AccountEdge lets us do everything ourselves instead of having to outsource pieces of the business.
Stomvi USA – Newhall, CA
Stomvi, headquartered in Spain, designs and manufactures trumpets and mouthpieces, but not just any trumpets and mouthpieces––world-renowned trumpets and mouthpieces.
“Some of our team members were traveling around Europe with a bunch of our trumpet cases, and they were stopped by customs and brought into a room for inspection. The customs agent opened one of the cases, saw it was a trumpet, and amazingly, he produced a trumpet mouthpiece out of his pocket! He put it in the trumpet and started playing. After a while, he paused and said, I heard about these trumpets, and I wanted to play one for myself,” said Kasper Skinsnes, who manages the US operation for Stomvi.
Stomvi uses old world craftsmanship along with math/physics to design their equipment, which, according to Kasper, yields better sounding and easier-to-play instruments.
“We love solving problems and working with trumpet players. We feel like we’re giving back to the community.”
Stomvi USA previously used QuickBooks to manage their California-based US business––until they switched to AccountEdge in 2011. They haven’t looked back.
“We were in search of a more cost-effective, integrated offering. And we’ve been very happy with AccountEdge.”
While Stomvi USA uses AccountEdge to manage all aspects of their business, serialized inventory and integrated payroll were the most critical factors in deciding to switch.
“AccountEdge lets us do everything ourselves instead of having to outsource pieces of the business.”
Stomvi USA’s use of AccountEdge has evolved over the years, trusting more and more core functions to the software, including an integrated AccountEdge merchant account to facilitate credit card payments for their online orders.
“We’re next looking at potentially implementing multi-currency to work more seamlessly with our headquarter in Spain.”
But it’s Kasper’s can-do spirit, whether designing world-class mouthpieces or embracing business process change, that most likely allows Stomvi USA to push the envelope.
“If you can’t have fun doing your accounting or playing your trumpet, I don’t know what kind of life you have.”
Acrey’s Photographics – Gallup, New Mexico
Deep snowdrifts hide winter wildlife and frame breath-taking landscapes in Yellowstone. Western Photographic Artist Jack Acrey knows where to find the perfect shots as he leads a photographic expedition through the beauty of America’s first national park. Jack leads his fellow photographers through the winter wonderland, guiding them from one shot-of-a-lifetime to, impossibly, another. Often, they so enjoy their time learning from Jack on one trip through the American west, they immediately sign up to be led through another. And with AccountEdge installed on his desktop and laptop, Jack is ready
With AccountEdge installed on his Mac PowerBook G4 he carries out in the field, Jack Acrey, of Acrey’s Photographics, is ready to take a reservation for his next expedition. Whether he’s deep in the untamed wild of Yellowstone, sitting on the tailgate of his truck at the edge of the uninhabited desert of Death Valley, or working in his New Mexico studio, Jack knows exactly how many spaces he has left for his Oregon Coast Photographic Expedition in July, or his expedition to Monument Valley in October, thanks to AccountEdge.
“I can accept orders and reservations on location from participants and generate an invoice, emailing it to them on the spot,” explains Acrey. “People always seem to witness this convenience and ask me questions about what software I’m using.
“The way I have my inventory set up in AccountEdge, my expeditions and workshops have item numbers assigned to each for accepting reservations without going over the maximum number of participants I state for each. I can even receive orders and reservations from the e-commerce side of my website, right into AccountEdge,” explains Acrey.
Jack runs Acrey’s Photographics with his brother-in-law, James Bland. James handles the sales and marketing arm of the company, including the website. Both Jack and James track inventory and sales information using AccountEdge. Since Jack is in New Mexico and James is based in Texas, they swap the file via email to ensure each has the most up-to-date information.
Jack Acrey has been taking photographs since 1961, and since that time he has built up a formidable resume. He’s taken pictures for the Associated Press in times of combat and disaster. He’s taken photographs for many industries: sports (Indianapolis 500), fashion and cosmetics (Hanes, Calgon, Revlon), and outdoor companies (Arctic Cat, Suzuki). He’s also shot for editorial publications (Glamour, Vogue, Playboy).
It was a trip to Dillon, Colorado that opened Jack’s eyes to all the west has to offer. On assignment for his illustrative advertising company, Jack was “mesmerized by the Rocky Mountains.” He returned to his home in the Midwest, sold his company, and moved to Colorado. It was 1971, the same year he founded Acrey’s Fine Art Photography.
