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Online Business Accounting Software Overview

The business accounting software by Legler Systems Company in CA is based on the client-server model, yet can operate directly from a CD-ROM disk or USB flash drive, as well as a hard disk drive for easy data archiving and historical reporting. The online business accounting software is composed of ten separate business accounting systems or modules or applications that can operate seamlessly in an integrated system or independently with import and export data capabilities to support in-house control of confidential accounting records. These practical online business accounting systems can function with or without a mouse for greater end-user flexibility and productivity in a multi-user environment.

The newest online accounting software release is now available with recent changes identified and described in the Accounting Software Revision History document. The latest software update includes four different real-time transaction dashboards.

Main Financial Menu:

The online business accounting modules are shown on the main Financial Menu below and these accounting applications are designed for small and midsize companies. Each business accounting system can be implemented individually or integrated with the other accounting modules as required. The Database Control System by Legler Systems is required to support any of the business accounting modules. The Database Control System is included with the first online accounting system at no extra cost.

Each business accounting system incorporates real-time transaction dashboards of key performance indicators for management review. The key performance metrics are displayed automatically under each accounting application menu and vary by the online accounting system. A new Report History Dashboard of 12 prior runs is displayed under the report selection prompts of individual procedures.

|       Financial Menu - General Test Company, Inc.     TST    01-05-20 17:43 |
|                                                                             |
| ID     Accounting Application          ID     Accounting Application        |
| --   ------------------------------    --   ---------------------------     |
| AP - Accounts Payable System           DB - Database Control System         |
| AR - Accounts Receivable System        ML - Mailing List System             |
| PR - Payroll System                    FA - Fixed Asset System              |
| CR - Check Reconciliation System       PO - Purchase Order System           |
| GL - General Ledger System             ON - User Sign ON                    |
| OE - Order Entry System                PW - Change User Password            |
| IM - Inventory Management System       OF - User Sign Off                   |
|                                        EN - End Financial Menu              |
|                                                                             |
|    Enter System ID................[    ]                                    |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|                 Cash Management Dashboard for Account 100                   |
|            -----------------------------------------------------            |
|           | Activity as of 01-05-20 at 17:47  |Count|  $ Amount |           |
|           |-----------------------------------------------------|           |
|           |Cash Balance as of 0612 Closing:               5,000 |           |
|           |+ AR customer receipts after 0612 .    2         100 |           |
|           |- AP vendor payments after 0612 ...    1         101-|           |
|           |       Real-Time Cash Balance .....         $  4,999 |           |
|           |                                             ------- |           |
|           |Expected Future Cash Transactions:                   |           |
|           |+ AR customer invoices to collect .    9       2,853 |           |
|           |+ OE open customer orders .........   50      69,054 |           |
|           |- AP vendor invoices to pay .......   33       4,621-|           |
|           |- PO open purchase orders .........    7      13,770-|           |
|           |       Future Cash Balance ........         $ 58,415 |           |
|           |                                             ======= |           |
|           |                                                     |           |
|            -----------------------------------------------------            |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|                                                                             |
|F1=Help  F2=Enter F9=Print F10=Exit                      Dashboard=F4/F5/F6  |
|                                                                             |
To view additional information about a specific online accounting system, click on the underlined accounting application in the above Financial Menu. Actual screen images of data entry procedures are shown for each accounting system. System-ID of "ON" is used to sign-on (log-in) to the financial applications. System-ID of "PW" is used by a user to change only his/her password. System-ID of "OF" is used to sign-off (log-out) of the financial applications. System-ID of "EN" or "OFEN" ends the main Financial Menu.

The functional specifications associated with each accounting system are described under the above highlighted links. The general operational features, security features, technical features and customization features of this business accounting software are summarized below and apply to each business accounting application.

Real-Time Cash Management Dashboard:

A real-time Cash Management Dashboard is displayed under the financial menu for a specific cash account code specified by the user in procedure DB08 to better manage the business cash. Up to the minute cash balance is shown in this Cash Management Dashboard since the last General Ledger closing, as well as expected or future cash balance (dollar amounts not yet received and vendors not yet paid). The display of the real-time Cash Management Dashboard is limited to selected individuals for security purposes.

