Topic Thread

Accounting Software Upgrade

  • 1.  Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-16-2019 10:11

    We are a specialty contractor who has outgrown Sage 300.  We have 6 companies and several cost centers and our Sage 300 is just no longer able to do all we need to do.  We use Procore, HH2 Timekeeping, and like both of those and would like an accounting software that works well with those.  Our Timberscan is not a very functional product and I am currently looking at HH2 Document for replacing it and managing our credit cards, but before I invest into any more software products, I want to make sure it will be compatible with my next accounting software.  Is Viewpoint where I should be looking?


    Kathy Cassidy


    Office: 314-647-1923

    Direct: 314-338-7725

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    ACME Constructors is going Green. Your backup documents, Timesheets, Etc. are available upon request.




  • 2.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-16-2019 10:55
    Hi Kathy,

    Do you have some examples of where Sage 300 is falling short?

    Jon Olsen
    Olsen Consulting LTD
    Calgary AB
    (403) 836-5118

  • 3.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-16-2019 13:03

    We need more cost centers.  Our consultant has been using Groups for that, but there are only 3 groups.  We are setup using Base accounts and companies, 10-10, 10-20, etc, but are told once we reach 10-90 we are done.  Can I not have a 10-15?  Timberscan SUCKS.  Core associates is simply not updating this software enough to keep up with Sage.  I want a true Cloud based software as we work in multiple states.  We are using a remote server now, but that's not the same as cloud based.  I looked at Sage's cloud HOSTING solution, but its not cloud based. 




  • 4.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-16-2019 13:19

    Sorry you are experiencing issues related to GL Cost Groups.  Actually Sage 300 CRE GL has 3 potential prefixes - base account - add possible suffix.  The maximum size of the account number (including prefix, base, and suffix) is 25 characters.  If your original setup limited your size of the prefixes that can be changed to accommodate new requirements with a key change.  If you don't like Timberscan - Sage Paperless is an option.  What issues are you experiencing with Timberscan?

    Be glad to discuss with you any other pain points.

    William Kormoski
    President, Sage 300 CRE Consultant
    Kormoski & Associates LLC
    Mount Juliet TN
    (615) 351-4953

  • 5.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-17-2019 16:19


    You can use all digits in your cost center format so, yes, you can have a 10-15, 10-16, 10-17, 10-21, 10-22 etc.  You can also have a cost center suffix. Since you don't have suffixes set up it would be a key code change that Sage tech support would be able to do for you.  You could also do a key code change to expand the number of digits available in your cost center number format if you would rather go that route.  We recently did a key code change for our cost code format and it was quick and not that costly.  Based on your current prefix setup, you have several options for adding cost centers.  I would be interested in knowing what you decide to do. 

    Donna Caywood
    Chief Financial Officer
    Thomas-Grace Construction, Inc
    Stillwater MN

  • 6.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-23-2019 08:54
    Hi Kathy,

    Given your original inquiry and your later clarification regarding issues with cost centers and Timberscan, I would take a hard look at Viewpoint's Spectrum. Spectrum is the ERP Viewpoint acquired when it completed it's acquisition of Dexter + Chaney in 2017.

    Document Imaging has been a built in, integral part of Spectrum since 1999.   Dexter + Chaney was the first to market of construction specific ERP providers with built in Doc. Imaging, not as a result of a 3rd party bolt on.   It took the company's major competitors 7 to 10 years to catch up, and some still don't have it and are reliant on 3rd parties, creating integration headaches and having to manage multiple licensing pools, maintenance / support agreements.  Over the last 20 years Spectrum has continued to evolve and enhance DI within Spectrum so that the feature is system wide, with integrated approval workflows in key areas, advance searching, automated compilation of substantiation packages to support billing, litigation, etc.

    Spectrum also includes advanced cost center functionality, that goes well beyond just giving you additional GL parts to slice and dice the way your organization looks at financials.   It's tied into security concepts as well, going all the way down to the resource level of who can interact with what resources within individual cost centers underneath a single Fed EIN.

    It's also very tight in a base accounting sense, nearly impossible to get out of balance, and quite easy to prove trial balances between GL and JC.  Going back to the 1980's, 3 out of the 4 founding owners of Dexter + Chaney, were CPA's.  Accounting efficiency and robustness is deeply rooted in the DNA of Spectrum, which shows through to this day.

    I'm happy to talk at the number in my signature or email me privately at

    Dan Conway
    Enterprise Sales
    Viewpoint Construction Software
    Rye NH

  • 7.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-17-2019 06:44
    Hi Kathy,

    Since you're a specialty contractor you'll likely run into challenges finding software that accommodate your granular needs.

    The following should help your team find avoid toxic tactics that hurt specialists specifically while enabling you to find the best fit solution.