Fast-forward to 2006, and Acrey’s Photographics includes two lines of business: guided expeditions and sales of photographic prints. Acrey’s Photographic Expeditions & Workshops, founded in 1978 and set in visually stunning locations throughout the west, are package expeditions in which Jack serves as guide, instructor, and discussion leader. He sells prints of his renowned photographs through Acrey’s Fine Art Photography from his website, through galleries, and even when he’s out on an expedition. And with AccountEdge, he is always up to date on prices and quantities.
Global Surf Industries – San Jose, California
“Life is better when you surf,” is the mantra that fuels operations at Global Surf Industries (GSI). An intensely strong devotion to surfing, combined with the desire to spread the love and enjoyment company president Mark Kelly derives from this elegant and mighty sport, shaped GSI’s company philosophy. He spread his passion for surfing by providing consumers around the world, of all skill levels, with a great range of quality surfboards that provide excellent value for their money.
“At GSI, we all understand how surfing has changed our lives and the day-to-day benefits of being part of the surf culture. We believe that if we work hard to spread the company mantra across the world, the success of our business will be assured. Our mission in life is to get you onto the right board and into the water as quickly and often as we can,” says Kelly. With a 92% customer satisfaction excellence rating according to recent customer feedback surveys, they certainly seem to be accomplishing that mission.
Founded in June 2002 by Kelly, GSI is now the world’s largest distributor of surfboards, selling boards from Beginner to Pro Standard. GSI operates their US office in San Jose, CA. They also have distribution operations in Australia, and support a network of distributors in 19 other countries.
“After decades of cottage industry-style operations serving the surf industry, the time for a better way of supplying surfboards to the international surfing market had well and truly arrived,” says Kelly. “GSI specializes in the development of that cottage industry.”
Today, GSI has a portfolio of 11 brands and remains very deliberate and strategic in their brand selection. Each caters to a particular type of surfer with a specific level of surfing ability. Their sales will exceed US$20,000,000 in 2007 globally.
With the help of Premier Accounting, they are setting the standard of service and professionalism in a new era of business for the core ingredient in the surf industry. Staffed with 11 employees worldwide, Premier Accounting is responsible for the accounting in GSI’s San Jose office as well as their Australian location, connected using VPN and Remote Access via Terminal Server so the two offices can seamlessly work together. The software was easy enough for them to set up with one staff member in conjunction with their part-time Financial Controller.
“It is perfect,” Kelly says of their accounting and bookkeeping operation. In addition, GSI works with Certified Consultants, who help them build specially customized reports. “They write programs for us to help get even more detailed reports on budgets, cash flow, and the like.”
GSI uses virtually every command center found in Premier Accounting, and have customized their Invoices, Statements, and receipts to add a personal to touch to company documents. The AR reports, Sales, Card File, and Inventory reports are crucial to their business operations. Statements and invoices are emailed to their customers and two warehouses through the EDI modules that have been specifically built for them by Certified Consultants. Credit cards are processed with Merchant Account Service.
“It is really pretty simple and the support is excellent. Any questions can be solved in minutes on the phone,” says Kelly, who is enrolled in an Complete Support plan.
At one point, when Kelly thought that that perhaps GSI had outgrown Premier Accounting, he actually purchased a more complex, expensive accounting program to help them get to the next level. After only days of in-person training on the new package, they found out they needed three additional employees to run the software. Kelly became discouraged and had the technicians stop training. “We went back to software because it saves us time, money, and stress,” says Kelly.
Ron Ben-Israel Cakes – New York, New York
It’s hard to believe that renowned cake designer and AccountEdge Network Edition Ron Ben Israel says that he started off with very limited dreams.
Ron’s cake making skills have been praised by Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey. He is frequently featured in popular, national magazines such as Modern Bride and New York Magazine. He has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Today Show, and has also been featured in the New York Times and the Zagat Survey.
“It’s something that just grew naturally,” says Ron of his success.
Ron’s cakes are tasty works of art, made to order for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, and other special occasions. Ranging in varying styles from grand edible structures with delicate, convincing sugar flowers cascading around the cake to elegant, abstract shapes stacked askew, each and every one is completely customized to the specific customer’s tastes and preferences.