User-Friendly Operational Features:

A number of Software Operating Features are built into each business accounting module for operator convenience and ease-of-use, such as:

1. A character-based user interface that uses the keyboard function keys to provide fast data entry input and special operator tasks in a multi-user environment. The active keyboard function keys are shown at the bottom of each application screen and vary by procedure.

2. Block-mode screen size of 80 characters wide by 25 rows (80x25) or 50 rows (80x50) is used for displaying all data fields in a data record at one time with the current data entry field highlighted for improved end-user productivity.

3. The last data record added or modified is displayed by entering "Q" to the Trans-Code prompt and pressing function key F2. Successive records are automatically retrieved chronologically by system date each time function key F5 is pressed. Reverse order retrieval is performed by using function key F6.

4. Automatic ID number lookup and assignment from the name initials of vendors, customers, employees and products. If duplicate name initials are found, then a pop-up help window is displayed, so the operator can select a specific vendor, customer, employee or product. This number lookup feature handles both uppercase letters and lowercase letters entered by the user. The "#" character enables the user to lookup a ID number by name or phone number.

5. The General Ledger (GL) account code name is displayed automatically on data entry screens when the GL account code is entered for on-the-fly operator verification.

6. System options for date entry of 6 or 8 digits allow for user preference in month-day-year or year-month-day sequence.

7. Online help message about any data field, report parameter prompt or error message is displayed in a separate Help Message Window by simply pressing function key F1. The Help Message Window size is either 78x11 with the basic application window size of 80x25 or 78x22 with a larger Command Prompt window size of 80x50. The Help Message Window temporarily overlays the bottom half of the basic application window.

8. When using larger application windows (80x50), more information is displayed at one time; thereby, eliminating the need for the user to switch to a second data entry screen or page. Also, real-time dashboards are displayed under the application menu when the Dashboard-ID field is set for the user (User Control Record).

9. The left mouse button and keyboard function keys are operationally interchangeable for greater operator flexibility.

10. For real-time List Dashboard No. 4, the oldest ten open transactions are displayed under each financial application menu for possible follow-up action. Up to four different real-time transaction dashboards are displayed for each application. The active keyboard function keys for the real-time dashboards are F4 (day, month and year time periods), F5 (prior dashboard) and F6 (next dashboard).

11. The online accounting applications allow dynamic linking to switch between different data entry procedures with a single keystroke (function key F7) or a single-click of the left mouse button. A red up-arrowhead in front of selected data fields identifies the "hot key" field.

12. Comments, special notes or instructions can be entered against a specific customer, vendor, customer order number, invoice number or PO number and then viewed with one keystroke (function key F7) or single-click of the left mouse button when the word "NOTES" appears on a data entry screen. The special notes and comments are stored in the General Notes Record (procedure DB17). Search procedure DB94 can be run to search for a specific key word in these special notes or comments.

13. The values for various codes, defined by Code Definition Records (procedure DB01), are shown in a drop-down list when using the mouse. A down-arrowhead next to the data fields indicates a drop-down list.

14. An e-mail can be sent to customers, contacts or vendors from this flexible financial software by linking to the new message window in Outlook Express. Each sent e-mail is tracked by automatically posting a comment in the General Notes Record (DB17) for each name.

15. A Dollar-Sign option in the User Control Record (DB08) allows the user to display a dollar sign ($) in dollar amount fields for added clarity.

16. The operator specifies the sequence of data records to be shown in accounting and management reports by entering a valid value for the "Sort Option" prompt.

17. The "Entry Correct" prompt is the last data selection prompt associated with an online reporting procedure, except data entry procedures. If the operator enters "Y" to the "Entry Correct" prompt, the reporting procedure is started immediately to print a detailed report. If the operator enters "S" to the "Entry Correct" prompt, the reporting procedure is started immediately to print only a summary report. If the operator enters "B" to the "Entry Correct" prompt, then batch job processing is initiated were the online report requests are written to a temporary file for later off-line processing. If the operator enters "E" to the "Entry Correct" prompt, the procedure ends with no report printed.

