At a Glance: Comparing Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise Edition (Part 1)

Often when new clients come to us, we hear a lot of their frustrations regarding the limitations of their existing accounting system when it comes to inventory and manufacturing control.

A common question that people ask is, “Why can’t there be one system that just does it all?”.

The truth is, there are large-scale ERP systems that can “do it all”, but even they can have their shortcomings, and you will need some serious surplus in the budget to afford them.

Stand-alone software that strives to be good at everything can often struggle to master what is really needed.

In most cases, stand-alone accounting systems such as Reckon Accounts or Xero are excellent accounting systems, but they clearly know their limits when it comes to managing inventory and manufacturing.

This is where integrations between Fishbowl, with its expertise in inventory and manufacturing control, and a dedicated accounting system such as Reckon Accounts or Xero, can ensure that all bases are covered for your business.

This article is the first in our series of outlining what Fishbowl brings to the table when working alongside of Reckon Accounts. Today, we will focus on the inventory side of things.

Reckon Accounts Enterprise is the top-tier version of one of Australia’s most popular accounting software. It has the best features available to businesses. Let’s see how the very best Reckon Accounts has to offer, stacks up against Fishbowl inventory and manufacturing software.

fishbowl inventory software comparison with Reckon Accounts

Both offer a great deal of inventory management and manufacturing features, as well as plugins and integrations. Let’s take an honest look at both solutions. When Reckon Accounts outmatches Fishbowl, we’ll point that out and when Fishbowl outmatches Reckon Accounts, we’ll point that out, too.

In this first part of our At a Glance series, we will begin by going through many of the inventory management features found in Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Costing Methods

Fishbowl: You can use Average, Standard, Last In First Out (LIFO), and First In First Out (FIFO) costing methods.

Reckon Accounts: You can only use Average costing methods.

Lot/Serial Numbers & Expiry Dates

Fishbowl: You can associate both lot and serial numbers with items on a case-by-case basis.

Reckon Accounts: Currently does not handle lot, serial or expiry date tracking further than a note or a memo against a transaction.

Generating Tracking Numbers

Fishbowl: Able to auto-generate a variety of inventory tracking numbers.

Reckon Accounts: Unable to auto-generate lot or serial numbers.

Due Dates

Fishbowl: You can add due dates to orders and item levels.

Reckon Accounts: You can use Past Due stamps.

Outsourcing

Fishbowl: There is a feature that allows you to manage outsourced processes.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Barcoding

Fishbowl: Fishbowl GO is an app that can be installed on Android and Apple mobile devices to pick, pack, ship, receive, and complete work order. It also helps with making inventory adjustments, transfers, and more.

Reckon Accounts: No mobile inventory barcode scanning features.

Custom Fields

Fishbowl: There is no limit to the number or type of custom fields you can add to Fishbowl’s modules.

Reckon Accounts: You are limited to 6 custom fields in the Item list, and 6 in the Customer, Vendor, and Employee lists.

Other Fields

Fishbowl: By default, Fishbowl includes other fields on the Purchase Order screen to reveal the customer sales order, vendor sales order, date issued, date confirmed, date completed, purchase order revisions, and the user who made the most recent modification to the order.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Receiving

Fishbowl: You can receive more than what is contained in an order, if necessary.

Reckon Accounts: You can’t receive more than what is contained in an order. Anything extra will have to be added as a separate line item.

Multitasking

Fishbowl: The Purchase Order module lets you receive, reconcile, and fulfil purchase orders all in one place.

Reckon Accounts: Purchase orders, item receipts, and bills must be accessed separately in different windows, so it’s a little more complicated to take care of them.

Automatic Reorder Points

Fishbowl: There is a featured called the Auto ROP, which allows you to automatically review and assign reorder levels to every part in your inventory.

Reckon Accounts: There is no equivalent feature in Reckon Accounts. You’ll have to assign reorder levels manually.

Automatic Purchase Orders

Fishbowl: The Auto PO feature lets you automatically generate purchase orders when inventory items hit their reorder points or are in backorder status on Sales Orders.

Reckon Accounts: This feature is unavailable in Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

Landed Costs

Fishbowl: There’s a fairly simple process to add landed costs to incoming items.

Reckon Accounts: Adding landed costs requires a much more in-depth and complex manual process.

Picking

Fishbowl: The Picking module shows you all of the orders that are waiting to be picked or already committed. You can print out pick lists that are sorted by warehouse locations and scan barcodes to pick, pack, and ship items.

Reckon Accounts: You can print a simple pick as a Sales Order template but it does not define locations or allow scanning of barcodes to pick items.

Shipping

Fishbowl: You can integrate with a variety of shipping solutions, such as Australia Post and UPS Worldship using an out of the box integration, and more with custom integrations. Tracking numbers and other data get automatically sent to Fishbowl via these integrations.

Reckon Accounts: There aren’t built in connections between Shipping providers and Reckon Accounts.

Packing and Shipping

Fishbowl: The Shipping module helps with packing and shipping items. You can monitor tracking numbers, batch ship products, print packing lists, and more.

Reckon Accounts: You can print packing lists.

Next At a Glance: Manufacturing

We’ll continue next week with Part 2 where we’ll compare the manufacturing features of Fishbowl and Reckon Accounts Enterprise.

This post was originally post by Robert Lockard in the US and has been modified to suit the Australian and New Zealand audiences.

