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AMPs (Agency Media Production system)

An accounting software system designed by Ad Systems for marketing companies.
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AMPs highlights:

  • AMPs was written specifically to address the needs of advertising agencies, public relations firms and in-house agencies.
  • Built-in flexibility allows for easy user-customization of AMPs to address the needs of a wide variety of businesses.
  • AMPs was written specifically for use with Microsoft SQL Server, not ported from a previous smaller database (such as Access or Centura). AMPs was written for the Windows environment and allows seamless integration with other Windows products. For example, any report can be saved into one of 20 different formats including Excel or Access right from the reports window.
  • The Standard AMPS package contains fully integrated modules for handling Production Jobs, Estimating, Budgeting, Traffic, Billing, Media Buys, Time Entry, Billing, Reconciliation, Accounting, Sales Tax, Requisitions, Purchase Orders, General Ledger, Reporting among others. Standard integration modules allow for interfacing with various media buying packages.
  • User-definable security down to the field level allows for unlimited flexibility in securing sensitive information and workflow.

AMPs Messaging highlights:

  • Targeted delivery of messages to appropriate personal in response to system events. Some events are user-initiated (Change Order created for job) while others are system-initiated (Time Sheets missing after a certain period of time).
  • Specify “relative“ message recipients. For example, on the missing time sheet event, notify the person whose time sheet is missing and their manager.
  • Group and hold message for delivery by recipient to avoid inbox clutter. Messages for each user can be held and grouped for delivery at specific times.

AMPs Imaging highlights:

  • Images may be acquired from a scanner or digital camera or imported from graphic files.
  • Built-in storage, display and printing of a variety of image data. Examples include job samples, signed estimates and purchase orders, vendor invoices and signatures.
  • Automatic printing of ”backup“ (vendor invoices, signed estimates, etc.) with client invoices where necessary avoids having to photocopy items for clients.

Accounts Payable

The accrual and payment of all agency debt is reconciled in one location for easy maintenance and control. As vendor invoices are received, individual amounts can be reconciled to specific PO line items.

Agencies can accurately track actual vs. anticipated job costs and better manage job-related expenditures. Vendor specific information is integrated here to ensure that the proper discounts are applied.

Payment flexibility is essential to efficient cash flow management and financial control. AMPs lets you control and manage agency payables to best suit current financial conditions. You may select payments by vendor, invoice type, or due date and adjust the list of payables to optimize cash requirements against available cash.

Accounts Receivable

Once a job reaches the invoicing stage, most of the preparation has already been completed. All billing information for a job is collected and available for review and possible inclusion on invoices.

This includes task-level estimate dollars, staff time, in-house costs, actual costs, and PO line items. Previously billed amounts are taken into account, appropriate taxes and commission rates are applied. The user now simply decides what and how much to bill. Even this can be simplified since task billability can be decided beforehand, at the overall task and job-task levels. With all the information that influences this decision at your fingertips, it’s easy.

AMPs also provides tools that facilitate the application of dollar amounts to cover charges incurred. For example, on time charges, specific dollar amounts can be applied to cover all or only selected employees’ billable hours and can be distributed evenly or by percentage based on hours spent on each task. The flexibility is limitless.

To effectively manage cash receipts, AMPs allows for the acceptance and application of payments directly to invoices or on account. Credit memos created for payments on account can be printed and accessed for application to invoices in the future, all within the same A/R module/screen.

Client Profile

Satisfied clients are the mark of a successful agency and the key to agency growth. The ability to access and report accurate, timely, and complete information about client accounts is essential to client satisfaction. AMPs lets you manage complete client profiles from within one module and gain quick and easy access to all pertinent information concerning individual clients.

The AMPs client module brings all essential elements of account management together. Here you can maintain client-specific information as well as monitor on-going client activity. Client address and billing information is entered and administered here. Current client jobs, related time entries, and A/R invoices are presented as well. While it originates elsewhere, client activity data is available in concise summary format with seamless drill-down capability to associated detail. You have immediate access to pertinent, up-to-the-minute account information, all with the click of a mouse. Data is never duplicated and is always current. The easy-to-use tab interface allows for smooth navigation among screens. With all the information at your fingertips, responding to client inquiries is a snap.

No two clients’ needs are the same. Often the administrative details are overlooked and can become particularly burdensome over time. For instance, it is not unusual for clients to negotiate special task and commission rates for their projects. Likewise, taxes may vary from client to client due to state, regional or even international laws. Taking this into account, the AMPs application provides flexibility to accommodate specific client requirements without the burden of unnecessary data entry. System-wide defaults are established and can be overridden or extended at lower levels.

For example, you can easily customize the imposed tax structure at the client and task levels. Override or extend the default tax structure by choosing any number of applicable tax rates to suit any and all requirements. Multi-client jobs are another example. When jobs are performed for more than one client, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage billings. AMPs lets you distribute charges by assigning percentage allocations to individual clients on a job. The information specified is carried forward to the A/R module for efficient and unassisted integration at invoicing time.

The ability to easily monitor all client activity ensures accurate assessment of progress and timely reaction to possible problems. The AMPs system is designed to capture and provide current information, keeping both the client and agency management apprised of on-going activities. Concise summaries provide activity overview. Supporting detail is directly accessible with transparent migration to other modules when appropriate. You are in complete control of the level and composition of the data you are monitoring. Client activity and profitability information can be collapsed or expanded to different organizational levels by entering client - parent relationships.