    Happy hunting (take it slow)

    1) Handcuffing: When vendors under-quote labor to sign deal at a low price, knowing the true cost will be 200% to 400% higher.

    1.a) Solution to Handcuffing:  Compel vendor to list all services required for pre-live, go-live, post-live and long term labor to ensure software is adopted and then have vendor included all services for GMP (guaranteed max price) in agreement.

    2) Cloud Cuffing: When a cloud provider hosting the solution denies client access to data unless client re-news subscription. (NOTE: sometimes a lifetime license was purchased but if the vendor changes the end user license agreement the lifetime license can be made null and void)

    2.a) Solution to cloud cuffing: Get data ownership and a lifetime license 'in writing' AND also have a term in the agreement that ensures the lifetime license is grandfathered into any and all future agreements should any change event, merger or acquisition occur.

    3) Smoke Stacking: When integration of products in a tech stack or software ecosystem are oversold and the integrations do not function well enough for specialty contractors.

    3.a) Solution to smoke stacking:  Do demos using YOUR data and have key people from ALL departments validate all workflows and witness the integration. Identify any GAPs that the integrations do not handle and have vendor include, in writing, programming to fill all GAPS 'prior to go-live' in the GMP agreement.

    4) GC software being re-labelled and sold as specialty software: When GC software is re-labelled as a trade solution despite inability to handle granularity of the said trade.

    4.a) Solution to re-labeling:  Do demos using YOUR data and have key people from ALL departments validate all workflows and ease of use. Identify the GAPs that the software does not handle and have vendor include, in writing, programming to fill all GAPS 'prior to go-live' in the GMP agreement.

    5) R&D deflection:  When software vendors collect annual fees or subscriptions that are similar to the fees they collect from general contractors but the R&D and enhancements mostly benefit GCs and/or other markets.

    5.a) Solution to R&D deflection:  Review vendor's previous 3 years of enhancements to determine fair subscription/annual fees for YOUR trade. If only 10% of the released enhancements we're specific to your trade, negotiate a rate that is in line with that value.

    6) M&A disarray: When mergers and acquisitions fail to deliver on promises made to contractors and result in higher cost and lower service.

    6.a) Solution to M&A disarray:  Have vendor promise service levels in a service level agreement that ALSO includes performance credits should they fail to deliver on any level of service. This ensures that if service levels drop, the investment lowers as well.

    7) Custom work cuffing:  When service providers and 3rd party consultants complete custom work and write custom reports to make a solution work better for a specialty contractor but fail to disclose the ongoing cost of maintaining the custom work when issues arise during software updates. This results in perpetual and unexpected billable hours to keep the custom work functional.

    7.a) Solution to custom work cuffing: Find software that fit your workflows the best and ensure that the vendor and/or service provider includes, in writing, the cost to repair custom work when it breaks and cost to maintain functionality during software updates.

    8) Weasel words: Intentionally vague buzz words that misrepresent value.(ie: real time data, connect field to office, single source of truth, seamless integration, end to end)

    8.a) Solution to weasel word selling: Extend due diligence as long as possible. SLOW DOWN the decision!!! Have the vendor create demos using YOUR data and have key people from ALL departments validate the workflows and ease of use. "Show! Don't tell")

    Chad Pearson
    Director of Business Development
    Brampton ON
    (416) 574-1677

  • 8.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-17-2019 14:38
    Wow, Chad great feedback.  We fell into some of these pitfalls within the last 12 months with two separate purchases we made, a project management app and a timekeeping app.  This first I thought was a fluke, by the second software purchase, I realized it was commonplace.  Good advice.


  • 9.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-17-2019 20:28
    Edited by Chad Pearson 04-17-2019 20:30
    Cheers Kathy. Thank you.
    And yes - unfortunately these tactics are all too common.

    There are 2 min some videos here that give good tips. :)

    How to stop cloud cuffing DEAD and protect specialty contractors
    YouTube remove preview
    How to stop cloud cuffing DEAD and protect specialty contractors
    The Tee-off Series with the 'Plexxis Patriot', Chad Pearson, focuses on tech, talent and truth in specialty build.
    View this on YouTube >

    Chad Pearson
    Director of Business Development
    Brampton ON
    (416) 574-1677

  • 10.  RE: Accounting Software Upgrade

    Posted 04-22-2019 13:31
    Hi Kathy,

    We are currently in the process of implementing COINS software.  I worked with Sage 300 (formerly Timberline) for approximately 18 years, so have a good comparison between the products.  COINS offers a much easier interface, and has its own internal workflow.  We looked into both Viewpoint Vista and COINS and found that COINS is going to be able to accommodate what we need.  I would highly recommend you take a look at it while exploring software options.  Please let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to provide you with any information.

    Deborah Betts
    Anderson Howard
    Irvine CA
    (949) 756-3331