QuickBooks is a widely used accounting and bookkeeping software by small and medium sized business around the world. It is a crucial application and tool for business. Businesses and organization using QuickBooks are able to manage their revenue, pay their employees, manage their bills and expenses as well as generate various reports that are important in the day-to-day decisions. It is important to note that QuickBooks is also a somewhat complex application; as a result, users are prone to experience various problems while using it. In this paper, the problem(s) that users at Synergy Construction, Inc. experience while using QuickBooks is identified and clearly specified. Finally, a detailed solution of how the problem will be solved is also clearly defined. Understanding user requirements, how they intend to use the system, what they expect from the system, data input into the system, as well as the output from the system, is crucial for any software development project.
The users at Synergy Construction, Inc., a building and construction firm, experience various problems with QuickBooks; three issues to be precise. One users, particularly system administrators, while upgrading QuickBooks from one version to the next, from an older version to a newer version experience a tricky problem. Once the upgrade is completely, the newer versions fails to read the company file from the older version of the application. A common solution that users often use to go around this problem is that they update the data/company file as well. However, this is a risky way of solving this problem especially for users who do not know what they are doing because they might lose all their data from the previous system in case they forget to back up.
The second problem that users often face and complain about is that QuickBooks does not have sufficient controls in place, particularly with regards to user privileges in invoicing. Particularly, the management at Synergy Construction, Inc., wants to have control over decisions on invoicing, especially in cases where a customer has exceeded his/her credit limit. They want the system to be able to alert them whenever an invoicing activity is attempted for a customer whose account has either surpassed the credit limit or a customer whose credit due date has passed; whichever comes first. Apparently, they cannot be able to do this because QuickBooks as currently is, only allows the flagging of such customers and lives the decision in the hands of the invoicing officer.
The third issue that Synergy Construction, Inc. has is concerned about how QuickBooks handles accounting information for its businesses. Synergys business involves the importation and sale of glass, both retail and wholesale, building projects, as well as the fabrication and fitting of aluminum profiles. Thus, the management wants the accounting application to be able to offer detailed accounting information of individual jobs, projects, and clients project accounting. QuickBooks does not provide for project accounting; it only enables the classification of transaction using classes, which in itself is not enough to satisfy the requirements of Synergy Construction, Inc.
To address each of these challenges, it recommended that a complete process reengineering be carried out so that the firms processes and organizational culture reflects the current needs desired by the management. With regards to the first problem issue failure in updating data files, the solution will be simple and will entail implementation an automatic system update that will take place every time there is a new update. This automatic update will update both the system and the data files. The second issue or problem will require an integration of an update user management module which will put into consideration layered-structure controls. It will separate use privileges based on the roles they play in the system. The third problem, as has been noted will call for a process reengineering; once that is done, then a project accounting module will be developed and integrated into the system to ensure that accounting for projects, jobs and tasks is as desired.
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