Canadian Patents Database / Patent 2829665 Summary

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 2829665
(54) English Title: METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING DATA NORMALIZATION, SCALABILITY AND MAINTAINABILITY
(54) French Title: PROCEDES ET APPAREIL POUR ASSURER LA NORMALISATION, L'EXTENSIBILITE ET LA MAINTENABILITE DES DONNEES
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • G06Q 40/00 (2012.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • NAGEL, CHARLES BRENTON (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • QVINCI SOFTWARE, LLC (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
  • QUICKDASH, LLC (United States of America)
(74) Agent: GOWLING WLG (CANADA) LLP
(45) Issued: 2018-09-11
(22) Filed Date: 2013-10-04
(41) Open to Public Inspection: 2014-04-04
Examination requested: 2013-10-07
(30) Availability of licence: N/A
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
61/709,495 United States of America 2012-10-04
14/043,731 United States of America 2013-10-01

English Abstract

Methods and apparatus for normalizing data, such as e.g., charts of accounts, across a plurality of entities are provided. In one embodiment, a centralized web application is accessed by an administrative user. A standardized chart of accounts (SCoA) is generated or accessed within the web application. When a financial data file from a remote user is received, a chart of accounts (CoA) is generated for the received financial data file. The SCoA and CoA are displayed to the remote user. The generated CoA is normalized to the SCoA by aligning data fields between the charts of accounts and prompting the remote user to map unaligned fields. The financial data file is modified to match the SCoA based on the normalized CoA.


French Abstract

Des procédés et un appareil de normalisation des données, comme un plan de comptes, sur une pluralité dentités, sont présentés. Dans un mode de réalisation, une application web centralisée est ouverte par un utilisateur administrateur. Un plan de comptes normalisé (PdCN) est généré ou ouvert dans lapplication. Lorsque le fichier de données financières dun utilisateur distant est reçu, un plan de comptes (PdC) est généré pour le fichier de données financières reçues. Le PdCN et le PdC sont affichés à lintention de lutilisateur distant. Le PdC généré est normalisé selon le PdCN en alignant les champs de données des deux plans de comptes et en invitant lutilisateur distant à faire concorder les champs non alignés. Le fichier de données financières est modifié pour correspondre au PdCN en fonction du PdC normalisé.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

What is claimed is:
1 A method for normalizing financial data information across a
plurality of
entities, the method comprising:
receiving, at a centralized process, a standardized chart of accounts (SCoA)
from a
first user, the SCoA having a first format;
receiving, at the centralized process, a financial data file from a second
user having a
second format, the second format differing from the first format, the first
user differing from
the second user;
generating, by the centralized process, a chart of accounts (CoA) for the
received
financial data file;
simultaneously causing, by the centralized process, the display of portions of
the
generated CoA and portions of the SCoA to the second user;
aligning, by the centralized process, data fields between the generated CoA
and the
SCoA;
prompting the second user to map unaligned fields between the generated CoA
and
the SCoA in order to normalize the generated CoA to the SCoA;
modifying the received financial data file to match the SCoA based on received
inputs
from the second user to map the unaligned fields;
subsequent to modifying the received financial data file, receiving an updated

financial data file from the second user, the updated financial data file
comprising one or more
updated fields within the financial data file; and
automatically modifying the received updated financial data file to conform
with the
SCoA having the first format based at least in part on received inputs from
the second user to
map the unaligned fields.
2. The method of Claim 1, wherein the method further comprises transmitting

the modified received financial data file for subsequent use by the second
user.
3. The method of Claim 1, wherein the method further comprises
synchronizing
the updated financial data file with the modified received financial data
file.
15