Fishbowl integrates with Xero Accounts

Xero and Fishbowl inventory integration

Xero is a cloud-based accounting solution designed for small and midsize businesses. Fishbowl integrates seamlessly with Xero, giving you a complete manufacturing and warehouse management system that works in conjunction with your accounting solution to ensure you always have the correct invoices, ledger entries, and all other accounting documentation you need.

Fishbowl is the inventory solution for Xero

Here are the many details of this integration between Fishbowl and Xero:

  • You can configure Fishbowl’s integration to Xero fairly quickly, allowing you to update the general ledger whenever you make changes to your inventory records.
  • You can use Fishbowl to accept sales orders, pick, pack, and ship orders, transfer inventory, and more. Then it automatically exports those changes to Xero to create accounting adjustments in relation to inventory assets, cost of goods sold, and income.
  • Both Fishbowl and Xero can be used to accept payments from customers, and both will reflect those payments without you having to enter them twice.
  • Fishbowl lets you create purchase orders for whatever you need to buy, and then it sends bills to Xero to make the appropriate accounting entries.
  • New customers and suppliers get exported from Fishbowl to Xero so that they will have the same contact information and other details in both solutions.
  • All inventory adjustments (from cycle counts to scrapped inventory) are automatically transferred from Fishbowl to Xero.
  • After completing a work order in Fishbowl Manufacturing, you can schedule it to be exported to Xero in order to make an entry on the general ledger reflecting the change.

This post comes from Robert Lockard in the Fishbowl USA office.

Crystal ball not needed: Fishbowl Forecast Module

 Fishbowl forecast module

The Forecast module is a Fishbowl Plugin that becomes part of the Fishbowl user interface. This is a bit different than separate solutions provided by Fishbowl and other companies. There’s nothing you have to download or even install. All you simply have to do is get the right credentials and then activate the Forecast module through Fishbowl’s Plugin module.

Predicting the future is simple with the Fishbowl Forecast Module

The Forecast module uses sales numbers, patterns and other information across a certain time period to predict upcoming sales, quantities, and costs. It then presents all of this data through a number of filters and chart types.

Here are the features you’ll find in this module:

  • As noted above, you don’t have to download anything. You simply have to enter the proper information into the interface to activate the already-installed Forecast module.
  • Numerous filters are available to limit the data to specific sales, quantities, costs, parts, and location groups.
  • In addition, you can select the period of time you want to use as a reference to base the predicted sales information on. You can also select the future period of time you want to extend the forecasting into.
  • Forecasted data can be displayed in three main types of charts: line graph, accumulation, or scatter plot. You can select the one that will show the data in the most intuitive way for your needs.

This post comes from Robert Lockard, Fishbowl USA

How to: Measure Your Inventory Levels

Inventory performance metrics are essential to the running of your business. They help you measure how well you and your team are doing at managing your inventory. Here are three major points that you definitely need to know to equalise your inventory levels in the short and long term.

Inventory Turnover Ratio

The inventory turnover ratio tells you how well you are doing at selling your inventory and keeping it flowing at a healthy pace through your warehouse. Having a low inventory turnover ratio means you have high carrying costs and you may be overstocked on slow-moving items. Having an extremely high ratio may mean you’re not ordering enough and you’re struggling to keep enough on hand, potentially resulting in shortages.

To calculate your company’s annual inventory turnover ratio:

Divide the annual cost of goods sold by the average annual cost of inventory on hand.

Economic Order Quantity

The Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) is the number of items you should reorder each time you place a new order to maximize efficiency while keeping carrying costs and shipping costs to a minimum. Here is how to calculate the EOQ for each part and product in your inventory:

  1. Multiply annual fixed costs by the annual demand in units.
  2. Multiply that total by 2.
  3. Divide that total by the annual carrying cost per unit.
  4. Take the square root of that result.

Reorder Point

To calculate the reorder point for each product, you need to know four terms:

  • Lead Time: The number of days between a purchase order’s issue date to the product’s arrival at your warehouse.
  • Safety Stock: The number of days’ worth of a product you keep on hand to prevent emergency shortages.
  • Basic Stock: The number of days’ worth of a product you keep on hand as a part of your daily operations.
  • Unit Sales Per Day: The average quantity of a product that you sell on a daily basis.

Once you have those figures, plug them into this two-step equation to discover any product’s reorder point:

  1. Add the lead time, safety stock, and basic stock together.
  2. Multiply that total by the unit sales per day.

There you go. The inventory turnover ratio, EOQ, and reorder point will help you measure how well you’re doing at managing your inventory. These will generate concrete numbers you can track over time to see whether or not you’re progressing and how you can improve.

This post originally comes from Robert Lockard in the Fishbowl USA team

Meet the Team: Sue-Ellen

meet-the-team-sue-ellen-header

Fishbowl Team, Say G’Day

Once a month we will be meeting a new member of the Fishbowl team. Firstly we will be meeting Sue-Ellen and next month we will be saying hello to our newest team member, Jenny.

Who is Sue-Ellen?

If you’ve called our office recently, you may have noticed a few new voices on the phone. Sue-Ellen is one of those voices, and has joined our team as a Consultant and has been working on the Support Desk over the last couple of months. Sue-Ellen brings over 15 years of accounting and IT experience with her.

Expect to see Sue-Ellen on-site implementing Fishbowl and better workflows for your business, and on the phone answering any queries you may have.

Want to Say Hello?

If you have any questions, or want to say hi to the team, don’t hesitate to call our office on 1300 785 755 in Australia or 0800 785 755 in New Zealand.