was that Navision offered the best audit trail in the industry, from source documents to final reports, and from final reports back to the original source documents. Presented below is a series of screens designed to walk the user thru an example of Navision’s drill-down, and Drill-around capabilities. Clicking on the balance drill down icon displays all transactions for the customer Clicking on the navigate button displays a summary of where the selected transaction hit the books 20 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  21. 21. Clicking the SHOW button displays a summary of the posted invoice journal From here the Invoice button allows the user to display the complete invoice. From the items included on the invoice, the user can drill to a complete listing of all inventory items. Learn more at 21
  22. 22. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs From the item card the user can drill to photographs of the item, statistics, and so on… As shown by the series of screens above, we were able to drill from the customer set up screen, to all customer transactions, thru the posted sales journal, to a posted sales invoice, to an item on that invoice, to the inventory listing, to pictures and statistics for that item. While this drill-ability scenario could easily be continued, these three screens should sufficiently convey a good idea as to how drillable Navision is. To users who want to be able to track down transactions and dig for underlying data, Navision offers an impressive solution. In addition, Navision includes the following drilling tools which are part of the standard product: • The PowerDrill Tools - allows you to navigate detailed transactions to the various modules and down to the originating documents. PowerDrill can also be used to build lookups. • The PowerSeek Tools – allows you to sort the data in any order you prefer. • The PowerFilter Tools – allows you to build specific queries combining multiple fields of data. For example, you could build a query that summarizes customers in specific states, cities, and ZIP codes, assigned territories, salespeople, and other important data for use in producing a direct mail campaign. • The NavisionFilter Tools – allows you to slice your numbers across departments, projects, dates, and other parameters important to your business. • The TrendScape Tools – allows you to display trends in your numbers on an annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even on a daily basis. You can also define your own set of periods to analyze the results of promotions, special offerings, or the impact of major economic events. The TrendScape Tools handle many years of data. The functions “View”, “Field Filter” and “View, Table Filter” provide a window that can display only the accounts, customers, entries or other records that fulfill a particular condition. For example, you can have the system display only the customer cards on which the Salesperson 22 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  23. 23. Code field contains the code PS (for Peter Saddow). When you browse forward or back in the collection of customer cards, no other cards are displayed. You can also set and remove this type of restriction on any field on a record as filters remain in effect until you remove them or replace them with new ones. Please note that field and table filters are window-dependent, so if you see the same table in another window, the filter is not automatically in effect there. On the other hand, the filter will remain in effect in the window where you entered it until you remove it. To remove a filter, select the function View, Show All. A restriction on one field is called a field filter. To filter more than one field at a time, you can use the table filter function. The field filter and table filter performs exactly the same function. However, the field filter places a filter only on the field that contains the cursor when you choose the function. If you are in the habit of using only field filters, it can be good to use the table filter feature occasionally to get an overview of all the filters that have been placed on a window. When you enter a filter, you can use all the numbers and letters that you can ordinarily use in the field. In addition, you can use some special symbols or mathematical expressions. Here are the different formats that you can usually use: Meaning Sample Expression Records Displayed Equal to 377 Number 377. Interval 1100 .. 2100 1100 through 2100. Up to and including 2500. ..2500 Information for accounting period 8 and P8.. thereafter. Either/or 1200|1300 Those with number 1200 or 1300. If there is a record with each number, both will be shown. And <2000&>1000 Numbers that are less than 2000 and greater than 1000. (The & sign cannot be used by itself with numbers because no record has two numbers.) Different from <>0 All numbers except 0. Greater than > 1200 Numbers greater than 1200. Greater than or >=1200 Numbers greater than or equal to 1200. equal to Less than <1200 Numbers less than 1200. Less than or equal <=1200 Numbers less than or equal to 1200. to An indefinite *Co**CoCo* Texts that contain "Co". Texts that end with number of "Co". Texts that begin with "Co". unknown characters (may be none) One unknown Hans?n Texts such as Hansen or Hanson. character Calculate before 30|(>=10&<=20) Those with number 30 or with a number from 10 rest through 20 (the result of the calculation within the parentheses). Learn more at 23
