Archives for June 2012

How Microsoft Dynamics GP can enable better reporting

Microsoft Dynamics GP is a comprehensive ERP solution that goes beyond basic business management and reporting to help your people – and your organization – work at peak performance.  Designed for rapid implementation and ease of use, Microsoft Dynamics GP give all your people fast, familiar ways to access and work with business information and processes, and it delivers ongoing innovation that can work for you now and into the future.

Meet unique needs from the start
Name your business process, and we can help you manage it.  Microsoft Dynamics GP offers proven capabilities that automate and connect the full range of financial management.  Out of the box, you can adapt functionality to meet unique needs, backed by industry specific expertise and support from a worldwide, local ecosystem of Microsoft Gold Certified Partners, like Accountnet, Inc.

Give people a solution they’ll want to use
Success starts when people actually take full advantage of your business systems.  Designed to work like and with Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel, and Microsoft Office Outlook, Microsoft Dynamics GP helps reduce training time and costs.  People can focus on their responsibilities, rather than on chasing information and juggling applications, with Role Tailored home pages and graphical dashboards that deliver personalized access to information.  And they’ll keep critical tasks on track and ensure consistent processes with automated notifications and alerts.

Tailor your solution to work the way your business does-without complicated IT efforts
No two businesses are alike – and industry specific needs vary widely.  With Microsoft Dynamics GP, you can quickly add new capabilities using built-in personalization tools:  Create specialized views and new windows, automate tasks specific to your business, and even build light applications.  Using Web services and the Microsoft .NET Framework, you can integrate with many data sources and applications, even if they’re built on non-Microsoft platforms.  You’ll also find custom development is easier and more cost-effective with familiar Microsoft technologies and industry standards such as XML.

“The dashboard reporting in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 will be very helpful for our management team.  They rely on live and accurate management information at any particular time…One of the mantras we have here in management is…if you don’t know it, you can’t manage it.” – David Thompson, Central YMCA London Corporate Services Director.

Make it easier to access critical information
Stay connected, speed planning, and fuel performance with role-based dashboards and KPIs that include gauges, charts, and graphs relevant to people’s roles.  Stay current-but keep it simple-with more than 220 out-of-the-box Office Excel reports that can be instantly refreshed.  View and analyze data from a summary pulse down to a specific source record, with drill-back views into Microsoft Dynamics GP from Office Excel, Microsoft SharePoint Foundation, Microsoft SharePoint Server, and Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services.

Contact Accountnet, Inc. to make it easier to process data.

When to Upgrade to a New Accounting System

When first starting out, most organizations begin with relatively basic accounting software for nonprofits, with many specifically choosing QuickBooks.  As your nonprofit grows and expands, it may face a number of challenges as you hit the limits of accounting functionality inherent in particular accounting packages.

Some software is simply not designed to provide specific financial management capabilities.  For example, some growing organizations may require increased visibility into financial and operational performance, such as automating key processes.  Others may not provide universal access, support multiple locations and integrate with other critical applications.

So, as a nonprofit organization, how do you know when it is the right time to upgrade to more robust accounting software?  Which software options should you consider, and furthermore, how do you know if a new system is worth the investment?  Overall, you need to understand the hidden costs of your current system and be able to identify the need for additional productivity before you can make the decision about whether or not to upgrade.

The Hidden Cost of Your Current System

Growing organizations that continue to use basic accounting software may find that they are spending an increasing amount of time doing work outside of their accounting system.  This scenario impacts organizations whose operational requirements outpace what their system can manage.  For example, organizations with sophisticated accounting requirements, such as a grant tracking and purchase order tracking, often find the need to develop “work-arounds” because their system, including Microsoft Excel, a legacy software product, or both, doesn’t provide built-in capabilities for these complex processes.  Work-arounds can lead to duplicate entry errors or reports based on incorrect or stale data, and fixing these errors consumes additional time and resources.

These inefficiencies and work-arounds impair day-to-day business operations, yet over time often become part of the overall process.  Using an antiquated system does not immediate impact an organization’s cash outlay, so it often seems as if doing nothing is the most cost-effective option.  However, organizations can incur a broad range of hidden costs, the largest of which is employee time.  Nonprofit organizations are typically very lean, functioning with the limited staff members, many of whom wear many different hats.  With a limited amount of employee bandwidth, organizations need to employ efficient processes in place to maximize employee output.

Identifying a Need for Increased Productivity

While it is clear that work-arounds can slow down an organization’s operations, some basic accounting software is perfectly adequate for certain organizations.  There are nonprofits that have and will only ever need to use QuickBooks, for example.  However, basic accounting software and legacy software systems are not designed for growing organizations that need additional functionality to manage sophisticated processes.  To properly plan and forecast, organizations need to budget for technology changes.  For example, growing organizations should not be limited to manual reporting, using Microsoft Excel.  Microsoft Excel and legacy software limitations drive the need for most organizations to eventually graduate to a more robust system.  Organizations want flexible reporting with built-in multidimensional architecture that delivers accurate and timely reports with relevant insights into data.

Is it time to upgrade?

Leading applications enable organizations to easily assemble systems that provide them with the flexibility and information they need.  When considering an upgrade, many organizations conclude that it is smarter to keep their current system.  However, some systems can be extremely cost effective as the time they save an organization is well worth the monetary cost.