The MKJ Associates
Catalog and Office Software Suite

... is an integrated group of programs designed to

  • produce printed and online catalogs for collectibles dealers and auction houses
  • manage all administrative aspects of an office, including
    • mailing lists
    • accounting
    • live auctions and mail sales.

Who it is designed for:

Dealers and auction houses specializing in collectibles of any sort, including:

  • antiques
  • autographs
  • celebrity memorabilia
  • coins
  • fine arts
  • gem stones
  • historic documents
  • jewelry
  • paintings
  • sports memorabilia
  • stamps
  • watches and timepieces
  • and more.

Background and general features:

Michael K. Johnson Associates began as an independent consulting group in 1990. At that time we focused mainly on consulting and catalog management for our clients (mainly specialized auction houses and large collectibles dealers), providing advice and services for all aspects of catalog production. Our software suite grew out of our in-house need for a powerful catalog production and management system.

The software suite is entirely Windows based and has been for years (it will run on any flavor of Windows). It makes full use of Windows features to display data in a sophisticated, graphically-oriented format. When you need to make a selection, for example, you will see some kind of list presented to you in English (or any of several other languages, depending on how you had configured the display - our programs are multilingual). There are no arcane or obscure codes to enter or remember.

There is extensive support for controlling which user can access which parts of the system, via a sophisticated password and user module. User roles can be assigned, areas of the system made accessible to a given user (or he can be denied access). There are even options to alter the types of display based on user preferences and degree of computer sophistication. A top-level manager may well be able to see immense amounts of potentially sensitive data, which would not be accessible to an ordinary office worker or cataloger.

Features of the catalog production programs:

  • A sophisticated system for lot entry. The system understands specific collectibles, changing format as the collectibles change. It is intended for people who understand collectibles, but who are not necessarily computer geniuses. It has many options for people who are speed typists, as well as those who type poorly, even voice recognition support.
  • An extensive built-in reference system for specific collectibles. This includes:
    • for autographs: a built-in database of biographies.
    • for coins: a database of all U.S. and many foreign coins, accessible by PCGS, NGC or other catalog numbers (whch can be scanned in).
    • for currency: a database of all U.S. notes.
    • for postal history: databases of French ballon monté flights, Zeppelin flights, U.S. fancy cancels, U.S. waterway covers and more.
    • for stamps: a rare stamp database which now includes well over 100,000 entries. Just enter a country and a catalog number, and the basic description - and all necessary sorting codes - will usually jump into place.
  • The ability to sort a catalog electronically, with highly configurable sorting options that can be varied from catalog to catalog. Coin catalogs, stamp catalogs, autographs, celebrity and sports memorabilia, literature, fine arts - it doesn't matter what it is, so long as the lots have been correctly described, they can be entered in completely random order and still fully sorted in seconds. We have not needed to manually sort lots in over a decade.
  • Support for all the other elements of a polished catalog. This includes:
    • headings
    • indexes
    • prices realized
    • sessions
    • tables of contents
  • Close support for catalog photography. Scanning ability is completely integrated - you can scan from the built-in catalog photo editor, which shows you which lots need photos, at what percentage, whether they've already been taken etc, and which saves the scanned images with the correct file names to the correct directory. You can see the photos alongside the corresponding descriptions - as you move from description to description, the photos change accordingly.
  • Output to the major printed catalog platforms (Corel Ventura, Adobe FrameMaker and PageMaker, Quark Express and RichText), also HTML for the internet. Markup codes are inserted automatically as needed, and can be converted from one format to another easily. You enter catalog descriptions only once - the system takes care of reformatting the text if it needs to move from one output environment (printed auction catalog for example) to another (such as the internet).
  • Full support for the internet. Catalog output can be done in HTML format, and streamed to your web site. An integral FTP client allows you to send an entire directory of your catalog photos to your web site in one quick operation.
  • Full integration of the finished catalog with the accounting system.
  • Over 600 different reports.
  • Numerous utilities to automate bulk operations, including:
    • Changing estimates or reserves or other values by percentages - for all (or selected) lots in a catalog or batch.
    • Repeat descriptions, in whole or part.
    • Enter certain description elements only where they change - and the system will fill in all the intermediate records.
    • Extensive search and replace.
    • Batch constants can be applied to an entire batch of lots, or to a whole catalog.
    • Spell check.
    • Bulk e-mail.
    • Convert a directory of images from one format (e.g., ".tif") to another (e.g., ".jpg").
  • All elements of the catalog production system can be accessed, viewed, edited and managed from one central point, which features a graphical interface intentionally similar to the Windows Explorer. Many of the commonest operations can be done by a simple drag-and-drop with the mouse.

