Archives for July 2013

Project-Based Companies Love Microsoft Dynamics SL

Since the recession, economic factors have created a host of new business challenges for project based businesses. Slower revenue growth, lower billing rates and smaller margins, fewer projects, shifting client expectations – these are the topics being discussed by many executives running creative agencies, construction firms, auditing and accounting firms.  One thing we try to stress to our clients: if your business is going to survive the tough times when others fail, you must start with monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and leveraging the knowledge gleaned from your business data.

Which KPIs are important for your business planning?  Here’s a short list:

  • Billable resource utilization and schedules.  If you have multiple offices, you should be tracking this across all your locations.
  • Revenue and profit margin. This should be tracked at the project level so you can determine the profitability of each project.
  • Lifetime value and profitability of each client.Microsoft Dynamics SL for Project Centric Businesses
  • Forecast and pipeline.
  • Project close rates and project portfolio risk.
  • Project history and progress.
  • Outstanding client issues.

The problem for many companies is that they have no way to gather and collate the required information.  Where data is stored in silos, or systems are poorly designed or do not communicate with other systems, getting meaningful data can be difficult or even impossible.  Trying to import/export and manually manipulate data is a route many small businesses tend to take, but then you have human error to add to the list of potential problems.  Even if you manage to consolidate all our business data, how can you trust that it’s correct?

Many project-based companies we work with are still using old legacy systems, some very heavily customized for their specific need, and are now scrambling to make these systems work with newer technologies.  In this economic climate, it is more critical than even to be able to effectively manage resource scheduling, materials purchasing, billing and customer service, and all the related activities required to run your project-based business.  Microsoft Dynamics SL is a single tool that offers job costing, materials management, service call tracking, billing and receivables – the real-time information for making informed business decisions. Using MS Dynamics SL can help lower operating costs, reduce production delays, and maximize customer service by streamlining your project and financial management processes.

MS Dynamics SL allows for sharing centralized information between all the players: project managers, designers, architects, engineers, subcontractors, accounting and purchasing department. Business owners can provide specific KPIs that can be accessed at any time by the different players, depending on their role. MS Dynamics SL is also a robust financial analysis tool, and because it looks and works similarly to Microsoft Office, it is relatively quick to train staff on how to use it.

Accountnet is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partners and expert in the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics.  If you are a project-based business that needs help with consolidating and reporting on business operations, contact us.

Stop Outsourcing Payroll Services and Start Using Microsoft Dynamics GP

Outsourcing payroll services has been a de facto business practice for small and medium businesses for decades.  But changes to the economic environment, the impact of globalization, and improved technology have caused many companies to move their payroll processing from an outsourced solution to Microsoft Dynamics GP.

Here are five benefits to running your payroll in-house with MS Dynamics:

  1. Sensitivity to payroll data privacy is enough reason for many businesses to move to an in-house payroll solution. In-house payroll allows businesses to determine exactly who can and cannot view their own private payroll data.  Because it uses a pessimistic security model, Microsoft Dynamics GP allows businesses to keep personal data such as social security numbers and salary information completely internal.  Even staff using other Dynamics GP modules have no access to payroll data unless they are granted a specific security role to view payroll screens and reports.
  2. MS Dynamics GP When using an outsourced provider, payroll mistakes often go unnoticed until after an employee has received their check, which means general ledger clean-up for your accounting department. With Dynamics GP, gross and net wages of your employees are easy to review in detail before printing checks or calculating direct deposit amounts, so errors are caught during the payroll processing.
  3. As fees from outsourced payroll companies continue to rise (especially when it comes to custom reports), many small businesses have noticed that they are not seeing any real savings.  Because Microsoft Dynamics GP is a fully integrated financial solution, payroll data is posted automatically resulting in significant savings of both time and money.
  4. MS Dynamics GP’s Retroactive Pay Management feature provides an easy way to make adjustments to payroll when an employee receives a raise, and eliminates the need to make corrections in multiple systems since changes will post through to the MS Dynamics GP Financial module.
  5. For businesses with special payroll needs, such as reporting on advanced cost allocation, Microsoft Dynamics GP provides all the necessary flexibility. Reports are fully customizable and products such as MS Dynamics Management Reporter expand the possibilities even further.

If you are among the many businesses that are thinking about brining your payroll processes back in-house, contact us. We are Microsoft Gold Certified Partners and expert in the implementation of Microsoft Dynamics. We can tell you about our services: customizing Microsoft Dynamics GP for your unique business needs, integration for connecting your payroll with your financial accounting and related systems, consulting around security protocols, disaster-recovery capabilities and much more.