BusinessWorks Customer
Golden Apple Co., Ltd.

Corporate Profile
Sarasota, FL

Type of Business
Restaurants and live-performance theatres

Central Florida

Number of Locations

Number of Employees

Annual Revenue
$1.5 million

System Profile
Computer System
Grafika by DTK

Operating System


BusinessWorks Modules in Use
General Ledger
Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Job Cost

General accounting, payroll, receipts, expense accounting, and payables

Home page

2055 Carolyn Sue, Baton Rouge, LA 70815
225-923-1985 • fax: 923-3515

BusinessWorks Performs at Golden Apple Dinner Theatre

Before switching to BusinessWorks, payroll took a half-day to run manually. “Now I just hit a button and go. Payroll takes me 15 minutes.”

Sheila Chalmers, Bookkeeper, Golden Apple Co., Ltd.

The Challenge
The Golden Apple Co., Ltd., is a small business with a complex set of accounting records. The company operates two dinner theatres in Florida — one in the city of Sarasota, and another in the nearby resort town of Venice. Each Golden Apple Dinner Theatre location comprises two separate business activities with separate books maintained for each — one for the restaurant business, called Golden Apple Dinner Theatres, and another for the theatrical operation, under the name Coastal Theatre Productions.

Record-keeping is complicated by the varying pay scales governing employees in the theatrical business. An individual who designs costumes, paints sets, assists actors in the dressing room and who also appears on stage would be paid at separate rates for each of those activities. Likewise, restaurant employees are paid at different rates for varying duties — clearing tables, washing dishes, preparing food. Further, separate books are kept for each of the two locations.

For years, the company maintained its accounting records by hand. Company accounts manager Sheila Chalmers, a 32-year bookkeeping veteran, struggled to keep pace. While record-keeping demands ebbed and flowed with theatrical bookings, elaborate productions involving large casts threatened to overwhelm her.

The Solution
Although Chalmers had not previously used a computer to do her bookkeeping, she embraced the company’s decision to investigate accounting software. She got herself up to speed on her computer and, over a span of several months, tested nearly 30 software programs.

“You should have seen this office,” Chalmers laughs. “I had so much software in here it looked more like a computer warehouse than a dinner theater.” Ultimately, she settled on BusinessWorks because, she said, it was the only application that satisfied her two criteria: cost and functionality. “In its price range, no other program was able to do what we needed.”

That was in 1993. Now, three years and three versions of BusinessWorks later, Chalmers says the software program has made a dramatic difference in her office’s efficiency. From her point of view, the flexibility of BusinessWorks is its best asset.

“You can make any module link with job costs, and that’s really important for us,” says Chalmers, explaining that job costing has a key role in her company’s operations. Presenting shows ranging from Broadway musicals to ice-skating spectaculars, Coastal Theatre Productions keeps separate records for each production in each theatre. Numerous departmental designations are used for different products and services.

“We set up costumes in one account, props in another, makeup in another, shoe rentals in another,” explained Chalmers. One account is set up for makeup in Venice, another for makeup in Sarasota. Further, every show is assigned its own number, from which Chalmers can use BusinessWorks to generate job cost reports. “The reports are just beautiful,” she said.

She also applauds the BusinessWorks payroll module. Twice a week she does payroll, which she said took her a half-day each to run manually. “Now I just hit a button and go,” said Chalmers. “Payroll takes me 15 minutes.” She reports that the transition to computerized bookkeeping was smooth, in large part to STATE OF THE ART’S support personnel. “Their tech support is wonderful,” she said.

Nowadays Chalmers is a pro. “I can make that program sing. I’ve configured it to do exactly what we need it to do—such things as custom journals,” said Chalmers. She’s so confident in the program she recommends it to others without qualification.

“BusinessWorks is a program anybody can use. Anybody. It’s very easy to set up,” she said. Chalmers offers more than advice. She offers assistance as well. “Anyone who needs help can give me a call. I’ll help them set it up.” Sounds like she really likes BusinessWorks. And that’s no act.

The capabilities, system requirements and compatibility with third-party products described herein are subject to change without notice. Contact STATE OF THE ART® for current information. BusinessWorks® and the BusinessWorks® logo are trademarks of STATE OF THE ART®. The STATE OF THE ART® name and logo are registered trademarks of STATE OF THE ART, INC. All other product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their manufacturers. ©1996 STATE OF THE ART, INC. All rights reserved.