18. Many reporting procedures allow the operator to print only a summary report of a few pages for balancing purposes, rather than a longer detailed report.

Audit Control and Security Features:

A number of Software Security Features are designed into each business accounting module for improved audit trail control, accuracy and completeness of data stored in the online database, such as:

1. Access to each accounting application program is controlled by the setting of procedure flags in the User Control Record (procedure DB08). The user must first sign-on to the financial application with a valid User-ID and password (within 5 attempts) to gain access to any accounting procedure.

2. Basic codes used in the online accounting programs are predefined for validation and easy maintenance. These codes are defined by Code Definition Records (DB01).

3. Verification of the timing of accounting transactions is controlled by accessing a single Company Control Record (procedure DB03) that defines system-wide options, dates, accounting periods (YRMO), company name. Accounting period management (a separate YRMO field) enables better control of accounting transactions that are subsequently reflected in the GL financial statements.

4. The Transaction Code (Trans-Code prompt) is required for disk file I/O operations (query, add, modify and delete) in all online data entry screens. Any attempt to add a duplicate data record already in the online database results in an error message being displayed at the bottom of the data entry screen. Every time the master database is updated online a status message is displayed for positive operator feedback.

5. Data archiving for off-site backup is performed by copying accounting data (online application programs and master files) to a CD-ROM disk or USB flash drive. The backup CD-ROM disk or USB drive can be read on any personal computer (desktop or laptop) with a video monitor to easily view and print accounting reports for audit review and historical record keeping; yet not allow the original accounting data to be changed. The need to first copy old financial records to a separate hard disk drive in order to view reports is avoided, since the financial applications can be started directly from these backup devices.

6. A unique batch number is assigned to a group of input transactions for source document control. This batch number control feature aids in providing an audit trail and operator verification of the source documents processed. If no batch number is entered by the user, the current system date (YRMODA) is assigned automatically for batch number control purposes.

7. Most user procedures performed on the computer print a hardcopy management control report (one page) or detail report for positive audit trail, except online data entry procedures and online inquiry procedures. The elapsed execution time in seconds is printed at the end of all management control reports for documentation.

8. Weak user passwords are identified and a warning message is displayed for improved security.

Technical System Design Features:

Some of the Software Technical Features incorporated in the design of each business accounting module for improved reliability, operational performance, design flexibility and ease of maintenance are highlighted below:

1. The indexed sequential Master File (database) and support files can be distributed to different file servers or client personal computers for optimum performance and flexibility.

2. All application screens are displayed on the color monitor from a single sub-program (DBSSCR) that each online application program accesses using the CALL statement in ANSI COBOL. A separate Format File defines each data field on a data entry screen, the prompt name and the relative position in the master record plus an online help message number.

3. All Master File input/output operations (read, write, rewrite, delete and record locking) are performed from a single sub-program (DBSIDX) that each online application program accesses using the CALL statement in ANSI COBOL. The specific input/output operation depends on the setting of the Trans-Code prompt entered by the operator.

4. HP PCL laser printer support allows accounting reports to be printed in either portrait or landscape orientation, 8 or 10 characters per inch and 6 or 8 lines per inch. Each management report is defined by a separate Code Definition Record with a Code-Type of "LP" (DB01) where these printer setup options are stored.

5. Accounting reports can be temporarily written to a disk file and viewed in the application window by using procedure 92V prior to physically printing a hardcopy. Procedure 92W shows reports in a separate report window that remains open until it is closed by the user. Multiple report windows can be open at the same time. Procedure 92 allows the user to change printer assignments when necessary.

6. Transaction logging of Master File updates or deleted records provides an audit trail of any changes to the online database.

