FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions about Total Office Manager – Enterprise Edition

Please read our software FAQs listed below. This page is not full of pre-sales  hype. We have worked hard to include important information to anyone interested in investing in Total Office Manager.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call toll free at 866-296-9700 or use the Contact Us page.

Aptora Corporation Software License Agreement: Total Office Manager Enterprise Edition

Click here to view the End User License Agreement

Accounting

Can you migrate my QuickBooks® accounting information?

We believe we are the only company in America that can migrate 100% of your important USA QB information*. That includes customers, vendors, items, employees, chart of accounts, user defined fields, purchase orders, item receipts, bills, checks, sales, invoices, credits, credit card charges, credit card credits, checks, payroll checks, bank deposits, and much more. There is a fee for this service and it is non refundable. Please call us for all of the details. USA only.

Can your company convert my current accounting software’s data?

Probably yes. It depends on what program you have. We have database specialists that can convert most any accessible data. The key is getting to the data. Does your program have an export feature? Does your program use a database we can open? Generally, we will be able to migrate customers, vendors, employees, items, chart of accounts and many other minor lists. We will not preserve hierarchical information. We will not be able to import transactions, history, work orders, service agreements, invoices, checks, bills, and more. This service is nonrefundable once the work starts. Please call for details.

Can I Do My Own Database Migration?

Maybe. It depends on how much you are trying to migrate. If you are trying to migrate transactions and detailed financial data, the answer is no. Total Office Manager includes a very strong data import utility. However, not all fields can be imported into the software. You cannot import detailed financial transactions for example. Aptora will not be able to assist you with exporting information from other software applications. Our data import system was not designed to allow a user to perform a full data migration. If you need to do anything beyond a basic import, please leave it to Aptora. Don’t try it yourself.

Does Total Office Manager® use the cash or accrual method of accounting?

Total Office Manager does all accounting on the Accrual method of accounting. This method is absolutely crucial to keeping accurate useful books. Bills are counted as liabilities when received; invoices are counted as income when generated. If you file your income taxes on a cash bases, you can still practice accrual based accounting for management purposes. Your accountant will be able to use your accrual reports to file on a cash bases.

If the user chooses to use a cash basis, they simply skip the Enter Bills step and write Checks as they actually pay the bills. They would also skip the Enter Credit Card Charges step. Invoices would be entered when the payment is received. We don’t recommend doing any of that.

For more information, please read this post on cash and accrual accounting.

Is credit card or check processing possible/included?

Credit card processing and electronic check processing (ePay) is built into the software and no external hardware is required (USA only). You have the option of entering the credit number manually or swiping the credit card using an optional card swipe. You will need a gateway account with Authorize.net in order to process credit cards or checks through Total Office Manager. No other gateway providers are supported. You may continue to use your present credit card setup; you will just need to enter certain information into the software manually. Depending on the provider, we may be able to work with them by offering custom programming. Please contact us for a price quote.

Is accounting included?

Yes, full enterprise level accounting is included. Total Office Manager does NOT require you to try and interface with any other accounting or scheduling software. Interfacing seems like a good idea but people will tell you how frustrating it is to try and deal with several applications and keep them all synchronized.

Can I convert my current accounting software’s data?

Probably yes. It depends on what program you have. We have database specialists that can convert most any accessible data. The key is getting to the data. Does your program have an export feature? Does your program use a database we can open? We specialize in converting QuickBooks® data. Please call us for details and very reasonable pricing. We’ll do a great job for you! This service is nonrefundable once the work starts.

Do you include federal payroll forms? Do you include payroll forms for all fifty (50) states?

Yes. We cover all major federal forms and we keep them updated throughout the year. No. We do not have forms for all fifty states. We do include reports that should allow you to manually complete payroll reports for all fifty states.

How does it handle job costing?

Job costing is a fully integrated part of Total Office Manager’s accounting. Whenever you create a sales proposal or sales estimate, make a sale, issue a credit, or offer a refund, Total Office Manager allows you to associate a job with that transaction. Total Office Manager’s job costing allows you to create as many jobs as you wish. You can setup jobs of jobs of jobs (called phases). You can set credit limits or projections as well. When you enter a bill or write a check to purchase materials or equipment, you can associate a job with that purchase. Total Office Manager even allows you line by line job costing. This means that you can associate jobs to each and every line of a check or bill. Total Office Manager allows you to tag each and every labor hour to a job. You can break up the entire day if you wish so that Total Office Manager tracks every minute! Total Office Manager even allows you to make adjusting journal entries by the job. This allows bookkeeping experts to precisely “tidy up” the entire job costing system and produce the most accurate job costing reports possible. Print a detailed profit and loss statement on each and every job you setup in Total Office Manager.