4. The method of Claim 3, wherein the updated financial data file is
compatible
with a financial accounting software application.
5. The method of Claim 1, wherein the centralized process comprises a web
application, and the method further comprises inviting the second user to
access the web
application for synchronizing data files between the second user and data
files managed by the
web application.
6. The method of Claim 1, wherein the centralized process comprises a web
site
accessible upon registration and authentication by the remote user.
7. The method of Claim 1, further comprising:
responsive to a change occurring in the SCoA, transmitting a notification of
the
change to one or more remote entities.
8. A non-transitory computer readable apparatus having a storage medium
comprising a computer program, the computer program comprising a plurality of
computer
readable instructions which are configured to, when executed on a computing
device:
receive a standardized chart of accounts (SCoA) from a first user, the SCoA
having a
first format;
receive a financial data file from a second user, the financial data file
having a second
format, the second format differing from the first format, the first user
differing from the
second user;
generate a chart of accounts (CoA) for the received financial data file;
simultaneously cause display of portions of the generated CoA and portions of
the
SCoA to the second user;
align data fields between the generated CoA and the SCoA;
prompt the second user to map unaligned fields between the generated CoA and
the
SCoA in order to normalize the generated CoA to the SCoA;
modify the received financial data file to match the SCoA based on received
inputs
from the second user to map the unaligned fields;
16

subsequent to the modification of the received financial data file, receive an
updated
financial data file from the second user, the updated financial data file
comprising one or more
updated fields within the financial data file; and
modify the received updated financial data file automatically so that it
conforms with
the SCoA having the first format based at least in part on received inputs
from the second user
to map the unaligned fields.
9. The computer readable apparatus of Claim 8, wherein the plurality
of
computer readable instructions are further configured to transmit the
normalized CoA to the
second user for subsequent use by the second user.
10. The computer readable apparatus of Claim 8, wherein the plurality
of
computer readable instructions are further configured to:
notify remote users upon a change occurring in the SCoA; and
subsequent to the notification of remote users of the change in the SCoA,
receive a
second financial data file from a remote user and align data fields between
the received second
financial data file and the SCoA.
11. The computer readable apparatus of Claim 8, wherein the computing
device
is a web server accessible to remote users for synchronizing financial data,
and the plurality
of computer readable instructions are further configured to synchronize
financial data received
from the remote users to the received SCoA from the first user.
12. The computer readable apparatus of Claim 8, wherein the alignment
of data
fields between the generated CoA and the SCoA occurs automatically via use of
an account
mapping service.
13 . The computer readable apparatus of Claim 8, wherein subsequent to
the
modification of the received financial data file to match the SCoA based on
the received inputs
from the second user to map the unaligned fields, generate a plurality of
reports for the
modified received financial data file.
17

14. The computer readable apparatus of Claim 13, wherein the plurality
of reports
comprises two or more of a profits and loss report, an inventory report, a pay
roll report, and
a sales report.
15. The computer readable apparatus of Claim 8, wherein access to the
computer
program is permitted through a web site that is accessible upon registration
and authentication
by a remote user.
16. The computer readable apparatus of Claim 8, wherein responsive to a
change
occurring in the SCoA, transmit a notification of the change to one or more
remote entities.
18

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

CA 02829665 2015-12-04
QUICK.002VCA PATENT
METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING DATA
NORMALIZATION, SCALABILITY AND MAINTAINABILITY
15 Background
1. Technical Field
The present disclosure relates generally to the field of accounting and
financial
systems, and more particularly, in one exemplary embodiment, to providing
normalization of disparate charts of accounts within a system.
2. Description of Related Technology
In order to keep track of various aspects of a business's finances and overall

health, most companies use some sort of financial accounting software. Charts
of
accounts (CoA) are files that are used in financial accounting software and
include a
listing of accounts that a business uses to define each class of items for
which money
is either spent or received. A CoA is often locally modified by personnel in
order to
meet particular needs of a location. In most cases, modifying the CoA results
in the
software being unable to process the transmission of the financial data as the
format
may no longer align with what is expected by the receiving party. Because of
this,
business owners, and in particular franchisors needing financial data from
their
franchisees, have a strong desire for all of their franchisees to send and
receive data in
the same format. The result of properly formatted data is that the information
can be
processed and accurate metrics obtained. Accordingly, the franchisor will
attempt to
enforce the use of a standardized chart of accounts (SCoA) by their
franchisees in
order to facilitate the sharing of financial information among the various
parties.
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CA 02829665 2013-10-04
As the control of financial software moves from a franchisor's power to the
franchisees, it is more likely that changes to the CoA will occur, causing
problems
with the transfer of data between the parties. One common example of financial