7. The same online accounting programs that access the online database are also used to access backup data on a removable disk, USB flash drive or CD-ROM disk for flexible data archiving and historical reporting.

8. Both the standard application window size (80x25) and a larger application window size (80x50) are supported at the user level, where each user specifies the application window size and application screen colors to be deployed. The Properties option associated with the Command Prompt window must be changed to reflect the correct application window size.

9. The newest online accounting software features perform faster when running Microsoft Windows XP or later version of Microsoft Windows, such as Windows 7 and Windows 10.

10. Online data entry programs are initiated directly from the application menu or from another data entry program that supports dynamic linking (function key F7). The data entry procedure processes one transaction at a time based on the value of the Trans-Code prompt.

11. Import capability enables the online master database to be updated from a separate Batch Input File (Transfer File) containing multiple input transactions that were created by (a) an independent data entry system, (b) another computer application or (c) by procedure DB18. The Transfer File is composed of fixed length data records. When import data is stored in a csv file, the csv file must be processed by procedure DB18 to reformat each csv record into fixed length data records and create the input Transfer File. CSV files contain variable length records where data values or fields are separated by a comma. The auxiliary batch input procedure within each application module processes multiple transactions in the Transfer File at one time and prints the Batch Control Report documenting all transactions processed, including any edit errors and number of records added to the online database.

12. Export capability allows any data records in the online master database to be exported (copied) to a Text File (fixed length data records) or a csv file (variable length records). Database Control System procedure DB18 handles the import and export function associated with CSV Files.

13. Both online processing and batch job processing is supported. In online processing, reports are printed immediately. In batch job processing, the online report requests are written to a temporary file for later batch processing by a batch script named "Jobs.bat", so large reports with many pages (long running tasks) are printed off-line.

14. The Legler accounting software works great on older desktop or laptop personal computers in the Command Prompt window using any version of Mircosoft Windows, as well as the latest 64-bit computers.

15. Alphabetic conversion logic for changing lowercase letters to uppercase letters and vice versa supports both ASCII coding and EBCDIC coding. When System-Option-07 (DB03) is set to 6 or 7, then the EBCDIC code structure is applied for the IBM mainframe computer (Zsystem) environment. ASCII coding is generally used with personal computers and file servers.

16. The IBM AIX call to execute a chmod command when an output file is first created. This AIX call is performed from a single copy member SLP310.

17. All report sorting is performed by in a copy member SLP320 that is copied into the source programs.

18. To support 32-bit COBOL compilers, such as Micro Focus Net Express, the definition of numeric fields has been changed to ensure the size allocation of 2-bytes, 4-bytes and 8-bytes. For example, a binary field defined as 9(6) COMP allocates 3-bytes of storage with some compiles and therefore changes the layout of data fields in a record, so these binary fields where changed to 9(8) COMP to ensure a 4-byte allocation.

19. The OPR-SYS-PARM field has been revised to control the executable suffix of application sub-programs where "WIN" refers to .dll suffix for 32-bit code using Windows 10, "DOS" refers to .exe suffix for 16-bit code under Windows XP and "AIX" refers to .gnt suffix for Unix or IBM AIX. The exe programs (16-bit) run under Windows XP and the dll programs (32-bit) are used with Windows 7 or Windows 10 on 64-bit computer hardware.

Software Customization Features:

A few of the Software Customization Features applicable to each business accounting module that can be activated to meet specific user requirements without modifying existing online accounting programs are listed below:

1. Provide a generalized report writer capability (procedure DB12), so the user can define content, select data, sort and print custom reports.

2. Provide multiple report selection parameters (prompts), so the report content is easily customized in the basic accounting and management reports. The "Entry Correct" prompt enables the operator to print a report immediately or defer the printing by creating a batch job request.

3. Modify data field names and prompt names that appear on data entry screens and report selection screens by simply editing the source Format File and reloading it using procedure DB11.

4. Add additional online help text about any data field, report parameter prompt or error message by editing the source Help File and reloading it using procedure DB11.