  24. 24. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs You can also combine the various format expressions: 5999|8100 .. 8490 Include any records with the number 5999 or a number from the interval 8100 through 8490. ..1299|1400.. Include records with a number less than or equal to 1299 or a number equal to 1400 or greater - that is, all numbers except 1300 through 1399. >50&<100 Include records with numbers that are greater than 50 and less than 100 - that is, numbers 51 through 99. *C*&*D* Texts containing both C and D. @*co?* Texts containing co., CO., Co., cot, cope, incorporated.... (CO, cO, co or Co must be present, followed by at least one character, but there can be an indefinite number of characters before and after these, and case is unimportant). It is important to enter only meaningful filters. For example, it is possible to specify an interval that does not exist, and the program does not check this for you. In order to enter meaningful filters, you must know the sorting rules that the program follows. To use the Field Filter, choose Main Menu, Sales & Receivables, Customers, etc. Next click the Salesperson Code field. Then from the menu bar, choose View, Field Filter. In the window that appears, enter the conditions that the field contents must satisfy. To begin with, the filter field has the same contents as the field on the card, but just type over the contents. Enter PS, and click the Apply button. If you browse through the customer cards now, you will see only cards that have PS as the salesperson code. The other customers are still in the database, but you won't see their cards until you remove the filter by selecting from the menu bar, choose View, Show All. SETUP CHECKLIST When setting up Navision, the product includes the following set up checklist to organize this complex and important process. This helps ensure that critical steps are conducted in the right order to achieve as efficient of an implementation as possible. 24 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  25. 25. INVENTORY You can tell a great deal about an accounting system by setting up a single inventory item. In this section, we can see some of the inventory screens and reports within Navision, and will look at some of the features that make Navision Financials Inventory a strong solution for almost any company. Presented below is the Inventory main menu. For our purposes, we will concentrate on the “Items” option of this menu only. To begin our evaluation of Navision’s Inventory, we first select the Item List shown below. Users can sort this listing by any column in ascending or descending order. An additional button allows users to search for any string of text embedded in the item description. This is important because most accounting software packages only allow you to search by the first letter of the item name. Therefore if the user searches for “CHAIR” instead of “LONDON SWIVEL CHAIR”, they will not find what they are looking for. However, with Navision, this search is fairly simply using the “Find” button. Learn more at 25
  26. 26. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs Once you have found the item you are looking for, notice that Navision provides a row of buttons along the bottom of the screen. These buttons lead to pop up menus for quick access to all of the information maintained for each inventory item. The diagram below shows the options available under each of the pop up menu buttons. 26 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  27. 27. Each of these options leads to useful information with simply the click of your mouse. As an example, the screen below displays statistics on the London Swivel Chair we selected from the Item list. These statistics offer a “gold mine” of information, especially with the monthly, year to date, prior year, and life-to-date comparisons. For example, in the screen it is easy to tell what the profit percentage for swivel chairs over different periods of time. If the percentage has changed one way or the other, an investigation and resulting adjustment is probably in order. Learn more at 27
  28. 28. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs In addition to overall statistics, you can also gain statistics on the swivel chair you last sold, and the next one you are about to sell. Most high-end accounting systems can deliver this information – but only with a significant amount of effort. Often, because of the complexity involved in extracting this data the result is companies seldom get around to reviewing this information. With Navision, this information is close at hand and companies are more likely to benefit from these insight. Another pop up window provides a very clear and sophisticated view into the availability of each item, such as the swivel chair shown below. Buttons at the bottom of the screen make it easy to view availability by day, week, month, or year. This view is very important to businesses who promise goods to customers on a daily basis. Without it, it is easy to over promise and ultimately generate customer dissatisfaction and ill-will towards your business. Still another pop up window is the item picture window shown below. With this window, you can insert photographs of each item or even exploded diagrams of how the item is constructed (useful for manufacturing shops to provide access of diagrams to workers in the warehouse through warehouse terminals). This same technology is provided throughout Navision and can be used, for example, to keep photographs of employees on file (for use by the security guard in allowing an employee to gain entrance into the building, for example). A good way to differentiate accounting products is to count the number of data fields associated with each inventory item. Many low-end accounting packages such as QuickBooks will provide approximately 30 fields of data while other mid-range systems such as Macola Progression and MAS 90 provide about 80 to 85 fields of data for each inventory item. In Navision, the Inventory module provides a total of 168 data fields for each inventory item. In a 2004 review of almost one hundred top accounting systems based on the 350 most important features in accounting software, Navision was found to have more inventory features than MAS 500, ACCPAC Advantage, Great Plains, Solomon, MAS 90, MAS 200, Axapta, Made2Manage, and many other respected solutions. Presented below are some of the screens which show these extensive features: 28 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  29. 29. Several of these features stand out as unique. For example, on the second tab (invoicing) shown above, notice that there is an option to define the price to profit relationship. One option is what you would expect: where the profit equals the price less the cost. However, the other option allows you to indicate that the cost plus the profit equals the price. In this manner, you can indicate that you desire a 34% profit on this item. Thereafter, in the future, each time this item is sold, the new price is calculated to yield a 34% return no matter what you paid for the item. This feature provides “price protection” especially when you are selling items whose cost fluctuates widely. A glimpse at some of the other tabbed dialog boxes is shown below: Learn more at 29
