Needs in business for Customer control

Needs in Business Data                                   © Walter S.J.Tegelaar Feb 2015


I will be taking a look at the business needs of a business for various sectors:

Customers, Suppliers, Products, Stock Control, Accounting, Jobbing and all reporting

Each section will detail your data requirements for effective management and returning the best profit performance.


You need to be able to manage customers by all their address and contact data, a quick link to invoicing, quotes, request for credit (RFC), product usage, financial data etc and in processing all data entry items pertinent to customers.

A basic customer page and basic invoicing is insufficient for any business, however small and you must consider all the elements detailed below or you will definitely lose money.

Listed below by category are the essential requirements for each heading…

Base customer details:

  1. Code                        - for quick identification and choosing from a list
  2. Business Name       - name of your customer/client
  3. Date Started            - you need a date trading commenced with your customer for anniversary information. Loyalty programs etc. Can be useful in legal matters
  4. Sales Person           - the salesperson linked to this customer
  5. Type of Customer    - is this a shop, mail, telephone, web customer for specific sales follow up
  6. Source                     - where did this customer come from to define your best sales opportunities?
  7. Price Level               - most businesses with more than 100 products/customers will develop price classes to enable better management
  8. Address Details        - mailing address and delivery address… should also allow for multiple delivery addresses as many businesses have more than one delivery point
  9. Link to HO/group      - you should be able to link a customer to a buying group or where they are a branch of a larger firm the head office customer code. This allows for individual trading of the person or branch whilst easily obtaining group outstandings

Base customer pricing:

  1. Set price/Contact price per Product
  2. Discount levels by Product Group
  3. Multiple base selling prices for sales categories ie: Retail, Trade, Wholesale, Corporate etc
  4. Price Matrix   - this is a special item provided by TBS which is not mandatory but very useful for fresh goods, butchers etc where prices change daily and you supply to various industries ie: restaurants, shops, retail, specials etc

Base drop down to review data for these areas:

  1. Products sold           - should show date, product details and invoice number for linking
  2. Invoices                    - should show invoice details and whether invoice is paid and drop down into the main invoice if still open or a view of the invoice if locked
  3. Quotes                      - should show main quote detail and ability to drop into quote
  4. Invoice orders           - if you have a pre-order capability as provided by TBS then you can process to a customer order and only send to invoicing when ready for despatch
  5. Banking/Receipts     - banking receipts for this customer and ability to drop down and look
  6. Backorders               - lists backorders for customer and able to drop down and update status
  7. Request for Credit (RFC)   - show all customer requests for credits (good to build history of problem customers or problems with pricing for some customers)

Core financial data:

  1. Unpaid invoices guide        - virtual statement balances
  2. Invoice status                     - unpaid invoices by month and total sales for customer
  3. Sales history by month      - list sales history by month to view buying patterns

Customer/Debtor reporting:

  1. Statements in multiple formats to allow printing and/or emailing
    1. For the specific customer
    2. For all in a print run
    3. For Head Office or Buying Group as a summary
  2. List of invoices (paid or unpaid), quotes, orders
  3. Trial Balance to provide debt by month for each client/customer
  4. Demand Letters enable you to quickly send out a pre-defined letter with current debt to the customers chosen from a list. This becomes a key weapon in debt control

Full sales reporting:          (all reports to be defined by period/product/group/client etc)

  1. Sales by client
  2. Sales by product, product group
  3. Profit by product group and product
  4. Best and worst customers
  5. Sales data comparing periods and monthly sales analysi
  6. Sales by sales representative

Your software system should have…

When considering what is needed from an accounting/business software perspective, people should have all of the above and also have integration between all areas. The sales functions must be integrated into the accounting sector so line items at invoices automatically go to the correct ledger accounts and the GST/VAT/BTW etc is all charged automatically based on product and client/customer.

  1. Quotes should go to orders, invoices and jobbing (where applicable)
  2. All pricing options should be automatic at quotes, orders and invoicing.
  3. Customer price lists should be able to show actual pricing relative to the customer taking into account discount levels, contract pricing, pricing levels etc
  4. Quotes, orders and invoices should all be able to invoice to one customer/location and deliver to another customer/location
  5. Products should have multiple pricing, both with tax and excluding tax for those businesses that show tax included as standard or tax excluded (most common format) with the tax being calculated separately
  6. Products should have a link to a Product Group and possible other sort/pricing areas
  7. There should be no limit to the numbers of products (ie: 100,000) customers etc and speed of lookup should be almost instantaneous
  8. Security should be customizable by the owner for sensitive data, sales reports etc
  9. All software should have the capacity to be web enabled
  10. Customers must be completely linked to a full contact management system

TBS Software provide a wide range of account management software for home accounting and business accounting needs. Our accounting software offers some of the best features that are easy to use. We also provide custom software solutions to suit your requirements.

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