5. Dynamically change date format (e.g. MO-DA-YR, YR.MO.DA or DA-MO-YR) on data entry screens and in report headings by changing options in the Company Control Record (DB03).

6. Change where data fields are displayed on a data entry screen (e.g. move fields around) by editing the source Format File and reloading it using procedure DB11.

7. System-wide options in the Company Control Record (DB03) are used to define many different features, such as accounting method (cash vs accrual), date formats and stub-over-check or check-over-stub format used in the Accounts Payable System and Payroll System.

8. Change the accounting application screen colors at the user level by modifying screen color code settings in the User Control Record (procedure DB08). The latest version of the accounting software supports 16 different screen color codes for the background color and the foreground color. The background screen color cannot equal the foreground screen color. Additionally, a different screen color code (background color and foreground color) is specified for the Help Message Window.

9. When using a desktop or laptop computer with video monitor (terminal), the application screen size can be changed from the standard window size (80x25) to a larger character-based window (80x50) by modifying the User Control Record (DB08), though this is rarely done.

10. All computer programs are modularly structured, so program changes can be made easily, when necessary, to meet any unique requirements. Logic modifications to an accounting application program requires the cobol source code and copy members. A cobol compiler (Micro Focus) is required to convert cobol source code into executable programs. The Micro Focus P64 compiler directive is used to generate 64-bit executable programs.

11. For real-time Bar Chart Dashboard No. 2 of "high value" transactions in the online accounting applications, the user defines the meaning of "high value" by specifying any dollar amount in procedure DB08.

Online Business Accounting Software Background:

The online accounting software has evolved from a batch-oriented Accounts Payable System for IBM mainframe computers (EBCDIC code) in the late 1970's to a multi-user IBM COBOL accounting application for mini-computers in the 1980's using a character-based user interface on the IBM Series/1 (Indexed File support) and HP-3000 (KSAM and IMAGE support) in a time-sharing environment using "dumb terminals". In subsequent years, this business software has expanded to a full-featured multi-user client-server accounting application and has been installed on personal computer networks and the IBM RS/6000 computer using AIX based on the ASCII code. The computer programs that comprise the business accounting systems are written in structured ANSI COBOL (Micro Focus) for easy porting, maintenance and customizing in a IBM mainframe (Zsystem) or client-server environment.

This new generation of the COBOL accounting software supports multiple personal computers running all versions of Microsoft Windows operating system including Windows XP, Windows 7 and now Windows 10. Personal computers with color monitor can be connected in a local area network (LAN) environment (such as, Microsoft BackOffice Server, NetWare or LANtastic) or function as a "dumb terminal" in a traditional time-sharing environment on a UNIX-based platform, such as the IBM RS/6000 computer. Selected accounting modules have been ported to the HP-3000 computer using MPE operating system at the Port of Oakland. The ASCII executable programs of the Legler accounting software can be run on any x86 server, standalone desktop and laptop computer, from the hard disk drive, CD-ROM disk or USB flash drive for optimum flexibility.

After installations on different hardware and operating systems, this reliable accounting software has evolved over the last 25 years to an efficient, proven and productive business application for today under Windows 10. The current version supports both online processing for immediate database updating and reporting, yet provides traditional batch job processing capability where multiple online report requests are entered online for later batch processing on a scheduled.

More Information on these Business Accounting Systems:

The one-time cost of the business accounting software is described in the Software Price Sheet. Legler Systems is always available to modify the online accounting software to meet any special requirements for a small fee.

To receive additional information and a working demo on USB thrumb drive about these user-friendly online accounting software applications, e-mail Bill Legler in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

Legler Systems Company, developer of the online business accounting software, is located in the East Bay of the SF Bay Area in Northern California and provides local on-site support in Alameda County (major cities are Oakland and Berkeley), Contra Costa County (major cities are Concord, Walnut Creek and Orinda) plus other counties in California (CA). E-mail support is always provided regarding any questions on the features and use of the Legler business accounting software.

Version 11.8 (2020). All rights reserved by Legler Systems Company.