Is payroll included?

Yes. Our payroll is completely setup for the service industry. Total Office Manager’s certified payroll was designed for the USA only. An annual subscription is required after the first year and is totally free with most technical support plans. Payroll is for use in the USA only.

Can we use an outside payroll service? Which ones?

Yes. We have special features and capabilities built into the software to allow you to use an outside payroll service without losing important job costing information. It does not matter which outside payroll company you use. Simply enter time-sheet information as usual, report payroll to your payroll service (we have reports for this), and enter a payroll adjustment to match your payroll service posting report.

If I give my accountant a copy will it count as one of my users?

No, the accountant’s copy is free. Just contact us and we will get your accountant a free copy. They will like the fact that many of accounting functions are similar to what they are already using.

Do the payroll tax tables include all fifty (50) states?

Yes. We cover all states which have income tax withholding, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For local taxes, we cover almost all jurisdictions. We can add jurisdictions as needed. Canada is NOT included at this time. If you require specialized payroll, please call us. We have several options available to you.

Software

What type of business or company size was it designed for?

We have companies that are pretty small and many others with 100 employees or more. Total Office Manager was specifically designed for the service and construction industry. Any business that constructs, builds, or repairs something needs Total Office Manager. Total Office Manager is well suited for the small office. Total Office Manager is perfect for a medium to large sized company that plans to have as many as fifty (50) users, or more, using the program at the same time.

Can the Total Office Manager software be used over a network and can it be accessed remotely?

Total Office Manager can be accessed using terminal services (a terminal server such as Microsoft Terminal Server) or Remote Desktop. If you have a fast wired broadband connection, you may also use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to access the database but this method will be too slow and unreliable for most users. A VPN is secure and easy to setup and can be just fine for occasional use but it is not appropriate for everyday use and it will not work well using a wireless card. The software was designed to access the database using a LAN (Local Area Network) and not a WAN (Wide Area Network). Our Aptora Mobile field service management software is a separate software program designed for fast secure remote mobile access. Please contact us or sign up for a free demo.

What Do You Recommend For A Server?

Many people ask us for specific recommendations on a server. We are reluctant to do this since we don’t know the specifics of our client’s business. We offer the following as a general guideline. This recommendation is very close to what we have here at Aptora. View and download Server Recommendations PDF.

Server Recommendations at a Glance
1. Consider a Dell PowerEdge T630 Server
2. Two redundant power supplies
3. Two Intel® Xeon® E5 2600 v3 processors (or better)
4. Three 256GB SSD (solid state hard drives)
5. Two 2 TB enterprise hard drives
6. Two 1Gb NICs (network controller cards)
7. 32GB RAM (64GB would be better for large companies)
8. Basic graphics card
9. Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (or newer)
10. SQL Server 2014 Standard (older versions are fine if you already have them)

Will this software run on an Apple Mac® computer?

There are software programs, that Apple and others make, which will allow many Windows software programs to run on an Apple computer. We do NOT recommend this and we will NOT provide support for this.

Is a Caller ID feature included?

Caller ID is not part of your standard Total Office Manager investment. For an investment of $999.00, we will provide you with a caller ID server that connects up to eight phone lines. We will also provide our Total Office Manager designed caller ID software. This Caller ID System allows Total Office Manager to quickly display the identity of callers. If the caller is in Total Office Manager’s database, you will have instant access to their financial and service history. Of course, you will need to subscribe to caller ID service with your Phone Company (at your cost). Each additional eight phone lines will require another Caller ID $699.00 unit (the hardware) and up to 56 lines are supported. Please call us if you have more than sixteen (16) incoming phone lines. The Caller ID feature does not work with a T1 at this time. If you have multiple business locations, you will need a complete system for each location. One location will not be able to see the other location’s phone activity.

Does Caller ID work with VOIP or a proprietary call center?

We do have a VOIP version. This option costs a little more. We have created custom caller ID systems for call center systems and other specialized internet based phone systems. Please contact us for details.

Is flat rate pricing included?

As you probably know, we are selling what may be the nation’s most popular and most successful flat rate system; Flat Rate Plus. Total Office Manager was designed to integrate with FRP very tightly. Please call for special pricing. You may also build your own flat rate book, but we would not recommend it. You would be money ahead investing in ours. We’ve done all of the work so why reinvent the wheel?

Does it interface with other flat rate software?

Although we sell the very best flat rate system in the country, we know that some users may already have another system. If we don’t already have an interface available, we will work as hard as we can to make one for you – usually at no charge. We just need the cooperation of your current flat rate provider. As long it is legal, you may also import your existing flat rate data into Total Office Manager. We can help you with that process too. Call us for details.

