Drill Down and Drill Around
This article is part of a series entitled
“Evaluating Accounting Software” in which J. Carlton Collins explains
his quick and dirty 20-minute guide to evaluating an accounting software
package. The article series starts here:
The best accounting software products in the land offer strong drill
down and drill around capabilities. This helps you answer questions
about your data. To give you an example, this article demonstrates how a
user of Navision can drill just about anywhere in this product. The
audit trail guides the user from the underlying source transaction all
the way to the financial statement, and back down again to the source
The screen below is the customer set up screen. Here we see information
for customer Klubben, and in particular we see that this customer has an
outstanding balance of $16,686.20. To drill into this balance, the user
need only click on the down arrow located next to the balance amount.
This action causes the customer ledger entries screen to pop up which
contains a list of all invoices and credit memos that make up the
The user selects the invoice for $114,728.39 and clicks the navigate
key. This process displays a map that shows where this transaction has
been posted throughout the system. For example, we see that this
transaction resulted in one entry in the posted sales invoice journal,
two entries in the general ledger, and so on.
The user selects the item ledger and drills to the details. We see that
this transaction resulted in 2 entries to the item ledger. Clicking the
up arrow next to item number 7668 drills upwards to a listing of all
Here we see that item 7668 is an Olympic Conference System which
presently sells for $8,343.10.
More information is just a click away. The user can view a picture of
the item as shown below.
Another button provides access to the item statistics which show data
for purchases and sales statistics for this month, this year, last year,
and life to date.
Other buttons display quantity discount breaks and much more.
next time you evaluate an accounting software system, put it to the
test. See if you can drill from the customer set up screen to that
customers invoices to the items included on those customer invoices and
then to pictures and statistics related to those items. Navision
provides a very strong audit trail – few products can measure up to this
standard. However, now you have a better basis for judging other
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