accounting software is QuickBooksTM by Intuit, Inc. Currently, over ninety
percent
(90%) of all small businesses (SMB) use QuickBooksTM for their accounting
system.
At present, there is no known way to "lock down" a CoA in QuickBooksTM (QB),
or
in similar known financial accounting software products on the market today. A
user
with Administrative (Admin) or Ownership type permissions may enter the CoA
file
and add, delete, or modify the CoA at will. The ability of personnel to modify
the
CoA file can result in the CoA being in a constant state of flux in that the
slightest
change, for example a change in the name of an account, can change how all
transactions in that account are reported as well as slotted. As a result,
syncing QB
data, financial data, or any other kind of data between various parties
becomes
problematic, if not impossible.
In existing implementations, a point of sale (POS) that auto-populates
transactions into a financial accounting system file (such as a QB file) must
have a
corresponding QB file with a matching account in the CoA, in order to be able
to
"push" the transaction data into the correct account. Because users are able
to change
accounts and numbers by simply clicking the account name and appending or
deleting
characters, it is not uncommon for these types of changes to occur. The result
of the
changes frequently leads to transactions not being correctly populated during
attempted transfers.
Restricting access to QB or other financial accounting software files at the
franchisee level may help to minimize modifications and synchronizing
failures, but
experience has shown that doing so is generally not feasible for most
businesses. It is
often thought that a user can be denied access to their own QB file for
reporting
purposes, and that alternative methods will somehow provide sufficient
accounting
interfaces for the franchisee. However, franchisees must be able to prepare
their
taxes, and their CPA must have the actual QB file in order to complete
preparation of
the taxes. These needs alone require allowing the franchisee administrative
access to
the file. Additionally, franchisees may use a variety of payroll tools, some
of which
are provided by Intuit, Inc. from within QB, and would be necessary for the
franchisee to access.
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CA 02829665 2013-10-04
Merchant services, owner acquisitions and loans, tax audits by the IRS, and a
plethora of other day-to-day operational elements are additional reasons why
the
franchisee must have access to the QB file.
Finally, the franchisee CoA files will typically not match the SCoA at various
points during the current year or quarter for a number of reasons.
In existing systems, even one modification, such as a modification of Income
accounts, may result in the POS data push failing.
In view of the challenges described above for normalizing data files using
existing means, new schemes are needed for ensuring files can more easily be
transferred or synched within an organization, with the least amount of manual
intervention as possible. Specifically, improved methods and apparatus are
needed
for providing normalization of disparate chart of accounts within systems.
Summary
The present disclosure satisfies the aforementioned needs by providing, inter
alia, improved apparatus and methods for providing normalization of disparate
chart
of accounts and synching data between entities.
Firstly, a method for normalizing charts of accounts across a plurality of
entities is disclosed. In one embodiment, the method includes: accessing a
centralized web application by an administrative user; providing a first chart
of
accounts within the web application; receiving, at the centralized web
application, a
financial data file from a remote user; providing a second chart of accounts
for the
received financial data file; normalizing the generated second chart to the
first chart
by aligning data fields between the first and second charts of accounts, and
causing
mapping of unaligned fields; and modifying the received financial data file to
match
the first chart based on the normalized second chart.
In one variant, the aforementioned method is implemented on a computerized
system using financial accounting or management software.
In another variant, the method includes displaying the generated first and
second chart of accounts to the remote user.
In yet another variant, the causing mapping comprises prompting the remote
user to map the unaligned fields.
A method for synchronizing financial account data between remote entities
and a centralized server is also disclosed. In one embodiment, the method
includes:
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CA 02829665 2013-10-04
generating financial account data; storing the financial account data in a
data file
according to a chart of accounts (CoA); transmitting the data file to the
centralized
server; receiving a modified chart of accounts from the centralized server,
where the
transmitted data file was determined to be inconstant with a standardized
chart of
accounts (SCoA); and storing newly generated financial data in a data file
according
to the received modified chart of accounts for future transmission to the
centralized
server.
In one variant, the method further includes downloading a synchronization
client for transmitting the aforementioned data files to the centralized
server.
In one variant, the method further includes receiving notification of a change
in the SCoA and in response to receiving the notification, transmitting a data
file for
normalization with the changed SCoA.
A computer readable apparatus having a storage medium comprising at least
one computer program is also disclosed. In one embodiment, the computer
program
includes a plurality of computer readable instructions which are configured
to, when
executed on a host device: generate a standardized chart of accounts (SCoA);
receive
a financial data file from a remote user; generate a chart of accounts (CoA)
for the
received financial data file; display the generated CoA and the SCoA; align
data fields
between the charts of accounts normalize the generated CoA to the SCoA; and
modify
the received financial data file to match the SCoA based on the normalized
CoA.
In one variant, the computer readable apparatus comprises a memory within a
computerized host device (e.g., PC, tablet computer, smartphone, or server
blade).
In another variant, the computer readable apparatus comprises a hard drive or
other mass storage device.
In another aspect, client-server architecture is disclosed. In one embodiment,
the architecture is configured for synchronizing financial account data
between one or
more remote entities (e.g., client devices) and a centralized server. The
remote
entities download client software, and generate financial account data, and
store the
financial account data in a data file according to a chart of accounts (CoA).
The data
file is then transmitted using the downloaded software to the centralized
server, which
produces a modified chart of accounts, and transmits the modified chart to the

