Selwyn D. van Rooyen Offers the Services of Two Consultants in One

By Lynn Yoffee February 2008 As an expert in both information technology and accounting, Selwyn D. van Rooyen offers his clients a unique combination of services.

"There's a great need for consultants out there who understand both sides of the business because they are closely related," says van Rooyen, who is president of Wyn Consulting, Inc., a Richmond, VA, accounting software and financial solutions consulting firm that works with small- to medium-sized companies. "We're able to set up a company's accounting system, taking into consideration the IT side of the business as well as the accounting side."

This type of knowledge and experience is imperative when setting up companies with integrated software packages such as Microsoft Office Accounting, Office Outlook with Business Contact Manager, and Microsoft Point of Sale. van Rooyen, who was born in South Africa but came to the U.S. for his education and decided to stay, started out working in a CPA firm for a number of years, performing audits, reviews, compilations, and tax return work. He also worked on projects involving the installation and support of accounting systems, and the establishing of internal controls. He later was appointed as CFO of a rapidly growing physician practice, where he was responsible for the implementation of a new accounting system. The combined experience led him to eventually found Wyn Consulting. When choosing an accounting package for his clients, van Rooyen says it's important to perform a thorough needs analysis. "It involves discussions with management about their business processes, employees, the specific accounting system needs such as inventory, payroll, job costing, time and billing, paperless office needs, reporting, and many more areas," he says. "Based on the information gathered in the needs analysis, I will make a recommendation on the accounting system. Microsoft Office Accounting does a great job of taking care of many of the accounting needs of smaller businesses, and is supplemented by many third-party add-on solutions." van Rooyen says some of Office Accounting's greatest selling points include: * Integration with Microsoft Office Outlook with Business Contact Manager, allowing billing from the Outlook calendar. * Highly customizable input screens and forms. * True accounting controls. "Transactions cannot be deleted or changed without a trail," he points out. * Multiple currency support, which comes in handy with eBay stores and those who sell products abroad. * Full integration with Microsoft’s Point of Sale system. * Excellent cash to accrual conversions for reporting purposes. * A customizable dashboard. Because van Rooyen's client base is varied, from medical service practices to construction companies, such an adaptable product is easy to suggest to all of his clients. van Rooyen, who holds a BS in accounting and an MBA with an IT specialization, says installing an accounting package with a new client is relatively easy. The challenges arise when clients switch over from another accounting package. "But in a lot of ways, Office Accounting is intuitive," he says. "I had an IT consulting firm that switched because of the integration that Office Accounting offers," he says. "With Outlook with Business Contact Manager, they bill directly from Outlook, and it gets sent into Office Accounting. That's the main reason they switched and they're very excited about it. Prior to that they were dealing with keeping everything in sync with their sales database and accounting software." While setting up Office Accounting is fairly straightforward, an environment with multiple users is a bit more complicated. That's one way van Rooyen's services come in handy. van Rooyen is a QuickBooks convert. "I've been into QuickBooks for a long time and now I'm really getting into Office Accounting, especially for new clients. When I recommend Office Accounting, I have the future in mind because you have that upgrade to Dynamics GP later," he says. Which Office Accounting features does he value most? Easy integration with other products, a highly customizable and flexible interface, accounting controls, and the fact that it's built on a MS SQL database structure.

Contact Selwyn D. van Rooyen at (804) 612-6100, svanrooyen@wynconsulting.com or visit http://www.wynconsulting.com/.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Microsoft.