  30. 30. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs As previously mentioned in this chapter, Navision offers strong support for multiple languages and multiple currencies. The screen above shows the screen where the user defines the language to be used related to this inventory item. It is interesting to note that the language can be controlled on an item-by-item basis. 30 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC
  31. 31. THE NAVISION DEALER CHANNEL (SOLUTION CENTERS) Historically, one of the most unique aspects of Navision Software is its dealer channel. There has been no up-front fee to becoming a Navision dealer. Further, there has been no cost (other than travel) to become trained as a dealer. However Navision has put their dealers through the ringer in many ways. For starters, all Navision Solution Centers must have office space, equipment, financial strength, and proven capacity to provide long-term support. The company has long required dealers to have five personnel trained in the Navision product. These personnel must be tested and certified. If they fail the test, their dealership can be revoked. In 1998, Navision fired 30% of their dealer channel for not passing the test – a very aggressive move. If a dealer’s installation engagement becomes troubled, Navision will send a rescue team out to rescue the installation – at no charge to the dealer. The dealers actually work together with Navision corporate as a true Partnership. To control the Partners, Navision code is time locked. Each year, customers and dealers receive new unlocking keys in order to have continued use of the software. It is a clever but effective approach to controlling the dealers and protecting against software piracy. Further, all dealers automatically have access to and rights to modify the product source code. Customers can purchase source code as well. Although it is not really legally enforceable in the U.S., Navision has attempted to protect the territories of their dealers by limiting the number of dealers they pursue in given territories. Interestingly, the cost of becoming a dealer is minimal, but Navision shares to a small degree in the revenue dealers generate in rendering installation and customization services. It is believed that this approach comes close to establishing a single virtual company that can target and serve end users, rather than the typical approach that sets the dealer up as the customer. NAVISION REFERENCES Of course there are hundreds of large recognizable companies that use Navision, presented below is just a handful of names. 1. Adidas. 2. Steinway. 3. Hu-Friedy Dental Tools. 4. FujiFilm 5. Pharmacia & Upjohn 6. Toyota GB Ltd 7. KIA Motors GmbH 8. Global One 9. PRAXIS 10. The New Yorker Learn more at 31
  32. 32. 2004 Microsoft Business Solutions for CPAs NAVISION EXPERIENCES OF J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA Mr. Collins is experienced with many accounting software products. As an ACCPAC consultant he won the distinguished Outstanding Partner award in 1990. As an Epicor consultant he was made an honorary Epicor reseller. As a Great Plains consultant he involved in hundreds of customers and dozens of resellers selecting the Great Plains product. Mr. Collins also sat on the Solomon Advisory Council and consulted with many other accounting software companies including Macola, SAP, Open Systems, Softline, Peachtree, Best Software, etc. This background is important to fully appreciate the following quote from Mr. Collins: “In 1999, Renee Stockner (then President of Navision’s US division) told me that they could trace more than 700 Navision installations to my recommendations. Since then I am confident that hundreds of additional companies have also purchased Navision at my urging. What makes this statistic amazing is that in all of that time, I have not had one single complaint about Navision, save one. The one complaint I received was on a Saturday, and Renee Stockner personally made sure that this complaint was addressed and taken care of immediately. By Monday at noon, Renee had called to advise me that the problem had been resolved, and he encouraged me to contact the client and verify this information - which I did. To this day every customer I have referred to Navision appears to be satisfied with the system. I can not make that claim about any other accounting system. That, to me, is impressive. That is why I frequently recommend Navision” Mr. Renee Stockner & Mr. Carlton Collins CONCLUSION There are thousands of accounting systems in the world, as many as 6,500 according to some counts. However, fewer than 50 accounting packages can make a credible claim as being a complete, well-proven, top accounting solution. Of these 50 solutions, Navision makes a strong case as being one of the strongest, most stable, most reliable, easiest to use, easiest to customize, complete, and well-proven accounting solutions on the market today. Easily Navision belongs in anyone’s top five accounting systems list for mid-range and high-end solutions. Any company searching for an accounting software solution would be well advised to at least place Navision on their short list of possible solutions. 32 Copyright - July, 2004 – Accounting Software Advisor, LLC