relevant remote entity, when the transmitted data file was determined to be
inconstant
with a standardized chart of accounts (SCoA). Newly generated financial data
is then
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CA 02829665 2013-10-04
stored in a data file according to the received modified chart of accounts for
future
transmission to the centralized server.
In one variant, the client and server are in communication via a data network,

such as a TCP/IP based architecture.
A method for normalizing charted information across a plurality of entities is
also disclosed. In one embodiment, the method includes: accessing a
centralized
process; generating a first chart; receiving, at the centralized process, a
data file from
a remote user; generating, by the process, a second chart of accounts relating
to the
received data file; normalizing the generated second chart to the first chart;
and
modifying the received data file to conform to the first chart based at least
on the
normalized second chart.
Other features and advantages described herein will immediately be
recognized by persons of ordinary skill in the art with reference to the
attached
drawings and detailed description of exemplary embodiments as given below.
Brief Description of the Drawings
A more complete understanding of the present invention, and the attendant
advantages and features thereof, will be more readily understood by reference
to the
following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the
accompanying
drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a flowchart of a manual process for updating charts of accounts
across a plurality of business units; and
FIG. 2 is a flowchart of an exemplary process for a normalizer method for
updating charts of accounts across a plurality of business units.
Detailed Description
Reference is now made to the drawings, wherein like numbers refer to like
parts throughout.
Overview
The present disclosure provides, inter alia, methods and apparatus for
updating charts of accounts (CoA) across a plurality of business units or
other entities.
In one exemplary embodiment, a method for normalizing charts of accounts
across a
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CA 02829665 2013-10-04
plurality of entities is disclosed. The method includes use of a client-server

architecture that enables accessing a centralized web application by e.g., an
administrative user. A standardized chart of accounts (SCoA) is generated
within the
web application, and a financial data file is received at the application from
a remote
user. A chart of accounts (CoA) for the received financial data file is then
generated,
and the generated CoA is normalized to the SCoA, such as by aligning data
fields
between the charts. The software may also prompt the remote user to map any
unaligned fields. The received financial data file is then modified to match
the SCoA
based on the normalized CoA.
The foregoing approach advantageously allows, inter alia, a franchisee or
other business entity to easily adopt the SCoA and change his or her CoA,
which
modifies the format of their financial data file, such as a QuickBooksTM (QB)
file,
without engaging outside personnel.
In various disclosed embodiments, the process is also scalable, in that a
simple
email invitation to join the process, which may be part of a standard product
(such as
QuickBooksTM or another financial accounting software), enrolls the franchisee
in the
normalization process, and activates the product.
Detailed Description of Exemplary Embodiments
Exemplary embodiments of methods and apparatus according to the present
disclosure are now described in detail. It will be appreciated that while the
exemplary
financial accounting software described herein may frequently refer to
QuickBooks as
an implementation, the disclosure provided can equally apply to any type of
financial
accounting software, and in fact other types of software. Thus, this
disclosure is not
intended to be limited to a particular application, such as QuickBooksTM.
Moreover, the functionalities described herein may embodied in other media,
or within other environments (such as within a larger database or other
software
package). Some or all of the logic described herein may also be embodied in
software,
firmware, or even hardware if desired, as will be appreciated by those of
ordinary skill
in the computer arts.
It is also appreciated that while the exemplary embodiments presented herein
are described primarily in the context of financial data, the various features
of the
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CA 02829665 2013-10-04
disclosure are in no way so limited, and may be applied to other contexts,
including
without limitation any numerical or other data which can be managed on a
spreadsheet or database.
As used herein, the term "application" refers generally to a unit of
executable
software that implements a certain functionality or theme. The themes of
applications
vary broadly across any number of disciplines and functions (such as on-demand

