Case Studies

Nautical Furnishings Inc. Finds Smooth Sailing with Customized Programming & QuickBooks Enterprise

Nautical Furnishings Inc. reflects the interests of owner John Connelly, Jr.: a love of the sea and all things antique. Connelly avidly collects nautical memorabilia, including original ship lanterns, ship steering wheels, cargo nets, life rings, diving helmets and hundreds of other items. Founded in 1972, the business consisted of a portable kiosk at several South Florida boat shows.

Today, Nautical Furnishings includes a 10,000-square foot showroom, in-house custom fabrication facilities and a 45,000-square foot warehouse and distribution center with 25 employees. What started as a small kiosk-based antique business has grown into a $5 million concept restaurant interior builder whose clients include Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, Six Flags-Premier Parks, Red Lobster Restaurants and Bass Pro Shops.

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Customized Programming

Along with outgrowing the kiosk, Nautical Furnishings also outgrew its manual-based accounting system. “When we got tired of trying to fit into generic accounting software, we had a custom program written for us in FoxPro,” said Lynn Morris, the company’s former vice president of administration. Morris wanted a system that would make the firm’s template-based invoicing easy. This solution allows a company of this size to still use QuickBooks for accounts payable, payroll and general ledger because the volume of accounts receivable and inventory transactions occur outside of QuickBooks which receives a daily summarized import file. In 2010, Abaca.net Programmer John Stark updated the code and added several Access-based reports.

QuickBooks Enterprise

Elizabeth Way and her staff at Abaca.net serve as the liaison between the administrative office and the company’s external auditors. Abaca does the quarterly and year-end payroll reports as well as other important management reports. “With her outstanding knowledge of QuickBooks, Elizabeth Way has guided us through several upgrades-not an easy task for a company of our size,” said Teresa Morales, current vice president of administration. “Abaca has provided consistent, reliable support for our company since 1995, and I would recommend their services to any business.”

Business Profile:

Headquarters:
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Type of Business:
Custom Furniture, Manufacturer For National Concept Restaurants

Number of Employees:
25

Annual Revenues:
$5 Million

System Profile:

Computer System:
IBM

Operating System:
Server 2008 & Windows 7

Software Products:
Quickbooks Enterprise, Customized Invoice & Access Reporting System

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St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins Joint Venture Uses Peachtree® To Figure Out Who's On First

In 1997, David Resnick, director of accounting for Roger Dean Stadium, was looking for accounting software to manage the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos (who were later replaced by the Florida Marlins) Spring Training Joint Venture in Jupiter, Florida. The scope of the project was intimidating-to track income and expenses for each team, as well as the joint venture between the two teams. Resnick also needed to enter a 60-page budget for the Montreal Expos, keep track of their minor league, the Jupiter Hammerheads, and account for special events, scouting operations, and player development.

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Resnick lucked out: he opened the yellow pages and found Elizabeth Way of Abaca.net. To solve his problems, Way recommended Peachtree Complete® Accounting.

“Prior to the switch, we were using BPI, an ancient DOS-based accounting software with very limited reporting capabilities,” said Resnick. “I had to run multiple companies and do a lot of tedious consolidation reports in spreadsheets. It was a time-consuming, error-prone, and very frustrating.”

Preliminary Planning Pays Off

Before setting up the software, Resnick and Way met several times to organize the chart of accounts. “I knew it would be key to programming the reports, so we took our time and tested a variety of systems,” said Way. The final result yielded a 14-character chart of accounts number with each numeric position taking on reporting significance. By masking on the various positions, reports can be generated by team, by category or by event. What had previously required use of multiple spreadsheets was now available on a reports menu. In all, Way programmed 32 separate reports.

hen Way tackled the second challenge: running a preliminary set of reports. These reports would give Resnick the data he needed to created journal entries in order to distribute expenses to each team and to the joint venture. Way devised a simple yet elegant solution: All preliminary reports were organized into a print queue labeled “Preliminary Reports,” and Way set up a spreadsheet to capture and calculate the necessary journal entries. Once Resnick has entered the journal entries, he runs a second print queue called “Final Reports.”

“Without the right consultant, this would have been impossible,” said Resnick. “I had envisioned having to create many, many spreadsheets to capture all the detail, but we only do one. The time savings have been significant.”

Business Profile:

Headquarters:
Jupiter, FL

Type of Business:
Baseball Stadium

Number of Employees:
200

Annual Revenues:
$4 Million

System Profile:

Computer System:
PC Compatibles

Operating System:
Windows 7

Software Products:
Microsoft Office®, Peachtree Complete® Accounting

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Professional Theatre Dramatically Reduces Software Maintenance Expense

In December 1975, Caldwell Theatre Company gave its first performance in the small “cafetorium” on the campus of the College of Boca Raton (now Lynn University). In four years, the Caldwell built an audience of 3,000 subscribers and won the first of its 65 Carbonell Awards (South Florida’s Tony equivalent) for theatrical excellence. Now in its 28th
season, Caldwell Theatre Company produces four major productions during the Fall/Winter season from a larger venue in northern Boca Raton.

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Overseeing the accounting department for much of the company’s growth has been a huge responsibility for Controller Helen Mavromatis. “When we finally took our accounting on-line in 1988, we purchased Open Systems Accounting Software,” she said. In 1999, when the 11-year-old DOS-based PC and Lantastic network began to fail, Mavromatis knew it was time to look for a replacement.

“The biggest reason I knew we needed to switch vendors was because of rising software maintenance costs,” said Mavromatis. “Open Systems and several of the other big accounting packages often cost thousands of dollars a year just for the access to the updates and phone support. And this does not include the cost of professional installation and troubleshooting.” Mavromatris estimates that the new Peachtree system will save Caldwell approximately $2,000 per year in maintenance fees.

A stickler for detail, Mavromatis interviewed several vendors before deciding on Abaca.net. “I felt that Elizabeth Way’s strong accounting background would be a plus, and the fact that her company also had programmers was an added bonus,” said Mavromatris.

Abaca got started using the same chart of accounts from the old system. “What was wonderful about working with Helen was that she knew exactly what she wanted; she already had the report print-outs,” said Way. “It was a challenge to program the detailed financial statement with its very specific subtotals, but, in the end, we were able to recreate it in Peachtree Complete® Accounting.

Access Database Performs

Since the theatre invested in a MS Windows network, it was also time to update the subscription database. Eve Pizon of Abaca was called in to update the old Q&A subscription database. Pizon worked extensively with Becky Schultz, Box Office & Subscription Manager, to build the new system. “Our new Access Database does everything I need; it’s much more powerful than our old system,” said Schultz. She uses Access to track ticket sales, special group sales, subscriptions, and donations. By linking the database to Word, she also produces labels, cards and other marketing materials. “Eve taught me how to do my own queries,” said Shultz. “It’s a very powerful marketing tool.”

Business Profile:

Headquarters:
Boca Raton, FL

Type of Business:
Professional Theatre

Number of Employees:
100

Annual Revenues:
$2.4 Million

System Profile:

Computer System:
PC Compatibles

Operating System:
Windows 7

Software Products:
Peachtree Complete® Accounting, MS Office

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