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AdvancePro Product Evaluation - 9/26/2005

AdvancePro Product Evaluation - 9/26/2005
Conducted For: Intuit
Performed By: Inga Arendt, CPA, WIPFLI, LLP
Overall Rating: 9.0

Setup and Installation

Rating 9.5

The installation and set-up of the product is very straightforward and easy. The initial setup wizard is very short, easy to complete, and all options can be accessed and changed at a later time if needed. Additional set-up is needed beyond the initial set-up wizard, but is not difficult to find. The ability to import from QuickBooks and/or Excel is a very helpful and time-saving feature for customers converting from QuickBooks inventory or another package. The importing process is also very easy to understand and do.

Rating 9.0

The interface is very user friendly and straightforward. The product uses workspaces that are similar to the navigators within QuickBooks which makes it real easy for QuickBooks users to be comfortable moving around in the product.

Rating 9.0

All of the features within the product are extremely useful and provide great flexibility for both the sales and purchasing sides of distribution-based businesses. These features are listed in the section regarding the strengths of the product.
Follow-through on Claims

Rating 8.5

The product does follow-through on the claims it makes in its packaging with the exception of marketing to the manufacturing industry. The product does contain item kits which allow the grouping of individual products which provides a light bill of materials feature that may work for some manufacturers. However, the product does lack many of the features needed by most manufacturers such as being able to build product, track raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods, assign labor and overhead costs, and record and track shrinkage.
Ease of Use/Service and Support

Rating 9.0

The product is easy to use and does a good job of following the flow of transactions in a product-based business. Free support is available from the help index, the manual, and customers are allowed a certain number of free support tickets based upon the number of users as well as a free two hour training session that is included free with the purchase of the product. Paid support is available as well in the form of pay-per-support ticket or the purchase of support packages. The support packages offer a quicker ticket response time and other benefits such as additional training time. For all customers, there is a personalized internet support section*1 that allows them to track, update, and close their support incidents which is very convenient.
Data Security

Rating 8.5

AdvancePro does provide for separate user ids and passwords for each user. There is no requirement to use a mixture of lower-case and upper-case letters and at least one number or to periodically change passwords however the user id and password are case-sensitive, so that does help. The product also offers a very thorough roles and permissions feature which provides the ability to grant or restrict access down to individual tasks and reports within each section of the program. In addition, there is a Paper Trail report that automatically logs all of the activities of every user.

Rating 10

AdvanceWare’s privacy policy was found at the bottom of their web site. (www.advanceware.net)
Integration with QuickBooks

Rating 8.5

The integration with QuickBooks works fairly smoothly as long as the initial set-up is done properly. If the category feature of the product is used, income and expenses can even be assigned to separate accounts within QuickBooks allowing for more detailed and informative financial statements. The exporting process itself takes one click and automatically creates an export log report which is very helpful. The integration saves double-entry of transactions in both AdvancePro and QuickBooks. The only negative aspect was AdvancePro’s set-up and use of a Tax Paid on Bills expense account for the sales tax paid on vendor purchases which should be included in the cost of what was purchased and not expensed separately. However, the balance in this account can be moved via journal entry.


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