content management, e-commerce transactions, brokerage transactions, home
entertainment, calculator etc.), and one application may have more than one
theme.
The unit of executable software generally runs in a predetermined environment;
for
example, the unit could comprise a downloadable Java XIetTM that runs within
the
JavaTVTm environment.
As used herein, the terms "client device" and "end user device" include, but
are not limited to, personal computers (PCs) and minicomputers, whether
desktop,
laptop, or otherwise, set-top boxes, personal digital assistants (PDAs),
handheld and
tablet computers, cellular telephones, wireless nodes, or literally any other
device
capable of interchanging data with a network.
As used herein, the term "computer program" is meant to include any
sequence or human or machine cognizable steps which perform a function. Such
program may be rendered in virtually any programming language or environment
including, for example, C/C++, Fortran, COBOL, PASCAL, assembly language,
markup languages (e.g., HTML, SGML, XML, VoXML), and the like, as well as
object-oriented environments such as the Common Object Request Broker
Architecture (CORBA), JavaTM (including J2ME, Java Beans, etc.) and the like.
As used herein, the term "display" refers without limitation to any visual
display device including e.g., LCD, plasma, TFT, CRT, LED, incandescent,
fluorescent, and other types of indicator or image display technologies.
As used herein, the terms "network" and "bearer network" refer generally to
any type of telecommunications or data network including, without limitation,
hybrid
fiber coax (HFC) networks, satellite networks, telco networks, and data
networks
(including MANs, WANs, LANs, WLANs, internets, and intranets). Such networks
or
portions thereof may utilize any one or more different topologies (e.g., ring,
bus, star,
loop, etc.), transmission media (e.g., wired/RF cable, RF wireless, millimeter
wave,
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CA 02829665 2013-10-04
optical, etc.) and/or communications or networking protocols (e.g., SONET,
DOCSIS,
IEEE Std. 802.3, IEEE Std. 1394, ATM, X.25, Frame Relay, 3GPP, 3GPP2,
LTE/LTE-A, WAP, TCP/IP, SIP, UDP, FTP, RTP/RTCP, H.323, etc.).
As used herein, the term "server" refers to any computerized component,
system or entity regardless of form which is adapted to provide data, files,
applications, content, or other services to one or more other devices or
entities on a
computer network.
Exemplary Implementations of Methods and Apparatus
As noted above, various features of the present disclosure allow, inter alia,
a
franchisee or other business entity to easily adopt the aforementioned SCoA,
and
change his or her CoA, which modifies the format of their financial data file,
such as a
QuickBooksTM (QB) file, without engaging outside personnel. In one or more
embodiments, once implemented, these features will detect anomalies or changes
that
the franchisee or other entity might create by remaining resident on system
devices.
Any change is immediately detected, and will alert the franchisee or other
entity to
take corrective action at that time. The corrective action, in various
embodiments, is
implemented by displaying the SCoA and the CoA (reflecting the change) on
e.g., a
user's local display device, and requesting the user to map the indicated
fields
between the SCoA and the CoA. The whole process takes only a few seconds, and
hence provides a rapid and easy mechanism for maintaining consistency and
uniformity.
In various disclosed embodiments, the process is also scalable in that a
simple
communication (e.g., email invitation) to join the process, which may be part
of a
standard product (such as QuickBooksTM or another financial accounting
software),
enrolls the franchisee in the normalization process, and activates the
product.
Therefore, the cost of requiring a professional service provider to integrate
remote
data files is eliminated, the time between the tasks and other workflow is
highly
compressed. Problems created by ongoing modifications to the CoA are rapidly
identified and corrected.
One exemplary solution to the changing data file problem is provided by the
Assignee of the instant application, embodied in a computer application
program
8

CA 02829665 2013-10-04
called QvinciTM. The methods provided by the exemplary QvinciTM product are
directed to QuickBooksTM in particular, but the methods apply equally to any
financial accounting or other software. For simplicity of explanation, anytime