What programming language is it written in?

Total Office Manager was written using some of the most popular programming languages in the world; Microsoft’s® .NET, Visual Basic® and C++. We use open database technology. This helps assure you that your data is safe, because the database is common and non-proprietary, and you can rest assured that your data can be completely removed should you need it. Other programs use proprietary (uncommon Total Office Manager databases) that others simply cannot get access to. This is how they can keep you “locked in” forever. It also makes it virtually impossible for your IT people to create custom reports or use the data in any meaningful way. Hey, it’s your data. We don’t keep you from it.

What database structure does Total Office Manager use?

Total Office Manager uses Microsoft SQL Server. The free Express version is included and is aqdequate for most users. This is included on the installation CD that we send you.

Can I create my own Total Office Manager reports?

Yes. Our software includes a report writing feature that allows you to create your own invoices, purchase orders, work orders, statements, estimates, sales proposals, sales activity reports, customer statements, and many more.

You can use a very popular program called Crystal Reports® to create your own reports. This program is used by many of the “big boys” to create custom commercial reports, charts, and analysis. CR is very powerful and can do just about everything you would ever want it to do. You do NOT need to be a programmer or an IT kind of person but it does require a pretty knowledgeable computer user. The price for this program is usually under $299.00 (when this was written). Support is provided by Crystal Reports.

Finally, you could use the report writer that is part of SQL Server (that is the Microsoft database that we use). This would allow someone (who knows what they are doing) to create almost any type of report or data query.

How much does Total Office Manager cost?

Prices start at $9,999.00 for five users and that includes all features (we don’t modularize). The first year of support and updates is also included. After that you can invest in a less expensive support/maintenance plan. You are not required to have a support plan and you can renew your plan at any time. Call your salesperson to learn about options and services. Please call or email today. Depending on the time of year, we have some terrific special offers.
Our pricing is far less than most any other full enterprise level accounting program. That’s because there is no middle man reseller markup. We make it, market it, sell it, and support it and we have been in business since 1996. Consider some of our respected competition:

QuickBooks Enterprise®. You still need to buy a lot of add-ons for dispatching, service agreements, etc. Even their advanced inventory requires a $999 annual fee.

Microsoft Dynamics GP®. The starting price looks low but there are a lot of options that need to be purchased separately; features that are already in Total Office Manager.

Sage ERP MAS 200 SQL®. A powerful program but Total Office Manager also uses Microsoft® SQL technology and compares nicely at a fraction of the cost.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that a mere QB bolt-on will be cheaper to own in the long run.

Why does it cost so much more than QuickBooks® and PeachTree by Sage?

It doesn’t really. Total Office Manager can’t be compared to something generic like QuickBooks® or PeachTree®. However, Total Office Manager isn’t really as expensive as you might think. Consider that Total Office Manager can be installed on five different computers. Five copies of QuickBooks Contractor or Peachtree can cost about $2500.00. You still need to buy a dispatching program. An-off-the shelf program may cost about $200 per user or a specialized one can run you another $4000 to $5000. You might as well buy Total Office Manager. One program is easier to use, get support on, and keep updated. Plus, Total Office Manager can do what those programs can do, and a lot more! You also pay between $180.00 – $200.00 a year for their Payroll Updates, but not ours. We offer a thirty day (30) money back guarantee on the software program, from the date of the original invoice. That gives you about one month to try it out and see if it suits your needs.

How does Total Office Manager compare to QuickBooks® or PeachTree by Sage?

Total Office Manager is NOT a copy of QuickBooks. We have some of the same features and other similarities. We have patterned Total Office Manager after QB and we share some of the same work flow. We don’t have every QB feature and QB does not have many of the features in Total Office Manager. However, we love QuickBooks. That’s why we have worked hard to make Total Office Manager work much the same way when it comes to the accounting portion. Where we differ is that Total Office Manager also offers powerful inventory functions, flexible payroll, fixed asset management, depreciation, customer service history, service agreements, work orders, dispatching, scheduling, and on and on. We also provide comprehensive support designed specifically for the contracting industry.

What if we need some features that it doesn’t have?

We will gladly customize Total Office Manager to meet your needs. We have added a lot of things based on the needs and desires of our clients. Tell us what you need. It’s possible that the features you need are already on our development list. If not, we can talk to you about adding them.

Is customized Total Office Manager programming available?

Yes we do. We can use Total Office Manager as the basic accounting foundation and create a full enterprise solution for your company. We can create a software program that meets your exact specifications. Give us a call. This can be far cheaper than buying some overgrown enterprise package that you don’t even own.