Ron was a pastry chef before he started Ron Ben Israel Cakes. “It was a matter of survival,” says Ron. “The pastry chef and the baker don’t always work under ideal conditions. Equipment wise, we’d often have to fend for ourselves. Making the wedding cake was the glamorous part of the job.” So Ron set out on his own, making cakes and leaving the dull aspects of being a pastry chef behind.
“I did not dream that I would ever be doing financial data,” says Ron. “God help me, I never had a checkbook, and forget about the term reconciliation, it wasn’t even in my vocabulary.” Ron says that AccountEdge allowed him to understand that money comes in in the form of sales and money goes out in the form of purchases. “That was the very beginning,” he says. “Once you understand the logic, it really flows.”
Ron started his company over ten years ago, and chose AccountEdge to keep his books. “It was me against the world – the hard way,” says Ron on the early days of his business.
As his business became more successful, Ron wanted his CPA to become more involved with the company. His accountant at the time was not proficient in the use of AccountEdge. “I realized I needed someone who is more aware of my accounting software,” Ron says. He looked to his Certified Consultant Guide and began interviewing prospective accountants. He chose Arthur Troast, CPA.
One of the first things Arthur helped Ron with was setting up payroll and explaining how to make deductions. “I have seven full time employees on the payroll,” says Ron. “Now I can very simply add new employees and designate bonuses and deductions (such as health insurance, and simple IRA). I don’t need to send any information to the accountant. We generate our reports after each payroll period, and AccountEdge computes everything.”
Ron makes extensive use of other AccountEdge features, as well. In minutes, he downloads and reconciles statements from his financial institutions about five times a month. He custom designed his own sales forms and checks by using the improved custom design form feature in AccountEdge. The packing slips were re-designed to become check-marked working sheets for the bakers.
“A good piece of software teaches you how to use it,” says Ron. “I’m not the kind of person who would read the manual first. What I like about AccountEdge is that the bookkeeping rules behind it are very strict. But the way it’s laid out, it’s so logical for me to see the way the company is divided. Using AccountEdge, I was able to expand my skills without ever going to school.”
Ron echoes the sentiments of many small business owners when he says, “My ambition was to create and then make a living.” AccountEdge makes that possible.
Taylor Family Vineyards – Napa, California
“We make our wines, like we live our lives… in balance.” This deliberate harmony and proportion are evident in Taylor Family Vineyard’s award winning full-bodied Hillside Chardonnays and luscious Reserve Cabernets. As the name reveals, Taylor Family Vineyards is a family owned operation, headed by Jerry and Pat Taylor who have been married for over fifty years.
The Taylor family bought 23 acres in Stags Leap District in 1976 and have been growing award winning fruit for over 20 years. They began bottling under their own label in 2002. The Stags Leap District, located directly above Napa Valley, is comprised of soil from volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and old river sediments from where the Napa River once ran. The fruit that grows from this soil result in the “rock soft” wines of the Stags Leap District. The grapes can attribute their excellent balance of acid and sugar to quickly rising temperatures during the day that yield to cool, fresh ocean air in the evening, brought in from the San Pablo Bay. “We believe that great wines begin in the vineyard. Our primary goal is to develop our wines with a gentle hand in the cellar to enhance the properties of our fruit and the Stags Leap District,” says Sandy.
AccountEdge has been Taylor Family Vineyard’s accounting package since 1995. “AccountEdge is a great accounting software package. If used correctly and kept up to date, it helps me run my business,” says Sandy. “I always know how much money we have in the bank and if we are on target for our sales goals.”
She can also easily keep track of their Wine Club Members and is able to tell which customers have bought from them or if a particular marketing campaign has worked with AccountEdge’s customer tracking reports. “Most importantly, I can determine my Cost of Goods and make smart business decisions about pricing,” she says. Sandy set up AccountEdge herself, having used the program before when she worked as a controller for another small winery. “Setting it up was simple,” she says. Family owned and operated, they have no paid employees, but make daily use of the Accounts, Sales, Purchases, Inventory and Card File command centers.
AccountEdge’s robust reporting features are used to analyze the state of the business with Customer Sales reports, Jobs Transactions, and Balance Sheets and P&L the reports most important to understanding the financial picture of the company. Sandy also makes use of the Merchant Account Service to accept credit cards from customers.