QuickBooksTM (QB) is described, it is intended that the disclosure will also
be
applicable, without limitation, to other financial accounting or other
software as well.
Likewise, while a franchisee/franchisor relationship is also frequently
discussed, the
methods described herein are equally applicable to a single business with
various
branches, a school with different departments, non-profit organizations, and
even
government or military applications, or any number of other situations where
data
from different sources needs to be aggregated for purposes of benchmarking,
providing finance statements, and the like.
In various disclosed embodiments, the solution contains a standard chart of
accounts (SCoA). As users synchronize ("synch") their QB files, such as by
transmitting the QB files to a central server, received data files are
compared to the
SCoA. The next time the user logs into its QB file locally, a software process
(e.g.,
Qvinci synch applet) is displayed on their screen and acts as a normalizer for
the
CoAs. The synch applet in the exemplary implementation shows the user's chart
of
accounts (CoA) alongside the SCoA. The user matches his or her CoA accounts to

the SCoA accounts in the user interface (UI). Once mapped, the user clicks a
"submit" button, and the normalizer changes the CoA of the QB file so that it
is now
in the form of the franchisor's SCoA. Once completed, (often less than 2 or 3
minutes), reports, such as a profit and loss (P&L) report, for example, can
easily be
generated. In various disclosed embodiments, the synch applet remains in a
persistent
state, so that any time a change occurs to the CoA, the synch applet displays
and
directs the user through the process of mapping the change in the CoA to align
with
the SCoA.
In various disclosed embodiments, when a modification to the SCoA occurs,
such as adding a sub-account to an existing account or any number of other
changes,
all remote users (e.g., franchisees) will automatically have the changes
displayed as
described above, and can easily modify their existing QB CoA to match the new
SCoA. It will be appreciated that, in cases of large scale, such as where a
business
has thousands of franchisees, the ability to roll out a change to the SCoA
instantly to
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CA 02829665 2013-10-04
every remote user is in itself a tremendous savings of time, effort, and
money, and
hence underscores a salient advantage of the present disclosure.
In various disclosed embodiments, as franchisees are added, the synch
application self-installs and runs for those new franchisees, such as on
initial install of
the client application, via an update, or other mechanism. In other
embodiments, a
franchisee may initiate the download of the synch application, install, and
run in order
to synch their data. In other variants, if a user makes a change to the CoA,
as
described above, and does not remedy the situation by initiating a data synch
within a
prescribed criterion; e.g., relatively short period of time (for situations
where a synch
does not automatically occur upon the change being detected), the franchisor
or other
supervisory entity will receive an automatic alert as to for instance the
franchisee's
name, location, the new account name, and/or other parameters. The alert may
be in
the form of a text message, e-mail message, "tweet", automated phone call, or
any
number of other similar communications.
The exemplary embodiment of the inventive normalizer solution facilitates the
objective of changing thousands of individual financial accounting data files,
such as
QB files, to match the franchisor's SCoA. The process is automated to the
highest
degree possible, and dramatically helps to keep the QB files aligned. The
solution is
far less costly are far more accurate than manual methods, and the time and
effort to
deploy changes or updates is insignificant by comparison. Franchisees or other
remote users do not have to be convinced to abandon their QB files, and the
franchisor obtains a highly scalable business process with very minimal
effort.
FIG. 1 is a flowchart of a prior art manual process 100 for updating charts of

accounts across a plurality of business units. As described previously,
methods for
manually modifying charts of accounts and other related files can be costly
and time
intensive. For example, modifying a CoA a single time to match an SCoA usually

means engaging a certified public accountant (CPA), bookkeeper, or other
specialist.
At Step 102 of the method 100, a company determines the need to create
standardized
reports from a plurality of entities. Standardized reports may be related to
Profits and
Loss, inventory, pay roll, sales, tax data, and any number of other types of
reports.
The entities may be franchisees, departments, schools, locations, or any
number of
entities that report data upstream.

