A funny thing happened after I wrote this post in July 2013 about building a Commission Report for QuickBooks. I started to get a lot of inquiries about doing other custom QuickBooks reports using Crystal Reports. I’m thinking “Oh, golly, no!” It was ornery and time consuming and awful. I couldn’t fathom business owners trying to do that kind of battle, let alone me with 18 years of dedicated experience with Crystal Reports. I’ve started and/or run several small businesses, so I can understand the frustrations and breakdowns that business owners experience. This was pure hell.
Just finished creating what I consider a simple report for a customer who uses QuickBooks. He was spending at least 5 hours a month manually generating commission reports for each member of the small group of sales reps in the company. It was extremely onerous. With a quick bit of research, I designed a report that he can run that does all the calculations, creates one page per rep, and then automatically emails the report to each rep – with a total of 3 clicks.
After 16 years as a Crystal Reports specialist and veteran, I am thrilled with PDF-Explode. It is one of the most clever applications I’ve encountered for small and medium sized businesses. It is saving two of my customers HOURS AND HOURS of time every month, eliminating several manual processes (like running multiple versions of the same report and exporting the results to PDF for distribution). The price far exceeds the value – and the support is superior.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been doing Crystal Reports for 16 years now. I remember reading Microserfs by Douglas Coupland around 1995 when I lived in Whistler. I applied to work at Microsoft, but at the time had no specialized computing skills. I was so enthralled by the idea of working for a software company. Turned out Seagate Software was the hot thing in Vancouver at the time, so after going back to school for that specialized knowledge, I got hired there. Never thought I’d be hitching my career to that star for such a long time.