Purchase Orders: Keeping Just the Right Inventory

There is a tool included in some accounting software programs that has the power to lift a huge load off your shoulders. It helps you stay organized, and keeps customers happy by providing them the products they want, when they want them. That tool is purchase order management. If you find yourself scrambling around to decide which items you need to order, or you are surprised when you run out of your most popular selling items, or you simply don’t know what is coming when, you can benefit from purchase order management. If you think purchase order management is simply a program that lets you create pretty purchase orders to print and send, then you are missing out on the best parts of purchase order management. Here are some of the features of purchase order management you might not be aware of, which can help you keep ‘just the right’ inventory in stock.

Create suggested orders.

This feature helps you evaluate stock quantities and decide what needs to be ordered, reducing the time it takes to do it manually. When you use this tool, it looks at past sales, stock levels, and the parameters you set, to come up with a list of suggested purchase orders, which you can simply run and distribute. You can also choose to edit the purchase orders before sending.

Receive what you actually got.

Sometimes you receive an incomplete shipment for an order you placed. If this happens, and you don’t have a good way to manage it, you can easily forget about the remainder of the items you should still be receiving, or you could be confused about how many you actually have in stock. The ability to receive partial orders lets you receive what was actually shipped and place it into inventory, and then decide whether to keep the purchase order open until the remainder is received, or cancel the remaining items on the purchase order. A purchase order management system will even allow you to place the vendor invoice in your system on hold until actual shipping charges are known, or until you receive the rest of the order.

Ship to multiple locations.

If you run out of popular inventory items, chances are you will need to ship some to your customer(s) and some to yourself. Being able to place one order and have whatever quantity you choose shipped to multiple locations can save you the time of creating multiple purchase orders. This is helpful in many instances: shipping to a job site or several different warehouses, drop-shipping to several different customers, etc.

Purchase order reports: your dashboard.

The reports in a purchase order system are helpful so you stay organized and on track. Based on the purchase orders you have open, you can make cash projections, see what is left to be received and what has been received to date, and of course, view which purchase orders are open, on hold, received and cancelled. It’s definitely a huge step up from walking around the warehouse and scrambling to see what you should order!

With the right purchase order management tools at your fingertips, it will be much easier to know what to order, who to order it from, how much it will cost, and much more; all with just the click of a few buttons.

Ag Software Who Needs It?

When it comes to tools to help a farmer manage an operation, is the most basic and widespread option always the best? Just think about your equipment, the tools you use out in the field. Do you buy whatever is cheapest, or do you like a certain brand or type of equipment? Do you buy the first thing you see, or research everything that is available first? The same logic applies to your agricultural accounting software. The software you use is a crucial piece of equipment that can help you stay on track and be profitable. Don’t trust it to whatever is easiest to find or cheapest! Instead, have a careful look at your options and what fits best for your farm. At least then if you decide to purchase the cheapest and most basic package, you will do so with your eyes wide open, and you will know exactly what you are getting. So a good question here is, with so many basic software packages available, who needs Ag software?

Farmers who want information in their own language.

You probably won’t find anything about enterprises, farms, fields, production, or other farm-related activities within a basic accounting program. That’s because those programs have to fit a huge variety of business types. Ag software presents tools and features to you in a way that is familiar and makes more sense.

Farmers who want to know how they are doing compared to established guidelines.

Did you know there is now a software tool available to help you understand where you should be with industry benchmarks? This same tool can also help pinpoint areas of strength and weakness in your farm, so you can increase your profits and reverse negative trends. This tool is ratio analysis, and some Ag software has this as one of its features. Ratio analysis includes guidelines, ratios and indices that are specific to Ag, so you won’t have to guess how you are doing; you can see it for yourself, using the numbers you have already entered into your system.

Farmers who want to plan how much profit they will have, and where it will come from.

Software specifically for Ag gives you tools to track information in the way that is most useful to you, whether it’s by profit center, by enterprise, by account, and much more. Tracking information helps you understand which areas of your farm are profitable, so you can focus on your income generating enterprises and increase your profits. Another helpful tool for planning is the ability to run ‘what if’ scenarios. Doing this allows you to project future sales, cash flow, income states, and assets and liabilities. Once this information is tracked and reported consistently, managing your finances becomes much easier and can become more goal-oriented.