CA 02829665 2013-10-04
In an exemplary manual method, at Step 104, a company or franchisor
generates or modifies a standard chart of accounts (SCoA). At Step 106, a CPA,

bookkeeper, or other professional must interface with a remote unit's
management or
management's designee to modify their QB files to match the SCoA. At Step 108,
the
SCoA is transmitted to business units or franchisees to begin a dialog in
which the
end result is (hopefully) a modified CoA file in compliance with the SCoA.
This
professional must engage the franchisee, asking them to provide a cross-
comparison
of their QB CoA to the SCoA, often in the form of a spreadsheet such as an
Excel file.
At Step 110, the business owner or operator of the franchise, only when they
are ready to do so, makes an attempt at the cross-comparison and returns the
Excel
document to the CPA or other professional. This step often takes time and
virtually
"hounding" the franchisee to finish the comparison. The CPA then reviews the
supplied cross-comparison document. Often the process will take one to two
additional discussions with the franchisee to finalize the mapping. At this
point the
franchisee must grant the CPA or other professional administrative access to
the QB
file. This access is often reluctantly granted and may take several forms or
levels of
approval before being granted.
At Step 112, modification to the CoA of the QB or other data file occurs. If
the QB file is not hosted remotely, at Step 114, the franchisee must send the
file to the
CPA or other professional and cannot perform any transactions during the time
it
takes for the modifications to be performed. The CPA makes the changes,
usually
requiring several hours of work, and returns the file to the franchisee. If
the data file
is hosted remotely, the CPA obtains login access and at Step 112 makes the
changes
to the QB file in the same timeframe. This manual process must be repeated for
each
QB tile in the network.
Once the CoA has been updated at Step 112 and QB files modified at Step
114, data is now able to be synced and sent to the reporting engine at Step
116. Only
after the CoA at each location has been updated and synced into the reporting
engine
118, the user may then view resultant reports across one, many, or all QB
locations as
shown in Step 102.
11

CA 02829665 2013-10-04
At Step 120, any time there is an update to the SCoA status, the entire manual

process must begin again, in order to ensure that the CoAs of data files that
will be
reporting data are in compliance with the updated SCoA.
Any time a franchisee modifies their CoA, the manual engagement process
restarts to account for the modification. Additionally, when performed
manually, the
process only occurs if someone has visibility to see that a change has
happened and
initiates the mapping.
CPAs typically spend, on average, three hours to make the necessary
modifications, but often will spend a minimum of a calendar week to get
through the
engagement process, per QB file. This is due to various factors such as
franchisee
availability issues, login problems, and other logistical dysfunction. Prices
usually
range from $300 - $450 per QB file for a single, one time through-the-loop,
effort. In
many cases, incremental costs are applied to clean up other ongoing issues as
they
arise. This manually intensive workflow is diametrically opposed to the
objective of
scalability, and hinders the rollout of many units.
FIG. 2 is a flowchart of an exemplary embodiment of a nonnalizer method for
updating charts of accounts (CoAs) across a plurality of business units or
franchisees,
according to the present disclosure. Similar to FIG. 1, at Step 202, a company

determines the need to create standardized reports from a plurality of
entities.
Standardized reports may be related to Profits and Loss, inventory, pay roll,
sales, tax
data, and any number of other types of reports. The entities may be e.g.,
franchisees,
departments, schools, locations, or any number of entities that report data
upstream,
such as financial, accounting, or any other data.
In an exemplary method using a normalizer, at Step 204, a company or
franchisor generates or modifies a standard chart of accounts (SCoA). At Step
206,
the SCoA is entered into a web application, such as a Qvinci.web application,
which
allows for standardized reports to be generated. The Admin creates one or more

locations for each financial file and invites users who "own" or provide data
for
the financial files to join the web account.
At Step 208, a business owner or operator joins the web account in order to
synch their data. The web account may be accessed remotely over the Internet
or
other network, such as a LAN, and provides a centralized server or portal to
aggregate
12