General Ledger

The AMPs on-line General Ledger provides unprecedented control over agency books. It is within your power to design system financials around agency procedures by targeting specific accounts for A/P, A/R, and journal posting. System-wide defaults can be overridden at the job, task, and job category levels. The emphasis is on flexibility without the burden of unnecessary data entry.

The on-line G/L provides immediate snapshots of all account balances and activity. You control the design and layout of financial reports (e.g. Income Statement and Balance Sheet).

Control timing and content of journal and ledger posting without restricting other business units from completing their tasks. Specifically, you can post to a current period before a previous period is closed, allowing data entry to continue at month-end before a previous period’s books are closed. Managing agency financials is simplified because multiple periods and fiscal years can be open at any given point in time. To suit existing conditions and business practices, posting can be controlled by function, i.e. A/P, A/R, or the journal.

Job Jacket

Each job involves countless steps and the collaboration of many different people and departments. The inability to track all aspects of a job and quickly assess its current state can cause delays and interrupts the workflow. AMPs delivers an on-line job jacket, providing accurate, timely, and complete information crucial to successful job completion.

From setup through performance to final billing, pertinent information about the job is entered and accessible through the on-line job jacket. Making all data available in one centralized location greatly simplifies the task of managing a job from start to finish. Throughout the job’s lifecycle, estimate, traffic, cost, resourcing, and billing information is tracked here. At a glance, the current state of a job can be assessed across all business units impacting its progress. Issues can be identified early - before they become problems. Other system components (e.g. A/R and time entry) are integrated seamlessly as they apply to jobs, providing complete and current information. Duplication is eliminated.

Your ability to estimate well has a direct impact on profit margins. AMPs lets you capitalize on industry knowledge and real-life job experiences by capturing valuable information and automating its reuse. The result is an improved job performance record and simplified job estimate creation.

Use acquired industry knowledge to identify a standard set of billable tasks for a given type of job. Similarly, you may generate proposals independent of any specific job or client. As new jobs are created, their estimates can be based on this data. Finally, and most importantly, previous estimates and completed job activity may also be used to generate new cost estimates or proposals.

Timely assessment of job costs is essential to cost control. In addition to vendor costs and time charges, AMPs tracks in-house costs at the job level as well. Often these costs are completely overlooked, especially as they relate to jobs, making it virtually impossible to plan and improve job implementation processes. This is an invaluable tool for planning and tracking complete cost information.

Media Buying

The placement and billing of media requires a great deal of planning and negotiation. Accurate and timely information is essential in estimating costs and acquiring desired print ad space and broadcast media spots. AMPs is designed to assist in the planning, budgeting, and reconciliation of advertising media purchases. AMPs provides for true co-op media billing. Taking negotiated client discounts into account, AMPs will appropriately bill multiple clients for a single media placement.

Media plans and estimates are managed through a graphical Gantt chart of the client’s media schedule. The 52 week chart displays and prints scheduled media activity for the entire year. This intuitive interface integrates seamlessly with detailed ad specifications for both print and broadcast media. Plans are designed to capture the client’s budget and its allocation among different mediums. Estimates provide detailed information about planned media purchases, including vendors and dates. To speed up the ordering process, insertion orders can be generated directly from the media estimate.

To simplify data entry, media detail screens are flexible and easy to use. AMPs distinguishes between print and broadcast ads to capture detailed specifications appropriate for each type of medium. Within each category, you can define as many types of media as required. For example, you may define Newspaper, Outdoor, Internet, etc. For broadcast media, multiple and repeated ad runs can be keyed in a single plan entry. Print ad entries are easily duplicated via the copy functionality. All media types are combined in the media estimate to provide a complete picture of the client’s media schedule.

Media billing is quick and efficient. Client invoices can be generated from media estimates, insertion orders, or actual vendor invoices. Media rates are managed through vendor contracts and contract analysis reports assist in booking and billing print space and broadcast times. AMPs also allows for the reconciliation of tear sheets to print ads and ‘make-goods’ to broadcast ads.

Time Entry

To gain the competitive edge, an agency must effectively combine the collective efforts of many individuals to produce an advertising product that meets or exceeds expectations. Tracking employee time and how it was spent is crucial to this process. It empowers management with the ability to assess profitability, plan new work, and balance existing resources against current workload. The graphical calendar interface greatly simplifies individual time entry and resource management.

To encourage prompt and efficient time entry, the AMPs interface is easy to use and adapts to a variety of time entry procedures. AMPs accommodates time entry on a daily or a weekly basis. All entries are summarized on a monthly calendar. The graphical calendar interface is intuitive and seamlessly integrates with supporting weekly and daily time entry screens. A click of the mouse on any day or week on the calendar opens to the appropriate detail screen. The system visually highlights days and weeks with actual entries and provides totals by task for the day, week, and month.

For consistency and accuracy, an individual’s assigned tasks automatically appear on their daily time entry sheet. Other tasks can easily be added by selecting both the job and task to which time is to be charged. While the task description is provided as a default, each entry may be changed to carry a specific description of work performed. The entry is still tied to the original task, however, for management reporting purposes.

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