Campus Life

UWF alumnus awarded U.S. Patent for Profit Solver accounting technology

When launching a new business, many entrepreneurs play a guessing game in determining the price to charge for their products and services.

Thanks to a new technology implemented by UWF alumnus Dan Zalta ’88, business owners can now determine the exact price to charge for products or services to cover costs and break even, or even better, to earn a profit.

This new technology, which was awarded a U.S. Patent in August by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is a “Universal Business Key” that “allows companies to set pricing to deliver an exact and predictable profit margin”.

Profit Solver, Zalta’s product, is a financial software solution that takes accounting a step further to not only record costs, but mathematically determine appropriate pricing to help business owners earn a profit.

Zalta formulated the idea as he assisted his best friend, Randy Carsch, DVM , owner of a veterinary clinic in Seattle, Wash.  In assisting him with accounting at his practice, Zalta realized his friend was not charging adequately to cover the full cost of his time treating patients.

In consulting his friend, Zalta unveiled “a pure mathematical solution to the ‘front-end’ of accounting. It basically answers the question of what do I charge to make a profit?”

There are two ways to make a profit in any business: adjust fees or cut costs, he said. “This program does both. It shows where to tweak fees and when to go to vendors to ask for price discounts, thereby cutting costs.”

Since 2006, Zalta implemented his solution across 14 industries, including veterinary hospitals, medical offices, legal firms, grocery stores, consulting firms, manufacturers and distributors. Zalta has worked with pharmaceutical company Novartis on an implementation in more than 200 veterinary hospitals, and the solution works for any business—from mom-and-pop shops to much larger companies.

“For the accounting industry, [this software] opens up a whole new billable field,” Zalta said. “You’re showing business owners mathematically where they make their money and where they don’t, so that they can make an informed decision on where to tweak their business or adjust pricing.”

Zalta credits his successes to several factors. The son of a certified public accountant, he said he has always had a forte in math. “I’m able to take a lot of numbers and reduce it down to something that’s very easy to understand,” he said.

Second, when researching undergraduate accounting programs, he was impressed by the reputation of the UWF accounting school, as well as its small faculty-to-student ratio.

“My time at [UWF] was just great,” he said. “I had many opportunities to work one-on-one with my professors. Plus, it was just an absolutely beautiful campus.”

Looking forward, Zalta is wildly enthusiastic about the implications of his newly patented technology.

“This is a huge idea that applies to every government and every business within each country,” he said. “It’s not specific to any one industry.”

And even better, he said, his work brings many personal rewards.

“Businesses are valued by profit,” Zalta said. “If I can show them where to increase prices and tweak their profit, their value goes up at the same time. It’s very rewarding. Because of this technology, people will know how to build value in their business. I’m helping them get to the point where their business is worth something, and they’ll have a nest egg for the future.”

By Kelly Russ, University Communications