“Taylor Family Vineyards is truly a small family owned and operated vineyard and winery. We make great wines and as a result are successful.”
Constance Kay, Inc. – New York, New York
The Empire State Building framed in the showroom window, assorted muffins on the table and bebop jazz just loud enough to warm the room. But it’s the architects of it all, Constance Kay and her husband David Illies who best represent the class and elegance of their product line of handmade artcards.
The duo has spent over two decades building a thriving business that capitalizes on their sensibilities. A perfect marriage of art and commerce. Constance provides the vision and direction for a network of artists across the country who produce handcrafted and signed works of art for every occasion. And that’s where it gets complicated. Fifty artists, hundreds of retailers (including Barneys, Neiman Marcus, Fortnum and Mason, and scores of other high-end stores, galleries, and boutiques) and hundreds of thousands of pieces present challenges familiar to many small business owners.
“When you start a business, you don’t always know where your talents lie,” Constance reflects. “It seems we are good at art direction and sales, but there’s so much more to it.”
And as the business grew, the organizational and logistical demands became overwhelming. Inventory control, profitability analysis, vendor management, payroll.
“We have used AccountEdge since the beginning and, to be honest, we weren’t sure whether it would be able to grow with us. We thought our business needs were unique. But every step of the way we’ve been able to tailor the software to our needs. I cannot imagine how we would have succeeded without AccountEdge.”
Occasionally relying on the wisdom of long-time AccountEdge Certified Consultant, Art Troast, David has become an AccountEdge expert, analyzing data while customizing forms and reports for his needs.
But after all these years, what helps them to remain engaged and excited by their work? It’s the act of creation.
“We’ve expanded into handmade wedding invitations and it’s a whole new challenge and a new excitement,” says Constance with a gleam in her eye.
BLAST Gallery – Teaneck, New Jersey
Sarah Jack and Scott Harris were simply wife and husband, until their jobs were simultaneously made redundant, in the most corporate sense of the word. They became a team, in the small business sense, when Sarah, a magazine publishing executive with two decades of experience driving subscription marketing campaigns, and Scott, an art director, combined their talents into BLAST, a uniquely eclectic art gallery in the NYC suburbs.
“Within hours of being laid off, we had moved on to the next chapter,” recalls Sarah. “We had always been attracted to this weird little place,” she says of the oddly small building,“ and the idea just grew from there.”
It took six months from conception to launch and they’ve been expanding ever since. Each month brings a new artist and a new showing. And a new social media campaign.
“I guess what we’ve been most successful at is finding like-minded people through social media,” Scott says. “We already have thousands of Facebook fans and we work really hard to connect our artists and art to people who might love it. It’s worked really well.”
One of their first visions for the store was a Mac on the countertop.
“Very early on, we knew we wanted one of those stores where the Mac was the centerpiece,” says Sarah. “We didn’t want some old cash register or PC sitting up there.”
Their first purchase was a MacBook Air. Their second was Checkout.
“It was important to us that we could get started with Checkout quickly and easily,” Sarah says. “The software, hardware, all of it came with almost no learning curve. Then, with Enstore, we were able to create our online store inside of an afternoon. Ourselves.”
Their Enstore went live and within hours they sold a handsome Mr. Spock dinner plate.
For their accounting, they didn’t have as much experience, but they jumped in with two feet.
“We sought the advice of a local Certified Consultant, Charlie Redmond, who helped us understand the relationship between the sales information Checkout generates and the General Ledger that AccountEdge maintains on the back-end. An integrated system was perfect for us,” says Sarah.
Up next? Coffee.
“We’re going to expand next door into a Coffee Shop / Art Gallery. We’re excited,” Sarah beams.
The moral? Maybe that in these tough economic times people are looking to connect, and they’re doing it through social media. Maybe that enthusiastic entrepreneurs armed with a solid marketing plan can succeed in any business environment. Or, maybe, that Star Trek paraphernalia is timeless.
Artistry In Motion – Van Nuys, California
Random question: on any given day, how many people are thinking about nothing but confetti? Specifically, in Van Nuys, California, how many people are just crazy enough to be daydreaming about colorful bits of paper raining from the sky?
Twenty five is the number of Artistry In Motion employees and Artistry In Motion does nothing but confetti. And, of course, confetti cannons because the confetti doesn’t launch itself.