Features of the office programs:

  • A full double-entry accounting system, with extensive support for collectibles-industry specific accounting features (such as unique inventory, batch processing of auctions/mail sales, catalog specific income and costing, and more). The system was designed for companies that might not have full-time bookkeeping personnel on staff, so most entry screens are intentionally simple and easy to use even by people without any formal accounting training; however all the features that your accountant will want are also included. You will find extensive reporting abilities including dozens of reports and on-screen views plus very sophisticated searching capabilities.
    Included are modules for:
    • Banking and Cash Management
    • Expenses
    • Fixed Assets
    • General Ledger
    • Inventory
    • Payables
    • Receivables
    • Sales
    The accounting system will support:
    • Multiple companies, each with its own separate set of books, but with the option to access a common client list.
    • Multiple departments per company.
    • Multiple bank accounts.
    • Multiple currencies. Each company, department, bank and auction can have its own currency.
  • Customer/mailing list management, allowing you to track all your customer data, addresses, preferences and buying/selling history, and pull names for any mailing (catalog or otherwise) with quite complex search options possible.
  • Live auctions and mail sales, an extremely sophisticated system with support for:
    • Bid entry.
    • Onscreen pre- and post-sale summaries by bidder, consignor and lot (easily searchable).
    • Selling, whether live - on the auction floor - or as a mail sale, with features to track limit and "or" bidders. The auction "hammer price" program is fast and versatile, shows bids per lot (in amount order), allows floor bidding and mail bidding and can accomodate itself to any standard auction increments.
    • Dozens of reports, including bid books (all lots or for specific consignors), unsold lot reports, sale summaries (by buyer, consignor or by lot), prices realized etc.
    • Invoicing (printed or electronic via e-mail).
  • Extras including documents/letter management via the system's own documents database, integration with Microsoft Office, package tracking and more.

Hardware requirements and related issues:

The software currently runs on any version of Windows.

The software programs take up approximately 100 megabytes of disk space currently, and are installed separately on each workstation.

The reference databases installed with the software can take up to a gigabyte of disk space, but are installed only on the central server.

Memory requirements: all computers built since about 2005 have more than enough memory to run our programs.

Computer requirements vary depending on how a system is configured. Small companies can function quite well with simple laptops and perhaps one computer configured as a central storage point for data. Larger companies may well have one or more servers and a robust network. Our software will work in any configuration, from one computer offices to large distributed networks of hundreds of computers.

We can also provide off-site (cloud based) storage for your data.

Databases: the software is optimized to run on MySQL as a back-end database, but it can also access Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and most other popular server databases.


  • Begin at US$8,000 for a small dealer not holding auctions of his own. The charge is per company, without specific charges per computer.
  • Begin at US$12,000 for an auction house, not dealing in stamps or coins. Again, the charge is per company, without charges per computer.
  • Begin at US$18,000 for an auction house, where support for stamps is added. There is an additional charge of US$6,000 for each additional office location (if for example the house has offices in more than one city).
  • Begin at US$30,000 for an auction house, where support for stamps and coins is added. This enables support for all types of collectibles. There is an additional charge of US$10,000 for each additional office location (if for example the house has offices in more than one city).
  • Additional charges may include (depending on the client's needs): fees for conversion or migration of existing client data, logo and report creation, customized program features specific to the client, any work with the client's own web site (including programming to populate the site with data from inventory or auctions), on-site work of any sort, and network or hardware setup.
  • The price includes support and upgrades for a full year. After the first year, there would be a fee for support and upgrades, if the client wishes to continue this. This fee is normally 15% of the base purchase price (i.e. excluding any add-on charges). It can however be either higher or lower depending on the client's particular needs. We are constantly upgrading certain areas of the system: support for newer catalog output technologies, communications/internet, and the included collectibles reference system. We also try to accomodate as many requests by our users as possible: this is one of the main ways the system has evolved and improved over time.
  • There is a 3 month trial period. If at the end of 3 months you are not entirely satisfied, the purchase price will be refunded in full.
  • There are also options to lease the software. With this option, the client may discontinue the lease at any time, without further obligation; lease charges are not refundable. Lease charges may however be applied to the purchase price, making this in effect a "lease/purchase" option. Please inquire for further details.

Last revised: 6 August 2015.