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User eNotes - February 2020
Presidents Comments
Rod Hatcher
I thought I would share with you in this eNotes a look at the technology that is going into v16.0, which is under development. The biggest item is a new module for job costing. It will allow work orders and service tickets to be associated with a job where their progress can be monitored and reflected in the planning, budgeting, costing, and status of that job. The job itself will display progress information in the form of graphical gauges!

Another function we are working on is creating a link with TaxJar to look up taxes on sales. If your company has extensive sales throughout the United States, then a subscription with Tax Jar will allow ALERE to handle those sometimes complex sales tax calculations.

Of course, there are many more features going into v16.0 but those are the most important.
Real Time Importance
Hanging Alarm Clock
ALERE, since its inception, has been designed to perform real time operations. Why is that important you may ask? There are many answers for that question and they all revolve around efficiencies and capabilities. Here are five examples of real time advantages:

Period and Year End Closings – Period closings are automatically performed and year end closings can be done at your convenience. This means company operations are not interrupted monthly, and year end numbers are available immediately without time constraints.

Executive Advisor – The purpose of the Executive Advisor is to provide key financial indicators that are up to date as of the moment you look at them. The information provides better control over cash flow and profitability by eliminating the guesswork inherent in a batch system.

As-Of Reporting – This allows you to know last year’s inventory levels on a given day, print an income statement for any range of dates, or compare those income statements for any range of dates.

Physical Inventory – Taking inventory is a necessary but onerous task. Using ALERE, and a portable bar code scanner, allows the count to go much faster and more accurately without requiring all, or a portion of, inventory to be frozen for a period of time. See the article in this eNotes for more information on this process.

Data Acquisition – Integrated throughout ALERE, barcoding processes orders for shipping, receives items into inventory, transfers stock between locations, and tracks manufacturing activities in real time for better control.

ALERE’s real time design will save you money and increase work efficiency.
Payment and Invoice Don't Match
Mistakes happen. Unfortunately, a small mistake can consume a lot of valuable time to try and make it right. Take, for example, receiving a customer payment in the amount of $499.89 for an invoice that came to $499.99. Is there a real benefit in chasing that dime?

Fortunately, ALERE provides several convenient options that can be used to handle the situations where payments and invoice don’t match!

When the payment is less than the invoice, like the example above, the following screen is displayed:
Apply Cash to Invoice Screen
Full Amt - The full payment is applied to the invoice and the difference is allowed to be posted to any other document with a credit balance. If none are available then this option is not valid.

Cash Amt - The payment is used to reduce the open balance.

Disc & Cash - The discount required to fully pay the balance is calculated and entered in the Discount field and the payment amount is entered in the Amount field.

Should the payment exceed the invoice, then this screen is displayed:
Apply Difference to Discount Screen
This provides the option to apply the over-payment to the customer’s prepayment account or by answering “No” to apply it to other invoices the customer has outstanding.

In every case the appropriate GL entry is made on the GL Journal Entry screen. The invoice is marked as Completed and closed. This provides a pleasant conclusion to what is typically a paperwork nightmare.
Real Time Inventory with Scanner
Keeping an accurate inventory is a benchmark requirement of any company with stock inventory. The traditional method of manually counting items in inventory is fraught with challenges however. In the time between recording the count and entering it into inventory, items may have been issued to jobs in the shop, shipping may have occurred, receipts from suppliers may have arrived, and so on.

These challenges have led to convoluted and difficult procedures to ensure the physical count is accurate. The use of real-time data acquisition technology in ALERE has resolved that accuracy problem.

At the moment an item is scanned, the counted quantity and the quantity in inventory for that location/store/bin/lot/etc. is stored in the file IMCOUNT.DBF.

Real Time Inventory
When the count is posted, it will continue to show the counted and original counts on the screen. The result is only the DIFFERENCE between those numbers is posted. Even if issues or receipts since that point in time have been done, it only posts the change, thus negating the requirement to freeze inventory.

Conversely, when importing from an Excel spreadsheet or entering manual counts, there is not a way to determine the expected on hand at the instant it was counted.

In summary, when physical inventory is done using barcode scanner technology, it does not require the tedious process of freezing inventory.
Technical Seminars - Your Source of Training
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TIW's next Technical Seminars in Easton, PA will be held in April.

The Manufacturing Seminar will be held April 27th and 28th.

The Accounting Seminar will be held April 29th through May 1st.

Invest in yourself and keep your knowledge of ALERE up to date!

Make your reservations now at Technical Seminar Reservations or by calling Chris at 610-258-5161 x105. Current users on SMAs have certificates that entitle them to a free seat in a seminar.

Send employees to recurring training to educate them on how to use the new features in a just released version. Use it as comprehensive training for new additions to your staff to familiarize them with the capabilities of ALERE. Don't let that free seminar seat go to waste!
TIW Technology, Inc. | Phone: 610.258.5161 | Fax: 610.258.6217