When Roger Watchell and Richard Graves founded their company they saw an unmet need for a professional, production- oriented confetti company to serve the needs of the entertainment industry. Their sales philosophy? Focus on customer service and, above all else, make sure your customers are happy. The rest will take care of itself.
And Artistry In Motion has been running AccountEdge since day one.
“From Order Entry to Shipping to Purchasing to Inventory to Reporting. It’s easy to use and easy to teach others to use.”
And as their revenue has multiplied and their staff has grown, AccountEdge has grown with them.
“AccountEdge has been a stable, reliable part of our growth. We now have eleven AccountEdge users effectively running our business.”
The takeaways? Focusing on customers is a solid business strategy. Find a business management tool that can grow with you. Who would have thought that confetti was so complicated?
Matt McKee Photography – Boston, Massachusetts
Some people spend their lives searching for the elusive answer to the question: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Others find their passion at the age of 7, infuriating the rest of us in the process. Matt McKee credits his first Polaroid Zip camera, given to him so that he’d stop applying crayon to his parents’ walls, as the first source of inspiration.
“Eventually, I started to realize how people were influenced by images in ads and magazines. I wanted to create interesting photos that would have that impact and help my friends meet their business goals.”
Matt’s passion became his business, creating custom photography and illustrations for companies to help them market their products and services. The natural next step was to go into business for himself, not yet understanding the complete commitment required.
“I thought it would be great to set my own hours. Of course, I didn’t realize what a slave driver I am!”
Quick to point out that he’s a photographer, not an accountant, Matt’s decision for accounting software was driven by two things: his accountant’s recommendation and the ability to run his software on a Mac.
“My father brought home an Apple IIe in 1986 and I’ve been using Macs ever since. It was important to me that I could find a solution that allowed me to do everything from my Mac.”
AccountEdge and AccountEdge Mobile are now integral to Matt’s workflow. Beyond sales and expenses, he uses AccountEdge to track projects and profit margins, and Mobile allows him to remain productive when in the field. Most importantly, Matt’s accounting software needs to fit into his lifestyle.
“I love my job, working every day in new environments with creative people. AccountEdge enables me to keep moving and get the accounting right, while remaining focused on my business.”
SPECS ETC. – San Rafael, California
To be a serial entrepreneur you must have the following (in no particular order): a thick skin, an ample supply of caffeinated beverages, supportive friends and family, and a wealth of bright ideas. For Paula Beritzhoff, it’s check, check, check and, definitely, check.
“I was once told, ‘sure that’s a great idea, but 99% of the population has a great idea – only 1% actually take it upon themselves to make it happen’. I was both offended and motivated. I didn’t want to be in that 99%.”
And it’s that energy that drove Paula to grow her first business, Japonesque, from fuzzy concept to $2M in sales; eventually selling the business in 2002. And it’s that energy and creativity that’s fueled her to launch her latest venture, Spec, etc.
“We create unique reading glasses and accessories, including LED readers and task/room specific readers that help people address the ongoing problem of forgetting where they last left their readers. Any time I can work on creating a new product, I’m thrilled. Without a doubt, that is what I would do every do if I could. But my time is pulled in so many different directions.”
AccountEdge has been Paula’s accounting software of choice since the early days of her first venture and has helped her launched Specs, etc.
“I use AccountEdge for pretty much everything. Purchasing and managing inventory, entering and invoicing customer orders, paying commission and bills, analyzing sales, creating financial reports for taxes and, of course, payroll. I use Full Service Payroll, which frees up my time, and the integration is so easy.”
Paula especially likes to spend her time with AccountEdge developing sensible workflows that help her intelligently and, most important, efficiently build the business.
“I switched my webstore to Shopify because of the integration with AccountEdge and I’ve never looked back. I’m absolutely thrilled with the huge reduction of time and human error. I love that I can simply click “Process Web Orders” and then all I do is print the invoices and ship the orders. Same thing with the integrated merchant account for my wholesale orders. I was using Square, which was a multistep effort. Now I just click Authorize and I’m done. Awesome!”
Next up for Paula? Expanding her salesforce.
“I can’t add too many new products until I have the sales to back it up. I’m hiring a sales manager and setting up independent sales reps. Plus, I’ve made it to the second round of Shark Tank. You never know!”