CMS Professional is celebrating over thirteen years on the market. The first Windows-based product offered by parent company Cougar Mountain Software, CMS Professional offers several specialty-based products, including its popular Job Cost software. Marketed as an add-on product to the CMS Professional lineup, it integrates into the CMS Professional and Point-of-sale product lines.
Basic System Functions
CMS Professional 2010 maintains a clean user interface that is easily navigated. A drop-down menu at the top of the screen contains various system functions such as file, company, security and options. All installed modules are displayed directly below. Data-entry screens are uncluttered and contain the necessary lookup options where needed. Multiple modules can be opened simultaneously so users can easily navigate between them. CMS Professional 2010 also offers a multitude of add-on modules including Bank Reconciliation, Payroll, Point of Sale, Purchase Order, and Merchant Transaction Services.
The new product, Cougar Dtails – A Financial Dashboard, offers three different financial dashboard views, where users can set default preferences and export their data into an excel spreadsheet.
Using the SinglePoint Server, CMS Professional 2010 Job Cost can be easily utilized in multiple locations. CMS Professional 2010 will run on Windows XP, Windows Vista Business, and Windows 7 Professional, 32-bit only. CMS offers an installation and conversion guide for Windows Vista and Windows 7 users. 5
Core Accounting Capabilities
Up to 36 months of accounting and financial data can be maintained utilizing a chart of accounts that can be customized. CMS Professional 2010 allows users to maintain multiple companies as needed and create monthly and yearly budgets for each account or company. The AP module allows users to view a history of transactions from the vendor information screen. The AR module allows users to enter an unlimited number of transactions and apply customer payments to multiple invoices. CMS Professional also offers industry-specific editions/functionality for inventory control, nonprofits and point-of-sale merchants.
The Audit Trail report, found in the GL, provides a detailed list of all transactions that have been entered in the system, along with the specific date of the transaction and the module into which it was entered. CMS Professional 2010 offers multi-tiered security so managers can set up a secure system that allows them to allow more functionality to high-level employees while restricting access to those who do not need it. 5
CMS Professional 2010 Job Cost allows users to attach cost estimates to each material or cost code entered. Users can also estimate the process, which determines the amount of time estimated to get the job done. Users can find estimated job profits by simply subtracting estimated cost total from the total job price.
Projects can be managed in a variety of ways, including by phase, and costs can be calculated in each phase so users will know if they are on track. Other trackable items include inventory cost, labor and all project overheads. New phases can be added to a current job when needed, and erroneous cost transactions can be reversed.
The Options function allows users to enter, track and manage all information relevant to job codes, including billing phase, material, salesperson and sub-contractor. Vendor and employee management is handled by the AP and optional PR modules as needed.
Inventory is included with CMS Professional 2010 and easily integrates with the Job Cost module. Inventory costs can be tracked for each work in progress. The Billing/Inventory option in the Job Cost module allows users to transfer a completed job to inventory or bill the client directly. With the add-on module Purchase Order, within the Job Master entry screen, users can enter PO numbers for each job created, with invoices processed directly from the Job Cost module. 4
Reporting & Management Tools
CMS Professional 2010 Job Cost provides a multitude of reports, including the informative Job Cost Report, which provides a comparison of actual cost versus estimated. Also available is the Job Master Report, which provides general detail about each job. The Job Cost Analysis Report provides a breakdown of all estimated and actual costs along with variances for each. The CMS Professional 2010 solution includes R&R ReportWorks∞ Infinity, which allows users the option to customize existing reports.
New with CMS Professional 2010 is Cougar Dtails, A Financial Dashboard that provides at-a-glance data such as profit & loss, cash flow and year-to-year key financial indicators comparisons. It also has the ability to drill down into some of the data to further research variances.
CMS Professional 2010 Job Cost users can also utilize the optional PDF Blaster product and create PDF files of all customer invoices and statements, with the ability to quickly email them for more effective communication. Field offices can choose to utilize the optional SinglePoint Server technology in order to access the system at any time. 3.5
Users can easily export all reports to a variety of formats. New in CMS Professional 2010, financial reports can be exported to a CSV file so they can be viewed and modified in Excel. The Data Exchange module included in CMS Professional enables users to import or export data from a variety of formats such as Excel, Lotus, ASCII and FoxPro. 5
A solid Help function is included in all CMS Professional 2010 modules that can be accessed from any screen throughout the product. The latest version updates can be accessed directly from the Cougar Mountain Software Customer Service Center (CSC) website and include smart patches and payroll tax updates. You can also download the complete CMS user manual from the CSC website.
All Cougar Mountain Software product support is handled in Boise, Idaho. CMS offers various support plans, including the software assurance plan, which is included for one year with the initial purchase, and provides unlimited access to the CMS knowledgebase, as well as all maintenance releases. Both basic and premium e-learning options, along with 20 hours of online/phone support is included, as well. 5
Summary & Pricing
CMS Professional Job Cost is available for $966 for a single user (includes the software assurance plan); a multi-user module costs $1,208. The CMS Professional core modules cost extra. CMS Professional Job Cost 2010 is ideal for small to mid-sized construction businesses that require a solid financial product, as well.
2010 Overall Rating 4.5
See inside July 2010
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