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eTEK International, Inc. — MTX Accounting for Microsoft Office

From the September 2005 Review of Mid-Range
Accounting Software

MTX Accounting for Microsoft Office offers an integrated suite of accounting
modules geared toward mid-sized companies in the construction and distribution
industries and other project-based service businesses. Built upon Access, MTX’s
base system includes general ledger, reporting, cash management, and databases
for suppliers, customers and employees. Optional modules include job costing,
AP, AR, bank reconciliation, payroll, billing and a supply chain management
system for managing work orders, sales orders, purchasing and inventory. A PDA
interface is also available. The complete MTX Accounting System (includes base
system plus all subsystems) with an annual software maintenance and support
license costs $9,595 (two to five users); $11,995 for six to nine users. The
complete eTEK Xpress (single-user) version with one year of support
(includes base system and all subsystems) costs $4,875. Twenty hours of web-based
training is included free with all complete system purchases. Otherwise, it’s
$90 per hour (16-hour minimum).

One organization that uses MTX Accounting is the Couple to Couple League International,
Inc. (, an interfaith not-for-profit
that provides natural family planning instruction, counseling and information
on five continents. It employs 24 staff members at its Cincinnati, Ohio, headquarters,
but most services are provided in local communities by over 2,000 professionally
trained and certified volunteers. Jack Langlitz is the director of Operations
at CCLI, and has been very pleased with the product as well as a constituent
database product eTEK recently built for them. He noted that both are
now SQL versions with a functional Access front-end. Langlitz said that when
they began looking for a PC-based replacement for CCLI’s legacy product
a decade ago, “eTEK’s was the only package that met our
requirement for one that was written entirely in Microsoft Access.”

MTX opens to a small main menu window that provides traditional Windows-based
pull-down menus across the top, as well as toolbar icons identical to Microsoft
Office applications. Additional task icons specific to the program are also
located on the upper toolbar. Within the Main Menu screen, a subwindow provides
a scrollable list of available modules, with functions related to the selected
module accessible via tabs for Data Entry, Inquiry, Reports and Actions. All
of the modules follow this interface, providing consistency that can aid in

By storing customers, suppliers and employees in a relational database, MTX
simplifies searching of these entities with its Inquiry tool. And when changes
are made to a customer, supplier, employee or inventory item, the change is
reflected when accessing that item from any of the system’s modules. Data-entry
tasks, accessed from the Data Entry tab of a module screen, are performed on
tabbed windows that utilize traditional entry fields along with scroll-down
selection lists for selecting accounts, customers and other people or items
from the database.

The system includes numerous setup checklists for creating new companies and
other tasks, including getting started, a GL setup checklist, a guide to defining
account structure, and information on setting up job costing, AP, AR, payroll
and creating invoices, running checks, or handling recurring journal entries.

Langlitz advises potential users that if you run the program out of the box,
“Read the directions!” He says the instructions are great, “and
the help menus are truly helpful.” Secondly, he suggests that if you are
customizing, you should work with a near-completed beta face-to-face. “To
our experience, this adds efficiency and avoids the human communication pitfalls,”
he said. “And we ended up improving on our specifications on the fly.”

In addition to system activity logs and a comprehensive audit trail, MTX Accounting
includes user- and task-level security options, enabling administrators to determine
user rights and access to various levels of the program. The base system offers
considerable customization options, from total control of the GL and chart of
accounts and divisional accounting, to the system menu and interface. Additionally,
the program’s open code Access base allows complete control over the entire

The system’s optional modules also offer the same level of customization,
including the four-level job costing module that tracks at the project, job,
phase and task level, and includes extensive job costing-focused reporting.
The Payroll module supports all states as either a live or after-the-fact payroll
utility that offers direct deposit and integrates with the GL and, along with
the AP module, can print checks to blank stock or pre-printed supplies, with
support for MICR printing.

MTX’s modules integrate with each other, and have the ability to export
reports directly into Word or Excel with only one click, directly from the report
screen. The system can also export data to HTML, XML, *.RTF and plain text.
It can also import from such data files.

MTX includes an array of more than 200 stock reports and financials with filtering
and sorting options. Reporting capabilities are enhanced by its report design
wizard and the built-in report design tool, which allows significant customization
of reports and data from within the program. Of course, the ability to export
directly to Excel and Word makes it even more friendly, with the ability to
easily preview the document or e-mail it as needed.

MTX includes an extensive built-in help system that includes How-To information
for virtually any task for which the system could be used. These task checklists
guide and explain quite well and should be very useful for infrequently performed
activities. The company also offers maintenance agreements that include support
and program updates. Web-based training is available, and new customers receive
20 hours of web-based training free.

Langlitz says that CCLI’s trial balance would be well over 800 pages
each month if they printed it — high accounting volume. Yet he notes that
their calls to technical support are infrequent. “When we do call, they
are always responsive, and I sense that they get a feel for the technical ability
of the caller and communicate at his or her level.”

With its four-level job costing module, MTX is exceptionally well suited to
construction companies, distribution companies and other and service-based businesses
with a need for tracking costs by activity. The system provides generous reporting
options, and its integration with Microsoft Office enhances its usability.

2005 Overall Rating — 4.5 Stars