Using an Ag-specific program to run your farm can make your information much easier to enter and understand. No matter which program you choose, make sure it can provide you with the financial information you need, in the way you want to see it.

Customer Reviews: What are People Saying about You

If you are a business, your business name is likely somewhere out there on the internet. This is a good thing, since most people turn to the internet to do their research before buying a product or service. You may not be aware that there are places on the internet that encourage people to review your business and its products and/or services. Here are some of the places you may want to check out to be sure your business information is listed correctly, and also to see what people are saying about you!

Google Reviews:

Your business is probably listed with Google, even though you didn’t put it there yourself. The majority of businesses are there! You can go in and claim your listing within “Google Places”. It’s free to claim your listing, and you can add your hours of operation, company images, and even coupons, all at no charge to you. A very compelling reason for you to go in and claim and enhance your listing is that is the information people will see when your Google Places account shows up in the search results. One other thing you will see on your Google Places account are the reviews and star ratings that people have left for your business. While you cannot control which reviews are shown, you can go to your Google Places account and respond to the reviews as the owner, or you can flag a review as inappropriate if necessary. Feel free to visit Red Wing Software’s Google Places page and leave your own review by clicking here.


Yelp is a Web site dedicated to providing real customer reviews for virtually any business. Customers can go in and leave a star rating as well as feedback for you and your products or services. Again, you have no control over what is being shown, but you can go in and leave a reply as the business owner. Yelp also offers FREE tools for business owners to promote their business: the ability to set up special deals for users and also the ability to join the conversation on their site.

Don’t be afraid of customer reviews! Embrace the technology that is available, since people will be leaving reviews for your business either way. Enhance your customers’ experience and join the conversation, and your reputation and service will be all the better for it.

Accounting Software Reviews – Debunking the Myths

When a company needs new accounting software, where do they go to do their research? The majority of people these days begin their search on the internet. Yet, when you search Google for the word “accounting software reviews”, the first page of search results do not typically offer you a comprehensive list of accounting software reviews. How can this be? Here are some of the most common myths about searching for accounting software reviews, and suggestions on how to really get the information you need.

Myth #1: Reviews must be unbiased, since they are on the internet.

The internet is a land of fierce competition, where millions of people are competing to show up on the first page of Google. There is big money to be spent and earned in online advertising. So when you enter the search term ‘accounting software reviews’, you will likely find some sites that review accounting software packages. Just because they review a variety of software packages does not mean that they picked all the best ones out there they could find! Many of these sites feature only products that pay to be there. Therefore, the list may not be a comprehensive one. Also, if they are paid reviews, you might not get the most honest results, since the reviewers are being paid and want to keep their customers. This is something to keep in mind.

Myth #2: Google knows what you are looking for.

All of us have been guilty, at some point, of thinking that whatever shows up on Google page one must be the best result for what we are looking for. After all, most of us don’t sit and contemplate how Google retrieves its results! However, Google is not a person, and it doesn’t ‘know’ anything at all! It uses a proprietary algorithm to display the most relevant search results. (An algorithm is a computer program.) Of course, Google’s algorithm is very good, and that’s why the majority of people choose it as a search engine. However, a computer program cannot tell what you really seek. You can enter the term ‘accounting software reviews’ and Google will serve you results based on what it knows. But what it doesn’t know is that what you really want are unbiased results provided by people who have actually used the system in real life. You might not get that by simply searching for ‘accounting software reviews’.

So despite the above, you are still hoping to find some good reviews for your prospective accounting software! Do not despair; there are better ways to get what you are looking for. One great way to find a comprehensive list of accounting software programs is to visit www.Capterra.com. Companies can pay to have top placement, but there is still a comprehensive list of accounting software vendors for you to search through, by feature or simply in list format. There are also customer reviews along with many of the software packages, which are not biased since they are submitted by actual customers. Another place to look for customer reviews is www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com They do a yearly review of accounting and payroll systems, as well as many other systems. They provide extremely detailed and useful information about the features and usability of accounting software systems. One final place to find some of the best accounting software reviews is your potential accounting software vendor. Ask if there is a customer who has a business similar to yours, who is using the product and would be willing to speak with you. Yes this is more work, but you will be talking to an actual customer like you, and they can provide feedback on specific questions you have.