Is there a mobile software smart phone version?

Yes. We call it Aptora Mobile. It works on an iPad, iPhone, Tablet PC, Android, BlackBerry and other internet access devices. With it, your technicians can create and manage work orders, look-up parts and flat rate tasks, look-up repair history, create invoices, capture signatures, process credits cards, print or email invoices, and more. Salespeople can track sales leads, appointments, and phone messages. They can create sales proposals and collect down payments. Your managers can enter customers, issue purchase orders, control access, and many other related tasks. Owners can view financials, check on sales, view A/R, A/P and a lot more.

How does it handle progressive billing?

Easily! Total Office Manager allows you to create a sales estimate for any phase of the job or the entire total of the job. You may then click a Create Invoice button to bill the entire amount or any portion of the total.

When we import flat rate data from Flat Rate Plus™, can we edit the labor or materials?

Yes. You have full control over this data in Total Office Manager. You can change basically anything.

Does it print checks? Do we need anything special?

Total Office Manager prints checks to standard check stock that you can buy at any good office supply store. You do not need a special printer or ink and there is nothing extra to purchase. Of course, you can continue to write checks by hand if you wish or do a combination of both (like we do).

How do I use the mapping feature?

Total Office Manager includes an optional mapping system that integrates perfectly with the Schedule Board. Please contact us for details.

Will I be able to track service calls in route?

Yes.

Can I buy the source code?

Yes. We can make the source code available under a limited license. There is an extra cost which is fairly significant. Please call for pricing and licensing details.

Am I buying or leasing the software?

You are buying it. You may have noticed that the current trend is to lease your software. You do NOT own it. It is NOT an asset but a liability. Worse yet, you can’t sell it to anyone. It is worthless. With Total Office Manager, you own it!

Is the software easy to use?

It really depends on your ability and what parts of the software you are using. Classically trained accounting people who have quality experience using the accounting features in other accounting software, will have no problem with Total Office Manager.

Please understand that this is full blown enterprise level accounting software. If you are the company’s bookkeeper and don’t already know how to use accounting software, you likely cannot figure this program out as you go. You will need patience and training.

If you are good with software and computer savvy, you will quickly pick up on the non-accounting functions, such as dispatching, service agreements, mapping, work orders, etc., pretty quickly and easily.

Is the installation of the software easy? Do I need an IT person?

The installation of both the server and workstation software is straight forward and very standard. We also provide terrific documentation. That does not mean that you can necessarily do it yourself. You may need the assistance of an IT person. If you invest in the Caller ID option, you will need some knowledge of how analog phone lines work and you will need so basic electric wiring abilities. This is also well documented.

How does licensing work?

You may install the software anytime you wish on as many computers as you like. We sell you the software based on the number of people actually using the software at one time (concurrent users). You can buy additional user licenses as needed. Please see ourEULA for additional information.

Support

Is technical support included?

Yes. We include one year of VIP toll-free technical support. Technical support is provided in-house by well-trained Aptora employees. We do NOT subcontract our technical support. When you speak to a technical support expert, you are speaking to someone who is, at a minimum, a full-charge bookkeeper. Many of our employees have degrees in accounting as well as related advanced degrees.

Is a manual or software help system included?

Yes. We have great manuals! Total Office Manager may be the best-documented software program of its kind. We know manuals are important so we hired a specialist to create ours. The software includes a user manual, quick start guide, work flow charts, and accounting guide – all in PDF format. Total Office Manager also includes a really great help system.

Aptora has also produced a complete training and certification system. Ask your sales consultant for details.

Is training included?

Our dedicated staff of trainers are full-charge bookkeepers with many years of quality experience Aptora makes training available on an hourly or daily basis. We also offer onsite training and setup or you can bring your people here for training. Please call for details.

What’s the difference between training and technical support?

Our support technicians are there to support a capable and qualified full charge bookkeeper who has several years of quality experience. Our training department is there to train those who need a little help understanding computerized full double entry accounting and bookkeeping principles and practice.

Some companies are using foreign countries to provide their tech support. Do you?

No way. Not a chance. All of our software programming has been done in America. All of our technical support is performed by our own well-trained staff of full-time employees. We do not sub out our support. We know others have been romanced by the thought of $2.00 an hour workers providing customer service. Not us!

Will I be able to schedule multiple techs to one work order?

We make it easy to create duplicate work orders. In other words, once the first person on the job is scheduled, copies are made very quickly. This gives you more options on the schedule board than trying to have a single work order represent each technician. With our considerable experience, we can tell you this is the better way to go.