Archives for April 2014

Five Reasons that Project-Based Companies Love MS Dynamics SL

Projected-based companies (for example, creative agencies, construction firms, professional services, government contractors, etc.) have special requirements when it comes to enterprise resource planning (ERP).  For each contracted project, these companies may need to provide status updates, cost tracking reports and detailed billing data that complies with industry-specific regulations.

Microsoft Dynamics SL accounting software helps these types of organizations streamline their business processes, estimate projects accurately, and gain insight into operations and performance across departments. Moreover, Dynamics SL is fully integrated with other Microsoft business applications that small to medium business use on a daily basis.

Here are just five reasons why our professional service customers — and other project-based business clients — prefer Microsoft Dynamics SL ERP software:

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  1. Dynamics SL allows you to manage projects with more flexibility.  Most ERP systems aren’t built for managing project-based businesses, and most industry-based solutions do not include the robust accounting functionality of Microsoft Dynamics. MS Dynamics SL combines the best-in-industry project-based software and superior accounting capabilities.
  2. Microsoft Dynamics allows you to connect your project management to your project accounting.  Two-way data integration between your accounting and project management tools provides you with access to complete project-based data including resources, budgets and allocations. Up-to-the-minute information is kept current in both applications to reduce data entry and ensure accuracy.
  3. Microsoft Dynamics is designed to work with Microsoft Office products such as Outlook and Excel – and the interface and experience are similar. These are tools that your employees are already comfortable using and can adapt to quickly, reducing training time and expense. Staff can get started right away using role-based menus, quick lists and activity panels that make it easy to view and prioritize tasks. Enhanced search features also allow you to easily find what you need, providing histories of recently-viewed reports and screens.
  4. Your employees now have remote access to data.  Convenient web-based applications keep people and departments connected and ensure that your projects run smoothly, regardless of how the team is dispersed. Using Microsoft Dynamics SL’s Business Portal, employees can complete project-related tasks such as assigning resources, creating budgets and approving project transactions – all from their web browser.
  5. The beauty of ERP systems is the ability to share information with your whole company, with special role-based permissions. Use a single screen to get a consolidated and comprehensive view of orders, requests and customer information and eliminate the need to organize digital document libraries or piles of paper. Dynamics SL can also help eliminate silos that prevent collaboration across the enterprise and can ensure that data is viewable using in familiar formats such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and Adobe PDF.

Microsoft Dynamics SL is designed to support the intricacies of these project-based requirements and processes – from financial reporting, job-costing, time and expenses, and purchasing materials and services – to managing subcontractors, supervising the workforce and gaining new business. And because it’s Microsoft, your long-term investment is backed by a commitment to ongoing innovation.

If you need assistance with selecting and implementing a project-based financial ERP system, please contact the experts at Accountnet. We are happy to provide you with for a free phone consultation and needs assessment.

 

Five Components of a Good Internal Control System for Small to Medium Businesses

When we talk about “internal controls” in business, we’re talking about the systematic measures put in place in order to conduct operations in an orderly and efficient manner. Internal controls act to safeguard a company’s assets and resources, ensure the accuracy and completeness of its accounting data, detect errors, fraud, and theft and produce reliable and timely financial and management information.

UntitledSmall businesses sometimes neglect internal controls, if they think about internal controls at all. But internal controls for smaller entities can be put in place, though they are more likely to be informal and carried out by one or a handful of people.  However, a few managers enforcing control procedures in a top-down fashion can produce a good internal control system for a small company.

Here are five components of a good internal control system for smaller entities:

1)      The managers at the top should be committed to performing key internal control procedures diligently.  It’s management’s character that shapes the control environment (especially in a smaller company).

2)      Management should be performing daily walk-arounds, collecting feedback on the effectiveness of the company’s accounting and operational systems.

3)      One or more governance committees might be created and given “hands-on” oversight involvement in the business’s activities.  Committee members can be tasked with monthly, entity-level control duties, for example, reviewing and approving supporting documentation against checks written.

4)     Management personnel should communicate internal controls through frequent interaction with the accounting staff.  The performance of basic activity-level controls (such as determining that all orders have been shipped and billed, that invoices are initiated only after shipments are made and that bank accounts are reconciled), should be documented for periodic inspection by management.

5)      An ERP system that limits risks of errors or fraud can produce better and more accurate financial reports.  Standardized reporting formats, password and processing controls should be included in accounting software.

At Accountnet, we work with our clients to involve them in the design, implementation, operation, evaluation, and improvement of their internal control systems. We provide “Good Practice Guidance” (GPG) to ensure that a business’s professional accounting and reporting can be used to improve its internal controls.

Download the Microsoft Management Reporter 2012 FactSheet (PDF).