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Best Software

CCH’s MAS 90 from Best Software targets small to medium-sized companies with $2 to $25 million in revenue. It supports up to 10 users at one time. Companies that need more users or have greater processing demand can upgrade to MAS 200, a thin-client, client/server solution.

The General Ledger (GL) supports financial and statistical accounts with up to 32 characters and 10 segments. (De)activation dates may be set for accounts. Allocations supports percent, statistical account values (e.g., head count), or the use of destination accounts to allocate source accounts. Budgets can be imported from a spreadsheet into current, revised or user-defined categories. MAS 90 supports consolidation of identical or dissimilar charts of account. In Bank Reconciliation, the Estimate Cash Flow Analysis combines receivable, payable and purchase order information to project cash flow for up to four periods.

Accounts Receivable (AR) offers typical features. In addition, recurring billing with start/end dates and frequency options is available. Customer activity is tracked, showing sales by month, average days to pay, cost of goods sold, percent profit and more. Also, AR captures credit card information and posts transactions with or without the Credit Card Processing (CCP) module. With CCP you gain automatic authorization and integration with settlement reports. Accounts Payable (AP) mirrors AR. Both modules support electronic funds transfers using a partner product. AP also offers recurring invoices with cycle and number of payments options. You can select vendor invoices by due date, discount due date, or individually. MICR checks are supported. If you reverse a check, AP automatically reinstates the invoice.

Inventory is excellent. It supports multiple warehouses; serial numbers; lots; units of measures for sale, purchase and customer; warranty tracking; attached files for items and more. Bar Code adds support for bar code printing and scanning, as well as importing data from hand-held devices. The shipping module adds more capabilities, including e-mailing of shipping notices to customers. MAS 90 supports all standard inventory valuation methods. Tracked inventory activity includes history by month and prior years, showing quantities, sales, receipts and more. When looking up an item, you can view quantity on-hand, on-order, on sales orders, on backorder, on work orders and more.

Sales Order handles quotes; converts quotes to orders; and supports blanket orders, repeating orders and drop-ship orders. It also tracks canceled orders for lost sales analysis. Optionally, gross margin displays to show sales reps how much latitude there is for special pricing. You can set a minimum margin with password override. MAS 90 offers a range of pricing capabilities, and it supports commissions based on price, cost or gross margin, and with or without a base commission amount. The rate can be different for each inventory item. Also, a commission can be split among up to five sales reps. You can assign a commission to inventory items or make them non-commissionable. Order acknowledgments and invoices can be faxed to customers. In a future release, e-mailing will be available as well.

Purchasing automatically generates purchase orders for drop-ship sales orders and inventory falling below minimum levels. It also monitors cost variances between goods received and goods invoiced. Purchasing supports price schedules for specific vendors, product lines or inventory items, and more.

MAS 90 delivers many useful reports and graphs, plus three report writers. Financial, with its wizard front-end, handles financial statements. Crystal Reports is also built-in and includes a wizard front-end called Business Insights Reporter. Both tools make customizing reports a lot easier. MAS 90 also supports FRx. Output options (depending on the areas of MAS 90) include e-mail, *.PDF, HTML and others. Saving report options (shared or private) is available, but stacking reports and defining report groups are limited to GL reports. Also, MAS 90 does not support scheduling report date/time and frequency.

MAS 90 offers e-Business Manager for B2B and B2C web operations. It includes applets that allow customers to enter orders, inquire about their accounts and orders, and anonymously browse products and services. Business Alerts monitors events, such as customers with no activity for 30 days or past-due receivables over $1,000. It then e-mails users or customers and vendors. Finally, Business Insights, a group of 12 key reports in graphical format, provides intelligence with drill-down capabilities. Business Insights refreshes per a defined frequency or when launched.

Menu navigation includes drop-down and tree-style options. A favorites menu is available. Data-entry screens are clean and uncluttered. MAS 90 lets you change the tab/field sequence, set default values, and modify screens as needed. VBScript and JScript allow you to perform calculations in fields as well as interface with external applications.
Help is good, but would be better if it had screens for visual reference. Manuals (*.PDFs) and a Tutorial are installed with the software. They are accessible through the Help menu. MAS 90 is a superior package with a great depth and breadth of capabilities.

2004 Overall Rating: