Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Intacct: Winter 2013 just rearranges the deck chairs on the titanic

So I've been going through the new reporting in Winter 2013 release for Intacct. It looks a lot prettier, but the functionality is, so far as I can tell, not significantly expanded. Note to Intacct: If you want to be in the big leagues, or even the NetSuite leagues, you need to improve your reporting capabilities. The current reporting capabilities just don't cut it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Struggling against Intacct reporting

So I've been struggling with Intacct reporting for the past few days. To put it bluntly, it's hard to get what you need out of the budgeting system. Note: I've successfully wrangled data at five or six companies using a variety of financial tools ranging from Great Plains to Oracle. I've written monthly reporting packages for three companies, one of which is public and the other two large private companies.

Intacct is by far the worst reporting that I have seen in any financial software, and I have seen many. Even Quickbooks has better reporting than Intacct.

The reporting managest to be:
1. As complex as enterprise level specialty reporting tools
2. Far less powerful than enterprise tools.
3. Far less powerful than other mid-market accounting systems reporting tools.
4. Painful.

For example, i want to download Budget data in the same format as the GL download. Possible? not so far as I can tell...

I can't see why someone would pick this software to run a business.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Getting around Intacct's reporting limitations.

So one thing that I have learned is that Intacct is really useless for financial reporting. So how can we get a workaround? Here's how I did it.

1. Create a custom GL download. Pull a couple of years into Excel.
2. Create a seperate lookup based on the GL chart of accounts account that looks to your SEC type accounting statement.
3. Create a sumifs statement in Excel that looks up the desired start date, end date, SEC reporting line and possibly business unit (from some other lookup table you have created).
4. Profit.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Intacct: Where is the documentation?

This week, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I am using Intacct accounting sytem and ERP for the first time. I will note that my client has a full-featured system and runs a good size business on it.

My first task is to design some custom reports.

My impression? This is an afterthought. And the documentation is...sparse. Why am I seeing the values in my report propogated down the rows? What is deciding how the columns are interspersed? There is nothing in the documentation to help me.

Using Intacct for the first time

First Impressions.

1. This is the slowest SaaS system that I have used. Subjectively, it is far slower than Salesforce.com and far slower than the other dozen or so systems I have run.
2. The custom reporting tool isn't ready for prime time.
3. Did I mention that this is slow?
4. Custom reporting - you can't duplicate columns. It isn't intuitive (from someone who has worked in FRx, Hypeiron Essbase and other systems full time for five years).

Intacct makes me scream and run right to the nearest Microsoft Dynamics Partner.

Full disclosure: I have no relationship wiht Intacct except as a user, and no relationship with any Microsoft Dynamics ecosystem member except as an ex user)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In the movie "Monsters Vs. Aliens", there is a scene mocking bad design. In the movie, two identical buttons are side by side. One launches nuclear weapons. The other makes coffee.

This is, of course, designed to mock bad design. But consider the following: In expensive, professional financial software, Hyperion Planning 9.3.1, there are two buttons side by side. One reformats the database ("Create"), deletes all scripts and load files and in general returns the application to an out-of-the-box state. The other button refreshes the data, which is a necessary function to maintain the data and is used on a daily basis. This bad design decision is rendered even worse when one considers that in addition to THIS create button, which one is never to press, there is ANOTHER 'Create' button, which one is required to press to push changes to the security provisioning system back to the Essbase server.

Hyperion Smartview Errors

This is the worst kind of dialog box. It tells you nothing except that the designer could not anticipate this kind of error. And it is typical of Hyperion Smartview, the buggiest enterprise software ever to exit the doorway of Oracle.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Food Updates

Middle Eastern:

  1. House of Kebabs, Sunnyvale. Excellent Kebabs for about $11

  2. Kebab and Curry, Santa Clara, Cheap excellent Pakistani food in an atmosphere that's...authentic.

  3. Chelokebabi, Sunnyvale. Excellent, expensive Persian and kebabs.

  4. Kabul, Sunnyvale. Expensive Afghan food-, good service, white tablecloths 

  5. Falafel Stop - Sunnyvale

  6. Kan Zeman, Palo Alto. Cheap middle eastern food. Decent.

  7. Shah/Shan (Sunnyvale/Mtn View border). Excellent Pakistani food in a hole in the wall. Between a strip club and a tattoo parlor. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

  8. Shalimar (Sunnyvale/Mtn View border) Very good Pakistani food and slightly nicer than Shan.


  1. China Palace, Milpitas. Excellent hole in the wall. Open very late.  Try the crispy chicken, which is second only to R&G in San Francisco. On the first floor of the Ulferts Plaza Chinese mall.

  2. Ai Noodle - Cupertino - go for the spicy noodle soup, which everyone else is eating.
  3. Southland Flavor Cafe - Taiwanese classics in a Chinese mall.

  4. Pho Nam, Sunnyvale. Good Pho, at two locations. 
  5. Pho Wagon, on Hollenbeck. The best Pho in the area in my opinion.

  6.  Lemongrass Thai, Sunnyvale. In my opinion, the best Thai in Sunnyvale.


  1. Tia Juana, Sunnyvale

  2. Chavez Market, Sunnyvale. Taco stand in the back of an excellent Mexican market.

  3. Roberto's, downtown Sunnyvale.


  1. Saizo, Sunnyvale. Excellent chicken skewers and Izikaya.

  2. Nijaya Market, Mountain View (Sushi counter at Japanese grocery store
  3. Rokko - downtown Sunnyvale. Excellent, expensive Japanese food.


  1. Spice Hut, Sunnyvale - go for the Samosa,

  2. Saravana Bhavan, Sunnyvale Vegetarian Southern Indian Food. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.) Especially recommended: Executive meal, aka Thali plate. Go on a Friday/Saturday night for the full experience. Good for children.

  3. Shah  - Indo-Pakistani cuisine. Perhaps the best naan in the area, certainly one of the very best (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). 
  4. Amber Cafe, Mountain View, on el Camino. Especially recomnended is the Gobi Manchurian but everything is good.(HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). 
  5. Aachi Appakadai - the spiciest Indian food around, specializes in Aapam rice pancakes and fish curries.(HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). 


  1. Hobee's - one of the few places that serves brunch
  2. St. Johns, Sunnyvale - burgers, great evening and weekend specials.

  3. Palace Cafe, Sunnyvale

  4. Zeni (ethiopian), San Jose (Highly recommended)

Other Places

Starlite Dance Studio, Sunnyvale. Serious ballroom dance lessons.

Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club, Sunnyvale

Mechanic: Mountain View Radiator, Mountain View. Japanese car specialist.

Dentist: Dr. Stanley Lin, Kifer Park Dental,Sunnyvale

Friday, October 26, 2007

Don Surber has found a column about the sale of the NYT.

In my opinion, NYT is doing things the wrong way. Opinion is a commodity. It’s easy to get opinion pieces. If I were them, I would suck up the cost and send ten or fifteen reporters to be embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan with the troops. Of course, they might need to get new reporters since the cabernet and brie crew they have now wouldn’t do it. Ten or fifteen reporters doing a year rotation- a full deployment with the troops. Then bring in editorialists from across the opinion spectrum to match the national diversity of opinion. And a thick local section (sold only locally) that covers fires and robberies and murders and things of that nature.

I live in San Jose and I won’t touch the POS mercury news. It is so far to the left it makes the NYT look like the Limbaugh letter. I feel my blood pressure increase whenever I open it. And yet, I have this craving for local news that is unsatisfied. There is a market opportunity there someplace…