CA 02829665 2013-10-04
data from anywhere information is collected when the data is needed by the
business
or other entity for standardized reports.
At Step 210, a normalizer (such as a synch client of the type previously
described herein) is used, which allows the owner or operator to match CoAs to
the
SCoA. Essentially, a user links and syncs their financial file(s) to the
Admin's web
account that is relevant for the user's location. In one or
more disclosed
embodiments, the synch client, such as the Qvinci Sync Client (QSC), is an
application or applet that facilitates transmitting remote financial files to
a main web
account, such as the Qvinci.web reporting application. In
various disclosed
embodiments, the sync client is downloaded by a remote user and installed on
one or
more remote computers, servers, or other devices running the accounting
application.
In another variant, the sync client is automatically downloaded when a user
joins the
web account, rather than being manually downloaded.
The web application, such as the Qvinci.web application, uses its "account
mapping" service operating through a user web form to display the SCoA and the
user's CoA of their financial file(s). During account mapping, fields within
the SCoA
and CoA that do not align or are otherwise inconsistent may be highlighted or
listed;
this makes clear for the user which of the fields need to be mapped. The user
or
administrator then maps the CoA to align with the SCoA. In other words, a data
field
that a person would recognize as pertaining to the same thing but has a
different name
in the CoA than it does in the SCoA will get "mapped" or assigned to the
related field
during account mapping. Using account mapping, when the CoA for a data file
changes, the data file itself changes to match the CoA and becomes fully
compatible
with the SCoA.
At Step 212, upon completion of the mapping by the user or Admin, the web
application, such as Qvinci.web, instructs the sync client, such as the QSC,
to modify
the CoA inside the remote financial file to match the SCoA such that the chart
of
accounts for the remote file now aligns with the SCoA in the web account.
At Step 214, data can now be synched using the updated data file having the
CoA which now matches or is compatible with the SCoA file. In situations where
the
SCoA is modified, a similar process is used where the synch client facilitates
mapping
from the new SCoA to the CoA of remote files that transmit data for
synchronization.
13

CA 02829665 2015-12-04
The exemplary solution contains a variety of utilities to notify the user
and/or
administrator of exceptions, such as in the event that the CoA in the remote
financial
file is changed is some manner, on an on-going basis, which does not align
with the
SCOA. In Step 216, in various disclosed embodiments, a reporting engine (e.g.,
algorithm or routine) is used to monitor changes or exceptions in the file and
facilitates their continual alignment.
It will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the present
disclosure is
not limited to what has been particularly shown and described herein above. In

addition, unless mention was made above to the contrary, it should be noted
that all of
the accompanying drawings are not to scale. A variety of modifications and
variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The scope of the
claims should
not be limited by the preferred embodiments set forth in the examples, but
should be
given the broadest interpretation consistent with the description as a whole.
14

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

For a clearer understanding of the status of the application/patent presented on this page, the site Disclaimer , as well as the definitions for Patent , Administrative Status , Maintenance Fee  and Payment History  should be consulted.

Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 2018-09-11
(22) Filed 2013-10-04
Examination Requested 2013-10-07
(41) Open to Public Inspection 2014-04-04
(45) Issued 2018-09-11

Maintenance Fee

Description Date Amount
Last Payment 2018-09-07 $200.00
Next Payment if small entity fee 2019-10-04 $100.00
Next Payment if standard fee 2019-10-04 $200.00

Note : If the full payment has not been received on or before the date indicated, a further fee may be required which may be one of the following

  • the reinstatement fee set out in Item 7 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules;
  • the late payment fee set out in Item 22.1 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules; or
  • the additional fee for late payment set out in Items 31 and 32 of Schedule II of the Patent Rules.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Filing $400.00 2013-10-04
Request for Examination $800.00 2013-10-07
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 2 2015-10-05 $100.00 2015-08-27
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 3 2016-10-04 $100.00 2016-09-30
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 4 2017-10-04 $100.00 2017-09-15
Registration of Documents $100.00 2018-02-20
Final $300.00 2018-08-02
Maintenance Fee - Application - New Act 5 2018-10-04 $200.00 2018-09-07
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
QVINCI SOFTWARE, LLC
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
QUICKDASH, LLC
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Abstract 2013-10-04 1 20
Description 2013-10-04 14 672
Claims 2013-10-04 3 114
Drawings 2013-10-04 2 78
Representative Drawing 2014-02-05 1 22
Cover Page 2014-03-19 2 58
Description 2015-12-04 14 666
Claims 2016-12-02 4 153
Prosecution-Amendment 2013-10-07 2 49
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-06-04 3 231
Prosecution-Amendment 2015-12-04 8 326
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-06-02 4 264
Prosecution-Amendment 2016-12-02 9 359
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-04-28 3 185
Prosecution-Amendment 2017-10-23 6 193
Claims 2017-10-23 4 119
Correspondence 2018-08-02 2 48
Representative Drawing 2018-08-14 1 19
Cover Page 2018-08-14 1 49